Lent and Reflections

Lent is a time for reflecting; for those of you that don’t know Lent is the time that immediately precedes the Easter celebration in the Christian calendar.  It is a period of six weeks when Christians are encouraged to “fast” or “give up” certain things, which could be chocolate, television, social media etc and also to “do” more – give more financially, give more time, be more prayerful.  It is about waiting and preparing for everything to be made new in the risen Christ.  Essentially, it’s about re focusing and then continuing your work as a Christian to make “on heaven as it is on earth” a reality.

The Lent course this year was around communicating: how we as Christians communicate with others about our faith and the example we set etc.  I completed a few exercises; one of which was entitled “What makes it difficult to talk about your faith?” we were encouraged to talk amongst ourselves in a small group and write examples down.  I completed the Lent course by myself and not with the small group as I simply couldn’t commit to it with the starting of my new job.

This was an easy exercise for me, here are my fears when I discuss my faith with others:

  1. That people will make snap judgments about me and what I “must think” or “must be like” as a Christian;
  2. Fear that people will think I am not very intelligent.  What I mean by this is the fear that people will think I do not question or have doubts, that I believe some “story book” as the truth and that I am therefore not very clever.  This could not be further from the truth, I have lots of questions and doubts and constantly read around the subject of theology;
  3. Fear that people will think that I think that I am better than them, or that I think that only Christians can be good people (um, no.) or that I think that I am a really good person and that they are somehow lacking.  None of this could be further from the truth.

So those are my fears, however, actually, when people ask me and I tell them, honestly, they don’t (seem to) think these things so I guess it’s just my fears and anxieties talking.  So many of my friends have messaged me or text me to say nice things about my posts on here, or to ask questions, and everyone has been kind about my faith, so I plan on continuing to be honest on here and not hiding this part of me away, because it’s a pretty big part of who I am.

 

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#100daysofgratefulnessday2

Sorry for the quiet on here, I have had a busy couple of weeks! I started my new job, and the first week has been brilliant, I have been made to feel very welcome and it is lovely to be part of a proper team again. Everyone has gone out of their way to be accommodating and welcoming and most importantly, generous with their time and patience in explaining  the new systems and how things work. So a very positive start!

I am getting back into the swing of things again now, and will be making more time for writing again in the immediate future. I wanted to do another one of the “100 days of gratefulness posts” and when I saw what day 2 was it fitted in nicely with some recent goals I have set myself health wise.

I am very grateful to have generally good health. However, I am getting older now and I know I need to make looking after my health a bit more of a priority. I have taken a couple of weeks off of the gym, I was getting there tired and wasn’t enjoying it, exercise was feeling like a chore which is never a good thing. So I’ve decided to shake things up again, I do a circuits workout which I enjoy, but I do miss running and my body pump classes, so I’ll be trying to work those back into a gym routine going forward so it’s a bit more varied.

My biggest vice is chocolate, I eat far too much of it. I am addicted to sugar, so as it’s lent I have also given up, what I am terming “dessert”. I can’t say sugar, although that is what I’m trying to do, but I felt like that might be a bit unrealistic for someone who regularly eats two bars of chocolate a day. Natural sugar is fine, so when my cravings were particularly bad I made sugar free flapjacks with bananas and dates – not chocolate, but not bad!

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I have been having some pain in my mid and upper back when squatting and I also have a dodgy knee so I wanted to take time to get them looked at, an osteopath was recommended to me by a PT at the gym.  I’ve never been to an osteopath before and I had no idea what to expect.

A quick discussion with a colleague on the day of the appointment revealed that I would need to go home and change my knickers as I was likely have to strip to my underwear. So I duly went home and found my Bridget Jones pants and then went to my appointment.

It turns out that wasn’t needed because we just focused on my back, so I didn’t have to remove my trousers; but good advice for next time!

It was a wonderfully odd experience. I will go back and I have no doubt that this will help me and be good for my health long term; but, I was very close to a complete stranger whilst being acutely aware that I also should’ve changed my bra.

It got very awkward when I was asked to lie on my side and realised that an everyday bra is not the best support for this position. Of course, the osteo was a professional but I also lived in constant fear that I would laugh when he was hugging* me and even more mortifying: I might f-a-r-t.

I have never prayed to God about that aspect of my life before, but I did during those long 3 minutes. I am sure God appreciated those worthwhile prayers and use of time.

I would have two pieces of advice for anyone considering going to an osteopath:

  1. Get a recommendation, my guy was excellent.
  2. Wear a sports bra and big pants.

I’ll keep you updated. For now I am off to a spa day with my bestie, I might get a facial, My skin needs a bit of TLC.

Happy Saturday!

*disclaimer – he was not hugging me but I don’t know what the proper term is.