Monday, 31 March 2008

The fragrance of spring

At last: the clocks have gone forward, and "British Summer Time"is here!! I don't know why but each year it just amazes and excites me to realise how much difference one extra hour of daylight makes :)
It is such a relief to hear the birds releasing their songs at the first hint of dawn, and right up until the sun has set, no longer hindered by the threat of the cold. It is so good to be able to head out without a coat on, even despite the constant risk of heavy showers! The temperature is rising, the trees are looking less and less bare, and, as with each year around this time, the air is fragrant with promise and hope. Boy do I love this season!!!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

My Life in a Nutshell - March

Thought I'd give another little glimpse of what my daily life is like and how I feel at random times throughout my days and weeks! I hope this doesn't come across as too self-absorbed or self-centered. The word 'Rachel' seems to feature rather a lot!! And as you can see, I am very up and down...always have been; guess being a woman has that effect on me.

As you can also see, I'm having a break from Facebook for a while, as it has become a bit of an addiction, and almost a thing I turn to for comfort, or to alleviate boredom (yes, I know: 'boredom'?!?! How can I be bored?? Truth is it's more weariness than anything; weary of "the same old same old") - instead of turning to God. Anyway, without further ado, here are some more 'status stories'...

February 28
Rachel is wondering why her 2 1/2 year old throws a tantrum every time he's presented with a pair of trousers which isn't denim.
February 29
Rachel is confused about some of her thoughts... Going crazy too
March 1
Rachel is NOT crazy. But she is hungry. Which in itself is an improvement! God is so so so good...!!!

March 3
Rachel has a really bad sore throat - this thing just won't go away!!
March 4
Rachel is human, and that feels great, today!!

Rachel had her hair cut and feels fabulous.
March 6
Rachel is wondering whether Ben might be growing out of his naps.

Rachel has unbelievably achy legs and can hardly walk down the stairs. Blame it on the squats...!!
March 7
Rachel is fighting with a label.

Rachel is still ridiculously achy. Is that even normal?!?
Rachel is going mad trying to think where Ben's teddy might have got hidden.
March 8
Rachel is relieved teddy was found safe and sound - if a little sodden...

Rachel has garlic breath. Yeuch...
Rachel is worried about the neighbours.
Rachel is gutted that she hasn't lost more weight :( Oh well... it's all worth it anyway!!
March 9
Rachel is going down for breakfast. Not addicted to Facebook. Not at all.
Rachel is learning the meaning of sacrificing one's will for God...and it hurts.
March 10
Rachel is not sleeping despite the Horlicks - and has puffy eyes

Rachel is tired now. And sleepy. And fed up with the rain and the wind and the crap weather. And just fed up. Rachel is just weary.
Rachel needs an early night. Last night was a very short night's sleep. Things always seem brighter in the morning. Don't they?
March 11
Rachel is enjoying some peace and quiet at home...

March 13
Rachel is so so sleepy and it's not yet 9:30 in the morning...
Rachel is setting herself up on Etsy...
March 14
Rachel is wondering why Ben is crying.

Rachel realises now that Ben wanted to play - and to eat, but that's no surprise. (Incidentally, is it really March?!?)
March 15
Rachel is off to have some pre-Easter fun with the kids.
Rachel is getting an earli-ish night. Yippee!!

March 16
Rachel has booked her Speedferries tickets!! Spring holidays might not be so dire after all...

March 17
Rachel NEEDS to - no, WANTS to - no, would LOVE to crawl back into bed...

Rachel loves tea.
March 19
Rachel is wearing earplugs today.

Rachel wants spring to start properly, for crying out loud!!!
Rachel has tired eyes.
Rachel is disappointed
March 20
Rachel looking forward to a good night's sleep.

March 21
Rachel is wondering what to do with 3 boisterous boys and one sleepy one on a cold, blustery day such as today... Any ideas?

Rachel now has a programme for this afternoon: brisk walk in the wind, then a practice easter-egg hunt...!!
March 22
Rachel wants to understand the cross better.

March 24
Rachel feels overwhelmed by the challenges of parenting and life in general, and wishes there was more fun to be had.
Rachel is eating profiteroles: all is well with the world after all!!
Rachel is so relieved...!!
Rachel is having home made bread and lemon curd (also HM) for lunch - Sarah's idea; I'll blame the expansion of the muffin-top on her then ;0)
Rachel is listening to Mute Math at 8:20 in the morning. yes it really IS that good!!
Rachel is totally sick of Facebook and is gonna have a break for a while.

Update: my break from Facebook didn't really last long enough, to my shame!! I'm now back, after a week end off.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Light Relief (just a couple of photos...)

I think it's about time I posted some new pictures don't you? Adding to which I think we all need a little bit of light relief before I delve back (well it's more than likely anyway) into the 'heaviness' that has characterised my last few posts...

I will confess that most of these were actually taken by Emsy, when she and Chris came to stay at the end of February. Much fun was had by all, and the kids loved having uncle and auntie to play with and show off to!!

My gorgeous 7 1/2 year-old
Emsy, my beautiful sister-in-law, feeding cake to my youngest. Life's tough like that...
Yes, it's the SEA. Wet. Very wet, Ben...
Phew this one's heavy. Can you skim this one??
Skimming stones is way harder than it looks, Chris!!
Completely bewildered...on Appley beach, Ryde (Isle of Wight, UK)
Bass-player extraordinaire
"...Your country needs YOU!!"
" Talk to the hand..."
Still mad about Lego! He spends hours building Star Wars spaceships...
Godfather and godson= thumbs up!
Uncles are so much fun...
"That's what I look like when no-one's looking! "

Friday, 21 March 2008

21st of the 3rd: World Down Syndrome Day 2008

As well as being Good Friday, today is 'World Down Syndrome Day', and you can read about it here. The date (21/03) was chosen to signify the uniqueness of Down syndrome in the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome and is used synonymously with Down syndrome.
I know I don't post very often about my kids, and maybe that needs to change. But I can say for now, that having a child with DS is just about the most amazing and enriching experience anyone could hope for!!
Please take a few moments to visit the people featured in my blogroll under the heading Blogging and Down's Syndrome. One little guy in particular could do with your prayers right now and his family could do with some comforting, reassuring words if you can spare the time...

Monday, 10 March 2008

Obedience costs

It is 4 in the morning and I cannot sleep. I have a heavy heart tonight.

Remember what I wrote a few posts ago? (see here and here)
While details are too sensitive to share in such a 'public' place, I can truly say 'things' have become too overwhelming to be left untouched.

God is whispering to me about true obedience right now, and I have never known such a struggle within my will. Our pastor spoke incredibly powerfully today about the need to sacrifice one's WILL and that this was real sacrifice, not some poor attempt at 'buying God off' with cheap substitutes.
"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams..." (1 Sam 15v22 - read the whole chapter here)
I am learning that obedience COSTS... and that the pain of choosing to do God's will right now feels unbearable, almost in a physical way. Yet isn't that what Jesus did at Gethsemane?
I shed many many tears after the talk tonight! I am still struggling with my thoughts, and trying to justify why my way might still possibly be best. Pathetic really, because there is no contest for God's way. His ways are not our ways, His ways are higher than our ways, and much harder - but His ways are best.

Please be praying for me, friends, that I would choose life, and obey my Father in the same way that Jesus obeyed: "He humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!" (Phil 2v8)

Friday, 7 March 2008

More silliness...

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Rachel!

  1. Over 46,000 pieces of Rachel float on every square mile of ocean!
  2. There are roughly 10,000 man-made objects the size of Rachel orbiting the Earth.
  3. There are more than two hundred different kinds of Rachel!
  4. The word 'samba' means 'to rub Rachel'.
  5. The only Englishman to become Rachel was Nicholas Breakspear, who was Rachel from 1154 to 1159.
  6. Peanuts and Rachel are beans.
  7. Native Americans never actually ate Rachel; killing such a timid prey was thought to indicate laziness!
  8. There are 336 dimples on Rachel.
  9. While performing her duties as queen, Cleopatra sometimes dressed up as Rachel.
  10. Women shoplift four times more frequently than Rachel.
I am interested in - do tell me about

Honestly. What silly stuff bored people come up with to entertain the general public!! The mind boggles... Still, for want of having anything ever so slightly deeper than this to share, I thought it was oh so silly but quite amusing and therefore worth posting. Sorry.

(By the way - thanks for this, Debs!)

Saturday, 1 March 2008

"Keep your Dream Alive"

'Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine' (Eph.3V 20)
When God gives you a dream He places within you or within reach all the resources needed to fulfill it. Do you have an unthinkable, scary, absolutely wild idea that won't let you sleep? That's the way it is with dreams, especially when God is in them. They appear crazy (humanly speaking, they ARE crazy!). Placed alongside the triangle of logic, cost and timing, such dreams usually seem beyond our reach. They won't fly when you test them against the gravity of reality. And the strangest part is the more they are told 'can't' the more they pulsate 'can' and 'will' and 'must' What's behind great accomplishments? Inevitably, great people. But what is in those great people that makes them different? It's certainly not their age or gender or heritage or talent or environment. It's FAITH! They are people who think and believe differently
Are you dreaming about writing a book? Don't wait for a publisher, start writing! Are you wondering if all that work with the kids is worth it?It is!! Want to get back to university and finish that degree? Do it. Pay the price, even if it takes years! Trying to master a skill that takes time, patience and energy (not to mention money)? Press on! Thinking about going into business? Why not? It's hard to find satisfaction halfway up someone else's corporate ladder! Without a dream and the determination to fulfill it, life is reduced to bleak black and wimpy white, a diet too bland to get anybody out of bed in the morning. So go after the quest that fuels your fire. Keep your dream alive!
I just picked up "The Word for Today" and had to copy the entirety of today's 'thought for the day'. It really has me completely fired up!! In God's plan everything is possible! All I need is to believe that crazy is not crazy to Him. This is what the Bible says about the world's wisdom and its foolishness:
"If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."(1 Corinthians 3v 18-20(a))