Shopping for Solutions

I’m going to a conference on Thursday and today I woke up feeling  nervous.

Nervous about changes in my routine and being in a new place.

Nervous about meeting new people and opening up to them.

Nervous because I’m seeing good friends and I’m scared I’ll be boring or weird or a burden.

Nervous about looking wrong and acting wrong and not being in control.

So here’s what I did.  I took my nerves shopping.

And I bought them:

4 tubs of funny-smelling shampoo (it was on offer. So that’s really not strange at all)

A striped t-shirt that screamed ‘chic Gallic charm’ in the shop and ‘mistake’ as soon as I’d left


(man this is embarrassing).

a pair of false eyelashes.


– Don’t. Say. It. I Know.

Last time I tried false eyelashes it was at a wedding and they spent the whole day escaping towards my chin. On what planet will I ever wear these – let alone a conference.


But you know, in the shop, these ridiculous purchases seemed to make sense.  With a head full of worries, they all addressed a need. They promised to make me into someone acceptable. Someone that strangers would like. Who friends would think charming.

Someone who doesn’t get nervous or wobbly. Someone strong and confident and beautiful and fun. Cheryl Cole, not Emma Scrivener.

I’ve returned the lashes.

And thought a bit about why I got them.

I knew I needed something. But it wasn’t in the shops.

What I needed was to talk to Jesus about being scared.  It wasn’t glossy hair or longer lashes.It was a pint of silence,  4 rolls of rest, a jug of joy and a punnet of peace. It was for free – and it was Him. So why do I keep forgetting this?





16 thoughts on “Shopping for Solutions

  1. I was reading Isaiah 55 this morning and v2 really jumped out at me –
    “Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
    and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
    Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
    Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare. (Isaiah 55:1, 2 NIV)

    And now I’ve read this – and I’m beginning to think God may be telling me something…

    (although I very much like the sound of Gallic chic- I think your nerves could totally pull that look off…)

  2. Love the candid truth about what happened -we’ve all done it (or something similar… I’ve never shopped for eye lashes!) and Tanya’s entry is on the button. Be yourself, Emma, because it’s the treasure of His love and work that then comes through:)

  3. This is exactly what I do – You’re not alone!

    I will have to remind myself of this article next time I pop into town.

    P.s. I’m Jane and Philip’s daughter (All Souls). Your book was so honest and beautifully written; I’m sure a lot of people will be inspired by it.

  4. Haha I relate to this on so many levels! :) I once decided that money could make me happy and so bought about $400 of clothes… but I was so flustered during the experience they were all the wrong sizes and colours and I had to overcome all my fears to return them! (Which I find a far more nerve wracking experience… especially if it’s the same girl on the till)

  5. How often do we do this – run around, frantically trying to find the answer. Then we go to Jesus – finally. We need reminding over and over that it’s always best to go to him first. But I forget….

  6. I have started to share constantly with many of my friends your thoughts from your blog. Your honesty helps me so much in different ways. Thank you Emma for being who you are instead of pretending to be only a successful, perfect person without any failure, fear or imperfection.

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