Monday, 31 May 2004

I had a wonderful weekend of lovely little things happening. A great meal with friends, a window shop and chat about meaningful things, a wedding, a birthday, some poetry writing and very stimulating conversation. Generally a wonderful weekend that felt much longer than it was.

And today is Monday. Hmmm you never know what you're gonna get with a Monday. There is always a suprise, or something unexpected. Not always the best suprises. It is suprising that life just starts all over again after a fabulous weekend. I feel like the world should have stopped in recognition of a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, 27 May 2004

I had a weird experience this week. I was labelled a fundamentalist in a large, public situation when I wasn't there after expressing views which encouraged people not to judge Christian kids at school too harshly and to recognise that whether you agree with their beliefs, they are just as worthy of respect as anyone elses.

I view being called a'fundamentalist' as an insult. It does not describe me and has very negative connotations. I would say I believe in the fundamentals of the Christian faith but I am not a fundamentalist in the stereotypical sense. I have had it with sanctioned prejudice against Christians while prejudice against other groups is treated very seriously.

I tossed up whether to take the matter further but either confronting the person who said it or making an official complaint. I decided that I don't think people would realise the distinction or the offense and what would be done about it anyway? But it doesn't stop me being very annoyed!!!

Tuesday, 25 May 2004

I have been feeling rather convicted of late. I have spent time with some friends who have made me feel like a rather poor example of a Christian. My liberal and lefty views have often caused me to be interpreted as less than committed to my faith. But I have decided that having a committed relationship with Jesus should be more of a priority in my life even if I have a tendency towards a more cynical and questioning sort of faith.

I think it is easy to turn faith in a real person into a set of philosophies to live your life by. I guess what I have been challenged by is other Christians who I may not agree with on issues related to faith but whose personal faith life is real and rich.

However what I interpret to be their faith and what reality is really like for them may be two different things. There goes my suspicious side again!

But I have realised that if my relationship with Jesus is the most important thing then I better act like it. Tune for what that could possibly mean!!!

Thursday, 20 May 2004

This morning I read a bit in Genesis where Jacob gave up his birth right in return for some dinner. The point made in the devotional was that Jacob was prepared to give up something which was valuable in the long term for immediate gratification now. I identify with Jacob. It is so hard to ignore your immediate feelings and struggles for bigger but seemingly urgent priorities.

For example when I feel tired it is difficult to avoid the chocolate even though I know it will ruin my appetite for dinner. Another example many people relate to is the decision to get a radical haircut while going through a personal crisis. Been there, done that. Pink hair! Won't do that again!

The devotion discouraged making decisions out of lack, loneliness, boredom or frustration. I don't know about that. I don't think decisions should be rushed at those times but sometimes they are the times where you have to really work out what you want and are pushed on to new things, new challenges and exciting new possibilities. I guess the most important part is being honest with yourself about your motivations. Are you escaping or moving forward?

I am looking forward to some more big changes in my life and I know they will be positive and really grow me. Yes, boredom and frustration have triggered this decision but the decision about where to go to from here came from hope and excitement about the future. I am just not prepared to spend time going no-where or backwards but I have a funny feeling that patience will need to be the next virtue I work on!

Monday, 17 May 2004

This morning I went for a walk. It was wonderful to remember I have muscles and they are good for something. I really believe exercise is necessary to remain sane, especially when life is busy. I haven't really done any excercise for months and I hope I can stick to my new lifestyle adjustment!

I realised this weekend that since getting married I haven't been spending enough quiet time reflecting and writing in my journal. It had begun to feel like I was a body wandering around detached from my mind. I was feeling numb because there was so much I hadn't processed with all the changes in my life.

I know that I have to make time to think otherwise I live my life unconsciously and then become depressed that I don't seem to have any direction or be achieving anything. I think I also need to take time to pray, not just as an after thought or to think "Oh well, God knows everything I am thinking anyway." So I want to work out how to have time by myself while I am married. Sounds simple but it is strange when for so long I couldn't wait to share everything with him and now we need time apart to actually be healthy together.

Thursday, 13 May 2004

There was such thick fog driving to work this morning. I love weather! I love storms, heavy rain, strong wind, hot summer, any weather which shows the extremes of what our climate can do. I love the power in it and it reminds me that I am so small and God is so big. The earth and all the natural processes which are happening will continue on despite what is happening in my life. It helps me to keep things in perspective when it is so easy to become self abosorbed.

It also reminds me of all the people whose livelyhoods depend on the weather and no matter how much hard work they do they never have full control of the end results of their efforts. Often I try so hard to keep everything in control, a friend recently told me that I like to have all my ducks in a row. However, where weather is concerned even the best predictions are often wrong and we just have to be prepared to accept and work with whatever happens.

Thanks God for teaching things through what I see around me everyday.

Tuesday, 11 May 2004

Last night I had a discussion which got me all worked up. I was talking with a group of other Christians about moral legislation. There were a number of different views expressed but I came away feeling sft and liberal and rather uncomfaortable about appearing that way. I would describe myself as strongly evangelical but suspicious of black and white solutions to complex issues. There are some disturbing catch cries coming out of the Christian community at the moment. "New zeland society is falling apart sue to attacks on the family", "New Zealand is going to be overtaken by Muslims" and "Public eductation is teaching our children immorality", which I find particularly galling. I

I don't know how to deal with these views. I have gut reaction to these comments. THey offend my sensitivity to Christians giving representations of me as if I agree with 'their' views. I know there are elements of truth being expressed but nothing is ever that simple. I just wonder where Jesus has gone in all this panic?

Monday, 10 May 2004

Sometimes life feels overwhelming like it is going to crash down on top of me. Last night I could hear the creaking of heavy objects beginning to move. It is not that I have an impossible amount of work to do, it is just that the list keeps getting bigger and I don't seem to make any headway. I woke up this morning feeling quite panicked. At these times everything seems important and it is very difficult to prioritise but as I was brushing my teeth I thought"I have a relationship with the creator of the universe. Why am I worried?"

I know this seems simplistic but it does help to keep things in perspective and though my life is important to Him there are a lot of other important things happening out there which He is holding together. My life doesn't work because of all my efforts it only works because God is gracious to me in my bumbling and fumbling.

Last night I was struggling with a big decision and was feeling swayed by what other people may think and the loyalties I feel I should have to some people in my life. A friend very wisely said that it is my life, not anyone elses. If I make decisions based on guessing how other people may or may not feel I am actually giving up my life to other people and not taking control myself. As Christians it is hard to accept that it is not loving others to just avoid change and moving on, it is just avoiding the uncomfortability I may feel. I will keep you posted about how it all goes.

Friday, 7 May 2004

Do you ever have very vivid dreams? I have always been able to remember my dreams and at times when I am stressed or upset I often have scary dreams or dreams full of conflict. Last night I had a nightmre about someone trying to kill me and one about hearing some shocking news about my sister. I woke up feeling emotionally exhausted by them and they feel so real when you are dreaming.

Often my dreams involve me becoming very angry and I think it is because I often get annoyed during the day about something and instead of facing it I just repress it because I don't want to annoy anyone and I don't like conflict at all. I am left feeling a bit like there is this crazy, subconcious person inside me just waiting to leap out when I least expect it.

On the other hand, sometimes I have wonderfully inspiring dreams which leave me feeling encouraged about life either because I have done something great in the dream or there has been a sense of hope in it.

P.S. We got all the photos from our wedding the other night. I love them and the more I look at photos the more I love the day we had. So many women I have talked to have regrets about the day but I have to say I loved it all.