I'm feeling ....
More to follow....
Aaaargh it didn't happen!!! I am soooo behind on my news and stuff here, and I meant to update like really soon after the last entry but it didn't happen! Poo. So I will try to catch up a bit now.
Thank you so much to people signing my guestbook - Alison I have emailed you! :) And Kira's mommy, thank you so so much for updating me about Nolan. I am so sad and shocked that he died, just a little boy, I really can't believe it :( But thank you so much for letting me know. I was wondering if he was getting better so I guess it's good to know what is really happening. I hope Lora is doing okay. I will keep praying for her and her family. How awfully sad :(
Hmmm, now what shall I say? I have thought and prayed a lot about Nolan and it just makes me so sad. But I don't know.... It almost seems hard to change the subject and talk about cheery stuff. But I will anyway, because there really IS cheery stuff for me to write about. I have been so happy lately! :) So I'll write about that now.
Emily came to see me like I said, and it was soooo nice, AND - even more exciting!! - today she came to church with us!!!!!! :) We picked her up this morning and took her to church, and I have to say *I* was nervous, so I don't know how hard it must have been for her! I've never taken anyone to church with me before. Well, I've "dragged" family members along, once, when I got baptised. And I didn't really drag them, I begged, they agreed to come, but sat with coats on and arms folded and left immediately after the baptism (embarrassingly obviously from right down at the front in a big church!). But I'm grateful to them that they were there at all. And once Neil's mum came to church with us, but that was years ago, before I was ill, and we've been to church with her loooads of times whenever we visit Neil's parents at their home. Plus she's been a Christian longer than I've been alive so there we go. But today was different. I still feel like such a new Christian sometimes, but actually I'm not anymore am I? I've been a Christian for 8 years on October 15th. Wow. And looooads of people have become Christians since then. But nobody I know too well, and everyone I seem to know very well who are Christians all remember me becoming a Christian and that, and they have all been Christians like forever or something, so I guess I feel newish around them. Oooh eight years, that's quite exciting!! :) God has made my life like I could NEVER have imagined in that time. Wonderful!
Anyway so today was very exciting!! :) Church was good today, we had a dedication of one of the babies at church which was sweet. And our youth group started up again today. I went to a meeting on Thursday evening with the other leaders to figure out how everything would go this year. Yes, OTHER LEADERS!!!! I am so relieved, because until a couple of weeks ago I thought I was the only leader left, but yay, there are four others!!! And one helper until Christmas - he's going to be helping when I lead. I am leading every time I am on the rota this year, not like last year when I did a lot of "helping" whilst someone else led the session. Oooh. A bit scary, but I am full of passion for working with the young people at our church, I love them so much and I am keen to muck in with them and help them enjoy church and learn about Jesus. I love Jesus so much that I can't wait to pass it on! :) The material we're using this year is GREAT - well it looks good anyway. Much more on their level. I am leading the first session, which is next Sunday. Yikes. Today all the leaders went in to lay ground rules with the kids and to ask what they wanted out of their youth group and get ideas for social events. It's gonna be fun I think! One of the girls from camp is there, and she is not a Christian and her family don't go to church. She loved camp so much and was genuinely stirred by the message we were teaching that she is coming to church!!!! Yay!! Also three of the kids from Sunday school have moved up now that they're a year older, so we have a bigger group now, which is exciting. Anyway yay!
I was quite down and stuff at the leaders' meeting, because everyone there had so much youthwork experience or else they were confident and outspoken with ideas for the group, and I just started to feel sooo inadequate and puny, like I shouldn't be there. I am usually confident and outspoken myself, but if other people are first and I don't get the chance to pitch in, then I can tend to shrink away into nothingness and feel inadequate. Hmmm. Need to work on that. But anyway, Richard started praying that anyone feeling inadequate would realise that God has chosen this team and we are all individually essential to the working of the youth group, and for all the different types of kids to be able to relate to different leaders. I don't know if he could see through my quietness and realise I felt that way, or if God was prompting him to pray, but it really really helped, so I feel good about it again.
We are spending a bit of our money on some home improvements. Our shower that we had plumbed in just after we moved here hasn't worked for over a year (!!) and it seems a shame to carry on bathing all the time when our new shower is sitting there not getting used. It needs completely re-wiring from the fuse box downstairs all the way up into the loft and down into the bathroom. Blargh. So when we found that out, there was no way we could afford to have that done, so we just stopped using it and had baths instead. But now we can, so we are getting that done! Yay! It will mean work and mess and fixing the decor afterwards, etc, but it will be worth it to shower again!!! Ahhh, showers....
It's so hot. Why is it so hot?!! It's late September!!!! Some years we are having frosts by now! It's been 80°ish all week. Soooo weird. And today it's humid too. Phew. Another good reason to get the shower fixed! :) Baths are so hot.
Yesterday Neil and I hit the charity shops in our local high street, looking for..... er.... I can't actually remember what we were looking for, hahaha!! No really, I know there was a reason we were going to look there, but oh how odd, I can't remember! Oh well, whatever it was, we didn't get it. Instead we found Absolutely Fabulous and The Royle Family on video for flumpence (one of Daddy's sayings meaning next to nowt!), and also some very nice drinking glasses from Woolworths (fancy that!) for very little money too. We looked for dinner plates because Neil broke one yesterday, and that makes it four plates broken and four plates left since our wedding day, hehe! But we didn't find any that we liked. Then as we were driving home, we thought we'd "just pop in" to Carpet Right or Carpet Rite or whatever it is, because it was right there on the way and because we'd randomly come across an advert in the paper saying they were having a sale this weekend. Our carpets are fine, except for a nice luminous green stain on the stairs (!!!) which was there when we moved here and absolutely NOTHING will remove it! But oh well, we like the rest of the carpet and it's too expensive to replace. But the two bedrooms have horrible carpet. Nice enough colours, but it's matted and threadbare, and I'm sure the one in our bedroom is responsible for the stale smell that happens if our door is closed for very long, whether I've just cleaned in there or not. Yuck. So anyway, we thought we'd take a look. Well we left with a big armful of beige carpet for the small bedroom, bigger than we need but it was a roll-end and because it's foam-backed we can fit it ourselves, and it was ELEVEN POUNDS!!!!!!!! For the whole room to be carpeted, £11!!!!!! Way to bargain-hunt! :) And also we got another roll-end the right size (bit bigger but that's a good thing) for our bedroom, it's a sort of warm goldy-neutralish colour which will go nicely with the yellow and the pine furniture. It was more expensive though and it needs fitting and all that stuff, plus underlay and grippy whatsits, plus delivery and help moving the furniture in the bedroom, so it all adds up to more than we'd expected, even with a cheap roll-end. But we can afford it and it will be so good to have new carpet and hopefully the weird smell will be gone with the old one. I can't believe we have new carpet, it happened so quickly! The one for the spare bedroom is in a heap next to me, and the one for our room is being fitted on October 4th. It had to be that far away to make it a Saturday so Neil could be here to help move the furniture. I have NO idea how we're gonna move it even with help. We have a HEAVY pine kingsize bed that pretty much fills the room, a backbreakingly heavy mattress and a three-door wardrobe that is just not going to be funny to move even an inch.
What else are we doing? Ohhh yes, we will get the toilet fixed! For weeks we've had a cat litter tray under the cistern on the floor, which needs bailing out (why does my dictionary say that bale (as in water) can be spelt bail or bale?!) every few days, so yeah, the loo is leaking pretty badly. We tried sealing the bit in the pipes which has come loose, but erm, we only made matters worse (!!) so we're just sticking to the bale out approach until we can get a plumber. Which we keep not getting round to. So maybe we'll get that done when the shower gets fixed.
And we're having a new front door because the old one has had it (in more ways than one, but that's a story for another entry!). But we don't want to spend a ton on the house - we don't need to, and Neil is getting all these fancy ideas about how we can spend this money we've suddenly got, but I am trying to be the sensible one (snort!) and put anything we don't actually NEED to spend it on into savings. We are still waiting to hear about Neil's MSc courses, but we're not sure if that's the right thing to do yet. If only God would tell us! I've half a mind to say, "God, it's all going in the bank unless you show us what you want us to use it for!" Which might not be a bad idea actually, because that's a wise place to put it where it can gain interest until God does show us how to spend it. I know he has a reason for giving it to us, and I do not want to spend it on anything other than what God plans for us to spend it on. I am excited to find out what, because God is so good to us, I know whatever it is will be exciting and bless us loads, even if it's giving it all away somewhere needy. I learnt once or twice how much joy can be gained by doing stuff like that. Incredible joy actually, and a real sense of utter freedom and release. Strange that. But selfish me hopes he doesn't want us to give it ALL away! ;) I do want to give plenty away but I don't know where or how much. Ah God will show us when he's ready to. Not knowing is quite exciting, except when the not-knowing is about having a baby or getting healed from something you don't want to live with for another SECOND. I know. But even in those things, God's timing is absolutely perfect. So cool stuff like this will be great whatever his timing is.
Tonight is the Alpha Supper - the first night of the Alpha course that our church is running. Well, not the first night really, the sort of introduction entertainment-with-food thingy. Last year we had a jazz night with Kate Simmonds which was soooo cool. This year we are having a Christian comedian which sounds like it will be fab. I am taking headache tablets now because when I laugh toooo much for too long I get a headache!! Plus I have a headache anyway, but not too bad. It's also gonna be a buffet meal and we're hiring the big room in a hotel for it, so it should be a good evening. We never go out socially so I have noooo idea what to wear! I have to go and get ready in a minute so I'll finish this off now.
Talking of clothes I am having an image/identity issue at the moment, which is what I have been wanting to write about for a while. It has a lot to do with our therapy. I want to stop dressing like a little girl so much, because I just realised last week that I am a woman. Sounds either stupid or weird probably, but it's actually one of those huge big life-changing self-image milestones for me. I've been procrastinating over writing about it because it's kind of personal and I don't really know how to explain my thoughts and feelings over it, but I really want to write about it because it does feel such a big deal at the moment. I got these two books last week. Not even books that our psycho-sexual therapist recommended. The one she recommended scared the living daylights out of me (!!!!) and made me feel really abnormal :( One of them has absolutely done wonders for me in loads of different ways. Email me if you really want to know what book because I am embarrassed to be going into a lot more detail about it all here in my diary! :) But really, email me if you're interested, I will gladly tell you if it can help you like it's helped me. The main thing that occurred to me whilst reading this book is - WOAH, I'm a woman!!! Heh. Which will sound stupid since, d'uh, of course I'm a woman. But honestly, I never saw myself that way before. Not that I thought of myself as a little girl - I stopped feeling that way around 12 or 13. But since then I've just remained feeling like a teenager and a young one at that. Still like a kid, but just umm, aware in the parsnip department. Okay I should explain that I'm using parsnip as a substitute word (haha, I could just see your eyes all popping out thinking I'm completely crazy!!) because I do not want gross google hits when I'm trying to be all serious and real about something. So now I guess you understand what I mean by parsnip? Okay. So I never realised there was a huge difference between being parsniply (!!) aware and being a woman, like, grown up and not a teenager anymore. On the subject of parsnips that is. I am cracking myself up reading this back!! I am going to start attracting dodgy farmers aren't I?!! Hehe!
Well anyway, I realised a lot of things about myself reading this book, and one of the end results is that I am huuuugely encouraged and filled with confidence about our parsnip issues. Hahahaha, I really can't stop laughing when I type the word parsnip now! *sigh* Anyway so that's wonderful. And other things from the book are great too, which I can't write about. But the main thing for me is how I see myself, and what I anticipate. I need to work on those things. I never realised how much control I have, mentally, over what happens in a situation if I have a certain mindset about myself or the situation. I guess it's tied into self-image and self-esteem. My parsnip self-esteem (!!) has been really really low for years now because of all our issues. I thought we needed some help to fix it, and I think we have needed that help, but actually *I* can fix some of the major issues in just how I think and how I see myself. So I need to start seeing myself as a woman, mature and, erm, parsnipy!! ;) So I rummaged in my wardrobe looking for clothes that made me feel more grown-up rather than stuff I have been wearing since my teens. I want something feminine and grown-up that I can wear if I feel like being feminine and grown-up. But I don't have ANYTHING in that category, I was so surprised about that. So I need to go shopping. Woohoo, shopping! :) I talked to Neil and Cheryl about it all and they both think I need to go shopping for clothes too - yay! :) I will try the charity shops first incase I can save some money, but so far they seem to have either cool girly stuff or old lady stuff, so hmmm, I can see that finding mature feminine stuff isn't going to be that easy. I want something with a little "wow factor", y'know? But totally tasteful and pretty at the same time. But doesn't every girl, whoops, woman want to feel like she has something of a wow factor about her when she wears something special? I do. But I don't have anything that makes me feel that way. Neil says I look gorgeous in everything I wear. Isn't he the most incredible husband?!! :)
Urgh. Anyway, how embarrassing this subject feels!! And how long this entry has become! So that's it for now. We need to go out in 10 minutes anyway, and I haven't changed yet so I have to go. Will write again soon though! :)
Cameron's first anniversary - 2004-09-24