Happy New Year!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17)

That is one of my favourite verses in the bible and I listened to our Matlock church’s talk online today and it was spoken about. I love how God is described in this verse, not how a lot of people seem to see him, as some sort of uncaring being watching all the problems in the world and not helping or caring but as our God who never ever stops loving us and from whom every good gift comes and no matter what our circumstances there are plenty of good gifts.

Moving and living in a new place (completely new) really brings home the saying “different place, same old sh..” (sorry for almost swearing), don’t get me wrong, we are glad we have moved, it is where we are meant to be, and I am starting to get very excited about the place again! But nothing takes you away from your problems or worries, even moving, or actually, especially moving!

What I’ve found is that it has exposed a lot (and I mean a lot) of things that I depend on for comfort and didn’t actually realise that I did. Television, the internet, my stuff around me (especially beds and settees) and even the everyday routines you don’t even realise you have! This is good, awareness is good and it also has caused me to go to God, read his word and look at who he is and what we actually have in him.

What we have is safety, freedom from fear, freedom to be us and to want to please him not people. He gives good gifts and we are able to look at and see them, rather than be blinded by our own thoughts or feelings. When we come to Him, He changes everything, for the better, time and time again. He has and is doing so with me yet again at the moment.

Why not try him? Ask Him if He is there? Try believing He is good and He is for you, not against you. See what happens. Read a gospel, I particularly like John, the beginning (and the rest of course) is awesome. He loves you, you were made by Him and for Him whether you believe it or not. Here endeth the sermon!

Happy New Year

Cathy x

Post script

As a post script to the previous post (a bit of a delayed post script), about half an hour or so after I had written it there was a knock on the door and one of our new neighbours had brought some biscuits and cake round as a Christmas gift. Another of our neighbours also did similar on Christmas Day, such lovely gestures, which were really appreciated.

We’ve managed to get broadband now and it works really well so it should be easier for me to get things sorted now. There’s still a fair bit to sort, the kids need PPS numbers but I need to get an official letter off a doctors or a school saying they need one before they will issue them. I need the numbers before I apply for child benefit or medical cards too.

Christmas was good in general. Different, but good. I managed to cook a ham in our little oven (which we would be lost without) and we had our dinner, it was lovely. We went for a walk and messaged and spoke to relatives. It went very quickly really.

Christmas day, J in our field.

our littlest elf.

On Boxing Day (otherwise known as St Stephens day in Ireland) we went for a walk towards a mass rock nearby. Mass rocks are apparently where Catholics gathered and used as an altar when it was difficult/impossible for them to meet in public (mid 17th century). We aren’t sure whether we saw a mass rock (we need to find out where they actually are), but it was a gorgeous walk.

It’s a bit of a quiet/adjustment period for us at the moment but I think it will soon get busy, so we had better make the most of it!

Yesterday at Drumshanbo.

If I don’t post before..Happy New Year. May God bless you all in every way – The father of lights, in whom there is no darkness.

Counting your blessings

It’s getting a bit fraught here, on occasion. It’s quite difficult getting to grips with knowing things will be there and done, but having to wait. Such as, no shower or bath, no washing machine, a dusty, coaly kitchen (I am actually really looking forwards to having central heating…ssshhhh..) No dependable internet and lots of people/companies to get in touch with. (Lots of other things too).

^ the fire in the kitchen that Chris has heroically kept going almost non stop since we got here.

Take yesterday, the cat came back the other day, after being missing for a week and a half, which we were over the moon about. However, on going to Chris’s suitcase to find him some trousers… I smelt a funny smell… yes, the cat had peed over quite a few of the clothes.

So, change of plan, laundrette… then, on the way, littlest seems to have developed car sickness and vomited big style over himself. Then I forgot to put his clothes in with the washing and had to hand wash them at home.

Then, on the way back, it turns out the eldest had a little accident on his car seat and also soaked the back seat of the car… so… again… soaking and hand washing covers in a bucket and then attempting to dry them. I need to see this as comical otherwise I may cry 😂.

Then there’s the fact, because littlest is still crawling, all his clothes get filthy really quickly (as in in the space of less than an hour) because the kitchen floor is flagged and we’re currently using coal. It all adds up.

The little things start to get to you, but then you go outside and it’s …and relax…. even though it’s wet and a little chilly (not too bad though). The scenery and the area we’re in is beautiful.

Also, there are so many blessings in our lives. There really are. We have a home for crying out loud! I just keep having to actively look at them and thank God for them every minute of every day. He is so present here with us, but I need to spend each day thanking him and acknowledging his presence, because it is wonderful here but it is also hard. I know some people don’t want to hear that, but it is. Things being hard however, is not a wrong thing, it is how you change and grow and learn to depend on God and his provision.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23.

Thank you God for your love. Thank you that Christmas is about the birth of your beloved son Jesus, not about us. Thank you that we can look at you and “all is well”.

Just a few pics today!

Here’s a few from around the outside, hopefully showing how it’s changing.

This was while it was being done:

and this is after:

and a few more:

by next summer it should look totally different again. Veg on the back, flowers and grass on the front perhaps!

We got a bank account!

That was our starter to the day. A good start! Actually, it wasn’t our starter, our starter was an amazing Leitrim breakfast at a cafe in Drumshanbo called Sweet Geranium Cafe, it was Chris’s idea, he’d seen them on Facebook. It was delicious! So after that we trotted off across the road to the bank, taking yet more evidence that we were resident in Ireland. Then, we were told immediately (to our surprise) that the account had been opened that morning – praise Jesus! (And the staff in there who had fought our corner) this is my happy face ^

We can now get things done and set services up. Never really thought much about how much you need a bank account in this modern world and how difficult it may/can be to get one!

I also never thought that much about waste services until I came here. We soon realised you have to pay if you want bins and as well as a monthly cost there’s a weight cost for each bin. But! Property tax is apparently loads lower than the UK, so it makes sense and makes you think a bit more (well maybe – as long as you’re not the fly tipping type I suppose!). – which I’m not by the way. Haha.

Chris is really pleased today, the drive is finished and the fellas did a lot more work besides, like taking trees down, improving the drainage to the land and putting a fence back up. I’ll try to get some pictures tomorrow, it’s dark now. They’ve done a grand job, in fact there’s probably been more done than we expected to do in 6 months. Again, praise Jesus.

Littlest was taking photos today, this is his foot – cute!

To my family and friends, I would like you to know we are enjoying it here but I love you and miss you, a lot. See you soon.


Day 7 in the house

(This morning) We’re in the car driving to Enniskillen. It’s so weird, there was no indication at all that we had just gone into the North, then we noticed a UK road sign. So strange.

And! We’ve just been to a petrol station as it was in pounds and I could pay with our Uk bank account. I found all this stupidly exciting.

(Now) Back at the ranch, we’ve had all around the cottage cleared by a fella with a massive digger and stones are being put down to make a drive. It’s been such a blessing, one of our neighbours was having some work done and asked if we needed any ground clearing. We said yes and the man came round to see Chris and started the work. The fella is a genius with the digger and has worked really hard for the last couple of days, it should be done early next week. Strangely, I don’t think I’ve actually got a digger picture.



Some other random pics:

all this lot has now gone and is clear earth.

We have heat, which is good..

It’s been a very mixed and busy first five days. I’ve found it quite hard at times and felt quite home sick, which I didn’t actually expect (I have a heart after all) and gashed my finger on some glass (it is healing well) and had horrendous toothache which is unusual for me, I have a very good dental history – the pain has gone off at the moment, but we need to find a dentist.

There’s a lot on the plus side though. Chris has been pretty amazing, he is most definitely in his element. The place already looks and feels loads better and drier and he mended the pump yesterday, so the radiators work! Heat makes such a difference. It’s actually really warm in here now, as long as the fire keeps going. We’ve also found a couple of laundrettes (which I was over the moon about).

We have also had neighbors calling round to introduce themselves and someone is starting to sort our drive out over the next two days. It’s deep mud at the moment, Chris went down in the jeep and nearly got stuck, the tyre tracks are something else. It was really funny.

This is Chris, stalking me through kitchen window:

We also managed to get a bank account opened today (at least we think so), it was frustrating because you can’t seem to do much until you have proof of address, as in a letter to your address, but we managed to get some so we were straight down there. Not the best day for exchange rates we know, but we definitely need an account, every other service can then get sorted because we can set up direct debits.

I haven’t really been outside much since we got here. As in around the cottage, so I took the two little ones up the field this afternoon. This was one of the views:

it’s pretty beautiful. The heavens most definitely declare the glory of the Lord. (Psalm 19).

I’m currently sat on the landing, under the skylight writing this, it’s one of the only places we get 3G. Littlest one is crawling round enjoying himself, grabbing things, Chris and J have just come back in from sorting the barn so we can store some things there when they get delivered. There’s probably loads more to write but it’s pretty hard to concentrate at the mo. So it’s goodbye for now.

Lovely J, in the back garden.

If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).