Notre-Dame

Sofa is generally known for sharing either silly things about Church, or silly things the Church has said or done.

On a good day, Sofa can be accused of being funny. (Occasionally on purpose) .

Somedays it doesn’t feel right to share flippant things.

At the time of typing, Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is on fire, in the midst of it, hopeful footage has been shared on Social Media, and it just feels right to share it here.

Most recent news I’ve heard by the way, is that “the structure of the building is saved”. Perhaps. Sometimes. There is space for hope within world news.

“I Thought There Would Be Cake” by Katharine Welby-Roberts

So I got the opportunity to review the book “I Thought There Would Be Cake” from Katherine Welby-Roberts. The quick version is I loved it.

Here’s the longer version…

Some book titles grab my attention more than others. As a lover of cake, Gluten Free Chocolate cake to be precise, a book called “I Thought There Would Be Cake” lept out and got my attention. I have to admit, knowing Katherine’s’ name from various tweets, blogs,  and online videos about living with mental health, drew me to reading this.

I feel that before I talk about the book, I should sum up what its about – yet (possibly due to the conversational and personal nature of the book) I am struggling to sum it up nicely, therefore I’m going to steal some text from the books page on Amazon.

Growing up, Katherine Welby-Roberts imagined that being an adult was one big party. But depression, anxiety and crippling self-doubt led her to alienate herself from others. To replay events and encounters as nightmares. Occasionally, to be unable to leave the house.
Aware of the cacophony of voices in her head, Katharine invites us to join her as she journeys to the depths of her soul. Here, with instinctive honesty and humour, she confronts the parts of her story that hinder her most.

Lets talk about what this book isn’t: Its not a self help book designed to try and give you answers. Where some books may ask questions, for self reflection, and give no answers. Kathryn asks, and encourages us to ask the question of ourselves, then gives an honest look at her feelings about what she’s asking.

Instead of self help, this gives an insight into someones journey. Katherine offers an insight into her struggles with feelings of low self worth, depression, and anxiety. She shares what she’s learnt on the journey, maybe there’s something here that can either help you understand your own feelings, or indeed – something else someone else may be feeling.

There are a number of topics covered here including, needing affirmation, how we measure our identity (Do we tie our identity up with what we do? What happens when what we do, fails?), replaying conversations, carrying other peoples burdens, and this is all done in a conversational style that both gets, and keeps your attention.

One of the standout chapters for me was the look at Social Media. It takes you on a discussion of the negative, verses the positive aspects of its use. She discusses that it’s a complex balancing act, and links the need for affirmation from social media to the value that someone believes about themselves. Interestingly this is not the first time I’ve seen this conclusion discussed in text about social media. Yet its still a refreshing conclusion to read, as the last “Christian” book I read on the subject seemed so anti social media.

While I don’t have depression at the moment, there is plenty here in this honest book that rings true for me. There’s talk of anxiety, self doubt, and (what I would call) reluctance of finishing a project, that I do see and feel in myself.

This book is a journey of questions, with  some space for reflection, with the underlying message: that what you are, right now, is enough.

Now, where can I find some cake?

I Thought There Would Be Cake is available from Amazon and other book stores.

(Disclaimer: The above contains affiliate links. The book was provided free, but all opinions and ramblings are my own)

List of Random Ways To Show Love And Acceptance

This post called also be called “Not celebrating your victory in other peoples faces”, “Nice Things To Make People Smile”, “How not to fight with people who have a different opinion to you”, or indeed, “How not to be a jerk”.

I’m not going to write about how messy peoples feelings can get after an election / referendum / regeneration / big political news*, as I would find myself trying to find new ways of writing the same points every few months.

So instead of trying to fight over the result of the above mentioned event, why don’t we try doing something more positive instead?

Here’s a number of ideas of different ways that we can spread love and acceptance to people around us.

Do The Flippin Dishes.

There’s no point looking after people in the neighbourhood, if you don’t take care of those nearest to you. Do the washing up every now and then.

Hit The Block Button.

We all know people that share and write stuff online that at best, you don’t agree with. At worst you wonder if they are trying to make people angry.

Why don’t we just block them? Or at least Mute them or something. Dont choose to see their stuff if they are going to make you angry.

Hand Out Free Hugs.

Something like this?

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Or like this?

Drop a Letter On The Ground

Write a letter to a stranger, and leave it somewhere for them to find. Something like these guys.

Watch a Kids TV Show or a Movie.

Face it.
Kids movies are awesome. Theres normally bright colours, wide eyed characters, wonder, and songs.

Or educate yourself on the innocent wonder of Sarah and Duck…

Volunteer For A Local Charity / Organization.

community-897760_960_720

Because volunteers are awesome, and there’s probably something out there you’d like doing. (I personally know of opportunities to cook, and build lego.*) If nothing else, doing something good might help to improve your CV.

Like EVERYTHING

 

Step 1. Order loads of these stickers from Amazon.facebook-like-sticker

Step 2. PUT THEM EVERYWHERE!!!!

 

Any other suggestions you’d like to share?

*Please delete as appropriate.

More Ways to Show Love and Acceptance.

So, lets face it. 2016 is an interesting year. With arguably negative political campaigns held on either side of the Atlantic, leading to negativity spilling out of the newspapers and impacting people in a real way. It feels like the world is leaving 2016 in a far more negative place then when it entered it.

I’m not going to write a full discourse looking at why this may be the case, instead I’m going to look at a few ideas of what could be done to improve matters. (There’s no way of phrasing the next sentence without being cheesy) How can we spread more love in 2016?

Read The Gruffalo…

Kids books are awesome, and the world needs more awesome. Try The Gruffalo for a flavour of awesome. Actually try anything from Julia Donaldson.

Volunteer For A Local Charity / Organization.

community-897760_960_720

Because volunteers are awesome, and there’s probably something out there you’d like doing. (I personally know of opportunities to cook, and build lego.*) If nothing else, doing something good might help to improve your CV.

Write A Love Letter To A Stranger.

Like these guys…

 

Abundance redefined. ?? #LL2S

A photo posted by Love Letters 2 Strangers (@loveletters2strangers) on

Cook Your Neighbour A Meal.

Because who doesn’t love free food?

(Doesn’t have to look this nice)

food

Offer Free Hugs

tumblr_mvc64gapgg1sfaoejo1_1280

Like EVERYTHING

 

Step 1. Order loads of these stickers from Amazon.facebook-like-sticker

Step 2. PUT THEM EVERYWHERE!!!!

 

Any other suggestions you’d like to share?

*These are two separate volunteer positions, at different places. There isn’t a magical place where you cook AND play with lego…. I dont think.

 

Random Ways to Show Love and Acceptance.

So, lets face it. Its still an “interesting” time in England. With no England Manager, no Prime Minister, and possibly maybe no leader of the opposition*, there is a fair bit of interesting news going on. This is against the backdrop of arguments between the two different sides of the Brexit debate, and sadly, a fair amount of news of racist attacks from various parts of the country. I’m not going to write a full discourse looking at why this may be the case, instead I’m going to look at a few ideas of what could be done instead. (There’s no way of phrasing the next sentence without being cheesy) How can we spread love, instead of Hate?

Read kids books.

Stick-Man-008

Kids books are awesome, and the world needs more awesome. Give Stick Man a try.

Check out your local European food shop.

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I dont know, but I imagine owners of European food shops may want a bit of love at the moment. Why dont you try popping in to one and spend a bit of money on things you would normally buy from a supermarket. Look out for amazing beer, and Chocolate Oreo Cake Things….

Give out some scones.

Like these guys…

… obviously you want jam on first…

Does your local Mosque need anything?

For example…

 

Cake.

CAKE

Drop a cake around to your neighbours.

Because everyone loves cake.

Wear a safety pin.

Pin

Because it shows you’re safe…

Offer Free Hugs

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Do some Street Preaching.

Proclaim out of love that everyone is going to hell.
Street-Preacher

No. I’m kidding.

Dont do this.

Please.

Any other suggestions you’d like to share?

*Maybe the Queen should run the country? Maybe there should be a petition for this?

“The Note” from Richard Littledale

Long term friend of The Sofa, writer / broadcaster / Church leader Richard Littledale is releasing a short audiobook today called “The Note”.

Richard has this to say about “The Note”:

”There is something people don’t know about notes, even though it’s all around them, all the time, here it is…. every note goes on forever, once it’s been played or sung, it stays out there hidden in the air until it’s needed again… this is the story of the loveliest note of all!”.

“The Note” is described as “a story of hope and never ending love”, told over 6 min, the audiobook that will be released on itunes and all other digital stores on Friday 18 December, and cost 99p.

If you can’t wait that long, please click the image below to listen to a sample…

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Proceeds from this audiobook will benefit Tommy’s Charity, who research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and provides advice and support for all parents-to-be to help them have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Download from iTunes.