This is Julie on the blog today as Sarah is taking a short break to do some other things. You probably don’t know much about me so a few basics – I am Yorkshire born and bred, but moved away when I was 18 and only came back here to settle in Halifax, a year ago.

That simple sentence doesn’t tell you much though does it? 

The most it can do is raise lots of questions such as
Why did you leave?
Where did you go?
Why did you come back?
What changed while you were gone?

To know me you would need to hear much more of my story.

Life Journeys

I love to listen to people’s stories. Do you?

We each have our own unique life-journey full of little stories that have shaped who we are, and as we hear people tell how different things happened in their story we begin to understand them more.

By the way – Did you see the recent blog post by Jeremy with a video about “how to read the bible stories“? Like our stories, bible stories tell us about people and how their situations and the events that happened shaped their lives. Check it out and maybe try reading some bible stories for yourself. They are not just for children. Once you understand how the stories link together they are really fascinating.

Unexpected changes

Events can change our story too, can’t they?  Has the Covid lockdown changed your story?

My husband and I had moved back to Yorkshire to settle in Halifax, and shortly afterwards, our married son moved with his family to Clitheroe – only an hour’s drive away.

I was so excited. We were going to be close enough to pop over for a cuppa, close enough to go pick up our granddaughter from school and do all the other things grandparents love to do. We had never before lived close enough to do that.

BUT, no sooner had they moved, the Covid lockdown hit.

Visits that were to have happened were no longer possible.
All my expectations of getting to know our granddaughter better were not to be – at least not just yet.
Events changed what was to have been my new story.
They were so close and yet they may as well have been in Outer Mongolia for all the difference it made.

Actually, now I have mentioned that place, Outer Mongolia that is, I probably should tell you a bit more of my story . . .

Outer Mongolia, does actually exist – it is a huge beautiful country sandwiched between Russia and China. I can say that it exists from my own personal experience because we were living there until we came back to UK to live in Halifax.

We first moved there in 2011, because that was what God was telling us to do, and we lived there for 8 years running a craft materials shop in the capital city.

Talk about unexpected! Life really can take some surprising turns sometimes can’t it? It really was not something we ever envisaged doing and yet it happened. God moved us from a comfortable life in Surrey, to live around the other side of the world, in a foreign culture, where people spoke a language we didn’t really understand much, and hardly managed to speak at all.

In the time we were there we made some lovely friends, promoted lots of interest in craft and recycling, and faced amazing challenges along the way.

I am not the same person that I was when I went,
and I have become a person who I would never have been if I had not gone.

I think I left part of my heart there too but that is a different story.

Do you have “stories” that have that have changed the direction of your life?   

Knowing someone’s interests

Of course it helps in building friendships, and sharing stories, if people have similar interests.   Someone sharing with me the ins and outs of the latest sport event or the latest TV drama would not forge a relationship with me quite as quickly as someone sharing anything in the art or craft line. I will discuss painting, craft, photography and the like, non-stop, any day or any time.

Sarah has been sharing with us her love of cooking and her wellbeing tips that reveals something of who she is. If you have been following her blog posts then you probably know quite a bit now about her likes and dislikes, and the way she feels about what she has been sharing with us.  

What are your interests?  Do you share them with others, especially within our Church family? 

Today’s Stories

Our lives don’t stand still either do they? Each day there are new stories added, new twists and turns as life moves on.

I went to bed last night, quite early as I usually do, intending to get a good night’s sleep and then get up early to write this blog post. I knew in my head what I wanted to write about so an early start meant I could get it completed and then move on to do other things. However plans don’t always work out.

At 1am, my husband, Jeremy, had to wake me to ask me to drive him to A&E. We had bought a new kitchen knife a couple of days ago and, in loading the dishwasher, he had cut his hand and it needed stitches.

I thank God that it wasn’t serious. He was absolutely fine and we were home again a couple of hours later, but the disturbed sleep was enough to totally disrupt today’s plans.

Sharing Stories:

Sharing stories is a good way for us to interact with each other and strengthen our church family.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Thank you to those that have shared stories in our church Facebook and WhatsApp groups. People are encouraged by them.  Keep sharing.

Can I encourage the rest of us to share more of our stories with each other though?  Whether they are big life-changing stories, or just small things that happen on a day to day basis, by sharing together we can continue to build each other up in God.

Well that is it for today. On Monday I will be sharing a recycling idea you may want to have a go at so watch out for the post.

Keep sharing

Julie