Tuesday, 28 January 2014


Since coming back to uni this term, a lot of things have changed. My perspectives have been massively challenged and my relationship with God pushed forward into a new stage. It's always a journey, but this has been a massive step. (And my blog is going to undergo changes to reflect this- so watch out!)

This is a prayer that I intend to pray daily from now on. And mean it.

Today, I pray:
help me take my hands off my life
Today, let me be a sacrifice
My every thought, action or word
every pause, silence and submission
be not for myself but for YOU
And only you.
You, Jesus, died for yourself so that I might live.
I pray, today
I would die to myself so that you might live
in me, on this earth.

I intend to say that daily, because I know now that living the christian life is a hard-core commitment that you have to make FREQUENTLY in your heart. It's a life of apologising, accepting forgiveness, widening understanding of just how amazing that grace is that we can have, that we can even BE forgiven (!) and loving God more because of it, in your heart, in your life, with gratitude and obedience.  Every. Single. Day.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Understanding the past...

For my Parents silver wedding anniversary I have been unearthing photos in albums tracking their 25 years of marriage- (check out the Tea House for more on this...) - which has been quite an exercise. If you aren't one for indulging in enormous amounts of nostalgia I definitely don't recommend doing this- especially not routing through about twenty different, and dusty, photograph albums. As I rummaged, I moved through the 1990's to the 2000's, watching as years were added to my parents faces and my chubby limbs became long and lanky ones. I saw the arrival of a puppy and became an onlooker as he turned into an old, stinky dog. I saw the houses around our family change, becoming witness to moments of hilarity and tears that have otherwise been forgotten. I felt like I was picking apart an old, old brain, where all this information had been stored away in darkness for years.
It made me wish for the past. Made my inner child dance around inside of me. The cuts on my knees as I went in to do ballet, the harry-potter books I read in the bath, the bouncy-castle we got for that one birthday, the bridge I jumped off into summery rivers. It took me back I can tell you.
I know that you don't pull out the camera in the awful ugly moments; when you drop that harry potter book in the bath for the umpteenth time, or cry because all the boys are on the bouncy castle. So I know that this is definitely a one-sided look at my childhood, but I want to question whether or not having 'rose tinted glasses' is necessarily a bad thing. Can't we just celebrate all the good times that we had? The bad times shaped us, made us who we are most likely, but so does remembering and indulging in all the fun and laughter we enjoyed way back then. Don't you think?

No, not always. I feel like God gave me this task so that I might remember how it was. And remembering how it was, helps you understand the way things are. It's so important to have a grasp of the past to look clearly at the present; how otherwise would I understand my parents? Or even friends? Isn't that true with everything in life? Take the Bible, for example: it is crucial we look at the past in the Old Testament, the way we mucked up and rejected everything God is- to fully understand the AMAZING vastness of his grace in forgiving that, and choosing to die for us anyway. Gospel truth. Understanding the past...helps us appreciate our present and grasp our future. We can just smile at what used to make us smile, we can blithely ignore the dark bits if we want- but I want to suggest that this leaves us lesser people. We are more if we take our past, all of it, not just the bright and sunny photos, but all of it, and use it to understand the present, and let that form us as we should be. Whole. As God intended.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013


I spend a lot of my time in Cornwall. I don't consider myself 'cornish' but it's definitely more a home than anywhere else. The beach is like a familiar friend; I know every cave and cliff walk; I can tell you what rock-fall is new, every different tideline or where a sandbank used to be. As a child I was dragged round on a surfboard through each little puddle, as a teenager I jumped off nearly every rock-face. It's private, small, England's undiscovered treasure, and I fully intend to visit it's beach every year of my life. Walking on the cliffs, I feel closer to God than I do anywhere else in the world; watching the sea is like watching Him breath. The landscape is incredible. I struggle to NOT believe when I'm stood there, cold toes, wind on face, inside the world. But what is really beautiful about it, is what it doesn't have. There is no internet, and almost no signal. When we escape to Cornwall it's like we burrow beneath the world and lay there in hiding for a few weeks. Looking back I don't know what I would have done without that space to run to. It's like a pocket of air. It's family too. Tradition. It's the old and new mingled together; I sleep in a bed I've slept in since I was five, in a room that still has the glow-in-the-dark stars stuck up on the ceiling. Yet at the same time I'm living in the present, making new memories inside the walls that hold my past. Cornwall is definitely a home like no other; and a great spot for some photography too......

Who are you?

I recently re-wrote the summary of myself over at The TeaHouse. And decided to post it on here, because as I was writing it got a little bit (a teensy bit) philosophical...! And I thought you all should hear what I have to say about defining yourself...

Who am I?

It's something I, and every other person who has ever been a teenager, has been trying to work out for a good while now. Who actually are we? And I've worked out that most of us take our identity from the things we DO. For example;

A social-bee defines him/herself by the amount of friends they have.

A work-a-holic defines him/herself by how good they are at their job.

A religious person defines him/herself by how 'good' they can make themselves.

If you fall into either one of these categories, or even another one, then you are in danger. Placing who you are on what you do is like balancing a priceless and fragile ornament on a tower of matchsticks. It's a silly thing to do, as I have learnt only too well. Because it will definitely come tumbling down at one point or another. The moment you loose a friend, fail at work, do something bad- you are thrown into crisis and have to desperately search for something, anyhting to regain your sense of self-worth and piece yourself back together. We've all been there, haven't we? So it's a dangerous question, but a vital one:

Who am I?

I think what christians have discovered, and myself among them, is something wonderful. We acknowledge that we WILL do bad things, we WILL mess up at work and in relationships. We know that the tower will crumble and we can't draw our identity from something that keeps on smashing, keeps on letting us down. It's ultimately self-destructive. But so is gaining your identity from the fact that you will always fail, which is what happens eventually to a lot of people: Who am I? I am a failure, I am a failure, I am a failure. NO. Christians defy this. They define themselves like this:

I am a failure, but God has redeemed me.

God has made me whole. God has picked me up and put me on my feet.

I am who I am because He is who He is.

And there's the truth of it.

I can go around and live my life; working hard because he wants me to, making relationships to show just a little bit of that love which he gives me, trying to be 'good' not for my own sake, but for his. I can live my life BETTER, and TO THE FULL because of God's love for me. If I lose a friend, mess up at work, do something bad; I can take it back to the cross. I can know that I am defined by God's love. And God's love is something that will never change; it is as constant as day and night and THAT is what I base my identity on. So in whatever situation, whether I'm friendless, penniless, sinful, alone, hated, segregated, I can always always say:

Who am I?

I am Milla, loved by God.

(Cheesey. But it packs a punch eh?)