Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bouncing HeartToday is St Dwynwen's DayBouncing Heart

Dwynwen - the patron saint of Welsh lovers - lived in the 5th Century, one of 24 daughters of King Brychan Brycheiniog. The legend of Dwynwen tells of a Welsh maiden who fell in love with a prince, Maelon Dafodrill, who intended to wed her. But their marriage was not to be.
It is claimed Dwynwen had wanted to become a nun. She turned to God for help and dreamt that she was administered a sweet drink, which immediately saved her from Maelon's attentions. When the same drink was given to Maelon he was turned into a statue of ice.
Again she prayed, she was given three wishes - the first was that Maelon be unfrozen, the second was that she should never marry, and the third was that God should answer all requests made by her on behalf of lovers. That is why she is known throughout the country as the Patron of lovers in Wales.
Valentine FlowersAnd Pete gets full marks for turning up at my door this afternoon with a lovely bunch of flowers :) What a sweetie.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Silly me...

I've been reading Exodus for the past week or so, and seeing how God had a purpose for Moses's life, how He prepared him for it, sent him away to have a quiet 40 years as a shepherd in the desert, then came to him personally. God Himself came and spoke to Moses, told him the whole plan of redemption for the Israelites from Egypt, and told him he was going to lead them out. God tells Moses His name, Yahweh, the LORD, who is and always was and always will be. He tells Moses He's going with him. And what does Moses do? He has a mare and says 'no thanks, send someone else!'. So God tells him again, I'm in control, I'll give you the words to say. And Moses still isn't buying it. So God is angry with Moses, but shows grace, in getting Moses's big brother to come with him to Egypt. So eventually, Moses goes.

So I've been meeting up with a friend in church for a few months, we've read thru Genesis together, and now we're studying Exodus. We keep seeing God's immense power, His sovereignty, His grace, His trustworthiness, His love for His chosen people. And we see again and again how stupid people are - how slow to trust God, how slow to learn that He is faithful. And this past week we were talking about the bit I've just described, Exodus 1-4.

We talked about how God has a plan for our lives, and are we willing to go where He sends us? Do we trust Him, do we want to live for Him 100%, do we truly understand that His way is best? Do we want nothing more than to live a life that brings glory to God, or like Moses, do we hesitate when God calls us out of our comfort zones?

And here I've been, feeling sorry for myself because I have to stay on meds for another year, because to be honest I hate my illness, I want an easier life, sometimes the fight is just too hard. Being told I have to stay on meds as I've had so many episodes reminds me that this is my lot. Deep down I hope that I'll wake up one day and it'll be gone. But really what I'm saying is that I don't like the way God's doing things in my life. I want comfort, and He gives me this. (By the way, He also gives me many, many blessings which make the illnes much easier to bear).

So God calls me to a life where I have to trust Him for everything, where times are hard, but He uses them to bring me closer to Himself, and to minister to others in similar circumatances. So why do I complain??

Like the Israelites, I'm slow to learn that God is altogether good, trustworthy and faithful, that He loves me and has a plan for my life that is for my good and His glory.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Oh, bother....

Saw my doc this morning, and I'm not coming off the meds anymore. As I've had several 'episodes' I need to stay on them at least til the end of 2006. Poo! I want to be normal :(

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Coming off meds...

Ok, so here's the way it works: you get to the point where you're feeling stable, so you decide to come off the meds.

But this has to be done very slowly - this time, it will take me about a month to come off them, as you have to decrease the dosage slowly, or your body freaks out completely.

So during this month of lowering the dosage, my brain goes WHATS GOING ON?!!! and is generally confused, as it's serotonin levels are changing. So Rachel feels really strange, tired, sick, clumsy, weepy, etc while her brain adjusts to all this. So the feeling of 'ah, I'm so stable and don't feel at all crazy so it's time to come off the meds' is temporarily replaced by the feelings I've just mentioned.

So I need to remind myself that I am feeling better, cos for the next few weeks, I won't feel like it. But then it's worth it for that great feeling when I'm completely off the meds. Until next time.

You know it's a great encouragement that God never changes, that He's the same yesterday, today and forever - He is my firm foundation through all the storms of life :)

Here's a blast from my past - a poem I wrote when I first went crazy that got into an art exhibition called "Art works in mental health" 2003 - see page 2, Chloe Stranam (that's me, rearranged!).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Public Service Announcement. (Bing bong)

Rachel would like to draw your attention to the following things.

* Something to make you smile: Edward Monkton's lovely gallery of profundities

* Something decent to stick on your stereo: David Gray's latest album, Life in Slow Motion. It's just gorgeous.

* Something excellent to read: John Richardson's God, Sex and Marriage. Very biblical, extremely helpful!

* Something dire to read, but probably useful to know something about: Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. A real page-turner, but mostly full of fluff. Heretical fluff, that is.

* Something good to read after you've read that: Christianity Today article on where we really get the Bible from, in response to Dan Brown's aforementioned fluff.

* Something to listen to on striving for godliness: Sermon on 1 Cor 9, (select Jan 1st evening semon.)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Another year has now begun
With silent pace its course to run;
Our hearts and voices let us raise
To God in prayer and songs of praise.

Father, Thy bounteous love we bless,
For gifts and mercies numberless;
For life and health, for grace and peace,
For hope of joys that never cease.

O Son of God, in faith and fear
Teach us to walk as strangers here,
With hearts in heaven, that we may come
To where Thou art, our Father's home.

Grant us, O Comforter, Thy grace,
And speed us on our earthly race,
In body, spirit, and in soul,
Right onward to the heavenly goal.

Thou, Lord, who makest all things new,
O give us hearts both pure and true;
That we, as jewels, ever Thine,
In new Jerusalem may shine.

Blest Three in One, to Thee we pray;
Defend and guide us on our way;
That we at last with joy may see
The new year of eternity!

Christopher Wordsworth