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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

365

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…