Monday, 26 November 2012

Enough already

Bet you thought I'd forgotten about you, hey? Well, I've had to withdraw from a lot of things to be able to get through each day. Then I relaxed and couldn't keep things in anymore.

I'm off work for a couple of weeks due to work-related stress. I find it awful at work. It's strange, in some regards it has improved this academic year. Just a shift where the oppression is coming from. Unfortunately it seems as if everyone below it is now feeling the pain. It feels like something is trying to smother the goodness out of the workforce.

I've had a rough few weeks at work. You wouldn't believe it if I wrote about the first week. Talk about...well not even sure there's a word to sum up what occurred. To say it resulted in an emotional roller coaster for me is an understatement.  I am still in disbelief. I'm surprised it happened and it could happen.  But isn't that where faith comes in? All things are judged, may be not on earth but there will be a time for decisions to be judged.

I spent some time this afternoon writing things down to try and shed some light onto my mental turmoil. Can you believe I had the "Sunday-night" feeling last night even though I knew I wasn't in work. What's that all about?

One thing that has been revealed is the anger I feel towards the company. Then trying to find out why I realised I have let the experience define my significance. Why? The ones making the decisions I am maybe insignificant to (just a name on paper), yet the ones I work with am a valued member of the team. I seemed to have got things mixed up a bit. At least I have something to work on instead of a mixed up head in all of this.

One thing that has got to me is a phrase in the letters I've received. One of the paragraphs starts with "  'the company' acknowledges ..." Something along the lines of the effect of restructuring has had. It's all very well acknowledging things, yet acknowledging also carries a responsibility with it. We can all acknowledge things and carry on in the same way. But is it the best thing to do? Acknowledging a negative response to something I do surely should prompt a change in behaviour?

Isn't it time for organisations to take responsibility for their actions?

Monday, 24 September 2012

One day at a time...on the job front
Have you noticed how quickly time passes? I used to think that. Then along came August. What a month that turned out to be. As you can read in my last post - being put at risk of redundancy at the beginning of the month. Then the end of the month saying "see you soon" to my brother, sister-in-law, neice and bro's Ma-in-law.

That was way harder than I thought it would be. I have never cried so much going through an airport before. It broke my heart at the time to leave them. I cannot believe they've only been gone three weeks. It feels so much longer. It's making me wonder how long the next year will feel. When I knew they had arrived safely it was quite quickly I started to feel very excited for them. I'm glad to say that has continued. It's interesting hearing about the differences in culture they are finding out.

I have started my Perth Pot, putting away some spare money, although I really need to budget and put it into an account. Perhaps my Perth Pot can be my spending money. It's a good money box, I bought a bargain Winnie the Pooh one from the Pound shop. It's one you have to open with a can opener so there's a chance money can stay in there for awhile.

I cannot believe it is only 24th September. It feels nearly December to me. Not that I want time to run away with me again. Sometimes it feels like it is dragging yet not sure why as September has been a very busy month.

Are the days flying by for you?

Monday, 6 August 2012

Decision makers
The last two weeks have been awful. It is finally confirmed that there is no dedicated admin support for the Team Programme. I have finally been put at risk of redundancy. What I don't like about it is that it is a very selfish reaction to the decision. I was told back in December I wouldn't be working in the same school when the restructuring came about. Yet there's been other conversations since that have given me some hope of a change in decision. So all the hope was pushed out of me during my consultation. When I say hope I mean in being able to support the Team Programme in some way.

I am so glad my identity or life isn't my job. I am so surprised how much it hurts, all the same. In a sense it is a form of rejection - one the first time of experiencing it. And it's also an unknown change. Not knowing what is next or when the "next" will be. At least I no longer fear being without a job. So that's a weight off my mind. I survived it last time and if i'm unemployed again God will provide.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Wisdom beyond her years
Procrastinating again, lying in bed searching for inspiration on the web. Some things I find make me laugh, some make me cry. Today was the same, then I came across a news show about Marina Keegan, a Yale student, just graduated who wrote an article for the campus paper. Tragically she died in a car accident shortly afterwards. Her article is inspiring - take a look for yourself

Wise words from someone so young. She may have written it about leaving Uni, yet I think it speaks for anyone's lif, the circles we are involved in, some things come to an end, the apprehension of the unknown. We always have possibilities. Another reminder to make every day count.

The article went viral and has touched many people. Would it have had such an impact had she not been in the car crash? - we'll never know. Perhaps given time the fact her last article has inspired so many, and I feel will continue to inspire them throughout their lifetime, will bring a degree of peace into the lives of family and friends. I pray that it will. It made me also think how many more writers out there are inspirational and are hidden somewhere on the web.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Birthday blessings
What a lovely birthday I've just had. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Birthdays are bitter-sweet for me now. When my parents were alive it was always fun waking up on a birthday. I know part of my thinking is looking back in fondness in a way memory can do! I'm still not used to waking up on my birthday and no one else in the house. I don't like that part! It's one of the times in a year when I really miss the ones no longer living. Yet today was a good day - and I was at work too!

I had a lovely lunch with the team leaders. If you're in Belfast try out Failte near Royal Victoria Hospital. They do a great deal - express lunch and a glass of wine or beer or soft drink for £5.95. I didn't have a choice of meal being a veggie, not that it mattered. They do a lovely vegetable curry. Generous portion sizes too.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Keep Calm and ...Drink Tea

I knew last weekend would be a challenge for me on a few different levels. On the whole the Ladies Festival was a good weekend. I only had one bad moment, at least it's shown me something I need more work on and also realised things are not as smooth as I've been led to believe (which is a great shame).

Since going through my prayer ministry and beyond I've developed the wisdom in knowing we can only deal with our own emotions in situations and not others. Ok, there are times when others are open to hearing reason and others they are so self-focused they blank it and see it as being very narrow-minded and, what was it you said?...

Moving away from family, although I know I'd be dead had I remained in Billericay, means there's so much I don't know about them. It hasn't really crossed my mind until this weekend when it was used against me. That was very low and I forgive that person for hurting me. Yet, do we really get to know a person even in close proximity? It's not to do with the amount of time we can invest in someone it's rather how much the person is willing to be vulnerable and enable people to know the real them. And that's a big thing, being vulnerable. Opening yourself up to being hurt - and, potentially so much happiness too. I think it has a little to do with how much we trust others and are confident in our relationship with them to know they like/love you warts and all.

One old demon did raise it's ugly head this weekend. I was peasantly surprised, and relieved, how quickly I killed it to stop it doing damage. I know that had I given it permission to act - and allowing emotions to develop is giving them permission - all the pain and hurt of work would have come flooding out inappropriately and directed in the wrong direction.

It is so hard to see someone going through self-destructive behaviour time and time again. But after speaking truth into a situation I stepped back. I realise each person has their own responsibility for their own emotions and if they are unwilling at that moment to hear the truth it is best to let them be and pray for them to open their ears to the truth.

I love people watching. I do wonder sometimes how I come across to others. I know I am far from perfect and have faults of my own. I do find it very saddening to watch attention-seeking people trying to get attention and sympathy. If they don't get what they are looking for from the current person they will quickly move on to another person hoping to receive it from them and the cycle continues. I was watching someone and in the space of 20 minutes 6 attempts had happened, all with the same response.

If I really listen and take notice of things I read or hear - either from friends, conversations or through the media - it's amazing how much humans blame on emotional responses to things. One example that always springs to mind is having an affair. "I cannot help who I fall in love with". As if just because you have an emotion you have to react to it. I'm sure there are other emotions the same person has they don't put into action. One thing I read recently was about not choosing the best thing to do but choosing the wisest thing to do. And that is where the challenge comes in. It is becoming culturally acceptable to reason things out because of emotions. We all have a choice how to react to emotions. It is your own personal responsibility how you react. There are consequences whichever way you choose.
It is the time to take back responsibility and make it your own.

Last trip to Bournemouth
I've just come back from a great Ladies Festival in Bournemouth. Thank you so much Chris and Barb for inviting me. I was so pleased to be able to celebrate with you. It was also lovely to hear how much you mean to so many (and that's was only a part of your life). It wasn't a surprise in the sense that so many people love you guys and miss will miss you. It was so good to see how many good and genuine friends you have.

I really wasn't prepared for the speeches. I should have realised when I first sat down at the table and felt emotional it would be difficult when it came to your speeches. Actually it was too much at the ladies blessing/song. I'm even blubbing thinking back to it. As soon as you left the room I had to get to the ladies and have a good howl.

I cannot believe how long I lasted on Saturday. It was a very long day. I got up and went swimming at 8with Pam and Kerry. It was a great way to start the day. It was great to get some lengths in. They were shorter than my normal so was able to get more done without stopping. I cannot get into a swimming pool and do more chatting than swimming.

I had hoped to get some rest before I met up with Sharon later. There were a few who wanted to go down town after breakfast so I joined them. Hmm, plan for rest didn't happen. By the time Kerry and I had finished shopping and headed back towards the hotel it was time to meet Sharon.

Talk about time flying. Sharon and I sat on the beach catching up and getting lots of rubbish blown in our direction! Before we knew it it was fast approaching 4 pm - later than I wanted to start getting ready. It was good seeing you, Shaz again. It felt like it was only yesterday we'd seen each other -apart from the amount of news we had to catch up on. I know we're not good at forward planning, but get your diary out and get a flight booked over here, hun! You did say it would be this year...

I got ready in 45 minutes. I was very calm, even when my hair wasn't doing what I wanted it to. Then my zip on my dress broke. So instead of panicking I realised there should be people having per-reception drinks in Chris and Barb's room. I thought I'd ring for some help. That was evidence of improvement in me - asking someone for help and not being so independent. Barb came down, took the dress back up while I put on Friday's dress. If it came down to it I'd have worn it again. I'm not sure how long it took but with a bit of pinning and covering we managed to get the zip up as far as possible and cover most of the rest. So original dress was back on again.

I still don't know how I managed to make it to around 2.45am and get up on Sunday for breakfast just after 9. Probably having a coach at 11am helped!

It was so hard saying bye to Chris and Barb - not too sure where Megs went. I'm so glad they didn't decide to move to Oz straight after this weekend. I wouldn't have been able to come. At least this way there are a few more memories to be made before we have to say see you soon. I'm not too sure when I stopped blubbing, at least it wasn't continuous.

I need to work out when my next visit will be. I know when I want to come over but need to see if my line manager will have a re-think about authorising it, but that's another story (and one that isn't appropriate to make public).

I find it hard returning home to an empty house after spending time away with people. Although it is different this time. I may have similar struggles to before but now have the head and heart knowledge of where I belong and know I am no longer defined by "being single". I am so much more than that.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

I was going to ask...
 How long do you think it'll be until the 1000'th visitor reads my blog? Hmm, 59 visits too late, sorry! I was around 900 on my last post earlier in the week so I though I'd have time.

Thank you to my new readers, feel free to leave me comments. I'd like to know who is reading.

I had wondered about changing the title of the blog. After a bit of contemplation realised that every day is a journey and I write about all sorts. So the decision is to leave as it is.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

I stood at the window
I stood at the window looking out
Yet not seeing -
Have you ever done that?
Look but not registering what you're seeing
My mind elsewhere
I sighed, a long, long sigh
Thoughts flying around my head
All mixed together
Bringing a sense of unease
Yet not knowing why

(C) Caf Mowbray 2011

It's amazing what I find when I'm cleaning my bedroom - getting right under the bed this time. A piece of paper with this written on it. I think I wrote it when Red:Writing started yet got cold feet to go and share. Anyone remember how long ago that was?

Thursday, 22 March 2012


What a night. I wasn't expecting such a powerful night.

It was a significant night for Redeemer Central. We appointed our Elders. I was blown away by the experience.

I'd had a very busy day at work and was trying to work out if I should go home, get changed, get a lift to 101 or stay at work. There was a huge desire to go home and freshen up but I knew if I did I'd struggle to come out again. So to avoid that I stayed on at work.

I was looking forward to the evening although with not much emotion - felt quite flat about it. That was until moments before I left work then a wave of excitement hit me. I felt as if I was floating walking there, in fact it didn't feel a usual walk there. I should have realised by the size of the battle I had to get there it was going to be a good evening.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Time waits for no man
So much of our life is having or getting things right here, right now. Has western Society become an "immediate" society? It doesn't wait for anything, as if it's our 'right' to have things NOW. Is that why so few people do the simplest of things such as step aside if there's not enough room for two on the pavement? Or hold the door open for others?

My road has made me think of this. During the week the cars are parked both sides on the pavement - I got used to that in Serbia. There are times not even one person can walk on the pavement. (Such a contrast to the weekend, can see quite a bit of pavement when most people return home). Most people will walk round cars on the road-side when they see someone coming towards them. At first I thought it was kind until I noticed mostly everyone does that. Perhaps it is a kindness or is it an act of selfishness? They don't want to wait a few more seconds for the other person to walk past. It is such a surprise when someone steps aside. I always make a point of saying thanks and smile. Such a small thing we can do for others yet so few do.

Are we losing the ability to connect with people on a personal, face to face basis?

Perhaps that's the reason the Big Issue sellers are so friendly to me - because I acknowledge them, show them some of God's love. At least I hope that's what they see and not just me.

What can you do today to acknowledge someone?

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Welcome 2012

Over a month has gone since I last wrote here. Oops. I cannot believe how fast time is going. At times I sit and wonder what I have to show for it. Does that really matter in the eternal-sense not having "things" to show for it? The question really is - have I made use of the time? Hmm, I think that needs to be addressed.

I find it strange when I start writing, I have an idea where I want the post to go, then suddenly, like above it's taken a total new, surprising direction. I'll come back to where the last paragraph ended in another post.

I cannot believe how much has happened recently in/for Redeemer Central. It is so amazing. Sunday 8th January 2012 was our first service in our new home. The week before people gave up their time to clean and decorate the building. What a transformation. I love the way the character of the building is still visible and hasn't been hidden. I feel it has only been enhanced. Old meets new comes to mind - Redeemer have put their touch to the building, tastefully.

It feels like we've always been using the building, not our first service - like coming home. There is room for growth - a great visual reminder of why we are here, why any church is here...

I spent a lovely Christmas with Chris, Barbie, Megs, Pam and the family. It was so good to have a week with them instead of the usual 2/3 days quick visit. I'd left it too late to contact people to see if I could come and see them. Out of a potential 6 visits I made 0. I should have got in touch as soon as the flights were booked to see who was around. I had wanted to make use of having a base in Essex to visit people. It was good not to have to run around everywhere, which it probably would have been had everyone got back to me, so it was a blessing as I did need to have a rest after the last few months at work.

I had mixed feelings at New Year. Apart from having a bug and being in bed, looking ahead to next 12 months was difficult at first. It's amazing how Scripture can stand out at the right time. I was listening to UCB on my DAB radio and heard

Anxiety is looking to the future without God
That made me stop and think. I know I cannot have a future with God. So that has helped me to stay calmer and look at the next 12 months in a different light. I feel quite blessed to know of a couple of major changes that will happen this year. I'm not too sure when exactly they'll occur but I'm pretty confident they will happen this year.

Redeemer Central has continued to grow, not just in numbers, spiritually too. We spent a few months at the end of last year going through the Prodigal Son parable using a study guide by Tim Keller. It was great to go through this in our Citygroup knowing the rest of the Citygroups were studying the same. It was such a good time together we are continuing to study over the next few months. I do miss the bible studies I had in Nis, a chance to go deeper with others. I hadn't realised how much I missed them until we started studying together in Citygroup.

Talking of Citygroups...Citygroup South has now multiplied, tonight in fact. I'm so excited I cannot sleep so I thought I'd update the blog. It is amazing how quickly the group has grown. There are 32 people in the South who have shown interest in our midweek group. We are now 2 groups in the South.

Going back to the changes this year ...I think the first change will be my job. The new structures have been issued and my role isn't there. Without going into too much detail as it's a blog in the public domain and also I don't want to be dishonourable - I came to the conclusion that I need to move on in my role due to working relationships. That is such a hard decision. I absolutely love my role - it's all the politics that go with it that is a problem. I'm keeping faith that God knows my heart for my job and will provide a better role. I like the contact with the students.

The restructuring is going to be a difficult time. I keep being reminded to look at what is best for me and not to worry about the Programme, it's hard after all the work I've put into it. Things are working so much better now, procedures are in place, documents are to hand. Part of me feels all of the work I've done is for nothing - as in the amount of work the Team Leaders have to do they won't have time to maintain what I've put in place. Why put me in this role only to be taken out of it 2 years later?

I have to remember I cannot see the bigger picture. I need to have faith that the people in charge of the restructuring also have a bigger picture and this will work well in it.

I need to keep track on my thoughts about my job. It's so hard to let it go. I don't mean I'm not caring about it now, far from it. It's hard not knowing when I'll be moving on, where I'll be moving on to and if there's time in between roles. But isn't that where faith comes in? Believing the unseeable?

The other major change is Chris, Barbie, Megs and Pam will be emigrating to Australia sometime from July onwards. I am so happy for them, it's something they've been working towards since 2005 and it's finally got the go ahead. On the other hand, being totally selfish - it's making me so sad. I love them to bits. It will break my heart to see them go. I cannot think of that at the moment, it's too painful. Nope - cannot write the rest at the mo...


Anyway...desperately trying to think of something else to write. I cannot, so I think I'll leave this post for now.


  • Redeemer Central's city-centre building
  • Citygroup:South multiplication
  • Continued emotional healing throughout last year
  • Able to have a summer holiday


  • I have courage to continue with emotional healing
  • Issues still need to deal with are identified
  • Peace re job situation
  • Improved general health (no more colds!)