We have a bath! I can not describe the absolute feeling of glee and pure luxury it gives us. The taps aren’t connected yet because we will need to move it out of the way again for painting etc but we can drain the water out using the plug! It is so much easier and less messy than filling and then pailing out the plaster tub, which we’ve been doing for a year (before that it was a large bucket that we were standing in to wash). I want to re-iterate this, it is awesome! May I never take the ease of a plumbed in bath for granted again. It really is pure luxury. It makes everything seem better weirdly and once in you don’t want to get out. Thank you God for baths and husbands who can fit them.
Six months! Really! Another month has passed. I’ve actually found the last month pretty hard, for various reasons. One being, I think if you live somewhere that needs various things doing, for a while it’s ok, then you start (or I do) doing the I wish thing which means you can become a little unhappy with progress. Even though for the length of time we have been here, the transformation is remarkable already.
It’s also difficult sometimes, managing the kids and doing what I have to (or think I have to) do. My mind goes mad sometimes, with alsorts circling around with what I could be doing, what I need to do, what I should be doing….and that is not productive and is very tiring! God calms me. I LOVE the outside of the cottage, the garden, the wood and the field and so do the kids, working outside and planning them when I can is really good.
Chris is also working very hard at work and at home and life sort of just passes by really quickly. I’m sort of managing this a little better now and trying to relax a little, spending focused time with God really, really helps this and being realistic (we simply cannot do everything at once). We are planning on sorting the bathroom out next, but for now we actually have a big plastic plasterer’s tub that we can bath in! We can actually use it as a bath, instead of using a tub and strip washing. It is amazing what sort of difference something like that makes to your attitude! I found it on Amazon and people had put things like this in the comment: ‘if you haven’t got a bath this is amazing, get it’. So I got it..
Next time I put a photo up there will hopefully be a different bath picture to add to the collection. We’re looking at them on t’internet tonight.
So I thought I’d add to the before and after theme:
There are so, so many before and after shots I could do…
I think I’ll leave it at that, I could do pictures of us as a comedy thing..but to be honest we don’t look that different…Chris has lost weight with his job, but that’s it really. I have been ill and stressed recently but apparently look quite good??!!
Ha. Well hello and goodbye for another day. God is good, we are safe, nothing that we rely on is guaranteed, apart from Him, so trust Him.
Couldn’t leave without mentioning the field, its gone from a boggy, reedy, place where you were up to your waist in places in rushes, to a cut, lovely field in which the grass and some flowers are taking over again rather than the rushes. Chris has worked so hard on it and it is really paying off.
So I’m going to briefly mention the last few weeks. As I’ve mentioned, I was ill, some sort of viral thing that started as a cold, worsened until I felt like I could hardly move with big temperatures, then as that part improved, moved to my throat and chest. I’m still not quite there yet, my voice is still a little hoarse and I’m still coughing but I feel waaaay better than I did. I can actually do stuff now. With two little ones at home too, it was difficult.
I’m fed up with getting ill, since being here we’ve all been much worse than normal. I’m looking at our diets now and I’m taking supplements too. Exercise is next, once the chest has cleared. And of course, following God closely and perhaps with a little more discipline. Not that this is guaranteed to avoid ill health but it’s something that’s on my mind.
Speaking of which, there’s a song by Bethel called the goodness of God and I listened to it and worshipped to it right up until my dad died. Then I couldn’t, I couldn’t bear to play it. I have been able to play it and sing it today for the first time since. It talks about singing of the goodness of God. He is so patient and kind, I’ve also had some pretty good Godly friends to talk to over the last few weeks/months. Who’ve also spoken God’s words to me and looked after me by pointing me to him. You know who you are, Thankyou.
God always meets you where you are. There’s no need to work anything up, be anything you’re not, just come to him and trust He’s with you and for you even when you can’t feel it or hear Him. Just trust. If you have friends who know Him, try them too.
(that’s my advice anyway)
I’ve just realised we’ve now been here 5 months. Seriously, it’s going so quickly it’s ridiculous.
So what have we learnt in the last 5 months and what has changed?
- God is good, Chris got a job actually in Leitrim in spite of it being thought to be unlikely and there’s been countless other blessings.
- When you feel like you can’t go on, you can.
- We’ve gone from having a dirty, dusty, coaly house to one that just has normal dust and gales no longer blow actually through the house.
- Electricians are difficult to pin down…
- Most of the Irish services we’ve had have been brilliant and turned up on time and done the work excellently. Despite being told by a few people before we came, we would have to constantly be on people’s backs to get stuff done.
- Children love being outside and will always find something to play with.
- I’m less lazy than I was. It’s just harder work than where we lived before. Even getting a wash involves planning!
- It doesn’t matter where you live. Material belongings or eating and drinking don’t satisfy us or make us happy. Only God does and that means we can be anywhere and be content if we live with Him and submit to Him. Put it this way, if you’re not happy in Chesterfield, you probably still won’t be happy in Ireland. Environment matters, but only to a certain extent.
- I’m learning (or trying to) that I can’t have everything immediately). Also, to try and be in the moment I’m in instead of constantly thinking of what I still have to do… I find this difficult.. The house drives me nuts when I let it..
- I can no longer flush anything or wash anything down the drain without thinking. Our water goes straight into the land and the toilet goes into a septic tank..I feel slightly more responsible ‘adult’ now. Fat gets scraped off, food either gets eaten or goes for composting, Bleach generally does not get used…etc etc.. still not queen of the green, but better than I was.
- It is a beautiful place and I am very thankful.
- God has plans for us that we don’t yet know about. I have a real sense of anticipation again. It’s exciting.
Along our road into the village there are quite a few empty cottages/buildings (and none of them seem to be for sale). I decided to take a picture of each one and actually add up how many there are on a relatively small stretch of road (about 2 miles I think). Starting from our end and working our way along the road.
An old school.
A 1960’s? Bungalow.
There IS a building behind there, a big old white schoolhouse.
the gate to get to the school is almost hidden in this undergrowth.
So! 8 in total along a small stretch of road. I hope nobody would mind me photographing their building. (let me know if you read this and do.) 8! Two school houses included, on that short stretch. They are owned and apparently some have land with them that is used for farming.
The older locals who can remember the schools being open say it used to be fairly busy round here and now it isn’t. Mind, apparently there were 9 children that lived in our cottage at one time, so that in itself is a lot of people I suppose. 11 people in one little house! My word, we really don’t know we’re born sometimes! It would have been very basic as well. It would be lovely to see the place becoming busier and more populated again though.
There is a fella who’s doing a place up further up the road in the other direction (when he’s in Ireland), who visited relatives in our cottage as a child and is hopefully going to bring some photos of the kitchen when it had an open fire that they cooked on. Really looking forward to seeing them.
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)
This is another favourite verse of mine.
Tonight I’m thinking about Jesus being arrested and taken off to be hideously abused and then hung on a cross to die. I’m thinking about what it means and why He did it. Luke 22 is a good place to read.
I’m also thinking of the light he gives, Of the resurrection and celebration that is coming and that he gives us when we come to him. There is no situation he cannot shine his light on. There is always hope. Through Him, through Jesus.
He is real, He is alive, He is why we are here, He is who we need, He is Jesus.
Month 4 in the Shepherd house!…
It feels like longer than 4 months strangely.
So this morning I went to get the headlights focused on the car so it’ll pass the NCT to be told it’s better to have it done just before as a slight bump can affect them…how silly is that? That it can fail because you go over a bump..anyway! We’re going back next week to have them done.
We’ve also been outside again, I’ve done a bit of digging, J has been using the loppers (he really enjoys it) and littlest has been playing. Chris hasn’t been very well at all and has been off work and in bed, he has a sickness bug we think. He must be ill, he’s refused nearly all food and drink apart from water 😶
It’s a lovely day, it’s meant to be cloudy but it isn’t. It was a shame to come in. In fact J is creating because I’ve just brought them in…
starting a little bit of an experiment outdoors, nothing major but I’ll see how it goes! (see above circle). more to come…I’m still deciding on the exact plan..
The soil is majorly wet on the back of the veg plot so I’ve tried to cut a bit of drainage into the bed I’ve dug. It’ll hopefully dry out again over the next few days.
it’s so strange what you find when you’re digging, today it was a little clear bottle and some cutlery.
and before anyone says it, no I don’t think the cutlery is worth anything.
The bottle is a lot smaller and cuter then it looks there.
I’ve decided I need to start painting the walls soon…I may start with our bedroom (as soon as it becomes a bedroom and I’m not going to step on a plane…)
really need to get a shed sorted!..
It’s a picture sort of day..
Played out this afternoon. Amazing how good it makes you feel. Adjusted the leaning plants from yesterday’s wind and followed J about. Really calm day today. Such a difference in 24 hours! Amazing with how wet it’s been that some tulips have come up and have buds! We saw a couple of goldfinches too but I couldn’t get a picture on the phone, they’re too small and quick. They’re very beautiful.
Project veg plot
I have a project! The area of raised ground behind the house is just about dry enough to sort out for our veg plot (with a few flowers thrown in for good measure). So I’ve started edging and digging the beds and planning it out. I love doing it. Especially planning and deciding where to put the paths and beds and what will go where.
A before (ish) photo, not quite the same view as the next:
and a current photo:
It is so satisfying, just doing a bit at a time. It has to be a bit really, I have to wait for littlest’s nap time, then I try to do the digging. The top bit in front of the shed is where I’m at at the moment:
still about half a bed to dig, there’s some big stones in there. When I can get them out they get thrown down the bank, there’s one so far that I can’t shift, so I think I’ll stick another on top and leave it there so I can see where it is and don’t do a clang a spade down on it thing and reverberate. I’m hoping to get potatoes in here over the next week but it’s still fairly claggy, so we’ll see.
This is the other side:
To the far left as you look at the raised area we are hoping to put up a poly tunnel. Either this year or next, we aren’t sure yet. There’s so many roots and branches to clear, but it’s good fun.
I’ve felt a bit low recently and being outside, being active and gardening are things I really enjoy and they charge me up. I asked God what to do about how I was feeling earlier in the week and amongst other things I felt he said to get outside. He also gave me this verse:
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
I need to trust him.
also, we have pots everywhere! I love it! Seeds are germinating all over the house 😍
these are cornflowers, blackball and blue ball. Hopefully we’ll pick the right spot for them once they’re a bit bigger and they’ll flourish!
I don’t know what to write at the moment..
I don’t. Life is busy with the family and house. Grief for my dad keeps coming in waves – memories, pictures in my mind mainly, regrets, nice thoughts, grief for my mum. I’m ok, then not. But life does go on. It’s hard for me, being here at the moment in some ways. I miss things, places, people, normalness (not sure that’s a word, but hey). I know a fair few people are probably thinking get a grip, look where you are! But that’s how I’m feeling at this point. It’ll change, but at this moment of writing it’s true. It’s all a process…
So hello – in a nutshell, both cars are now Irish plated, so insured and taxed legally too… As I write, Chris is working on the car to try and get it through its test. He’s a star. His new job seems to be going well…I need to find a carpenter and a tiler to sort the kitchen and bathroom, then we can get a bath and have some kitchen storage (we are really looking forward to that). The electrician hasn’t yet turned up, so I’ll probably have to find someone else. I’ll look on done deal (an Irish selling site), I think, there’s always people advertising on there. We just need a few bits checking out, an immersion doing, outdoor lamp and cooker point wiring in. Also need to get a normal cooker for the warmer months when we won’t have the range on. I’ve started planting seeds in pots (mainly flowers) and bought the seed potatoes, so I’ll be doing them soon ish. Growing things is always good. It is a good thing.
I’m praying that knowledge of God grows in this place and in our families, proper knowledge through Jesus, our beautiful saviour. I pray that we can help people know our Jesus is also their Jesus, that he lived, died and rose again for them. ‘Tis true!
Not bad to say I didn’t know what to write at the beginning.
Bye for now!