I have got up early with Mr Toddler, the baby is asleep and so is the husband. I’ve been searching properties and feeling a bit sorry for myself. But also a bit excited about the fact the we don’t know where we are going. Is that weird? I like it in a lot of ways. We will keep looking and hopefully the right place will come up. In God we trust (often after trying to do everything our own way, haha), but He has plans we do not know about, they’re also more than a million times better/different than ours.
Although I have to admit I have had my moments of looking around where we live and at the allotment and thinking “what are we doing?!!” we have a nice place to live, somewhere fairly child friendly and an allotment just over the road. Then I think, but I don’t want to stay here, we want somewhere new. So new it will be.
Well, I’m going to start thinning down on our stuff today and hopefully spend some good time with the children. Josh is currently laid on the floor playing with some sort of construction set, watching tv.
It feels a bit weird that I’ve put in the opening page that this is hopefully the story of our family moving from Derbyshire to Shetland (or Orkney originally) when we actually don’t know that now. It is not the end of this story though…..
Loads of good has come out of it so far, Chris and I have travelled to Orkney twice (when normally we would not have even contemplated it and have never been before), Chris and his dad have been to Shetland. We have spoken to people we would not normally have spoken to, found out and researched information we would not normally have done and realised we were/are prepared to go into a life which would be totally different to the one we currently have. It has been quite an exciting year so far.
We may also have a gap where we don’t have a house to live in, when our house sale goes through. That feels strange…but freeing in a way, because we will have the money to buy somewhere without any hitches hopefully. Albeit not a massive amount, but some. It is so strange that we could have bought a croft on Shetland for the money we get for our terraced house but if we wanted to live in the Peak District we would need a lot more to even get a 2/3 bed house.
God bless you one and all! Time to get on with life here for the time being.
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.
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!
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!
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 doing that!
Why are you crying?
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
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
No news on the move at the mo, I think it is in the middle stage of not much seeming to be happening, but it is. Waiting! again! It will be worth it though. I want to make the most of our time every day though. I don’t always, but I want to! This was part of the weekend:
My first ever quiche! had a bit of a soggy bottom haha but it was nice, I used to call it “christian food” years ago, because everything you turned up to had quiche, But I’ve since come to really like it 😀
Things feel stressful at the moment and quite serious quite a lot of the time so I just want to concentrate on good today. I took the boys and dog to a reservoir called Linacre on Saturday and we went back again on Sunday afternoon with Chris, it was lovely. Even better to Mr Toddler (and me) because there is an ice cream van in the car park. Chris took me to Linacre for our second ever date. I can remember it being a really bright, sunny day despite it being March. He was just the same then, I am one for standing and looking and inhaling and taking it all in, soaking it up. Staying in one place for a while, exploring, chatting or just looking. Chris is all action, lets be off then, lets be doing things. Both have good points and bad points, we both have to compromise sometimes.
The easiest way of taking the boys and the dog for a walk is to carry the baby on my back. It gets a bit hot sometimes but I love it, he is so close. I think he loves it too, he sits there, looking around at everything, taking it all in.
It won’t be long until he is walking. I love this stage, where you can still sit with them, inhaling their baby goodness. They still sit with you and cuddle. It is still good when they get older, but not as easy. (to me, anyway).
Anyway, I’m really tired today, both boys ended up in bed with me, which is nice but not particularly comfortable, so we are going to wait until the baby wakes from his nap and then go out somewhere. Preferably in the country.
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.
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.
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).
It’s a sunny day, I am sat in our living room typing and can see butterflies in the garden, my eldest is staying at the moment, so she has just gone upstairs, littlest is asleep on our bed and toddler is downstairs with me watching Richard Scarry on YouTube, it’s got to go off soon! I keep saying that though. It is a practical day today, shopping, cleaning, playing, cooking, waiting!!! We are still waiting to see if our offer is accepted on the croft. But, as I said the other day, today is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. I’m glad for all you football nuts that England won the other night, but I’m afraid I don’t watch it or follow it… So here’s wishing you well, I’m sure I’ll know how it’s going by just listening to the street noise on Saturday. The other night you could hear cheers from various parts of our neighbourhood all at the same time.
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (Lamentations 3:25)
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. (Habakkuk 2:3)
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! (Ps 37:7)
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18)
etc etc etc…there are tons of scriptures about waiting, these are but a few….our God is good. I’m still checking my emails every few minutes though…hahaha…this is because I am still impatient though, not because God doesn’t do what he says.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24)
I’ve been thinking about this scripture this morning. There is so much in that one line of scripture. It doesn’t sound like it on first reading, but there is. There is the fact that God created everything, including all of us. There is rejoicing because of this and being glad of this. There is also the decision taken to rejoice and see the good of the day.
But also, with Jesus we can all be free of shame, guilt, bitterness, unforgiveness and addictions, just to name a few. We can be free of all the stuff that we’re all living with but actually don’t know what to do with and don’t know where to go with. We can only know forgiveness and freedom in our lives when we go with Jesus and acknowledge that he came for us, he came for us in our squalor and filth, hopelessness, helplessness and sin and lived and died and rose again to save us and reunite us with father God. Don’t you think that is just incredible? Just think about how Jesus suffered. He was tortured and I mean tortured, physically and mentally and then crucified. He was separated from his father God in order that he might fully understand what it is like to be us and all this because man betrayed him. But you know what he said? He said, forgive them, for they know not what they do. That is something to rejoice about. Jesus is Lord. He is over everything. He is in everything, even (or especially sometimes) when we don’t understand and when asked, forgives everything and gives new life. He also never, ever takes this back.
Look at this hand, isn’t it amazing? Look at the detail. God designed that.
I’m preaching to myself in this too, I am prone to anxiety, I am prone to that tightness in my chest and whirling in my stomach that feels as though bad things are going to happen and makes you feel lost, like you don’t know what to do first and everything seems overwhelming. It can rob you of your joy and life and affect people around you. I am also aware I am completely unable to actually describe what it feels like properly. It is not nice, but God quiets me and I can tell him everything and anything and then peace is possible. The bible tells us that God gives us peace that surpasses understanding and I can guarantee that he does. Even in the midst of turmoil.
We are still waiting for the solicitor to email us the draft for the offer on the Scottish property at the moment, apparently buying a croft is more complex than buying a house and can be a bit of a minefield. I don’t know why, but we will make a choice to trust her judgement. Hopefully we will see the draft today and get the offer in. God is in charge, not us. So today! I make a choice to trust Him, rejoice in Him and see the good surrounding me. Jesus gives peace to your soul.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)
He does not give as the world gives. He gives purity and light and cleanness and LOVE.
Hi! The update on the moving front is that the survey was done on our house last Friday, we don’t know what it says yet but hopefully nothing major. We also asked our solicitor to put an offer in on the house we are interested in on Shetland, but haven’t heard back yet!! It is painful, we have heard nothing. So we are praying that we hear something soon.
We’re now on holiday on Orkney. It is beautiful, it is not nearly as hot as England and there is generally a breeze even when it is warm. Which suits me! The boys are loving it, the three year old has been able to run free around the cottage and on the beach. Chris has done some videos with his drone, click on the link to view one, it’s really good and shows what it is like where we are staying: first flight
This is where we are staying. It’s pretty special.
It is so quiet here, I’m loving the quietness. You go outside and just hear the birds, the sea and sometimes a tractor. You can almost hear the silence when you’re outside. That is something I really needed. God is good.
Interesting fact – Egg was our youngest’s first word. It sounded like egg anyway.
So, Chris and his dad are on their way to Shetland, the survey on our house is now happening on Monday, and I’m at home watching sooty with the two boys. It’s all happening! The boat journey will hopefully go ahead (it’s rather windy). It’s on schedule so far, and Chris will go and see if the croft is the right place for us. I don’t know if people realise this, but we’ve never actually been to Shetland, this is Chris’s first time and I’ve never been. So, reckless move or a leap of faith? I’m inclined to think faith, although I can be reckless. I think God requires us to jump when he asks us and this may appear reckless to others.
We discussed what this visit was mainly about and came to the conclusion that the main reason for the visit and viewing was to get the feel of the place, could we live there as a family? could Chris take his family there? is it right? So yes, we are hoping the croft house is intact and not leaking etc but also, is it right, could we live there? What is God saying about it? and I fully trust Chris that if he comes back and says no, it’s not right, then it’s not and if he says yes, it is right, I trust him on that too. We’ve been praying together and separately about it and although we would love this place, if it is not where God wants us, there will be somewhere else to go. This talk about listening to what God is saying might sound weird if you don’t know Him, but he does talk to us. Being a Christian is a real relationship between yourself and God, it is not following a set of rules, but knowing Jesus.
Life is an adventure and we intend to live it as one. Whether we’re in Derbyshire or Scotland or anywhere else, in a house with a garden or in a house with a croft, or even if we’re ever without a house. It’s a bit of a cliche but I felt like God spoke to me ages ago about blooming where you’re planted. It was when I was feeling dissatisfied with being in Chesterfield and wanted to be in Matlock or the surrounding area. It was a bit of a check for me about being where you are because that’s where God’s put you and things aren’t going to get better just because you go somewhere else. And God was right, as He always is.
This is exciting though, I feel on tenterhooks, is this place right or is it wrong?
Meanwhile I’m at home and I need to go and check on the chickens and get the eggs in a bit, then we need to take the dog out. He ate a sock yesterday, so he’s been a bit off it, it has exited his body though..not going into any details. It was gross and sort of amazing. It was the shape of his bowel…
Still waiting, as the title says. Chris is going up to Aberdeen tomorrow, getting the overnight ferry to Shetland and then going to view the house. He is then getting the overnight ferry back and arriving home again the following evening. It sounds so good to me. I love travelling about. But, I’m fine to be here, praying for him and hopefully enjoying time with our two boys and the dog. I need to email the solicitors as I actually don’t know what we need to do yet if we do want to put an offer in. I think it needs to come through them, but I’m not sure.
This is our dog, he is called Blaze:
He is a six month old Border Collie. For his age he amazes me with how obedient he is. The only thing is, he wants to chase cars when we’re walking him, but we’ve started using a head collar and it has made a huge difference with both that and his pulling.
He’s really good with our three year old, he runs and plays with him and is very patient with him. When we said we were getting a Border Collie, a lot of people’s faces were a picture, but he has been really rewarding and loving. He is greedy, he likes jumping up at you and jumps over the gate when you’re not looking because he loves people and footballs and they play football on the field opposite our house. But he was definitely a good choice.
I’ve always loved animals. When I was a kid I was always coming home with new gerbils/hamsters/mice/stolen dogs (well borrowed) whom I swore had just followed me home from the fields near our house and when I was out my eyes were always to the ground in case there were any wild animals in trouble (for example, had fallen out of their nests) that I could nurture and build up back to good health :D.
I was also a little odd, and it wasn’t unknown to find snails or slugs or jars of spiders in my room, a worm farm I’d made or to find me burying a dead animal so I could later dig it up and look at it’s skeleton…(don’t judge me, I blame the parents :D). In fact I do also have a vague memory of my mum finding my dead, frozen guinea pig in the freezer (it was dead before I put it in there), I “think” I may have been considering preserving it to try out taxidermy…..(I never did). So! I think I may be suited to the country life, it never does to be tooooo soppy over the animals (in my opinion), particularly ones you may be eating at some point….Still not sure how I’ll get on with that one, guess we will find out…