Texting It In

Last year on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, mobile phone users around the world sent a record-breaking 43 billion text messages, 30% more than the previous year.

Source: Harvard Business Daily Stat

Inevitably, the networks will all screech to a halt around midnight as everyone desperately texts friends & family to welcome in the new year… It’s a somewhat mixed thing for me. In some ways a text at New Years seems a little predictable, a little unoriginal, a little impersonal (mass texts?!)… yet I still love getting some of them. And inevitably, I end up sending some.

I guess I wonder, how can I remember to value & love the people around me for the rest of the year too, not just at New Years? I’m always searching for new ways to convey my appreciation & gratitude to the people who make me who I am.

Your shout: What do you think of NY texts? How can we show gratitude year-round?

What A Year

For the past few years, I’ve taken some time at the end of December to read back through my blog archives of the year. It’s an exercise that really helps me to remember things; to see the journey I’ve been over the course of a year. Here’s a few of my highlights from 2008… what a year it’s been!

Leaving university
Long weekend in Berlin with Sara, including Long Night At The Musuem
Surprising my friend Bekah in a coffeehouse in Chicago
Meeting the Cobalt Season & hearing them play live
Eating at Ed Debevics in Chicago again!
Spending time with the staff at Ebenezers in DC
Meeting Brian McLaren twice (once in DC in March, then in Glasgow in Dec)
Hearing John Sentamu speak at the liveit! conference in Mancherster
Spending a weekend in Glencoe celebrating Reubens 21st with friends
The incredible generosity of friends & strangers for my East Africa trip
My first paid photography job (Second Year Medic Ball, UoG)
A surprise birthday meal with the Aberdeen team in Kampala
Watching the birthday video my new Australian friends filmed for me
Shooting documentary photography around Uganda & Rwanda with FOL
White water rafting on the River Nile
My first Greenbelt festival
Getting to know the incredible people on the Christian Aid gap year
Getting to know some of the amazing staff of Christian Aid
Spending 2 weeks in the DR Congo visiting Christian Aid partners
Doing an engagement photoshoot for Lori & Connor
Exhibitions in London & Kinshasa featuring my DR Congo photos

I feel blessed beyond belief. I’m looking ahead to 2009 now, with a little trepidation yet a lot of excitement!

It’s Doesn’t Always Have To Be This Way

I was flicking back through the notes on my phone the other day, and found some notes I made on an old Rob Bell podcast a few months ago. As I read back over them, I realised how appropriate they are for the here and now, when people are looking to new things in the future… Thought I’d post them here for you to have a look.

The way the story has been, is not how the story has to go.

An emphasis on what we already are.

The scriptures are all about remembering.

This day, these relationships, it’s all a gift.

There’s always a larger story going on than we choose to tell.

The continual pulling back to remember.

You’ve got everything you need.

The kingdom of god in the reality of the here & now.

When we always want it to be like the past, we have a hard time imagining that it could be different in the future.

Some things are really difficult, & sometimes those difficulties are an invitation to become more honest, humble, etc.

So what is your story inviting you to become in the days ahead? What do we need to remember? Which gifts do we need to be more grateful for? Thought-provoking questions for me as we head towards a new year.

Old Friends

Lee had a few of us round at his place last night; was lovely to meet his girlfriend Lisa & to catch up with some old friends…

Old Friends


Lee & Lisa


Lori & Connor