Saturday, 26 January 2008


Silly me. I don't know what happened; I certainly didn't intend to disallow comments on the previous 2 posts. Either Blogger is playing tricks on me or some little night-time blogging fairy has been changing the settings on my blog! Still, whatever happened, comments are now back on and are always welcome!! In fact, PLEASE PLEASE do leave me comments, even if I'm not very good at getting back to people, it doesn't mean I don't appreciate them... I know some of you prefer to 'lurk', and that's fine too, seeing as I am a 'lurker' sometimes too ;o)

Friday, 25 January 2008

Food for it not?!?

"The things that show God we love Him are not extravagant love songs, poems or outbursts of emotional expression, but simple actions of obedience. The way God calls us to express our love back to Him is by returning to people the same things we have received from Him."(Jeremy Riddle)

PS: This verse comes to mind...: "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."Matthew 10:7-9

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Controversy and Confidence...

I'm not in the habit of behaving controversially, especially when the sense of controversy is mainly due to me going 'against the grain' (eg: against the way I was brought up, my family's traditions, established christian or cultural values, etc...).

I've always seen myself more as the kind of person who conforms and shuts up instead of speaking up about my own opinions. As a child and teenager it always seemed to be my sister who had "opinions" and stuck to her guns. I somehow didn't allow myself to form my own, or to voice them if I had some..., preferring to be the peacemaker instead when any controversial questions arose, in order to keep the boat steady!! I know I still have this tendency now, especially when I'm back in a sibling/ child role, or indeed whenever there is conflict brewing around me!

But increasingly I'm becoming more and more assertive in who I am as a person, and more comfortable to not necessarily agree with everyone just to 'keep the peace'!
God has done a lot of work in me in this area and I have to be honest: I still falter all too often, because I really hate conflict, and am terrified of losing an argument!

An interesting side-issue here could be the discussion of the following: 'when is perceived lack of self-esteem actually just pride'?? Is it really just my pride which is preventing me from getting into a debate where I might lose face and see my arguments dismantled one after the other? Maybe this is something I could try and discuss some other time but right now I don't have the time nor the inclination. (- and I can hear myself thinking, 'WIMP!'; but my response to that for now is 'shut up'!!!)

This really IS going somewhere I promise - but will be continued in the next post.
For now I want to finish by asking you: am I alone in experiencing these feelings or can anyone out there relate to what I have shared here? Please do feel free to tell me where you're at, especially if you're in a similar place. There is no judgement here; only grace.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Love and Hate meme

I have been tagged with this Love and Hate Meme. Thank you to 'the Teach'... :o) I'll do my best!!

I love to eat: most things. I LOVE to eat!!
I hate to eat: anything weird. And cauliflower (but I will force myself to cook and eat it - only severely disguised).

I love to go: to a tiny little corner of France called Morgat, in Brittany. Also anywhere remote and beautiful (as long as it's safe...) on my own!
I hate to go: shopping - for food, mainly. But any kind of shopping stresses me right out.

I love it when: my kids give me cuddles; my husband gives me cuddles
I love it when I have all the time in the world
I hate it when: hubby farts in bed... I have to rush. Also when the kids are poorly :o(

I love to see: an awesome open view from the top of a hill on a glorious summer's day
I hate to see: labels on things. I've a compulsive label destroyer.

I love to hear: birdsong in spring. It is really the sweetest, most heavenly sound. Oh - along with a baby's giggles! And a toddler's first songs
I hate to hear: the stupid ugly little tune my stupid yellow microwave plays when its time's up. Why they don't have a 'try me' button on a microwave before you buy it is beyond me...

And now it's time for me to tag some more people:
Debs (it's been a while, surely??)
April (please forgive me...)
Hoggstar (if you can bear it!)
and B (but she'll never do it. Surprise me!!!)

Monday, 14 January 2008


During my parents' visit over the Christmas holiday, Mum and I chatted about the struggles I'd been having to get to the end of each day without feeling completely exhausted or depressed... The last weeks of 2007 were quite gruelling and emotionally draining and I guess I just let myself go physically and spiritually. I tend to find winter hard going anyway (see here and here), but what with a bereavement on top of 'normal' everyday life, I found myself in survival mode all the time.

Surprisingly (or not? God knows me, after all...) the outcome of these conversations with my mother has been a renewed desire for discipline in my life. It has been a real revelation for me, at the start of this new year, that in order to be in good physical and spiritual shape, I've got to work hard, train and discipline myself and go through a degree of pain in the process. But the irony is that the fitter I become, the more energetic and 'happy' I feel! Isn't it amazing that God created our bodies to release happy hormones when we exercise??!! And aren't the principles the same for spiritual exercise?...

Why I had never really properly thought about this before, I am not really sure! Maybe I had, but the thinking process hadn't quite made it to my heart. However this time I have actually been deeply convicted of a sort of 'laziness' and apathy in my life that I really want to get rid of.
While cynics will tut and sigh at the predictability of deciding to 'get fit' and 'lose weight' at the start of a new year, I know that there is no better opportunity than now, to try and regain control of some very sloppy attitudes! It's a perfect time to take stock, to turn a new leaf and move on (just piling on some more cliches to satisfy those cynics!!)

So I have joined the gym...
And have started on a diet...
And am reading God's word daily without fail...
I am also chosing not to listen to the little voice inside that says "I can't be bothered".

Practically it looks something like this:
  • The kitchen needs tidying and the floors need mopping? I'll do it even if I don't feel like it!
  • It's raining outside and I want to watch trash and eat chocolate? I'll grab an apple instead and get out as quickly as possible!!
  • I think I'm getting a migraine? I'll (try to) swallow some tablets and not make a big deal out of it...but instead pray through it and know that it'll pass quicker if I relax and let go.
  • I'd rather have a lie-in and read the Bible later? I'll prop my pillows up, turn up the lights, open a window, take a swig of water and spend some time with my Lord.
And on it goes! It's hard work I can assure you... These are not the kind of attitudes that come to me naturally and that is where the training aspect of discipline comes in:

"At the time discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later of course it pays off handsomely for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God" (from Hebrews 12v11, Message)

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful. Later on however it produces a harvest of righteousness for those who have been trained by it" (same as above, NIV)

I'm so grateful that I have this opportunity to start afresh and I know I cannot do this in my own strength! I would fall at the first hurdle if I was on my own. But I have embarked on this new 'training regime' hand-in-hand with God; He has led me to this place and it is His will for me in this new season. I also have the support of some lovely friends who are doing this with me (at least the physical part) and of my darling ones at home. I hope to post regular updates here, in a bid to remain accountable. Please also feel free to share your 'journeys' into discipline with me as it is important to 'spur one another on'...

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Three beautiful boys...

I just couldn't resist posting these recent pictures (the one of Ben was taken a few hours ago...)
I am such a blessed Mummy...
NB. the two that lack 'sharpness' are redeemed by copious amounts of atmosphere - don't you think??!

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Daily Thanks

I have picked up my list of thanks again after neglecting it for a few months. My approach will be somewhat different though: I will (try to) post a small list every day of what I am thankful for that day. That way I'm hoping I'll be more consistent and will have to find things to be thankful for, for each particular day. This is a discipline which I really need.

So. To God be the glory! For that is what it's all about...It is part of my daily worship to Him.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Blogiversary (better late than never!)...and a Happy New Year!

About this time last year I decided jogging blogging might be a good occupation for me - and so I wrote my first post. Little did I know what a journey 'it' was going to take me on!
I have been challenged, stretched, inspired, encouraged, comforted and have made quite a few friends in the process. Truly, I'm very grateful for the internet :o) - I never thought I'd say that a year ago...!!
It has been a marvellous adventure so far and I know it is far from being over. I'm excited to discover who I'm going to meet, what I'm going to learn, what the Lord is going to do next.

And so here's to the next year:

2008 is indeed here and this comes with all my thanks and my very warmest wishes and blessings to you, friends, for 365 very happy, joy-filled, Spirit-filled days.