Housing, God and more amazing things

God is AMAZING.

Seriously, we have a house. Well, a flat. It’s amazing. Everything’s amazing right now 🙂 It’s more expensive than we’d hoped, (£123 per week, per person), but most houses are about that price anyway once bills are added, and our price includes bills. We are going to have a lovely flat with ensuites in every bedroom and a spacious kitchen which is close to campus. Although it’s not so close to town, or to Aldi, I do have a bike, and there are buses, and these things can be worked out next year. So we’re happy, we’re a lovely bunch with top quality banter in our Facebook chat already – and I can’t help but sit back and smile at how God has brought all of this about.

I feel like right now, through every big or little challenge, God is showing me how much he can provide and how much he has a plan, and is very much in the drivers seat. Obviously I am not always 100% confident and trusting – finances are a weak area with me in particular, just being honest! But I’m reminded again and again when I look back at just how good he is.

We have a house. For 5 people, that’s a miracle. Most fives have had to split up and find single places elsewhere, it’s that bad. But God provided us with a house, and has helped us pay the huge deposit, and will continue to help us next year paying the rent.

I’ve just got back from a really wonderful church weekend away with Grace Church. I feel so blessed to have joined it. I feel so much closer to not only the students but some of the adults (particularly in my community group/huddle), and the talks we had were really inspiring and encouraging for me. They talked a lot about forming communities where you are, finding people with similar passions as you and joining together to make that grow, God’s plan in your life, and so much more.

I’ve felt for a long time now that my family and I didn’t move to Spain for no reason all those years ago when I turned 9. I feel like we went so I could learn Spanish. So dad could too… but personally I feel like God has given me this love of languages through that experience. Somehow, without much practice, I was able to remember a lot of it – enough to get A* at GCSE (with some work, obviously, but not half as much as my other subjects). I taught myself GCSE French with ~1 & 1/2 hours of ‘lesson time’ a week a year early and got an A. I discovered that I love grammar, the way a language works, and the culture behind it. And I feel now more strongly than ever that my calling involves this passion, which is stronger than pretty much all of my other (many passions/hobbies/abilities) and that God is going to use it. I don’t know how yet. But that, I’m sure, will come.

Cornwall was great – we stayed in the Esplanade hotel at Newquay and it was practically on the beach. The dinner hall looked out onto the sea, which was stormy and grey and preeeettyy 🙂 

  
  
I walked to the end of the coast with Bethany (a friend from Community Group and church who’s a first year medic student at St Luke’s campus) and we (plus Esther, my future house mate next year) went into Newquay together with a bunch of adults to find food on Saturday at lunchtime, and then had a massive laugh over my hilarious Facebook feed for a few hours afterward (I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in ages!).

I’m back and unpacked now, ready for week 4 (hopefully). Time to learn Future Aspect and other interesting things. Text-a-toastie is tomorrow night; its a CU (Christian Union) thing. Basically the hall group for Lafrowda makes chocolate or cheese toasties, and people from Lafrowda can text any question about Christianity to the number we put on the poster and then the flavour they want and we bring them a toastie and answer their question. So its an evangelical thing which is super fun 🙂

My little bro Daniel (Dan-the-Man) got baptised on Sunday back home in Worcester, which unfortunately I missed, although I got to watch a recording. I’m so proud. He’s growed up good. 🙂 He’s got a deep faith and he’s sturdy in what he believes – it’s hard to sway him. (Bit like me – the word I’m looking for is stubborn haha – but I think your faith is something it’s ok to be stubborn about!) Just so proud, and I’m sure my other siblings are too 🙂 I love my family ❤

News, news, do I have any more? Hmmm… Not sure but I’m super stoked for this week ahead 🙂 I think I’ll leave it there for now… this is quite a lengthy update, and I’m trying to cut down how much screen time I get before bed as I think it stops me switching off as easily. (Missing the hotel beds though… they were so good!)

Anyway, have a good week everyone! Happy Sunday (and first of February tomorrow).

 

 

Housing

*Delayed posting this one so it’s a week out! *

Yesterday (or rather Monday 25th January) I think I spent about 2.5 to 3 hours just walking around Exeter looking at houses! We finally got one in the end, but man were we tired after all that!

It’s funny because they tell you not to panic before Christmas, that there will still be plenty of houses in term 2, etc etc. And yet when term 2 comes around…. there aren’t many left. Especially for 5-6 people.

We managed to nab a 5 bed flat yesterday which looks amazing, although it’s going to be pushing the budget somewhat for several members of the group. We might even lose it. I just don’t know. Everything’s up in the air… it’s a complete nightmare!

**Next blog post will reveal the outcome**

 

Why I had the best day ever today!

Oh my gosh it was amazing 🙂 ok it started off pretty standard… Two morning lectures, then lunch…. Normal routine. Then – gymnastics happened. And not just happened, but I’ve actually improved. Last week I was so miserable cos I just wasn’t strong enough to get to the bar and flip myself up like everyone else can. I couldn’t do walkovers…. The room was packed with cheerleaders too which didn’t help… The stereotype is kinda true unfortunately! 

But today… My flexibility was on point. I could hold myself up with my ARMS for a second whereas last week I couldn’t… I literally have the skinniest arms ever and push ups are horrid because they HURT. 

  
But this happened….

  
And this… I’m so much closer than ever!!! 

I also managed to do a (slow) forward walkover!! I did somersaults without a stepping block (onto the spring board) – they need some work but STILL. I’m absolutely pumped and I can only put it down to yoga (lots of chaturanga – aka tri push ups) and an insanity workout I did which focuses for block one solely on arms (and it’s really hard so I had to do it on my knees). 

Absolutely amazed 🙂 it’s the best thing ever when your goals begin to become reality.

Term 2

Here we go…

So now that I’m back into the swing of things, my homesickness isn’t so bad. It was pretty bad during exam week which wasn’t exactly helpful when trying to revise. I think having had such a good Christmas with family and friends, it was hard to come back to reality, especially when the hat means that every time you come home to your flat you have to face two rather difficult characters that like to quiz you about every taboo subject so they can take down your Christian view.

Phewww… Enough on that or the whole post will turn into a rant! 

But basically I ended up with what’s known as the “January Blues” which many first years suffer but do not admit as openly as I do. 

So yeah there were some more parties over the last week… I had to clean one of the toilets today as someone had been sick in it last night and it was unusable 😦 lurrrvely!) 

Trying to sort housing is tough and my friends and I are going to need a bit of a miracle! There are now 6 of us and we need a lower budget than most :/ all the places we rang weren’t available so we’re hoping they’ll call us back, but there weren’t many houses left for that many people! Fingers crossed and praying hard! 

Russian is going well although we’ve added another case to the mix – so just one more to go! (There are 6!).

Spanish is picking up too now that I’ve been added to an advanced oral group – I was buzzing after the class on Thursday! My schedules still busy and although I only work 8 hours at the Ram bar per week it’s still a matter of balancing work and clubs etc. 

Working at the Ram is sooo much better than at the hotel. I’m friends with most colleagues almost instantly and there’s more variation in what you do each shift. You might be washing up for an hour, then serving curly fries for another, or prepping food the next. 

 I played in the worship team today for the first time and played Russian scrabble with my friends Josie and Siân too which was fun but tricky.

So yeah that’s most of my week for you 🙂 so tired but feeling a little better about being back 😉 bring on 2016!

Hello New Year

So I’m back! 

Sipping some tea (Whittards – a Christmas/late birthday present from by best friend!)

  
I don’t know about you but I had the best Christmas ever this year. I saw my whole family, had amazing quality time, and got some amazing presents. Oh, and to top all of that, my best friend Ellie and her amazing family CMR down too for New Years (and the week leading up to it). So I’m feeling all loved up and ready to get back into the swing (although it was so hard coming back to uni after such a great holiday…). Hopefully over time it will get a bit easier – but at the moment for me it seems to get harder each time I go back. It feels like I was only in Worcester 5 minutes ago! 

Ellie and I have been best friends since before we were born! (She’s 4 months older so it’s kinda true). were more like sisters now though and we can tell each other anything – we are 100% comfortable with being ourselves around each other. I miss her so much already!

With minimal revision, I’m lucky to not have freaked out in my exams, but seeing as I had no holiday over the summer I guess I needed to have a proper relax! In the last few days before I swotted up and did some smart revision and just hoped for the best :/ I do NOT recommend this method at all and it was entirely my fault! 

Having the flat to myself initially was nice – it was all clean and tidy! But now everyone’s back its gone back to its old state. Blocked toilets and showers, dirty plates and pans around the sinks… I guess I’m home again. 

Now that exams are over I’m catching up on work and fitness. I’m easing back into running and my muscles are recovering much better than before summer last year. 

I’m feeling hopeful about this term, I think it should be a little calmer now everyone’s had exams and settled back in. 

Easter feels like years away but I’m sure once term starts I’ll get stuck into my modules again – with a lot less stress this time thanks to my new job! 

Caribbean Rice and Beans

This is just a simple recipe I whipped up the other day which tasted great 🙂 I modified it from another recipe I found a while ago 🙂 

Ingredients:

– 2 cups brown rice

– 1 can kidney beans (any kind will do though – butter beans work!)

– 1 can chopped tomatoes

– 6 garlic cloves

– 1tsp coconut oil

– 2 tsp thyme

– 2 tsp cumin powder

– pinch of sea salt (I used Himalayan)

– 4 cups hot water

Method:

  1. Mince garlic and add it to the oil in a pan. Cook for one minute. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook until the rice is done and the water is reduced. 
  3. Serves 2-3 people!