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…
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!
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.
There’s something that is really right about that statement… I quite like that I watch butterflies and that his daddy fixes things.
It reminded me of a picture we were given by a friend before we got married. When I say picture, I don’t mean a picture you hang on a wall. I mean a picture God gives you to tell you or someone else something.
The picture was an aerial view of a grass field, Chris was on one half, mowing in lovely straight lines, making a lovely job, I was on the other half with my lawnmower twirling round making circles/wavy lines etc. But together it made a lovely picture, particularly when looked at from above. It was from God, to say, that neither one of us is wrong in how we are, we compliment each other and are made differently and together we make a lovely picture. (this is done from memory, forgive me AI if any part of it is slightly not right).
It has been SO hard for both of us, doing that, just accepting the other and that I’m not the one who is right or he isn’t the one who is right. I NEVER thought it/marriage would be so difficult. (long time marrieds keep your smirks to yourselves). But we keep going and we keep learning and we keep loving and I often think of the above picture.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mark 10:7-9)
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
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
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)
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.
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.
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).