Read First

This blog is largely about me muddling my way through life and faith. Being a relatively new Christian, I’m trying to work out what it means to follow Jesus in today’s world as a 31 year old woman in the North East of England who loves playing rugby, throwing great big parties and gardening. All of which I think Jesus would totally approve.

21077450_10159301269370192_3396861634400627402_nJust like anyone else, life throws up challenges, and I’ll be writing about how I face these and where I think God is in the picture. Mostly, I don’t quite know. I struggle to pray. I don’t always discern what the Holy Spirit is doing in my life and sometimes I wonder just what God’s playing at. Especially when times get tough, which, of late, they have been. Really tough, actually.

I write about stuff that people don’t often talk about, for example PTSD and infertility, to name two biggies.

In part, this is because I think it might help people who are facing the same problems. They may recognise their own situations in my writing, and so get some help, or better understand those around them. That would be great. I also write because it helps me put into words what I can’t often say out loud. I usually cry way before I’ve said what I wanted to say. And I also write because I want to share how my faith has changed my life for the better. Hopefully I do this in a way that isn’t ramming it down people’s throats.

I want to leave space for people with their own views and beliefs, and as I’ve already stated, I don’t have all the answers. I’m a proper novice. The reason I mention my faith throughout most of my blogs is because it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I suppose it’s like how other bloggers may find Cross Fit and want to mention that in their blogs here and there, because they love how it’s changed their lives and want to share that with others. Hey, a reader may even give it a go…?

So join me in these blogs as I work out what this life stuff is all about. You’ll find accounts from my experiences as an Army Officer serving in Afghanistan and other parts of the world, my experiences of different cultures, my attempt to discern what God wants me to be and do, and my observations as a newcomer in the quirky and marvelous world of the local parish church.

“With God, all things are possible.” Matt 19.26

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Timothy Tubster weighing in on the sofa action. Nursing duties over. #catsofinstagram #fatcat #adoptacat Timmy "laying on of paws" because I was off sick today. My little trooper was a great nurse this afternoon with his healing purrs. #catsofinstagram #paws #pawfect #purrheaven #adoptacat #giftofthespirit Love these two champs
#remembrancesunday #stellaartois  #sundayroast #qualitytime #family #remembrancesunday #wewillremeberthem #lestweforget  #selby #dioceseofyork Lunch with the family and some wonderful friends after preaching at this year's #remembrancesunday service at The Edge Community church in #selby @dioceseofyork2819 
A privilege to be among such a welcoming community and to meet members of @churcharmy 
#wewillremeberthem #lestweforget This statue commemorates all the "Lumberjills" of WW2; the amazing land army women who picked up axes and felled the trees that fed the war effort. Strong, hardy Scottish women working in very arduous conditions, proving they could absolutely do men's jobs. 
#nofilter #lumberjill #ww2 #landarmy #thisgirlcan #strongwomen #scotland Gorgeous husband. This lovely man looked after me all weekend up in Scotland, reminding me I'm really rather blessed to have him. Luckily he doesn't do Instagram so won't get too big headed about this comment. Our weekend getaway. 
This year's Bonfire Night Avoidance Strategy found me relaxing in the very beautiful area of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs at an AirBnB place in Brig O Turk. 
I took Dickie this time. He helped me eat all the lovely things we'd packed and did a grand job of driving. 
My plan is to discover a different and wonderful corner of Scotland every year on and around Nov 5th. A good excuse for a mini break into the wilderness. 
#airbnb #brigoturk #lochlomand #thelodge #trossachs #visitscotland #avoidance #goodmentalhealth #recovery #ptsd #minibreak #explore #adventure A sloe afternoon #sloegin #sloepicking #onthefarm #nature #forraging #sloeberries #autumn #woods Autumn fun in the afternoon sun with Sarah #leaves #autumnleaves #woods #sunshine #afternoons #bff #nature Mucking about on the farm #horsingaround #horses #autumn #muckingaround #bff #sundayafternoon Cat investigates chimney. Cat tries to get up chimney. What could possibly go wrong? Phillips family all now covered in soot and Timmy banished to kitchen where he can make least mess. 
#naughtycat #catsofinstagram #sootyandsweep #badcat #blogextract #extract #blog #thursdaythoughts #vocation
#vicar #discernment #calling #cofe
#anglican #womenandthechurch 
PART 4 of 5 (link to full blog at bottom)

An Ordination Candidate’s Experience of The Discernment Process:

Where’s My Pigeon Hole?

Back to the process itself. The DDO assigned me a Vocations Advisor (who has since left and I’ve been assigned a new one) whom I met every couple of months to discuss how my discerning is going. These meetings are like a very long three-way job interview. The church is looking at me and I’m looking at the church and myself and we’re all looking to God and asking “Is this right?” After my first meeting with the DDO it was apparent I knew pretty much nothing about church. This was also confirmed in my meetings with my first Vocations Advisor. We’d been looking at the 9 criteria, a set of qualities which candidates have to show/possess, in order to be considered for training. I stumbled at the second of nine. Not a great start.

I’d have to show “an understanding of my own tradition within the Church of England, an awareness of the diversity of traditions and practice, and a commitment to learn from and work generously with difference”. Tricky, as I didn’t have a tradition. I didn’t fancy (and still don’t fancy) having to decide what kind of Christian I am.

https://camouflageandcassocks.com/2017/10/19/god-is-weird-part-4/ An Ordination Candidate’s Experience of The Discernment Process

In the car on my way back to the barracks, I turned to my husband and asked if he’d heard what the Bishop had said. He had. Well? Well, what? Hadn’t he heard the Bishop was say I should become a vicar? No, he had not heard that bit. It was a tense journey. The message seemed clear in my mind. And as I’d just promised to live the rest of my life for Jesus, which meant making some big sacrifices and changes, so I decided there and then to leave the army and work out if I really was called to become a priest.

#extract #blog #discernment #vocation #calling #churchofengland #anglican #future #vicar #church #cofe 
https://camouflageandcassocks.com/2017/10/17/god-is-weird-part-2/ An Ordination Candidate’s Experience of The Discernment Process.

So You Want To Be A Vicar?

I’m a candidate somewhere near the beginning of the formal process where the Church is discerning if God is calling me to ordained ministry. Risky, therefore, to be publishing my experiences and thoughts on the discernment process whilst I’m still in it. But I think it’s worth the risk, because in the very first few weeks and months after I felt “called” I really knew nothing about discernment (more on me knowing nothing later) and wondered if I was completely alone/insane in sensing a calling, so I turned to the internet to read blogs about this well-trodden path, from those wo had gone before me.[1]

Whilst I found blogs detailing what actually happens at BAP (the national selection panel, but don’t call it aselection panel!) there were few, if any from people this side of it. The blogs were from folks on the other side; those who had been recommended. Perhaps it’s too painful to drag up and write about if the panel said no.

So this is a blog from an insider who has no idea where her future will be. I’m inviting you to follow this journey with me over these 5 instalments, through it’s many twists and turns. There are many hoops to jump through, interviews to be had, prayers to be prayed, and ultimately a number of wise clergy and lay people will make a decision. I’ll be recommended to train for ordained ministry, or I won’t… or option three, I’ll be deferred until I’ve worked on whatever it is that’s needs developing further; the “not yet” category.

Read the rest here:

https://camouflageandcassocks.com/2017/10/16/god-is-weird-an-ordination-candidates-experience-of-the-discernment-process/

#vocation #discernment #churchofengland #anglican #womenandthechurch #priest #ordainedministry #candidate #jobinterview #faith #christian #calling @thechurchofengland #womenleaders #thisgirlcan
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