It seems appropriate that with this blog now being scooped up by the Baptist Times website, a little introduction is in order.
Dear Baptist Times readers,
Hello, I’m Rachel and welcome to my world.
Introductions are important things. They can mean the difference between warming to someone or being turned right off them. Online there’s a ‘netiquette’, an unwritten set of social conventions, which encourage us to play nicely and be considerate of other Internet users. We observe niceties, such as posting an introduction when joining a new forum (hence this), refraining from ‘trolling’ (being deliberately inflammatory or abusive) and NEVER EVER USING CAPITAL LETTERS THROUGHOUT A POST. You only do that once before your mailbox melts under the weight of ‘stop shouting!’ replies. The same happens if you miss out an apostrophe, or say anything less than complimentary about Liza Minnelli’s singing voice. Been, there done that, learned my lesson – well, apart from the grammar. I beg your continued forgiveness in that department.
I’ve been blogging since 2006. I write about anything and everything; but since 2010 I’ve sensed a growing call to write about my faith. There are a million and one blogs out there, so what makes mine distinctive?
For a kick off, I’m British and I’m in Bedfordshire. While there are plenty of Christian websites and resources for women in America, there are much fewer on this side of the Atlantic. I’m not a ‘Soccer Mom’, I don’t drive a mini-van or have the ability to colour-coordinate my table linen for Christmas. There is a lot of American Christian writing that I can’t relate to. It doesn’t speak about the lives my friends and I lead, or about our experiences. I find a lot of it triumphalist and at times I feel as far removed from that as it’s possible to get. It’s hard to feel that you have victory over the vices in your life if you’re failing to win the victory over the laundry pile. I’m not that victorious woman, I’m this woman: I feel organised if I remember to post Christmas cards before Christmas Eve. I know what it’s like to feel so wrung out that you could cheerfully list your kids for sale on eBay; and I know that glazed-over look your friends get when you mention that you’re a Christian. It’s right up there with being a fan of Twilight and I’m both, so I’m really popular 😉
I’m no-one special. I’m just a woman with a blog, describing how what I read in the Bible impacts my everyday life. I don’t claim any special revelation or have any particular spin to put on things. All I do is open the book, read it and try and live it out as best I can. If it doesn’t work, I go back to the book to see if I understood it correctly the first time. Having been a Christian for over ten years now, I very quickly worked out that there’s a lot of going back to the book, talking to God about it and even more listening to what he says about it.
But this isn’t about being depressing and all woe-is-me; this is about being an encouragement for the journey ahead. I struggle with prayer, I struggle with dense passages of scripture and I have doubts that I wrestle with at times. If I can admit that and hopefully demonstrate that being Christian isn’t about being perfect, but about being honest, then I think I’m doing my job correctly. My faith is not something that can be held up as a beacon of loveliness; it’s a workaday faith, a well-used and well-loved thing, that has completely and profoundly transformed my life and I want to share that. The verse on the header of this blog has been the key to so much – changing my mind about things, thinking differently and being prepared to admit that I don’t have all the answers.
You may not agree with everything I say and that’s fine. I’m not an expert and I’m happy to be corrected when I’m wrong. I hope sometimes that I’ll make you think and I hope sometimes that I’ll make you laugh, because I do love a good laugh. Life’s a wonderful thing and this is wonderful planet, so I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
You can read more about me HERE