A bunch of firsts!

Hi! We are off to Ireland very soon.  I have heard so many good reports that I can’t wait to see it and experience it. My parents went a few times (quite a long time ago) and they absolutely loved the country. Everyone we have spoken to seems to like it if they have been. So we are expecting an interesting and fun time.  We are going to view a couple of houses whilst we are out there too, and that is very exciting. There is one we have good hopes for, but we won’t know until we get there because obviously, houses can look so good on photographs.

So another bunch of firsts, the children are going on a plane, we are going to Ireland, we are hiring a car (I’ve never done that before either) and we are thinking of possibly moving there, although that is not set in stone yet.

My daughter who went to Donegal visiting a friend a few weeks ago, recommended visiting the famine village, I’ve looked it up and definitely want to take a look. It looks as if there is plenty to see, the beaches on the west coast look incredible too.

So here’s praying that all is well with our travel, that the plane flight goes ahead as planned and we get there with relatively little stress! and that the kids enjoy the experience as much as is possible.

Another first tomorrow, my older daughter is going to LA to live for four months! My lovely daughter going to LA! So I’m praying for her also as she has a lot longer flight and stay and a bunch of firsts, that she stays safe and well, that she enjoys and learns from the whole experience and that she is surrounded by people who will care about her and that she knows she is loved. What an experience!

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Be kind to yourself?

I was thinking this morning, learn to be kind to yourself, you don’t have to do, do, do, you don’t have to get certain things done by a certain time, you don’t even have to indulge in endless activities for the children – that does not make a good parent as far as I’m concerned. Giving time is better I think…However, I then started thinking, is this biblical? I thought, the bible tells us to “die to self” but then God’s grace is for all and he also says to love others as you love yourself.

How does he tell us to love? Love as he has loved us.

How has he loved us? An innocent man (God) died for us, in our place. Through this we have forgiveness of every sin, we have life – before we come to Christ we are dead in our sins and transgressions. We have restoration and freedom, we are back to how it was before the fall. We can walk with God in the garden. Jesus removes the barriers to God, all of them. We have healing, which seems to come in a variety of forms. The main one as I see it is of being restored to God, of the gap being filled, our purpose in this life being revealed. God’s healing is truly holistic, he heals the root causes and true healing then follows. God never papers over the cracks and is always truthful with us, lovingly truthful. God always listens to us and delights in us coming to him, he answers prayer. He delights in us being us (he made us). In short, he heals, he loves, he restores, forgives, accepts, changes us, listens, redeems, comforts us, counsels us, gives us wisdom and grace. I have probably left some points out, but you get the gist.

So how does this translate, before I go off at a complete tangent? How am I supposed to love myself and others without being self seeking and self absorbed? This is the famous scripture that is read at so many weddings:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind;

love does not envy or boast;

it is not arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way;

it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends…

(1 Corinthians 13:1-8)

Doing this without the power of the holy spirit as far as I can see is hopeless. This is the template for love and how it is possible to love and as far as I am concerned it is an amazing checklist. No more fakey, kiss, kiss, type of love, but real, tangible, raw love. Love that requires sacrifice and perseverence, not fake smiles. Love that lasts.

I suppose all this love stuff, also goes hand in hand with the fruits of the spirit – “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control” (Galatians 5:22-23). So, I guess the trick is, abide in God, know who he has made you to be, ask for the fruit of the spirit and follow him. Aha! so easy 😀 haha.

So, back to the original question? is it biblical to be kind to yourself? I guess it is as long as it is being kind and not just indulging your each and every whim. I know I need to look after myself and in particular get rest, because if I don’t everyone suffers! The aim of being kind to myself should really be to show God and His love to others…not just for me to sit here thinking of ways to indulge myself. Outwards facing, not inwards….

On another note, we are definitely off to Ireland next week! I am so excited, I’ve never been before! So many adventures this year, a very different year to previous ones! Life has most definitely been an adventure since knowing God, but this year, things have changed again. “Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wonderful deeds…” (Ps 98:1)

 

 

 

Joy comes in the morning..

I was listening to worship this morning and there was that line “and joy comes in the morning”. The scripture related to this is the psalm 30 and below is Psalm 30:1-5:

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

(The emphasis is mine,it is what speaks to me most this morning)

This is what God has done for me every single time I’ve done it, when I have cried out for help, he has healed me/the situation. So when I am feeling low, when I am in a situation in which I feel there is no way out, I KNOW from previous occasions and from knowing the love of God that all will be fine, no matter how it looks now. A lot of the stuff I worry about actually does not even matter.

This doesn’t mean it is easy, I find it very difficult when I’m lost in whatever has happened, or in circumstances or even my own feelings, but this does not detract from the truth that he heals and restores. He gives joy in the midst of mourning and difficulties as well as in the good times. It is a very weird thing, I’ve tried finding my own joy and it is impossible, but when I look at God, at who he is, at what he says in the bible and in my own quiet (or noisy) times with him, Joy comes.

So look at him, He knows where you are, He knows your tears and your fears and is with you, you don’t have to be any certain way with God. He created you and knows you inside out, every last little bit of you, every thought before you think it, every action. With Jesus, everything you have ever done wrong, everything you are doing wrong, every future sin, is forgiven. He is the giver of life and joy.

I am preaching to myself, yet again too, I’m feeling subdued and a little lacklustre at the moment, I really need to know his goodness and love and I am learning every day that all of this comes from Him. I don’t need to manufacture it myself.

he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
    and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

(Philippians 2:8-11)

Another one off the bucket list!

We went to Matlock Farm Park today with my parents and one of J’s cousins. It was great! I cannot believe I have lived fairly close by for so long and have not been. It is well set out, in fact it is set out better than a lot of zoo’s I have been to and it has all sorts to keep everyone busy and interested.  We saw and bet on a ferret race and my parents won a free family pass, we looked at a boa constrictor and a tortoise close up and picked up a bearded dragon. The staff are brilliant too and seem really knowledgeable. The animals look well looked after and have good spaces, there are loads of picnic areas/benches and play areas and the food was basic and really nice! Probably the best day out we’ve had in ages!

So another off the before we leave Derbyshire list!

The littlest’s passport came today, that is some good turn around! We only sent the application in a week and a half ish ago. He has the cutest passport picture in the world!

 

 

 

Life – give me some perspective please…

I don’t feel very inspired at the moment, life is good in so many ways and I am so grateful for my life and know compared to so many others it is very easy, but I also find life hard. I know how easy it is to make mistakes and get into trouble, I know how easy it is to get into debt (I was in a lot of debt years ago and Christians against Poverty helped me get out of it). I am prone to being analytical and looking at all the what if’s and whys, I am prone to being self critical and that doesn’t help anything really. Self absorption doesn’t help anyone.

Waiting to find out where we will be living is hard, We put our trust in God but it is an active process of keeping deciding to do that because if we don’t, we start worrying. Especially with having 2 small children and potentially nowhere to live shortly. But we are choosing to be thankful and trust Him with our lives.

Having said all this, Chris has literally just rung and has got next week off, so we are off to Ireland next week sometime to take a look…!!! which is exciting if nothing else 😀

 

Hello?..after a short break…

So I’ve not written anything for about a week and a half… what to write??

It’s been a fairly busy week or so, celebrating little one’s birthday, with the horrendous one year jabs the day after too. I had no idea until we got there that they now have one in each limb… We’ve also all been ill in some shape or form but are now better and have also knocked a couple of things off the “things to do before leaving” list – we went to Clumber Park, we paddled in the river, I made a very chocolately birthday cake, which was lovely if I may say so myself and just generally been busy with life. I also have a Sozo appointment that has come through and am trying to decide whether to do it.

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We have decided to go and visit Ireland soon to see what it is like and are just waiting on a passport coming through and then we will book. We’ve also had some questions through from our buyer’s solicitor’s and have answered them and are now awaiting a response to that….and hopefully a date at some point…we are still keeping an eye on the property in Scotland too, but nothing is drawing our attention at the moment.

Watch this space.

I just keep reminding myself that God is not just good, He is supreme and in charge and loving and kind. No matter what life throws at us, He is in charge. Our lives are not our own, they have been bought at a price. That price is Jesus. Just printing his name makes me feel better. Jesus. No longer a swear word but the love of our lives.

 

 

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.