So this morning…

…Chris has realised he finishes work in a week because of holidays owed…so the move to Ireland is getting more real as each day passes. The bad point at the moment is that our English buyer has not yet confirmed the completion date or exchanged…so that is making me nervous. (Prayer would be gratefully received) All the paperwork has gone off quite a while ago, so I don’t really understand what is taking so long…and why it has not yet happened. I keep asking but am not having much joy. We have decided we are going on the 7th, everything is booked, but it would be so nice to just get the ends tidied up and sorted, the end of one chapter and the start of the next… I realise I gave the impression it was all wrapped up, but I sort of presumed it was……hopefully it is….sorry for the presumption…(but we are moving on the 7th). Moving house is stressful!

23 days to go…

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Not much news today but…

I still want to write so I am. There is a little news, our report on the house from the engineer will be coming on Monday for us to read. So that should be interesting reading…

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This house ↑↑ (in case you need reminding) (or haven’t read our blog before) In Ireland, even though originally it was the Orkney’s, then Shetland (our croft buy fell through). So it is quite different in some ways from the original plan, as it is about 1 1/2 hours away from the coast, whereas in Shetland, the croft was really close to the shore and in the Orkney’s you’re never far away from the sea. Still, an hour and a half isn’t that far.

It is rural and beautiful with nearby village schools and a bit of land but not too much for us (3.3 acres to be precise) as opposed to the masses of land there was with the croft, so I guess we will read the report on Monday and hopefully not have a nasty surprise. Having read a lot of home reports when we were house hunting in Scotland (they are available when you are looking, you don’t have to have one done) we think we know what to expect.

It’s been a funny old day. We’ve been out with the dog and got soaking wet, collected some “treasures” while we were out (hazel nuts, elderberries, acorns) it was fun actually! There were even some blackberries still out, but other than that we’ve been in and not really doing a lot. Chris’s new fpv goggles have arrived, so he is very happy!

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(he did give me permission to use this photo :D)

Family

I have to be careful today because I feel upset about something (partly my own fault) and what I really want to do is rant, but I made a sort of pledge when I started this that I would try not to use it to slate anyone or anything if I could help it.

Instead I will focus on my beautiful family.

My gorgeous husband, it has been a very tough, busy and awesome five years, we just get stronger and stronger because we are determined just to keep loving and going. He is amazing, he has a quiet strength and an ability not to care what others think that I just don’t have at the moment. He strengthens me through this. He is also brilliant with the children and often has more patience than me.

Our children, determined, lively, gorgeous, future world changers. J is amazing, he prayed for his dad the other day because he stood on a nail, the pain then disappeared. J tells me I’m beautiful when I’m sad (without prompting) and asks me how I am, he says thank you very much when you give him something, he tells you straight if he doesn’t like something, he often creeps in close when he is sat next to you and places his hand on you gently. He has so much empathy and compassion and love in him it is amazing. He is also very sensitive to environments.

The baby is just so so determined, if he wants something he will have it, he is smiley and cuddly and absolutely loves his brother to bits. Smiles and laughs every time he is around him.

We also have two other beautiful children who are not pictured but loved just as much.

And the only other thing I wish to say today is, we do our best. We always do our best. Our kids are going to be world changers, partly because we encourage them, love them and try to love them like God loves us. Mainly because they were made for that, by God.

 

Quandary…sell everything or storage..self drive or removals…

So, the current quandary is what to do with our belongings. I’m writing this because I think this is part of the journey that many people find themselves in and I said we would write about the moving process.

The situation is that we may find we have completed on our house before we have anywhere (we don’t have a date yet though). We have a few options:

  1. sell everything (which I think is a false economy)
  2. get rid of everything non essential and store the rest with the removals firm until we actually move.
  3. Store everything with a local storage place and then use a removals firm.
  4. Narrow our belongings down to things which fit into a van, store them and then take them over ourselves (wherever somewhere is).

Wherever we move, it is probably going to involve a ferry journey.

I am thinking at the moment that number 2 is the best option. Don’t get me wrong, this “quandary” doesn’t worry me in the slightest. Maybe it should, but it doesn’t. Again, I quite like change and a bit of upheaval. I think that’s maybe just how I’m made. But I think we need to think about it and Chris definitely thinks we do, so we are. (we compliment each other well).

I’m presuming it is difficult to get concrete quotes until you know details like dates, so I’ll wait until we have the completion date and then start ringing. We have never done this before so we have no idea about costs! We got quoted the latter half of the two grand mark to move to Shetland, which I didn’t think was bad considering the overnight ferry journey. So we will see.

Northumberland (No 1 off bucket list)

We have been up for a couple of days (Chris and I and the boys).  I have been coming up to Northumberland for years, first with my family (mum and dad and sister), then with my eldest daughter – mainly camping then, because it was affordable and fun. Now with Chris and the boys. Northumberland seems to be a bit addictive. I just love the coast, it is wild, stretches for miles and it is windy and amazing. No built up promenades here! You can also still take your dog on the beach no matter what time of year it is.

Our dog met the sea for the first time today, he wasn’t that keen, he had a few snaps at the waves as they were coming in and ran madly about on a long lead.  He was much better when we started throwing a stick in, he then started running in and out without much problem. For the first time I can remember though, the beach we were on was busy with loads of people on and other dogs, so there was too much noise and disturbance for him really, I think it made him a bit anxious.

It was a very mixed day today, funny how we have all these expectations and plans and it never turns out how we think. It was good but also bad, I was absolutely shattered because we didn’t get here until late last night and then the boys wouldn’t go to bed because it was exciting and then they got up early. So I’ve been quite moody….. but! we went to the beach AND we went for icecream, J loved that. I love the beach, I love the smell, the sea, rocks, sitting on the sand, just breathing it all in and being there. Also got some paddling in, which was great. The baby loved the sea too, kicking and splashing like mad. I think he is going to be quite adventurous.

The journey up last night was something else, the M1 was heaving, then there were the most torrential downpours and lightning, huge flashes and forked lightning too, which made the sky look purpley/pink. We then had to stop to feed the baby (he was crying and crying) and Chris went for a little wander and found a man who needed a jump start, so we drove over to do that, (he ended up having a bump start). It perhaps doesn’t sound like the most ideal situation but it was strangely peaceful. J was asleep in the back, I was feeding the baby in the dark in the front and Chris was outside helping the people who had broken down. The darkness and quietness made it easy to focus on the baby and it was lovely, a bit of quiet time with him. I could also look at Chris from a distance as he was talking to this man and his family and helping them. It sometimes helps to look from a distance. He was all lit up. He really likes helping people, I don’t think I really got that before but I saw it in his face last night. Not for himself, just because he likes helping people, because that is how God has made him.

Then after we had got there and settled (after midnight), we lost the dog. I didn’t check the gate on the balcony when I let him out and he went for a walk on his own. I searched around the campsite on foot, then got back in with the full intention of taking the car out to search for him. When I opened the door to go back out to the car, he appeared at the door, soaking wet from the rain but perfectly alright. We were so glad, and we were so relieved he came back. He has never been there before. I had been praying and praying as I was walking around, calling and whistling him and I fully believe it was God who brought him back and I’m very glad he did.

 

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I made jam!

idolise me! (Joke, really, joke…)

 

I did though! really!

It’s Friday and time for a thankful post. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about being thankful and challenging the opposite of this, which I think often takes the form of bitterness and resentment. I feel that the scripture about looking at whatever is excellent, has been given me and it keeps coming up in my thoughts. I said before, I think it was in my ode to Chris, that God tells us to look for the excellence and anything worthy of praise.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I also think of this verse a lot at the moment:

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

This is in Phillipians 2, and it says directly before this that ‘it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure’.

So, I am asking the Holy Spirit to help me in this, well lead me really.

The verse I’ve quoted before out of John in which Jesus says “I do not give as the world gives…” is a favourite of mine.

I get angry and frustrated because we live in such a beautiful place, but life can be so confusing. We laugh at purity and goodness, relegate relationships, justify behaviour in any way we can and put others down because of our own selfish motives. Jesus knows and sees all of this and still says “I love you, invite me in…” and you know what? he then changes us.

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9)

The world has us believe many things and puts many burdens on us. Jesus takes our burdens from us and gives us peace and freedom. “should we choose to accept it…”

I may be wrong but I think most of us want true love and true acceptance and true peace and the only, the only! place this is found is in Jesus Christ.

Ask him.

Today, I am thankful.

 

 

Gifts…!!!

Today has been a good day. We went to Derby on the train, this was the first time our three year old has been on a train! He loved it, and he behaved so well. He was funny, talking all the way there, asking questions, looking out of the window. We’ve spent most of the day with our family, celebrating family, it’s been lovely.

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Chris was in Shetland today! He also had a good day, he loves the Croft and Shetland and so things look good so far. He’s coming home tomorrow, I’m looking forward to seeing him. I’ve missed him.

Feels a little odd writing about the process at this stage, very vulnerable, because we want to put an offer in, but there may be other people interested too, so we may not get it. So we’re excited but also don’t want to get too excited in case we don’t get it and then we’ll be disappointed and it will be public! But I also think hiding it is a waste of time because why waste time pretending we’re not excited, when we are!!! We would love to live there. More and more I keep thinking, we just waste so much time being frightened of being disappointed, frightened of looking too into things/people, frightened of what we look like, just wanting to keep up appearances. Instead of being open, vulnerable and honest. I think it keeps us from rejoicing, because we’re scared to.

There is a part in the bible that says to rejoice when others rejoice, weep when others weep… (Romans 12:15), to me this summons up a picture of honesty, of being there for others, of taking life to the full, of admitting joy and disappointment and grief and being genuine. Whilst still having that deep, underlying joy because of Christ’s life, sacrifice and resurrection and the Holy Spirit within you. The joy of knowing him whether life is great or whether it has turned to rubbish.

This brings me onto what I believe God has been speaking to me about recently. Today, I have been hearing the word, gift, gift, gift, gift, gift, over and over again and have been talking to God about it. I believe this is in relation to life and what happens but most importantly to the people in my life. Before and even since becoming a Christian I have struggled with the thought of losing my family, of losing those close to me, I’ve imagined things so clearly at times, that it has felt as though it is real. I’ve imagined them suffering and my heart feels as though it will explode from grief, I’ve imagined them dying and the grief again briefly feels overwhelming, but then I’ve usually managed to stop that thought process. The thought of them suffering or even of something happening to me and of leaving them, of leaving my family on their own has occasionally been overwhelming (even though it is from my imagination). I am also aware that there may be people who are reading this who have actually lost those close to them or who are facing life threatening situations and my heart goes out to you.

So I believe what God is saying and what he is changing in me, is that he is changing my perspective. These people, my family, my children, my parents, my friends on this earth, even my own life – are not mine. They are His. These lives are gifts, from Him, they are not mine to cling on to. They are given because he loves us but also for unknown, higher purposes than those of which we are aware and I am to love and celebrate them, to mind and look after and nurture them and just do life with them and probably much more. These relationships in my life, although real and good and given for a purpose are not the end, and they are not permanent. One day, we are all going to die, we don’t know when, but there are hard questions to examine. What happens next? What is my life for?

These gifts of people, they are gifts, amazing gifts and should be celebrated (and grieved for)! But they are not what life is about. They are gifts to celebrate and one day give back. This may seem a bit macabre to some people, (and please remember I am not a theologian either) but it’s not macabre, it is freeing and releasing. This life and when it ends is not within my control and whenever and however it ends or whatever happens, God is good, He loves us and wants us to be with Him.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16).

God does not change, he loves us no matter what, every good and perfect gift comes from him. He is that perfect parent that we all strive to be or want, but don’t ordinarily get. The only way is through Jesus.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3).

I’ve just included the above writing because I just love the way it describes Jesus. It sends shivers down my spine. He upholds the universe by the word of his power….

I’m a bit of an external processor, doncha know…