Sunday, 20 September 2015


Thoughts churning since this morning's sermon (Thanks, John). 

When we are finally able to accept that we are loved, completely and utterly and wonderfully, by God, then we are finally free to be whoever we were created to be. 

When we are secure in the knowledge of that perfect love, we can set self aside without worry. 

Knowing there is absolutely nothing I can do to make God love me more (and that nothing I can do will ever make him love me less), I am free to be me, to make mistakes, to fail, to mess up horribly. And free to start again, and again, and again. Free to try a hundred different things, and free to fall down and make the same mistakes a hundred different ways. 

And I am free to put those mistakes behind me. Free to listen, free to follow directions, free to walk upon the water and to do amazing things. 

Free to find joy and contentment in doing the things I already love doing, since these are the things I was created to do. Free to find immense satisfaction in the smallest of caring tasks, free to enjoy the simplest of suppers, free to delight in the happiness of a child blossoming in the right school. 

I'm not sure I was created to lose my temper with the feed pump, the paperwork, the child who has to have my total undivided attention at all times and especially when I am on the phone to someone else. But maybe that short fuse helps when I'm chasing support we aren't getting, appointments we haven't been given, equipment which doesn't work? 

I'm pretty sure no one is created to actively design a house as messy as mine. But maybe my ability to sit quietly within the chaos enables me to get the rest I need in order to carry on picking up the pieces when the chaos is being created? 

So I've taken a sermon all about turning away from self and towards Jesus, and I've turned it into a blog all about me. Cos I'm good that way. But I think it's important. I can't be free to love God until I can accept that he really does love me, right now, just exactly as I am, with all my mess and imperfections and chaos and clutter. 

I don't need to fix anything first. 

I live in a house with a door on the latch; nurses, carers, friends, family, and an occasional delivery man all let themselves in. There's no time to do anything beyond kick the dirty dishes under the settee and stuff the socks behind a cushion before company is in front of me.  And it's taken a while to get used to, but I love it. This is me. This house, my home. It's not perfect (see above re: dishes and dirty socks), but it's who I am. The pressure's off. No hours of frantic tidying before anyone is allowed past the door; these days many visitors bypass me entirely and head straight for the kettle or the loo. 

And I'm probably slow to get the message, but I'm living with my life on the latch too. And I'm loved not one iota more in my Sunday Best (yes, fellow members of the congregation, those are my smarter clothes) than I am in my slightly stained spotty dressing gown. And I am not loved one iota less in those times when I ignore the dishes and curl up on the settee in mismatched pyjamas than I am when I am heading out of the door in clean clothes having actually brushed my hair. 

And I think maybe it's only then, only when we let that perfect love cast out all fear, that we can cast out that fear of exposure, fear of what others might think, fear of being considered a nuisance, fear of being found unworthy. And it's only when we are truly free to be ourselves, that we can truly forget ourselves in the wonder of following the paths set in front of us. 

Or maybe that's just me? 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015


Rubbish photo, tasty quickish dish. Kedgeree with cauliflower rice, essentially. 

Poach 250g smoked haddock in 150mls milk of your choice (dairy, non-dairy, whatever you fancy). About 5 minutes, until fish is flaky and cooked. Remove from oven. Set two eggs in a pan of water and hard boil them (10 minutes once water boiling. Ish). 

Grate half a large cauliflower, boil for 1 min, drain, then pour into a tea towel and squeeze the extra water out. Spread out to allow steam to escape. 

Meanwhile, sauté 3 small onions. Add two cloves garlic, minced. Stir in a goodly dollop of garam masala powder (I used a heaped tablespoon), hunt around for turmeric and fail to find both it and the ginger you planned to add. Didn't need either, in the event. 

Add in one small green chilli you find at the bottom of the 'fridge when looking for the ginger. I deseeded it; your choice. 

When onion soft and smelling beautifully, pour in the milk and fish juices. Add 50g creamed coconut, and a splash of boiling water to dissolve it. Add more milk or water if needed to cover bottom of the pan. 

Peel fish skin off the haddock, flake fish into the frying pan, and put fish skin on floor for cats, before remembering you have the only cats in the world who won't eat it. 

Pour cauliflower rice into frying pan and stir around to coat in sauce. Add juice of half a lemon and a big handful of frozen peas. 

Wilt a big bag of spinach, put around edge of serving dish. When frying pan sizzling gently, scoop vedgeree into middle of dish. Peel eggs, quarter, and scatter on top with a handful of parsley. Give lemon a last viscious squeeze to extract final drops, and serve quickly. Or, photograph and then tip slightly over half into the blender for your daughter.*


* this step optional.  


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