Everyday miracles.

When I wrote yesterday that God does wondrous things and they can be so small that they’re almost unnoticeable. Part of that is what goes on around us every day. Nature, for a start. In my summing up the other day about the past week or so, I neglected to mention that Chris, again, spent the weekend splitting wood. He’s just about done the lot (until we bring some more up to the house). But a really lovely part of that, one I know Chris enjoyed a lot, was that there were a lot of grubs in the bark of the wood. He kept leaving the bark out like a little plate, with the grubs on, for the birds. We have two robins that are constantly popping up everywhere and they immediately started feeding. This is a pleasure and a wonder in itself. Not as obvious perhaps as a healing or someone coming to know Christ. But still a wonder and a joy.

I need to write!

Right, I feel the urge to write. Specifically, about a paragraph I wrote yesterday, very fleetingly about why as Christians we feel that we ought to have charmed lives. I just want to expand on it a little. I’ve become a bit conscious of what people think recently and I think that sometimes affects what I write, so I’ll attempt to write it as I feel is necessary.

What I really meant was, (my opinion, in addition to reading the bible and being spoken to through it) is that our reactions to things that go wrong and therefore our relationship with God, is often out of kilter. If you are a believer, you are a believer. Whether things are good, bad or indifferent. If you believe that God sent Jesus to die for you then you follow him and believe in Him, no matter what.

I feel from experience and from observation, particularly over the past year, that there can be tendency to only expect good things to happen when you belong to God. And shock when the good things (according to ourselves) don’t happen. It is very obvious on reading the bible and surveying the lives of Christians that have gone before us, that actually, that is just not the way it is.

I know God works through doubts and worries and he expects us to grieve at times as well as rejoice and have human emotions (we are human) and He works all things for the good, if you love him and are called by Him and He does give amazing gifts. But what I am feeling more and more is that there should be no more fair weather Christianity. We follow Him, we love Him, we do as He asks, we pursue Him and He speaks to us and works through us.

No matter what is going on, He is there, He loves you and He knows best.

I’m not going to go into detail, I don’t have the theological knowledge, but what I do have is a life that has been and is being transformed by Him in His time. I have a passion for Him and whilst I have not, especially since being here, always been a very good witness to His name. He is still there, He never leaves, changing us, changing things, inspiring, calling our names. God is good, but that does not mean good things will always happen. But always expect wondrous feats and miracles, they can be minute (almost unnoticeable) and they can be huge. Just trust, be up for whatever comes your way and that’s it.

I realise that I should probably put a load of bible verses up to substantiate my claims, but there’s so many. I actually recommend that you read the bible yourself. Always a good thing. I’m exploring it more again at the moment. It’s good! try it 😀

Amen!

A list.

I’ve been thinking, over the afternoon today, thinking about blogging and wondering and trying to remember what’s happened here over the last week or so. Here’s the findings.

I’ve cut my hair off. Well, when I say cut, I mean clipped, on number eight. I got very sick of the hair. If you don’t know me, it’s usually long and curly (and silver), but due to lockdowns and having children with me every day, it hasn’t been cut for about a year (I think), so it was getting a bit 80’s haha. So off it went. It feels lovely and I actually do really like it. I know what a hairdresser will say though, when I eventually get to one and I don’t think it will be very positive. Chris came home from work when I’d done most of it and helped me tidy it up, it’s surprisingly difficult to get it all even, even with the clippers. It’s good for now, anyway!

We saw a large fox strolling down Chris’s runway a couple of weeks ago, slightly worrying because it was about ten metres away from where we keep the chickens. But we did know there was one or two about, so not a total surprise. It was actually really lovely to see him walking right across the field. As long as he doesn’t get our chickens it’ll stay really lovely.

It snowed again, yes! Only for a short while, but we were able to enjoy it and we noticed some interesting footprints around the chicken pen (again) and on the field. Some I know were hares, but I’m unsure about others. See photo’s. I love stuff like this.

I’ve been reading my bible more again (new testament mainly at the moment), and I’m really, really wondering why we all expect to live charmed lives when we’re christians? I’m also wondering whether we have ever actually read our bibles properly haha. I’ll leave that there (I mean me as well).

I’ve been taking the kids outside more again, it definitely calms them down and is very good for them. It’s funny, the age where I have to put an application in to TUSLA for homeschooling is coming up (it’s six in Ireland) and I’d got a bit uptight about what we were doing and it definitely defeated the idea of homeschooling and learning through play at this young age. I’d started being a bit too rigid and worrying about what we were doing, it’s definitely not funny what worry does to you and those around you. We’ve relaxed a bit again now.

I reacted badly to something on Sunday and did reactive posting. So if you know what I’m talking about…sorry…

The quail chicks are due to hatch around about Friday-Sunday ish, may take longer (if they hatch), so that’s exciting. If they don’t, we’ll just have to try again. If they do, photo’s will be forthcoming.

One of our two Buff Orpington girls (chickens) laid their first ever egg yesterday, It was very exciting. Hopefully, there’ll be a lot more to come. I’m also hoping the rooster settles down a bit, he’s been a bit jumpy with our boys lately. I’m hoping it’s just his age, but if he starts getting irate and attacking the boys, he’ll have to go. We’re going to get more hens when it warms up slightly, February or March will probably be the time, if we can.

There’s probably a lot more, but I can’t remember anything else at this moment. So I’ll say hello and goodbye!

Cathy.

So I’m sat here again…

I am, I’m sat on a chair that I’ve just moved out of the dining room into the kitchen (so I can clean the dining room floor), I’m looking out of the window.

I can’t really write all my thoughts down, they are varied and many, as I sit here. Looking and thinking. Most of my thoughts are usually intertwined with thinking about what God’s doing at the moment, where we are, things I need to do, testimonies about God fill my head, for some reason, I’m always thinking how I can tell what God has done and is doing. As if I’m telling someone else in my head. Haha. It’s good to tell yourself true stories. Ones that are good.

Anyway, I’ll clean the floor in a minute. There’s a few updates with the place. I’ve got some quail eggs incubating again, I don’t know if they’ll be ok because the electric to the incubator was ‘accidentally’ turned off the other day, but I guess we’ll see. They only incubate for about 18 days, so not long to wait. I thought we’d try them again and hope they all survive this time, unlike last time which just left us with one psycho male.

Chris had a lovely week or so off at Christmas and of course is now back at work. We’re on lockdown, pretty much like the uk I think, the schools etc are off now too. So the kids and I are here as usual. To be honest it confuses me when people think we can’t do much because we’re on lockdown. There’s always stuff to do here, I don’t think I’ve ever actually been bored. Stressed yes, but not bored. It is a really good thing for us to be here I think. We do have a good life. I’m realising this more at the moment.

I can also smell spring, I let the dog out this morning and could hear birds singing, it was lovely. We have snow forecast (I’m really hoping it comes) but Spring is definitely in the air! I’ve ordered our veg seeds and onions and potatoes, which is very exciting.

Anyway, enough rambling. Good day to you!

Cathy.

Ooh that’s a cliche..

I was thinking the other morning about trends and cliches. It made me smile to myself. In particular the way some things are in ‘fashion’ for a while, then something else comes in.

I’m not really actually talking about fashion, it’s more about things we say or are expected to say.

A couple of examples from my own life are when I was doing an access to nursing course, on the uni applications a common one at the time on your supporting statement was along the lines of ‘I like to keep healthy, as I firmly believe a healthy body means a healthy mind’. Even if it wasn’t true, you were expected to put something like it.

Another example is when I’d just finished my district nursing degree and we were going for interviews, when we were asked what sort of leader we were, we were expected to say ‘transformational!’ And go on to say why we were ‘transformational!’ Well, that sort of thing and expectation Just gets on my nerves to be frank. So I just refused to say the word transformational and said I was democratic. To which the response was ‘so you’ll let them walk all over you then?’ To which I answered a firm ‘no’.

Don’t we all talk rubbish sometimes, saying what people expect or want us to say because that’s the current buzz word or because we want to be accepted or whatever. It stops us talking truth sometimes. Saying it on its own means nothing. Doing it, fair enough,but saying it or being expected to say it just for the sake of it. Just no.

I got the job anyway. Quite a while ago now, but I did.

There are two sides to this for me, I both hate it and feel amused by it. This thing where you’re expected to say things just to tick a box, whether for getting a job or in everyday life. In other people’s assessment of you. Or also in our own assessment of other people I suppose.

We’re all different, we’re all unique, we’re all made by God and for God. We’re made to come to God and be changed by Him. From the inside out.

I’d love to just stop with the pretences we all seem to do in life and just accept and be accepted and just be free to be us and therefore be able to actually innovate and encourage rather than tick boxes. We might actually have some original ideas if we weren’t rigidly expected to fit norms.

I also firmly believe that the only true way to do this is to know and follow Jesus. That’s the only way we can actually get rid of the rubbish and masks and be free to be. And I don’t mean free to be as being as we like. Like rude or ignorant, or following ways that aren’t right. I mean being our best selves, the selves that God made us to be in the first place. With confidence because we know He made us and freedom because we know His love and forgiveness and the life that only He gives.

Anyway! Toodle pip. Bit random today, but interesting! My mind’s actually still working at this. Thinking about it.

Peace: one of the ways we feel peace is when we are able to come to someone and just be accepted, not judged, but loved. And that’s what we can do with God. He is the only person I know who I can be totally myself with, because He knows me inside out anyway and just loves me anyway. There’s no pretence with God. He loves me so much that this love drives me to say sorry for things I do wrong too. It’s an amazing love, unlike anything else we will ever know.

Really saying bye now! Bye!

Cathy.

A couple of things to say…;)

Like the title says, I have a couple of things to say today, then I may go back to nice, smallholding/cottagey type posts, or I may not hahahaaaaaa.

Anyway, I don’t have a clue how people are feeling about the lockdown in the UK, we live in a cottage in Ireland with a field behind it, so I’m somewhat far away from the reality that is lockdown for a lot of people. All I see are the articles on facebook really. We are also locked down by the way. But to be honest, my lifestyle hasn’t really changed much since March anyway.

Also, the homeschooling thing, I actually really like homeschooling and it’s fairly relaxed, especially since they’re only nearly six and three. It may be a homeschooling cliche, but kids or anybody really, really do learn wherever and whatever they’re doing. However, whenever I get tempted to start going ‘what are they all complaining about??’ ‘I LOVE my kids being at home (which I do generally), we have a day like today, which for a large part was pretty awful, involved some screaming kids, a yelling parent (not naming anybody…ha) and watching YouTube at dinnertime because otherwise I was going to go mad.

It was quite interesting, there were some American kids who were digging a 10 ft bunker in their backyard to ‘play’ in. I then got slightly nervous at how interested J was and wondered if I was going to find a massive hole after he had played out this afternoon. I didn’t. Half relieved, half disappointed. It got better when I got off my bottom and did some stuff with them. I generally find play dough works wonders with the youngest at least. So yeah, no high horse about home schooling today, also, I don’t think I’d like prescribed work from a school very much, because it is so very, very different to how most home edders/schoolers do things (I’m not fussy about the terms used).

The second thing I just want to mention is… and I know I needn’t mention this and some may feel it’s unnecessary, but I want to… I know some people probably don’t like that we’re becoming Catholic. Some have been very supportive, but I get the feeling (and my feelings quite often lead in the right direction) that quite a few don’t like it and I’m sorry about that. The thing is, we are, and we’re very happy about it.

Catholicism is so rich and beautiful when you start looking into it and reading and listening and learning. It really is. Believe me. I’ve learnt so much. Feel free to ask questions, I’ll remain friendly (now)…! But, as a part of that also, we are all connected in Christ if we believe that Jesus is Lord, God and Saviour and that he died and was resurrected. From this when you come to Him, he forgives your sins and gives you both new life now and eternal life with Him. I know that’s a bit of a mouthful, but honestly, if anyone reading this is not a believer, Jesus really does completely change your life. Simplistically, if you believe the apostles creed then you believe. (Catholic actually means universal, by the way). The Apostles’ Creed – Prayers – Catholic Online

If we believe, we believe, we are not separate, we are His church. I keep thinking of different things I could add or put, but no, I don’t want to get all complicated.

I am so, so grateful for the time I spent as part of Church in the Peak, Matlock, it was about ten years. I just can’t describe in a paragraph how life changed as a result of knowing God and being part of that family. I was born again in that church and learnt so much from just being there. Especially in prayer meetings, I must say. I used to love just being there and soaking it all in, learning, from people and from God, learning to sit in God’s presence, to want Him more than anything else, to worship. And again, over the lockdown period I’ve taken part in the online services, watched, listened, commented occasionally :). We are not separate because we live in Ireland, or because we’re becoming Catholic. If someone is a believer, no matter where they are or what kind of church they are part of, then we are linked to them through God and it is beautiful. Such a big family.

And! If I ever manage to get back and actually see our families and friends in the UK, Church in the Peak, I’m a coming to see you!!!!! It would be wonderful. For me, anyway!

Anyway, back to digging holes…haha. I’d quite like to build a bunker, introverts r us! Mind, I’m a bit of a mix, I don’t really know what I am apart from a woman.

Bye!

Cathy.