steps in wellies in the mud

Getting In More Steps

steps in wellies in the mud

This January I have taken on the “Party Hard, Train Harder” challenge from Teenage Cancer Trust, and set myself the target of doing 10,000 steps a day.  It’s talked about a lot as a good goal to have for a healthy lifestyle so I figured it would be the first step on a journey to losing a bit of weight and fitting back into my wedding dress (a goal I have before my 10th Wedding Anniversary!!).


Before I started tracking and thinking about this I would have a few days where I would reach 10,000 steps – mostly the days I walked my son to school.   Other days I would struggle to get up past 3,000 steps – these were the days I was working from home all day and doing not much else – and my average daily step count was probably more like 5-6,000.

I am now at the end of my second week of the challenge, and although I haven’t reached 10,000 steps every day (some would call me a failure) I have massively increased my daily step count.  There hasn’t been a day where I have done less than 7,000 steps, and those days have been rare.  My first week’s total was around 71,000 so my average was over 10,000 steps a day (yey!!).

If you, like me, want to take a first step on a training journey but aren’t ready to become a serious runner or anything (you know work and kids get in the way….), then here are some of my tips for getting in more steps:

  1. Walk whilst you are brushing your teeth – seriously.   This is dead time otherwise, and if you have an electric toothbrush that times your teethbrushing then that is 2 minutes of pacing up and down that could add a few hundred steps to your total.
  2. Go to the bathroom on a different floor – OK so maybe it’s just me that lives in a three storey town house with a toilet on every floor, but rather than going to the nearest one, why not actively choose to go to the toilet that is furthest away.  Or if you work in an office building, go to the furthest bathroom on your break.
  3. Walk whilst your kids are eating or watching TV – I eat my dinner after the kids are in bed, so normally during their tea time I am sat doing nothing or playing on my phone.  Now I am actively choosing to be up walking around whilst they are eating and watching TV.
  4. Walking whilst working – I work from home, so I’m often just sat at my desk on my computer.  Now I am trying to think what tasks I could do whilst walking.  Could you do phone calls whilst walking up and down the stairs?  Or thinking tasks maybe?
  5. Try to take one big trip out every day – I always think about trying to do one bit walk out everyday.  Whether that is to take the kids to school (my son’s school is 1.1 miles away so I clock up a good 6000 steps going there and back) or a walk down the canal in my lunch break, the only way I can reach a good total is to be out for half an hour or longer every day.
  6. Park a bit further away – This one sounds really simple, but how many of naturally just park in the closest space.  Why not park a couple of roads down when doing the school run and walk an extra bit.  Or park in the far corner of the car park at the supermarket.  All those extra steps will add up and get you closer to your total!
  7. Give yourself some fun weekly challenges – if you like taking photos or just a bit of a game, then each week set yourself a challenge that will encourage you to get out walking.  Maybe its to find the muddiest path, or the highest mountain.  You could write them on slips of paper, put them in a box and let your kids pick on each week.  That way you’re all enjoying getting out walking more!

Don’t forget to pop over to my justgiving page and leave a little donation towards my fundraising goal!

school sign

Being a Christian Mum at the School Gate

school sign

For the last few weeks I have been wondering how best to use the opportunity of being a mum at the school gate to share the love of Jesus.  I don’t want to be a weird mum who stands in the playground and preaches, but I also don’t want people to be completely unaware of my faith either.  It is a very difficult balance, but I am determined not to let this opportunity pass me by.

I asked the lovely Captivated mums their advice and ideas on how to do this, as I know many of them have school age children and have walked this road before me.  The collective advice was to be normal, make friends and let things grow from there.  As you would in any other situation, just being there for people, showing you care and taking an interest in their lives can make a huge difference, and it is how true friendships are formed and trust developed.

This was great advice, and I have already been praying for opportunities and boldness to get to know the other mums and dads a bit better.  This is easy with some and harder with others, but I will persevere!

As well as doing this I am planning to do some other things along the way to show love and demonstrate my faith to the parents and staff at the school.  Here are some of my ideas, and I hope you will share yours with me too!

  • Commit to praying for your child’s teacher and their class and let them know.  It is an amazing blessing to pray for someone, and even those who don’t share your faith will be complemented that you have taken the time to think of them.  As my son goes to a Catholic Primary School this wasn’t such a shock when I emailed his two class teachers to let them know I would be praying for them and the class.  I also asked them to send any prayer points over the year, whether personal or for the class in general, and one of them did!  I might follow this up with a card at each half term to remind them I have been praying.
  • Setting up a parents prayer group.  Someone on Captivated mentioned doing this and I think its a great idea!  Not only can you then reach out and forge relationships with other Christian parents, but you can cover the whole school in prayer.  I have heard of these groups blessing teachers on parents evening with meals and loving on the staff too, so I have enquired about whether there is one or if I can be involved in setting one up.  Again, this is probably a bigger mission opportunity in a non-faith based school.
  • End of Half Term Party. My son has already been inviting every member of his class round to his house for tea, and with us living a bit further from the school than I would like this makes it difficult.  But I came up with the idea of maybe hosting an end of half term party, where he can invite a few friends for tea on the last day of half term.  That way, he gets to play with his new school friends and I get to properly meet some of the mums and dads.
  • Suggest a class whats app group. Some parents in Captivated mentioned that they have a class whats app group where they can share reminders and invitations with other parents.  I am not sure whether to suggest this yet, but it is definitely an option to build community amongst the parents.

What has worked for you at the school gate?

monthly inspiration from rachel ridler mum on a mission

October Inspiration

monthly inspiration from rachel ridler mum on a mission

I am BRIMMING with inspiration for October!!!  So I hope that you will enjoy my collection of links, likes and lovely things that you can find below…..

  • Tiny Treasure Boxes – I love love love the Treasure Box People and me and Sam really enjoy working through the bible stories together every month.  Well now they have launched a box suitable for under 3’s!! Becky shares in this facebook live what is included in the new Tiny Treasures Box.
  • UCB’s Bag of Hope – I mentioned these over on my facebook page, so here is the link to the bags of hope that you can use to share the love of Jesus with trick or treaters on Halloween.
  • Parenting for Faith Course – I am really interested in doing this free course, and the video linked explains why this is might be useful for parents like me who want to help their children grow up in faith.
  • The Man Upstairs – Go Chatter is a really interesting you tube channel creating videos that try to draw out what we think about certain topics.  This video questions where we get our image of God from and its a really good question to ask ourselves sometimes…
catch up with joanna may chee

A Catch Up Cuppa with Joanna May Chee

catch up with joanna may chee

I offered all the lovely people that I spoke to a year ago in my first series of cuppa with interviews the chance to catch up and tell us all what they’ve been up to.  Joanna was the first to take me up on the offer, so lets see what’s been going on in her life…..

1. Hey you! Its been a year or so since we last spoke, so remind us a bit about yourself in one sentence…

I’m Joanna, wife to an amazing man, mum to four incredible teens, and I blog at

2. What has happened in the last year for you and your family?

It’s been a huge year. We moved back to UK from Turkey. It’s been a time of adjustment, getting used to English culture again, making new friends and enjoying easy food!

3. Have there been any answers to prayer or moments when you have seen God moving really clearly?

Lots! The six of us arrived back in UK with six suitcases and no home! God miraculously provided a wonderful house, a job for my husband, and schools for our kids. A lovely answer to prayer has been being able to get pets for our kids. We promised them a dog and cat when we moved back to UK but our landlord had a strict ‘no-pet’ policy. Miraculously, after he met us, he allowed us to get a puppy, and now one year later, after many prayers and continued begging from my daughter, he has also allowed us a kitten!

4. How have your kids grown and changed? Has this changed your parenting style?!

It’s been a year of change for our children. Two of them miss their friends in Turkey terribly, and have found it very difficult to settle here. Another, who was very unhappy in Turkey, is thriving here! Our eldest has left home and is hugely enjoying university life. I don’t think our parenting style has necessarily changed but we have had to be very sensitive to our children’s needs, and help our kids through the grief of leaving home and friends, and help them deal with anger and upset, which at times has been directed at us. I have needed to apologise to the two children who have had the toughest time (for uprooting them), and they are slowly becoming happier here.

5. What does the next year hold for you and what can we be praying for?

I’m really excited. Some of my life-long dreams are becoming reality! I’ve always wanted to write a book, and my first book ‘Forever Loved: Eve’s Story’ is going to be published in the next few months. It’s a creative retelling of the Bible story of Eve, focusing on God’s incredible love for Eve (and for us as women). I’ve also just released an online course called Knowing God: Going Deeper. This is a free 3-day course for women who are hungry for more of God. I’m quite nervous about putting it out there as it’s the first time I’ve ever videoed myself, but I really pray it reaches and blesses many women. God’s done so much in my life, and I want to share it.

On top of all that, I’m about to launch a new website – – which will feature my upcoming books and courses and be a devotional resource for women. I’d love you to pray as I put the finishing touches to all these projects, especially to get the book out there soon – there have been many hitches and delays, and it will be amazing to just have it done! Thank you!

6. Have you come across any great resources for mission or teaching our children about the bible that you can share with us all?

A great resource for families in transition (especially going to or from the mission field) is 22 Activities for Families in Transition by Amy Young (scroll down her page to view it). It’s filled with fun activities to help you and your family prepare for and process change. I also recommend Girls Created To Shine – a fun 12-week course in God’s word and the issues girls face today. This course is created by a wonderful friend of mine, and I hugely respect her heart to reach tween girls with God’s truth and love.

7. Finally – show us a pic of your favourite mug!

I don’t actually drink tea or coffee, so this mug gets used more by my daughter! But it’s still a special mug, given to me by my lovely sister-in-law.

sister mug

Its been so great to catch up with you Joanna – praying for this next amazing step in your writing dream x

Eve Week 6 – Who’s holding a grudge?!

This week we bring our series on Eve to a close (pop over to Naomi’s blog if you missed last weeks write up).  So I am going to try to tie up everything we’ve learnt, but I shall start off with our verse from this week:

“Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.” Genesis 4:1

Holding a grudge when no-one else is…

Let me ask you a question – have you ever been involved in a debate over sin, the fall and the punishments involved?  Have you ever been a little bit angry that God judges us and thought it necessary to punish mankind?  Then you are probably holding a little bit of a grudge about this part of the bible.

But when I examined this verse the thing that surprised me is that no-one else is! Adam isn’t holding a grudge with Eve because she was the one that handed him the fruit.  No, Adam still loves his wife and is making love to his wife.  I am sure the temptation to walk away from her in a huff as the exited the garden of Eden was there, but Adam didn’t do that.  He stayed by the side of his wife and faced this new world together.genesis 4

Eve isn’t holding a grudge with God either.  She doesn’t think her punishment is unfair, or sit shouting at God through her now painful childbirth.  Instead she actually PRAISES God through it.  She made a mistake and turned her back on God, but she knows that is not the best way to live.  So when she faces this new world outside of Eden she knows that the only way to survive is with God by her side helping her.

So if Adam and Eve aren’t holding a grudge about this, given everything they had to go through, then why should we?  If Adam and Eve can accept their punishment then why can’t we?  And if Adam and Eve can not “over-react” and not throw their dummies out of the pram over this, then who are we to do it when we face the punishment of sin?

Dealing with change well

The second thing that really stood out from this the verse to me is that way that Eve deals with change.  When I stepped into Eve’s shoes I walked the sorry path from Eden, a place of perfection, plenty and blessing, into a sad and sinful world.  I felt that fear of change and getting used to doing life in a new way.  I’m sure we’ve all experienced something similar – moving home, starting a new job, stepping into a new ministry.  How do we deal with it?

I’ll tell you how Eve dealt with it – she trusted in God, walked with God and asked God for help.  Everything she needed to survive in this scary new world, she knew she could find in God.  Naomi mentioned that she had been thinking about Eve as she laboured on her own for the first time ever – no “What to expect when you’re expecting” book as a guide, no doulas or midwives to advise her and definitely no gas and air!!!  That is a scary thought.  But she did the only thing she knew would work – asked God for help.  And God delivered – He helped Eve give birth to the first baby.

Lets take a leaf out of Eve’s book and walk in her shoes.  Whatever changes you are facing (I know I have some pretty scary things like moving house in the next year), lets walk it with God, ask him for help and deal with the change positively.  Lets not moan about the change, or complain about why it has happened – it has happened and you can’t change that, but you can change the way you deal with it and approach it.

what do we think of eve?

So we have now spent a whole six weeks studying this mysterious woman, Eve.  The first ever woman.  My initial thoughts about Eve from what I knew was that she was a bit weak, feeble, easily misled and the one who brought womankind down.  But after this time I see the incredible strength Eve must have had to face new worlds, new situations and taking the brunt of punishment for her actions.  I see what God initially intended for women – to be equal, loved and cherished by their husbands and a vital helper that man couldn’t live without.  This is an amazing picture, and I have a lot more respect for Eve now.  Maybe you’ve discovered something different, so please do share below.  (You can also watch Naomi’s video of her Eve thoughts here)

Next week

As a brief interlude, we will be dropping in on the life of Noah’s Wife.  Not much is said about her, but I wonder what was going through her mind during this well loved story in the bible.  You can join us by meditating on this verse:

“On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark.” Genesis 7:13

Naomi will be leading the discussions this week over in our Facebook Community, so do join us by signing up below:

[contact-form to=”” subject=”MM sign up”][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”1″][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”1″][/contact-form]

fallen warriors

A Cuppa with Mark Anderson Smith

a cuppa with mark anderson smith

Welcome to another cuppa with interview – pop the kettle on a get comfy as we get to know Mark a little bit better…

1. Introduce yourself to us in one sentence ….

Hi, I’m Mark Anderson Smith and I’ve been a missionary, a mystery shopper, a health care assistant, and have crewed on a North Sea helicopter, but now make a living developing applications and databases for businesses.

2. What is it that you create?

fallen warriorsI’m a writer and have published two novels: Christian thriller—Fallen Warriors, and political novel—The Great Scottish Land Grab

To read more info on these and find out where to buy visit

You can also read reviews of Fallen Warriors on Goodreads.

3. Tell us the story of how it all started.

It started many years ago aged eight when I realised I wanted to create worlds like the ones I was reading about and tell stories about those worlds. Fast forward a couple of decades to 2007 while I wrote short stories and articles, when something said in a church service sparked the thought that it would be great to create a TV series where the characters performed miracles like we read in the bible. I hadn’t a clue how to get a TV series made so decided I would turn the idea into a novel which became Fallen Warriors.

I jotted down ideas and made a start and then realised that an idea I’d had ten years previously—about a terrorist attack in York, England—could work really well if I joined the two stories up. The story turned out to be harder to write than I’d believed possible and I stalled a few times. Then on a business trip I had another idea.

I’ve always been interested in owning land and found a website called: Who Owns Scotland. The website highlighted that much of the land we think of as publically owned is actually owned in secret by a few wealthy people. Looking deeper into the history of how that land came to be owned by them revealed a sordid tale of greed and violence and deception. It got me thinking: what if we could grab that land back. Within a few minutes I’d turned that thought into a title: The Great Scottish Land Grab.

All well and good, but I was already working on one novel and knew I needed to finish that, until someone suggested I try the NaNoWriMo challenge – write a 50,000 word novel during November. I couldn’t use Fallen Warriors, but knew this was a chance to complete a first draft of a novel and so accepted the challenge. By the end of that month I had my very first draft completed!

The problem then was that I had no experience of editing a story. I now had two novels, one partially complete and the other with a few major flaws and didn’t know how to turn them into the gripping stories I wanted them to be.

In the meantime I was developing my career as a software developer. Early in 2014 it occurred to me that I spent all day, every day, writing and editing code and documents that were being used by hundreds of people. I’d never thought to link my day job to my fiction writing. While editing a story is very different to editing a computer program, I realised I did have editing skills and just needed to work out how to use them to improve my novels.

2014 was a crazy year in Scotland. We held an independence referendum on whether or not to leave the UK. As I started to get caught up in discussions about how to vote, I realised The Great Scottish Land Grab could be adapted to be set during the referendum and that I could introduce some cliff-hanger events that would propel the story along. I set myself the task of writing a series of four short books to be released in the months leading up to the referendum. The Great Scottish Land Grab was eventually completed in three published ebooks just a week before the vote was due!

Having successfully edited and published Land Grab I then turned back to Fallen Warriors which was published in March this year.


4. How do you include your faith into your work and what you make?

In Land Grab it was quite subtle. I wanted the main characters—Robert and Helen Castle—to have the same worldview that I have and so in my mind they are Christians. However, some of the choices that Robert makes are quite extreme. There was more than a little Mussolini in him! At times in the story, the way he faces off against the police and High Court judges and politicians is revolutionary, and I felt it was important to push him as far as I could, to get under the skin of what it might take to transform a nation

In Fallen Warriors I wanted to avoid clichés that I’d seen in Christian stories before. The underlying story is of broken and damaged people being called to do great things by God, yet struggling with real life problems. It’s been quite satisfying to find that readers are able to relate to the struggles and suffering the characters face and also find hope that God is at work even in the darkest places we find ourselves.

5. Do you have any inspiration or encouragement for us?

Probably since 2003 I’ve been very focused on goals. I had a mini mid-life crisis when I turned thirty, realised I couldn’t really support my family, that I had two children and no career. I made the decision to go back to school, got a Higher National Certificate and found that focusing on clear goals could have a transformative effect on my life.

I would encourage everyone reading this to think about what you want out of life, to think about what is really important, to think about where you want to be in five and ten years time. Set some big, scary, ambitious goals and start thinking about how you could achieve them, and asking God and discussing with friends. I found that as I did this, my priorities changed and that I found true friends who came alongside and helped me.

Recently I’ve been reading In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon. This is posing a new challenge to me…

6. Please share a photo of your favourite mug!

Mark Anderson Smith I’ve a few favourite mugs, but the one I’m holding in the picture means a lot to me. If you zoom in, you might just see the Microsoft Access database logo with a little wizard’s hat sitting on top. Recent clients gave this to me after I completed a project for them developing a database system that automated the creation of Power-Point slide decks. It meant a lot to have the work I did and the time I spent mentoring the team valued by them.

And that’s me!


Thank you so much Mark for sharing a bit of your creative journey with us!  Praying all goes well with your two books (don’t forget to check out the links to where you can buy them!).

autumn reading wishlist

Autumn Reading Wishlist

autumn reading wishlist

After writing my Summer reading wishlist, I have felt really inspired and motivated to buy and read the books I mentioned.  So I want to carry that on every season, starting with my new Autumn reading wishlist.  This time I have included some books for the boys too, I hope you enjoy it!

  • A Christmas Family Godventure by Victoria Beech – I have always been inspired by the christmas godventure bookresources that Victoria from Godventure produces, and I will be lucky enough to go to a workshop she is running down in Nottingham next month.  I also want to make this Christmas really meaningful, now that Sam has started school and will have other voices influencing his opinions of it.  I will be getting a head start by reading through this and thinking about what activities we will do in the lead up to Christmas – why not buy yourself one in advance too?
  • Eric Says Thanks by Dai Hankey – After reviewing the third book in this series, Eric Says Please, I am loving Dai’s style of writing and way of communicating biblical principles through story.  I would like to get this for the boys to read – maybe it will go on the Christmas list!
  • by Jodi Picoult – I am enjoying having a novel on the go at the moment, as I don’t have to think too much whilst I am reading.  I picked up this book from our local Re-Read stand, where you can donate books and take a free one too.  I used to love Jodi’s books which take a legal grey area and challenge your thinking on it.
  • by Francis Chan –  We started reading this book as a lifegroup and following the DVD series, but we got stuck halfway through. It was really eye opening though as to what our relationship with God should truly be like that I want to make sure I finish it this year.

What books are you planning to snuggle up and read now that the nights are drawing in?

autumn reading wishlist

mug and teapot

A Cuppa With Johanna Baldwin

johanna baldwin

Welcome back to another in my cuppa with series!  I have my tea in hand and am ready to get to know another amazingly creative lady (whose new book I actually won and reviewed on behalf of!) ….

1. Introduce yourself to us in one sentence ….

Hi, I’m Johanna, I’m 33, I have two beautiful children and a very lovely husband, and I’m trying my best to listen to and live out God’s callings for my life.

2. What do you do at the moment and how did “A Really Incredible Feast” come about?

Johanna's familyAt the moment I am a full time mum to John (3 and a half) and Sophie (20 months). I also lead a Roots Group along with my husband Andy as part of our church, have recently joined the team that plans and organises our church’s annual women’s conference (Winter Glory) and will be helping out with the daytime Alpha Course starting at our church in September.

My book of rhyming Bible stories for children, “A Really Incredible Feast” was published by Scripture Union in July this year. I wrote the first two stories over four years ago now, after struggling to find what I was looking for when I wanted to buy a baptism present for the baby of friends who aren’t really believers themselves. There were lots of great Bible story books out there, which I knew that parents who knew Jesus would be keen to read with their children, but I was concerned that any Bible or Bible stories I might give to my friends might just get put on a shelf and forgotten. The children I knew were really into fun, rhyming books like Julia Donaldson’s “The Gruffalo” or “Stick Man” and I wanted something that would grab children’s attention in a similar way, with fun rhymes and rhythms, and great illustrations to engage them in the stories.

Before becoming a mum, I was a children’s speech and language therapist, so I know that hearing and reading rhyme is really good for children’s development of speech, language and literacy, and is a powerful way to help make things memorable. Having been unable to find what I was looking for, I decided to have a go myself. I wrote the first two stories, and sent them off to one publisher, but received a reply to say they weren’t interested. By this stage I was part-way through my first pregnancy, pretty tired and pretty busy, and the project got put to one side for a while.

johanna baldwin and daughterWhen my son was 1 year old, we went to Spring Harvest, which was the first real time out I’d had to reflect and listen to God in a while. In one seminar we were encouraged to write down our ‘dreams from God’ and to think about steps he was calling us to take towards those things. One of my dreams was the rhyming Bible stories idea. Back at home afterwards, I shared this with my church Roots Group, read them the two stories I had written, and they were all really enthusiastic and encouraging. Spurred on by these things, I sent the stories to Scripture Union, and after a long wait, heard that they wanted to use them, but wanted four more stories to create a collection of six.

By this stage my son was 2 years old and I also had a 7 month old baby who was not sleeping at all well! Finding time to write was definitely a challenge, but I thoroughly enjoyed writing each story, and it was really fun to do something that was me ‘being me’ as well as the all consuming sleep deprived mum role! From there, SU found the amazing Hannah Wheeler to do the illustrations, and in July this year it was published! A very surreal feeling for me, seeing my name on the front of a book, but it really is a dream (from God!) come true.

3. Do you have any more books planned for the future?

I’m just starting to have some regular time to sit down and think about/write some more stories. My cousin’s children have requested some stories from the Old Testament next, so I will see what I can come up with! I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in to writing some more, as it is such a fun process when it flows well. I’m really hoping that “A Really Incredible Feast” will be popular enough that SU will want to publish some more!

4. How do you include your faith into your work and writing?

I may have answered this in Question 2… but the whole thing has been very much inspired by my love of God, and my desire to be able to help children to enjoy reading about him in order to get to know him better, and to understand how amazing and exciting he is. Each story in “A Really Incredible Feast” is about a miracle that Jesus did, so before starting each one, I spent time reading all of the gospel accounts of the story, thinking carefully about the interesting details, and the ideas and messages I wanted to communicate to the readers, and praying that God would inspire my writing.

5. Do you have any inspiration or encouragement for us?

When I first started thinking about writing the stories, the idea of actually seeing them published felt like a really improbable thing to the rational part of me, and that first rejection was really discouraging, but God kept nudging me and prompting me, and although it felt like a very long process, his timing has been perfect, and it has been so exciting to see this dream come to fruition. I am sure there are many other people out there who could have written these stories just as well, if not better, than me, but nobody had, so I listened to God’s quiet prompting and gave it a try. So I’d like to encourage others to persevere and keep trusting God when things that you believe he is calling you to do take a long time to happen. And also if you see a gap that needs filling, and no-one else is doing it, and you have the skills and can make the time, then give it a go!

6. Please share a photo of your favourite mug!

mug and teapot

Thanks Johanna for sharing that amazing journey of writing your book with us!  You can follow Johanna on twitter @johannarbaldwin , read my review of “A Really Incredible Feast” here or grab your own copy for only £5.99 at

rory henderson

A Cuppa With Rory Henderson


rory henderson

I am carrying on my series of “cuppa with” interviews by chatting to the very talented Rory Henderson, who has been working on something very exciting…..

1. Introduce yourself to us in one sentence ….

Hi, my name is Rory and I’m a graphic design student that likes to make nice images.

2. What is it that you create?

boatEverything! That may be a slight exaggeration, but I enjoy a wide range of things. I like to make posters and videos and all sorts of imagery. I mostly use a computer, but I always involve a large range of techniques in what I do, like photography, illustration, CGI and typography. I especially enjoy working with others, as it means I can help them express their ideas in the best way possible. I try to be as flexible as I can as an artist, and that means I usually end up producing a wide range of things for a wide range of ideas. At the moment my interest is primarily in typography, but in the end I could probably be summed up as an image maker. There’s so many different ways out there to make art, the endless possibilities are very exciting. And I’m only really at the beginning of it all!

3. Tell us the story of how it all started.

I never considered doing art seriously until after looking at potential universities, when I found out that you could make a career out of being creative, who knew! I wasn’t even taking art as a subject at the time, so I took some convincing and encouraging from friends and teachers, but I ended up making a portfolio in my free time which showed me how much I enjoyed being creative, and got me into uni. I originally wanted to do a subject called creative advertising – as the emphasis was all on idea generation and being innovative and thinking outside the box – but I am thankful that I ended up doing graphic design, as it offers me such freedom in my creative practice.

4. How do you include your faith into your work and what you make?

Because I make a wide range of things, I often end up working on projects that don’t allow me to express my faith in my art. But I try to always include it, to whatever extent possible. The graphic designer however is almost always serving others, so I can do this to the glory of God! Creating and being creative is a wonderful gift and it always makes me think how much my own creations pale in comparison to His.

I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity of my most recent project, a collaboration with the blog Gospel Centred Parenting, as it allowed me to put the expression of faith as the most important aspect of the project, with the aim of communicating that to families and helping people grow in love for Jesus. The project was a set of Jesse Tree Ornaments, each with a design relating to a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible to help families anticipate Christmas. For this I reimagined old woodcut techniques, and it was incredible being able to follow Jesus through all these stories and make images out of them. I really enjoyed this and hope others enjoy them too, and I look forward to more opportunities to share my love for Jesus through art!

(I spoke to Cathy from Gospel Centred Parenting earlier this year – catch her cuppa with interview here!)




5. Do you have any inspiration or encouragement for us?

When I create things, rarely if ever am I fully pleased with the end result or the way things turn out. I find it incredibly encouraging that our own creator doesn’t feel that way about us! We were made through him and he rejoices and delights in that creation, so much so that he would die for it, for us!

6. Please share a photo of your favourite mug!

This is my tiny minions mug! Sorry, I’m not much of a tea or coffee drinker but it works just fine for hot chocolate.

rory henderson

Thanks so much for having a cuppa with us Rory!  You can browse Rory’s other work on his behance page

hug in a box

September Inspiration

monthly inspiration from rachel ridler mum on a mission

Welcome to the month of “BACK TO SCHOOL” and all that jazz.  If you are a mum like me, facing the school run and all that entails then maybe you need a bit of inspiration in your life right now. Here are some of my fave things for September:

  • Standing in the gap, standing at the gates – I have to admit I’m a little scared about being a mum at the school gates.  So reading this article was really interesting about how one couple used this opportunity to connect with new people and share the gospel.
  • Playtime: Action Songs for Toddlers – Being launched at the playtime conference, this is a CD of fun action songs for your Christian toddler group.  Only £5.99 so well worth the investment!
  • HUG IN A BOX – I think these are amazing – who wouldn’t want to receive a hug in a box???!  From Bitty Button, there a various different ones that anyone would love. hug in a box
  • Free Parenting Ebook – The Good Book Company are offering free ebooks every month, and September’s is called “Gospel Centred Family”.
  • Meal time grace placemat – If you want a visual reminder for your under 5’s as to what to say during grace, then this is a fantastic free printable you can use.
  • ASK ME – UCB Radio have created a new resource for everyone to use to help us in our personal evangelism.
  • Moana: Finding God in Movies – A really interesting video exploring the biblical themes in Moana.