New beginnings and January blues.

I think at this stage in January, the general ‘murk’ of the month should have lifted. All of the Christmas chocolate should now be gone, and unless you’ve kicked the ‘New Year, New You’, thing really hard, a significantly expanded waistline is probably nicely settled in by now.

I definitely experienced the blues hard this year- but have really focussed hard on depending on God for a transformation in mood and outlook. After all, Jesus does speak over you, who you will be/ who you are in Him. Think about the disciples who were given different names. They WERE someone else, but in Christ, they found themselves, and had the truth revealed to them about who they really are and what they were going to become. Simon was declared Peter, after his revelation that Jesus was the Christ. It is this truth that can be relied on to have real HOPE that our futures, personality flaws, dim outlooks and sin will be changed.

One of my ‘New Year, New You’ things that has stuck (for now) and I believe WILL stick, is my Bible In A Year. I’ve found it so useful, and, even though tough to get into- a really enjoyable part of my day. I don’t have a set time that I read it, but find that I always feel encouraged and peaceful after doing so.

The #IQS8WP is due to start soon as well, and I’ve already gone through a significant amount of the withdrawal process already, having had a panicked three days thinking that I would not fit into my dress! Mr M will be joining me too, and has already shown intrigue in the jar of coconut oil that has made its way into my kitchen, in preparation.

So, I’m choosing to leave the ‘murk’ well and truly behind. When I think about Mrs Morris, I know she wouldn’t hold on to a few low weeks, and she certainly wouldn’t let in ruin a ‘New You’ resolve. She’d be accepting of past mistakes and welcome them as challenges to her behaviour. I don’t think that the January Blues are necessarily a bad thing if taken with this attitude.

Things will get better.

I can be changed (into a lovely Mrs Morris, who Jesus would be pleased with, one hopes).

I will be healthier.

I will be strengthened by the word.

Read and repeat!

If anyone has actually read to the bottom of this, you’ve probably realised I’m not a very ‘plan centric’ writer- I tend to just bumble through whatever is in my mind! Diary blogs are fine for this though- I hope!

Good vibes are set to come- lots of love, Miss Fox X

Aaaaand I’m back!

So, that was a bit of a longer gap than I’d hoped for.

I went through a bit of a rough week after the house loss, and then found it hard to worship at church (not just because of the house) which was emotionally draining. I felt like I wasn’t close to God, that I was a rubbish Christian for not being able to be joyful in trusting Him- and that everything was just going wrong.

Things did get better though.

I persevered with my Bible in A Year, and i’m in the middle of writing a talk for my homegroup. The readings and studies gave me a reason to continue hoping and praying that I’d feel better, and to trust in God that He would change me for the better…in His own time.

We also found a flat! So we’ll have a home to move into once we are married :). It was a massive relief, and another reason to continue trusting- GOD HAS IT ALL UNDER CONTROL.

I had a few days off work just to breathe and relax, and was truly pampered during my first Bridal hair trial and make-up lessons at MAC.

The best part is- I got called back to London for my first dress fitting- 2 months early- AND IT FIT! Even after Christmas!!! I need a slight height adjustment, but otherwise it’s fine. Picture attached! (Excuse the goofy face- that’s not my veil).
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Things are still tough though. Work has had a restructure and it’s hard being in such an unhappy environment for most of your waking day. People are leaving left right and center and more are looking for different jobs as we speak. I think God placed me here- and I don’t want to jump ship as soon as waters get choppy.

We are now undergoing the referencing process for our flat- which for any of you in the UK will know, means that they will find any way possible to take even more money for their ridiculous fees from us- that we can ill afford. We wait with baited breath for the outcome (praying).

I’ve had a couple of anxiety attacks over the last couple of weeks which have affected Mr M, which makes me feel even worse. It feels bad enough that you have them without any warning and for seemingly little or no reason- it’s worse that they bring the one you love most down. EVEN worse that it makes them feel they can’t have any emotions of their own.

So *sigh* lots to keep moving through. But i’m going to keep trying with my blog diary, and keep hoping and believing that God is working in all of my circumstances to bring me closer to Him. That’s gotta be a good thing.

Lots of love, Miss Fox XX

Homemade hydrangea wedding cake (pt 2)

So, here’s how it turned out! Sorry the pictures aren’t great- I’d shoved it in a box without a second thought to photo’s. I think you still get the gist!

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Bride to be was very pleased, and considering I didn’t have the right colours, I managed to match her small bouquet quite well!

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As for everything else that has been going on in my life, well, surprisingly the New Year hasn’t changed an awful lot! We missed out on the opportunity to get our dream house today, which is kinda gutting. But we are trusting in God that the right place will become available when the time is right.

It’s also four months today till I become Mrs Morris (!).

I’ve also signed up for the eight week sugar detox from Sarah Wilson, to start the 22nd January, I’m sure i’ll take to here to vent soon enough!

Not feeling particularly positive due to house let down, so I won’t write too much more. But here’s to hoping there will be some good news/ positive posts to come over the coming days!

Happy New Year to you!

Homemade hydrangea wedding cake (pt 1)

I have the wonderful honour of being one of my best friends bridesmaids later next year, and I’m pretty stoked about it!  We have free reign over our bridesmaids dresses and the other bridesmaids are awesome!  I couldn’t be happier with the job I’ve been given.

H is from Canada, and  I was probably the first person she met up with in Southampton.  She contacted our church group, Glo, through Facebook,  saying that she was going to be new to the area (and country! ) and was anyone there to help her get settled?  We have been firm friends since that day, and she was with me the first time Mr M and I met properly, and I introduced her to her future husband!

Visa issues being what they are,  the decision to have a registry office wedding ahead of the church blessing (scheduled just days before her visa runs out) was more of a necessary evil than planned choice.  She can’t have any Christian music or prayers (although us bridesmaids will be doing it anyway #rebels) and to her and D,  it’s just a ‘going through the motions’ affair, and they’ll live as unmarried until the blessing in August.  I don’t know if I could- but that’s their choice,  and I understand.

Even though they aren’t really celebrating, we couldn’t let it go by unmarked, so we’ll have an amateur photographer and I’m making a cake with her wedding flower of choice on it- hydrangeas!

The cake is a standard madeira, and will only be a one tier celebration cake to feed 8-10. We can’t steal the show off the real deal after all! The flowers are made with pale blue sugar paste mixed with cmc powder to stiffen the flowers up after drying. I’ve just made them,  so tomorrow  (in part 2) I’ll be icing the cake,  after slicing and filling with jam. I’ll also be hand painting the flowers to make them look more realistic- with purple and green tinges. Here’s the progress so far!

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See you tomorrow!  Miss Fox x

Kidney transplant at Christmas!

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God is so good. Really, He is. It didn’t take my Uncle getting the transplant, or recovering from acute rejection to believe it, but it’s times like this that it’s a blessing to watch Him reveal it to your non- believing,  atheist family.

Yes,  Uncle Jay is doing well! My church and my future parents in law are praying for him,  and best of all it was my parents prayer request 🙂 he will be in the high dependency unit over Christmas, but we will be visiting to bring some festive cheer!

What a great Christmas gift! But it does put the season in perspective somewhat. I hope you have a wonderful season full of joy and hope. If you aren’t having the best time,  please know that Christ’s church is with you,  and we can look forward to epic Christmas’s when we are TRULY home.  (I hope that brought a smile to your face! )

Lots and lots of love,  future Mrs Morris 🙂

There’s no place like home?

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I’m back home in London for Christmas,  a day earlier than planned.  My uncle has recently had a miracle kidney transplant and whilst all the signs were looking good- he’s been rushed back to St Barts with internal bleeding.
My bosses were great,  and allowed me to leave work early and come home- so here I am!  I can’t say I got the best welcome,  everyone was stressed and tired. This morning,  mum blew up at me as ‘one of those church people’ and stormed off to work,  leaving me in tears with a very apologetic father. Tensions are running high,  and it doesn’t feel very merry at all.

Whilst ‘letting that which does not matter, slide’ still applies,  is hard not to feel you’ve been let down. This is not the same Christmas that people show you on the TV or you read in books! 

I am sure everything will feel better once a few hours have passed and, crucially, there’s a good meal in everyone’s belly. I will cook my family of eight slow cooker spaghetti bolognese this evening.  Pictures to follow.

Please pray for Jay, that he wouldn’t have to have his kidney removed.  He had been waiting for a kidney for thirty years, and has been the most chronically ill man I know.  He had two young daughters,  and for him,  this kidney was a chance to have a normal life,  free of a dialysis machine.  God,  may your will be done in his life,  and let us as his family rally around him. What an amazing gift,  this Christmas time. 

Gravity (and Christmas fellowship!)

So yesterday we had our church group Christmas meal- the one I posted about earlier in the week?

It was a storm! It took an awful lot of preparation- but was so worth it.

It wasn’t just the food- the mission piece went brilliantly- and we had a lot of opportunities to liaise with the general public. Quite a few of the took the ‘Christmas in 3 words’ booklets that we had to offer if wanted. These are a simple introduction to the Christ in Christmas. We wrapped about 50 presents in total, some people are going to have very happy mornings on the 25th!

Here are a few select photo’s of the day!

P1010721Some of the beautiful wrapping team!

P1010709The Top Hall dinner tables- arranged in a tight horseshoe, so everyone could see each other, and nobody became isolated from conversation. Backing music provided by Rend Collective’s- campfire Christmas (which if you don’t have, you need to buy).

P1010743The Head Chef, and me!!!

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Our Nigella Christmas chickens, surrounded by the trimmings! We put one of these serving dishes per 4 people and asked a central person to serve their friends. We had so much left over, we made 14 meals for the homeless, and put these in plastic take-away boxes with knives and forks- delivering them after the meal.
P1010745My Christmas Ham- I’m more than a little bit proud of this! I was at church for 8am, to get this baby on the boil. It bathed in simmering water for just over 4 hours, before the skin was peeled back, the fat was scored, studded with cloves and drizzled in golden syrup. It then roasted on high for just over 20 minutes, to get that beautiful colour. It was probably definitely my favourite bit of the meal.

And my poem?! Yes! My performance poetry went rather well! I performed Mark Greene’s (LICC) ‘Gravity’, at our contemporary Christmas Carol concert last night- and I didn’t forget any of it 🙂

It perfectly sums up the spirit of the season as it should be. Allow me to share it with you, and please let it bless your Christmas!

-Gravity-

The apple, unlike Adam, had no choice but to fall,

Speeding to fulfill it’s creators call,

But what force drew Him down to us?

He, with a starlight infinity to explore,

He, who could peer into a neutrons core.

He, who had spoken a thousand million times,

And known the sulphuric spit of our self-vaunting crimes.

He, who we’d called a murderer, liar, thier,

And left for dead, with enlightened relief.

What force drew Him down from above,

To reap the grim harvest of rebel pride,

Hammered with Nails of truth denied.

What force drew Him down from above?

What force but this, the gravity of Love.

Mark Greene (London Institute of Contemporary Christianity)