Friday, 28 November 2008

Remember the curtains?

The ones that I had cancelled because of my awful measuring due to low self esteem with soft furnishings?

The ones where after I had phoned the shop to stop the order, I actually went back into the shopto the shop to confirm in person that they were wrong and gave then the right measurements that they actually put into the computer while I actually sat there?

Guess what's waiting for me at the shop?

After a fairly calm phone conversation today I have to go back to the shop on Monday to face my soft furnishing nemesis, as she had a day off today!

Hmmm, I actually have no words right now.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Woo Hoo - it's a zipedee do dah day! ( stolen from The Life You've Always Wanted)

I'm not massively well read, and it's all pretty mainstream, but a number of books I have limped through since the Summer have all converged today.

Put your seatbelts on and get ready to scream!

'We are in a war between dulness and astonishment. The most critical isse facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racisim, sexuality or schoool prayer.

The critical issue today is dullness.'

So says Robert Capon in The Astonished Heart - I'm currently re- reading Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconnelli ....

( I cannot recommend this book enough for those of us that need a reminder every now and again that, no matter how grown up, busy and important we might think we are, that we need to become 'like little children' to catch a glimpse of what God is fact it's because we are so grown up, busy and important that it is of paramount urgency that you read this book!)

Anyway he uses this exerpt, which continues...

'We have lost our astonishment. The Good News is no longer good news, it's okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing, it's life enhancing.

Jesus doesn't change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore, he changes them into 'nice people'.'

I don't quite believe that bit - I think people are still called to be crazy for Jesus, but life, exprectation of others, dare I say church tells us to grow up and conform.

GK Chesterton suggests this:

'It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike: it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. '

I LOVE that.

Naive, innocent, playful, happy, risky, wide eyed - the easy option?

Do you want to change the world? ( one of my work collegue's favourite questions)

If so, I dare you to live in dangerous amazing wonder one day this week, or more if yu can manage it. Please let me know how you get on.

Dangerous Wonder is out of print now, but you can purchase on Amazon or E Bay second hand - it's how I got mine. ISBN 1-57683-128-0

Monday, 10 November 2008

Out of My Dunelm Mill.

So, for far too many years the curtains in our bedroom have been AWFUL - they actually grate against my sensibilities, but I haven't had the time to sort them out.

Actually that is a huge excuse - what I meant to say was, I haven't had the courage to sort them out. Me and soft furnishings just do NOT go together.

The other issue is that our walls are made from cottage cheese so the curtain track is not at the top of the window, but actually within the window frame, meaning that the header tape needs to be 6 inches below the top of the curtain which equals Custom Made Curtains, which possiby equals a lot of money.

Frustratingly,I can't just wander into a shop, purchase ready mades and walk out - oh no , I have to speak to someone about it and I don't know the language - it's pathetic really!

So, today I had a day off and I took a deep breath, after spending the morning in prayer - I'm not kidding, but that's for another blog maybe and I wasn't just praying about curtains - I went to the local Dunelm Mill to chat things through.

After explaining what I needed to a helpful and friendly lady and making it very clear that I wasn't at all confident in this area, by actually saying, 'I am not at all confident in this area', to which she responded, 'You and me both, love' , she told me that she couldn't help me because they only did 6 inch header tape at the TOP of their curtains and that facility was only available in the Platinum Range, and something about me must have told her that I just wasn't a Platinum Range kid of girl.

However, she knew some people who could help me and escorted me round the corner to the Custom Made Section - my heart sank!

I had to tell my woeful tale again to a young lady who sucked through her teeth and had to refer to someone else, then beckoning me over to explain for the 3rd time what I thought I needed. I said, in a hopeful way that I couldn't possibly be the only person with this problem/. opportunity, but the looks on their three A level sewing faces told me that I was, and that they would have to ring the Custom Makers in Leicester to find out if this had ever been done before, while indicating to me that the Custom Makers were a touchy bunch who don't like change essentially. They are not even in transition!

At this point, I just want run away and I make the fatal error of telling them that that some other curtains in our house were made by a kind friend who didn't even flinch when I told her my problem - however the curtains I that I now need are really too big to ask her again.

They ask me to wait and slope off!

They return telling me that the Custom Makers are at lunch and can I come back? I know that if I walk out of this place, I will not return, so I helpfully suggest that I will browse around and maybe get a coffee, in their quite nice cafe. ( Another blog...hilarious!)

Eventually, I go back and one of the girls looks at me - she's in the middle of remembering a number - so she points at me and nods, then writes the number down and disappears.

I am asked twice if I need help (!) and respond by saying that I think I am already being helped, but am not quite sure, and then some one shouts, 'Is there a lady in a pink jumper out there?' (A dusty pink hoodie if you dont mind, but there you go)

Hurrah, they can help me,I am asked to go a choose the material I'd like and in a flash, it seems, my order is being taken.

I ask how much, expecting a substantial amount and recieve a lovely surprise - nowhere near as much as I thought, so I check the measurements again and it's all correct.

So, in four weeks time, there will be an update, but I feel quite grown up at the moment - I have ordered some curtains - a milestone!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Remind me why I worry?

Surviving Your Schedule by Rick Warren
An intelligent person aims at wise action, but a fool starts off in many directions. Proverbs 17:24 (TEV)

*** *** *** ***
Do you ever get to the end of your day and think “Did I accomplish anything today?” Where does all the time go? ( Nodding frantically!)

If you don’t master your schedule, it will master you. Here are three suggestions from the Bible for reducing the stress of your schedule:

Line up your priorities. Obviously, you don’t have time to do everything. You must make choices. You must decide what’s really important and what isn’t. Take some time to consider the direction of your life.

· “It is stupid to waste time on useless projects” (Proverbs 12:11 TEV).

· “You may make your plans, but God directs your actions” (Proverbs 16:9 TEV).

Lighten up your attitude. Do you really have to do everything on your to-do list? No one is holding a gun to your head. ( PHEW - I needed to hear that!) A lot of your stress is self-imposed. The Bible says that God gave us humor as a stress reliever.

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up” (Proverbs 12:25 NLT).

“A relaxed attitude lengthens life; jealousy rots it away” (Proverbs 14:30 NLT).

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength” (Proverbs 17:22 NLT).

Look up to God. Stress is always a warning light that you’ve taken your focus off God and are looking at your problems from your limited viewpoint. I believe the single greatest cause of stress is this: We take ourselves too seriously and we don’t take God seriously enough!
Need more time in your schedule?

“Fear of the Lord lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short” (Proverbs 10:27 NLT).

“Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a place of refuge for their children” (Proverbs 14:26 NLT).

This helped me today - it might help you!