on being quotable

white paper with be yourself everyone else is already taken print
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Finding clever words that roll from silver tongues

And light the sky like peppered fireworks

Dazzling the excited crowds that gather far below,

That is want I want to do with parcels of

My syllables that spread before the readership

And show them what reverberates inside my golden soul.

I always feel really jealous of writers that are quoted over and over again. I see their amazing words that can be lifted from their work and applied to so many aspects of life, and I think, why couldn’t I have written that?

Charles Bukowski appears a lot, and then there’s JK Rowling, and not forgetting Maya Angelou. There are so many others but their words echo across the internet and sink into our hearts when we are feeling downcast and uncomfortable in life.

They make the rest of us wonder why we’re not as inspired as they are. Where do these words come from? Are they sent down by angels, and whispered into ears while they sleep? Or are they just a little bit cleverer than me?

Whatever the secret to their magic may be, I wish that I could have a little of it sprinkled over me this Christmas. I never want my face to be recognised in the streets but I would feel honoured to know that my words have healed.

Much Love

Rachel xx

being a little more selfless leads to a little more happiness

I’ve not made it any secret that I’m struggling with my faith at the moment but I am hanging on in there. And the reason is because I remember the peace that it brought me in a really turbulent time in my life.

With everything being so uncertain, I’ve been thinking a little bit about what it was the made me so happy despite the crap the world can fling in our direction. And I’ve come up with two things that I think are so important.

Firstly, worshipping something bigger than ourselves and the material things that you can get in this world is so invigorating. I get so caught up in things that really don’t matter and being able to lean on a being that will never not love me brings so much comfort.

I’ve also realised with the whole job situation, I just want a job NOW so that I can say I’m good at what I do and have people admire me. Really, I got into teaching to help and to serve and if I trust in God then He will put me in the right place, the right school, to do that.

Strangely, I feel like this experience has made me see a chink of light at the end of what has seemed like a very long and dark tunnel. I think that we always find our way back when we’re ready.

Much Love

Rachel xx

to strive is to hurt

Striving up those cold and winding steps,

I see how futile this enterprise can be.

Those steps will never end, on and on they go,

Until you’re tired and lacking life,

And what is it that you have got?

Better give yourself to something bigger than you are,

Something you can bask within

And know that you’re enough.

You don’t need to look all tanned, and thin

And sad and hungry for some food and love.

Give it up and go along with that ebb and flow,

It’s quite the journey, don’t you know?

little cracks everywhere

Little cracks can splinter through the whole,

They let in light and breeze that chills

And faith can filter through those streaks

That mar the edges of the vase I sculpt.

I want that faith, like air into the lungs,

Like rich nutritious food to build,

I need it even when its light is weak,

One day it will be filling up my life again.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m going through a bit of a tough time with my faith. I haven’t turned my back on it but the way my mother has behaved since she has become a Christian has made me feel suspicious of the church. I’ve been hurt and I think that it’s a natural reaction to shy away when that happens.

The funny thing is that every time I’m feeling a real hatred over everything that has happened, those are the times that the light finds its way into my life.

For instance, I’ll be feeling so sad and angry about my mum all day and then I’ll watch Strictly Come Dancing and a Lauren Daigle song will be played. This is a popular prime time show and they choose a worship song to dance the Viennese Waltz to.

I think that’s amazing, that Rescue should be played when I really feel I need rescuing.

And when I’m running and feeling angry at the world, it’s then that somebody runs past me the other way and smiles and tells me I’m doing an excellent job. They’re like little gifts that are sent my way when I need them the most.

I think that everyone needs to stumble in their faith at times. I am hoping that the struggles I have at the moment will only lead to a stronger faith. Because I need it. I need that love back in my life.

Much Love

Rachel xx

how are you coping…..really?

cute children cuddling in armchair at home
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I felt those familiar pangs last night,

As the news filtered through

And the words rattled round

On a Twitter fed carousel

Built just to torture

The sensitive ones,

Like you and me.

I sat watching the TV last night and I felt that blind panic that I remember feeling at the end of March. There is something about an unscheduled press conference or announcement that makes me feel as though the end of the world is nigh.

I watch these things and I feel like I’m watching some weird apocalyptic movie, but it’s real ,and it’s terrifying. There was a time that I had no idea what that conference room inside No.10 looked like, and now I feel like I know it better than my own living room.

I did pick myself up after all of those scary announcements in March, but now that it’s happening again I wonder whether we’re all going to be so strong this time around? Maybe we will fare better? Maybe I’m just panicking about nothing?

I really just wanted to say that, although I know I’m not dying, I had that breathless feeling of panic last night and I was thinking of all the others out there who are worrying.

I understand and I just wanted to ask how you really are? We’ll all be OK but just say hi if you felt that shard of fear in your heart last night. I’m really sending out my love and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can have some sort of Christmas that is normal in just the smallest way.

Much Love

Rachel xx

losing my religion

I will cling for as long as I can

Like I did to those ropes at school;

The ones that they made us climb in PE,

And I’d often get stuck at the top,

My hands burning with fear and rage,

Unsure how awful the fall could be.

I often feel like I’m struggling with my faith. It’s a mix of two things that make me struggle, but between those two things I am often left feeling like a terrible person, and I’m not sure that that’s the point of religion?

On the one hand, I’m really anxious. I started a new church just a few months before lockdown and I didn’t really get to know people well enough. Then, when the churches closed, I drifted even further away and now I feel too distanced to go back.

The very thought of walking into a building full of people I don’t know, all of us wearing masks, is too much for me to deal with. I can sometimes give up on the idea of going with minutes to spare and it can send me into a bit of a spin (this is what happened tonight).

The slightly more difficult thing to deal with is what happened with my mum. It was after going to an Alpha course for three weeks that she started to lock me out of the house and say that I was a devil worshipper. It felt like she became this unrecognisable person as soon as she became a Christian.

This just made me back away from a God that I had come to love; a God who had got me through getting sober. I couldn’t understand why a loving God would take my mum away from me like that.

I still don’t have any answers and I’m still struggling with my faith. I wanted to go to church but I just couldn’t face it. I feel so anxious that I could even turn to drink if I wasn’t doing so well in the rest of my life.

Has anyone else had a wobble in their faith like this? Is it normal? Do you have any answers as to why God would want this to happen to my mum? I really don’t want to turn my back on the church but it makes me ill trying to go.

Sorry, that this has been a bit whinge-y but it’s eating me up and I am sure there are other people out there who have felt these very same feelings.

Much Love

Rachel xx

PS I’ve chosen to include the Lauren Daigle track rather than the REM one because her voice has got so many people through so much.

i’m pretty sure that affirmations work…..sort of

grayscale photo of people raising their hands
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I’ll chant those words just one more time

Until they’re printed on my brain.

I’ll never know if they’re the truth

But if they move me on to fields

Greener than the ones today,

I’ll chant some more

And see where I will go.

A couple of years ago I went to a Christian festival called New Wine. It’s a week in camping accommodation, just completely surrounded by worship and people who really love God.

At this point I would like to say that I am a Christian but I do have a bit of an up and down relationship with God. I would also like to say that I’m also at my happiest when I’m feeling that my faith is strong, so take from that what you will.

Anyway, I went to this festival and I loved every minute of it. And on one of the days I went to a talk in a little marquee. It was a brilliant talk and at the end we were asked to stand up, close our eyes and repeat after the speaker. We chanted lots of affirmations about how we were worthy and loved in the eyes of God.

I felt a bit self conscious while we were doing it, but by the end of it I had the strangest sense of peace and love. I’ve always been intrigued by things like The Secret and what power we have within ourselves and this got me thinking a bit.

My mother was a really negative force in my life and everything seemed to collapse with her whispering in my ear. She was negative because she didn’t want to see me fail and to hurt, but at what cost? Did her love actually crush me into half the person I was supposed to be?

Now I try to repeat those positive affirmations and it does have some power. Whether it’s a mystical power that depends on vibrations, or it’s just a psychological switch that gets flicked, I don’t know. But I do know that there’s something in it.

I’d love to know about other people’s experiences with positive affirmations and meditation and prayer. Has it made a difference in your life? Has it brought you good things? Or is that not what it’s about for you? For me, it’s just about feeling like a whole person who has purpose and has love in their life. And that’s all that any of us can hope for, really.

Much Love

Rachel xx

swings in roundabouts

We’ll spin and spin until your world

Is streaked with greens and reds and blues.

Lines will blur and when they sharpen once again

The other kids will start to push

And life will take on tipsy hues.

I don’t believe in karma as such, but I do believe that life swings in roundabouts. Good things come into your life and at the same time, bad things seep in at the edges too.

I’ve had so much good news recently but just today I’ve had a shit load of difficult stuff to deal with. Nothing that could send me spiralling out of control, but enough to rattle me.

I don’t know about other people but two of my weaknesses are money and paperwork. I worry about money all of the time, even when there isn’t anything to worry about. And paperwork stresses me out in a way that is totally unnecessary. It’s not like I have any trouble understanding or filling out the questions, I just hate it!

And today I have been flooded with paperwork that HAS to be done ASAP. And then, my car failed its MOT and it will cost about £500 to get it fixed. My eyes are watering.

But, I’m working on myself and I’ve sat for a whole hour doing the paperwork. And it’s all done and it’s such a relief. And tomorrow I will leave my car at the garage, pay the bill and forget that the money even existed.

Things do swing in roundabouts and I need to enjoy the good bits and just ride through the bad bits. I believe in a Christian God who will be there no matter what, but even if you don’t I think that it’s important to believe in something bigger than you. Something that will have your back AND hold you accountable.

Let go and Let God.

Much Love

Rachel xx

just. slow. down

cars on road in city during night time

I was always captivated by that music video,

Ray of Light, I think it was called,

Where Madonna cavorts while the world moves fast,

Far too fast for anyone to keep the pace.

She somehow slows it down at will

And I always wished that I could do that too,

Just take a breath and stop for a day.

But that video was nonsense and the people don’t stop

So I just keep going and pray

That I don’t burn out again.

I do sometimes wish that I could take a break without there being any consequences. It always seems that you are expected to keep going even though you are struggling. And for me it normally ends in burn out and I have to take time off work. It’s embarrassing and it’s normally quite traumatic to reach that point.

I started thinking about this, not because I’m reaching break down point, but because I went for a long run yesterday, and it gave me three hours to slow down.

Going for a run of that length always gives me time to get rid of all those panicky thoughts and it’s like a holiday from the world. I see all of the cars rushing by as people go to work, but I feel like I am not a part of that as I push my body as far as it will go.

I also notice more things when I’m running. Driving to places is quick and convenient, but going on foot you notice the plants and the trails and the bridges that you normally pass without a second thought.

Yesterday I ran around our local hospital on a trail that was called Squirrel Wood. Not only is that another amazing place name that I’ve come across recently, but I found this beautiful trail that I had no idea existed. And yet, I’ve driven past it so many times, oblivious to the fact it’s there.

I hope that you have something in your life that gives you time out. It’s super important, unless you are like Madonna and have the ability to slow the world down at will….

Much Love

Rachel xx

the classic indecisive libra

We talk of scales of justice, hanging in the balance,

Making right the wrongs of history, of movies made

That show the way we lived in black and white.

But what of technicolor futures, the places up ahead?

Surely scales are needed here, to weigh the choices to be made?

Are they not more important for the ones that follow us?

I wish that choices could be made with ease,

But brains like ours are split in two, with sides both warring,

Neither one can Trump the other, does it really matter?

Life will roll out just the way it should.

The movie’s made already, we’re all just waiting

For the director’s final cut.

Bloody hell, I’ve got a bit of a a tough decision to make. And I’m a classic Libran in that I don’t make decisions very easily. Even trying to decide what chocolate bar I want as part of my meal deal can be a real struggle.

Now I’m faced with a career decision and it feels like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. Basically, I have to decide whether I want to teach secondary or primary age children and I have to make my decision pretty sharpish.

What makes it so difficult is the very fact that I have thought so hard about both career paths and I can see pros and cons for both. I just have to bite the bullet and write my future. It’s such a big thing, but then I genuinely think our paths are already set out before us so perhaps I should just follow my heart and just trust that it’ll all be taken care of.

It’s also got me thinking about our past in the wider sense, and where we all might be travelling to in the future. It goes without saying that mistakes have been made along the way, but then we’re all still here so somebody or something must be watching over us and making sure we’re OK, right?

I do feel for the people who are in real positions of power at the moment as my little decision is nothing compared with what they are facing. They are going to be shaping the future of the world and I pray that they can take the time to look back on history and learn.

Saying that, I will be teaching kids no matter what age group I choose so I guess that I will also be shaping the future in my own little way. It just goes to show that we all have our parts to play and you can never underestimate the importance of your own role in the world.

Much Love

Rachel xx