…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

We’re doing thanksgiving this year. We aren’t American, we are English, living in Ireland, but we decided to do it. One of the reasons being we had a turkey! But to be honest we just loved the idea of it.

The whole thanksgiving thing set off a train of thoughts in me today. The turkey is currently in the oven and I’m making a butternut squash pie for pudding as well, the first thing was, that’s remarkable! I didn’t even think I could cook very well ten years ago. I couldn’t, compared to now. Well, I could cook, I just didn’t have much confidence. A friend encouraging me to cook for someone else encouraged a spark of self confidence and it grew from that time.

Then, I thought about what had happened over the past ten years and this is what I came up with. It’s actually really remarkable. Please be mindful that this is written from my perspective (Cathy’s), I can’t really tell Chris’s story. A lot is entwined but not all. His life changed beyond all recognition in a lot of ways too.

I was in terrible debt and that was dealt with just over 8 years ago, we went into marriage with no debt whatsoever. That was thanks to God and a group in the UK called Christians against poverty who helped me sort it out. Well, they did more than help, they were absolutely amazing.

I got married (I was a single parent for quite a long time before this), my eldest left home just before this, went to Uni and then stayed in the London area. Not long after getting married we had a miscarriage (which I found pretty devastating for quite a while) and then two sons, I left my job in nursing to be at home with them. We moved to Ireland just over three years ago, just under two years ago, Covid happened, which made things slightly awkward.

Chris left a job he loved but then got another one over here, doing something completely different but that he had the skills for. We left all our friends and family and church. Weirdly, due to Covid I’ve been able to continue in a way with that same church (for now). We’ve started homeschooling. We’ve been doing up a cottage and grounds. I can cook! We have chickens, ducks and turkeys (temporarily in the case of the turkeys) and grow our own veg etc to a degree. Chris has a motorbike (which he loves). In the last ten years I’ve lost my grandad, two uncles and my dad. I still love 90’s music and have it on at the moment while I’m typing this. Chris’s music tastes are even more dodgy. I’ve learnt to manage a home better (although always room for improvement haha) and a big thing I’ve learnt is that love should not be conditional. I’ve also learnt more and more to go to God with everything constantly and depend on him and I want this to continue. I’ve learnt much about how He is actually in charge no matter how much I’d like to be sometimes, haha.

The above is so simplistic, there’s so much more to tell as well, I can’t possibly tell it all. God is good and I am just so grateful to Him for his constant guidance, reassurance and love. Without His love, I would be completely lost. He has guided us, loved us, and worked in us. And I still feel like I’m only ankle deep with Him. There’s so much to look forward to. Life with you Lord is very exciting!

Thankyou for friends and family and hello if you’re reading this 🙂 We miss you. I’m cooking a turkey!!!!!! and it’s our own turkey! for the first time ever!

Love, Cathy.

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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