I’ve been working in a church community centre just round the corner from my house for two weeks now.  Today the postman brought a parcel for me to my desk in the centre.  I looked at it, confused – wondering why anyone had sent me a parcel at the centre, wondering if I’d put the wrong address on it myself… But Postman John said “I brought it here because I didn’t know if it’d fit in your letterbox.”

I loved it!  When the postman cares enough and is willing to go out of his way to bring you your book order to work, not only do you have a great postman, but you know you’re part of the neighbourhood.



At the wedding of a former colleague and great friend.  Beautiful day.  The whole day was full of stories – “this one time in Peru…”, “when she was young…”, “when we first met…”  Stories are our true language.


Settled in for the evening I start to hang up my washing. Suddenly the phone rings and next thing I know, my friend and I are sitting chatting over cosmos in front of the fire!

These are the evenings I’ll miss, the stories I’m glad to live and enjoy and want to savour.


Today’s tale is this…

I’ve been raising funds to go to France (a whole other story!) for what feels like forever (and a whole other story there too!).  Today was decision day – the Irish Council were meeting to decide if I had enough support in place to get the go ahead.  Ideally, monthly support levels would be at 100% but it is a recognised fact that people often sign up once they hear news from the actual field, so it was said that if I had 85%, the director would recommend that they’d let me go, if I had 80% he recommend they’d think about letting me go.

So momentum has been gathering and prayer has been mounting etc etc.  The total on Friday was 80%, Saturday 82%, Sunday 83.5%… Creeping up, creeping up!  Friday’s prayer request was that we’d get 3 gifts of £25/month to bring us up to the desired 85%.

Then Monday came.

The discovery that some of the gifts I had counted as non-gift aided actually would receive gift aid, plus news of another few monthly gifts meant that my total shot up to 87%!!!  Incredible news… it felt like a sure thing.

Then Tuesday came.

The discovery that the monthly target was wrong and we actually needed an extra £140/month on top of what we thought.  Eugh.  Crashed right down to 82%.  Its funny how the circumstances change our perspective on a situation!!!

However… and this is the real tale… a matter of hours before the meeting began, our Friday prayer was answered – not by 3 x £25, but by 1 x £25 and 1 x £50!  The timing of receiving those forms was down to the wire but above all it was extraordinary.

God is a great story writer.

Take Two : Telling Tales

I’m not quite sure how I’m suddenly typing in this little box on my old 365 blog. I was just curious to see if anyone had stopped by here in a while – since I hadn’t – and suddenly I find a whole new concept and technically a whole new commitment to a year of blogging daily.

Oh dear…

This time, having been inspired by Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, I plan to write a little story from each of my days and see how it all adds up over 365 days! It may look similar to the original premise of 365 – thankfulness, beauty etc – or it may take on a more gossip column feel ;). We’ll see how it goes!

You coming along for the ride?


So here we are…

The end of an era, the alleviation of what has sometimes been a duty, but sometimes fun, sometimes a blessing…

The 365th entry of my 365.

For today, I am grateful for the time to read as I travelled: Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns.  I love books that breathe you in so much so that when someone speaks to you, you feel like you have to drag yourself back from a whole other world.  This book made me cry, made me long for freedom to be known, made me mourn for hurt and hurting.  Made me wish I could read it all over again like the first time.

For this year, I am grateful for all that has blessed me – friendships grown and deepened, times of hope and joy in darkness and despair, food enjoyed, places seen…  I am grateful for all I’ve been given.

And… if I’m honest… I’m grateful this 365 is done!

364, 1 to go

A whole, sunny day spent wandering around the city of Marseille, MY city of Marseille.  Langouring in memories, feeling completely normal being there and yet completely different.

It has a rough reptutation, my city does, but its beautiful in its way.  So many different places holding so many tiny pieces of memories.  I’m so grateful for the year I spent there, and for the opportunity to go back.

Here’s just one of the many highlights of the day…

363, 2 to go

A visit back to the church I went to whilst on my year out.  Except, when I went to it there were 10 people meeting in houses and now there are about 50 meeting in a building!

An evening spent chatting in French and feeling at home in it.

362, 3 to go

Lying in a park on the south coast of France in the sun after a picnic!

After a potter around another coastal town, we returned to Marseille to have dinner then went to a great little asian-themed teashop.  I used to spend Sunday afternoons there with friends, eating cakes and drinking random teas.

Tonight I picked just the right tea and enjoyed sharing a huge slice of cake (watching in amazement as the two girls next two us devoured TWO huge slices ofcake each).  A couple of hours in Shamballah, spent just the way I wanted.

361, 4 to go

I stood in Marseille Airport waiting for my friends to pick me up, grinning like a loon and trying not to jump up and down in excitement at being back in the city!  The flight went over the cityscape and it was an incredible view… I am so grateful for the time I spent in this city and that I now get to come back and visit.