Many Christians want an answer to the question "What does God want me to do with my life?" If you've been around churches for a while, there's a chance that you will have collected some ideas that make it harder, rather than easier, to answer that question. This episode explores some of those calling myths.
Rachel has done many things in her life. Including a career in the police force, running a dance school and working with horses. Now she works as a self employed cleaner and loves what she does. In this wide ranging conversation, she shares the wisdom she has gained from living with mental health challenges and her story of finding a job that works for her.
Catherine is joined by Polly for our fourth conversation looking at personality throughout the lens of the Myers Briggs model. This time we’re discussing what Myers Briggs refers to as Sensing and Intuition - the S and the N for those who speak MBTI.
Are you practical, down to earth and good at remembering details? Do you like ideas and theories? Do you prefer to learn by thinking things through or experiencing them first hand? Do you love a good gossip or do you get bored by small talk? How many notebooks do you own?
We all have a preference for either sensing (focusing on details and practicalities) or intuition (seeing the big picture, looking for connections and possibilities). Catherine and Polly discuss the profound impact these differences have on the ways that we understand the world, communicate with one another and organise our lives. Even down to how many notebooks we might choose to own. Lots of information here to help you to understand yourself and other people a bit better and avoid some common causes of misunderstanding.
Beauty has a way of touching our souls very deeply and helping us to connect to the Divine. The beauty we discover in the world around us is an interesting angle from which to consider our calling. What is it that you find beautiful? That might just give you a clue as to what you're called to do in the world.
One of the things that's promised in the 'Christianity Starter Pack' is feeling unconditionally loved and welcomed by God but often it can be the work of years or decades to truly begin to find it. Not because it isn't there, but because some of the patterns and tools that we had already picked up in life, in early childhood, can get in the way of us seeing it. In this episode Catherine converses with Sean about attachment styles and the impact these can have on one's Christianity, and the Christianity they see in others.
Alanna has created a sacred space, a sanctuary in the Staffordshire countryside where people come to be heard, to take a breather from the challenges of their lives, to be cherished for an hour. Oh. And to get a really good haircut. Alanna has been a hairdresser since she was 16. She shares about how her faith, her love for people and her talent for hairdressing all come together.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? It’s not always as obvious as you’d think. This is the second episode focusing on personality. Catherine and Polly discuss the difference between extraversion and introversion and how our preferences affect how we relax and restore our energy, the way we communicate with others and how our sensory environment affects us. There are clues here about how to understand yourself and the people around you.
There are two Cathys in this episode! Our host, Catherine Cowell, is joined by her friend Cathy, who shares her journey so far being Mum to her son Guy. A journey of small birth weight and inducement, of a traumatic birth story and the NICU. A story of breathing problems (bronchiolitis) and late night trips to hospital. Of metopic synostosis/fused sutures and major surgery. Of epilepsy and Autism. Of both mainstream and special school. And of family.
But also, a story of hope, fear, sorrow, much joy, of prayers answered, and of drama.
It's a long one, so settle in, but make sure you've got the tissues handy, because it's an emotional journey through the past 9 years. And it's a privilege to get to hear it.
In this episode we meet another podcaster! We hear his story about why he does what he does, how he feels about being on the listening end of other stories, and some of the challenges he's overcome along the way. Some heavy topics come up in this episode, including; suicide, alcoholism and gaming addiction. We discuss parental love, and parental rejection. The challenge of hypoglycaemia and how living with visual impairment is considerably easier than managing the barriers and prejudices that society creates . This is a tale of hope, resilience, courage, & adversity. In this episode, Catherine meets broadcaster Philip Francis Anderson.
If pregnancy, birth and motherhood are not living up to the ideals you imagined and you're experiencing way less sleep and way more difficulties than you bargained for, this episode is for you. Even if that's not your situation, there is lots to learn here.
In this episode Catherine interviews Sarah Page about the gruelling glory and redemption she experienced in the transition from monastic prayer warrior to severely sleep-deprived mother of a suffering baby, and then stepping into the balance between the two as they've grown up, with lessons learned and a call to the church to do it differently.
It's a story of when dreams and expectations don't end up lining up with reality, and the choice to either let them go, or live with them being ripped from you. The God who is there in both the bad and the good.
It's one woman's very personal, difficult story. And a universal story about finding -- and being found by -- God, during difficult times. Inside and outside of church.
Content warning for pregnancy/birth/breastfeeding, birth trauma, miscarriage, and a baby that would not stop screaming.
This is the third in our series on personality, users the lens of the Myers-Briggs model. This time, Catherine is joined by Sean Kennedy to discuss thinking and feeling. How do you process information? When faced with a situation, do you work out what you think about it before you decide what you feel about it? Or are you one of those people who doesn't know what they think about something until they've understood what they feel about it? What difference might that make to your life, your relationships with others and the way you like to work?
While studying theology, Katie discovered that there were women and women's movements in church history that she knew nothing about. Incredible, creative, humanitarians, writers and revolutionaries who have been largely forgotten. People like Julian of Norwich, whose writings only survived because they were hidden by nuns for centuries. Desert mothers, Marie D'Oignies and the Beguines. Katie shares her discoveries, the way her learning has given her insights into the lives of women today and her passion for supporting the women around her.
Ever had a reaction that seemed really out of proportion to the situation at hand? Or a fear that you knew was irrational? Ever wondered why your inner voice can be so darn critical at times?
In this episode Catherine talks with Sally Bubbers, a psychotherapist, who answers all these questions and more as she explains the Parts Theory of Internal Family Systems. A slightly shorter episode, but dense with food for thought, delivered with Catherine's usual welcome, grace and good humour. Definitely one you do not want to miss!
Catherine talks with Felicia, who founded and pastors New Life Family Church. In their conversation together, Felicia shares the story of how that happened.
It's a story of welcome, of tears, of considered decisions and second chances. And a story of reading the times, knowing when to move forward and when to wait. It’s about the fact that calling is far more about who we are than what we do. Above all, it’s about love. There’s a lot to learn from Felicia in this episode!
Do you feel like your faith suddenly isn't making sense any more? Have the answers you've been relying on stopped making sense? Feeling like you've outgrown church...but you don't really want to abandon it? Like you're too far along and this should all be sorted by now? Where the worldview you formed from reading the Bible doesn't properly fit your actual real life, and, like having one foot each side on a cracking iceberg, you need to take a leap in order to be left with any hope at all? And, ever felt like you're all on your own with it?
As to the last, you are not on your own. In this episode, Catherine talks with Joe Davis from The Mid-Faith Crisis podcast, and they explore together common stages of Christian faith that look nothing like the previous ones -- and everything like it at the same time, and what growing up to maturity in the faith really looks like.
Howard is a baptist minister who chose to leave his successful church in the posh part of Birmingham to move with his wife, Iona, to Cobridge, one of the most deprived areas of Stoke on Trent. He no longer leads a church. Instead, working as part of Urban Expression, he and Iona seek simply to be a blessing to the community they have grown to love. He talks honestly about the challenges and joys of leaving behind his previous role and what he has learnt about the radical acceptance of Jesus.