Roots and weeds

So I’m currently sat on a chair outside and this is my view:

I’ve been digging yet another part of the garden which we’re planning to chuck a flower seed mix on and grow as a bee friendly place. I’ve got to the bottom edge and digging it is horrendous, just full of roots that are almost impossible to get up. They’re really quite ugly and I probably haven’t got the whole root out. There’s still loads to go too.

As I was doing it this scripture kept on coming to mind (mainly the bit about the sin that so easily entangles).

Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

When I was digging and trying to pull the roots and weeds up, It just kept on reminding me of sin, how entangled we can get in it, how ugly it is but doesn’t always seem it when you’re wrapped up in it, or contemplating it. Also, how the only way out is to fix our eyes on Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith. If we try to do it through willpower alone, I find it doesn’t tend to work.

Like I’ve written before, we all have ‘stuff’. It’s what you do with it that matters. Personally I want to dump it all at Jesus feet and lift my eyes to Him. It’s not easy, but I think it’s the only way.

Onwards! More roots to dig out!

Life is special

I find life ironic, for instance, people are always fighting to save animals, protect birds nests and eggs in birds nests. You aren’t allowed to cut hedges down in the spring and summer here…Yet, people think they should have ‘bodily autonomy’ over a baby in their womb. That they should be free to destroy a life. That it isn’t a life until you decide so.

I’ve just seen that phrase in an article about an actress who’s called for a ‘sex strike’ (which seems bizarre) because of restrictions on abortion that have been imposed in America. (hence this blog.) She seemed to use it directly in relation to abortion rights. I’m presuming she’s talking about the heartbeat law, which means babies cannot be aborted where a heartbeat can be heard. These laws are a good start…

The original abortion laws (In the UK at least) were never meant to be about bodily autonomy or ‘choice’ as far as I am aware. It was meant to be for exceptional circumstances where the risk of physical or mental harm would exceed the choice of keeping the baby. It has just become a tick box and sign exercise.

I feel immense compassion and hurt for the women in this position who feel they have no other choice. But you have. You really, really have. The people who ‘help’ you into abortions just don’t want you to think you have. or they may actually think they are helping you. Abortion isn’t just bad for babies, it’s bad for mums (and dads). Don’t do it, please and look at information about your baby’s development, because they don’t show you that either..

A baby’s development is fascinating and so beautiful. We really are works of art (and yes that does include children with disabilities).

Don’t you think it’s strange that if you’re having an abortion they use words like embryo or foetus, but if you’re keeping your child it is a baby? That’s because it is and that language is being used to dehumanise that baby.

I’m also going to say, no, you are not going to hell because you have an abortion. Just like you’re not going to hell because you identify as gay. (This was said to me recently that someone thought we (Christians) think people who are gay are going to hell). The only reason for not going to heaven is that you have not trusted your life to Jesus and let me tell you. He loves you so very, very much and sees every tear you cry and everything else and He cares. He died for you just as much as he died for me and came back from the dead to give you life.

There is forgiveness and love and healing waiting for you in Jesus. He will hold you in his arms and love you. He did not come to condemn the world, but to save it and shine his light on the darkness.

Cathy.

5 months!

I’ve just realised we’ve now been here 5 months. Seriously, it’s going so quickly it’s ridiculous.

So what have we learnt in the last 5 months and what has changed?

    God is good, Chris got a job actually in Leitrim in spite of it being thought to be unlikely and there’s been countless other blessings.
    When you feel like you can’t go on, you can.
    We’ve gone from having a dirty, dusty, coaly house to one that just has normal dust and gales no longer blow actually through the house.
    Electricians are difficult to pin down…
    Most of the Irish services we’ve had have been brilliant and turned up on time and done the work excellently. Despite being told by a few people before we came, we would have to constantly be on people’s backs to get stuff done.
    Children love being outside and will always find something to play with.
    I’m less lazy than I was. It’s just harder work than where we lived before. Even getting a wash involves planning!
    It doesn’t matter where you live. Material belongings or eating and drinking don’t satisfy us or make us happy. Only God does and that means we can be anywhere and be content if we live with Him and submit to Him. Put it this way, if you’re not happy in Chesterfield, you probably still won’t be happy in Ireland. Environment matters, but only to a certain extent.
    I’m learning (or trying to) that I can’t have everything immediately). Also, to try and be in the moment I’m in instead of constantly thinking of what I still have to do… I find this difficult.. The house drives me nuts when I let it..
    I can no longer flush anything or wash anything down the drain without thinking. Our water goes straight into the land and the toilet goes into a septic tank..I feel slightly more responsible ‘adult’ now. Fat gets scraped off, food either gets eaten or goes for composting, Bleach generally does not get used…etc etc.. still not queen of the green, but better than I was.
    It is a beautiful place and I am very thankful.
    God has plans for us that we don’t yet know about. I have a real sense of anticipation again. It’s exciting.
  • Oh and that thing we hear about kids no longer bouncing off walls if they get enough time outside… it’s not true..they still bounce off walls and the furniture and the window ledges and anything else you care to mention 😂.
  • Au revoir!
  • We’re going out for dinner at a local cafe today. Should be fun!
  • Cathy
  • Here lies the body of…

    only joking! (As Chris would say).

    It’s our outside fire that Chris has made for us. It’s great, the tombstone makes sure the smoke doesn’t go everywhere. Hoping to cook on it sometimes this summer.

    New bed dug today, only a small one. J said he wanted to grow carrots, so I dug one and the seeds are in. I’m not sure whether they’ll work, the seeds are from last year and I’ve never had much success with carrots, but I guess we will soon see. The sticks mark the rows.

    I gave J his own little bit of garden today (he chose it), mainly because he kept running on and digging in the bits I’ve planted. In the photo he is using my early birthday present. He’s really good with it too. It’s a Wolf Garten set, they have interchangeable heads and the ones I chose are a tiller and a weeder. J has also sown some sunflower seeds too today. He seems to really like gardening. Maybe we should start a family business 😆.

    Empty houses

    Along our road into the village there are quite a few empty cottages/buildings (and none of them seem to be for sale). I decided to take a picture of each one and actually add up how many there are on a relatively small stretch of road (about 2 miles I think). Starting from our end and working our way along the road.

    Number 1.

    An old school.

    Number 2!

    A 1960’s? Bungalow.

    Number 3.

    Number 4.

    Number 5!

    Number 6.

    Number 7.

    Number 8!

    There IS a building behind there, a big old white schoolhouse.

    Gatepost

    the gate to get to the school is almost hidden in this undergrowth.

    So! 8 in total along a small stretch of road. I hope nobody would mind me photographing their building. (let me know if you read this and do.) 8! Two school houses included, on that short stretch. They are owned and apparently some have land with them that is used for farming.

    The older locals who can remember the schools being open say it used to be fairly busy round here and now it isn’t. Mind, apparently there were 9 children that lived in our cottage at one time, so that in itself is a lot of people I suppose. 11 people in one little house! My word, we really don’t know we’re born sometimes! It would have been very basic as well. It would be lovely to see the place becoming busier and more populated again though.

    There is a fella who’s doing a place up further up the road in the other direction (when he’s in Ireland), who visited relatives in our cottage as a child and is hopefully going to bring some photos of the kitchen when it had an open fire that they cooked on. Really looking forward to seeing them.

    Night!

    Cathy

    Welcome back Cathy

    Slightly strange one but here goes..

    Introducing me, yes, me! I am Cathy. Only God knows me properly. I used to think I knew myself, self awareness and all that, but I didn’t.

    I can be introspective, I am thoughtful, but also quite often speak without thinking and also interrupt! (Although that isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be). I love meeting people but then need to recuperate. I used to think I was extroverted, but I am discovering I may be well and truly introverted. But whatever, however I’m made, I’m made by God and fully accepted.

    I love fun, I remembered that today as I drove the jeep up our field, me and the kids. It was great! It lifted me. It made me less serious for the day. When did things/I get so serious??!! I videoed it but it won’t upload on here for some reason.

    I love music, I love singing, I love dancing, I love worshipping Jesus, I love doodling and writing (especially with God), I love growing things and the soil, I love playing my flute (although I don’t do it very often nowadays). I love my family and friends and playing with my kids. All of which are gifts from the big man ( that’s God by the way) and I love him more than any of that stuff.

    I am sensitive, which means I sometimes take offence and have to deal with that. I also hate hypocrisy and rules for the sake of rules. The sensitivity also means I’m sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to atmospheres. I often ‘feel’ atmospheres and sometimes let them affect me instead of me affecting them.

    I am me.

    I am sick of feeling like I have to mask me.

    I need to deal with it.

    I don’t need to be accepted by people, I am accepted and beloved of God. The highest of the high.

    I can just be.

    And that is what I feel God is telling me to do at the moment. Just be.

    So that is what I will do. I will just be, I will spend time with Him, I will have fun, I will rest, I will feel things, I will grieve! I will do what he has given me to do. Which is be with my family, take care of them, be where we have moved to and take care of that place too.

    It has been said that God will work through us here in this place (our home) and that is where we must be. Which is good. We will keep listening though. I feel it should be a time (at the moment) of quietness and intimacy with God, of resting in Him and recuperating for a while.

    My heart is just to abide in God, through Jesus and be guided at all times through the Holy Spirit. Doesn’t always happen, but that is my hearts desire. So my confidence is in Him. He who works all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purposes (not ours).

    I still have faith that He will do immeasurably more than we ask for or imagine this year and in the years to come. He is God.

    Let rip Lord! We need you! I pray for more and more people to know your glorious love.

    Cathy

    Sent from?

    Firstly, pre-school update, J has agreed to have a trial morning next week. He had obviously been mulling it over as he said “I’m not playing with the play dough, it makes my hand taste salty. I’ll play with the sand.”

    Now onto gardens! One side of the path is ready for planting!

    On Friday afternoon I sent a message to Chris about the above, saying it was an instrument of torture sent by satan (or, as an afterthought) a gift from God to make me fit…

    It was hard work tilling with that thing! I keep telling J that hard work is good and good for you and that God wants us to work hard. I wasn’t so sure at times on Friday afternoon, however, it was goooooood when I had finished.

    This got me thinking about how many times we decide something actually isn’t from God because we don’t like it. I’m sure we (Or I) do it loads, even without realising. Or! Because something is hard work, it can’t possibly be God. I beg to differ (now).

    One example is it’s been very hard work coming here and I most definitely think it is God who has brought us here. We’ve been ill for a lot of the time since being here, argued, had home sickness (me and J), worry about “what on earth have we done”, realised that being here is actually harder work than where we lived before, moved to a place where it may not be that far from England but is very different in terms of culture and lots of other ways. However! despite questioning God fairly frequently and despairing at times, it is good! (Like when the garden is done 🙂).

    So the garden, I’ve done one side of the front garden! YES! Weeds will probably come back and I will have to keep on top of it and hoe them off but it is now level and relatively weed free. Chris has tidied up the edges today as there’s a drainage bit around the bottom of the garden that I had covered up without realising.

    I’ve even planted some borage and sweet peas, hopefully they’ll survive the weather!

    My structure for the sweet peas

    Bye for now.

    The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26).

    Cathy