Entering February 2015

Hello again! A quick update from me….

Health is annoying me at the moment. Thyroid and anaemia apparently are no longer an issue (despite still having some of the symptoms) – but endometriosis is. I was given a treatment to help control a few of the symptoms about 7 weeks ago, and it’s been horrible: the symptoms have not gone away but rather have increased, and I’ve had side effects of the medication as well – it’s been pretty horrible. In about 5 weeks’ time I can change to some other medication, and let’s hope it works out better this time, and that meanwhile this next 5 weeks are more manageable than the past 7! I’m having to take tablets each day now to control the side effects of the treatment – it seems a bit silly, really. Ben’s been consistently amazing throughout, calming me down and making me rest, bringing me chocolate and paracetamol, coming to doctors’ appointments with me, being generally nice ๐Ÿ™‚

One of the things that’s really helped me with the health issues (alongside chocolate, coffee and good conversations with fun people) has been something I’ve tried throughout January – reading five Psalms each day. It’s really lifted my mood and made me feel better ๐Ÿ™‚ I might read them all again through February ๐Ÿ˜€ my favourite at the moment is Psalm 28, because it’s so free. It begins with a desperate cry to God, expressing how much the psalmist is struggling while still trying to cling to God. Then there’s a rant, expressing anger and distress, and using some fairly strong language – very free to just shout at God. Then there’s what some may call a sacrifice of praise – the situation may not have changed at all, but the psalmist chooses to praise God, sing to him and hope in him ๐Ÿ˜€ of course my situation is nowhere near as dramatic as that of the psalmist, but I do find it a very refreshing read.

We also found out this week that Redcliffe (college) as we know it is ending, and becoming something completely different. As of this Summer it will all be moving to the city centre, and there will no longer be residential courses (no on-site accommodation), and the degree course is no longer on offer. We are still able to finish our degree, but we’ll be the last. The format will change to a more placement-based course, with lectures just two days a week (but the same amount of college work will be condensed into that time) and the expectation of each student doing more non-validated ministry work with churches or organisations in the area and/or a part-time job as well. Wonder how this will work out… It’s been a bit of a shock for all of us.

Other than that, college life is fine – great people, lots of upcoming essay deadlines (and I’ve actually started two of them…!) and the lectures are usually interesting and fun, so long as I’ve had at least one coffee beforehand! I’m still volunteering in the hospital bookshop, which is absolutely lovely. Also still doing the care work job, which is fun (most of the time).

Regarding all the marriage preparation, Ben and I have now got most of the main things sorted and hopefully shouldn’t have too much stress from an organisational perspective until the Summer ๐Ÿ™‚ We’re also reading a marriage preparation book together, which seems to be fairly helpful as well as enjoyable – and we’re participating in a marriage preparation course with College.

Church is great, and the Lent courses are starting again soon – yay! I’m also being put on the deacon rota for the services, which is new for me.

As part of our course at Redcliffe we go away each year for a six-week placement. Last year I used this opportunity as an excuse to return to Bolivia – which was great! This year Ben and I hope to go to Japan, from Easter weekend until mid-May. Updates as to what this will entail will follow in due course… It’s not confirmed as definite yet, so we do have a backup option, but it’s looking promising thus far.

Tango is still going strong and we’re slowly but surely improving a little every week – and it’s the highlight of my week, one of the things I most look forward to ๐Ÿ™‚ Ben’s so good at it now!!

As always, do keep in touch! ๐Ÿ˜€

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