Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Thursday, 23 April 2015
Monday, 9 June 2014
I want to be honest in this blog, as I have been so far. The reason I haven't written anything in so long I think is because I don't know what to say. Not because there's nothing to say, more because I'm not sure what to share and what to hold back because I don't know how people will react to my thoughts. I've guess been having some trust issues recently and it's seeping into every aspect of my life.
As I said in my last post, this year has been difficult. I keep being faced with weird situations, I feel like I'm constantly confronted with things that test my patience, integrity and make me question my faith.
Yes, I said I question my faith.
Whilst some people may read that and instantly understand what I mean, I still feel like admitting it is taboo. I could imagine some people raising their eyebrows at me as though I just admitted to joining a coven instead of going to church. But, honestly, I don't care.
I felt as though I needed to run away, to be on my own, to 'find myself' rather than physically confront my issues. I always laughed when people said they needed to 'find' themselves because, you know, they're right in front of you saying that pretentious crap. But I slap my wrist for it now because honestly, I don't know who I am. I'm trying this thing where I put myself first and actually think about what I like, what I want to do, where I want to go, and who I want to be around. I was brought up believing that Joy was putting Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. I still believe that (or do I just think that I should?) I'm just not sure we should do it before we figure out how to actually put ourselves anywhere.
My friend reads a lot of philosophy. I studied some philosophy at Uni and got intensely frustrated because it all seemed so unresolved and open-ended. I now see that of course it is unresolved because philosophy is thinking. Due to its very nature it never ends, never stands still. And now, I'm ok with that. I believe in a God who is unchanging enough for the both of us, I'm just trying to figure out what that actually means for me, and where it will take me next.
Thursday, 27 March 2014
Long story short: this year so far I have lost my handbag including purse, passport, Bible and phone in it just before I was due to go to the ABSS retreat in Gemunden, and this last week I lost my job which I loved and took for granted that it would set me up working full time over the summer.
This time of year is particularly interesting as Mother's Day draws near and shops are glorified with 'special gifts' for the 'most special person on the planet'. Needless to say it pains me a bit when I remember that my most special person is no longer on the planet, and hasn't been for quite some time now.
I have had innumerable freak-outs this year, to which my love Scott will confirm, but I have been humbled in the way he encourages me to be strong when I feel that the world is telling me I'm worthless, stupid and unwanted. Sometimes it's easy to think we're alone in this world, being victimised by others. Scott reminds me that I am not alone, and I have overcome so much already - too much to give up now.
It is easier to believe criticism than it is to remember compliments and, surprisingly enough, I'm really going to try harder at keeping a positive attitude when faced with challenges.
Looking back over my previous posts I know that I have been blessed with a family so great and strong that no matter where I am, even 300 miles away from my hometown, I have a home wherever they are. For that, I am grateful, and I know things will get better soon.
If you have a very weak stomach, don't watch this - it contains zombies...
If you happen to not mind zombie images, give this a go, it's pretty good!
Saturday, 16 November 2013
In Clarkston gospel meeting on Saturday, I made these notes...
John 8:31-37 (NLT)
'Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth," Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. Everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message.'
Martin Luther Kings speech 50 years ago this August. The first famous sentences are as follows...
"I still have a dream... one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed and say, 'We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.'"
The hairs on our necks stand up when we hear the first sentences of that speech. The idea of a free world is magnificent. For all of us. How is it that there is a universal understanding of freedom? We ALL have a need, a desire, to be free. But free from what? How is it that 7 billion people, who started from just two with nothing but the earth and it's produce, came to the point of despising and exploiting eachother?
We ALL have a need to be free, free from oppression, from all the 'ists and 'fobics' you can conjour, free from each other. But I believe it's something bigger than that. All of us have a need to be free from sin.
If only we freed ourselves from selfishness, pride, dishonesty and greed businesses would be fairly run and governments would be honorable and kind to their people. What seems to me like a simple solution of the world's problems of course is complex when I think of my own life and my own sin. Multiplying my sins by 7 billion I see quickly that it's no wonder the world is so messed up. But thank God that we have a Saviour able to clear a world of debt. Thank God we have a Father who loves us more than Himself. Sometimes it feels as though there is no way out but there is always light at the end of the tunnel if only we look up to Him.
The Speech: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Have_a_Dream
Saturday, 10 August 2013
So yes, I'm working a couple of days a week and loving settling into my new flat and getting to know my flatmate. One thing I would request is for some prayers that my student finance gets sorted out. Some misunderstandings and lack of correct advice has meant my application may not get in on time so I'm still 'concerned' on that front. Lord willing, all will be fine, and I'm assuming He wants me to get my degree...
Throughout July I was trying to sort out a flat for me to move into and found one, as well as working and packing! My sister came back from her epic journeys in Central America and Texas and we (again) saw some American friends in London. I had the girls from work over one night and we had some amazing chats, and I also received leaving gifts from three of them <3 It's funny how you can make such good friends in such little time!
My Dad drove me up with my sister at the end of July as we all went to Camp Tayside for a week. The morning we were due at camp I had an interview at the coffee house and a trial shift set up for the Monday after camp. Held inbetween Dundee and Forfar Camp Tayside is a summer camp for 8-17 year olds run by the Dundee congregation and other Young Adults in the UK. This year we had a couple from the States, of whom Jason was the main speaker at the week. The theme was 'I AM News' and we acted as a news team researching and reporting on this 'Jesus character' from the first century. It was such a good week, really uplifting to see young children so intrigued about our Saviour and encouraging to see them lifting one another up. I was a councillor alongside one of my great friends Amy and we had a room of wonderful girls who were cheeky and funny and made it a week full of smiles.
The Monday after camp I had a trial shift at the café and the next day I had my first shift. Needless to say it's been one busy month so far.
I'm going to a wedding reception tomorrow of one of my good friends in Dundee, she was my boss a couple of years ago so we go back a while and it'll be an experience as she's Muslim so the ceremony, décor and dress will be interesting, I'm excited. And I'm sure I'll post pictures for those interested.
As far as Thoughts of Shelly Marie goes I've not had any revelations lately, perhaps except that I've learned that things will work out - one way or another. I reiterate from my last post that we are not alone, and I'm excited to get back to writing my book.
Now I have my own space and time to myself I think I can really get back into remembering, I got upset last Sunday because we sat in church and we sang something about getting to heaven one day and I thought to myself again 'Mum's already there'. It still gets me that she's not here, I really find it hard to grasp that I can't ring her and tell her what (flatmate) Claire's like, and I can't ask her what colours I should accentuate in my bathroom. I can't tell her what Scott's cousin's wedding was like or tell her about the cool crafty things they had and I can't tell her that I miss her. It's just strange, and I wish it were different, and I wonder if I'll ever know why.
But I'll trust in the One who makes all things and knows all things and hope that I'm on the right path.
Be safe, stay excellent, thanks for reading. x
Check these out as well if you like:
My boy's new tune (he's working on his band's album!) Unheard Song:
[Also listen to his cover of God Only Knows originally by the Beech Boys. It's fabulous. And it's stuck in my head!]
And an interesting article 'My Husband Is Not My Soulmate':
Friday, 28 June 2013
When not working as a Barista:
I travelled to and back from Scotland three times this month and have spend 3/4 Sunday church services with the congregation in East Kilbride.
I went to London twice this month as well, both times with at least one American contingent, giving them some deep British cultural education and wonderment.
I took a day trip to Cambridge with my American best friend. <3
I surprised one of my best friends for her son's first Birthday party in Dundee.
Co-made an amazing board game for Scott's Dad for Fathers Day.
And I lopped most of my hair off for charity.
So it's been a bit crazy.
But this is June. A wonderful name for a wonderful month.
I had promised to let you know how the whole 'hair chopping for Little Princess Trust' thing was going (apologies for not being more informative until now) but it is going and has been going amazingly. I GOT MY HAIR CHOPPED yesterday and I'm still feeling weird about not being able to twirl my locks at waist height but I'm so blessed and encouraged by everyone who has donated and taken part in this journey.
At a last check I have raised £243.08 and need £350 in total so we're doing pretty well! I am blown away with people's generosity in this and people's kindness in the whole thing. I will be donating 7''-15'' of hair with my layers so that's quite a lot, hopefully some little girl will enjoy some shoulder length curls. I'm excited for her (or him if he's a total little rock star)!
If you would still like to be involved please visit https://www.justgiving.com/Rachelle-Boyns and donate what you can. The money is so the wig can be made and any surplus will go towards funding other wigs as well so it'll definitely be used for a good thing.
Here's evidence of the chop (and a curly experiment)!
Back to some Thoughts of Shelly Marie:
One thing that has definitely been on my mind throughout the whole month is trust. I am now in a long distance relationship and find that things play on my mind perhaps more than they used to. We are most afraid of what we don't know, I guess. Two of my friends are about to go into long distance relationships as well and they share the same woes with me on this. Whilst it sounds like I'm talking about trust within the realms of fidelity and such I'm more thinking about trust in the sense of agreement. Each of us have essentially agreed to work together for the remainder of the closeness, whether that goes on for the rest of our lives or whether it passes us by. But 'what if...' is always the devil's advocate. What if one day the other person just finds you 'too much' for them to handle?
I find myself on emotional roller coasters still and I thought I would be more level headed by now (lol). I have a desire to be able to take care of myself because there have been times in these past 21 months when I have felt so alone, so helpless, and I don't ever want to feel that again.
I just had a conversation with my Dad about me moving back up to Dundee for Term starting back in September. I have nowhere to live at the moment, nor a confirmation of my student finance, nor a job lined up and I can't even access my University online account to check my modules to start prep work for classes. There is so much uncertainty about my return that right now that I get upset daily because it doesn't feel like it's going to happen. But it will. I have at least two months to get it sorted out and I know a lot can happen in two months...
I've not had the best run with close friends or boyfriends past - it's hard to admit to yourself that the other person just doesn't care enough - and I'm surprised time and time again when my problems turn into hindsight and when my worries are calmed by the guy I'm proud to call mine. I am reminded to count my blessings and am assured that everything will be ok - because I am not alone. In talking to my Dad he reassures me that as a family we leave no one behind, and I know that God is looking out for me too. I'm sure He's going to spring some cool plan on me last minute and I'll wonder why I ever worried in the first place. So trust. It's a lot, but I think if I work at it a whole bunch more things will feel a lot less than they are right now.
No one gets left behind, and we are never alone.
Monday, 3 June 2013
As many of you know my Mum passed away in 2011, not from cancer, but since then it has made me realise some of what others go through from different causes. I want to help people as and when I can and it just so happens that I have an abundance of hair that I'm finally willing to (mostly) part with. The charity Little Princess Trust is unique in that they literally give wigs to children who suffer from hair loss due to treatments for cancer. As one who has always had pride in my locks, I sympathise, and would like to do what little bit I can to maybe make one child's experience not so terrifying.
I hope to raise at least £350 as that is what is required to make the wigs free to those in need. Any excess would go towards others that the cost of which was not fully covered already.
I'm aiming to 'just do it' at the end of the month, but it'll be whenever I raise the money for it I think, so get donating and help change a life.
Friday, 31 May 2013
I haven't blogged in a long time and I apologise profusely, but life has been very busy lately. Work, friends getting married and I am just coming home from a week holiday in Glasgow to see friends and my now boyfriend (!).
It's all very exciting and I am so thankful to know that even after what I've been through I still find happiness and peace and joy in life.
Listening to music on the train home one of my favourite songs comes on by Eva Cassidy called 'I know you by heart' in which the lyrics tell of a true love, picturing someone dear from memory and feeling as if they're there - you know them by heart.
"You left in Autumn
The leaves were turning
I walked down roads of orange and gold.
I saw your sweet smile
I heard your laughter
You're still here beside me every day."
I worry that I will forget Mum, but I do know her by heart and I will learn more about her as we reminisce years on and as I learn more about how she shaped me.
I love the song because it makes me think of the idea of knowing someone by heart. Knowing what makes a person passionate, what makes them tearful, and knowing how to take care of them when they aren't so sure themselves. I have relied on people so much this past year and I fully appreciate the relationships I am blessed to be a part of.
I think it starts when you realise that you're not that strong on your own and then believing that that's OK, and then moves on when you accept that you are enough - more than enough - to be wholeheartedly loved by others. And it's wonderful. So wonderful.
So listen to that song, and feel the love...
Friday, 26 April 2013
It was a lovely day today with the most wonderful morning I've experienced in a long time with a perfect cool, still, air that greeted you ever so freshly. I got to work early so got my almond filter coffee and sat reading 'A Room Of Ones Own' by Virginia Woolf, smiling at one line which I knew my Dad would appreciate;
"If truth is not to be found on the shelves of the British Museum, I asked myself, where, picking up a notebook and a pencil, is truth?"
Anyhow, here is something I wrote just a few days ago...
21 April 2013
This morning I sat on the sofa in the living room drinking my morning tea and I thought for the first time so clearly 'I really miss Mum. And I can't believe she's gone.'
When I arrived at work yesterday after lunch I received a text message from Dad saying "About to take to the skies in a Tiger Moth. Love you. Xxx." Dad and his friend Paul had headed out to Duxford Imperial War Museum that morning and it had briefly crossed my mind that on such a fine day, and with Paul's profession providing him with over 3000 hours of flying experience, that their jaunt might result in appreciating the vehicles from more than just ground level. So when I received this text I thought 'Dear bless us all' in a Mum-like fashion and got on with my shift. A few hours later I felt my phone vibrate, alerting me of another text message, and having forgotten about the message from Dad and it suddenly rushed back to me and the thought crossed my mind that this text could be one of more emergency... As soon as that clicked, a quivering peace reached consciousness that said 'if so, at least he died doing what he loved most', and that surprised me.
I don't worry like I used to though, to be honest I don't see the point. I dont' worry about others as much because I realise I can not change their immediate path, all I can do is prepare myself to be ready to help with whatever consequences that may come.
I imagine that, should I be blessed with children, this mentality with rapidly repent but for now I will enjoy not worrying.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
So this morning I sat down on the sofa drinking my morning tea and I looked at the carpet with the dust bits on it, I thought of how I'll spend the rest of the day after church ceaning because when I get home from work in the week I'm exhausted. I thought of how Mum used to sit, with her tea on her lap, one leg over the other, with me, and how it seems a lifetime ago. It was actually 1/10th of my life ago, I think, and it occurs to me that when I'm 40 I would have lived more days without a Mum than with one, and how I have to accept it because 'that's life'.
Though I find it's not a hard thing to accept - 6 weeks ago I struggled to remember how many syrup and coffee shots were in a Caramel Macchiato compared with a flavoured Americano but now I can make drinks for hours without really thinking about it. I know how new habits can gasp fast and how some old habits die hard if you have no choice - but it's sometimes a hard thing to believe.
It's not a hard thing to accept but it's a hard thing to believe.
Saying that I think to when Christians take the communion and I think how it's not hard to know I'm forgiven, but believing it is another thing when I know what I've done.
Sunday, 14 April 2013
The story begins yesterday when I was ever waiting for the bus in the dry bitter morning weather and two older ladies walked to the stop and settled themselves to the left of where I was sitting. One of them leaned my way and said how she had just been commenting on how smart I looked (work trousers/shoes and winter coat/pashmina) to which I did kind of blush and say ‘thank you’ - I’m not quite used to compliments from strangers but it sure does brighten the morning a bit! She went on to say that I had a pretty face and how I’ve got everything going for me and probably had a line of boys after me and I said chuckling ‘may be, but only one that matters’
Long story short they were lovely ladies and I said how I’d lived in Eye my whole life, at the end of the street that I had seen them walking- the one with the porch. When we got into town we went our own ways but this morning I got on the bus and there they were again. I sat down and noticed the older one Hilary was on one of the side seats, she said hi and remarked about how we’re always going to bump into each other now. They were only going a few stops from when I got on so stood up to depart and she said with a kind face ‘I know where you live now. We figured it out. It was your Mum who died wasn’t it?’ And there it was.
We were not alone on the bus, by the way, it was actually almost full and it wasn’t quiet enough for her to whisper across the 5 seats between us so I guess that fact was learned to a lot of others this morning as well. In a mixture of surprise and embarrassment I replied ‘yes, yes it was’ and they got off the bus.
I was surprised because of where it was said but also because it didn’t make me want to sink into the ground. I don’t think there is anything that can prepare you for things like that, but 19 months on it’s really not so bad. Yes, yes it was my Mum’s hearse they saw creeping up the road with the man in a top hat walking in front, and yes, I was in the back of the limo dressed in black. But here I am, getting up at dawn and going to my new job, I am making new friends and loving old ones like never before.
Also, I saw this on Facebook and thought it was pretty accurate!
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
It is still going well and I have been enjoying my new routines, new responsibilities, new friends, and my new 'usual' of almond syrup in the filter coffee coupled with a cinnamon swirl mmm. As I have been enjoying these things, and with Easter now having been and gone, I have been thinking about 'newness'.
There is much value placed on the 'new' today, "out with the old in with the new" sort of thing. In the film 'I Could Never Be Your Woman' the character Mother Nature says that the way of life is that the younger you are the better you are because you're prettier, more agile, stronger etc, yet I'm partial to the ways of different cultures where a 'wise one' is consulted when dealing with community issues. Our Western society feeds off individual impulses and independent success but I think we are wrong in so many ways. I digress...
Whilst we get excited about new things and hastily throw away the old sometimes we forget that consistency and commitment is also what keeps the world spinning; Consistency in routine and in morals, and commitment to each task and relationship. I am trying to take this on board with even the simplest things - like finishing novels I started reading a year ago, and keeping on keeping on with this book... [Fuelled by my almond filter and cinnamon swirl!]
So basically my tid bit today is of course, make life exciting with newy newy newness - start of grandly, but remember to keep going and finish well!
Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Tuesday 26th March 2013
I am sitting in Starbucks at one of the high tables in the corner, looking out over my workplace before my shift starts in 14 minutes. I have just finished going through my blog posts, picking out recurring themes which may become chapters in my book - I’ll then gather the similar writings and make them legible with a bit more insight, we’ll see how it goes.
One theme I picked out I titled ‘Self-Strength’. It is the confidence we find in ourselves after rock bottom, and as much as it may sound like independence, I am not really sure such a thing exists...
So I wrote that and then had to go to work. I must apologise for being so out of the blog loop lately, but I will use the example above to explain why - I got a job! YAY! Barista at Starbucks and it's going so well. Made lots of friends and meeting new customers, getting to know the regulars, making amazing coffee etc., yeah it's all grand. I feel so blessed with this job, I'm having trouble trying to fit in all my other blessings like friends up North who are getting married and celebrating first Birthdays but to be honest it's a good problem to have.
I've had a couple of thoughts recently which I'd like to share with you. The one above about thankfulness but also the one above about my possible chapter: Self-Strength.
I have been thinking about it for a while, the idea of moving on after something in life grounds you, like my Mum passing away (a year and a half ago today). I have been thinking about what makes a person get back up and try again, whether the strength or 'independence' is a discovery one finds alone, or whether there's a lot more to it than that.
I have always believed in some form or another of 'the butterfly effect', the way that one thing changes another which can change another which can change another which leads to you and changes your life.
Sometimes miracles happen and we have the choice to accept or reject them, other times we are given blessings and we can chose to acknowledge them or give them up. Looking back over my life so far I can see the people who had been put in my life and I see their purpose. I can see the opportunities that were placed in my grasp and the outcome they had. I can also see when I ignored advice, when I went a way I knew I shouldn't have, and yet I am now OK.
I will never give up hoping that the best is yet to come, I will never give up on those I hold dearest, and I will never give up trying to be the best me I can be. Why? Because I am not alone. I can see where other's worked for me or with me for my successes and I remember the people who help pick me back up.I have been given so much that I have no excuse to give up but every excuse to give over. Give over to something bigger than yourself; give over, and give back.
Here is a cute example of not giving up/finding strength in giving over:
Aaaaand here's a video I came across this week...
Kid President spreading the love and meeting some amazing people: