We Have Exchanged!

We have exchanged contracts this afternoon and completion is agreed. Such good news. No going back now!

It’s been a funny day, full of all sorts of emotions including joy and laughter but also tears and kicking and screaming (and that’s just me haha), we’ve started soaking the fruit for a Christmas cake (my first one I’ve ever made).

Good old Mary Berry. J is very interested in it. He likes cooking and baking.

I’ve also been looking into simpler ways of cleaning the house and clothes, washing up, shampoo etc. As in using household products like vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate. Also, traditional soap flakes and Epsom salts for various things. I’m not that genned up yet but I will be. It really interests me. One reason is that we will have a septic tank which we want to look after (which is new to us), but also, I seem to be getting more allergy prone with an itchy mouth and nose quite frequently, so want to go back to basics. I’m terrible when dust is disturbed, so have to damp dust and need to do it a bit more frequently! I also want to try to reduce the amount of plastics we use and live more frugally.

Chris finishes work tomorrow, then we’re out for a meal with our church community group. Then Chris’s eldest is coming for the weekend, which we are looking forward to. I’ve spoken to my eldest today, who is still in LA at the moment and it was lovely. Bittersweet in some ways because when she gets back we will have gone, but we’re not that far away and her dad and my family still live locally.

onwards and upwards!

Everything seems to be working out at exactly the right times. #inGodwetrust

Gods promises never fail and one promise is that he will never leave us nor forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6 and Hebrews 13:5). That is why I trust Him with what we do and where we go. God is in charge and wherever we go we trust ourselves to Him.

Bye for now.

Cathy

Advertisements

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!

Northumberland (No 1 off bucket list)

We have been up for a couple of days (Chris and I and the boys).  I have been coming up to Northumberland for years, first with my family (mum and dad and sister), then with my eldest daughter – mainly camping then, because it was affordable and fun. Now with Chris and the boys. Northumberland seems to be a bit addictive. I just love the coast, it is wild, stretches for miles and it is windy and amazing. No built up promenades here! You can also still take your dog on the beach no matter what time of year it is.

Our dog met the sea for the first time today, he wasn’t that keen, he had a few snaps at the waves as they were coming in and ran madly about on a long lead.  He was much better when we started throwing a stick in, he then started running in and out without much problem. For the first time I can remember though, the beach we were on was busy with loads of people on and other dogs, so there was too much noise and disturbance for him really, I think it made him a bit anxious.

It was a very mixed day today, funny how we have all these expectations and plans and it never turns out how we think. It was good but also bad, I was absolutely shattered because we didn’t get here until late last night and then the boys wouldn’t go to bed because it was exciting and then they got up early. So I’ve been quite moody….. but! we went to the beach AND we went for icecream, J loved that. I love the beach, I love the smell, the sea, rocks, sitting on the sand, just breathing it all in and being there. Also got some paddling in, which was great. The baby loved the sea too, kicking and splashing like mad. I think he is going to be quite adventurous.

The journey up last night was something else, the M1 was heaving, then there were the most torrential downpours and lightning, huge flashes and forked lightning too, which made the sky look purpley/pink. We then had to stop to feed the baby (he was crying and crying) and Chris went for a little wander and found a man who needed a jump start, so we drove over to do that, (he ended up having a bump start). It perhaps doesn’t sound like the most ideal situation but it was strangely peaceful. J was asleep in the back, I was feeding the baby in the dark in the front and Chris was outside helping the people who had broken down. The darkness and quietness made it easy to focus on the baby and it was lovely, a bit of quiet time with him. I could also look at Chris from a distance as he was talking to this man and his family and helping them. It sometimes helps to look from a distance. He was all lit up. He really likes helping people, I don’t think I really got that before but I saw it in his face last night. Not for himself, just because he likes helping people, because that is how God has made him.

Then after we had got there and settled (after midnight), we lost the dog. I didn’t check the gate on the balcony when I let him out and he went for a walk on his own. I searched around the campsite on foot, then got back in with the full intention of taking the car out to search for him. When I opened the door to go back out to the car, he appeared at the door, soaking wet from the rain but perfectly alright. We were so glad, and we were so relieved he came back. He has never been there before. I had been praying and praying as I was walking around, calling and whistling him and I fully believe it was God who brought him back and I’m very glad he did.

 

IMG_5493

Gifts…!!!

Today has been a good day. We went to Derby on the train, this was the first time our three year old has been on a train! He loved it, and he behaved so well. He was funny, talking all the way there, asking questions, looking out of the window. We’ve spent most of the day with our family, celebrating family, it’s been lovely.

image

Chris was in Shetland today! He also had a good day, he loves the Croft and Shetland and so things look good so far. He’s coming home tomorrow, I’m looking forward to seeing him. I’ve missed him.

Feels a little odd writing about the process at this stage, very vulnerable, because we want to put an offer in, but there may be other people interested too, so we may not get it. So we’re excited but also don’t want to get too excited in case we don’t get it and then we’ll be disappointed and it will be public! But I also think hiding it is a waste of time because why waste time pretending we’re not excited, when we are!!! We would love to live there. More and more I keep thinking, we just waste so much time being frightened of being disappointed, frightened of looking too into things/people, frightened of what we look like, just wanting to keep up appearances. Instead of being open, vulnerable and honest. I think it keeps us from rejoicing, because we’re scared to.

There is a part in the bible that says to rejoice when others rejoice, weep when others weep… (Romans 12:15), to me this summons up a picture of honesty, of being there for others, of taking life to the full, of admitting joy and disappointment and grief and being genuine. Whilst still having that deep, underlying joy because of Christ’s life, sacrifice and resurrection and the Holy Spirit within you. The joy of knowing him whether life is great or whether it has turned to rubbish.

This brings me onto what I believe God has been speaking to me about recently. Today, I have been hearing the word, gift, gift, gift, gift, gift, over and over again and have been talking to God about it. I believe this is in relation to life and what happens but most importantly to the people in my life. Before and even since becoming a Christian I have struggled with the thought of losing my family, of losing those close to me, I’ve imagined things so clearly at times, that it has felt as though it is real. I’ve imagined them suffering and my heart feels as though it will explode from grief, I’ve imagined them dying and the grief again briefly feels overwhelming, but then I’ve usually managed to stop that thought process. The thought of them suffering or even of something happening to me and of leaving them, of leaving my family on their own has occasionally been overwhelming (even though it is from my imagination). I am also aware that there may be people who are reading this who have actually lost those close to them or who are facing life threatening situations and my heart goes out to you.

So I believe what God is saying and what he is changing in me, is that he is changing my perspective. These people, my family, my children, my parents, my friends on this earth, even my own life – are not mine. They are His. These lives are gifts, from Him, they are not mine to cling on to. They are given because he loves us but also for unknown, higher purposes than those of which we are aware and I am to love and celebrate them, to mind and look after and nurture them and just do life with them and probably much more. These relationships in my life, although real and good and given for a purpose are not the end, and they are not permanent. One day, we are all going to die, we don’t know when, but there are hard questions to examine. What happens next? What is my life for?

These gifts of people, they are gifts, amazing gifts and should be celebrated (and grieved for)! But they are not what life is about. They are gifts to celebrate and one day give back. This may seem a bit macabre to some people, (and please remember I am not a theologian either) but it’s not macabre, it is freeing and releasing. This life and when it ends is not within my control and whenever and however it ends or whatever happens, God is good, He loves us and wants us to be with Him.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16).

God does not change, he loves us no matter what, every good and perfect gift comes from him. He is that perfect parent that we all strive to be or want, but don’t ordinarily get. The only way is through Jesus.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3).

I’ve just included the above writing because I just love the way it describes Jesus. It sends shivers down my spine. He upholds the universe by the word of his power….

I’m a bit of an external processor, doncha know…

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…

 

still waiting, but …

Still waiting, as the title says. Chris is going up to Aberdeen tomorrow, getting the overnight ferry to Shetland and then going to view the house. He is then getting the overnight ferry back and arriving home again the following evening. It sounds so good to me. I love travelling about. But, I’m fine to be here, praying for him and hopefully enjoying  time with our two boys and the dog. I need to email the solicitors as I actually don’t know what we need to do yet if we do want to put an offer in.  I think it needs to come through them, but I’m not sure.

This is our dog, he is called Blaze:

image

He is a six month old Border Collie. For his age he amazes me with how obedient he is. The only thing is, he wants to chase cars when we’re walking him, but we’ve started using a head collar and it has made a huge difference with both that and his pulling.

He’s really good with our three year old, he runs and plays with him and is very patient with him. When we said we were getting a Border Collie, a lot of people’s faces were a picture, but he has been really rewarding and loving. He is greedy, he likes jumping up at you and jumps over the gate when you’re not looking because he loves people and footballs and they play football on the field opposite our house. But he was definitely a good choice.

I’ve always loved animals. When I was a kid I was always coming home with new gerbils/hamsters/mice/stolen dogs (well borrowed) whom I swore had just followed me home from the fields near our house and when I was out my eyes were always to the ground in case there were any wild animals in trouble (for example, had fallen out of their nests) that I could nurture and build up back to good health :D.

I was also a little odd, and it wasn’t unknown to find snails or slugs or jars of spiders in my room, a worm farm I’d made or to find me burying a dead animal so I could later dig it up and look at it’s skeleton…(don’t judge me, I blame the parents :D). In fact I do also have a vague memory of my mum finding my dead, frozen guinea pig in the freezer (it was dead before I put it in there), I “think” I may have been considering preserving it to try out taxidermy…..(I never did). So! I think I may be suited to the country life, it never does to be tooooo soppy over the animals (in my opinion), particularly ones you may be eating at some point….Still not sure how I’ll get on with that one, guess we will find out…

 

 

 

Happy Sunday!

image

(is taking this photo and putting it on the internet without Chris knowing, unethical?) It is really quiet at the moment, which is really unusual. It is beautiful. 3 year old fell asleep on the way back from the church meeting, so he is in bed. There is silence. Beautiful.

Happy Sunday!

I acquired a very small amount of wool from a sheep in a petting place yesterday so I am going to attempt hand spinning this week. I will put the photo’s on when it happens 😀

image14.jpeg

There were two baptisms at the church meeting this morning, it was lovely.  Their stories of Jesus meeting them where they were and are were breathtaking. Thankyou Jesus for living, dying and living again for us. I had a sudden clarity moment this morning as well, Jesus DIED for me, he died for me, he died.

Jesus took the death I deserved.

Jesus had a hideous, torturous death, for us all. He took our punishment. He actually died.

and yes, that isn’t the whole picture by any means. But people! He DIED.

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.