Things we take for granted.

Since the last post, Chris has plumbed our washing machine in and set up the drier in the barn. Which is incredible! For the last two months we have been taking clothes once a week to a laundrette (despite my initally loving the laundrette outside Tesco’s, it turns out they’re always breaking down). Then collecting them and taking more. Because of where we live, you have to drive to the laundrette, there’s no bus service or walking distance type ones. So! It feels pretty amazing to be able to do our own washing. Thankyou God for a man who is very practical and able!

So, I was talking to Chris and said how good it was and how little things make a huge difference and he said “well, it’s the things we take for granted isn’t it? There’s a blog there….” I then asked him if he wanted to write it, to which he replied no, I’m too busy. So I’m writing it.

Things we (or rather I, so I’m not generalising) take for granted:

Double glazing and solid doors that don’t blow a gale through them.

Curtain poles either up or able to be put up (the top of the upstairs windows are very close to the ceiling with it being a dormer). So currently, only one window covering up and held up by a garden cane.

nice view!

Washing and drying facilities (now sorted!…yippeeeee)

A bath/shower/bathroom – we have a sink and a toilet, very much looking forward to a bath. The feeling when we get one will be whoooopeeeeeee.

our bathroom at the moment.

This leads us onto waste disposal as of the toilet kind – we have a septic tank. This is normal here but is very new to us and needs checking out and maintaining.

Waste disposal as in of the rubbish kind. It is extremely easy in England to get rid of any rubbish, it is not easy here. We now pay monthly to have bins, they are collected and emptied every two weeks, you pay an additional fee for the weight, but they are very strict on what goes into their bins. How you’re supposed to get rid of normal glass or lightbulbs is currently a mystery to me. Glass bottles have to go into bottle banks, the waste collectors don’t collect glass. We think we are going to hire a skip when we have the windows done and just put everything into that, then hopefully problem solved. There were some old windows left here and quite a bit of other stuff that we need to get rid of. The only other options are either go north with it or have a big bonfire..

Health care/dental care/Hospitals etc. Healthcare here is private, you have to pay to go to the doctors and hence no NHS dentists (although the dentists was a lot cheaper than I was expecting and the one I got was brilliant). I applied for a medical card and for some reason it said we were not entitled even though Chris is not working, so I still need to work that one out. The kids should get an under 6 medical card.

Benefits – Don’t get me started on bureaucracy…. to get a PPS number for the children we had to get a letter saying our kids were resident and show their birth certificates…To get child benefit…you have to do exactly the same thing separately and do a paper application because I haven’t been invited to apply (if I had, I could do it online). i waited for a password to come through the post in order to verify my online account to be told I couldn’t apply online.

Places/groups to go to.

Shops to walk to.

Cleanliness – burning coal is dirty…no other word for it, everything within a day within the immediate area seems to develop a thin coating of blackness. We are getting an oil range installed in about two weeks, this will be so good.

Local ways/culture – we may think when we live somewhere like Derbyshire that there are no particular local ways or culture but I’m telling you there is and it is quite comforting when you know how people generally are.

Storage space – there will be some eventually, it’s just difficult at the moment, we are all sleeping in one bedroom and the other is a storage facility. Our room is lovely though, here’s a corner of it:

I’m sure there are plenty of other things but I’m going to leave it at that for now. That’s plenty. It is not meant to be a moaning/feel sorry for me list, but rather looking at what we have and realising it at the time, rather than realising afterwards!

What you soon realise too after moving is that wherever you live, there are people who love it but also tons of people spouting about how it’s gone to the dogs/not like it used to be/blah blah blah. That doesn’t seem to change wherever you are!

I want to do what God tells me to do and I so often fail, but I love, love, love, the following verses:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Words to live by – God is always dependable.

I feel especially at the moment with the whole Brexit palaver, border issues and so on, it is so easy to moan and groan and go on and lecture and ponder and slag people off, wherever you are. But wouldn’t it be a lot better to pray for our leaders? I’m going to try anyway.

There’s a lot of evil and horrible things happening in the world at the moment and it is good for your soul to look at the good things and be thankful (and pray about the bad things). The bad things do need facing and tackling and honesty is required about them being evil. Especially I feel, the recent change of abortion laws in New York and the UK trying to go the same way and also of course, abortion being introduced into Ireland. But! practicing looking at what is good can only benefit us and charge us up in the right way to then tackle the issues.

I just want to add onto the end of this, I miss you my friends and family, I miss you more than I thought I would. So love to you all. Just to also reassure you too – I am also very glad we have come here.

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…

Right! So!

where to begin?! Get to the point I suppose. Well we are completing on the seventh of December on our house and hopefully moving straight to Ireland.

We’ve signed the contracts on both houses and arranged a removals firm for two days before completion (it can take between 7 and 28 days to get your stuff!) this is because there are usually multiple house moves on the same lorry and they travel around dropping each persons belongings off in turn. We will know more about how long it is likely to be nearer to the time.

So we will have to take a few things with us, like air beds, travel cot, bedding, thankfully we are taking the trailer which has most of our camping stuff in it, so we will have some cutlery, plates etc and the camping cooker if necessary. Oh yes, and warm clothes.

We are moving (in December) to a cottage on a field that thankfully has running water (but no hot unless the fire is running) and Chris needs to check that out before we use it. It currently has no shower or bath, no cooker, no kitchen really haha, wooden framed glass windows, damp…! But it does have a roof and walls and 2 fires and 3 radiators (providing the back boiler is ok), a toilet and sink and a Belfast sink in the kitchen. It should be a real first for us! Camping in December! We are really looking forward to it.

We need to book the ferry now, and then carry on boxing up and letting whoever we need to know we’re moving. I have a long list… I do like lists though, you can scroll a line through what you’ve done – very satisfying!

No condemnation

The bible tells us that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. No condemnation. None! But I know I often/usually do not live like this. So I’ve started a bible study through you version on it and am talking to God, doodling ideas and thoughts and generally asking God’s spirit to show me the truth.

I think through past stuff, things that have happened, things I’ve done I still hold onto feeling worthless when In fact the opposite is true, because of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit cleanses us from all unrighteousness and although we still do sin, in the bible study it pointed something out I’ve never thought of before – we now hate the sin, even though we may still do it. Isn’t that a gift!!!?? Even if it doesn’t always feel like it. Haha.

In other news, our littlest is now sleeping in his cot and It’s going fairly well. And he can now climb stairs and onto the settee. Nothing is safe any more! He climbed on this morning because his brother was sat there eating a banana and J then shared it with him. Which was nice!

I love these little parts of life. Watching them change and grow. Finding things out, learning things. It happens so fast at this age too. Life is most definitely a miracle.

Why do I find being nice so difficult?

I do.

I confess.

I often find being ‘nice’ difficult. I get irritated and/or impatient and want to correct people, interrupt, or even just leave. Why??!! Other times, not a problem, patience unlimited… (This confession feels a little out there, and if you don’t like soul bearing please stop reading now! but I am telling myself it isn’t just me that feels like this ;))

I am asking God why. I’m sure there are many reasons…

Because I sometimes feel bad about myself or I haven’t identified why I’m upset or irritated and take it out on people. It’s when my identity is confused and I almost step back in time and become like the old Cathy, where bitching and being hard, putting others down and not caring about things was my protection, my shell. If you’re hard and don’t care you fool yourself that things don’t or won’t hurt and you can actually almost fool yourself into believing you don’t care and that the most important thing is to look after number 1 (and family) and that is it. Other people are never (or rarely) for you and cannot be trusted, so get in there first…. it’s when my priorities are mixed up or when I’m plain old tired.

Also, I hate fakeness and it feels fake to be nice when I’m not feeling it. But if I look at others as God’s creations and the precious beings that they are, then surely that should change? I am quite sure it will.

The fact is I get so hurt sometimes it’s unreal. Especially if I have trusted someone and I feel they’ve let me down or deliberately said something to hurt me, or if I think they’ve spoken behind my back. That’s a real deal breaker with me I’m afraid.

But you see, I know that is wrong… other people’s responses are not my responsibility. My response is. My attitude is.

I am called to love, to forgive, to proclaim the love of God and his salvation. To bring healing, to keep peace, to have mercy and show grace. That is who I am. A warrior for God. A peacemaker and healer. A restorer. A worshipper of Jesus. And that is what I will do, by the power of God in me. My mission, should I choose to accept it is to glorify God and show him to others so they can know his goodness and love for themselves. My mission is to keep looking at him and him alone.

He is good. I need to remember he didn’t choose me because of any qualities he put in me… He chose me because it is not his wish that any should perish. He chose me because HE is good, not me. But I now have the ability because of this to live my life differently. Just like you do if you accept him as your saviour. I didn’t go to our church on Sunday, but I did listen to the preach online – which was along these lines… and I feel that God really spoke to me through it.

I choose God. I choose to follow him. I choose to overrule my pride and hurt feelings, difficult though this may be, to follow him and I choose to do what is right. Well, after a little internal struggle maybe…but he usually works it out in me…although sometimes a situation feels impossible and I feel almost paralysed to do anything about it…he works in me/us for good.

And everything is fine…even good, even joyeous!

 

 

 

 

 

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)

i hate nothing about you with red heart light
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.

Egg…

Interesting fact – Egg was our youngest’s first word. It sounded like egg anyway.

food eggs
Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

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…