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.

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Not much to tell, but hello from Orkney!

Hi! The update on the moving front is that the survey was done on our house last Friday, we don’t know what it says yet but hopefully nothing major. We also asked our solicitor to put an offer in on the house we are interested in on Shetland, but haven’t heard back yet!! It is painful, we have heard nothing. So we are praying that we hear something soon.

We’re now on holiday on Orkney. It is beautiful, it is not nearly as hot as England and there is generally a breeze even when it is warm. Which suits me! The boys are loving it, the three year old has been able to run free around the cottage and on the beach. Chris has done some videos with his drone, click on the link to view one, it’s really good and shows what it is like where we are staying: first flight

IMG_5390This is where we are staying. It’s pretty special.

It is so quiet here, I’m loving the quietness. You go outside and just hear the birds, the sea and sometimes a tractor. You can almost hear the silence when you’re outside. That is something I really needed. God is good.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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…

 

 

 

It’s Monday!!!

 

 

The start of a new week.  The above pictures are just some of the searches we’ve done in relation to moving. It makes me chuckle because I never think of myself as being someone who needs to know every little detail but I’ve recently discovered that I do usually plan and know most of the information when we’re going anywhere, or doing anything. I just didn’t realise it. I usually have a notebook for whatever it is, for example our trip to Orkney, with every address written, all the money we should need added up and listed, all the timings written in order, all tickets printed out and folded up, lists of what we need to take, etc etc. All I have to do is get the old notebook out. I love notebooks. ..And pens. ..And diaries… And calendars…  Stationery in general really.

All this makes me really glad  I have Jesus, because it means I don’t actually have to know every little and last detail in life when I have Him. This week is exciting and I’m getting a real wow type, buzzy, expectant feel about the move now, but without Jesus this would just be a stressy, man made trip, full of worry because I’d have to worry about everything myself and would feel like I or we would have to make it work ourselves. Because we  know Jesus, we can trust the detail to him! And that is a huge relief. Also, it means, wherever we end up, even if it is not where we planned, it will be good.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

That is Jesus speaking, written in Matthew 11-28-30. Isn’t what he’s saying beautiful? And it is also true.

Countdown to the Shetland viewing is on! Wahoo.

 

Happy Sunday!

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(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 😀

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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.