hoping you’ve had a lovely May wherever you are and that June is just as great or even better!
I have been gone (and will continue to be for a bit longer) because I’m currently in the middle of my exams. let’s just say being a student has just gotten a lot less fun but I’m sure it’ll all work out in the end, God willing. this is just one of those times where hobbies, like my beautiful little blog, need to take a break so I can focus better on uni.
thank you for sticking through this extremely dry season with me, I have so many post ideas waiting to come to life and lots happening this summer that I’m excited to share!
I was challenged by a podcast (non-apple link) I was listening to recently which got me thinking about wedding vows and their importance.
according to the world wide web, vows are compulsory in western churches and a shortened version of them is used for civil marriages in the UK. however it wasn’t always this way here and isn’t thing in many places around the world.
to me, vows are a spoken contract (or covenant) between an engaged couple. I think the spoken aspect is important because it means you can be held accountable, by your spouse, the people who were there and for people of faith, God. making it even more important that you mean what you say…
today, apparently it’s a thing to write your own vows which I think is amazing because it forces the couple to sit and actually agree on what they’re in this for. which brings me back to the podcast.
the speaker, David, said he asks couples a question (I assume when counselling them?) that would totally suck out all the adorable, rom-com-esque emotions any engaged couple was feeling…
what are the circumstances under which you would divorce them [your fiancé]?
David Marvin, The Porch Podcast
although it sounds harsh it made me stop and seriously think about one of the most iconic and heavy lines in vows, ‘til death do us part‘.
while I don’t know how many people getting married here said those words on their big day, I do know that in 2017 roughly 8 in 1000 het couples got divorced (totals to over 100,000) and the average marriage lasts about 12 yrs. there is lots of context to these figures but I won’t go into it! I’ll make the assumption, based on this data that despite the best intentions, lots of married couples have things that would make them consider divorce.
I believe (and some Christians will disagree with me here) that there are situations when divorce is needed. they are (slightly extreme situations) when there’s infidelity or any form of domestic abuse. cheating is a difficult one because some couples can survive it, but domestic abuse is non-negotiable. if someone had the courage to leave such an environment the last thing I would do is send them back on the grounds of their marriage vows.
so does this mean if I ever walked down the aisle I shouldn’t say ’til death do us part’? is it the intentions that matters more? or are traditional wedding vows now outdated in todays society?
let me know your thoughts in the comments, I’m still working this all out myself! 🙂
So, a whole week later than planned (very sorry) here is the first instalment of this series!
Top on my list is … Wales, UK!
This was originally just going to be Cardiff, which has firmly inched into my list of favourite cities in the world, until I got dragged on an impromptu family bonding trip to north Wales and remembered my love of the region and hiking.
Wales may not be as much of a tourist magnet as other European countries but it’s defiantly worth a visit if you’re local (defined as anywhere in Europe) especially if you love a cheap drink, an amazing range of eating places and a bit of rain!
Next on the list is … Jameela Jamil
She’s an actress and activist and the latter is the reason I love her! If you want to know more about her story I so recommend listening to her interview on a podcast called Ways to Change the World (link to video of the same interview but it can also be found in podcast apps!).
Cliff notes version though, she’s made it her mission to call out celebrities who uphold unrealistic beauty standards and essentially get paid off us mere mortals being insecure. She’s also started an instagram called I-Weigh to remind women that our value is most definitely not in the number we get when we stand on a scale.
Honestly I could go on forever but I’m sure I’ll be mentioning her a few more times on my blog, I’ll leave you with this as a flavour of the kind of excitement she brings into my life…
Saving the best for last, my last love is … Easter!
It’s been an odd one with Easter being quite late this year but the weather in the UK has been amazing (rare so I’m very grateful) which makes a lovely end to Lent. I know plenty of people who have been waiting for this day to get back to eating nice things they’d given up!
As a Christian, this season is so amazing because it’s the foundation of our faith. At the most basic level, it teaches us that most of the time the end of one thing (death of Jesus in this case) often marks the beginning of something new. This doesn’t make the ending any less painful, I can’t imagine what people who knew him felt watching him die, but it gives us so much hope for the future.
So even if life is hitting you hard right now, there will be end and I hope it leads to greater things…
this ended up wayyyy longer than planned! if you have any feedback please drop it in the comments, its much needed. thank you for sticking it out, have a lovely Easter and week and hopefully you’ll be back soon
apart from the first shot, I do not own any of the images in the post. cred for the feature image as always goes to Paweł Czerwiński
in the name of blogging more I’ve decided to bring back a classic from my old blog with a couple changes. there was a tag called ‘What I’m Loving‘ where every once in a while I would list the things 15 year old me loved. although it was cheesy and most of the time so superficial it hurts to read back, I think it may actually be what I need to foster some thankfulness in my life.
this post won’t have any loves, it’s just to introduce the idea and give you a quick idea of what’s coming…
too often, I get overwhelmed by the bad stuff happening in life and activities like this – which force me to sit down and think about what’s good in my life really help give me perspective. this won’t fix the problems by any means and it’s not meant to mask them either, it’ll hopefully bring sunshine and a smile to weeks I’d otherwise rather forget.
what type of content will I be sharing?
technically, anything that catches my eye and brings me joy that week (obvious answer) but there are some categories that tend to do that more often so will make repeat appearances. Cliff notes version, you’ll probably see lots of music, podcasts, crafty/journal stuff, travel, books (inc. le bible) & nature… & FOOD!
how often will I post?
with exams coming up, every fortnight. as much as I would love to do more, I know I don’t have the time but freedom is coming mid June so if I’m still enjoying it the frequency may increase.
can’t think of any other questions, hopefully the first post will be out by April 14th!
some time last year I wrote the post mirror, mirror about my rocky relationship with social media. thought it was time for an update
in January I deleted instagram completely on a whim, it was during church and came out of nowhere but in that moment I was just done. I was done with not feeling good enough and pretending I didn’t care that I wasn’t good enough while knowing I cared too much.
instagram is a world of its own, I went into it soon after it launched when life was much simpler. my first picture was actually of the trees behind my school and the only people I followed were Justin Bieber & my then best friend. the place I left was very different, one full of pressures coming from all directions (a whole post by itself).
this small act is what I needed to do to help myself. in the last few months I have found myself comparing so much less and relying more on my faith (which I’m aware not everyone has) to affirm who I am. I am not perfect, but I never needed to be, there’s a verse in the bible that reminds me of this every time I read it
When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
bible NLT, Mark 2:17
disclaimer: struggling with comparison or any self worth issues doesn’t make you a sinner. what I love about this verse is that it’s literally saying that my faith is based on saving those who do not have it all together (me).
to make all this official I re-downloaded the app to say my goodbyes (since I had left abruptly) then deleted it again. these are the words I shared and they are so true to what I’m feeling.
apparently, a picture says a thousand words, but too often on insta those weren’t always the words I wanted to hear or say. my relationship with the app has changed the older I’ve got and that came with unexpected & unnecessary comparison. so I’m officially taking a break, I’ll be back when the times right.
this isn’t a call for all people to delete instagram, plenty of people use the app well and enjoy it but I know that too many people stay even though its hurting them. if you’re one of those people it’s okay to take a break, even if its just for a day.
generally, things that make you doubt your worth don’t deserve your time. sometimes you realise that something/someone you thought was neutral or even good for you has moved into that category. when it’s a thing, feel no guilt about removing it from your life. people are obviously more complicated but unless its abusive I would always go for dialogue before distance.
a friend in the same position as me sent me this video, it expressed everything I’ve been feeling but struggling to express. watch and share, then remind yourself and your friends that they’re beautiful, whenever you can, and watch them bloom
to my detriment, I have always been one of those people who absolutely destroy their sleep, eating and social cycles in the name of a good grade. I obviously don’t know what ‘balance‘ is or should look like in my life because I just keep doing what I’ve been doing all year, all while being more stressed.
as I go into exam season, I worry I’m just going to fall into the same cycles and crash the moment I’m home for summer. the things I don’t at all want to let slip are revision, going to church and making time for my friends, but from the sounds of that I need to give up sleeping and food which isn’t sensible. everything I am juggling feels too important to drop, even if it’s just for a season.
I could argue though, that it’s worked for me so far… but I want to move away from always being busy, not really being interrupt-able (for good reasons not procrastination, another problem of mine). I am already sick of being stressed and worried, and I’m yet to receive 2019 shot of both.
if anyone has any tips on how to survive the next three months of uni please send them my way. at this point I will try everything. and if anyone wants to pray for me, I’ll be eternally grateful!
Every day, month and year I have lived since then has been an utter blessing. Even if it didn’t feel that way in the moment.
The months leading up to April 2016 were my hell, I spent every day wishing that it was my last and praying for the deep brokenness I felt to end. But it was relentless. Life was relentless with how it held onto me despite my battle with it.
That April was rock bottom, I lost one of the most important people in my life without the chance to say goodbye. I felt guilty, robbed and taunted simultaneously, like God was pushing buttons up there waiting to see which one broke me.
In hindsight though, losing Gogo – who this blog is named after – was also what starting the long process of healing me. It somehow saved me and I’m forever indebted to her for that.
In 2019 this healing process is still incomplete but I’m so much more patient & hopeful despite the lows. And I pray that whatever you’re going through, you get to see it through with God leading you every step of the way, however that looks for you.