So it’s Monday again..(this post turned into one about nursing…)

Not that Monday morning makes that much difference to me, I’m a stay at home mum at the moment, so I don’t go back to work on the Monday. I have found being a stay at home mum a very hard experience in such a lot of ways, challenging! Not quite how I originally envisaged it – skipping along in fields covered in daisies etc etc.  However, I cannot express enough how grateful I am for being able to do it and how grateful I am for my children and this time with them.  The days when I was pregnant and rushing around in the morning feeling so sick and tired and then going to work as a district nursing sister with a lot of responsibility and a challenging environment (for a number of reasons, the main one being a lot of work and not enough staff) are over!  for now…

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This was me! 8 years ago!

I do like challenges and I am one of those people who has always worked better under pressure and tends to get a bit lazy sometimes when there is none, but! I think (from experience) you can only sustain high levels of activity and problem solving for a while, then you need a break. If you don’t get one, you either just get tired and keep going anyway, which probably means you don’t work to the best of your ability or you burn out.

I haven’t worked in healthcare now for just over 3 1/2 years but it has been a good break.  The NHS is so good, but there are also so many things wrong with the way it works, and quite frequently in the way it treats its nurses.  Also, in the way the public often treats the nurses, in a lot of ways I found the professional capabilities and decision making skills of the nurses were undermined in favour of a demanding patient, who, for example, wanted their ears syringing and they wanted them doing “now!” even though there may not even be the capacity on that particular day/week/month to do so. Even worse, the demanding ones were quite frequently the ones who could actually make an appointment and get out to a surgery, but did not want to, often because historically they had been seen by the district nursing team. Because of public opinion of the nurses/NHS starting to matter more than the actual team and their capacity/capabilities/professional decision making it had seemed in many ways to be the ‘he who shouts loudest gets the best care service’.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved community nursing, the teams I was part of and the people I met and the patients, whatever they were like. I loved the organisation involved in being the sister in charge of the team and I actually quite often liked the people in management too. I don’t like the whole slag the managers off mentality very much. But it is hard work and when I worked there, the nurses did not have the support they needed. I think this was probably a much bigger issue than the local primary care trust, it was more a funding/national issue. It was always put to you that you could work smarter rather than have more staff and sometimes you could. But it is very hard to work smarter when you are just working fending off phone calls, dealing with low staffing levels, and quite frequently low staff morale, seeing seriously ill patients and always trying, trying, trying to give the best care possible. Exhausting.

So, you community health care professionals out there, you nurses, you doctors, you matrons, specialist nurses, OT’s, physio’s, podiatrists, managers! admin staff and anyone else I have forgotten, you are so talented, so committed, so good at what you do.  Keep on keeping on, do the best you can. You community nurses are some of the most dedicated people I have ever met and it was most definitely a gift to be part of that group, although tough. People need to know that, it is not just meandering around ‘popping’ in to see patients, just to check up on them. It is a serious, professional, skilled job, managing complex patients with various problems and with the addition of all the documentation requirements, very, very time consuming. There are so many challenges, but it is worthwhile, I learnt so much from all the different patients I met over the years, I loved that part of it, meeting them and seeing how we could help them or work with them.

This post did not set out to go on about district nursing, it just turned out like that. My sincerest love to all I have worked with and I just want you to know you are brilliant and God loves you! (had to get that in).

 

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Now for something completely (well slightly) different!

Our house sale is still going through at the moment, there’s a tradesman coming round to assess what needs doing on our house and then hopefully it will still go through. So, thought I might write on something slightly different today.

If you are a sensitive animal loving, no kill type, please look away from this post now. It is about killing a chicken to eat, although it is not a graphic description in any way.

Before we knew we were moving I hatched three chicks, Light Sussex ones. This is one just after it had hatched.

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I don’t really like putting this photo up with what the content is about, but I want to face reality, not run away from it.

When we didn’t get the chicken’s accommodation sorted in time and then decided we were moving too, friends of ours took them (thank you!).  However, at that point it was not obvious whether they were hens or cockerels. Then over the past couple of weeks it became obvious that one was definitely a cockerel. Therefore, we said, if that happened we would take him back and deal (dispatch) with him (if no other home could be found). I know some people have very strong feelings on this, but my feelings are, I eat chicken and I think it is fairly hypocritical of me to eat it but not to want to face the process of actually seeing or doing what is involved. Also, with the lifestyle we will be going for on the croft (hopefully) of aiming for self sufficiency, it will be necessary to do such things. However, reality doesn’t always go along with how you decide things will be.

I fetched him and in the morning despatched him by pulling his neck and then bleeding him. I found this process fairly harrowing to be honest and in the future I think it’ll be either bolt stunner or air pistol all the way maybe combined with using a cone, in which you place the chicken upside down, which apparently puts them in a more relaxed state too. Although you still have to bleed them. I guess you become used to it. We’ve looked at bolt stunners and they look the simplest, safest way to us.

Although I found the killing to be a bit traumatic, I didn’t have a problem with the actual plucking and cleaning up and preparation of the bird. I actually found it really interesting. Especially looking at the organs and what they were, there was a bright green bile sack attached to the liver, you have to be careful not to pierce it or you colour the chicken green. I would think it would probably make it taste really bitter as well.

After preparing it, we roast the chicken and had it for dinner last night. It was really nice, but it was so so strange knowing that I had killed it and that it had been alive that same day. I have never, ever, killed an animal before, never mind killed it and eaten it. It was also weird that I kept questioning whether I had done it correctly and whether I might poison my family! When we get them from the shops we think that they will be absolutely fine despite the fact they have probably been kept in much worse conditions. We are so weird sometimes us humans. We have twisted what should be normal i.e preparing your own food into something abnormal. I do feel that doing this has made me appreciate the animal more (weirdly) and that I will think more carefully about what I eat and not just eat meat because it is there. This is so strange and difficult to explain! I kept thinking about it last night and how it went.

Our children did not see the killing, but they did see the preparation. The toddler was just really, really interested, it didn’t seem to bother him in the slightest. We talked about it and discussed that we only do this when absolutely necessary and he ate some breast meat for dinner. So, onwards and upwards, I have learnt some lessons from this one and hopefully will be a little more prepared next time, if there is one.

 

 

 

With the ups…

So a slight disappointment this weekend, well a big one really.  We’re not sure whether our house sale will go through now, so we are waiting to find out. I said I would report everything on here, the ups and the downs. So I am. I’m not giving any details though, God is good and he is in charge. God bless the buyers and may they do the right thing, whatever that is. Over and out.

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I love my family.

The battle for the mind

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, the other week Chris had this majorly intense God experience on his way to work in the car and he text me to tell me that he thought God was going to give us the croft. This is his experience in his words:

I was driving to work and continuing to pester God for the croft and praising him for who he is and what he has done for me when I suddenly felt him say in my spirit “I will give it to you. “Wow thank you, thank you, thank you, I said over and over, then I experienced his enormity and felt so small in his presence total awe mode. I just cannot explain the weight of the experience, again he spoke to me very clearly and succinctly “put me at the centre and the animals around it”. Bang you can imagine how I felt completely undone before him trying to keep focus on the road in front of the car. Words I will never forget or cease to contemplate.

So the quandary was, was this really God? although reading the above text I say yes, yes, yes.  Do we say about this? Do we relax and completely trust that he is going to give it us? or is it just us wanting the croft and is it wishful thinking? I’m sure a lot of those who don’t believe or follow Jesus probably think it is just a way of reassuring yourself or something along those lines, or even completely bonkers. It probably does to some believers too.  But to us who have knowingly experienced God’s presence and healing in our lives, we know that he is real and that he speaks. Do we put our money where our mouths are and say God is going to give us this place? oooooh, that is risky. Not risky to God, but risky to us because we feel like our reputation depends on it in a way. What if it isn’t right? what if we have said God is going to give it to us and he doesn’t? Then it will look as though he isn’t real!! and we will look like fools…

There you have it. God is going to give us this croft. Our offer has been accepted in principle.

It is a God given gift, which doesn’t mean it will be easy. In fact, I cannot imagine it will be.  It will be hard work, a completely new place, new people to us, different culture, away from friends and family – but so, so exciting.  God is with us in it. He is for us. He has given it to us. God is light, he makes everything pure and beautiful, he is lovely.

 

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If you are reading this and do not know God, have fallen away from him or are not sure what is real – I challenge you to ask him if he is there and what he has for you.

His plans are good even if they don’t always seem it. 

“Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8)

 

It’s a sunny day

It’s a sunny day, I am sat in our living room typing and can see butterflies in the garden, my eldest is staying at the moment, so she has just gone upstairs, littlest is asleep on our bed and toddler is downstairs with me watching Richard Scarry on YouTube, it’s got to go off soon! I keep saying that though. It is a practical day today, shopping, cleaning, playing, cooking, waiting!!! We are still waiting to see if our offer is accepted on the croft. But, as I said the other day, today is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.  I’m glad for all you football nuts that England won the other night, but I’m afraid I don’t watch it or follow it… So here’s wishing you well, I’m sure I’ll know how it’s going by just listening to the street noise on Saturday.  The other night you could hear cheers from various parts of our neighbourhood all at the same time.

So! waiting….

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 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (Lamentations 3:25)

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. (Habakkuk 2:3)

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! (Ps 37:7)

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18)

etc etc etc…there are tons of scriptures about waiting, these are but a few….our God is good. I’m still checking my emails every few minutes though…hahaha…this is because I am still impatient though, not because God doesn’t do what he says.

 

 

Awaiting response…

After I wrote yesterday’s post, the solicitor emailed us the draft of our offer for us to ok, which we did and so our offer on the croft has now gone in…gulp… So we are just waiting to hear now.  So, probably very predictably I have this morning been questioning whether we are making a huge mistake or a massive amazing leap of good or god ness. I think it’s partly because we watched the first episode of BBC documentary on Fair Isle the other night, Fair Isle: Living on the Edge.  Wow it is full on,  beautiful but full on, but what really got me was that their children have to go away to school on Lerwick, Shetland at the age of 11. I found that really upsetting, so I double checked what it was like where we may be moving and it is fine. It is more like 15/16 when they have to go further for education, which seems a lot better to me.

So, hopefully we should soon know whether we are moving  700 ish miles to the most northerly islands in the UK to what is effectively a smallholding, when we have so far spent our married life in a terrace in Chesterfield, or whether we are not yet moving and still need to find somewhere…. Oooooh….watch this space…and pray…..

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This is the day…

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24)

I’ve been thinking about this scripture this morning. There is so much in that one line of scripture.  It doesn’t sound like it on first reading, but there is. There is the fact that God created everything, including all of us. There is rejoicing because of this and being glad of this. There is also the decision taken to rejoice and see the good of the day.

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But also, with Jesus we can all be free of shame, guilt, bitterness, unforgiveness and addictions, just to name a few. We can be free of all the stuff that we’re all living with but actually don’t know what to do with and don’t know where to go with. We can only know forgiveness and freedom in our lives when we go with Jesus and acknowledge that he came for us, he came for us in our squalor and filth, hopelessness, helplessness and sin and lived and died and rose again to save us and reunite us with father God. Don’t you think that is just incredible? Just think about how Jesus suffered. He was tortured and I mean tortured, physically and mentally and then crucified. He was separated from his father God in order that he might fully understand what it is like to be us and all this because man betrayed him. But you know what he said? He said, forgive them, for they know not what they do. That is something to rejoice about. Jesus is Lord. He is over everything. He is in everything, even (or especially sometimes) when we don’t understand and when asked, forgives everything and gives new life. He also never, ever takes this back.

Awesome.

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Look at this hand, isn’t it amazing? Look at the detail. God designed that.

I’m preaching to myself in this too, I am prone to anxiety, I am prone to that tightness in my chest and whirling in my stomach that feels as though bad things are going to happen and makes you feel lost, like you don’t know what to do first and everything seems overwhelming. It can rob you of your joy and life and affect people around you. I am also aware I am completely unable to actually describe what it feels like properly. It is not nice, but God quiets me and I can tell him everything and anything and then peace is possible. The bible tells us that God gives us peace that surpasses understanding and I can guarantee that he does. Even in the midst of turmoil.

We are still waiting for the solicitor to email us the draft for the offer on the Scottish property at the moment, apparently buying a croft is more complex than buying a house and can be a bit of a minefield. I don’t know why, but we will make a choice to trust her judgement. Hopefully we will see the draft  today and get the offer in. God is in charge, not us. So today! I make a choice to trust Him, rejoice in Him and see the good surrounding me. Jesus gives peace to your soul.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)

He does not give as the world gives. He gives purity and light and cleanness and LOVE.

He is love.