take me to the holidays

i’m tired and i need a break.

Advertisements

pep talk to myself

find joy & peace & happiness & purpose. if you’re not enjoying your everyday then change something —- fight for the feeling of fulfillment and excitement and joy of doing what you love and being with the people you love. choose to not let yourself be bogged down by the pressures of life; choose to not let work rob the passion you have; don’t lose your curiosity & creativity. take time out of your day to do something you love — that you just choose to do yourself. stop only doing things because you have to: don’t let life become a chore. do things because you want to & because you love it & because they give you joy!

please

please don’t let me be

unchanged

by this trip. I don’t want to

revert back

to my old life.

I don’t want to

forget what I learnt and heard and saw.

I want to remember and be changed.

Please can I be changed.

Don’t let these days away be wasted –  don’t let them fade away.

Don’t let these days be wasted.

a life-changing trip

Swaziland: October 2017

This half-term break, I was so lucky to go on a St Mungo’s Youth Mission trip to Swaziland. It was absolutely amazing. We played with kids, weeded, painted, visited, prayed, danced, sang and slept under the stars. I wasn’t prepared for the beauty of the place or the love, hope, joy, kindness, hospitality of the people of Swaziland. I was touched and changed by the lives and characters of the people we met. I really feel like I can’t do this trip, these experiences, or these people, any justice through merely words. God really humbled me and spoke to me this trip. He taught me the importance of waiting on Him, patience, and that true hope doesn’t depend on circumstances.

Some of the things I saw were enough to break my heart, to bring me to my knees in tears – the drought, the sickness, the stories of abandonment and abuse. But I also saw things that lit a flame of hope in my heart. The stories of healing, the children who had been rescued from abusive homes or off the streets and brought in with love, the unrelenting hope of those suffering from the drought. I had been struggling to understand how people who didn’t even have the most basic need – and the foundation of all other needs – because of the drought, could trust in a God who loves them; how could they believe that there was a God who loved them and provided for them? If Jesus gives life-giving water, why weren’t these people getting the water they needed to actually survive? Then we met a pastor in Lavumisa, and I was so inspired and my entire outlook shifted. He was so excited and joyful – he was convinced that God would provide for them, and that God has good plans for him. He rested on the truths of the Bible and remembered times in the past where God had brought rain after a 20-year drought, and he didn’t give up praising God for his faithfulness – all whilst the river in Lavumisa was still dried up. He held onto the truth that God’s timing is perfect, and that God will protect and provide. I was inspired by his patience and his faith in God’s provision despite the circumstances that he was in. Meeting him made me realise:

Patience is the perseverant hope in the Lord’s provision, protection and perfect plan, regardless of the situations that we are in.

 

Pursuing the Elusive Sun

Listen to our syncopated hop skip

and our plucking of rosebuds and daisies.

As children in spring, smiles tug on our lips,

and the warm rising sun lights our faces.

Wrists are laced with daisies like many suns,

the rosebuds round our necks are like lockets

waiting to be opened. We laugh and run

as petals overflow from our pockets.

Hand-in-hand, steps weave in and out of time

among the fresh budding flowers. We play,

oblivious to the brightening sun:

springtime to summer, and morning to day.

No longer children, we look to the sky

for a breath, we see the blue and the white

then the hot blazing sun. Blinded, we try

to navigate onward, to gain some sight ­–

torn by the pursuit of the light, our hope,

and the awareness that night will come near

and surround us. Soon the darkness will rope

around our necks, but we ignore it. Here:

surrounded by light, surrounded by life.

But then summer’s scattered footprints decay:

crabapple blossoms fallen from trees lie

wilting along with the light of the day.

Listen to the rustle of trembling leaves,

their whispers clash with the bite of the air.

The rusting sky echoes that of the trees,

but the rust inside us cannot repair.

It seems these days could trudge through clouds of rain:

step after step after step after step.

Our hands – with skin like tree bark – crack and wane.

Step after step after step after step.

Hands cling together – braced against the cold

that we know will come. We see the sun sink

into the horizon – we reach out, try

to trap it in our hands. But then we blink.

The syrup of the sky turns into tar,

darker and darker and darker – then black.

The only light comes from the fading stars.

We want the sun, the spring, the daylight back.

It’s now too dark to see the missing hands

once inside ours. The footprints beside us

fade with a final thump. Silence expands

round us like a blanket – blades of frost cut

into every step on the barren ground.

The snow muffles every breath, every cry

when we finally understand that we

can’t reach up and pluck the stars from the sky.

Blind Old Woman at the Reservoir

Milky eyes gleam like opals

set into her rocky face.

The ridges and cracks of

time crease around her eyes,

her skin is weathered and

worn

down.

 

Wrinkled yet steady hands stroke

the petals of a flower plucked

from a cherry tree,

the fingers see its delicate form –

fragile like glass.

 

Her hands linger towards the horizon,

unable to touch

– to see –

the curves of the hills ahead,

or the rays of light dappling

through the overhanging leaves.

 

All that can be felt, that can be

seen,

is the curve of a pebble in her palm

like the line of hills rolling

away in the distance;

and the cool flow of water

over fingers

like light through the trees.