A year in Ireland!

So, the one year post, I didn’t have time to do it at the weekend. It’s been a fairly busy one. Chris has a horrendous amount of jobs to do at the moment and has been working on the jeep this weekend, so it passes it’s NCT. We went to our church’s Christmas dinner on Saturday evening, it was great! and (as a bonus) we got an almost unknown thing in our lives… a photo of us together!

Anyway, so what format should this years worth of living in Ireland blog take? A phrase that keeps coming to my mind over the past few days is that ‘no one who starts to plough and then keeps looking back is of use for the Kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:62). So, I don’t feel it should be an emotional, oh we had it so good type thing. We did and it can be good to look back and see how things have changed and to remember certain times in our lives, but the point here is, I’ve been hesitant really, to throw myself all in, to living and being here, in a lot of ways. So as I said when I last got back from the UK, it is time for living in Ireland now. (Unless we get told by God to go somewhere else of course). I’m sure all of you who read this probably know this more than myself in a lot of ways. Of course you throw yourself in! You’ve moved there! Yes, but it’s taken a while for my brain to realise this is now our home and where we live, rather than a temporary vacation. There are definitely times when we all (including J) think, that’s it now, we’ve had enough, can we go home now please? It’s comical really, how we are and think when we feel insecure and alone and stressed.

The truth is, that it doesn’t matter where we are, we have God and so can go anywhere and it can be home. In practice, it just takes some getting used to and realisation of this dawns and then regresses and then dawns again. God does know this though and I’m pretty sure He has it in hand :D.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2).

To look elsewhere is folly.

Anyway! practically speaking, when we arrived on the Friday evening a year ago, not knowing what we would find, in a lot of ways (we were hoping the electric was definitely connected and it turned out to be so). I’d picked up a chicken at the supermarket where I’d collected the house keys from (yes, a supermarket), so we ate and then set up the air mattresses and travel cot in the living room, Chris lit the burner, which was a pot belly stove that belched out smoke, and then I think we just went to sleep. It wasn’t freezing from what I remember, but I do remember that when you breathed out inside the house, you saw your breath. The next day we set to, cleaning and moving the air mattresses upstairs to one of the bedrooms. That’s where we slept every night, in one room together for quite a while, on the air mattresses, wearing jumpers and hats and with extra blankets. It was quite an experience really. I can’t remember the exact dates but I think the removals company took between 6 weeks to 2 months to appear with the stuff. But weirdly, it’s lovely to have some of it, like a settee and a table, and beds and some toys, and of course tools, but we do really still have too much stuff!

So over the past year, the area all around the cottage was cleared and we now have front gardens and we’ve started erecting a greenhouse on the back. We had new windows and a front door put in (wind gusted through the old windows and door). We’ve had an oil fired range put in and that heats the radiators too. (We are cooker rich, we also have an electric one.) We replaced the smoke billowing pot bellied stove in the living room with a new multi fuel stove. We removed all the flooring in the dining room and bathroom and dried the floor out and then Chris has tiled it all. In fact, we dried out the whole place really, it was quite damp in parts, in fact the first couple of weeks at least, the bed clothes were damp and you’d wake up in the night and feel your hair or bed clothes and they would be damp. Part of the kitchen floor was actually wet too. It all seems fairly dry now, just with a couple of parts that still need to dry. We got a dehumidifier too, that has been great. We had it treated for woodworm and had all the downstairs ceilings plastered. Chris has performed wonders with the field – it was waist deep in rushes when we arrived and we have a tractor, he also got a full time job. Quite a lot has happened really, fairly quickly. So that is good!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the line I put to explain this blog, where it says we are moving the Ireland in search of a different way of life. The way this was meant originally, is not how it’s turned out and I’m not quite sure it was the right thing to put! Basically, Chris is busier than ever, as am I and the different way of life (I think) is currently more personal and spiritual than physical and practical. Which is also good and which it should be too!

Anyway, enough of this, I’m rambling…

I could go on forever, but I’ll stop there for now.

I’ll end with…..

Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased! (Luke 2:14)

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A Jesus follower who with her family are attempting (probably comically) to start a different type of life in a totally different place, but starting where we are and rolling with it and seeking God all the way, well trying to... #theshepherdsadventure

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