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40 Acts- Day 3 Local 

Woop! Day 3 was so much easier for me than day 2. But none the less made me think about why I do what I do and who I am helping. 

I do a lot of volunteering or things for other people, commonly without me realising I’m doing it. This isn’t me bragging or saying “oh look at me” actually quite the opposite. I want to point out that this is not me this is actually a quality Jesus had and something I am trying to note. 

Jesus often in his travels helped those locally, he spent time with local people talking to them and spending time with them. Therefore I have tried to do this to but often in different ways.

I help with NSPCC where I am a young advocate which I love! I also more recently have been helping with the local refugee group, I have helped pack containers, helped to sort through donations and create packs for families out in the camps. 

These things are things I enjoy, but I wanted to work out why… to break it down, I think it’s mainly because I see how much it helps others. I see that people appreciate the help and I also enjoy just spending time with others who are helping. 

So why not give it a go? Get involved with something in your local area or more national. We can all do something no matter how small involved is and who involved helps. 

Or start something new! What’s missing in your  community? I have recently started up a new lunch club in a primary school where I saw a need. This is part of my job yes but it’s something I’d have done either way. So why not have a go?

Good luck all, 

Amelia x

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40 Acts- Day 2 Likewise

Day 2 of Lent… OUCH!

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Lent is here for those who don’t know. If you want to follow my 40 days of lent please follow me and read my previous blog here

For those who have…. carry on reading!

So I didn’t expect day 2 to be so challenging or hard. I mean I got my email through at about 7am and read it and was expecting to be able to just do it really easily but I couldn’t.

It wasn’t necessarily about what we had to do but more about what kindness actually is. So often I get into the trap of thinking kindness needs to be planned but also spontaneous… often I will walk down the street and say hello to people and will stop and chat with the regular Big Issue guy where I test out my way of communicating with someone who speaks very little English. Or when I hold a door open or give a bit of money to a friend or buy them there lunch. But we were challenged today to continue to do this but look bigger.

Often when we do this, we see a situation and try to help we try to fix it. I guess we do this with most things in our lives. We are tired so we go to sleep. We are hungry so we eat food. or we know see someone isn’t feeling too well so we go and help.

But what about all the non-spontaneous things?

What if we stopped and just planned now…. This was the challenge today.

What if instead of just offering a drink to a homeless person as we see them or giving money to a friend when they don’t have enough for lunch. what if we planned now. We made a little pack ready to use when we need it.

This made me stop and think WOAH… is this really what I’ve signed up for? I was thinking i’m sure last year was easier than this… and perhaps it was. But this year I wanted to challenge myself more and 40 acts was doing just that. I had no list writing to do or anything like that.

I spent most of the morning thinking about how to make a ‘care pack’. Now I’ve made many care pack type things for the local Refugee group who have been making them and sending them out in huge containers. (find out more here) But this pack needed to be different.

Keep on imitating me, brothers, all of you. We have set the right example for you, so pay attention to those who follow.

Philippians 3:17

Today’s quote from the bible was that above. Powerful stuff… but how do I be like Jesus in this sense?

This was the main question I needed to work out in my head before I could even start thinking practically. Then I got it. Jesus did things for the many but also for the individuals. It took me to the idea of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with fish and bread. Here he helped the many he didn’t focus on one individual, but else where in the bible we see Jesus help one person such as the woman at the well. Where Jesus gave her ‘living water’ and a new chance and life. Jesus here did something different, he helped her one single person.

So I had an idea… why not create two packs? One for the many made up of a wide range of things we may need. So instead of starting from nothing I thought about what I’m always asked for…

pens, tissues, Vaseline, food. This was my starting point anyway.

So I collected together a few more pens than I previously had in my bag, some more tissues, some Vaseline and some chocolate (it’s what I had) and added some other things.

You can see how I slowly began to add. I thought of some post it notes, as people often ask to write something quickly down, a hair band… forever handy if you have long hair! Some hair grips to hold you hair in place, a comb (you never know), some anti-bacterial gel… this is so handy when in public places and need to clean your hands, some throat lozenges, some blue tack and fiddle bricks.

The last two are mainly as if people are like me there are situations where my brain has had enough and I need to keep focused so something like that works so well to help me focus.

Oh and a portable phone charger. Mainly as I get public transport a lot and people will often be panicking about phones dying in delays. with this I can offer them to charge there phone which will help them in there journey home or to work or wherever it may be they are going.

So that is my first kit… the kit for many.

My second kit is very different, it’s not one I am to carry around everywhere with me. This kit is one I now have ready for the individual who just needs a helping hand. The person who just says they’ve had enough and just need time for themselves. I’ve put a random selection of things in this pack from books to films to Vaseline and tissues.

Here you can see what I mean. I have things from pens and a colouring book which can often help de-stress to fiddle blocks and a portable phone charger. I have also included 2 films in it, some tissues, chocolate, hair band and grips, post cards and some good books. I want this kit to be something I can give to people when they need a break and some time to themselves. This kit isn’t probably exactly what the idea of today was. But as someone who has struggled with time for myself and has taken on too much in the past I know how important it is for someone to just give you something to do to relax.

I’d love to hear your views and feelings about my 2 different packs and whether you think there is something I should add?

The one thing I’ve learnt today is that #40Acts is not just about being spontaneous it’s about planning to and having things ready for when you may need them.

I look forward to finding out what tomorrow’s challenge is… hopefully it will involve a bit less thinking than today.

Thank you,

Amelia x

 

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40 Acts

So yesterday was one of the best days of the year….

PANCAKE DAY

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But this is not what yesterday was about, it was about Jesus and how he spent 40 days and nights in the desert in God’s presence praying to his father. Yesterday is actually called Shrove Tuesday and is where traditionally you eat all the Egg, Sugar and Milk as during the following 40 days Christians would fast. And traditionally this meant not eating Egg, Sugar and Milk. Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration and it tends to look like eating as many pancakes you can…..

How many did you eat?

But what is these next 40 days about before Easter? Well actually it’s more than 40 days… but lent focuses on the weekdays. Normally Christians like myself give things up, in order to focus on God and pray more. But I really struggle with this constantly.

For the past few years I have done the 40 Acts find out more below. This is about giving and being generous rather than giving something up, you take something up!

https://40acts.org.uk/

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Someone has put it as

I am giving up, giving up

Which is so true! This challenge by 40 acts helps us to think about what being a Christian is actually like, we are encouraged by the thousands of other people taking part and we can attempt to make someone’s day through the several different stages there are. They use a traffic light response to the acts meaning you can do something really hard which may involve more thinking, or something really easy which will only take a short amount of time and little resources.

Last year I struggled with 40 acts as I didn’t have much time due to alevels and running training etc so I did mainly green quick things. Sometimes they were as simple as ‘holding a door open’ or ‘smiling’ now who doesn’t have time for that?

 

If you want to take part and join me in my 40 acts challenge sign up here… https://40acts.org.uk/signup/#

You can do 40 acts as a group, individual or even a church. I am doing it by myself this year, but also taking part as a group meaning I get best of both worlds. There is also the #hashtag #40acts where people are sharing photos and ideas for each day. Check out my twitter page for what I have done this morning.

I’d love to hear your stories if you have taken up the challenge this year. So stop giving up and take up giving up, giving up and do the 40 acts.

How can you show someone in your community you care today?

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Thanks all, hope everyone is well,

Amelia x

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So this happened…

Wow Can’t believe it’s actually been so long since I last blogged or even contacted anyone. It is now October and I am no longer in mainstream education…. I have finished my alevels!

For those who have possibly followed my blog for a while or know me personally, you know things have been up and down this past year and a bit. I applied to go and study stage management at university including The Royal School of Speech and Drama (CENTRAL) and The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (Cardiff). I got in to both after interview and put them down in that order for university. Knowing I had to get BC Distinction, Distinction to get into Central and CC Merit to get into Cardiff I was adamant Cardiff is where I’d be going. I mean I was predicted CCD Distinction* Distinction* for my alevels. With everything else going on I knew I wouldn’t get the grades and it was unlikely for me to get into London.

But anyway before I explain that I should say I ran the London Marathon in April for NSPCC which was amazing! Gosh who would have thought 4 years ago I would have been running a half marathon in Sept 2015 let alone a marathon…. especially The London Marathon! I also met many of my sporting heroes which was so encouraging and I finished the marathon quicker than I expected despite injury. So all in all it was an amazing time. 13082686_1011843592230490_1018827526895603241_n-1Oh and in particular …. I met Paula Radcliffe!

So Exam season came…. hide! The dreaded stress that all those who do GCSE’s or Alevel’s or any other qualification know all too well. The whole school or college or whatever is turned upside down and it is common to see people crying, hiding under books or to see the opposite. People being so loud and distracting that arguments break out. So all in all not a fun time for anyone.

But I did it! I got through all my exams despite being beyond terrified and nervous…  I did it. I finished my last ever examination process while in Compulsory education… result!

Then July came….. PERU!

So in July I went to Peru for a month with Camps International which was just incredible. We spent time working in the community from building toilets foundations for a small poor village where they had no toilets in houses. To Painting and plastering school walls in a community where there is a large problem with alcohol. But it wasn’t just community work however, this was the main part of the trip and probably my favourite bit. We were able to swim in Lake Titicaca and we also got to trek to Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world.  This trip was life changing. I made friends who I never thought I’d be friends with and learnt things about myself I never knew. The trip changed me and really helped me re-think what I love in the world and where I want to make a difference. Although this was my second ever mission type trip with my previous one being to Tanzania with Tearfund back in 2013 along with The Diocese of Leicester Bishops Youth Council. I found that God was possibly calling me to discover more before I went off to university and took a path which inevitably being the generation I am would only be a small part of my life.

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When I got back from Peru I had a lot to think about…. but not until I got better after suffering from travel sickness from travelling for 48 hours. (not fun) The first day back I went to my church Camp where I was so happy to see everyone and talk to them and spend time with them. I had missed everyone greatly and it was nice catching up but also teaching the younger youth groups about God. (although I was still very tired so did not stay the nights) Then when I had recovered, thankfully in time for my camp as a camper I really felt like God was challenging me about what my future was and where that was. Whether that was at university studying Stage Management or doing something entirely different… who knew what that could be?

I spoke to a few people at church and different people and in the end I thought no I shall stick to Stage Management. Why would God have helped me get 5 offers from the universities and for me to hopefully get the grades for the universities. But curiosity got the better of me… slightly. Before results day I had a little look about what internships were going related to youth or children’s work in churches up and down the UK. There was one I found that I really liked and on the off chance I rang the people up and said I may be interested. Sadly a few days later I got a phone call to say they had just appointed someone. So the doors looked like it was University where I would be going. Which excited me, mainly so I knew where I was going with my life and that I was doing something.

RESULTS DAY CAME!

AHHHH

For anyone who has ever had to get results after waiting 3 months after doing the exam knows how horrible this day is. The anxiety, anticipation and the wait has become so much. You often encounter 2 types of people, those who open there and then and cry either way. Or those who go off by themselves and open them and then do not tell people what they got or how they did. I am usually the latter. But due to the lovely invention of UCAS I checked in the morning and found that I had an offer from Cardiff and not Central. Which made me happy and I was fine with this. Meaning I obviously hadn’t got my B grade in one subject… which I wasn’t predicted anyway.

However, when I got to college with my friends I opened my results not really carding knowing I was going to university. But there it was. I had the B grade! WHAT! I managed to get B in Health and Social care, C in Creative Writing, D in English Literature and 2 Distinction* in Production Arts. I was ecstatic. but at the same time my friends had not done as well. Hardest part of results day is being happy for your grades no matter what you get but also supporting your friends around you no matter what they got. But during this time I had this thought of could I really go to university? Was I really ready?

I know many have this thought, but in that moment I knew I would be going away all I could think about was how i’d loose all my involvement in church running youth and children’s things and all my volunteering which is what often people would comment on first about me. This is when I just knew this was the NOT the year for me to go to university. So I frantically rang some people in church community who I thought could help me and they helped me search for places that were still offering internships. I searched and could find very few. I lost hope and accepted I was going to London despite it not being my favourite. But then something amazing happened the Vicar of the church who told me they no longer had anywhere emailed me to tell me to keep looking. That God is calling me to Children’s work. I was like ‘great, there is nothing so how can he be calling me to children’s work?’

Then I found an internship that I loved. I emailed the person and they rang me the day after.

I hate phone calls, meaning this was hard. They asked me what is the thing that scares or worries you the most I said ‘whether I’ve made the right decision.’ we had a long chat about what the internship would include etc and whether I could still apply with the closing date being in 2 days time. I liked the sound of it and the church looked lovely from what I saw online and it really excited me. So I spoke to some people from church they helped me write my application and I sent if off.

A day later I found out I got offered an interview. Stressful but exciting I spoke to my family and friends about it working out what to do. Someone offered to take me so far down and then i’d catch the bus due to parents working. I was terrified and excited. The day of the interview came and it was a lovely summers day. When I got to the town I fell straight in love. There was bunting up and it was a very small and cute town where I could see myself living and fitting in. Interview time…. the questions were okay one stumped me but the others were okay. I was excited and also scared after meeting the other 2 candidates who both seemed more equipped for the role. I left the day a bit unsure but waited.

Friday. The phone rang…. unknown number. I answered.

I GOT THE INTERNSHIP!

I cried.

I laughted.

I smiled.

I was delighted and terrified all at once. This meant I’d be leaving home where I have everything I know to a place I know no one. SCARY! I began to sort things out and then within a week I was back down to the new town moving things in to the place I’d be staying. WOW! And then after that I knew I’d be starting work on the Monday, just after running the Great North Run for the second year.

I shall leave the story there for now….

I will update you as to where I am now and how it is all going as I’ve been here for just over a month and I am loving it. I am growing and being challenged constantly.

Thank you to everyone who supported me in this whole challenging time. For those who have been praying or just thinking about me. I hope you enjoyed my mini update on my life. yes I know it is very confusing.

Amelia 🙂

 

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Busy busy busy

Ah! Sorry I’ve not posted recently…. who knew alevels and now having a job as well as all my volunteering would be so hectic?

So end of Feb I got myself a part time job at a big retailer (not saying which one) but I’m working in their cafe I’m loving it really am but it’s so busy half the time!

Then I’ve got the revision with my alevels and all the coursework which is so not fun but has to be done! Along with this I’ve heard back from all my unis and am happy to say they’ve all offered me a place so now it’s the scary bit of picking only I’m letting God decide my putting down two he showed me which I really loved and letting him do the rest! So prayers for that Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee!

As well as school and uni and work I’ve got all my volunteering. I’ve been busy sort of recently with going to Buckingham palace with the NSPCC and all the london marathon stuff getting closer but also with rainbows and just getting stuff at church ready as it’s been. Easter after all! Next week I’ll be so busy with holiday club at church and revision I feel like I’ll be needing a holiday again after that!

Sorry not much to say but there is a quick summary and catch up as to what is going on in my life…. well they are the positive things anyway.  I hope everyone is well.

But remember God says to be…

“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you WHEREVER you go.”

Joshua 1:9

 

Bye all Amelia 🙂20160228_181515.jpg

 

 

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Growing like a tree

Hey all,

this blog is about growing as a person but how this is really like growing as a tree in so many ways. Since I’ve started this blog so much has happened in my life, mainly negative things but also my fair share of positive and happy things but I’ve seen myself grow greatly when I’ve been given help, support and nurtured by those around me. I’ve really noticed this in the last couple of months in particular as I’ve become more rooted in who I am and not who people are shaping me to be.

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God tells us to let our roots grow in him and let our lives be built in him. Colossians 2:7

And this is something which has stuck with me recently how I need to strip back my tree that has no roots but a lot of growth and branches and start again. I’ve had to cut the heart of my tree and regrow it in God allowing my roots to grow in him so my life can be built on him with his love. I’ve been working hard on this and I think slowly it has paid off with my life growing again into something it should be where God is the centre of my life and the most important thing. This has been so hard to do but I’ve seen some large benefits of this already with the university things, my general life but also my relationships with those that are important to me have been growing. But also God has allowed and provided me with people who are willing to support me and be there when I need help.

More importantly since my roots have been grown in God I’ve passed my driving test! (woop!!!!), got a new job that I started today (woop again!!!) and I’ve had 3 offers from universities so far one of which is my favourite university (woop again!!!!) but more importantly I’ve had God help me face something that I’ve been trying and wanting to do for nearly 5 years and God enabled me to have the courage to do this. I think that my being rooted and growing is just like that of a tree, I’ve been nurtured. Given ‘water’ or filled with strength from God but also those from my church family in particular whether thats through talking to me or praying for me. I’ve been given ‘food’ and ‘nutrients’ through weekend aways and God giving me opportunities to look further into his word and worship him. And finally I’ve been given protection just like a tree needs in it’s first few years and months, through support and a rough guided path thanks to people at church giving me practical advice and allowing me to rant and talk about anything and everything I need to. I’ve learnt how God loves me so much and how he wants to see me grow into someone who can help serve and grow others in their faith. Who knows how he will do this, who knows what God’s plan for me is right now but he is slowly closing doors that need to be closed and opening new ones for me.

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God has allowed me to grow in my life and as a person through his love. My growing is like a tree and one day I pray I can help grow others in their faith so they can discover the love, peace, strength and compassion that is God my father.

 

Thank you all for reading tonight’s blog,

Amelia 🙂

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Whats been going on?

Hey,

So I’ve been not blogging for what seems like a lifetime. But life’s been throwing a lot at me recently and who knows why but It’s been a tough time for me personally.

I finally got my UCAS form sent off, had two interviews now and one offer! Woop! But things with uni have been very difficult. My uni I’ve received an offer from I love and would happily go to study stage management with them… but my favourite uni I’ve still not heard from them since my interview so hopefully I get an offer or rejected….. (preferably not the latter!)

Things with school have been so stressful, had my mock exams and got my results but also so much coursework and deadlines. It’s hard to keep up to date with everything when you are struggling emotionally with life and it’s struggles. This has meant writing blogs have been even harder, and I’m sorry for that. I shall try to write a blog every month atleast and sometimes if you are lucky you may get one or two a month!

Hope you are all well, I miss writing but writing is difficult right now for me. Stay strong everyone and I hope you enjoy your week this week and that it’s not awful.

Amelia x