What’s in a name?

When the embryonic idea of this blog first came into being… several years ago… like everything back then I chatted about it with my dear husband.

During the discussion, he immediately said that I needed to explain the name.  His first thought… and perhaps it was yours…. was that this may be a blog about walking around in the countryside with no shoes on!  I’m afraid I will have to disappoint.

I have looked and there are other blogs that talk about that.

I like going for a walk on rare occasions.  Unfortunately, I don’t do it often enough and set myself unrealistic goals of going walking with those who are extremely fit and who can walk miles over steep terrain without tiring, whilst I puff along at the back, gasping for air, reaching for my asthma inhaler and believing that I will die before the walk ends.  However much I may enjoy or aspire to enjoy these excursions, the frequency of these events do not allow me to describe myself as a rambler.

I have, however, done a barefoot walk at a local country park.  This has been designed for health purposes according to historic principles developed by Pastor Sebastian Kneipp.  The walk was a strange experience sometimes chilly, other times painful. Navigating along a path that represented the area’s local industrial heritage: timber, bark, coal, pebbles, wood and clay.  I got to the end along with my eldest son, invigorated that I had done it, having laughed myself silly as I slipped and slid around on the mud, screeched as I went through the ice cold pools of water and yelped as the sharp pebbles cut into my soles. There were parts of the walk that were comfortable and comforting in ways, whilst other parts were uncomfortable, unpleasant, and you tried to finish as quickly as you could.

Perhaps that barefoot walk is a good metaphor of life.  

There are bits that are comfortable and leave us crying with laughter whilst other bits are so painful you long for it all to end.

And this brings me on to the reason for the blog’s name.

There’s a story in the first part of the Bible where God appears to Moses, a refugee from Egypt through a Burning Bush.  This all sounds quite strange to us today, but it also seemed pretty bizarre to Moses.  The bush was on fire but wasn’t burning up, the fire just kept on burning.  During this meeting God tells Moses to take off his shoes, because the place where he is standing is Holy Ground, because God is there.

God is there

Whatever we are going through in life, God is there alongside us and so wherever we are we find ourselves on Holy Ground.  I have found this to be so true over the past couple of years, since the tragic death of my husband.

My hope through this blog is that I will reflect on times when God is present in my day to day life, in the boring mundane housework, laundry, shopping, doing the school run life.  I also believe that He is speaking to me through events all around me, if only I will stop and listen.

I also hope that this will encourage you to look for times when God is present and speaking to you too.

So that is why I have called it barefoot.

– a recognition that as we walk through life we do walk on Holy Ground, we walk in the presence of God, we load the dishwasher, change the beds, chat to others at the school gate, and chill with our families and friends on Holy Ground, with God stood there beside us.

And rambling

– well I am known for rambling on at times…. but in the literary sense not the physical walking one!

I look forward to sharing this journey with you and hopefully encouraging you to listen out for God in your day to day life too.

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Who Am I?

I am new to this blogging lark.  Please bear with me!

I’ve done a little research and it seems that one of the first things people will be looking for is who am I?  So here goes…

I am a widow.  I was a wife, (to Andy), for 16 and a half years.  But in January 2017 I became a widow. Andy died in a car accident on his way to work and in a split second I went from wife to widow.

I was a joint parent to three gorgeous children, who have taught me so much about myself and the world in which we live.  Now I am a single parent, a double parent, Mum and Dad, a dual parent, a parent to grieving children, a bereaved parent… I do not yet know how to define myself.  But to the kids I am simply MUM.

I’m an employee, I work part time for the NHS.  I am a Director of my own Consultancy company.  However, recovering from the sudden trauma of losing Andy has involved breaks from both of these roles, as I grappled to piece together some semblance of a normal life.

I’m a friend to many dear people, too many to name, although you may get to know about them as this blog unfolds.  The relationship with these friends has also changed as I moved from being married to being unmarried.

I have also begun a new relationship, so now I am a girlfriend and “Dad’s girlfriend” to two young girls. The complications of renegotiating relationships and blending families is just beginning.

Until Andy’s death I was a youth leader within our Church.  I am a Christian, attending a local Church.  However, this was another role I could no longer fulfil as I tried to find equilibrium after the trauma of bereavement.

Throughout the past year I have found myself asking the question… Who am I?  How am I defined?  Am I defined by what I do? What I own? Who I speak to? Who I relate to?

The questioning reminds me of a song by Casting Crowns… “Who am I? That the Lord of all the earth, should care to know my name”.

The song concludes that the answer to the question :”Who am I?” is that “I am yours”.

I can think of no better way to define myself, no better way to be known, than to be God’s child.

This gives me a purpose, a reason for being, whatever my role, whoever I know, whatever I own and whatever I do.

I am God’s child, loved unconditionally by an Eternal God, who is Sovereign in my life.

Whatever I face, whatever the future may hold, I can be at peace knowing that I belong.

Would you answer the question “Who am I” in the same way?  Perhaps you have other ways that you feel fits you better?  Perhaps you don’t yet know how you’d answer that question?

I’d love it if you would join me on this blogging journey and we can find out what God may have to say to us together….

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