learn to resist
eat more veg
be on time
phone the bank
read my Bible
call my mother
stop losing things
spend time on my appearance
take prayer seriously
write a letter
clean under the settee
switch my phone off
Definitely next week.
But for now I
love my family
answer the phone
get up early
make my friends laugh
read a bedtime story
wonder about God
Though I really should
learn to resist
eat more veg
be on time…
I fear I may have reached the pinnacle of my career. This morning I issued a press release with the word ‘boobs’ in the headline. That’s it. I can die a happy press officer.
Plus, it’s for a very important cause - please lend your support to the No More Page 3 campaign here.
Because boobs aren’t news.
I’m currently working away from home at the Methodist Conference in Birmingham. While the Church has been debating leadership, same sex marriage and statistics (all v important), the World Health Organisation has called an emergency meeting to address the Ebola virus that has been sweeping across West Africa.
As it turns out, the Revd Musa Jambawa (the former General Secretary of the Methodist Conference of Sierra Leone) is here in Birmingham. He and partnership coordinator Olubunmi Olayisade spoke to me about how the virus is affecting the country.
I was blown away by the story Musa has to tell - please listen and pray.
Please note: some may find the content of this interview upsetting.
Today is the first anniversary of the death of my dear friend and colleague Dina.
I remember very clearly the day I heard the news of Dina’s passing. It was a Sunday, only about a month after the birth of my son. Ordinarily I would be at church, but we we due to host our NCT group reunion at lunchtime, so Jim had taken Baby T to church while I got the house ready. I’d just stepped out of the shower when I had a call from Dina’s mum - her daughter had died early that morning.
Three hours later my house was crammed full with tiny babies and their tired and joyful new parents. A very sad, wonderful, strange day.
Today I met Dina’s mum for coffee. She had been to synagogue on Saturday to spend some time remembering her daughter. The solemnity of her task was somewhat interrupted by an elderly couple celebrating their wedding anniversary. The woman of the couple was apparently dressed in the most outrageous outfit, featuring a gold lamé top, gold-trimmed boots and gold nail varnish. We laughed at how Dina would have loved that. In my head, she’s practically on the floor in fits: “God, Anna, you should have SEEN her!!”
It has been a hard year for those who love Dina, but the community they’re a part of has surrounded them with love and support. Dina’s mum is open and articulate about her pain. She knows I have a faith and asked me, “How do you make sense of it [Dina’s death]?”
My friends know me as a compulsively honest person.
"I don’t. I can’t make sense of it. It feels like nonsense to me."
"But how do you live with it?"
"I guess I try to live in the nonsense. I know God’s big enough for our grief and our questions and our anger. But I can’t make sense of it."
I am pleased I could give Dina’s mum an honest response to her question, but I am slightly ashamed by the lameness of my answer.
I believe that God is good. I want to believe that God is in control and that all of this somehow fits into a grand universal plan, that everything happens for a reason. But I am a bear of very little brain and I can’t understand how that could be. I don’t understand what possible divine reason there could be for a parent having to face the death of their child.
Part of me feels that my answer betrays the fragility and weakness of my faith. No doubt a wiser, more faithful Christian would have known what to say, what to believe.
But here I am, living in the nonsense, remembering how Dina used to laugh.
Home made raspberry cupcakes for the poorly birthday boy #100happydays
1st ever haircut #100happydays
Away from my boys for two nights at the Methodist Council but this morning we had a lovely breakfast together before I had to catch my train #thankful #100happydays
This makes preparing for this weekend’s #methodistcouncil meeting that little bit easier :) #thankful #100happydays
Choc mousse, wine and Masterchef #100happydays #thankful