I’ve turned my Monthly Praise Posts into a link up to encourage you (yes, you) to write up your own post about what God has been doing in your life this month. You can find out more below.
July has been a month of two definite halves. It has also been a month where the run up to the move north in September has gone up a gear, as I’ve finished at youth club and sorted out accommodation. However, what will make this month stand out is the Keswick Convention. I might go every year but this year has been different to normal. No less incredible but full of convictions about where I stand with God and my relationship with Jesus. I’ll be sharing a little more about that later but for now let’s see what went on during July.
- I spent a wonderful morning with my Mum going round Bath for a bit of a browse and some shopping.The fact that I was able to actually walk around Bath was a blessing as I had fallen over while out running, resulting in two grazed huns, a severely grazed knee and huge black eye complete with cut. (I purposely took a photo hiding the developing black eye.) So although I was a bit stiff walking around the shops, I was so happy to be able to walk and not have injured myself in a worse way.
- So the photo isn’t exactly obvious but this is my view of the stage at the Globe Theatre. My sister is totally amazing and gave me three tickets to see Taming of the Shrew in London. Even better, as it was a relaxed performance there was a Q&A at the end covering everything from making the theatre accessible to those who may not be able to cope with “traditional theatre rules” to how they staged the performance. The actual performance was amazing but really difficult to watch at times as it highlighted the treatment of women by men in a way that we would see as abusive today. Jessie, Catherine, my theatre companions for the day, and I all have somewhat feminist leanings of different degrees so found it uncomfortable at times. However, that didn’t make performance any less engaging. If anything, I think it shows just how theatre can stimulate and challenge conversations.
- I bought myself a new maxi skirt! So of course I wanted to show it off. It is one of those small blessings that we are always forgetting in wealthier countries that we have luxuries like new clothes on hand so easily. A case could have definitely been made for why I didn’t need a new skirt but I liked it so I bought it. As I write this, there are two ways my thinking can go: I can just continue buying what I like when I like OR I can thank God for His provision and find ways to help those who cannot so easily access new clothes or even necessities like food. I love new clothes. Can I love my bothers and sisters in need just as much?
- I saw this photo from Ali at Inspiralized and suddenly found myself having intense veggie noodle cravings. It was a great opportunity to offer to cook dinner for my family and encourage my dad to eat some veggies he wouldn’t normally touch. Turns out beetroot noodles are acceptable but not whole beetroot! I love cooking for my family and friends, partly because I get to experiment on them but also because I believe food brings people together. Even if my sister still hasn’t been convinced that beetroots are amazing!
- Ducklings! Are there anything on this wondrous planet that are as cute and fluffy? These little guys appeared, along with their mum, on our pond at work. I have no idea where they came from but they made me smile so much as they swam around. Just so cute!
- My final night as a leader at the Lighthouse Youth Club. What should have been a sad night (I seriously expected I would cry) was great fun. I ended up dressed as a horse, jousting with other leaders and eating too much food. I am gutted to leave such an incredible bunch of young people but it has been a hue privilege to get to know them over the last 18 months or so. My pray is that they will continue to grow and to know Jesus as their Saviour.
So my last three photos are from the Keswick Convention. I attend the Convention every year and for the last couple of years have also spent a week on the kids’ team. This year was no different yet I have come away totally convicted about how I have forgotten that my foundations are in Christ Jesus. To help me invest in those foundations again, digging deep into my relationship with Christ, I have set myself a resolution to go with each photo.
- Each year, I don’t use any form of internet while I am at Keswick. I love the two weeks of no social media or notifications. I actually get to talk to real people rather than a computer screen! However, after two weeks, it can be all too easy to fall back into the digital blackhole that our phones have become. My resolution is two-fold: Firstly, to put my relationship with Christ above anything online, whether that is writing on CounterCultural.CounterCouture, reading other blogs or scanning Facebook and Instagram. My foundations should be rooted in Christ and scripture, not what Google says. Secondly, to text and call people more often, instead of just scrolling through Facebook when I’m lonely. Relationships are formed when people chat to each other, not when they click like on a photo.
- I spent my second week of the Convention on Crosthwaite Camp, attending morning Bible readings with David Jackman. His explanations of Isaiah were fascinating and challenging, containing more information than I could process. Throughout the week I became increasingly aware of how shallow my foundations are and have resolved to change this. So I shall be changing up the podcasts and blogs I regularly listen/read to, exchanging some of them for recordings from the Convention. I’m also going to invest in my Christian learning more, reading some of the fantastic books I have bought over the years but never read or read only once.
- As always, I attended a couple of the Night Shifts after the evening celebration. This is the late night slot for Keswick Unconventional, which is the more arts-based stream during week 3. After three years, I finally won mug bingo and was able to keep the highlights mug I had chosen when buying a hot chocolate. I am always amazed by the people they have on the Night Shift and absolutely adore James Cary, who was one of the hosts. This year I was blown away to see them interview both a blogger (Emma Scrivener) and a vlogger (Rachel Shannon) during the week. Alongside hearing poetry from Glen Scrivener, another blogger and blogger, I feel really inspired to keep blogging here. So, making this probably my easiest resolution to keep, I resolve to keep blogging and using the internet as a place to talk about what life as a Christian looks like and how my relationship with Christ impacts EVERYTHING!
July has definitely been a month of two halves. It is also a month I have come out of singing God’s praises even louder than normal (which hasn’t been very loud of late). My next mission, which I choose to accept, is to keep singing them and not allow normal life to remove from me the joy of having a relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Monthly Praise Post Link Up
- Concentrate on the good things that have happened over the last month. That could be the obvious or even how God has turned a rubbish situation into a good one (like forcing me to take time to chill via my wrists).
- Read the link that appears before yours. Maybe even leave a comment on the page so they know you’ve read it. Let’s build a community of Christian girls and guys celebrating with and supporting each other.
- Use the button below to let everyone know about the Monthly Praise Posts. Let’s see people praising God for the everyday stuff all over the web! (I even included HTML code for your web design ninjas. Or you can copy and paste the button)