As insomnia strikes once more, what’s a better way to spend time that I should be sleeping by writing a blog post? There’s a lot I’ve been thinking about recently; university, church, friends, family…and I’ve been in the best frame of mind I’ve been in for quite some time. Until today that is but I’d rather not dwell on that.
On Facebook at the moment, there is this tag nomination thing. You get nominated to post five pictures that make you happy and then you have to nominate other people to do the same thing. No explanation, no reasoning – just five pictures that make you happy. I didn’t think I would get tagged to do it as none of my friends choose me except my sister tagged me in it today. And as I was choosing the five pictures that made me happy, I spent a little while reminiscing on why these pictures made me feel good.
My sisters. They make me extremely happy. This picture in particular is taken from my birthday this year, well in the few days after it as I spent my birthday in Aberystwyth. I hate my birthday, I love celebrating other peoples – singing happy birthday to them, giving them presents, making sure they have the best day but I hate celebrating mine. I always have but it’s only been the past couple of years where I’ve really felt it. As it came up to my birthday this year things weren’t great for a lot of reasons and I knew that my birthday was going to be a really difficult day. As I woke up on the morning of my birthday I had kind of forgotten. Until I looked on Facebook and that’s when I remembered. I wanted to treat it like a normal day, no big fuss, no party: just normal. So if that meant sitting inside on Tumblr all day, so be it. I did an open invite to all my friends who were still in Aber to come around for a cup of tea and chat if they wanted to and that is as much as a party that I wanted to have, only one person came round which was lovely and great but made me feel a little unloved. But anyway, this picture of me and my sisters. I went ‘home’ for a couple days after my birthday which was great and the sun was shining and my skin was burning; we sat in the park near where my sister lives and we took this attractive picture. It makes me laugh because this is the real us, the three of us messing around being stupid. The three of us not looking our best but still having a laugh. The three of us together.
The next picture I chose was of Aber itself. Aber makes me happy, particularly when the sun is shining and the sea is calm. It truly reminds you of how brilliant God is and that He created everything. But most of all, Aber makes me feel safe and protected, Aber is my home; Aber makes me happy. Whenever I leave to go and visit people, I can’t wait to get back to Aber. When I wake up in the mornings I am so thankful that I live in such a beautiful place; even if the sea does try and attack sometimes. The past couple of days it has been really nice here, as in you didn’t really need to wear a coat and we’re in November. I’ve never been one for praying outside or in public but over the past few days I have found myself sitting facing the sea simply in awe of God’s creation. Seeing the stars in the sky and knowing that He created far more than my humble eye can see, seeing the wave’s crash onto the pebbled beach knowing that every molecule He created. Being able to pray in the open and just thank God for what He has created is amazing. It’s something that I’ve never really thought about before but now I can look around me and see that everything that surrounds me has been created by the most loving and caring creator: ever.
I talked about the bonfire on the beach in my last blog post but the picture of the glowstick halo army makes me so happy and makes me feel so proud of myself as that is something I would never have done last year. Wearing a glowstick halo in public, being a fool in public, staying out late with a big group of people…a lot has changed in the last 12 months. Actually, more than that. In the last 18 months and I am so thankful and grateful that I have friends that I am comfortable to be fools around and to look ridiculous (but let’s be honest, we did look kinda cool). Friends have been a massive support to me since term began this year and I don’t know where I would be without them. And now that I’m not avoiding CU like the plague, I can see why Christian people are alright. And I say that as a Christian, we can be the most annoying thing on earth yet we can still be a laugh.
These two pictures go hand in hand. You can’t really have one without the other and both of them take me back to a very happy place. In the summer, I went on the church Student Mission (after much bullying and ‘forcibly encouraging’ from everyone around me) but it was so worth going. Making new friends, seeing God at work, experiencing God’s healing power…it was incredible. And just seeing all those beaming yet tired faces of everyone involved from church reminds me why we do missions. Why we show God’s love in the community. Albeit I shied away from anything that meant hard work, but I wouldn’t call youth work easy! I shied away from the talking to strangers bit, I shied away from any physical labour but the bits I did do? I really did step out of my comfort zone. The bouncy castle picture is one of my favourites, it was my phone lock screen for ages because it simply made me smile. On the Saturday of mission week there was this ‘fun day’ and there was a bouncy castle. The youth team (so me and two others) were given the job of manning the bouncy castle and goodness me was it stressful! But when we had a break, like everything was shut down because the people in charged discovered that us poor students hadn’t had a break, we had a post 18 bouncy castle session. Because why on earth not? And as the mature students that we are…okay we’re not mature at all…we messed around it was simply one of my happiest moments.
I don’t usually like Facebook tag nomination things but this one I quite like because reflecting on happy memories amongst sad times is what you need to do. Reflecting on times that will put a smile on your face. Reflecting on how good God is. That’s what I’ve been doing a lot recently, reflecting on how amazing our God really is. Sometimes it is a struggle to remember He is there amongst all the good and bad stuff but looking at these pictures, I know that He was there throughout all the situations