18 Mar 2012


Wait. Before you all think I'm ill, I'm not. I was, but now I am fine. 
But while I was ill I feel like I learnt a few things that I wanted to share.
So a couple weeks ago now I have 3 days off because I contracted a virus. Where it came from I have no idea but I have a suspicion it may have been picked up while I was on the plane on the way back from Ghana. Anyway, this virus made me feel absolutely exhausted (I pretty much slept for 3 days), gave me a fever and a razor blade throat, blocked nose, chesty cough and a horrible headache. Now I like to think I am quite tough. Last year I had one day off work and that was because I was sent home when my work found out I had fainted that morning in the shower. I very rarely give in to being sick and so taking 3 whole days off was quite a big deal for me. I rang nhs direct on the second day and they told me I had to get to a hospital because I was at risk of having malaria! Nothing like danger to make you feel worse. So I trundled to the hospital and was checked over by possibly the most attractive Dr I have ever seen (Campbell, if you ever read this, you truly made my day), had some blood taken and then was sent home for more sleep. At one point over those days I genuinely wasn't sure if I was going to get better - probably in my delirium I convinced myself I might die. 

It was at that point that I really began to value health and life. Both things that are taken for granted. I take my normal good health so for granted - like I have never broken a bone, or spent a night in hospital, or had to have any medical procedures done to me. Life is taken for granted by so many people. According to the Guardian in 2010, 189 574 abortions happened in the UK (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/may/24/abortion-statistics-england-wales) When those thoughts were going through my head questioning if I was going to make it or not I was struck by how much I love my life. Even though it has it's struggles and there are times when I find it really hard, I know that I am here for a reason and that I have a God who I can turn to to help me at all times. Lots of my friends are having babies at the moment. Just at my work we have had 3 babies born in the last month; my friend Katy is due in 4 weeks, Sarah in May, Keziah is due in Sept, and just today my friend Rachel announced she's pregnant too! I feel like life is precious. All you have to do is hold a newborn baby to realise how fragile life is and how miraculous it is too. 

Being ill has made me thankful. Weird, but good.

11 Mar 2012


So I feel like I have some words to articulate things that have been happening over the last month now. You might know that I have recently returned from Ghana. It was IMMENSE.

Not only was it a massively powerful time but it was also a really good break for me because I went in the capacity of "support leader" which actually meant I didn't do very much as the team had pretty much everything covered and Jo the ACTUAL leader didn't really do much. 

So let me break down what we were doing:

  • Taught lessons on Influence and being positive change in the community
  • Gave assemblies
  • Visited local communities and prayed for people
  • Shared testimonies
  • Took an entire school on a trip to a lake (exciting because lots had never been in a body of water deep enough to swim in before)
  • Visited and preached at a local Church
  • Hosted an Arts Showcase
  • Visited the hospital and prayed for people
  • Hosted a football tournament
  • Spent a lot of time with kids who just wanted to hold your hand
  • Got to know Naomi Luff WAY better
So considering we were only there for 8 days really we packed a heck of a lot in. It was so nice though because nothing was stressed. African people do laid back really well, timings aren't necessarily kept to and things adjust or change all the time - but it never phases them. I love it! I wish I could be more like that - if things change in my schedule I can get really annoyed about it but out there we just kind of went with it and I really appreciated the chance for it to be ok if we were an hour late or whatever.

So my highlights included:
Seeing XLP and AACO's School - Jubilee School finally up and running. You may know that I went to Ghana 5 years ago during my gap year and saw the XLP school still being built. But it was so cool to go and see it being used and see how it was in such good condition compared to other schools we visited.
This is what it looked like when I went in Feb 2007
And this is what the school looks like now
I was also really blessed by getting to know the pupils at the school. They are such characters and have immense goals of what they want to achieve in their communities. This is Dora - such a cutie, really wanted to bring her back with me.

Another highlight was being free enough that I could just talk to kids and interact with them. I wasn't on the lesson team or the assembly team because I was just supposed to float where I was needed but I didn't really seem to be needed so it meant I could just sit with little kids and spend time loving them all up. 

One of the biggest things I learnt though was about me and God and who we interact with each other. It generally goes something like this 
God: Naomi
Naomi: Not now I'm busy
God: Naomi
Naomi: No you don't get it, I know what you are going to say and right now I'm busy
God: Naomi
Naomi: La la la la la
God: Naomi
Naomi: FINE. What is it?

I realised that I use God a lot as back up. I try something, it fails and then I pray, but even as I'm praying I am formulating another back up in my head as to how I will proceed if God doesn't work. Now if I was God I would be really mad if someone treated me like that, but thankfully I serve a God who is so ridiculously full of grace that it hurts sometimes. I guess I have been very challenged on how my idea of God is really wrong. He should be my first point of call because he loves me and because I love him. 

I feel like I learnt loads but that's it for now.

4 Mar 2012

Whoa where did February go?

Yes, so I have been shockingly bad at blogging for the last month...as in I just didn't do it. There were many reasons for this -
> I didn't feel I had much to say
> I had too much to say and didn't know how to say it
> I was in Africa
> I was busy getting a hamster!

However, now I am BACK!

Feb has been a month that literally I feel that if I had done a long blink I would have missed it. The first half was consumed with preparations for Ghana, one of my team being ill, and an Arts Showcase; the second half I was in Ghana or recovering from Ghana.

I feel like February has been a month where I have been shaken up. God has shaken me up.

So much has happened, I don't really know where to start or what to say...but I will let you know bit by bit as words come and the reality of all that has happened sets in.

coming soon....