Act One – Set Out

Freely you have received; freely give.”

Matthew 10: 8 

I’ve been thinking about Lent for the past few weeks, and what I should abstain from this year. In the past I’ve given up alcohol, chocolate, sweets and social media. I have a sense that God want’s me to do something a bit different this year, so I’ve signed up to 40acts. If you haven’t heard of it before, here’s a little taster of what it’s all about:

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17 dozen eggs

This week has been quite an eventful one, full of challenges. After completing the London Winter Run on Sunday, my usual hip pain was surprisingly mild following the 10k. However, I’d already booked in to have ultrasound guided injections on Monday. It wasn’t as painful as I anticipated, however I did have to jump on the treadmill for 10 minutes to check whether it had worked. I don’t think my legs were quite ready for exercise again so soon.

Wednesday was an early start to get the first bus to the train station to get in to London. The company I work for sends a couple of volunteers over to Whitechapel Mission once a week to help cook and serve breakfasts to the homeless. This is the second time I’d signed up for the rota, and on this occasion I was on egg duties. By 9:30am I’d fried approximately 200 eggs to varying specifications.

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Running with polar bears and penguins

Last year I signed up to do the 10k London Winter Run for Cancer Research UK. At the time I’d run the 5k Race for Life with Millie, and several Park Runs. This seemed like an achievable next step, but my hip had other plans.

A few months ago I started suffering with hip pain and began some physiotherapy in November to get it sorted before the Winter Run. What I thought would be a few weeks of physio turned into months and an MRI scan.

Despite not getting the bottom of the hip issue, and doing virtually no running in 3 months (and I’ve only ever run as far as 7k), I felt determined to do the race. It was never going to be a record breaking time, but if I could just complete the course…

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The best Christmas present

I really enjoy sharing my thoughts on here, and so much has happened in the past few months! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted, so a lot of catching up to do. I’ll try and keep my posts short and sweet!

During our annual trip to the New Wine United summer conference with my church, I really felt God urging me to learn the guitar. I have never even picked one up before, let alone play! I can’t read music and don’t know about the theory. But I am part of our Worship Group at church and sing regularly. I mentioned quietly to James how I felt God was challenging me with this, so he very kindly made His suggestion into a reality by giving me a guitar for Christmas.

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Emerging from under the covers

After being stuck in the depths of migraine for the past 2 days, the fog finally began to lift this afternoon. I cannot begin to describe the frustrations of being stuck in a darkened room for hours, especially during the summer months. Having to block out the glorious sunshine and wishing that the birds would stop their tweet-tweet-tweeting in an effort to lessen the stabbing pain behind my left eye.

There is a feeling of complete helplessness as the world carries on around you. And all I want to do is close my eyes and pray for it to lift. The second round of Rizatriptan finally did the trick today, but I’m left in a fuzzy bubble for the next few hours as the medication wears off.

So in an effort to shrug off the fog, I went for a brisk walk to clear out the cobwebs. I came across a giant dandelion clock on my travels, and it really reminded me of how I’m feeling.

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An open letter to my father

Dear Dad

I always find myself with mixed feelings at this time of year. With Father’s Day fast approaching, it’s a bitter sweet reminder of how blessed I am to have had you as my Dad, and how sad I am that you were only around for 24 years of my life.

It’s been 12 years since I last held your hand on that humid, stormy summers night. The lightening illuminated the sky and the thunder boomed and cracked, as the heavens were preparing to open for you.

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Race for life, race for love

I’ve been training hard for the Chelmsford Race for Life, I’m out 3 times a week and really enjoying the challenge. I’m not sure I’ll be able to run 5k in 30 minutes by 10 July (in hindsight, a bit of a tall order for a newbie!) but I’ve definitely made improvements on my pace over the past few weeks.

I entered my first Park Run this Saturday. What an amazing group of volunteers who put this event on every week, come rain or shine. Despite the humidity, I managed a time of 34 mins 36 sec. Running with others really changes your mindset. I’m usually quite good at pacing myself, but I was swept away with everyone and found the last kilometre quite an effort. I was really pleased with the outcome, despite the young girl who sprinted the last 100 metres to pip me on the finish line!

James and the kids came to cheer me on; it was great to have their support, especially for my first Park Run. Definitely the first of many.

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But as I’ve been training, a different, unexpected challenge has arisen.

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