Sarah McCarten


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Thirty things you could learn from a woman over 50. A guest post by Ronne Rock

I am so grateful that Ronne Rock agreed to contribute to this series, she is wise and witty and wonderful. I met her through Elora Ramirez’s Story101 eCourse. When she told me her topic I was so excited, and after reading it I can tell you that it has surpassed every one of my expectations. Do enjoy it.

I remember when I thought 30 was forever away. Now it seems as though it was last week in this life that keeps propelling forward at a rate somewhere between feverishly fast and awkwardly slow. Here are 30 random things this gal has learned (or is still learning) in her 5+ decades of living.

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Thirty things I love about Sarah McCarten – A guest post by Kelly Maxted.

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 So this is weird isn’t it? I know my blog is often about self promotion but this takes the biscuit doesn’t it? When my very best friend asked to contribute things that she loved about me for this series I had no idea that she was serious. It turns out she was. So here it is; thirty things my best friend loves about me.

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Thirty things…

My lovely friends;

I wonder if I can ask you something?

In a few short weeks I’ll turn thirty and I’d love to do something different on my blog to mark the occasion.

For the thirty days following my birthday I’ll be hosting a series called Things Things…  I’d love you to participate. I would like to post your Thirty Things… Some ideas are below.

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Thirty things I love about the church.

Thirty things I wish I knew about marriage.

Thirty things that annoy me about living in London.

Thirty things I love to hate.

Thirty things that have changed my life.

Thirty things I love in the bible.

Thirty things that make me glad I’m single.

Thirty things I’ve learned from my best friend.

You can simply submit a list or a sentence or two about each thing. I did a similar singular post at my last birthday, which you can read here, but I’m hoping to make it a bit bigger for this one.

If you’d like to help please get in touch with the thirty things you’d like to write about; please feel free to deviate from the list, I’d like as wide a variety of possible. I’m only taking one post per subject as well, so if you’re keen to write something specific do let me know as soon as you can.

Once I hear from you I’ll schedule your post and let you know the date I’ll need your post by. If you have any questions please give me a shout, my email is sarahmccarten@gmail.com, or use this contact page. You are by no means expected to be a blogger to contribute to this :).

I’ll kick us off on May 16th with thirty things I love about my friends.

Grace and peace to you

Sarah


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A letter to my married friends.

Hello! I wrote a new blog! Sorry it’s been so long! Hope you’re good!

My dear friends,

I wanted to write to you and let you know just how much I love you and to tell you how much I value your friendship. You really do mean the world to me.

I am so happy that you’ve found someone to spend your life with.

I know that our friendship has changed since you guys were married and I’m not resentful of that, but I wanted to let you know how that it has affected me. You see, sometimes I get the impression that you think you’ve had this massive upheaval and things between you and I have stayed the same, but they haven’t, but it’s not bad, it’s just different. And I am okay with that.

Before you were married, I could expect that you’d treat me as a priority, I don’t have that same expectation anymore. Your husbands and wives get that privilege, and so they should. I need to let you know that though I love you, but you’re not my priority anymore either. You see I need to spend time with people who will prioritise spending time with me too.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’ve been telling you less of my secrets. I just wanted to let you know that’s not because my life suddenly got boring after you got married, but that I want to honour your marriage, which means if I’m not prepared for your spouse to know my secret, I won’t tell you either. I was talking to a friend a few months ago, a good friend, and something came up in our conversation, and I said to him, I’m going to tell you something which I’m quite prepared for you to tell your wife about but I don’t want her to talk to me about it. His wife, graciously hasn’t mentioned the incident to me, or given me a knowing look of disapproval. You see if I wanted advice from your spouses, I’d ask for it. For some of you, I don’t even do that; for I know that some of your husbands and wives cannot resist giving advice, even with regard to things that are none of their concern. For others, you get offended at my not wanting to discuss my secrets with your spouses, either because you think that they and I are better friends than I do, or because you think that your husband or wife is the wisest person in the world, so why should I not want their advice. The truth is, I wanted to be friends with you, I want to know what you think, I want your advice. Your husbands and wives are great, they really are, but if I wanted to chat to them, I would, I promise.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you’re less available to me in all kinds of ways since you’ve been married. I want you to know that is right and wise and appropriate. However, I cannot spend my life sitting at home, I have to make new friendship, or cultivate old ones. I know that sometimes you resent these friendships, it may be an off hand comment or a sneaky look or a whisper to your husband about how you don’t see me any more. The truth is, that you don’t see me any more, I genuinely feel that your husband or wife is so big in your mind that often distorts your image of those of us around you. I know that will change, but I know that they will and ought to be the most important person in your life. I am alright with that.

There are limitations to you being married, I’m sorry that if you didn’t realise that. I really want you to know that I love you! This is not meant to be a moan or a rant but really an explanation, please take it as such.

Thanks for reading! It really does mean a lot to me! You can follow me on twitter here.


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A few thoughts about friendship.

I wanted to write about friends. I wanted to tell you about some of the best friends I know. They may not be my best friends, although many of them are, they are simply good people who are good at being friends.

If you’re reading this and you’re my friend, please don’t think this is guide to loving Sarah better, there are plenty of things that make a good friend. Personally, I make an effort not to fake friendship and so if you and I are friends the chances are that I really do like you! This is a reminder to myself as well as to you about how we can make life a little bit lovelier for each other.

They make you feel at home.

I love it when I feel at home. When I go home to my parents I feel like that, but there are not many other places where I feel like that. Some of my friends though, have perfected the art of making me feel at home. I can’t put my finger on what makes me feel at home. I think it has something to do with the fact that they have things that I’ve bought or made for them around their homes, or that my name is on their to pray for board, or that they have my photograph hanging on their wall. I like that I am part of it.

It definitely has something to do with not feeling like an inconvenience to be there. That I can help with the kids reading, or make myself a cup of tea without asking. It also has something to do with the effort my friends make to welcome me, so not that I just turn up and I fit into their family life, but that I turn up and their routine has to change a bit, but they don’t mind because they want me to feel at home there.

Then there are those other wonderful friends who have the gift of making people feel at home at places other than their own home, that might be at a home group they attend or at church or anywhere really. Those people, I think, are brilliant.

They criticise you for your sake.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a chat with various friends about what they’re doing in life really irritates me. Of course, I dress it up in ‘this is to help you’ language, often it isn’t really to do with them, it’s not damaging or sinful, it would just make my life marginally nicer if they stopped doing it. It might be that their behaviour is sinful or damaging but, I don’t tell them to be helpful, I tell them because it is pretty damn annoying!

I’ve got a friend who I don’t see very often anymore, but for a time we spent a tonne of time together. I feel like he knows me pretty well and he makes it pretty easy to be honest with him. Every time I see him, I prepare myself for a telling off. And I love him for it. You see, he’s not telling me off because he wants me to be a better friend to him, or because I’m doing something that’s annoying. He tells me off because he genuinely wants me to be a better person, for my sake, and for the sake of the Kingdom of God. He tells me this stuff honestly and humbly. Some of the stuff he’s heard from our friends, but mostly it’s stuff that I’ve told him about my life and journey, he’s a pretty discerning young man! He’s usually right, and I usually go away feeling good about myself! He’s a brilliant friend! I’d be pretty happy if I got to be as good at being a friend to someone as he is to me one day.

They don’t make excuses for you.

I’m a little quirky, I’m loud, a bit outspoken and I like a bit of controversy; but I’m pretty happy with the person I am these days. If I’m honest I sort of expect my friends to be. There are not many things that I enjoy less than a friend who feels the need to make excuses for me. When I meet their friends or we meet new people they say; ‘that’s Sarah, she might seem a bit [insert aspect of my character that my friend is not so keen on today], but she’s actually an lovely person when you get to know her.’ Errrrr… actually no thank you mate! If you’re happy to be my friend in private, please be proud of me in public. Likewise I shall try not to make excuses for your inconsistent theology, or your preoccupation with the ‘problem with the church’ or your daddy issues, even though you make it very difficult not to!

They understand what is important.

I enjoy naps and spending time alone. In fact if I’ve not had at least one nap and one evening in alone each week I’m not a very happy young lady. I also eat slowly, and I don’t share my food. These things are very important to me. My friends understand this. I love it when I can say to people, I can’t see you tonight, I’m having the evening in. I know they are friends. When I just tell you I’m busy, and I’m actually staying in it is probable that I don’t trust you enough to tell you that I need time alone. You see, my friends understand that this is not selfish behaviour, it is that this makes me, me. The best way I know to be me, is to process, alone! Sorry about that!

I’ve got some friends who process aloud, and they are some of my best friends, I love listening to them, but it took me a long time to realise that they didn’t mean what they said. They were just articulating their thoughts aloud, and that’s alright. I understand that is important to them and I don’t really question them if they change their minds, I’ve sort of come to understand that what they do out loud is what I do when I spend an evening by myself.

I’ve got some friends who value confidentiality, not that they tell me secrets particularly, but they want what we say to remain between us, so for them I try not to relay their stories to our friends before they’ve had a chance to do that themselves. Sometimes I fail because I forget, or I forget how important it is. I’ve got friends for who it is really important to be on time. I try to respect that, and in that show them that I love them and they are valuable to me.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading! Feel free to leave comments about the things you value in your friends. I tweet here. Thanks for reading!