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Sunday, July 30, 2006

chwe deg tri

Being in church.

Talking to Mark about discipling the young people. Sharing a vision.

Knowing that however fragile I may feel some relationships to be, God is God and He's in control.

Make me a channel of your peace.

Being properly gutted when the sermon finished - because I just want more. I want more and more and more of the Bible. And more! That's a good feeling.

Which allsort are you?

chwe deg dau

Nathan's excited look when he got his package in the post of new bits for the remote control car he's building. Exactly like he used to look at, say, 5 when he got a new toy. Boys.

Spending most of the day reading 'Cross examined' by Mark Meynell, and digging into the Bible along with it.


It's like living in the dark ages...but with a kettle

Saturday, July 29, 2006

chwe deg un

Kat coming to visit. With presents! Dragging her round half of Wales (maybe a slight exaggeration) in an attempt to show her the places I love. Some of them.

Standing on top of Caerphilly mountain with an ice cream, wind blowing in my face.

BBQ in our newly almost finished garden with friends and family. A very funny conversation with Nana.

Getting dad to play 'Will it be a little boy?' and 'Timmy the Tristar' (songs that he wrote when mam was pregnant with Nathan and when we went to the Falklands, respectively). Being able to remember most of the words. Dad's laugh and lit up face when he finally remembered the tune after struggling at the piano for a bit. He looked like a kid at Christmas!

Good times.

I can't resist it any longer, I'm stealing Ed's italics idea

chwe deg

Helping dad clear up the tools from the garden at teh end of a long day working on the hosue. Looking over the newly constructed fence to see my next door neighbour but one sat in his conservatory with some friends (parents away, young adults will party and play!). Anyway, carry on clearing stuff away and then I hear him singing "Time of your life" by Green Day, accompanied only by the occasional strum of his friend's guitar. He sounded amazing. Was cool.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

pum deg naw

Painting the bathroom ceiling without getting any paint on my clothes! Well, ok, just found a tiny little bit on my jeans. But still, hardly any.

Paint all over my hands, on my arms, my mouth, nose and eyebrow but hardly any on my clothes. Result!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

pum deg wyth

Finally completing the brainteaser that's been racing round work for the past two days, and which pretty much everyone else has done (and don't I know it!). Felt good!

(No comments on Welsh, slowness or anything of the sort please, it'll ruin my moment. And you wouldn't wanna do that. I'll set Jack Bauer on you.)

Monday, July 24, 2006

pum deg saith

Someone in work offering me money for Relay. Wow to God's grace.

Having a seroius case of the Monday blues all day, feeling the same on the way home. DJ on radio - "Hey, so it's Monday which means we've got a brand new shiny week at our disposal". Better way to look at it.

pum deg chwech

Taking a trip through Kington Langley 'on my way' home. Memories.

pum deg pump

"I now pronounce this couple husband and wife."

Mr and Mrs James and Hayley Earley.

Friday, July 21, 2006

pum deg pedwar

Seeing Tim. More than that, seeing him so happy and so thankful to the Lord for his happiness right now. Walking through a field, feeling like we're in the country when actually we're just outside Cardiff, talking about grace.

Spending afo with Tim and Em.

Driving home in the setting sun, listening to Red Dragon FM. Great music all the way home. Yeah! Nothing beats Red Dragon: it's one of the things that makes me feel like I'm home.

pum deg tri

A day off. Watching 24 (what better way to spend it?!)

Going out and seeing mam, dad and Gethin working on the garden together and smiling and laughing.

pum deg dau

"I tell you what, why don't you take tomorrow and Friday off, then work Mon-Weds next week and we'll see what we've got for you after that."

(sigh of relief) Thankyou Lord.

Finding a bat in our bathroom. That was fun.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

pum deg un

Coming home from a hard day at work, struggling with various things (not least of which my sinfulness) and reading this:

"But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:21-24

Monday, July 17, 2006

pum deg

50 days of amazin'. Amazin'!

Listening to Casting Crowns on the way to work.

"I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm "

Praying for a friend after her mam's death yesterday. Praying for the entire family, just as the above song came on and the lyrics hit me. Fighting back the tears - are they tears of pain and sorrow for the family or tears of joy that for this sister the pain has stopped, her race is over and she's now with her beloved Jesus? Both. And that's the amazing bit. We have HOPE.

Woody giving me a hug as I walked into work. Needed it!

pedwar deg naw

Luc waking me at 5am, full of energy.

Why good?

Coz despite being shattered after only 4 hours sleep it was cool to sit with him, a blanket wrapped round us both coz we were cold, colouring in dinosaurs and listening to the birds waking up. And it helped me practice the art of patience!

And then came the walk through the forest as intrepid explorers hunting butterflies; despite my best efforts to explain a compass Luc always wanting to follow the arrow - good job we didn't end up in the North Pole!; sitting on a climbing frame with him answering his questions about God (witnessing to a 5 year old is rather bizarre!); making him and Tom (9) laugh (I love kids laughter); the sunset as we drove home - I know I go on about sunsets but this really was the most spectacular I think I've ever seen; and then bed, after a very long, but very amazin' weekend.

God is Good.

pedwar deg wyth

Me: So Luc, what have you been doing in school?

Luc (age 5): hmmm, well, I can't really remember. I remember playing with Lego!

Me: Oh is that all you do in school then?!

Luc: What do you do in university Ceryn?

Me: Well Luc, you're very good at talking but some little boys and girls, and some adults, find it difficult so I've been learning how to help them.

Luc: Oh. Why do they find it difficult?

(There follows a quite lengthy discussion about the brain, vocal cords, the mouth, speech, and exams. And this kid is FIVE!)

Luc: So now you've finished your exams is that your job?

Me: Well, it will be my job, but first I'm gonna do something else. I'm gonna go to a place called Portsmouth and...err...(rapidly searching for the words to explain Relay to a five year old from a non-Christian home)..err..I'm gonna learn lots about God and the Bible and then talk to other people about it. (Poor, I know)

Luc: Oh. We've got a Bible in school if you want to borrow it...

Me: (HUGE grin, melting heart, arms wrapped round my gorgeous little cousin. I don't think he's ever been cuter than at that moment!)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

pedwar deg saith

Seeing Ros again. Seeing her and Dave, nearly at their first anniversary (wow!) settled in their new house.

Chilling on the sofa, Jack Johnson playing in the background, and talking about life: memories, catching up to the present, and the future. Talking about God: what we've learnt, and how much we still have to learn. Talking about our desire to scream at the world 'there's more to life than this!'. Talking about our worries, our hopes, our difficulties...

And all this interspersed with a good amount of laughter.

Dave being good enough to abandon the living room and leave us to it!

I spent three yeasrs with Ros at uni, a year of that with her on exec together and 10 months living together. We don't keep in touch as often as we should but isn't it great that I haven't seen her since February, and yet we could have an evening like that. Coulda actually talked all night (and if she didn't have to get up to go to Alex and Ryoko's wedding this morning, we probably would have...!)

Precious times.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

pedwar deg chwech

Finding out I've got a job! Well, kinda. Only for a week, maybe two. But better than nothing!

Eating ice cream and chocolate spread. Used to do that when I was yunger, at Nana's, while watching Blue Peter. Ah, memories.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

pedwar deg pump

So on my way home from Tesco's I decide to deliberately miss the turning that will take me home. And I just keep driving. I drive to the mountains, to the palce which makes me feel like I'm in Wales, makes me feel like I'm home. And the windows are down, the radio's off, and I'm fighting my thoughts out of my head, out of my mouth, and into prayer.

And I drive up to the top of the mountain; up, up into the dark grey clouds which blot out the view of the Beacons. But there's no rain. And the air feels so much fresher here.

And I keep driving...and down below me I see terrace upon terrace of houses and I pray Lord, make your light shine in this nation again.

Down the road, spiralling through the s-bend in Tirphil and down I go into the heart of the valley. Back up now through New Tredegar; the place where mam grew up, Grandpa lived and died, and my uncle Nigel still lives - a place steeped in family history and the memories and the stories flood my brain. And I'm praying for my family.

And then it's back up the opposite mountain to the one I've just come down. And now the roads go higher. Winding, winding up to the top.

And then I'm there. And then I hit 5th gear. Wooh!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

pedwar deg pedwar

Sitting on what used to be (and probably still is) my favourite swivel chair in the basement, to get away from the TV and radio and computers in our house. Reading "Out of the Saltshaker". Being reminded of how great God is. Enjoying glancing up and seeing Jet (my dog) relaxing on the patio in the sun. She's warm in the sun but here, just inside the open door, it's actually quite cold. But I'm all cwtched up in my swivel chair with a good book so it's ok. And I can hear children's school lunchtime...what a pleasant sound it is too!

The generous gift I was given by a couple at church towards Relay. Thankyou Lord.

Monday, July 10, 2006

pedwar deg tri

"And it's the return of Neighbours on BBC1 Wales."

Pug's here. Yay :-)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

pedwar deg dau

"Even just one string, plus God, is enough."

The smile on Becky's face (14yr old in church) as I talked about people becoming Christians in Hope week. The smile of someone excited at what God can do. Wish I'd been like that at 14.

Wimbledon Men's Singles Final. Federer V Nadal. Amaaaaaazin'.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

pedwar deg un

Mam giving dad a tutorial on how to use the dishwasher.

Me finding this thoroughly amusing, but being put in my place by my inability to figure out the new microwave (why do they insist on changing things when I'm away?!) and mam informing me of the fact that instruction manuals for the dishwasher, microwave, washing machine, rice cooker, and pretty much every other 'gadget' are to be found in some place close to the relevant devices, for when she's not immediately on hand and I can't simply go "Maaaaaaam".

Friday, July 07, 2006

pedwar deg

Feeling rough, so staying in my pyjamas and watching Friends all day. Makes the tissues, cough medicine and Vaporub easier to bear.

tri deg naw

"Only someone this clever could wear something so silly". Thanks boys.

Another day where something happens and I think to myself "THAT'S going on my 365 later - I found my thing for today."

And then more stuff happens.

Graduation - seeing my coursemates take 'the walk', knowing how hard they've all worked.

Having my parents, Nathan, Gethin and Nana there.

A meal afterwards...a nice, relaxed, fun time together. Even the arguments were fun!

The sausage is Nana's.

The rivers of clouds - pink, yellow, purple, grey - the colours changing in their hue depending on where the clouds are to the nucleus, the setting sun, hidden behind a cloud low on the horizon, right in front of me, but its burning red glow strong enough to see. All this painted like a masterpiece on a blue sky canvas, with a stroke of white up ahead which looks like a plane trail.

Dad getting us lost and looking sheepish.

Tea at Linda's and speaking to Steve on the phone.

The late drive home. Parents and Nana in the car in front. Me and the boys travelling behind, wondering how long to leave it before overtaking them...

Gethin asleep in the back. Me and Nathan singing along to Casting Crowns blasting out the speakers (Gethin can sleep through pretty much everything, but I kinda hope he won't sleep through this.)

Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done, but because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading,
a wave tossed in the ocean
a vapour in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
You've told me who I am
I am Yours.

The best bit of my day came at nearly midnight when I heard Nathan singing those words with all his heart, and the joy in my heart at that moment can not be expressed in the words of any language. Rejoicing that he is saved. Rejoicing at the work God is doing in him.

Nathan playing me a tape of Nicky Gumbel talking about how we reach out to prodigals...Nathan soaking it in even though he's heard it before, delighting in playing it to me; and we know without saying it how much we both long for our own little sleeping prodigal to wake up and come home.

Knowing that as this day officially marks the end of uni, I am here by God's grace. I am saved by God's grace, and it's in God's grace and faithfulness and love I put my hope and trust. And 'my' prodigal.

Thankyou Jesus.

tri deg wyth

"I bet it'll rain as soon as I hit the border"

It did.

My national pride shouldn't have allowed me to chuckle to myself, but I'm afraid I did...

tri deg saith

Now then.

Could it be the walk in the Malverns?

Or how about the ice cream by the river?

Maybe the cloudy lemonade craving and subsequent hunt for some? (Even though we didn't find any!)

I know - it could be just sitting and chatting to Kat about everything and nothing, because she's great and she'll just listen and I can just be me. I HAVE to just be me.

Then again, it could be eating a delicious meal in the garden with Kat and her parents...

Maybe watching a ladybird climb up a long piece of grass.

The sunset.

Then there was running round the garden playing with Oko the dog.

Which one?



Monday, July 03, 2006

tri deg chwech

The smile on Luc's face when I walked into his back garden...the smile on my face when I saw him again. And the big cwtch just before I left. I love that boy!

Late evening.

For about two minutes I'm driving the only car on either side of the M50.

To the left of me, the sun is setting behind the Malvern hills and it's casting it's golden shadows over the road in front of me, the trees around it, and the clouds on the horizon.


tri deg pump

Chatting to Ros and Nancy - two ladies in my church who I haven't known very long and I don't know very well - but I know they faithfully pray for me, which is an amazing, humbling feeling.

Text from Hayley - "The room is Ed's if he wants it!" - Yeah!

Driving (woo! driving again!) mam to Merthyr...taking a wrong turn which meant we had to go the long way round. But it turned out OK coz that wrong turn meant we drove over mountains instead of drive in the sun over the mountains and see the valley spread out in front of us was amazing. It'sgoodtobehome.

"I've got a good sense of direction when I'm walking" - Mam's response to me teasing her about getting us lost in Merthyr...drivingroundincircles.

Trish telling me in church in the evening that she wants to give me money for Relay. Again, humbled and amazed by her generosity and by God's faithfulness.


Sunday, July 02, 2006

tri deg pedwar

Chatting to Mrs Lewis, my next door neighbour. She's 90, and I love our chats, rare as they are.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

tri deg tri

Surveying my now empty room in Sherfield, dad walking in, giving me a hug and praying a prayer of praise and thanks to God for the last four years...and a prayer for strength and guidance in the year(s) ahead.

Traveling down the M4, me and dad singing along to the CD. "Forever He is faithful..." And don't we both know it right now. We don't talk, we just sing, lost in our thoughts, lost in our individual and corporate reasons to praise our wonderful Father. Was a cool moment.

Stopping off at dad's cousins. I love this couple. Chatting to them about how much God provides for all our needs. I'm gonna have to do a separate blog about that convo.

Coming home.