Goodness

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)

Cathy

Medical care?

The bureaucracy in Ireland is quite outstanding and not in a good way. We got asked to ring HSE about our medical card application yesterday and they’ve asked us to provide a valuation of our house! I’ve looked it up and there doesn’t seem to be any reason for this…the means test shouldn’t include your home…so I’ve emailed them to ask why it’s been requested?? It might be a mistake, but it’s quite a hefty one if it is. The NHS is a beautiful thing you know… value it. I wish they had it here.. or at least a version of it. It’s really wound me up to be honest.

I’ve asked for that application to be stopped until we know what Chris will be earning. (Praise God again that he’s got a job and that he enjoys it!). Then we will apply again.. I don’t get it (the medical system) at all here. It does worry me sometimes when I hear stories about the hospitals, and also how far away they are. Our GP (it has to be said), is brilliant though.

But as God says: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

So this is what I do, daily. I tell him everything (unlike you lot who get the edited version for which you should be truly thankful ūüėÜ) and as it says in Phillipians:

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. (Phillipians 4:4-7).

I need to read this more ^ (And practice it)

Gods peace is good. Better then good. Indescribable in some ways, or certainly unexplainable in any other way than it is from Him. It’s certainly my only option. Peace in the midst of uncertainty, in a country which is beautiful but very new to us.

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‚ÄĒpractice 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.

Counting your blessings

It’s getting a bit fraught here, on occasion. It’s quite difficult getting to grips with knowing things will be there and done, but having to wait. Such as, no shower or bath, no washing machine, a dusty, coaly kitchen (I am actually really looking forwards to having central heating…ssshhhh..) No dependable internet and lots of people/companies to get in touch with. (Lots of other things too).

^ the fire in the kitchen that Chris has heroically kept going almost non stop since we got here.

Take yesterday, the cat came back the other day, after being missing for a week and a half, which we were over the moon about. However, on going to Chris’s suitcase to find him some trousers… I smelt a funny smell… yes, the cat had peed over quite a few of the clothes.

So, change of plan, laundrette… then, on the way, littlest seems to have developed car sickness and vomited big style over himself. Then I forgot to put his clothes in with the washing and had to hand wash them at home.

Then, on the way back, it turns out the eldest had a little accident on his car seat and also soaked the back seat of the car… so… again… soaking and hand washing covers in a bucket and then attempting to dry them. I need to see this as comical otherwise I may cry ūüėā.

Then there’s the fact, because littlest is still crawling, all his clothes get filthy really quickly (as in in the space of less than an hour) because the kitchen floor is flagged and we’re currently using coal. It all adds up.

The little things start to get to you, but then you go outside and it’s …and relax…. even though it’s wet and a little chilly (not too bad though). The scenery and the area we’re in is beautiful.

Also, there are so many blessings in our lives. There really are. We have a home for crying out loud! I just keep having to actively look at them and thank God for them every minute of every day. He is so present here with us, but I need to spend each day thanking him and acknowledging his presence, because it is wonderful here but it is also hard. I know some people don’t want to hear that, but it is. Things being hard however, is not a wrong thing, it is how you change and grow and learn to depend on God and his provision.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23.

Thank you God for your love. Thank you that Christmas is about the birth of your beloved son Jesus, not about us. Thank you that we can look at you and “all is well”.

It was our Last Sunday at Church in the Peak today…

I’ve been there ten years, ever since I was saved and Chris has been there about 5 1/2 years. They’re my/our family. They’ve been with me/us through all sorts of life changes and us with them. That’s probably why we still feel part of it, despite the fact we’re going to Ireland on Friday.

Another reason (the main reason) is that Scripture says that God sets the lonely into families (Psalm 68:6) and so he did with me and Chris and continues to do so with many others. All you have to do is ask as he also says “ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened”. (Matthew 7:7). He is ready and eager (not just willing) for you to ask him in. Try him.

So, back to church this morning. It was great and very moving. They prayed for us, we were given words from God (God speaking through people), which were very reassuring and we have gifts too and an amazing card! So generous. Saying goodbye was such an honour. So again, thank you. You sent us off “proper”.

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…

Testimony Tuesday

I thought I’d share today the story of how I’m no longer addicted to alcohol despite this being thought to be impossible.

I was very similar to a lot of people nowadays, I started drinking when I was a young teenager (around 13ish) but me being me, I tend to go to extremes with whatever I do. So it quickly escalated from bottles of cheap wine to vodka and became daily from a fairly young age really. There were periods in my life where I didn’t drink so much – so when I was pregnant with my daughter when I was 20, I didn’t drink and for a while after I didn’t drink regularly but when I did I completely overdid it, binged and drank to the point of insensibility. I never seemed to have that ability some do, of just enjoying a drink. Once that bottle was open, once I was out having a drink – the gloves were off.

Also like so many other people I got into a lot of trouble whilst drinking, found myself in dangerous situations, acted irrationally, got hurt (fell downstairs a few times, off walls etc etc). I also eventually started losing my memory when drinking, particularly when drinking vodka, it’s like my memory would suddenly switch off and the next day, I would remember nothing. I had so much shame and guilt that had accumulated and this acted like a vicious circle in that I’d drink again and then feel worse but then drink again.

As I got older, the drinking changed in that I did a lot of it in my house on my own. I was embarrassing to go out with because I just got SO drunk, so I just drank at home. It was also a bit of a secret, so I think I isolated myself too. In my early 30’s (I’m now 44) I was drinking most if not all evenings, often into the small hours, waking up on the sofa at 3 am still holding my glass. I felt a need of it. I can remember going and sitting outside a supermarket and feeling what felt like an irresistible urge to go and buy vodka. I “needed” it. I tried not to but did. I liked vodka because it didn’t make you smell the next day (well not as bad as some) and as I was working. I didn’t want people to know. The next day I often felt dreadful, racing heart, shaking hands, a sense of fear and doom… (alcohol is a depressant if you didn’t know).

Then I met Jesus. Through someone I worked with. Gradually things changed, almost without my realising it. The drinking lessened, then stopped. I had one last bout where I got absolutely “hammered” and it was almost as if I needed that as a wake up call and then I was healed. I put my faith and my life in Jesus hands and no longer needed booze.

Now, I can have alcohol in the house, I can have a drink and enjoy it. I don’t have to finish the bottle. I don’t even particularly enjoy more than one drink, whatever it is. In fact, when I had my miscarriage, I purposefully went and bought a bottle of rum, intending on getting drunk, but just couldn’t. It was like there was something inside me physically stopping me. Which of course is true, the Holy Spirit is inside me now. Which is truly amazing.

Jesus has healed me in so many ways. This story to me is just awe inspiring. I was addicted and now I am not. I believe this is the only way we can be truly healed from addictions – through Jesus, he makes us new, not better versions – new.

It is now 10 years and counting of being able to have a drink but not getting drunk. I feel no pressure to drink, or not drink. I rarely even think about it. God is indeed good.

Bye for now.

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!

Hope

but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles,
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

(Isaiah 40:31)

…when I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God whose word I praise, In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

(Psalm 56:3-4)

There are so many more words in the bible about hope. real hope is Jesus. In who he is, what he’s done and does, and just him really. Hope is so much more than what we see, what we plan, what we wish for.

Hope is the big picture. Why are we here? What is our purpose? What are we? Who are we? What happens when this life ends? I was reading John 6 this morning and this shot out at me:

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast  out. 

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has  given me, but raise it up on the last day. 

For¬†this¬†is¬†the¬†will¬†of¬†my¬†Father,¬†that¬†everyone¬†looks¬†on¬†the¬†Son¬†and¬†believes¬†in¬†him¬†should¬†have¬†eternal¬†life,¬†and¬†I¬†will¬†raise¬†him¬†up¬†on¬† the¬†last¬†day.‚ÄĚ

(emphasis all mine)

Now that’s hope…If you come to Jesus, he will never cast you out, you will have new life with him and not only new life but eternal life…this is what you were made for….

I need to go now, it’s getting increasingly hard to do these posts whilst the babies are up..due to the youngest climbing on me and trying to either tap the keyboard or sit on it. ūüėÄ and also the oldest has just come downstairs and told me I need to wipe his wee off the floor of the bathroom..!(tmi?)

We have someone from a removals company coming round on Monday to assess how much stuff we have and quote us a price for moving…things are moving slowly!…

 

 

 

Happy Sunday again!…

Hello! I had the most beautiful experience at church when we were worshipping Jesus this morning. I had my eyes closed and was singing to him and just had the sensation of him taking my hands and then putting his arms around me and resting his head on top of mine and just dancing with me pulled in close. It was just so reassuring and fatherly and beautiful. I can’t really explain it any clearer than that. He pulled me in close and loved me, in only the way God can. I’ve tried to find a picture that would represent it but can’t really find anything that represents it properly.

I’ve also just realised that when I did the update the other day, there was one other common question I did not answer and that was “is there a church that you can go to in the area?”.¬† The answer is – there are a few different gatherings in the area, a few different denominations, including Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, Church of Ireland and there is even one a bit like the group we are currently part of about 45 minutes away in Sligo (They also do something called healing on the streets which I would love). However, ideally we would want to be part of a community fairly locally and intend to look more locally to start with. I personally feel that it will become clearer when we are there, and we intend to listen to God closely and go where we feel he wants us. No matter where it is or what denomination.

As I said a few days ago, it was our 5th wedding anniversary this week and our wedding was sooooo good. Firstly due to God just being so awesome, secondly because our church and family just pulled together and it was a huge group effort. If I ever need reminding of what they are like, I remember our wedding…Someone acted as our wedding planner, someone else did the flowers, someone else did our invitations and yet again, someone else printed them, loads of people brought food for the meal, another friend did the photography (and it was really good), people transferred the flowers from the church building to the Whitworth where we had our reception, they acted as ushers, the church was decorated and the hall where we had the reception was also decorated by our friends, our worship band played and sang in the church, one of our elders performed the marriage ceremony…it was beautiful…and special…the glasses were supplied, bubbly was gifted, friends prayed for us and there was just such a sense of joy and fun..We had a Ceilidh in the evening and it was a lot of fun and just about everyone joined in, even the Ceilidh band were gobsmacked at the atmosphere…(it’s only God that can do that). We have been blessed by God so so much to have been part of this particular part of his church.

A selection of photo’s which I feel captured the feel of the day.¬† It was such a good, good, God day. The start of a good life partnering together for Him, learning how to be and there is so much more to come.