In life sometimes you hear somebody say something and it resonates so deeply that it changes your perspective on everything. I had that experience when I was 11 years old and it changed everything.
I was a naturally curious child. Some people – normally my mother – would have said I was ‘into everything’. I thought this was a good thing; often she did not. I was always exploring, trying to find out how things worked and always asking questions. When I was at nursery and we had our afternoon naps I’d sleep for 15 minutes and then start waking all the other kids up so we could play again. My nursery teachers eventually made me sleep in the staff room so I couldn’t wake the other children. This was heaven for me because I got to ‘earwig’ on their conversations.Continue reading →
I had coffee with a friend the other day and we were talking about his job. He was about to go on a leadership retreat and his team had contributed 360° input to this. I asked him what he thought they’d say about him. His response was that they’d say that ‘I am a visionary leader who always produces work of an excellent standard, that I have incredible energy and great communication skills. And that I am basically amazing at my job.’ Continue reading →
We lost a woman who used her voice for speak for those without a voice. We lost a woman who was incredibly wise and yet spoke with simple clarity. We lost a woman who experienced pain and knew how to overcome it.
But more than all that we lost a woman who to the very core of her being epitomized courage.
The words hung in the air. They hung there refusing to go away.
My friend, Lauren, had been through a tough time and had felt that some of her friends who should have been there for her hadn’t. It was difficult to know what to say to make life better.
What do you say to someone who is really hurting, who has been badly let down and feels isolated and alone? When someone utters the words ‘I don’t know who my real friends are’ they are letting you into a deep part of their soul.
Lauren’s words that day have refused to leave me. They almost haunt me. They haunt me because they make me wonder what being a ‘real friend’ means. Continue reading →
I love being a woman, I always have. Ever since I was a small child, I’ve loved the fact that I’m female. I was fortunate to be born into a family that celebrated women and believed that women could do anything. This was just as well because early in my childhood my mum discovered that she was going to have to do just that – anything and everything.
My mum is one of my heroes. She’s a straight talking East Londoner who calls a ‘spade a spade’. She’s comfortable with having an opinion, finding the right words to express herself and is comfortable if you don’t agree with her. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realised how amazingly freeing this ‘life lesson’ was. I’ve found that knowing that you have the right to an opinion is a powerful tool to yield in life.Continue reading →
There has been a lot of discussion in the Blogsphere recently about ‘having it all’ following an article in Atlantic magazine from Anne-Marie Slaughter about her job as the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department. I’ve followed these discussions with great interest as I’ve secretly questioned the basic premise behind ‘having it all’ and whether it’s even a possibility.
I was speaking to the leader of a church network recently and during our conversation he said: ‘I like you. You say you’re outward focused and you really are. Some people say they are outward focused but in reality they’re not!’
I’ve been musing on our conversation quite a bit since then. It’s obviously great that he likes me but that wasn’t what struck me. I was struck by his observation that many leaders were claiming to be something they are not.Continue reading →
I’ve discovered that people who live in comfort sometimes say the dumbest things because their comfort robs them of their ability to care.
I absolutely hate the phrase ‘compassion fatigue’ and I always have. And today I hate it with more passion than I ever have. It seems to me that ‘compassion fatigue’ is a phrase which gets used by comfortable people who live in comfortable places with comfortable lives. Compassion fatigue is by definition a luxury. Continue reading →
At times the gulf between rich and poor seems as big as an ocean… and then at other times it’s just the width of a road. I took the photo above this post and the 18 feet between me and those tents felt like an ocean…
Welcome to Haiti read the sign at the airport. Once through customs and immigration we joined a bustling mass of people. It’d be easy to think that they were normal travellers but after listening to their conversations it turned out that pretty much everyone on the plane was here to see how they could help the Haitian people rebuild their country. Realising that there is such a desire to help was inspiring. Continue reading →
A phrase I’ve heard a lot the past few months is ‘the church is God’s hope for the world’ – the next few days are going to prove if that is actually true.
I’m sitting on the plane and musing about what the next few days might bring. I’m en-route to Haiti to find a church we can work as part of the Spring Harvest offering. Seems a simple enough thing to do but it’s only now I’m on the plane that I’ve started to think about what we’re going to see, experience and feel when we’re in Haiti. Continue reading →