Sunday, 22 July 2007

holiday from the net....

been taking a little break from the net, getting to bed early, reading, doing interesting stuff, seeing real-life friends and looking after myself....

nothing much to report, other than holiday in france is a couple of weeks away, together with a complete bathroom refurb, looking forward to the break!!

see you around soon x

Saturday, 30 June 2007

critical illness....

this week saw the passing of mr rigsby (peter) from ccuk a friend who i had once met and used to talk to both online and on the phone regularly until he was taken ill last year. he will be sadly missed and i am trusting that he is resting in peace, or more likely up in heaven tending to the horses on behalf of the lord! he was a true eccentric gent, who had a range of interests in music, art, british history, reenactments of battles (for which he would always get a bit overexcited and get himself banned from future ones!), horses - he absolutely loved horse riding and animals and nature in general...

i last spoke to him in hospital a couple of weeks ago whereupon i knew it wouldn't be long for him and he was in so much pain to stand up and talk to me i didn't call again. i hope he and i shall meet again someday in a better place and enjoy another good chat.....

right now i have two friends fighting liver failure.... christine has a brain tumour and has developed liver failure believed to be as a result of chemo. she had a near miss in the night where she lost lots of blood and her family were called in. we are keeping in touch via text/phone as i don't want to take any kiddy germs into her on the ward since the kids have colds. christine is a believer who has the most stunning faith - never feels sorry for herself and always trusts in god.... today she felt she had some words from him which are encouraging her onwards....

tamara also has liver failure due to alcohol abuse. her body is slowly but surely breaking down. she too is a lovely woman who couldn't handle the excrement life threw her way and took it all out on herself in a variety of self-harming mechanisms. she doesn't know god yet - although she is not the staunch atheist she once was.

i am praying for them both and hoping they will both pull through.... neither is more entitled to health than the other and ultimately noone is to blame for their health no matter if it is what you would term 'self-induced'...... all are illnesses of one shape or another.....

i am just hoping that these women will pull though and find their will to fight what's going on..... with god's support towards another chance.....

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

proud mother...

today ophy and santana had sports day at school and both won their running races.... ophy came away with 3 1sts and santana with 2 1sts.... hoorah!!!

it's amazing to see their little faces at these moments - so excited and proud. santana said 'i just believed in myself!'

i would like to take the credit for passing on their athletic genes, but unfortunately it had nothing to with me!! their father was a school champion runner (and i think later he had to run fast to get out of a number of tricky situations!!!!!)

there are celebrations galore tonight in our house and real senses of achievement in the little ones - well done santana and ophir!!!

and well done mummy - 3 hours standing in the freezing cold with terrible back pain - even with pain killers!!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007


i have worked so hard these last couple of years without much of a break that i have requested of our management committee that i might take off the whole of august.... so far it's looking quite positive that there will be agreement. i will be taking two weeks unpaid leave, which, when you take into consideration i won't be paying childcare for 4 weeks will partly cover my salary i will miss.... so it's a win win situation.

I want to fill this 4 weeks with holidays.... the children and I generally take a break to Weymouth which we love so we will slot this into the 4 weeks. They also have their annual camp they will be going on in Surrey which they thoroughly enjoy also (heaven only knows if I'm up to camping with my rheumatism..... i dug over a small plot in the garden this weekend and am still in agony - and i'm not the greatest fan of sleeping on the ground anyhow!!)

my children and i discussed places we might like to go over dinner last night and they drew up a list which has quite an array of destinations. Ophir wants to go to Disneyland... Santana has requested St Lucia, Turkey or Spain (in particular Madrid) and I have stuck France on.

I haven't taken a plane since 1994 and have not done so in particular for ecology reasons. One year's worth of household carbon emissions can be issued by 1 flight. However, since my father's passing and the kind amount of money he has left us he would have loved to see us take a nice holiday.

Now this is where it gets rather confusing..... there are so many sites selling holidays. It's a vast maze out there on the internet. I'm almost at a loss in terms of where to start. Some sites have particularly cheap holidays, but often these don't have a picture of the hotel you will be staying in which is somewhat dubious to me!! Also it's hard trying to pinpoint those holidays which have good children's entertainment.....

What am I looking for in this holiday ? Well, I'm looking for a fortnight somewhere warm and new where me and the children can explore, but equally where they have good children's entertainment/facilities so that they can have fun whilst i chill and where we can equally go and explore together and have fun together. I'm finding it quite hard to locate places on the internet that fit this bill. I'm probably typing in the wrong search criteria....

I think I may just sort out our passports then randomly turn up at a travel agents 1 week before we want to go or go on or other similar site! it's too confusing!!!

Sunday, 17 June 2007

back pain

an eventful last few days.... the day after i wrote the post below i went into st pauls to buy some chicken and rice and peas for myself and fellow colleagues..... and after someone tried chatting me up i went into my car and turned it round only to come face to face the woman referred to in the post who had not only had sex with my ex husband in my bed but also had a child for him and in the early stages of our marriage had kept by his side constantly, pretending to be having a relationship with his friend...... well initially i smiled, to be greeted with a scowl.... and then i took a proper look and this woman is how the jamaicans would call 'mash up'. she looked a complete and total mess.... and it's not like me but i just had to laugh....... she used to be really quite pretty but she has turned into a real mess.... i also discovered that her husband is now out and about dancing intimately with another woman whilst she's at home pregnant......... i just had to think to myself - what goes around comes around......she stood in the street shouting verbal abuse at me that i couldn't hear cos i had music on in the car and just looked back and smiled, which the guy that was chatting me up thought was directed at him...... even though i'd said to him 'if i let go of my jamaican husband, why on earth would i want to take up another ?!!' i think he just took that as a challenge...!

i thrust myself into some digging in my garden on friday before the rain came down and spent 10 minutes energetically digging over some hard soil that the workmen had been walking over for the last few months...... i keep forgetting that i have certain limitations and the rheumatism in my back was excruciating yesterday. there is always a 24 hour delayed reaction with both m.e. and my rheumatism..... i am also paying the cost for staying up too late. even my 6 year old son gave me a lecture at 00.30 the other night about staying up too late.... 'mum', he said having woken up, 'we had a little chat in the car didn't we about you staying up too late... if you continue to stay up late mum you are going to get tired.' i do actually love being corrected by my children sometimes, cos they have such an innocence in their delivery..... what i didn't realise was that for the last few days my m.e. symptoms would be so bad. spent friday on the sofa falling asleep to the film 'the constant gardener'... eventually i managed to piece together the sense of the film! v. good in fact. i like any media that highlights the corruption that goes on in africa....

yesterday my back was in agony and the whole world was a fuzz.. i spent most of the day in bed whilst my children entertained themselves making books, drawing, doing homework, watching tv and coming in every now and then to cover my face with kisses... it's times like this it's so useful to have a flat, cos literally i'm just in the next room....

well, i shall heed in as much as i will get some early nights - so i may not be around as much.... am going to purchase a little lamp today and spend some evenings in bed with a good book...

even though my back is killing me and tablets aren't touching the pain.... i will be out in my garden today planting stuff in the patch i had dug over! i have cucumber plants, one surviving courgette plant that the slugs didn't get, a cardoon, some chives, some hot pokers, daisies, little cute purple flowers to all plant up in this section amongst some sunflowers i will transpose. but i must promise to myself i won't overdo it!.... and there are the window boxes i want to plant up on my kitchen windows with lettuce and some butternut squash seeds i want to plant... and.... and.... and...... i find it hard to sit still!

i have decided... i need a man to come into my life and do the heavy duty digging work. this is my plan for any future relationship. he does the hard work..... i come along and make it look pretty.... that's fair enough isn't it ?! i mean.... marriage is all about gardening isn't it?! lol

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

single parentdom....

a lot of people have recently been asking me how i ended up as a single parent..... and it's not the easiest thing to talk about face to face or online..... as the following potted history shows... i have been parenting alone since 2002 - since my daughter was born. 5 years.... but i'll take you back a little while. make sure you have the stomach for this.... sometimes it's easier not to ask....

in 1999 i was sitting outside my flat every day reading books to help with my masters dissertation. i lived in what they call the 'ghetto' area of bristol. st pauls, a lovely place whose landscape was changing swiftly by an influx of yardies (men from jamaica of the gangsta variety). i had lovely neighbours, we laughed we talked, shared gardening tips, looked out for each other.... over the road from me was a lovely older woman called 'aunty'.... she was very friendly, always admiring my studying, decorating of my flat, described as a 'nice person'.... respected within the community as 'a nice person who didn't get involved in any mix up'. in the summer of that year her nephew came to visit.... i would politely say hello, we shared the odd chats and i didn't think very much else about it. he was softly spoken, had a lovely body, nice smile, but didn't resound with me as someone i would be interested in..... we got chatting more and more, he was shy, sweet, funny, a bit guarded, helpful....... we went out together a few times, got to know each other...... a few months later... one day he came over to see me, letter in hand, shy, hesitant...... he gave me the letter and asked me to read it.....

i can't remember everything that letter said now, but it was a little declaration of afffection, contained nice details about how he liked me, found me beautiful, wanted to be with me..... he started to tell me more about his life in jamaica and how he wanted to settle here. i wasn't really into the idea of marrying him. i had vowed to myself that i would never marry a yardie.... but he seemed different. seemed almost faithful, quiet, nothing dangerous.....

that night we entered into an intimate relationship and within a short while he moved in and we decided to marry. november 1999 in my gold dress, with beautiful red roses i stood alongside him and vowed to spend my life with him..... at the reception i craved some curried goat and knew i was pregnant, only just, since i had been a vegetarian and the craving for meat had been so profound....

the night of our wedding i practically carried him home drunk..... he became distant, indifferent. the day after our wedding still no intimacy.... we spent the day at his aunt's waiting for his cousin to write invitation letters for his two 'baby mothers' to come to England. He had two children..... or so he told me..... I hadn't really realised what was going on......

He started to stay out late..... his phone would call constantly with women's voices faintly heard.... he talked of friends.... talked of how jamaicans helped each other out.... lied incessantly.... he started to disappear for whole nights, lied, became aggressive, started to tell me i was imagining things, became distant when he chose, we enjoyed lots of intimacy.... it was confusing.

I don't remember the first time he punched me..... but I know I was in the early stages of pregnancy... he had a large gold ring and he punched me in my head for delving into why certain women were following him around a lot..... there was just blood everywhere... a friend took me to hospital out of the direct vicinity and i made up a tale of getting into a fight with some girl......

he lied to me constantly, weaved webs of deception.... punched me, held me up by my throat, threatened my life, then became tender, then told me i was mad, then held me close, then became distant, then disappeared, held me up by my throat pushed against a wall too many times to remember, then told me i didn't understand then told me he was sorry......

the worst punch was one new year's day...... it was our first new year's together... all these people were in our flat for the night, we got no time together and he spent the evening on the phone to donna, his baby mother, in jamaica - i had found a letter from her a few weeks previously - v. graphic almost pornographic......

we argued the next day and i took one punch to my face that made me have to go to hospital again (had already been with a couple of injuries before).... this punch was so hard a massive ball formed on my forhead immediately. i had to leave my 4 month old son with a friend whilst i spent new year's day in casualty having my head x-rayed.....

that punch left me indoors for 3 weeks whilst the bruising bled down my face..... my father came and saw me, friends came me and tried to persuade me to leave. the nurse at the hospital had tried to encourage me to leave but man i was frightened. i was married to a man who had guns at his disposal, moved with the toughtest, he literally was the toughest, the one noone would mess with....... i felt completely trapped. i wanted to think he could change...... after all, it was all my fault. i went to the shops one day within this 3 weeks and people just stopped in their tracks, jaws wide open, gobsmacked at what they were seeing - the state of my face......

by this time i had uncovered that his 2 children in jamaica were 5 and i knew everything, then it was 7 and i knew everything, then 9 and i knew everything...... last count i knew of it was 10 and two grandchildren and that was just in jamaica..... meanwhile in england twins were born two weeks after my son, two miscarriages by other women, another child, and another........

i only found this out after we had been married for two years and he got his indefinite leave to remain in the UK. All the apologies in the meantime, all the excuses, lies and deceit..... that was just all presented as a security for him to get the gold crown he was waiting for.....

it was all over the day he pinned me to the floor - kicked me in my back, punched me to the ground again, knocked me about, held my arms as in a wrench lock, tried to strangle me....... i somehow found the courage to stand up and fight back and insist he went. he immediately had a woman's house to take his stuff to..... and i was left alone...... with a baby, and another on the way........

these are just tasters of my life at that time. in january 2002 me, santana and bump moved to a different, calmer part of town to settle together. i kept believing he would want something to do with the children, but each weekend a new excuse would come.... he let them ddown constantly and gave us no support, or very very little and if he did he seemed to want something in return.... money, sex, cigarettes, anything..... it was all too costly....

ophir was born in may 2002 - as i writhed in the throw of labour he accompanied me into the labour room with his girlfriend (who he referred to as just a friend)..... and he sat yawning and asking how long this baby would take to be born..... eventually the midwife flipped..... when she was born his first words were 'this is my british passport.'

when i was in labour with santana i was left in hospital alone overnight whilst he shagged another woman in my own bed...... two weeks before santana was born he returned from jamaica where he had kicked his babymother so hard in the stomach after an argument that she died in the night.........

i came home from hospital 6 hours after having ophir, santana was 21 months old, i was stitched from here to eternity, left for the first night (not even 24 hours after having her) carrying santana from his bedroom into mine and looking after them alone......

i spent most of my children's early life being stoned out of my head..... i was an absolute and complete mess. he had told me repeatedly i wouldn't cope without him, i had been physically, mentally, emotionally incessantly abused........ it dulled the pain, it stopped the question, it put a bandage over the hurt....... i had my own rules, i wouldn't smoke until they were in bed, but when they were in bed, boy did i smoke........ he and i continued to argue over the children, it was still stressful when we spoke, any conversation would start with him telling me how i had thrown him out of a house he had helped to decorate and hardly lived in...... and that if i had wanted his help i wouldn't have thrown him out.....

along the way i set myself 3 little rules 1. don't ask for anything. 2. don't expect anything. 3. don't believe anything..... this was hard at first since my head was all a jumble, but along the way i was finding god back again...... i could not truly begin to believe the power of psalm 27 and psalm 91 until i left that man. the threats, the threats, the threats, were rendered powerless by my belief in the protection of God.

My children and I began to forge a life for ourselves. we attended church, my lovely lovely father bought me a car to develop some independence (god only knows how he looked on at what i went through)..... we got out and about and we discovered an amazing organisation called Single Parent Action Network who had a study centre in Bristol. My friend encouraged me to go and do a creative writing course.... i stared going when Ophy was 6 weeks old. this was the only 2 hours a week i had to myself, the rest was tied up entirely with v. young children....... it gave me a little space to think, to not be isolated and for people to remark on my writing abilities (that i have never, not even now, truly believed in)

i was still unsure at this time about filing for divorce..... still confused. still thought somehow he loved me..... domestic violence is a fucked up business...... messes with your head like nothing else ever can......

This study centre was amazing... i got to meet loads of single parents, some in similar situations and a lot of them seeming like they were coping........ one day in a storytelling course the tutor asked me 'what are your dreams, what are your hopes ?' and i left the room in tears cos i didn't have any. i was in survival mode..... had no belief in myself, dressed like i was a nobody, walked like i was a nobody, looked like i had had the stuffing kicked out of me........

i walked into a woman called annie who sat and talked with me about her domestic violence situation...... she didn't advise me, she just reflected back to me what i was saying..... listened, let me cry - let me know i could make it alone.......Something happened that day. I don't know quite what, but something shifted.

she would continue to have input with me, when i was there, make the odd comments about work, about this, about. she was a bit of a role model for me....

God continued to work on my healing and within 6-9 months I had a job as a Community Development Worker in Community Education, walked with my head held high, was awaiting for my final divorce decree and was making a way forward for me and the kids..... little steps, little steps, little steps......

i found such confidence at work, realised i did have something to offer the world...... found a passion for adult education and creatively went about my work.... the family became more settled as we created more and more distance from him......

i gave up smoking weed in 2004 - i am now 3 years without. and noone could even pay me to smoke it again, i am also cigarette free.....

in october 2004 i went round to a friend's to watch the passion of the christ.... it had such a profound impact on me that i prayed this most amazing prayer - that i could not deny the Lord anything after the suffering He had gone though for me and I would do anything He asked of me just to make it really clear to me. The next day I came back from a meeting to find a note from the Director of Single Parent Action Network. I called her back. She basically was headhunting me for the role of Study Centre Development Manager at the place where I had found so much personal development input as a single parent........ So I thought to myself, well Lord, you've certainly answered, and a lot quicker than I thought you would!!

End of November 2004 I started work as their Development Manager..... and took the study centre from a place of zero activity into a thriving learning centre. Have designed a holistic learning package for single parents..... brought in nearly £1m worth of funding - if you imagine where I was in 2002 - a complete mess to where I am today.... it's really astounding..... I am Ms Independent, self-resourceful, survivor, broken vessel made into a minister..... Someone once said to me along the way 'you know this may be really tough what you are going through right now but God will use you to help others in time...' I now help and support 70-100 single parents a term, several of whom who have experienced what I have. 1 in 3 single parents have escaped domestically violent relationships..... 1 in 4 families are single parent families.....

yesterday i spent the day at work with two groups of single parents in their courses and saw for myself the impact of our work on their lives..... it's amazing that someone who didn't even feel worthy to walk in the building is now calling the shots..... my work as been recognised at a European Union level as a model of good practice and my work constantly calls on God's creativity to see me through, find ways, help me write funding bids, see into what people need and provide the relevant services. He is completely amazing....

Annie, the woman who helped me, is now one of my closest friends and a great colleague - we are so motivated to help people who have experienced the same as us. I am not embarrassed to be a survivor of domestic violence....... I am proud of my achievements and my children - they are absolutely beautiful creations.....

And most strangely and miraculously I have found forgiveness for their father..... the average life expectancy for males in jamaica is 32, most would sell their own grandmothers to escape the poverty and risk for their lives..... but i don't like the way people are used as a means to an end and not given the right to make informed choices based on all information being given up front and freely....... and i absolutely abhor domestic violence, hate it....

so what does the future hold for me ? i am hoping to set up my own consultancy around fundraising and business planning.... and only within the last year have i been turned onto the idea of meeting someone again and even having more children....... i am a work in progress....... i have a future, dreams and hopes..... but for now find contentment with my circumstances, by beautiful and intelligent and funny, lovely children - who make my life so worthwhile and valuable and the lover of my soul who sticks ever close to me......

Thursday, 7 June 2007

My Take on Song of Songs 5...

I think there are 3 key messages in this chapter:

1. A call to maturity
2. A call to intimacy
3. A call to surrender

The call to maturity, to me, is indicated when the lover is in the garden of the beloved. The symbolism of the milk, to me, indicates immaturity. And although the beloved has grown in so many ways (as symbolised by her garden) there are a variety of ways in which she has to mature. And the same goes for us. We can have a lover/beloved mature relationship with the Lord. I think once we can open some of the keys to Song of Songs, we start to be able to access that kind of relationship. It is a fantastic mature love that we can experience with Him.

I think the repetition of symbolism of myrrh is very poignant. For me it is symbolic of surrender, death to self, focus on Christ.
At the end of the chapter when we are applauding the features of Christ we read:

13 His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh.

For me the lips symbolise worship. The Hebrew word for worship means to kiss. From this I read that Christ's worship is pure and self-sacrificing.

We know from His life that his 'bread' was to do the will of God. In John 17 it is his desire that God be glorified and that through His surrender and suffering love we are united with God. It also shows that His worship is pure (lilies) - we are called to imitate Christ's sufferings and to imitate His life. And in John 15 we are called to abide in Him. That is a mature walk.

This chapter further deepens that definition of maturity. Although her worship is sweet and she has developed fruits of the spirit (as symbolised by the spices/fruit) she is unable to heed His call to intimacy. She has an immature response to Him. It is like that of a child, not that of a lover. Her inability to open the door immediately and with delight is a very telling sign of her need to enlarge the place of her heart. Or often for us, to unlock the secret of that intimate love we can experience with Him. The bible is full of bride/bridegroom symbolism and metaphor. He longs for an intimate relationship with us. We can open ourselves to experience this with Him. We can invite Him in. We can heed the call/the knock...

This chapter is all about missing the moment. Her 'heart is awake' but it is not enlarged enough for this kind of intimacy. The Lord is knocking to come into her most intimate place (her chambers). She has invited Him fully and openly into her garden (where the fruits are produced). But she is unable to willingly and quickly respond to His call to come into the most intimate place with her - to be able to live in a lover/beloved relationship with Him is a place of maturity. Missing the moment is to be her lament. Much as with Mary and Martha - Martha was overwhelmed with physical concerns. Mary chose the right place to sit at His feet and listen to Him. At his feet is a place of submission - it is the place of a servant. Abandoning one's self, heeding His call and being in a place of intimacy is a place of maturity. We are called to abide in Him and He in us at all times and in all places (John 15). Until we heed the call to sit at His feet, not to miss those moments of intimacy we cannot learn how to abide in Him at all times. We first learn His voice at His feet.... then we know it in all places.

The call is to surrender to Him in this chapter. To heed. To listen. To submit. To surrender ourselves to intimacy with Him over and above the physical cares and concerns we experience in this world. To die to ourselves and to live for Him. Myrrh - it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. To allow Him into our hearts in a mature way. And for our walk with Him to demonstrate a maturity. When we are bruised (as the beloved is) to respond in a mature way - imitating Christ's sufferings. To take up our crosses and follow Him.

I absolutely adore the Song of Songs. It has been, for me, for many years the key in unlocking a mature, intimate relationship with the Lord. It is, at times, almost overwhelming the intensity of the intimacy. It makes us queens and brides and moves us on from the Father/child relationship into a new intimacy.

When we are truly surrendered - our lives in His hands, our time and attention for Him.... when we keep alert and listening with a surrendered heart we won't miss the moment. We will willingly heed the call.

There is real treasure in this chapter. And for me, in particular, I love the focus at the end where our Lord, our Lover, the lover of our souls is painted in such a majestic way. Of course she is faint with love - He is divinely beautiful - how can our hearts not respond ?

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Bible Study....

I have been preparing this this evening. After being sent home from work as I started crying when my boss asked me how I was.... and I told her how much I was missing my dad and the intensity of the grief today.....

I am doing it with a women's homegroup on Friday so thought I should pick myself up and get on with it...... Don't know if it will make much sense to you since these are my outline notes and this will be opened into discussion within the group.... but here goes anyway.

Outline of Bible Study on Song of Songs 5
8th June 2007

‘Responses to God’

1 I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk.
Eat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers.
2 I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My lover is knocking: "Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night."
3 I have taken off my robe— must I put it on again? I have washed my feet— must I soil them again?
4 My lover thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him.
5 I arose to open for my lover, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh, on the handles of the lock.
6 I opened for my lover, but my lover had left; he was gone. My heart sank at his departure. [a] I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer.
7 The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. They beat me, they bruised me; they took away my cloak, those watchmen of the walls!
8 O daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you— if you find my lover, what will you tell him? Tell him I am faint with love.
9 How is your beloved better than others, most beautiful of women? How is your beloved better than others, that you charge us so?
10 My lover is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand.
11 His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels.
13 His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh.
14 His arms are rods of gold set with chrysolite. His body is like polished ivory decorated with sapphires. [b]
15 His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars.
16 His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
This chapter denotes a place of intimacy between the beloved (church/individual) and the lover (Jesus). As outlined by Dave in the last session – the lover/beloved relationship is one of a mature relationship with the Lord – where the believer has moved beyond a father/child relationship with God. The Song of Songs is a representation of intimacy and mature relationship.

Verse 1: the lover refers to her as his bride. In the previous chapter the beloved has entreated the Lord to come into her garden: Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.(ss 4:16).

What are the fruits that she is inviting him to taste ?

Fruits of the Spirit ? fruits/spices in song of songs 4 direct relationship to fruits of the spirit:

13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard,
14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices.

Galatians 5:
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Pomegranate love
Henna joy
Nard peace
Saffron patience
Calamus gentleness
Cinnamon goodness
Frankincense faithfulness
Myrrh meekness (death to self ‘it is no longer I who live but
Christ who lives in me’).
Aloes self-control

What is the symbolism of myrrh, spice, honeycomb, honey, wine and milk?

Myrrh – suffering love, meekness, death to self
Spice – fruits of the spirit
Honeycomb – sweetness of lips (as per ch 4) – praise? Hebrew word for worship = to kiss
Honey – as above
Wine – new wine represents the Holy Spirit in NT
Milk – nourishment??

Myrrh is the spice that is most repeated in this chapter and therefore contains a symbolic significance for the message being delivered through the symbolic narrative. Hannah Hurnard describes meekness as the willingness to be emptied and humbled. The willingness to accept humiliation unresentfully like Christ. Self-giving expecting nothing in return. Death to self – not my will but yours be done.

Verses 2-3:

2 I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My lover is knocking: "Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night."
3 I have taken off my robe— must I put it on again? I have washed my feet— must I soil them again?

Verse 2 has direct correlation to Revelations 3:20 ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock…’ And again resounds the bridegroom arriving at night in Matt 25:1-13.

In chapter 2 the beloved was portrayed as waiting for her beloved on her bed and getting up and going about the city to look for him and dragging him home. This verse 3 resonates of apathy.

Yet this resonates deeper than apathy. She is focused entirely on her self. And within Christianity today there are two gospels being preached: a self-centered gospel and one that is self-sacrificing towards God.
She is asleep, yet seemingly with her heart awake. Cross reference to the virgins and lamps in Matthew 25 – and in both passages some roused immediately at the bridegroom’s arrival and the others were not prepared – those who had oil were ready, obedient, self-sacrificing.

Those who were not ready, vigilant, and prepared missed the moment. The door was shut.

In verse 4 it is shown that the handle is on the inside.

Much as in Revelation 3:20. Where the response is demanded of the believer to open. He cannot force His way in in either situation.

Just a few verses before she had entreated him vigorously to come into her garden….. why now the change of heart ?

Because she had fallen asleep ?
Because a response was required ?

It states that her heart pounded….. but did it ? Does she need to open her heart further ? What are the implications for us ? What would our response be to an instruction from Him ? Would our worldly cares hinder our response to Him ?

Verse 5 Eventually a response to open to Him after the selfish wrestlings of the previous verses. Her hands are dripping with myrrh. What does this symbolise ? A death to self ? Suffering love ? Meekness ?

Jesus holds meekness in high esteem ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’

What does this quality define in our spiritual walk ? what is meekness ?

Verse 6 The delay in response and its consequences. Times when God becomes silent. Why ?

Verse 7 Being wounded. Experience of sharing in Christ’s suffering. How do we respond to situations in which we are bruised in a way that imitates Christ ?

Verse 8 She is sick with love….. she has missed the moment. She has failed to respond. How can we avoid this ?

In what way can we avoid the call, the knock, the entreaty, the instruction ?

What is our ideal response ?
How do we want to respond to Him ?
Is this a wake up call to us ?

Ideal responses to God

Romans 12 v 1 – offering our bodies as living sacrifices
v.2 – do not conform to the patterns of this world. Do not be self-centered. Be transformed….

Consecration of ourselves to God

Jeremiah 4:3-4 – circumcised heart
Song of Songs 8:6-7 – the Lord placed as a seal over our hearts
Jeremiah 30:21-22 - ‘who will devote themselves to be close to me’

Consecration of our lives to God
Circumcision of the heart
Devotion of self to be close to Him

Verses 9 onwards in S of S Chapter 5 – The Lord becomes the core focus. Focus has been removed from self into an attitude of praise for the lover, his attributes, his perfect features. The characteristics he has that we are called to imitate.

How do we translate this symbolism ?

Although her attentions have turned towards Him, she still has not found Him, not as in chapter 2 where she brought Him to her chamber (entered into an intimate place with Him). She is left still searching Him….

How has this chapter spoken to you ?

What responses would you like to make to God ?

Prayer Ministry/Invitation to Respond


you grabbed me by the throat today as i drove.... taking me to my destination in tears, emotionally naked whilst faced with business as usual.... i miss him... as grief once more pulls on my insides into a vacuum of the place he has left in my fulfilment.... tears rolling.... confusion and vaguety.... unhappiness.... fuzziness.... lack of concentration.... yet delivering training and focusing as a manager whilst focused internally and intently on my grief... other peoples' problems...... i have my own shit going on..... where is my comforting shoulder ?..... where is it ?..... i cannot right now help you...... you see my tears and you still want my input..... i cannot help you in your problems right now..... i got a few of my own..... yeah i'm that reliable soul in a crisis.... i am fed up of drying my tears whilst i help someone else out...... i ain't no codependent soul...... i don't have to help you to feel good....... but you can help me out by leaving me alone for a while.... treading a little sensitively about my path..... thinking about others except you for a moment..... i am hurting..... literally hurting.... a pain in my heart..... screaming on the inside my loss..... wanting to see him and missing him so badly...

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

bad mood....

i have been in a really bad mood since i went back to work yesterday....... even though a few nice things have happened in the meantime, i am feeling rather overwhelmed with going back to the madness of nearly full time working mother and young children.... i have had very little tolerance in the last 24 hours!

what rocks: my staff did loads of sorting out in my office at work in my absence, turning round my filing cabinet, putting in new filing mechanisms for me and sorting out my files. what sucks: i have to keep it tidy, rather than insult them...

what rocks: a very isolated single parent heard mine and colleague's radio broadcast on local radio and i spoke to her today - am meeting her next week. she said 'i'm so isolated... my best friend is the washing machine and my worst friend is the hoover...' what sucks: there's so many people like that - but glad we can help this one woman...

that's the kind of thing that makes all the hard work worthwhile..... and brought a ray of sunshine into my day.....

what rocked at work today: meeting a tight deadline, being able to wear my jeans with frayed bottoms to work with flipflops and noone batting an eyelid, bling bling jewellery - bangles and necklace, sitting in office in comfort listening to mark ronson 'god put a smile' on mp3 whilst working, pukka revitalising tea - made for me by a member of staff, having an office to myself, a mad lunch of lettuce, cucumber, smelly cheese, blueberries, olives and dressing, my mood lifting after talking to isolated lady and believing in my work... amazing laughter with colleagues, 'counselling' a well hippy artist over the phone who has given up smoking.... who said i should charge hundreds of pounds (i should do too - i'm a fantastic listener!)

what sucked at work today: people coming into my office and interrupting my solitude! a crying person with lots of problems (but will sort her out) - really felt for her - but helped her get to root of problems (i am ace at that, must take hippy artist's advice and do it professionally), constant interruptions, my bad mood, my messy desk, realising i need to find £100k and quick...!

what rocked at home: daughter's reading practice - helping her and helping her to progress so much tonight.
what sucked: stroppy son with attitude
what rocked: he fell asleep early, after apologising
what sucked: feeling tired again.....

Sunday, 3 June 2007


it came within the timespan of my holiday from work. bo, i and our kids went to park yesterday. bo and i were virtually asleep on the cricket pitch under glorious sunshine when we were roused by a man saying 'excuse me ladies..... thought you might like to know we are about to play a cricket match... we could play around you but you might like to move!!'

spent about 4 hours in the sunshine, then moved to the shade of a 'conker' tree and lay looking up into the span of leaves. by sunset parts of my body were the colour of a lobster and some remain so..... now i am keen that we have a few cool days whilst my sunburn calms down!!

i am really very tired now at the end of half term and cannot believe i've made it in one piece!! a few early nights are in order to rest myself properly. it's been a lovely week....

Thursday, 31 May 2007

conversation with my son....

whilst sorting out some stuff today i was reminded (don't know how) about a few men in my life along the way who wanted to marry me..... when i was younger my friend suggested i write a book called 'how not to go out with someone when they're going out with you...!' i used to be a bit slow on the uptake! one in particular was lovely and my mum approved and told me he would make a nice husband about 2 weeks before she died...... but i was holding out for a bad man! what you ask for you sometimes will get!! he's now happily married and i must admit last year i kicked myself quite hard...!

i had a conversation with my son this evening along the following lines:

'Santana, do you think anyone would want to marry me ?'
'No I don't think so.'
'Why's that ?'
'Well it's your farts, they're so loud and sometimes I can hardly breathe.... and one day they might make a lightbulb explode!' Meanwhile he puts his hands to his mouth and makes enormous farting sounds... 'they sound like this!'
Laughing... 'So, apart from my farts do you think someone would want to marry me.'
'No I don't think so'
'Why's that ?'
'Well it's your burps. A man would just think that every room in this house was a gas bomb and he would have to run out the house to get air.'
'Ok... other than my farts and burps do you think anyone would want to marry me ?'
'Yes I think so. Johnny Depp would not be able to resist!'

That's my boy!!!!

rainy day....

the weather this half term has been completely miserable - so much so i can't even get out on my garden.... which is somewhat annoying since i have loads to do now that the builders have disappeared and the scaffolding is out of my borders (together with the clumbsy feet that wrecked a few of my plants grrr).... they've been outside today washing down all their mess and i'm just hoping they're not messing up my ecostructure with chemicals....

we're having a day at home today. by 8.30 i was opening the two month's worth of mail i had placed uncarefully in a box! i think the only mail i opened in april was birthday cards and sympathy cards following my dad's death. i would like to think i'm flattered by the amount of paper people send me in the hope that i will purchase a sofa, get a credit card, buy even more clothes, etc etc but i'm a bit offended by the amount of paper that gets wasted on my behalf..... mounds of stuff has ended up in the recycling bin - what a waste..... i have now dutifully filed away the rest of the stuff and i always say 'i'll do it on a weekly basis to save having to do this again' but in june i'll no doubt be doing the same exercise again!! this is why i need an ocd male partner to come and organise my life for me!! i also cancelled one of my store cards since they wrote me a stinking letter over owing £4 out of a £20 balance i had forgotten to clear..... i must be really pre-menstrual!

whilst in the bath following this i redesigned by bathroom and have decided to modernise it in august while the children are away for a week. now i just need to find an honest, good worker to do it for me.... i'm fancying slate tiles on two walls and floor - and the rest painted..... probably white. i also need a big cupboard for the mounds of beautifying creams i keep forgetting to use!! new loo, sink and bath...and i think i might paint a canvas to go over the loo..... once upon a time in a different flat i had a modigliani painting over the loo cos i loved the expression on the woman's face - looked like she was sizing up male loo users!! i didn't study history of art for nothing you know! lol i think i'll go for something more neutral in artwork this time!

i've done an audit of the flat and have written a list of what storage solutions i need and will be doing a mass trip to ikea soon to get those sorted.... if i wasn't so poorly i would have got the paint out and painted my bedroom!! that's been bare plaster since i fell ill last year half way thro the job! i have a few bits of painting that need doing - i am the most messiest painting and decorating person in the world - i make such a mess of it! well.... the walls end up ok but the rest of the place always seems to get covered! am contemplating getting a professional in..... but also thinking of the amount of cash i can save if i do it myself...... once upon a time a homegroup came and painted my lounge for me - never again!!!! out of christian charity they came and really bodged up my walls!!

had bo and boys over for lunch - cooked caribbean soup and dumplings, emptied the wardrobe in my bedroom and sorted through my clothes and got everything back in its place - have come to the conclusion i have enough clothes now!!... walked around the place getting rid stuff cupboards.... but didn't have the stamina to pull all stuff out of each and every one!!... especially the one with all my books in it - i do need to sort through that one but not whilst i have a chest infection - those books have stayed in that one place gathering dust for about 5 years...!! i will end up hospitalising myself!...... spent 5 minutes at my door saying 'no i'm fine with my supplier thank you' to aggressive electricity and gas sales people from npower, have played with children.....endless games of naughts and crosses, made animals out of play clay, lots of drawing, used my new usb pencil sharpener that lights up - v. entertaining, had a game of star wars monopoly and generally kept my children entertained, singing, dancing and messing around - if you're happy and you know it say 'johnny depp'!

i will be most upset if the sun suddenly comes out next week whilst i'm back at work....... in the meantime however, i have loads to keep me busy here!!

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

half term...

half term is racing away with us at the speed of knotts.... children and i are having a fantastic time. spending time with mutual friends/their mums - very relaxing. getting lie ins, staying up late, watching pirates of the carribean at the cinema late at night, doing 5 mile walks in the pouring rain through woods and by rivers..... whilst in the meantime i have a chest infection and exaggerated asthma!! lol it just has to be done!

i woke up this morning having the most delightful dream about eating a chocolate profiterole from my fridge..... no calories in dreams! in this dream my fridge was full of all sorts of delights.... unfortunately when i awoke i realised it was all a mirage and that all we have is healthy stuff.... good me! today a group of friends had decided to lounge around in the sun for a picnic whilst the kids merrily played in the sunshine..... however we awoke to torrential rain and had a quick change of plan to going for a walk along the river and in the woods around the corner from our house. we have the most beautiful park and river/woods two minutes around the corner from us - we call it our back garden - it's the most beautiful place..... it was hammering down so i decided to go dressed as a country outdoors type!!! in my case this consisted of my red burberry mac and my red rubber doctor martin style wellington boots with turned up jeans.... i am aspiring to becoming a lady but constantly not hitting the mark!! i also got the opportunity to use my new and lovely umbrella i bought the other day.....

despite the weather we had a most lovely walk - whilst the adults strolled and chatted the children went for little adventurous climbs and searches in the woods, we all stood enamoured by the baby ducklings for ages not noticing the rain... they really enjoyed themselves. we all took our picnic food round to bo's and had it around the table. really lovely socialising for both children and adults. i sat huddled under a blanket for the afternoon and then bo and i and our children went out for dinner to a local eatery.... very yummy caesar salad - i really love those.

half term can go one of two ways - sometimes it can have you tearing your hair out trying to entertain them or it can go like this week with lots of socialising and great fun for the children. i'm having a great time. it's so lovely for the children to have so much of your presence and to be able to run over every now and then for cuddles and to be near you - mine hardly see me in term time. and it's so lovely to be able to be there for them and focus on making their week as much fun as possible for them. the working mum road is paved with mass guilt....

i'm really impressed with how much of a recovery i am making from my m.e. i can remember last summer being laid up most of the time and completely intolerant to noise and light.... even with a chest infection and asthma i have now i could just get up and get on with it and go out for a long walk. i really dislike having to live within any confines so i push my stamina levels all the time so that i am able to do more and more - it seems to be working well..... it was so pants for the kids having me so ill. they had to be virtually self organising or be taken out by someone. we're all enjoying all the stuff we're doing this week - in particular being outside alot with no time restrictions.... i just don't want it to end......

Monday, 28 May 2007


yesterday i was completely blissed out on having a child free day. i dropped my little ones off at 8 am to my friend's who took them off camping overnight. they were so excited, although telling me they would miss me. we are so close and have not been apart very often. but for me it was a little holiday in the midst of my busy life....

i got home had a bacon sandwich and cup of tea - peaceful breakfasts where i don't have to get up and get drinks for them and find stuff for them is such a rarety - it was lovely. had a nice long bath then set off for church. it was a good talk - lovely worship. talk was about desiring god not just his power and not coming in on sunday asking for his power then putting a do not disturb sign on your door for the rest of the week... god gave me more revelation on treasure in jars of clay.... the treasure is a mixture of the precious stones he uses to rebuild us (isaiah 54), pearls (wisdom he gives us); his presence described in revelations as being like emerald, jasper, carnelian and that indwelling presence in us...

i summoned my strength and went for a wander around town in the afternoon. god certainly is healing my m.e. i am able to do so much more..... i had a fantastic time buying some clothes - got some real bargains and it was such a treat to be able to wander around the shops child free...

chuckled with god a bit in the afternoon at the prospect of going to church in the evening en route to going out with friends..... there was a talk on relationships in the evening and i found it quite funny that i would be going there all dolled up on my way out looking like a desperate single parent keen to get a man!! i found this funny. even funnier when i actually turned up looking like a poor replica of madonna in her holiday phase! i got some ace bangles yesterday!! some cool FUBU 3/4 lengths - go ghetto me! lol some stunning linen trousers for £7 in TK MAXX and an array of lovely tops and some lovely new lipsticks.... i do love shopping! there is one plus side to having rheumatism - although i can hold quite a lot - i can't completely overdo it - as it really hurts me to carry it - so there does come a natural stop point - but it's always still when i've spent rather a lot!!

church was great in the evening - i love my pastor - he's lovely. he did a really good job of giving the talk on christian perspective to relationships with very pragmatic tips. i actually think that there is a whole dating crisis in society - it's not just in the church - i have stunningly beautiful female friends who can't find men... i put it down to the breakdown in the extended family/community and the absence of the match makers in the communities - as of days of old. i think internet dating is the new match maker - but very randomly and often deviently so.... i put forward my idea for a christian dating psychometric test - if i could only work out how to do that i could patent it and make a fortune!!
there was a lot of pain in the room - people who had been holding out for years..... and i think the pastor dealt with it very well - urging proactive approach to dating and outlining the key principles of a committed relationship....

i have just got to the point now where i am completely surrendered. and i think a place of maturity with him. i was so fearful last night about it all - yet today my key thoughts are - he is faithful when we put our trust in him - and perfect love casts out all fear. i love this poem:

Do not fear the cutting knife.
Do not shrink in pain.
Let the red drops of they life,
Fall like bleeding rain.
That which thou to death dost give,
Is the seed which yet shall live.

Do not fear the winter’s breath.
Let the seed drop to the earth.
Everything laid down to death,
Waits a resurrection birth.
Let the flower drop; on the thorn.
Fairer glories shall be born.

Do not try to hold life’s joys,
Or the past year’s golden store.
Love it is, who thus destroys,
To make room for so much more.
Love it is with radiant face,
Leading to a wealthier place.

Do not let self pity bleed,
Bitterness, nor fierce regret.
These are worms which kill the seed,
And sad misery beget.
With a willing heart, let go.
God will richer gifts bestow.

Learn the lesson, fast or slow.
This is Heaven’s law.
We must let the old things go.
To make room for more.
We shall reap in some glad way
Fairer joys than lost today.

By Hannah Hurnard
From: Mountains of Spices

i have come to learn with god that there are two ways to go when he is doing something - struggling - which makes it more painful or willingly and utterly surrendered - quicker and shorter, sharper pain.

my friend kate has been absolutely fantastic - as i know she has travelled this path before me.... she is now married to an amazing guy who has just loved her thro her struggles - he is such a darling. she, like me, was scared to death at the prospect of opening herself up to a relationship - since we have both experienced the hurt that someone can cause you and potentially how you are opening yourself up to that again. i was so full of fear last night and unable to sleep. but i'm glad god instructed me to go out but not get merry last night, as my falling over friends and colleagues were! as it's made it possible for him to do amazing stuff today. it's lovely for me to be able to smile directly in his face and say - do whatever you need to do - i trust you! i was so not in that place last night. thanks to my counsellor also who bore with me in that process last night (you know who you are!)

talking of last night - i cannot believe that people who i line manage were offering me spliffs last night! flip! and one of my volunteer's brothers was desperately trying to make a play for me but my evasive body language came well into play! i have very stringent professional boundaries.... you have to! lol jacquie and i had much more fun dancing to goldfrapp in the car whilst i drove her home!! we have come to the conclusion that the only way to get to dance to music you like is to play it in your own lounge or car!!

my babies will be home shortly and we have their friends coming for a sleep over tonight - so the order of the day is to go collecting wood in the park so we can have a fire as promised and trying to wear them all out before 10 pm. these children coming over have some stamina and like to stay up all night!!! i can feel a few games of star wars monopoly coming on.... looks like the holiday is over with avengeance as of tonight!! lol but this has been such a welcome little window of respite in the midst of my hectic life - i really have appreciated it.

looking forward to a week of no work, seeing lots of friends and enjoying more holiday...

Friday, 25 May 2007


god is doing some major heart surgery on me at the moment - the details of which i won't reveal here. it is causing me to go to a place of complete surrender - which i am finding so difficult , since to do so i would become completely vulnerable...

however - today at a women's group at church god gave me a revelation of the passage in jeremiah about the potter and the clay..... in that passage - god is calling for complete surrender - so that he can remould parts of us that need it. in the passage it ensues that israel wants to continue in stubborness of heart... in the next chapter god's next instruction to jeremiah is to take a clay and smash it to pieces. this made me sit up! my unwillingness to surrender has consequences in god showing his disapproval....

if i surrender - then god makes me into a beautiful jar of clay - and in me he puts treasure.... treasure in jars of clay......

Monday, 21 May 2007


i have started my own personal detox. and no, i won't be having pipes pushed up my bottom or anything as militant as that - no colonic irrigation ere thanks!!

i've just realised that my planning is really poor. i have decided to cut out sugar and alcohol just as i reach PMT def con 1 level in my cycle!! at this time of the month i feel like i'm in need of about 40 packets of maltesers and should be drip fed chocolate.... however, i am citing the mantra 'my body is my temple' - meanwhile the real me is sitting down with a nice bottle of red wine, fried egg sandwich and chocolate!!

My 'detox' is in no way militant - it involves no sugar and no alcohol, no fizzy drinks, lots of water, no caffeine (do that anyway) and lots of healthy nutritious food - well at least until sunday when group of friends are going out for a night out..... back to hip hop place where i feel old but pretend i'm young and drink gin and tonic, dance and have a good chat/laugh with friends!! one night off the detox wagon... well it is a bank holiday!

having m.e. and some form of rheumatism that i'm awaiting a consultant appointment (for months now) to diagnose - i need to readjust my eating to try and maintain levels of energy and with the rheumatism i've been told an 'exclusion diet' can have remarkable effect. i have in the last week cut out tomatoes and citrus fruit. mind you i will have lime in my gin and tonic at the weekend!! i'm not that good!

my colleague very kindly today brought me in a book around nutrition to beat arthritic illnesses. another colleague at work assisted her step-father back to health from cancer with the help of nutrition.... it's fascinating stuff. mind u if this is a militant diet not sure how far i will get with it!! for me cutting out sugar and eating healthily helps me to create a balance and optimise energy levels - however way too often this important nutritional information is forgotten in the face of chocolate or a biscuit at a meeting at work!! let's see how it goes!....

i have discovered jill scott this weekend who all my friends have discovered ages ago - i've heard quite a lot of her stuff but am really enraptured with a few tunes.... it's stunningly sensually heavenly music - it's filling a gap right now...!! and at this time of the month there is one to be filled!! *sigh*

Sunday, 20 May 2007


it was not a joyful start to the day today... i had had an unexpected dinner invite yesterday and spent the most pleasant evening with friend, all our children, dinner, mr merlot and a lovely fire in the garden...

it would seem that mr merlot and i became far too well acquainted unbeknown to me... and i awoke with a somewhat hammering head! as i lay in bed saying 'lord?.... Lord?.... LORD?'... in my head i felt drawn to the notion of leaving my bed and going to church - which was not my first choice. 'i have something i want to tell you... go.' so after a couple of paracetamol i heeded the call!!

i was really pleased today - reminiscing on the way to church how hard it was with my m.e. just to walk to the building and how much easier it was becoming... after settling the children i went back downstairs and opened my heart up to god.

this was not an opening of heart of complete surrender today.... this was a venting of spleen opening of heart and telling it how it is!! god opened a desire in my heart last year for another partner - this had been so closed for the duration of my separation, divorce and subsequent hardening of heart, closing of all protective barriers around me..... in the first instance i was fully able to offer my desire back to god, indeed just sacrifice it back...and for the most part it has been left there.... but today i had to tell him that this was something that i really want. i mean, for one, i have come to the conclusion that celibacy is the most unnatural state to be in and boy..... mine is prolonging...!!! secondly i think it would be amazing to have someone to share your journey with - to both seek god's vision and wisdom and direction for life.... and have sex..... and be joined together for a purpose and to love and be loved... and have sex.... and laugh and chill together and go out together and stay in together and talk and be silent together and hold each other and... no longer be celibate... and consider them beautiful and be beheld by them... of course not more than you lord, i am not asking them to replace you or to find my all in them, but lord, i'm not pulling any punches here - i want a man lord! and i don't want any old riff raff i want a special, spiritual, beautiful hearted, intelligent, interesting one, with a great sense of humour (trouble is all men think they have that!! lol) ....the one you made for me man! of course my list of characteristics is significantly longer but that's between be and god!!....

this was what god had to listen to from me today - plus other rantings!! i challenged god to bring this man to me!

then - much to my surprise - god started to talk to me about joy.... not a man! not the vision and expectation of broken celibacy... but joy!!! i had the most beautiful time with him - sitting in his presence and being led little by little to relevant scriptures with which he was speaking his heart to me....

first and foremost: jeremiah 15: 16 'when i found your words, i devoured them; your words made me glad they gave me joy...'

zephanaiah 3: 14-17: sing, daughter of tziyon! should, isra'el! be glad and rejoice with all your heart daughter of yerushalayim! adonai has removed the judgments against you, he has expelled your enemy; the king of isra'el, adonai, is right there wi6th you. you no longer need to fear that anything bad will happen. on that day, it will be said to yerushalayim,

"do not fear, tziyon! do not let your hands droop down.
adonai your god is right there with you as a mighty savior.
he will rejoice over you and be glad,
he will be silent in his love,
he will shout over you with joy'.

then john 15: 9 - 'just as my father has loved me, i too have loved you; so stay in my love. if you keep my commands, you will stay in my love - just as i have kept my fahter's commands and stay in his love. i have said this to you so that my joy may be in you and your joy complete'

so god managed, just as only he can, to refocus me..... towards joy..... now that was amazing whilst sitting in his presence still and undisturbed....

what came later was children, children's friends, children's friend's parents dropping their child off way before you had arranged and picking them up way later... loads of broken glasses, but then a really enjoyable trip to the park preceded by walking with children's friend who will not listen or do as she's park i had to exercise supernanny style discipline on a sand throwing son of mine using whatever resource i could find available for a time out area - and he's so great he did it (or i'm so scary... one or the other!!) with onlooking parkers.... and at times you're just thinking to yourself 'just flippin well listen' or 'give me a break!' and it's those places i need to find further joy in. my children in themselves are a real joy. sometimes when you have other children over it accentuates how good yours are (or vice versa in some areas) - they listen, do as they're told, tidy up, don't need to be forced to say please or thank you, are intelligent, questioning children who have fabulous senses of humour, great personalities, great senses of right and wrong - but being a single parent is such a long hard road sometimes and i feel to some extent my joy is flagging. and this is simply due to being their sole carer, breadwinner, it's an intense and tiring relationship when you're doing it alone..... so i think god does need to bring someone into my life - however you have new relationships with children on board - he alone can know but i think it's about time.... if you're listening lord!! and i did have a fantastic cuddle today with baby florence who is nearly 2 months old - got her off to sleep and sat with her asleep on me for ages absolutely blissed out by cuddling this baby and i thought.... given the right circumstances i would do this again!!.... (dangerous!!)

this sense of joy is with me. i look forward to seeing what god will do.... and in the meantime i continue to strive to find contentment whatever the circumstances.... even if the slugs have eaten all my plants in the greenhouse thingy without me noticing...... gits!

Thursday, 17 May 2007


God has been teaching me resilience for a number of years now, particularly as a single parent - this has been the key way that he has been able to strengthen my character in this respect....

more recently my son, Santana, has become my teacher in respect of this word. i was feeling a bit sorry for myself on tuesday morning following burying my dad's ashes. thinking about how tough it was having to go to work amidst all the sorrow.... as we got into the car to take the children to school it was pouring with rain. My daughter, Ophir, remarked 'mummy it was terrible that time someone smashed into our car and we had to walk all the way to the police station and back.' 'yes,' interjected Santana, 'we had to walk four miles, and it was pouring with rain, but we kept going and kept going didn't we mummy.... that's resilience.'

'Wow, that's right Santana,' I say startled, 'where did you learn that word ?'
'In assembley, Miss Murray was talking about resilience.'
'What does it mean Santana?'
'It means keeping going and going until you reach your goal.'
'Well done, Santana. You have used that word brilliantly, in context.'

Little did he know that this was the key message i needed to hear that day. Out of the mouths of babes indeed! i really love it when my children correct me, teach me and reframe my thinking. they are such amazing little people who have such insight at times.

later that day i got an e-mail from a teaching colleague whose father had died the day before mine. i had sent an e-mail the week before to say 'thinking of you, hope you're ok.' their e-mail listed members of family who had been rushed into hospital and suffered horrendous illness in the aftermath of her father's death and it didn't sound like she'd had a moment to stop.... or even take breath. it certainly put everything into perspective for me. other than having to sort out a birthday party for 25 children, everything else has run smoothly for us. the children have been well for the most part and god has held me tight in a bubble of protection.

and looking forward.... things can only get better on saturday when chelsea win the FA cup final!! mind you... based on their most recent performances, it may be just another chance to show some resilience the next day...!

Monday, 14 May 2007

the day arrived...

the day arrived that i had been so dreading. the sun came out for us. a break in the storm. as we gathered and began the short ceremony a plane flew overhead. very relevant for my dad who had flown planes until the age of 75.

my children stood so beautifully with flowers. we chose 3 red roses - one from each of us and a pot of forget me nots. i have no real idea what the man said... although it was something to make emotion surge from me at turbo speed and embarrassingly make the most crying noise... these tears were far from silent today. my children comforted - as did my sister-in-law.

most beautifully and what my father would have been so delighted for was me and my birth mother talking (more than saying hello) for the first time in 5 years. that was much appreciated from my point of view... it must have been a shock for her to see her granchildren in such close proximity... my father longed for a reconciliation. i hope that this will come. i have thrown in the olive branch on numberous occasions but it has constantly been declined.... i know it took some courage for her to approach us. she helped ophir lay the roses - the first time she has spoken to her granchild ever. it was amazing...

"And I said to the one who stood at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the Unknown.' And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.'" those were the finishing remarks that I heard the man say as I began to compose myself again...

my children are hilarious. their mirth, energy, joy, is only ever temporarily interrupted by knocks or bumps or quarrells or disputes or discipline. from which they bounce back almost instantaneously... they are amazing little people. so matter of fact. santana at the beginning said 'how are you going to fit grampie in that small hole' to the man from the funeral company taking the ceremony... then by the end of the gathering both santana and ophir had their heads in the hole saying repeatedly 'good bye grampie, good bye grampie, good bye grampie....' very joyously and then running off doing handstands and playing pretend football. just how he would have had it...

Bye dad. You are gone but never forgotten x

Music of the day: these songs completely sum up my mood and outlook for the day...


There ain't no space and time
To keep our love alive
We have existense and it's all we share
There ain't no real truth
There ain't no real lies
Keep on pushin' 'cause I know it's there

Oh, can you just tell me
It's all right (It's all right)
Let me sleep tonight
Oh, can you comfort me
Tonight (It's all right)
Make it all seem fine

I just can't make it alone
Oh, no, no
I just can't make it alone
Oh, no, no

There'll be no lullabies
There'll be no tears cried
We feel numb 'cause we don't see
That if we really care
And we really loved
Think of all the joy we'd feel

Oh, can you just tell me
It's all right (It's all right)
Let me sleep tonight
Oh, can you comfort me
Tonight (It's all right)
Make it all seem fine

I just can't make it alone
Oh, no, no
I just can't make it alone
Oh, no, no
I just can't make it alone
Oh, no, no
I just can't make it alone
Oh, no, no

Ain't got no lullaby, no, no
Ain't got no lullaby, oh, no
There is no space and time
Oh lord
There is no space and time
Oh lord

We have existense and it's all we share
We have existense and it's all we share
We have existense and it's all we share
We have existense and it's all we share
We have existense and it's all we share
Keep on pushing 'cause I know it's there
Keep on pushing 'cause I know it's there
Keep on pushing 'cause I know it's there
Keep on pushing 'cause I know it's there


As though you were born
And so you thought
The future's ours
To keep and hold
A child within
Has healing ways
It sees me through
My darkest days

I'm gonna keep catching that butterfly
In that dream of mine
I'm gonna keep catching that butterfly
In that dream of mine

In my lucid dreams
In my lucid dreams

Walking now
Through life no fun
I want to feel
I want to run

I'm gonna keep catching that butterfly
In that dream of mine
I'm gonna keep catching that butterfly
In that dream of mine

In my lucid dreams
In my lucid dreams

I'm gonna keep catching that butterfly
In that dream of mine
Keep catching that butterfly
In that dream of mine
I'm gonna keep catching that butterfly
In that dream of mine
I'm gonna keep catching that butterfly

In my private dreams
In my private dreams
In my private dreams
My lucid dreams
My forgotten schemes
I see through you
You see through me
I see through you
You see through me
Be with me
Be with me
I see through you
You see through me
I see through you
You see through me

To be in your eyes
To be in your eyes


One day maybe we will dance again
Under fiery skies
One day maybe you will love again
Love that never dies

One day maybe you will see the land
Touch skin with sand
You've been swimming in the lonely sea
With no company

Oh, don't you want to find?
Can't you hear this beauty in life?
The roads, the highs, breaking up your life
Can't you hear this beauty in life?

One day maybe you will cry again
Just like a child
You've gotta tie yourself to the mast my friend
And the storm will end

Oh, don't you want to find?
Can't you hear this beauty in life?
The times, the highs, breaking up your mind
Can't you hear this beauty in life?

Oh, you're too afraid to touch
Too afraid you'll like it too much
The roads, the times, breaking up your mind
Can't you hear this beauty in life?

One day maybe I will dance again
One day maybe I will love again
One day maybe we will dance again
You know you've gotta
Tie yourself to the mast my friend
And the storm will end
One day maybe you will love again
You've gotta tie yourself to the mast my friend
And the storm will end

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Get your FREE fishtank @

here's some i prepared earlier

thanks to all who have commented on my writing style.... v. kind of you... in order to supply your demands here are some i prepared earlier.... a couple of highlights of 2006.... easily copied and pasted for your viewing and comments.... i enjoy writing but have never really believed in myself as a writer... but it's something i should continue to do - hence the blog.... hope you enjoy...

Above me
is a small square
in the sky
far above
showing a reflection
of heaven glimmering
as i lay with outstretched arms
i see your spirit descend
a dancing dove
as my soul rises to meet it

rays of light
as the dove
and my soul
this is prayer.


There is but one true lover of my soul
long standing
the other half
who makes me whole.
Surrendered totally
even when His love
is unreciprocated
by my hardened heart.

He loves me
softens my hardness
with a kiss.
Owns my heart.
Holds it freely.
Yet I withdraw it not
though silence prolongs
the inevitable choice
to reciprocate His affection.

I sigh
I begin to yield.
He loves me
and I love
and desire Him...
even when I fool myself
that I can close my heart
to Him.


My body longs for sunshine
Direct glorious sunshine.
Rays of light
To pierce the darkened gloom
And reveal the tapestry
Where each stitch unveils its own hidden narrative
Beneath the story’s whole.

Each story has a hidden narrative
A subtext
Like today when he stripped me bare
With one carefully loaded blow
The type that pierce deeply the hidden locations
That can only be penetrated from a position of trust
Of all your pain.

To cut and deform
To be made into the image
That they alone can comprehend
Control and decry.

Revealing your sense of worthlessness
To be again rendered worthless
By another who takes pleasure
In the depreciation of the body
Where once they lay in appreciation
Underneath the fullness of the sun’s shine
Shadowed by the room
Whose walls secretly witnessed
His rapture of every inch of my skin
Whilst he revelled in the flesh
He sought to possess without fruition.

When the sun comes again
I shall rest in the shade of my true love
The apple tree whose fruit is sweet to me.
Sunshine – ripen me.


I am naked before Him
Stripped to my very essence
With a marred heart and a bruised constitution.
I am not delighted by the suffering I endure
But willingly lay myself down to Him.
I run to the secret place
Where once my soul rested contentedly –
A butterfly cocooned that learnt to fly.

I am in the womb of my maker
Becoming refashioned

I am the clay in His hands
Becoming reshaped

I am within His heart
Becoming part of His heartbeat

Yet now I am disfigured
A colourless sense of abandonment
That runs deep within
Whilst my eyes see the reality of Him.

I am never forsaken
Nor abandoned
But forever accepted by Him.
He is my lifeline –
The umbilical cord between eternity and the real me
Which is curled up within
Awaiting my birth.

My soul runs deep with a passion for Him
Yet I feel the constraints of my present reality
Confined by my humanity.
I am so bound to my natural man
That my heart cries to see the chains broken
That my heart may run free.

I am desperate for the time
When I can reverse
That which has been imposed on me.
My whole inner being cries out for the day
When I shall truly be free.


there is a voice calling
there is a voice whispering
there is a voice comforting
there is a voice instructing

Listen through the woods
and the path of unknowing.
Listen in the pastures of peace.
Listen as life unfolds its great adventure.
Listen as life seems worthless.

Listen when the dark night of the soul approaches
and silence is the only sound.
Listen as the new dawn awakens
and we herald a new horizon.

Listen as the last trumpet
begins to sound
and the call becomes even stronger.
Listen as the Spirit
awakens our souls
to rekindle and revive our attentiveness.
Listen to the sound of oil lamps burning
ever ready for the bridegroom.

Listen to the still deep peace
as His voice exudes within our hearts.
Heed the call of the voice
to obedience and instruction.
Await His guiding voice.
Listen every day without failing
and focus yourself
to listen.


i am formed by the hand of God.
fashioned with purpose
for the will of God
designed with care
and eternal qualities
in mind
made as a dwelling place
for his spirit
to enable me
to ever live
in his presence
to choose him
above all else
to choose truth
over falsehood
the divine
over the earthly
and destiny
over my choice...


I am so loved by You
Deeply enriched
Daily clothed in love’s banner
Regardless of conscious contact.

I am so adored by you
Termed blessed
A lily among thorns
The apple of your eye

I am so esteemed by You
No stone cast
No eye removed
Just wholly forgiven


Certain disappointment fades eloquently
Whilst striking its deathly blow in my mind’s eye.
Sorrow stalls
Where the river flows.
Mountains stumble
Sunsets fade
Horizons blur their view
All the rewards of nature
Hold sweetly
The serene diadem bereft

So so suddenly
Without reprisal
Without scandal
Or superficial rationale
Besides the trowel
Where history digs deeply
Is unveiled the one true warrior
Of sanctification.
Whilst streets hold still their latent breath
And civilization pauses in a collective sigh of exhaustion
Take me to the higher ground.


Why does sorrow hold my heart
Like a tenant
Why does my heart beat onwards
For that withheld company
So far removed from me.

Why is despair not my friend
In this hopeless
For what is not imminently mine.

Why has my life so loveless been.
It is only in giving love that I am truly loved.
Love loves me
But a physical companion withholds.

There is none so perfect
Who can to my standards attain
To the romance I long for
Or its sentiment sustain.

I am lonely
For love.


How can one keep warm alone
When the winter winds surround the soul
Embedding it with
The longest, darkest, coldest night
It has ever known.

It seeps within my very being
Reminiscent of the little match girl
Lighting match after match
Envisioning a divine warmth
For eternity.

How can I keep warm alone
Without someone to hold me.
The longing and yearning for his touch
Consuming me
With its desire.

My head cupped by his hands
Whilst his legs surround me.
Cushioned in the warmth I long for.


You alone satisfy
My heart resigns
As self-satisfaction evades me once more
And I find the fullest contentment
In one second of your presence
And the presence of your peace.


Thursday, 10 May 2007

gone daddy gone....

He is not dead! Not my father.... not my dad.... he is not dead....he is not gone...

From shock to denial - never anger - i tread daily in the sorrow that opens my heart like a vulnerable bleeding wound of sadness....

When they told me i said 'please repeat that... are you telling me dad has died....'

grief. there is no need to reintroduce yourself to me. i have met you before. travelled a well-worn road with you. sorrow has reaquainted himself with me. tears - they issue themselves freely. so many tears have i cried.

but my father is not gone! not my father!

your coffin was so beautiful. adorned with the most beautiful red roses. woven willow adorned your body. that was not you... it cannot be. not my father. not you.

deep from within me a child shrieks at top voice - 'MY FATHER IS NOT DEAD'. i do not want the proof on monday when i see your earthly body reduced to ashes. we ARE dust. but that is not my father. my grief is heightened..... not my father.... i do not want you in that box. i want you back with me. i want you. i do not want to let you go.

time. stop. rewind. reverse. turn around. stop world. give him back to me. tears. stop. joy. return. sorrow. flee. grief. be gone. return to me the sound of his voice. return to me the company. return to me our conversations. return to me our love. return to me our empathy. return to me our support. return to me the encouragement. return to me the happiness. return to me the laughter. return to me the wisdom. return to me my father.

grave - open yourself and return him to me....

death i hate your duality. my loss is his gain. my sorrow is his joy. my pain is his peace. he lives on whilst temporarily a piece of me dies....

music reduces me to tears. the phone ringing jogs an impossible reaction that he may be calling. i cry. there is noone to discuss the football with. i cry. noone to tell me the weather forecast. it's too trivial to represent the real you. but that made you you. you gave me so much more. the politics. the love. the care. the concern. the wisdom. the advice. the quest for justice. the honesty. the truth. the morals. the compassion. the football! the weather! the history. the stories. the importance. the life. the education. the love. love is a doing word..... you have two eyes. two ears. one mouth. use them in that proportion. listen and watch twice as much as you speak.

so behind me i hear a voice. an echo of the past. it says 'come on love'. 'come on love'. 'come on love.' it says 'you look after those children.' 'they are most important.' 'where are you going on holiday this year love. give those kids a good time'. you shrink at the thought of causing any sorrow. you would hate to see me reduced to tears. you would hate to have a detrimental impact on my life. and the same for me with my children when i pass. i would hate to destroy them emotionally by not being here.

so i lift up my eyes. i see your character. i see your wishes. and i know what you would be thinking and saying right now. i lift my breaking heart. i dry my tears. and i move ever forwards in the life you would have me live. it is a wonderful world. despite appearances. and this life is mine for living. you bequeath for me. so that me and my children may know some joy. santana continues his football. ophir continues her imagination. it would all give you joy. i continue to work. we continue to live. we are starting to look forward. but we will never leave you behind or forgotten...

... beyond me. there is an everlasting father.... he is my eternal dwelling place. and underneath are the everlasting arms. one day. we will all be together. all who have gone before us. all who come behind us. there will be no more sorrow. no more pain. no more sickness. we will live in His presence forever.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007


Today I had the fortune of having a child unable to attend school.... I really didn't want to go back to work today so welcomed the authentic excuse to stay off!!

I spent the afternoon in my garden..... and managed to catch up on some weeding that I haven't got round to doing whilst my little one slept. I am now also on a race to get certain plants I've been nurturing planted so that I can allow myself to get some more!! I follow a very strict reward system for myself!!

This is one of my favourite times in the garden and in particular for one flower, the alium. Mine are now starting to burst out and take their cylindrical shape... so every day is alium watch - i am the bill oddie of the purple flower...! I get such a pleasure from these plants - they give me joy to look at.

Last year I landscaped my back garden and planted masses of trees and shrubs to get the basic structure in. I am now taking the time to start to plant the flowers I want in the garden and am trying to develop a 'purple garden'. I'm equally trying to develop a garden that won't take too much watering so am using lots of lavender and wanting to think about a french style of planting with flowers that can cope with arid conditions.... I have masses of twisted willows planted to make screening - today they were swaying merrily in the wind and were like an adventure playground for lots of pretty birds who danced and jumped around in them. I love these trees but they do have a tendency to go completely bonkers!! In fact whilst trying to weed one area today and plant new plants I became completely entwined in one today!! I'm not a tree hugger - trees are hugging me!!

I have potted up another 10 trees today (just in case I didn't think I had enough!!) I'm running out of mini greenhouse space for my veg that's coming along so I need to start selling some bits and bobs on - in my fundraising efforts for my childrens' ex nursery's summer fete - which is one of the most fantastic nurturing places for little ones. Every chance I have to give something back to them I do...

I now want to learn how to take cuttings from my twisted willows as I have the vague idea of bringing some on and selling them to friends and donating the money to an overseas charity dealing with famine relief/water aid. we all have to do our little bit.

Something amazing happens when I put my hands in soil..... I seem to enter a different space.... i become completely engrossed, kind've grounded, and creative all in one.... I really do enjoy it.

I find some sense of spirituality in gardening. I like to make conntections between my garden and me. My garden as a representation of me..... For example: I weed with vigour - just how I would like God to deal with me. I am starting to collect some plants that have a biblical reference: e.g. I have an olive tree in a pot - 'But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever.' Psalm 52 v 8. The theme of purple (with dashes of scarlet) is inspired by Proverbs 31 - A Woman of Noble Character. I have bought some hyssop seeds which I will propogate tomorrow Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean', Psalm 51 v 7.

I have a thought about how I would like to get as many of the plants from the Song of Songs as possible into my garden..... that is one my most favourite books in the bible because of the amazing intimacy between us and our beloved. In particular I really like the way that Hannah Hurnard made an association between the nine spices named in song of songs Songs 4: 13 and 14 and the fruits of the spirit (Gal 5:22) ...

'You are an orchard that puts forth pomegranates and other precious fruits, henna and nard - nard, saffron and aromatic cane, cinnamon and all kinds of frankincense trees, myrrh, aloes, all the best spices. You are a garden fountain, a spring of running water, flowing down from the L'vanon' Song of Songs 4: 3-14

pomegranate is love, camphire is joy, spikenard is peace, saffron is longsuffering, calamus is gentleness, cinnamon is goodness, frankinsense is faith, myrrh is meekness, aloes is self-control.

It would be lovely to create those smells in my garden but I'm only an amateur and not up to the job I don't think!! imagine that culmination of smells....

is this why it says in Corinthians "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life." 2 Corinthians 2:14

Imagine what a fragrance we can be to God....

Song of Songs 4: 16: the beloved says: 'Awake, north wind! Come south wind! Blow on my garden to spread its fragrance. let my darling enter his garden and eat its finest fruit'.

A good friend, the other day, referred to the beloved inviting the north winds and the south as the surrender to all of life's circumstances. Both the warm south winds - the place of comfort with God and also the North winds which are harsh and cold and symbolise the place of dicomfort, harsh situations. Often situations that God can use to grow us! That all will result in a fragrant offering to God....

lots of food for thought for me there.....