Thursday, 30 June 2011

One more day, one day at a time

There are times in anyone's life, when you wonder how much longer you can go on.

How long?
HOW LONG, Lord??

These times, they make you want to run.
Hide.
Scream.
Die...
...PRAY...
You cling onto anything or anyone that will make you feel secure in the storm.

My Jesus, my God, keep my eyes fixed on you! Help me to cling to you, so that your glory, your beauty might be revealed and shine for all to see.
Like a beautiful tropical flower in a grey, dull world. Like a purple-flowering, butterfly-loving shrub that grows amongst stingers and piles of litter, along a well-worn path. Like the most incandescent, exquisitely pink sunset at the end of a dark, windy, rainy day...

Calm always precedes a storm, but also ALWAYS follows a storm.
Breakthrough WILL come.

...But at what cost?.....
I truly wish it didn't matter to me; but I'm so very weak, and worried, and anxious at times that I might break beyond any hope of reparation.

This is my constant, daily battle: I fight my worries, my anxieties, my fears, with the tiny thread of faith and hope and grace that are somehow, in spite of everything, still there - supplied by the giver of Life.

Hand in Hand with my Father, I will get up again tomorrow morning, and fight and stand with my head held high and my eyes fixed on Him, not by my own "inner strength", but ONLY in and by His strength. His grace us sufficient for me for today, and for tomorrow, and for the rest of my days, each and every one of them.

His mercies are new EVERY MORNING.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Aching and Softening, ready for weeding

P173

I seem to have an aching heart today, but I'm not sure why.
Something in me is making me unsettled and sad, and the only thing I can possibly put it down to is my lack of intimacy with my Father, and maybe some stuff I haven't dealt with or said sorry for.
Thinking back to my "Weeding" post, I remember God saying that unless I was soaked with His presence, drenched in His Spirit, drinking and feeding on His Word, it would be pretty difficult to pull the weeds out, to get rid of the life-spoiling, life-robbing, life-draining things, the stuff that trips me up, 'the sin that so easily entangles'...
Soften my heart, Lord.
Let it RAIN.

Aching and Softening, ready for weeding

P173

I seem to have an aching heart today, but I'm not sure why.
Something in me is making me unsettled and sad, and the only thing I can possibly put it down to is my lack of intimacy with my Father, and maybe some stuff I haven't dealt with or said sorry for.
Thinking back to my "Weeding" post, I remember God saying that unless I was soaked with His presence, drenched in His Spirit, drinking and feeding on His Word, it would be pretty difficult to pull the weeds out, to get rid of the life-spoiling, life-robbing, life-draining things, the stuff that trips me up, 'the sin that so easily entangles'...
Soften my heart, Lord.
Let it RAIN.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Weeding at sundown

There is nothing quite as essentially rewarding and lovely as an impromptu weeding session at the end of a day's worth of downpours...

It's 9 o'clock, still light out and the children sleep; all is peace.

I sit on a slab of clean wood, and start pulling with my bare hands. The dark red soil yields. It lets me work it, smooth, generous, velvety, almost chocolate-like. The new, spring-born weeds don't stand a chance; at this rate I'll have cleared a whole bed in half an hour!

I settle on my makeshift bench and look up from the ground; all around me is fresh and glowing with the day's rains. I am grateful. I feel my heart swelling with thanks, and I whisper a love-song to the Maker of it all.

It is sundown and the blackbird woos the night as only he can, melodiously, graciously beckoning the chorus with which he started the day. They join in, more lazily, with much less intent and excitement than they did all those hours ago, and hand over to the night crew, almost grateful for the end of the shift.
I lower my gaze from the darkening sky to the garden once more - there is a job to finish!

But this is my 'kind of' job. In fact it is more a joy than a chore.

The scent of the moist, freshly upturned dirt is overpoweringly beautiful.
It is one of those gifts of nature, like a promise, that makes the grey, threatening skies, the blanket of heavy cloud pregnant with rain, and the sheets of water that poured down earlier, so infinitely more bearable.

By now I am once again familiar with the delight of being in this moment and feel so connected. I'm where I'm meant to be - and so I start to dig a little deeper. I feel the Father gently probing my thoughts, and I go with it.

Those weeds that spoil my lavender beds, they are a bit like all the ugly things that darken and pollute my life, my whole being.

The big, deep-rooted ones - lies I have believed for years for example, long-borne resentment and bitterness, unconfessed sin, unforgiveness and more... - as well as the littler, newer ones, the everyday ones, like the frustration and hurt of being ignored by a friend, or the anger of being shouted at (heaven forbid!) by one of the kids.
They need 'pulling out'. They don't belong here, they mar the work of the Gardener and have to be dealt with.

But.
The conditions for this have to be right.
Dry, rocky soil is very back-breaking, and unforgiving to work with, it lacks integrity, and is devoid of goodness. If you have ever tried to dig into dry soil, you won't get very far and will quickly, gladly give up; you'll know what I mean!

On the other hand...
Just as working the soil after the rain, cleaning and tending it, allows me to get to the roots almost effortlessly and pull out the nasties that don't belong in my garden, maybe in a similar way my heart needs watering, tenderising, softening before a deep work can truly start within me and eventually yield beauty and fruit.

In other words.

It is easier to get to the root of an issue when my heart, mind and spirit have been drenched in God's Spirit; and through worship and time spent reading His word, to see things for what they really are... As He sees them, unwelcome scavengers that rob and cause damage.

Rain is good...!!

The night draws in, I feel chilly and my back aches. I have cleared the lavender bed and it is time to take off my muddy wellies, and come inside for a warming cup of cocoa.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

In the Jungle

It's 8:20 and Sam is making his packed lunch for school.
I don't normally get him on camera singing to himself but this morning I thought I would grab my opportunity with both hands - and hey presto!
Isn't he a good little singer!?? And funny to boot! I so love that kid...

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Check this out :)

http://kids.nationalgeographic.co.uk/kids/animals/

This is Ben's new favourite website! I love it about him, that he is so fascinated in animals, creatures and the natural world... He found out about the website at school, and you should've seen the excitement on his face when he realised he could go on it at home too!! He particularly likes the dolphin video :) have a look.

I SO love living by the sea-side

It's breathtakingly beautiful here.
'Here' being South Devon, England.
As you clearly know.

Everyone should live here.
...much as I don't think that would be practical for demographic reasons. Man the roads would be a NIGHTMARE!!! on second thoughts, I take that back.
Everyone should not Live here, but everyone should most definitely COME VISIT from time to time.

Ok.
Fine.
When it rains, it sucks.

But the beauty needs watering from time to time; and then the sun inevitably comes back, to make it all even more beautiful. And magnificent. And staggering.

So actually, when it rains, I'm cool with that.

We have a spare room - no sorry a Guest Suite - which is almost finished and ready to welcome any of our lovely, special friends who would like to COME VISIT.

Anytime.
Cos did I mention it was AWESOME down here...??!?

You're welcome :)

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Hoovering

Thomas's take on hoovering up a few crumbs...
Amazing what fun can be had on a wet day!

Tidying up

P69

This is Mr Wibbs, 'tidying up'

...I know.

Purification

P52

I am trying to detox after being on morphine in the hospital for at least one and a half days. If you'll call a lunch of pizza and chocolate eclairs a detox...! Yep - that's what you get when the men get cooking around here.

Anyway.

Having applied this rather ugly black, sea-weed-based mask to the areas of my face that have broken out in little spots, I ventured out of the bathroom, to varying degrees of hilarity/ disgust from the boys in my household.
Sam: "Ugh!! What's THAT on your face!?!!"
Mark: "ugh. You look like a man!"
Ben: "mummy why's your face all black!??!"
Tom: "Cool!! What's THAT!?!? Mummy you look like a dude-man. I LIKE it!"

I'll tell you if it worked.
My 20 minutes is due; off to rinse.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

"Square Two" or Imposed Recovery

P39

I feel like I only just recovered from my last stint in hospital, and now I'm almost back at square one again!

Except I'm more at 'square two' really - as I have no general anaesthetic to recover from, no itchy stitches to Not Itch, and a lot less morphine to eliminate than last time. But STILL.

Shoooot! This is PaNtS and sUcKs, and jriwodjnskqoq£;&22&4&;9,@sjeowjfkw....
Rubbish!
I was doing so well!

How many more times is this nastiness likely to happen?? Where do I go from here when there are no answers, apart from "You seem to have PCOS" - yeah, thanks, that's helpful an'all, but whatcha going to do to help me with it?!?

Can y'all tell I'm ever so slightly "frustrated"...?

At least I've found YET ANOTHER BLOGGING PLATFORM - so it's not all bad.

...dusty or clean...?