well, we are now looking for somewhere new…

Unfortunately it seems it is now official. The acceptance of our offer on the croft has been withdrawn and they have accepted someone else’s offer instead. So! onto the new…God has good plans for us and we will try to follow him. I think he may surprise us..watch this space…

We are still selling, and we will still be moving somewhere…we just don’t know where yet…It would be stupid to lie and say we are absolutely ok about this. We are very disappointed, because it seemed so firmly in place and it went from we are moving in a few weeks at dinner time yesterday to being told we had lost it in the evening. So a bit of processing is needed. I would still like a smallholding/croft, and so would Chris, and the children but we will see what happens.

Thank you God for loving us and never, ever leaving us. That is the best thing ever. Thank you for family and friends, thankyou that you are in charge.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

(Ephesians 3:20-21)

 

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The morning after!

So we are feeling a little bewildered this morning (and we did let it totally wreck our supposed date night last night). But in between feeling upset and thinking we are selling our house and don’t actually have anywhere to go (in theory). I am starting to feel more and more peaceful and secure. I believe God when he says he has somewhere good for us to go and I LOVE what a friend said yesterday which was “don’t cry over a Haribo egg when God has a box of chocolates”. (No offence Haribo, your products are lovely). So I am going to trust God in this, pray, see what happens and where we end up.

It is actually quite exciting and I am going to get on with the job of streamlining our stuff. Which I am generally not very good at and get lost in memories on looking at the vaguest of articles, for example – cups, old drawings, books, even old clothes and other things I cannot even think of at this moment. But a lot will have to go. We are contemplating actually selling most of our things and going up to wherever we end up in a van rather than hiring a removals company, but we are unsure about this and still contemplating it.

I don’t like wasting things either, so throwing things out is really not my bag. I like the recycle, make do and mend type life really. I also keep thinking what if it is false economy? but I do love the idea of not having a lot of “stuff” and going up in a van.

When I first moved out of home, I didn’t have much (not even a sofa) and I can remember it didn’t really bother me then. It was about 25 years ago though. So I think we need to make a list of what we could fit in a van and what we consider essential. I think some of Chris’s tools are probably more essential than a lot of the other belongings we have. So people who know us, you may see us selling things very soon! (more things).

Thank you for your support our lovely church family, who are praying for us, encouraging us and reminding us of God’s promises.  Thankyou to all our other lovely friends and family for your support too. We will keep you updated.

 

 

 

Things adults say..

Just for the laugh I thought I would spend a day or so writing down the things we say (or mainly I say) to our children…so I did.  Although it has dawned on me that the things may just be negative as in “don’t do that”. (I do spend a lot of my day telling them good things too).

It has also dawned on me that it would be far more entertaining to write down some of the stuff J (Mr Toddler) says. It’s brilliant. He was talking about Jesus having a cup of tea and a fruit shoot earlier and then that the four cotton buds he had planted at the allotment would grow and become a plum tree. Love him. He also said today that his favourite flowers are purple ones because they grow in the dark.

Chris spoke to our Shetland solicitors today, apparently they have just received a load of paperwork they have to go through and they are then going to send us some paperwork to peruse! So it is apparently all in motion!

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A day in the life

“stop hitting your brother” (classic)

Calm down! (statement guaranteed to never calm anyone down)

Put it down, don’t wave it around…

Sit closer to the table!

Elbow!

Knee!

Not against the telly! You’ll break it if you do that!

Don’t stand on my foot please

Come away from the television

Come awaaaay from the television

Do not put your feet in his face

Don’t push him

Stop sitting on him

Stop!

Stop doing that!

Why are you crying?

What’s wrong?

Do you want the toilet? (repeated 50 times daily, I must be really irritating)

Pancakes? (positive one)

Put it (sweets/batteries/food off floor that someone else has left/50th piece of fruit in a day/food in shop) down

she’s gone to fetch your bun (He was crying because he thought it had disappeared – aw)

Don’t let the dog out

Stay in the yard!

Try not to kick me

Stand still!

That is not a drum, put it down (the PS3), get off it please

No, you can’t have another tube of smarties

No, we don’t have lollies for breakfast

Don’t stamp on your brother, aww that’s nice, yes be nice…stop treading on his hand!!

He is not a naughty baby!

You have to sleep in your own bed

Stay in the garden

Noooo, stop, that is not edible

Do not hurt your brother – I know he is wrecking your tower – I’m sorry

pleeeeasse sit still so we can get your shoes and socks on, it’s already taken an hour to try to get out of the door

Don’t tread in the poo (at least it isn’t don’t eat the poo)

Don’t lick the table/wall/window/mirror

Stop pulling the flowers up – aw is that for me, thank you!

Don’t wave that around in here, go outside (dog ball throwing thing)

Hold on to the pushchair, this road’s busy…Hold on to the pushchair…HOLD ON TO THE PUSHCHAIR

Yes you can walk on the wall

Listen! look at me… Listen!

I love you. You are amazing.

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Tomorrow is not a certainty.

You know we all have thoughts that jump out of nowhere, they are often thoughts that are not even particularly unusual but they make us think.  I suddenly thought last night – today could be my last day here! I didn’t really believe it, but it is true, none of us know when our time is up in this life/body. So that got me thinking, so it could be said don’t sweat the small stuff, live for today, do what you want… blah blah blah…. or it could alternatively be said that the small stuff is extraordinarily important because that is what is important to people on an everyday basis in our lives.

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Strangely things like moving house, looked at from this perspective, actually don’t really matter. I think it’s personal things, caring for others, looking out for others, loving others, which is important.

It is not just important to us, it is important to God. He wants us to steward this life well.

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. (Luke 16:10)

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (Matt 25:21)

give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)

He is a generous God. This gave me a little perspective I think, over the move. We really want it, but we tend to want it on our terms and in our timing (i.e quickly), but it’s not that important.  What is more important is how we do it and how we do life in general. God’s perspective is different to ours again. “give and it will be given to you” and he also talks a lot about helping people in need, about being there with them and doing nothing out of selfish ambition.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Phillippians 2:3-4)

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:16-18)

The only way any of us can do this is through meeting Jesus, making him Lord over all of our lives and being filled with the Holy Spirit. Then we will be changed, jealousy and selfish ambition will be changed (sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly) into love and compassion.

I pray for this process to continue and for our perspective to come from you Lord Jesus. Our perspective is often off, yours is not. We are and will keep asking for your wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6)

 

 

 

 

 

Roots…

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

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Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

I’ve been thinking about this line, for the last couple of days.  When I say thinking, I mean it has just been coming back to me in my quiet times and has been at the back of my mind.

I can be very emotional  and when something upsets me or makes me angry, hurt just pours out of my mouth and then leaves me speechless and full of remorse afterwards for a while…well almost speechless…. Or! I clam up and store it all up and then explode at a later time. As moving house is supposedly one of the most stressful times in your life I suppose this is an apt post.

I really want to change my reactions, I’ve been thinking about how the only way this can change is to think about what actually upset me and deal with that (the root of the matter), because usually it is not actually the action or even words of the other, it is usually an association with some other event or hurt I have experienced, or even just plain selfishness when someone is stopping me doing something I want to do or even just tiredness! I also need the continual filling of the Holy Spirit and to rely on him, when I say also, I mean that needs to come first. I also need to be able to talk about whatever it is that is wrong calmly.

On our own we are not accepted by God, we have to come to him through Jesus and then we become fragrant and we live with God and through God.  But there is still stuff we need to deal with.  I love God, I need God. He is not a crutch as I used to think about Christians, He is real and the reason I need him is because we are made for him and by him. When we don’t know him we try and fill our lives with other things. Now I know Him I just want to be filled with Him and I become aware of my sin. Pouring out words indiscriminately is sin. But it hurts so much! when I feel unappreciated, unloved, tired, unfairly accused, put upon, completely confused with everything I feel I need to do.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth, like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? (Isaiah 53:6-8)

This is about Jesus and was written (prophesied) years before he lived and was crucified. He did not say a word despite being accused, oppressed and afflicted. He did not need or have to defend himself. He also did this for me so he became my righteousness. I do not need to defend myself, God is my defence. If I am guilty I need to say so, if I am not I do not need to say anything or even feel hurt. I do pray that God will give me the compassion to actually feel for the other person in this circumstance.

None of the previously mentioned upsets are reasons for not being kind. So I think I need to rethink. Stop doing things because I feel I have to and just enjoy being with my kids and husband. Meditating on scriptures and spending time with God is a must. So is accepting that I will sometimes get upset and hurt, I just want to sort out my reaction to it. My reaction is my responsibility, I want to operate from love not hurt or frustration.

I love my children, but I make so many mistakes and so often feel as though I’m getting it completely wrong. I read a post yesterday that I need to think about, it’s about how God leads those with young with gentleness. That what he want from you when you’re in this period of your life is gentleness. I thought it was a lovely post, I cannot find it again now for the life of me but when I do I will put a link up. It is normal stuff about playing with them/just being with them, going for general tidiness rather than sterility (as if) about meditating on scripture and just having this as a gentle time in your life, a time with them. As a person who tends to put extra stresses on herself, worry that she is not doing a good enough job and then tries harder (resulting in more anxiety) but then also get distracted by unimportant stuff this really spoke.

He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
    he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
    and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:11)

I love God, he really does give life.

The heaven’s declare…

Regarding our house sale, the builder fella came around yesterday to check what needs doing damp proofing wise, he was really friendly and seemed realistic and honest.  So we’re waiting to hear that all is well and our sale is going through.

Not heard anything on the croft since we heard our offer had been accepted in principle, I’ll feel a lot happier once the advert actually goes under offer though. I contacted them  again yesterday to find out what happens next. Whether it officially goes under offer at some point or whether it is because it has been accepted. It is the in principle bit I’m not sure about.

I’m really, really enjoying life on the allotment at the moment, there are turnips growing, sprouts, cabbages (only a few because they got eaten even though they are netted), runner beans flowering, summer and winter squash growing, courgettes, sweetcorn plants, onions, spinach, a few beetroot, lettuce and spring onions. One reason I’m really enjoying it is it seems it is the first year since we got the allotment that I’ve really been able to make a difference and do a lot of the work. It’s because I was pregnant with our toddler when we first got it and since then had the old post natal depression/anxiety /lack of get up and go and then another baby. Life has been busy! But busy is not necessarily bad and now the two boys generally play for a while whilst I do some work. I also LOVE going on with them, being outside is good, for them and for me and our relationship.

The little one has now started bum shuffling (he has got quite fast) and I leave him in one place and look up and he’s in a veg bed with something interesting like mud held between his finger and thumb, on it’s way to his mouth, like the finest delicacy.  Mr toddler is also starting to take an interest in the names of plants and of taking care of the beds and doing things like hoeing etc. I just have to watch he doesn’t dig my plants up. It’s brilliant this year because we never actually got round to planting any potatoes so he has basically got his own patch to play on/dig up/roll around in/learn to garden/whatever he likes.  He has been loving it.

 

We still have our four hens on the allotment too, they’re about 14 months old now, only three are laying at the moment, but one does look like it has been going through a moult, so maybe she will start again. We are going to need to rehome them very soon (it looks like we have found a home for them). I love having chickens, but I think it would be a bit much to take them 700 ish miles with us.

 

We can’t wait to get moved and start getting set up, I love the thought of getting our new chickens there, we will be able to have a rooster too! (we can’t where we are at the moment) and maybe ducks and sheep to start with. We are planning on putting chickens on the vegetable garden to clear it over autumn/winter (depending when we get there) and then sorting that out next year. It is walled but the wall has disappeared under grass, so hopefully we can get the wall uncovered and the house will have a walled garden again.

We have a dream/wish list in relation to the croft, one of which is a large polycrub in which we would be able to grow just about any veg/fruit/flowers we want. The problem in Shetland as far as I am aware is the wind and so a polycrub would be ideal. The only thing is the cost of the polycrub, we are praying that we will be able to get one.

We are also planning/wanting to plant some trees which should be suitable for the area, we have been researching a little on what would be the best options for the area – some of the suitable trees are downy birch and hazel and we should hopefully be able to use these somewhere on the croft as a wind break/shelter as well as having the joy of actually having trees there. There aren’t many on Shetland from what I have heard.  I have seen this week that the woodland trust sell landowner packs of trees and there is a pack called wild wood tree pack which looks ideal, even more so because the ones that are out of stock are not ones we wanted and the ones they are offering are the ones we wanted. So getting and planting these would be so good to do. It’s good that Chris and I are so on the same page with this really, we love planning this sort of thing, the gardens, the land, the trees.

When Jesus was first making himself obvious to me, I had been asking him whether he was real because I was desperate and did not know where to go with my life, I felt like I had no hope. I suppose everything had been made clear to me that “things” and even people just don’t cut it and hiding yourself in things like drinking don’t really work. I can remember driving into the countryside, specifically from Chesterfield into Ashover and praying the Lord’s prayer because it was all I knew regarding prayer really and begging Him that if he really was there to help me and I looked around and the fields and trees and skies had suddenly become brighter and just spectacular, it was in technicolour. So one of the ways he showed me himself was via the outdoors. It was just awesome.

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The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (Ps 19:1).

I’ve seen some interesting news in the last few weeks as well, Shetland is going to be homing some Syrian refugees, I feel really excited about this, we are still involved with the world! we are not cut off! I have to admit I have been wondering what sort of stuff we will be doing there and dreaming of what God may have for us to do. Dreaming is good, dreams can become reality, especially when you pray them, especially if it is actually God giving you those dreams…

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

I love this prayer. When you actually look at the words and what they mean, it is just brilliant.

(I don’t generally do the whole olde speak thy/thou thing, but I do with this prayer, because it is how I learnt it when I was young, and I like it. But you don’t have to, you can talk to God however you are comfortable, he loves you to talk to him).

See ya!

Blogs and blockages :D (this is about poo)

This is a lighthearted post and the title actually came from my friend, thank you for being you and not chucking us out 😀

As I said in yesterday’s blog, we went to Ashbourne on Saturday to visit the sheep fair.  Whilst we were there we parked on a friend’s drive whilst we walked down into the town.  When we got back, they invited us in for a drink and a chat…. which was lovely.  We know this couple fairly well, I’ve known them for the last decade and they’ve been my spiritual parents really in our church. So we are fairly relaxed around them…

However, my toddler has had a bit of regression regarding toilet training recently, in particular in relation to poo and whilst we were there I had to take him to clean him up.  It was a good one, literally in his shoes…So I cleaned him up, sent him back out with clean underwear etc etc, whilst muttering under my breath.  Then, I decided it would be a good idea to rinse his pants under the tap (in my defence, I had got rid of the excess poo).  It wasn’t a good idea. It was one of those moments when you really wish you’d done it differently. It was so bad it was really funny. The sink blocked up and filled with brown water. IN MY FRIEND’s HOUSE. I was like, no, no, no, no, nooooooo. Then tried to ladle out the excess with a plastic soap bottle that hardly had any left in it, because that was all I had. I ladled it out and put it down the toilet and tried in vain to unblock the sink.  I ended up wandering out and saying nonchalently “you haven’t got a sink plunger have you?”

It was sort of horrific but also sort of the most funny, seriousness breaking, side splitting brilliant moments.  I haven’t actually laughed like that or found something so funny in so long. Talk about humbling yourself, I blocked my friend’s sink with my toddler’s poo. There you have it. It still makes me giggle when I think about it. Sorry.

and kudos to them for sorting it out without moaning (at least to me)….I think they thought it was funny…I think…

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Our sincerest apologies but oh I haven’t laughed so much in ages.

A joyful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (proverbs 17:22 ESV)