I retreated

I arrived emotionally flat,

internal turmoil whirling;

I sat by the garden window,

I wrote poetry about the rain & flowers

& I prayed,

I drank coffee,

I prayed,

I cried,

I raged,

I listened to Switchfoot on loop (The Shadow Proves the Sunshine),

I listened to more poetry,

I prayed,

I drank coffee,

I cried,

I sang,

I read Narnia,

I sat,

I prayed,

I drank coffee,

I psychoanalysed,

I vented,

I cried,

I mourned,

I forgave,

I prayed,

I listened to more Switchfoot (The Blues!),

I danced by myself in the autumn sun,

I cried,

I wrote more poetry & prayers,

I ate & chatted & laughed with my friend some more…

I left feeling tired & awakened alike.

Switchfoot: The Shadow Proves the Sunshine

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It takes a village to raise a marriage

So THIS happened nearly nine years ago:

LesterBest0204 - Click to view full size photo

And in typical LB fashion, we are already planning a celebration for when we reach 10 years in one year, five months and two days time (but who’s counting!). We LBs do love to celebrate (well I do, and David’s caught the bug through osmosis); but our desire to have a big party, blessing or some sort of celebration with friends & family goes deeper than just wanting to dress up, eat, drink, dance and generally have fun.

In our wedding service, as with all weddings to which I’ve been, our Vicar asked the congregation ‘do you, the family and friends of David and Natalia promise to support and uphold them in their marriage?’ And, as with every other wedding, everyone exclaimed ‘WE WILL!’.

Now, it has been said (on more than one occasion) that I take words too literally and seriously so maybe this is just me. But, to me, when I make this claim, when I shout out to my friends or family at the alter, making the biggest promise they’ll ever make, that I’ll support them in that, I mean it. But the number of people who announce their divorce to friends, family & acquaintances who are totally shocked shows that those friends or family likely haven’t been upholding or proactively supporting their marriage, or there wouldn’t be such shocked faces…and maybe there’d be fewer divorces.

But this isn’t just to tap away & judge the people who came, celebrated, ate, danced, meant well, gave a gift, and then buggered off.  As adults, if we want support then we need to show that we are open to it. Yes, other people need to prioritise asking more than just superficial questions to which they expect and accept ‘yeh, we’re great thanks’ responses; we can ask ‘what’s been a highlight and challenge of marriage so far?’ or ‘what’s made you want to get divorced (this week!) and what’s made you glad you chose each other?’ etc. But we also need to be open to such input and, importantly, to provide opportunities for people to be part of our marriage (in a non-breaking of vows kinda way 😉 )…for me, that’s part of the reason I have a WhatsApp group with a couple of close, married mates wherein we can vent, seek advice, challenge & support each other.

And this part of the reason why we intend on marking our marriage milestones not just the two of us (though we do that as well), but as celebration within our community of family & friends. I love that because we so often have people live with us, they see the cuddles, the thoughtfulness, the not leaving the house without kissing each other goodbye of our LB marriage. They also see the griping, moaning, occasional shouting & swearing too (all me). Because of how open, honest & authentic we are (well, we try to be) our friends & family know that they can speak up, nudge, enquire etc about us. And what better opportunity to celebrate with, support and uphold us than at a big anniversary? Because our marriage is not just between the two of us-it’s a commitment and relationship which embraces and hopefully blesses and supports and help grow others we love too-and they, in turn, help us grow and be happier and better.

group wedding pic blurred
24.10.09 | image blurred for data protection yada yada

A (different) Political Sex Scandal

So Tim Farron, the Leader of the Liberal Democrat party has resigned because of a sex scandal!!! Well, kinda. In an interview a couple of years back Timmy said, in response to a Q about if he thought homosexuality is a sin, that ‘to understand Christianity is to understand that we are all sinners.’ Simple Christian truth! And yes, maybe some political avoidance. So out came the machine guns-he obviously hates gays & thinks they’re going to hell. Analysis over. Sigh. 

The sad irony is that Tim has consistently voted FOR Gay rights, only abstaining when the Equal Marriage draft didn’t go far enough to include Trans peeps. To me that is liberal & progressive & bad arse!! But no, it’s what he (maybe) THINKS that matters.
So this week Tim quit, saying he can’t reconcile his Christian faith with the challenges of leading a progressive, liberal party today.  Personally, I think that at its core Christianity is the *most progressive* faith, given that our Leader was an oppressed, power-subverting, rule-recreating, world-changing Palestinian Jew executed for His challenges to the corrupt leaders (& for our Salvation obvs).  

So it makes me wonder whether what Tim really means isn’t so much that he ‘can’t reconcile Christianity with Liberal political leadership’ (he’s been doing so very well for years!) but rather that he can’t reconcile having some traditional views in some aspects of his personal faith in a society that increasingly judges people on what they think & then wants to check the date whence they thunk it!  So many people’s views on issues like marriage, homosexuality, divorce, abortion, female equality, race, environmentalism etccccc have changed dramatically in recent years (yes, Christian views anddd the rest of society too!).  Surely liberalism should allow people to learn & grow & change? And true liberalism should mean allowing & respecting people’s right to have traditional, conservative ideas in their heads while fighting to ensure nobody discriminates against anyone because of those views? Surely, we can be allowed I defined by more than one idea, one belief, one value? Please?

I love that Tim himself said, “I’m a liberal to my finger tips, and that liberalism means that I am passionate about defending the rights and liberties of people who believe different things to me.”

Oh how I wish we had more leaders-& people on Twitter- like that! Basically, I wish we Liberals were as liberal as Tim. And as loving as Jesus. 


Link to his full resignation statement here .