Monday, 31 August 2009
Over the past few days we have relocated from one side of the city to the other. We are now much nearer to our friends, and we live literally over the road from church! We're not quite there yet with the unpacking, and life still feels a little chaotic! But surrounded by boxes and bubble wrap, and amidst all the craziness and tiredness, I can say that I'm happy and I'm thankful.
I'm thankful for my amazing husband who has spent fours days solidly carrying boxes and other heavy objects to the car, from the car and up numerous stairs. I think he's gone to work today for a break! And I'm thankful for his determination to unpack and make the new place a home. He totally deserves a massage and cold beer!
I'm thankful for all the people in our small group who turned up to help us move boxes last Wednesday evening. What they managed to shift in 30 minutes would have taken us (Phil) days! Life is so much better when we are in community and can help each other. I'm so thankful for that.
I'm thankful for the strong men who helped Phil to lift the big furniture. And I'm thankful that I didn't break any nails trying to lift the big furniture!!! Only kidding!
I'm thankful that we are fortunate to have a lovely new flat and lots of things that need moving. We really are blessed.
And I'm thankful that God has taken care of us so well. He has truly provided for us and looked after us. Even when I have had little faith God has been faithful. And when I have felt lost and confused, He has guided me. I am thankful that I can be so excited about my life and my future because I can have a hope in God.
What can you be thankful for today?
Happy Mondays xxx
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Which means that I’m likely to have very little access to the internet for a few days, and therefore likely to be doing very little blogging.
So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some blogs that I love…to keep you entertained while I’m away for a while!
I first came across Jasmine’s blog about 18 months ago, I think. Anyone that knows me will know that I love weddings, so it should come as no surprise that sometimes I still visit wedding websites and blogs! And it was through one of these websites that I found a link to Jasmine’s site. I also have a love of photography and so this site is a great combination of two of my loves.
But it’s not just the photography that keeps me returning to Jasmine’s blog. Her passion for life and genuine openness, as well as her beautiful writing makes this blog one of my daily reads. Alongside her beautiful photography, she shares her heart for God and her family which inspires and encourages me, as well as her determination to ‘keep it real’ and be true to herself. And her willingness to share her knowledge of photography and business has been a great help to me.
Whether you’re into photography or not, I think Jasmine’s blog is a great read.
In the name of LOVE
I was introduced to Bianca’s blog through Jasmine’s blog. And just in case you visit them both and think you’re seeing double…they’re twins!
Bianca teaches the word of God in a relevant and real way to women of all ages and walks of life. Along with Jasmine, her determination to ‘keep it real’ means that her words carry the message of God’s love powerfully as she doesn’t try to please people and hide behind nice words and fluffiness…she says it as it is…and its refreshing and genuine. Her blog is both an encouragement and a gentle kick up the backside just when it needs to be.
One of my dreams is to someday be able to teach the word of God in a real and relevant way and to be able to reach out to women and help them to draw closer to God, to learn about God and to get to know Him better. Bianca inspires me to keep my dream alive…God loves people and He wants to use us to show them His love.
I can’t remember how I came across this lovely blog, but once I did I was hooked! Ruby Ellen is a mum to two girls with a third one on the way! She makes the most beautiful and cute craft items for children and grown ups…check out her shop.
I love her fun nature and the way she makes every occasion so special for her girls and the family. She makes adorable outfits for the girls and themes their birthday’s with lots of activities and creative ideas.
Ruby and her husband inspire me to seek out ways to turn every day into something special and memorable. And I love her creativeness and desire to make presents and gifts rather than just buying something from the high street.
I have had lots of creative ideas for Christmas presents (yes, I said Christmas already and its only August!) and things that I’m desperate to start making since finding this blog. I can’t wait to unpack my sewing stuff in the new flat!
Happy Tuesdays, and Happy Blog Hopping!!! x
Thursday, 20 August 2009
I thought I'd post some of the photos I took while we were on our (wet) holiday in Cumbria. My brother and his wife joined us for a couple of days too and we had a good time looking round Carlisle Castle, visiting a lovely spot with a stream where Phil and his friends used to camp as teenagers and buying ice creams in Keswick. And the weather perked up a bit for a couple of days as well!
A building with a bit of history...
Art work in the underpass to the castle. The names are of Border Reivers. Clans that used to switch sides of the English/Scottish border. After they'd robbed from one side they'd switch and then rob from the other side!
My lovely sister in law...
Medieval wall art
Even the drainpipes are fancy...and dated, 1717
Patiently waiting for the photographer to hurry up!
Phil's old camping site!
Apparently the stream acts as a natural slide here. Not that any of us were trying it!
There were lots of sheep around
Following the sheep tracks through the dense vegetation...kinda like Bear Grylls!!!
Sheep in a less natural environment...probably looking for the pub!
Poetry in the steps
Happy Thursday x
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Hi, my name’s Lindsay and I’ve been suffering from anxiety.
I don’t know if there’s a 12 step program to help people with anxiety but I do know that I need help of some sort.
I’ve managed to allow a few small happenings become huge overpowering worries and now I’ve become trapped. Trapped by worries I feel I have no control over. Trapped by a fear of ‘what if’? Trapped by a sense of almost panic that creeps up from nowhere but takes over my every moment.
Worse of all I know that it’s not right. Which just freaks me out a little bit more.
And I feel I should be able to conquer it. My logical mind should be able to rationalise and overcome the illogical and irrational thoughts and feelings. My faith in God and knowledge of his peace should calm my soul and quiet my spirit.
But I can’t. Not in my own strength. I need an intervention of the Holy Spirit in such a real way. Whether He takes 12 steps or not, I need Him to come and rescue my weary, anxious, slightly panicked self and renew a right spirit in me.
I need to meditate on the life giving, peace restoring word of God and allow Him to untie my knots and work on straightening me out! I’m so glad God is patient with us every day.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
And when those times come round we can feel so caught up in the busyness we loose track of ourselves and of the things that are important.
I’m currently going through a phase of busyness that I know is going to become craziness as we get ready to move house and tackle the ever expanding list of practical things that accompany relocation.
I know that in the grand scheme of things our house move is not that big a deal. We’re not relocating to a new country (like Alison is currently doing) or even a new city (like we did last year). We’re just moving across town. But things still feel a little crazy!
I wrote a few days ago about perspective and how sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees. I imagine that each element of my life can be represented by a tree. Some are mature and have been there since my life began. Others are new seedlings or young trees just emerging from the ground. Some are strong and deep rooted and will always be there. Others don’t last so long for whatever reason, but were important when they were there.
There are times in life when things are pretty calm and it’s like we’re walking through a field with a few trees dotted here and there. And there are other times in life when things are busy, when we’re juggling many things, when it’s like we’re walking through a dense forest full of trees.
As we look around the tress may start to look the same. There are so many of them, they all blur into each other. But they’re not.
Some of the trees are more important than others. And even when we’re busy and have many trees to tend to, some should still have a greater priority.
As I continue on through my current busyness and into the awaiting craziness, I just wanted to take a moment to stop and recognise those things and people that are the big trees in my life. God, Phil, my family, my friends. I wanted to remind myself to seek out time with these people even in the middle of the busyness. I wanted to remind myself what these people look like so I don’t miss them between all the other trees.
I took this picture while when we were away…it triggered the thoughts above…
...seriously, this guy is like my hero! (It's ok, I'm allowed to say that, he is my husband!)
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
We're moving house (flat) in two weeks and have been packing like ninjas. Which means that access to the computer has been a little awkward at times. I have still over half of the holiday photos to sort out so that I can share them. And we also managed to get tickets to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo last week so I have lots of photos from that to sort through and share too.
Anyway, instead of my waffling excuses, here are a few photos that I have managed to upload. I have been to Cumbria many times but this time I was able to see new places and views that I hadn't seen before. Even though the weather was a little less than desirable at times, I was still blown away by the beauty of the landscape. And although I'm not so friendly with Mr. Rain, I happen to love the Cloud Family for many reasons. It's just unfortunate that one tends to accompany the other!!!
The functional flood plain...
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Do you ever get that feeling - like you can't see the wood for the tress?
Like you know there's a bigger picture but you just can't seem to step back enough to focus on it?
Like you know there's is more to life and the world than the small problems you're currently having, but they just feel so consuming and overwhelming?!
Today I'm in a bit of a funny mood. I'm just being generally moany - or mardy as Phil would say. Yep, I'm being a right mardy bum!
I just need to calm down and step back far enough to see the bigger picture. I need to adjust my persective. I need to take the focus off myself!
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
The mountains may disappear,
and the hills may come to an end,
but my love will never disappear;
my promise of peace will not come to an end
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
Lakes, rivers, rain, ponds and puddles…we saw and encountered wet things everywhere. I was very glad I had my lovely wellies!
I love it when God uses something that you’ve seen or read many times, but reveals it to you in a new way and teaches you something new from it.
Whilst sat in the tent last week, I reached for my bible and really felt led to look up Psalm 42. As I read the first line, I recognised the Psalm and noticed that I’d started to just skim over the words, not really giving them my full attention. So I slapped my own wrists and started again, from the top.
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"
My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God.
As I read through the Psalm I remembered my recent tears and my downcast spirit. I remembered my feelings of being lost and forgotten. I remembered my thirst and longing. But I also realised that I had only come to a place of thirsting for God and reading His word after I had tried to work it all out myself.
The first thing the writer notes in this Psalm is his longing, his thirst for God and his desire to go and meet with Him. Is this the first thing I desire when I am feeling down or distressed? Do I turn to God first? Do I long to spend time with Him?
I am fortunate to live in a country where water is readily available, and is sometimes taken for granted. In fact, the amount of water I saw last week started to make me resent it a little! But because I can fill myself to bursting with clean water everyday, I don’t often fully understand or appreciate the value it has and the impact it can have on my life.
I am also fortunate to live in a country where I am free to worship God and His word is readily available to me. But does this mean that I sometimes also take His presence and His word for granted? Do I not desire and long after Him like I should because I assume that He will always be there? Do I not fully understand or appreciate the value of His word and the impact it can make in my life because I have easy access to it?
I don’t really know. I don’t even know if these thoughts make any sense! But I do know that I can always learn to long for God more.
I woke up one morning last week in a puddle, inside the tent! I wasn’t really a very happy bunny – having a wet bed is not my idea of fun! Light rain had turned to a torrential downpour overnight and the ground was so saturated it couldn’t absorb anymore water so it started to flow over the ground and collect in puddles and ponds.
Just today God used this image to speak to me about my desire to spend time with Him, to read His word, to understand His heart. His living water is readily available to us without any restrictions. How much of it we drink is up to us. It is our decision to stop being in a drizzle of His word, but to step out and be completely immersed in a lake of His word and His presence. One that gets us so wet it starts to flow out of us, and creates puddles and ponds wherever we go!
And because posts are better with pictures...this is the view over Derwent Water towards Keswick last week from a place called Surprise View...
Monday, 3 August 2009
There's something about being home that is comforting and settling.
But at the moment we are in the process of moving homes and so I'm a little unsettled inside...a bit anxious and apprehensive about all the packing, and sorting, and tidying, and (heavy) lifting that will be required over the next few weeks. But also so excited about the new flat!
I feel that there is so much going on at the moment, and I have so many more ideas and schemes in my head that I'm longing to do!
I need a superhero power that will allow me to stretch time I think! Or some very efficient 'to do' lists!!!
Happy Mondays xxx