Monday, 24 September 2012

Thankful For...

Picture from HERE
  • Breath in my lungs
  • Amazing songs in my heart and in my ears
  • Hope despite circumstance
  • A Faithful God
  • A loving, patient Husband
  • Dreams being fulfilled
  • Ground being taken
  • Financial provision
  • The overwhelming generosity and love of friends and family (I reached my fundraising target for my forthcoming EP!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!)
  • Wise friends
  • A God who knows me and understands me even when I don't! Phew!
  • I get to do music for a living! What fun and what an honour! So full of beautiful moments!
  • My emotions. Even though I don't always understand them it is still such a relief to feel stuff rather than being numb!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Song of the Week

This morning I got to spend a fair amount of money on new music thanks to Birthday iTunes Voucher gifts. So I will get this song in quick before it's potentially replaced by everything new I'm about to hear.

I LOVE everything by Audrey Assad, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be this one...

'Carry Me' - Audrey Assad, The House You're Building

Pain is a forest we all get lost in
Between the branches hope can be so hard to see
And in the darkness we've all got questions
We're all just trying to make sense out of suffering but

You say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, You'll carry me
Help me believe it

Fear is a current we all get caught in
And in its motion faith can be so hard to find
And we all falter 'cause we're all broken
We're all just trying to turn the shadows into light but

You get glory in the midst of this
And You're walking with me
And you say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, You'll carry me

And I know Your promises are faithful
And God, I've seen Your goodness in my life
And oh, I've found Your mercy is a river
Your love is an ocean wide

You say I am blessed because of this
You get glory in the midst of this
And You're walking with me

And You say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, as I carry this cross
'Cause as I carry this cross, You'll carry me

You'll carry me, God
You'll carry me
And Your love is an ocean wide

Friday, 20 July 2012

Song of the Week...

Yay for a new post that I am going to do (like the title suggests) once a week! That's one more step on the way to blogging more regularly!

To be honest this song has been a favourite of mine for a couple of months but I have listened to it particularly large amounts this week so it is still valid...

Come To Me - Jenn Johnson, Bethel Music - The Loft Sessions...

I am the Lord your God, I go before you now.
I stand beside you, I’m all around you
And though you feel I’m far away, I’m closer than your breath
I am with you, More than you know

I am the Lord your peace, No evil will conquer you
Steady now your heart and mind, Come into my rest
And oh, let your faith arise, And lift up your weary head
I am with you, Wherever you go

Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m everything
Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m your everything

I am your anchor, in the wind and the waves
And I am your steadfast, so don’t be afraid
Though your heart and flesh may fail you
I’m your faithful strength
And I am with you, Wherever you go

Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m your everything
Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m your everything

Don’t look to the right or to the left, keep your eyes on me
You will not be shaken, you will not be moved
I am the hand to hold, I am the truth, I am the way
Just come to me, come to me
Cause I’m all that you need

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Things to be Thankful For...

Pic found here...

  • For one glorious year in our lovely little flat! I moved in last year on the 15th June, 10 days before our wedding! This has definitely been the best place to live in our precious first year of marriage, and I keep realising more and more how amazing it is! Fantastically cheap rent for Bath City Centre (and Bath in general), A lovely and helpful Landlord, A stunning view of a bit of Iconic Georgian Bath. Also because it's on the 2nd floor it is almost always filled with light and we hardly ever feel it's smallness because of this. 10 walk to work for Mike and Me, 5 minute walk to Church, by the river, 2 mins from the supermarket!! What a blessing!!!!!
  • During the worst cold/cough 'thing' I've had in a few years, rendering me voiceless, I am thankful for cough medicine that works, painkillers and tissues, a comfy sofa for middle of the night when trying not to wake hubby with said coughing, not to mention the blessing of all this falling in a 3 week gap of me not having to do any serious singing.
Pic found here...
  • For the privilege of witnessing the AMAZING things God does on a daily basis. Sick friends being miraculously healed, Side-effect free Chemotherapy, Barren friends now expecting babies, Lives restored, Marriages healed, Freedom found, miraculous finances and jobs. Basically - there are incredible testimonies of God's goodness wherever we look! Not to mention all Mike and I have seen God do in our lives. I hope and pray I never take these things for granted... these are exciting days :D
  • I know I've said it before, but it's still true... Our church Freedom Bath & Bristol - is FANTASTIC! It's FULL to overflowing of Freedom, creativity, vision, faith, strength, and incredibly humble, inspired and faith-filled leaders. It's real and full of real people so it's sometimes messy but it's a BEAUTIFUL mess in those times. God is moving here, in this place and I'm so excited to be a part of it. The Journey so far has been tough... but AMAZING, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
  • I have now been self-employed for a year and more stuff has happened than I ever thought possible in this time. I have been blessed with the opportunity to start doing all the things I love but also start off slowly as I needed time to figure out what I was doing, how to do it and to get creativity flowing again. However, a year later I have 5 singing pupils, I am teaching weekly classes and workshops for NGM, I've have fallen back in love with music and found my songwriting feet, written my first EP ready to launch in the Autumn. We are also recording our first church album in september. I also nanny for two lovely children, sometimes challenging but more often than not quite fun really! I think that's quite a successful year really!
  • Last, but definitely not least, I'm thankful for... beautiful sunsets, talented creative and musical friends willing to give up their time to be involved in my projects, good books to read, cute babies to cuddle, safe deliveries of friends babies, film and TV series watching buddies, holiday plans, 1st anniversary plans, answered prayers, money in our bank account, odeon premier cards, new phones, yummy food in my belly, a free health service, clean water to drink, a home to live in, 2nd chances, 500th chances... A GOD WHO LOVES ME EXACTLY THE WAY HE MADE ME! :D

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Explaining my Absence...

As you may have noticed (or maybe you haven't), I have managed to let a couple of months go by without even so much as a whisper on my blog. Never fear, I haven't left for good, I've just been focusing my attention elsewhere. There are big, exciting things afoot and I am now organised enough to let you know about them!

The BIG news is... (and NO if you think I'm having a baby right now lol!).... I have been working hard and I'm excited to announce that....

My first EP -  'Small Beginnings', is due out THIS AUTUMN!!!! How MEGA EXCITING is that!

The time has come to take the plunge and get some music out there! I have 4 songs ready for the EP, a bunch of fantastic musicians to help me, and a studio booked for the middle of July! Rehearsals are well underway, arrangements are sounding beautiful, creativity is flowing, photo shoot done, website being created, graphics etc being designed.

Whilst the website is under construction I have a new Facebook Music page...

Please check it out and 'like' it and you will be kept updated with everything as it happens over the next few months!

The blog is going to be changing a little (in appearance mostly - as you can see) to help it match up with my new website, but is still going to be a place where I share my thoughts, thankfulness, some photos, some revelations etc etc, so no worries, I'm still going to be here :)

That's all for now folks, I hope you can join me in this exciting journey and I'm really looking forward to sharing my music with you soon! :)

Friday, 9 March 2012


     I like to think that I pride myself on my honesty. I have been given jobs in the past because I was really upfront and honest in interviews about my experience (or lack of), and the interviewers were so surprised and delighted by my honesty they gave me the job anyway. I like to think that I am open and honest with people when they ask me how I am; I don't easily fall into that "I'm fine, thank you" mode unless I really genuinely am fine. I like to think that I can give a straight answer, speak up when I agree/disagree (the situation considered, of course). I like to think that I am always completely honest with my husband, friends and family, and I know it's ok to be honest about my flaws, faults and problems - I don't have to have it together all the time. But you see, there's a big problem with this view I've had of myself...

     Really, honestly.... It's all a BIG FAT lie! How can I be completely honest with those around me, and completely honest with my God, when I am rarely honest with myself. I kid myself a lot that I have it all together, that I'm doing well, that I am making huge progress, that I'm trying my hardest all the time, that I have a clue what I'm supposed to be doing and how I'm supposed to be living this life. Please don't get me wrong, this all sounds very much like I'm depressed and not seeing any of the good in my life. That is completely not the case and right now as a stage of my life I am loving it and have incredible amounts to be thankful for. These are exciting times we're in and I feel hugely privileged to be a part of them. What I am struggling with is making any progress in my walk and relationship with God (which I am SO aware is the most important thing I could ever do in my life!!), and I know that it is really only myself that is standing in the way! I feel hugely challenged to step up my efforts and understanding. I think my default response to this challenge in the past has been to panic, to let myself be overwhelmed by the enormity of what needs to be done. I really feel that unless I start to change the way I think and feel about myself, and learn to be truly real and honest about where I am at, then progress won't be made. 

     So this is me being honest. This week has been really, really tough, I'm feeling a little lost and I can feel that default panic setting creeping in at the corners. At the risk of babbling, not making sense and covering a very wide array of subjects/dilemmas I want to share a specific bit of what is banging around in my head. If by the end I have confused you so much that you don't know where to begin with answering wisdom then that's ok. Maybe just by writing it down I will be helping myself to see the way more clearly.

     I know that God loves me, that he made me with unique gifts and that he wants to work his purposes out in my life - what an honour! I also know that he wants the best of me, is jealous over me and when he says 'Put ME first', he couldn't be more serious. But how on earth do I handle that when it feels like I fail miserably at every attempt!? I guess that's what Grace is all about right? But how am I supposed to balance the fact that I am human and I will always mess up, with the urgency I feel to really do better!? How do I not let this balancing act end in guilt?

I can honestly say right now that I want to want to love God with everything in me and want to feel that hunger for his word and his presence above all! But I feel stuck at how to do that. On monday in amongst all the amazing testimonies there were from the Sunday services the day before, I just felt annoyed and frustrated about how little I had felt God. Whilst rejoicing with all these people over their incredible breakthroughs I couldn't help feeling hurt and confused whilst reading their stories. (To the people who shared those stories - you have done absolutely nothing wrong obviously. This is my issue, sorry :S).

"The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less." - 2 Corinthians 5 v 5 (MESSAGE)

This is the verse that most stuck with me from sunday morning's talk. I want that to happen, I want that taste, I want God to give me that little bit that will start my hunger for him!!! I want this more than I have ever wanted anything! And yet, standing there on sunday evening, I poured out my heart to God, I tried to offer up every possible thing that could be standing in the way of me feeling his presence, every issue and mindset. I tried to 'press in' like people are always saying you need to. I cried, got angry with distracting thoughts. I tried waiting in silence listening, tried singing till I lost my voice, tried praying in tongues and english. It was happening to people all around me. I have absolutely no doubt that God was in that place. And still I felt nothing. The words and visions people were receiving felt perfect for me, especially with the emphasis on musicians and songwriters and yet I felt I missed out. 
I know that there are no formulas for having a relationship with God, for feeling his presence. I know it feels different for everyone and that God has his own perfect timing and can always see the bigger picture. But right now I am a bit despairing as to what I was and am doing wrong. Surely God could see how much I wanted it!?

So right now I'm waiting. Waiting for God to show up, and i'm guessing it may be in a way that really surprises me, I don't really know! But what I am happier than ever to admit is that I have absolutely no idea how this works, how life with God works. But I trust that he does and I'm determined to fight my frustration and confusion and stand in hope and faith that God will show up!

And that.... is me being honest.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Things to be Thankful for...

  • Charity shop bargains, like this beautiful rug (pictured) for only £8. I have wanted one like this for ages and rugs don't usually come cheap. :)
  • More singing pupils and increased teaching confidence.
  • My Church. It's alive, full of God and freedom, full of people who are real and roaring, full of music and amazing stories of hope. It's strong and prepared to fight for justice. It has a passion, commitment, energy, joy and atmosphere that I have never found anywhere else. Our leaders are wise, courageous, inspiring, God-fearing and they are not afraid to tell us what we need to hear instead of what we want to hear. I love our church!
  • No longer being a student or unemployed, I can now afford things like leisure centre membership so I can go swimming as much as I like. Am aiming for 3 times a week. Got to shift these post-marriage pounds and so far I'm really enjoying it! (Weird I know! lol!)
  • Our little flat which I'm realising more and more is perfect for us right now and is feeling really lovely and cosy and very much like home :)
  • My teaching at NGM is going really well (I think) and they actually seem to be understanding what I'm teaching and getting close to full marks on tests, whoop!
  • Regular weekly songwriting time with a friend - awesome! Feeling very inspired these days and excited about what the future holds.
  • Mike, for working really hard to bring home (lets be honest), the vast majority of the bacon. And overall for God, for providing, as always.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Wedding Quilt

Let's face, I already knew my mum was a creative genius, especially after making my wedding dress for me last year. But check out our AMAZING christmas present! A quilt made from the bunting we had at our wedding! What better way to use 250 metres worth of left over bunting and have a lovely colourful reminder of a wonderful day :)

And this is what is embroidered all over green fabric on the back... perfect :)
BLESSED! Thanks Mumma!