social spark Aisling Beatha: 2008

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last Year's Review on the year

WOW, it's the 28th December. I don't have time for a proper Blog post, so I thought I'd revisit some posts from this time last year, before repeating them for this year.

So here is the very long post of my review on the year 2007!
What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
Oh gosh, I really can't think of anything.
It's been an extremely isolating year for me, I guess one thing that has happened this year that I have been wary of before is that I have tried to maintain at least on a very light level (only because of time constraints) to maintain something of a relationship with people who have left our church this year, even though we firmly believe we are to stay. In the past I've shied away from that, felt like some kind of traitor or something which is totally ridiculous.
Oooh, I remembered another one, heeeheeee and this one was FUN!
I led a school assembly. I went into a local primary school (so 4 to 11 year olds) and talked to over 350 kids about the operation Christmas Child Shoebox appeal. I was as nervous as heck but LOVED every single second of it! And afterwards the deputy head of the school who was in charge said to me “You did really well, and I think everyone heard you, even the children right at the back must have heard you clearly.” Oh I laughed at that I really did, and I replied “I don't have any problems in that department.”
I definitely want to do more of those next year and will be contacting schools in September when they go back after the summer, to say I am available.
Did you keep your new years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I didn't, I don't, and I won't! However,I will be writing about my “theme” for the year soon, when I have finished this piece.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Again, no in real life people, but wonderful, wonderful Stephanie, and other fantastic friends from Women at Home have had quite a baby boom this year. And from what I see on the pregnancy boards, that isn't about to end any time soon.
Although for me the most exciting new babies have not been the ones that have come to their current families by birth, but the amazing stories of adoption that we have watched play out in our midst, praying and agonizing with the prospective parents.
Did anyone close to you die?
I guess it depends on what you mean by “close”. Did I know her in real life? No, not by a long shot, but she was one of my oldest online friends, having both been part of a Christian writers email group way back and then re finding each other on Women at home. But did I love her as a friend, I admired her outlook on life, I was in awe of her reading, and although there were many on Women at home who knew her better than I did, I considered her a true friend. Natalie Rose, gone, but not forgotten, we still miss you!
What countries did you visit?
Oooh, as always a really difficult question to answer, heeheee, NOT! I have been to England and to Wales this year. LAST YEAR (and I don't think I answered these questions last year) I travelled to Belgium to baptise a friend. But this year, just home and Wales. I'd love to travel, I'd give so much to go visit my friends in America, to see Belgium (and Ello) again, to take my boys to parts of Europe I've never been yet. But for now, there is no money for trips like that and so we did not even get a family holiday at all this year.
Maybe next year hey?
And wouldn't it be cool for next Christmas to be the year I get to go on an Operation Christmas child shoebox distribution trip. MAYBE! Anyone want to pay for me to go?
What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
One word, RELATIONSHIPS, call them friendships, call them what you like, but I need people, and this year I have been incredibly isolated, some of that self inflicted, some of that God and yes, some of it the enemy, but I really would like to be able to come out of this year saying “You know, I know people better now, and I really believe there are people I could turn to no matter what.”
Interestingly, after me writing this last night, this morning's sermon at church was about getting to know each other better and being involved in each others lives.

What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Oh gosh, I'm crying now, even though I already talked about her. I don't know if I would say June 7th, the day Natalie died, or if I would actually say the day we all found out just how ill she was and that she wasn't expected to make it and yet she was still staying bright in spirit and writing letters to leave behind for her children, and watching these very brave women who loved her even more than I did, who knew her so much better than I did, support her and the rest of us through that time. They are all inspirations.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Achievement? Hmmmmmm? I would say getting through that assembly at the school. Not that there were actually any problems in doing the assembly itself, at all, just how nervous I was leading up to it, with it being the first one I'd ever done and all.
I SO want to do more of this and need to get some of the books put out by the Christian charities about doing school assemblies year round. Maybe even some with some of my storytelling thrown in!
What was your biggest failure?
I completely failed to lost any weight or maintain ANY kind of fitness programme. Oh I had all sorts of excuses, but none of them really matter!
Did you suffer illness or injury?
The usual, coughs, colds, as well as some bouts of extreme tiredness coupled with frequent night waking. That's not all the time, I have been free of the extremes of it for a while, but the last few days it appears to have returned a little.
My back still hurts a lot from when I broke my tail bone in 2006. Especially at night. Not enough to keep me awake but enough to make me uncomfortable. I don't take pain killers for it, not any more, maybe I should. And the docs have been next to useless, just telling me to stretch more and throwing more pain killers prescriptions at it, so I don't even go see them any more.
What was the best thing you bought?
Has to be our new computer desk, or our new shelves, or our second dining table (2 smaller ones offer more flexibility than one big one) all of which came from IKEA and one of which was paid for my dad and my sis THANKS GUYS!
But one of my most favourite things that I have bought, I only got this morning. Well, only finished this morning. I bought a huge frame from IKEA, 20 inches by 27 ½ inches. Then, I got a poster print of a photograph I took a couple of years ago, at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham. That arrived in yesterday's post, I put it in the frame and today my darling husband put the hooks up and hung the frame. And THIS takes pride of place at the top of my stairs.
I don't have the name of the sculptor and if you can't see what is in the middle of the palm, blow the picture up until you can.
Where did most of your money go?
Frivolous things, things we probably didn't need and couldn't afford, but that is about to change and we are to get a much tighter hold on what we spend.
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
It's been a funny year. When you are feeling as isolated as I have been, excitement doesn't come easily. Excitement is something you do with friends, together, it is meant to be shared. By it's very nature, if you are excited about something you want to share it with people, tell them about it, show them, have them experience something of it for themselves.
Well, OK then, yes there has been something. I've experienced far more of the heart of the Father this year than I ever have before and whilst I am struggling to come to terms with what that means and really understand the depth of that love, and how it makes a difference in my life, I am excited about it and I have shared a little of it with those whom I know already understand it far better than I do and those who I know would tell me they do, but really don't have a clue.
What song will always remind you of 2007?
There is ONLY one song. It was probably released before this year, but for me, it has said something that needed to be said:
Mika – Big Girls, You Are Beautiful!
Big girl you are beautiful

Walks in to the room
Feels like a big balloon
I said, "Hey girl, you are beautiful"
Diet Coke and a pizza please
Diet Coke I'm on my knees
Screaming, "Big girl you are beautiful"

You take your skinny girl
I feel like I'm gonna die
Coz a real woman needs a real man here's why
You take your girl and multiply her by four
Now a whole lot of woman needs a whole lot more

[chorus:]
Get yourself to the butterfly lounge
Find yourself a big lady
Big boy come on around
And they'll be calling you baby
No need to fantasize
Since the words are my phrases
A watering hole the with girls around
And curves in all the right places
Big girls you are beautiful
Big girls you are beautiful
Big girls you are beautiful
Big girls you are beautiful

Walks in to the room
Feels like a big balloon
I said, "Hey girl, you are beautiful"
Diet coke and a pizza please
Diet coke I'm on my knees
Screaming, "Big girl you are beautiful"

You take your girl and multiply her by four
Now a whole lot of woman needs a whole lot more

[chorus x4]

Big girl you are beautiful
Compared to this time last year, are you:
a. happier or sadder?
Is sadder the right term? I don't think so. I am definitely more subdued, less comfortable. I wouldn't say I am happier, but certainly, sadder would be the wrong term to use. I am no sadder than I was this time last year. If anything I am more hopeful!
b. thinner or fatter?
Ahem. Do I have to answer this one? Can't I plead the 5th? Or will that actually give my answer away huh? Yep, another year older, another year fatter!
c. richer or poorer?
Sadly we have ended this year poorer, but we are on the upswing. We managed to get our refinancing through BEFORE all the subprime stuff hit and lenders became much more difficult to deal with. Hubby is extremely hopeful that things are on the up at his workplace and hopeful of a pay rise at the very least in line with inflation if not more, in April. And I am certainly open to picking up a job with a few more hours than I am doing now, although I really don't want to work full time yet because of my back.
What do you wish you'd done more of?
School Assemblies! Heeeheeeeheeeee, but maybe next year, huh?
What do you wish you'd done less of?
Eating and Spending.
How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas day this year was one of the best we have had in a while. There is a guy at church who is currently separated from his wife. He also has a son from a previous relationship. He was to spend time at his estranged wife's home later in the day, so we invited him to our house for Christmas dinner, with his older son. It was the first time we've entertained on Christmas day and it went really well. They were only here for a few hours, but with his son being in between our two boys in age it was good for all of them and it was good for us to begin to learn how to be proper hosts.
Did you fall in love in 2007?
YES! More in love than ever with my gorgeous hubby, if that is possible, but also more in love than ever with Father God, and totally aware that even now I have no concept of HOW MUCH he loves me.
What was your favourite TV program?
There's probably only a handful of programmes that I watch consistently.
Let me see. . . . . .
House – I love Hugh Laurie in this.
Grays Anatomy – Although I was beginning to get really fed up of the whole Izzie George thing by the end of the series (remember we're behind the states in a lot of these shows)
Ghost Whisperer – The thing I love about this is the whole relationships thing, watching the healing of those relationships and so on.
Extreme makeover home Edition – What more is there to say?
What was the best book you read?
The Father You've Been Waiting For” by Mark Stibbe. I think EVERYONE should read this book! It isn't HUGE, you'll finish it in a week. It might just change the way you see God, yourself and others. It has changed things for me.










What was your greatest musical discovery of 2007?
ooooooooh, my greatest musical discovery of 2007 was that worship can be played by poorly trained musicians, badly, and still be the most amazing worship experience you have had in years BECAUSE of the passionate hearts of the people involved. Anyone who was there knows exactly what I mean, and oh yes it was fun! And instead of judging we laughed and we enjoyed ourselves and we let go and God truly did turn up!
What did you want and get?
It's funny but the thing I thought I wanted and got turned out to be the very thing that would bring me down. I thought I wanted this year of seeking God for myself, but it turned out to be the loneliest time I have ever experienced. I still believe some of that was god's intention, but I KNOW that I made it far far worse than it ever needed to be by the way I responded and that in the end I had even begun to cut myself off from him. I am looking to remedy that over the coming weeks, looking to spend far more time, just focussing on him, on being in his presence.
What did you want and not get?
Friendships, deep, abiding, real, but still fun and exciting friendships. I'm still searching for that one and trying to understand why I don't have that in my life IRL. I KNOW that god put this ability, this passion, this need for female friends in women, and He and I often have discussions, (well, I do most of the talking actually) about why this is still absent in my life. Maybe if I did more of the listening and less of the talking, I would have some answers.
What was your favourite film of this year?
We didn't get to the cinema as many times this year as we did last year. But still the movies make me cry and still my boys take great delight in that fact.
I enjoyed Shrek the Third, that was a fun movie, made me laugh, and yes, made me cry. We never got around to seeing the new Pirates movie at the cinema so are waiting for it to come up on our dvd rental queue. Just this week, we went to see enchanted and a more cute film I could not have wished for. Yes, I cried, but what little girl at heart doesn't love a good fairy tale? OK, so some of you are too grown up for that sort of thing, but you know what? You're missing out! So, it isn't reality, so what?
But my favourite movie of the year, is perhaps a little controversial for a Christian blogger. I LOVED the Harry Potter movie. As ever I was a little disappointed about the parts in the book that had to be left out of the movie, but once again I am struck by the utter desperation of a boy whose parents dies when he was so young, desperately trying to be enough and do enough and all the time fighting that internal battle. But also so desperate to catch some glimpses of what his parents were really like.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Oh heck, that was a long time ago. My birthday is in January. I really don't remember what it was I did? But, I was a ripe old 36! So, in just 3 or so weeks time I will be 37!
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
My hubby getting a job at equal pay, much closer to home. We have both been joking lately because there are some new industrial units being built (well, they're still just preparing the ground right now, but they'll go up quick once they start) just 15 minutes walk from our front door. We keep joking about how cool it would be for a company in his field to move into those units and him to get a job there! Instead of his current commute which can be anything from 1 hour each way on a good day to 2 or more on a bad one.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
relaxed and casual with a little more ooomph and colour than previous years.
What kept you sane?
What's sane? Seriously, how do any of us know we're the sane ones and it's the others who are mad? I don't think I've had a particularly sane year, I don't think I've always reacted in what would be considered sane ways. But I'm still here, they haven't locked me away, yet!
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I can't think of anyone that really gets me going the way hubby does, BUT at a push I would have to say in looks alone (because from what I've heard of his personality I wouldn't go for him at all), Russell Crowe. There's just something about his face.
What political issue stirred you the most?
Pretty much anything involving children, especially where they are being exploited or going without, both internationally and closer to home.
And any project that communicates even in some small way, to INDIVIDUAL CHILDREN that they are LOVED, well, WOW!
I think that's why I consider my involvement in the Operation Christmas Child stuff to be partly political, rather than just a faith issue.
Who did you miss?
The people I missed the most this year were people who are still here, but with whom my relationship has changed over the last few years to not be what it once was, for whatever reason. Different reasons in different cases, but some of them I see most weeks, but just on a different level. I miss those people a lot.
Who was the best new person you met?
I don't think I met a lot of new people this year. One very recently, and we're only just getting to know her, but it's exciting. We have a new neighbour next door but one and she's from Germany. She works as a translator.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007:
Be careful what you wish for or pray for, or think that God is telling you, because you might just get it!
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Bethany Dillon
Come Find Me

Why would I ever worship wood or stone?
Things that cannot hear or speak at all
Why would I want something that I can control?
When I can't even trust myself to fall

I was following a cloud of fire and smoke
But my heart was too weak to understand
So I built an image with my fear and with my gold
Now I'm reaching out for Your hand

Come find me, come find me
I'll be waiting for You to rescue me
Come find me, come find me
I'll be waiting for You to rescue me

Don't leave me when I feel like it's impossible
When I feel my inability bleed through
Rip the veil between what I see and what is real

Let this fire in my heart be proof

Come find me, come find me
I'll be waiting for You to rescue me
Come find me, come find me
I'll be waiting for You to rescue me

My faith feels like a furnace of loneliness, my rescue is invisible for now
But I can't seem to shake this hope so dangerous
I will love and follow You, unseen God


Come find me, come find me
I'll be waiting for You to rescue me
Come find me, come find me
I'll be waiting for You to rescue me

Friday, November 07, 2008

Looking back on my THEME for 2008

This is copy and pasted from a post I made right back at the beginning of the year.
My next post will be comments on how I've done with that.

I hadn't really intended to seek God for a theme for this year. Not after last year which was the year with the theme of seeking God for myself, not relying on others. That turned into the most isolating year of my life. After that and other people's tales of years that did indeed follow their theme but not at all in the way they expected, I wasn't going to do it this year.

Then one of the guys at church prayed for me the other week. I trust this man so much, trust his instincts and his ability to hear God. And this time, as he has does and as he has done a number of times recently he talked about resting in God's presence. And I KNEW, I knew that I had my theme for the year. 2008 is to be the year I REST!

It's a funny theme really and I expect that some people might misunderstand it or think that I should be DOING something to make myself acceptable to God. Heck, I'm not sure I understand it all myself. I mean, REST? Does that mean I sit back and do nothing? Well, in a way yes, because this is about God coming in, loving me, pouring out on me etc.

BUT rest is active. Not in a "I must do ........." and "I have to do .........." in order to be acceptable kind of way or anything like that. But, sometimes rest has to be a choice. I have to choose to rest, choose to ALLOW God to do whatever He wants.
But, back to the other point, it is about me doing NOTHING!, because there is not one single thing I can do to make myself acceptable and I have been trying for so long. Trying to make myself a good enough wife, a good enough mother, a good enough friend, a good enough office worker, a good enough person, and I CANNOT do it! Not one think I can do will ever make me good enough, or acceptable or lovable.

And heck, most of us are good Christians and we know this in our heads, right? We KNOW that stuff, we don't need little old Zoe telling us, I mean, she must be daft is she hasn't worked this one out by now. But, you know what? I thought I had got it worked out, I thought I understood it, but I was STILL striving, still trying to be enough. So, really, the only thing that I believe god requires of me this year at the outset is for me to say "YES LORD!" "Yes, Daddy!"

Does this mean I might stop doing some of the things I have been doing? Oh quite possibly. I have no firm plans for anything like that right now, and actually in effect some of the stepping back from things might be more emotional and spiritual, cutting the ties that involve too much of my soul in these things, whilst continuing to be involved in them in a more right way.
There is going to be a lot of learning to say "NO!" So be prepared for that if you need to ask me for something later in the year. Because this year is about learning that God loves me no matter what and I do NOT have to do do do do do do do to earn his approval. Even those things that you personally think are good and right for me to be doing, even that you think I SHOULD be doing, for whatever reason, I might well, not do them, I might well, say NO! And I don't have to give an explanation, I don't have to make it OK for me to do that, all I have to do is do it. And if I hurt or upset anyone with that this year, I am sorry.

So, is it all going to be nice, and lovely, and me sitting back, letting go of things and just being loved loved loved? Probably NOT! I sincerely doubt it in fact. Because I sincerely doubt that all of the times of rest will be by my choice. When this guy at church prayed for me last week, one of the things he said was that he got a sense there MIGHT be coming a time of ENFORCED rest. He's been through that himself the last couple of years and it has not been easy, I know that. But he said, not to fight it and try and battle my way out of it but to just let go and treat the time of rest as a gift. It's not necessarily a nice and pretty prayer, that one, but my spirit recognized it. Does that make sense? Something in me said "yes, he's probably right".

Does that mean I sit in fear of what that might mean? Absolutely not. There are two possibilities that immediately come to mind and that is either me losing my job OR something health related. But it wouldn't surprise me if it comes a totally unexpected way, or even not at all. And that's OK, because I KNOW that god is in this. That's all I can say, I KNOW that He is in this and I say "Yes, Daddy".

Saturday, November 01, 2008

What is a Car Boot Sale?

Oh dear oh dear oh dear, for all my American friends, I shall now explain what a car boot sale is.

Imagine having a yard sale or garage sale where you had no HUGE items to sell.
Where it was all stuff that would easily fit in a car.

Now imagine the time and effort you put into publicising your sale.
And the numbers of people who come through your area?

Now imagine someone ELSE doing the publicity.
SOMEONE ELSE putting out notices, making sure it is in the local newspaper, etc!
And then imagine hundreds and hundreds of people coming through your sale area!

So, a Car Boot Sale is where we load up our car with all that stuff, take it to an organised Car Boot Sale event, sometimes on a car park, sometimes on a field, where other people have also brought their cars loaded up with stuff, and the customers only have to come to ONE place! They haven't got to traipse around whole neighbourhoods looking for today's sales, they know where to go and when and they will find all those items together in one place.

Usually you pay around £5 to take your car full of stuff into the site and have a pitch, you take fold up tables to lay your wares on, and you sell as much of it as you can. Often to people who then go on and sell it on ebay for a profit, but who cares, we got rid of it and we got something for it and that is what counts.

Is that clear? Are there any questions?

The one we are going to tomorrow is small in car boot numbers, BUT is attached to a regular weekly market so that still brings the customers in, the one we want to get to next week is huge with hundreds of car booters coming together in one place.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

OK, so it's not Monday
And it's not morning

But I want to do this so I shall

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FOR TODAY Thursday 23rd October...

Outside My Window...
Dusk is falling and it will be dark soon. From my chair at the computer desk, all I can really see is the upstairs of the house on the other side of the road, a few trees and the sky.

I am thinking...
That I feel as if I might be coming down with something. I am feeling dizzy and slightly light headed. Good excuse to get the boys to do dinner though.

From the Learning Rooms...
Just got back from Parent teacher Consultation for youngest (14). We joke about these. He loves school, he's bright, he's gifted in fact, and so we joke about how awful these things are and how we come away in such a bad mood. But really we don't! He's doing well in most of his subjects. And now he wants to do Latin! A local school started a basic Latin course just two weeks ago as an after school optional thing. We're going to see if they would let him on that since he doesn't go to their school. If not we're looking at a home school option and my good friend Dana is looking into that for me.

I am thankful for...
So many things and so many people. This week in particular I am thankful for my husbands job even if it does keep him busy more than we would like. At least he still has one. I am thankful for nice nurses who took their time with my blood test and tried not to dig for a vein. I am oh so thankful for comments from total strangers (well more or less, I have spent perhaps 30 minutes in interaction with this lady and only 2 hours total in her presence) which I just know were straight from God.

I am Excited about...
Sorry, I just HAD to add this one in here. I am Sooo excited for my friend Cheryl who is starting school this week. AND for my friends Dan and Sophie who are "getting married AGAIN" God has done such an amazing turn around in their lives in the last 6 months that they are almsot unrecognisable from the couple they were before!

From the kitchen...
in the oven right now a chicken, roasting and a tray of small potatoes drizzled with olive oil and tossed in that and sea salt and herbs de provence. I'll get one of the boys to make a salad to go with that, which will probably jsut involve opening a bag of salad leaves.

I am wearing...
My school assembly trousers! And a brown and orange top.

I am creating...
not a lot other than masses of Twitter posts.

I am going...
to be going away for a night with my husband over the weekend. Oh it's wonderful. Out of his overtime money he is treating me to dinner with live Jazz music and a night at the Mytton and mermaid hotel and restaurant. If you've been around me online for a while you will have seen photos of it on my Flickr.

I am reading...
Disciple, lots of Twitter posts the job section of the paper and little else really.

I am hoping...
That if I am coming down with somethign that it get itself over and done with quickly before that night away. Also that the boys won't argue too much while we're away.

I am hearing...
The ktichen timer clicking away, the low hum of the fan oven and vague noises from the TV in the other room.

Around the house...
I have been baking quite a bit this week and with the odd spill here and the odd sprinkle of that there, the cooker top is looking a bit grungy. Need to clean that up tomorrow.

One of my favourite things...
One of my favourite things right now is a big fluffy jumper. There's only me here during the day and I really don't want to heat the whole house for just little ole me until I absolutely have to, so big jumpers it is. I just need some big fluffy slippers to match.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Well, tomorrow I have to help youngest take a Wii game back to the game swap shop, cuz it was scratched. I also need to make some phone calls about that Latin course. I need to print some sign up lists for Church, stay caught up with Disciple and that's about it really.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I spotted a photo on someone's blog of their child dressed up and someone had said they looked quite Victorian. I promised I would share the photos of US dressed up in Victorian costume for a local event, but now I can't remember who it was.
Anyway, in the hope you'll see them, whoever you are, here they are.


I don't know if you can see the look on her face, but if you know her, this is sooo funny.

So, a not so wordless Wednesday but I hope you enjoy.
Go to the main Wordless Wednesday page and you'll be able to check out all the other participants.
Oh and check back here tomorrow for "Tell me Thursday" where people explain the stories behind their Wordless Wednesday photos.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Simple Woman's DayBook

~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
FOR TODAY, Monday 22nd September...
Outside My Window...
It's a bit of a dull day today, wish the sun was shining like it did over the weekend, that was nice.

I am thinking....
That if I really want to make some more blog posts this week, I should plan ahead, and maybe even get some of my meme answers written today while I have the time.

From the Learning rooms....
We don't home school, BUT I have JUST started doing the Disciple Bible Study. Today is the first day. 34 weeks of intensive study, I hope I'm going to eb able to keep up!


I am thankful for...
Oh so many things, but I lurve my new computer with Vista, and my new printer (we got a kodak because the ink costs less than half what our last one cost).

From the kitchen...
lots of dishes need washing and the sink needs a good clean. I'm going to try and do a deal with my son when he gets home in a minute, that he do the dishes and I'll clean the sink, with the deal being that if he moans about it we do it the other way around, which I know he won't like!

I am wearing...
Green cargo pants, black and white top.

I am creating...
I made a few hand made cards last week. I want to get some more of those made this week. I also need to get some cakes baked to take to church family camp with us. One of the things we are doing is having cakes with our drinks after the meeting with a pot for people to put a donation towards my trip to Belarus next to it. I figure I'd better at least make a couple of cakes.

I am going...
to BELARUS, did I mention that? Heeheee, I am so darned excited! And I discovered over the weekend, that the other lady from our area who is going works with a guy from our church! how
cool is that!

I am reading...
My Bible for Disciple and lots of craft magazines and weight watchers cookbooks.

I am hoping...
for the tax disc for my new car to turn up today so that I can go fetch it tomorrow evening! I still can't quite believe how God just dropped this in our laps like this.

I am hearing...
The tv on loud in the other room, yes, son has got home!


Around the house...
Need to get that sink cleaned and train the rest of the family to clean every last scrap of leftovers from the plates before putting them into the sink. Sadly hubby is just as bad at this as the kids, especially if it's in a pan, he just tosses it in the sink with everything else and then I get to clear the gunk from the blocked up sink!

One of my favourite things...
Is thinking about just how much Daddy God loves me! We spent some quiet time during worship on Sunday, just sitting in his presence and I couldn't stop smiling.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
My first Why Weight + session (a local NHS run weight loss clinic type thing), my first Operation Christmas child school assembly of the season, then Church camp! Whooopppeeeeee!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Hi Dad!

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So, head over to the Simnple Woman's main page by clicking on her image above, and check out all the other daybook writers.
Please sign My Mr Linky and leave a comment, before you go and I'll visit back if I haven't already visited.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Natalie Rose York, I miss you.

Oooops, I didn't get back to tell you what those photos were about, I do apologise.

That was all in honour of a dearly loved and much missed friend who died a year ago. I knew her first through an email group for Christian journalers, and later, much better through a group called Women At Home.

Yes, I only ever knew her online, and certainly there were others who knew her so much better than I did, but I will not resort to calling her an online friend, as opposed to an IRL friend, because that takes something from what she was (and other women on w@h are) to me. She was and they are In Real Life Friends. They are REAL, they exist, and they are there for me.

I am blessed to have known Nattie. She had struggled in various areas of her life but always came up smiling, always pointing us back to the Father. Nattie, I miss you! If you follow the links where I have put her name you will find her blog Nattie Writes, where her earthly father reposts things she wrote while she was alive. It's worth reading, she was a wise woman.


To finish I want to share something I wrote on W@H this weekend. Someone had asked us to imagine what Nattie had been doing in heaven this past year. There's nothing more to add, so I'll leave you with this:
I see her dancing with THE Father.

AS a daddy dances with his daughter.

I see her laughing and playing with him, sitting in his lap, talking about all the times she had to do that without the two of them in the same room, when she had to believe he was there, holding her.

I see her watching the hard situations that some of us are facing, and watch her talking to the father about it, watch her crying WITH HIM, over their pain, and then smiling again because the father is telling her of the plans he has for them and how he is going to bring glory out of the darkness that the enemy has tried to bring to them! I see her even laughing at those plans he is sharing with her, because they are so outrageous in grace.

I also see her reading, and I see her talking with authors who have also made their way to heaven, as if she and they were old friends. And I see her, watching the keen readers amongst us, seeing what they are reading and almost at moments, leaning over their shoulders, as it were, to get a peek at the current book of the moment.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Doo Rag Day

Doo Rag Day? What's That?

I'll be back later to explain, but right now, here's some pictures.




Monday, January 07, 2008

But I'm not in the mood to live in a hut!

I got this, from a fantastic writer over here.
This is not mine, i did not write it, Lysa TerKeurst did.

But I'm not in the mood to live in a hut-
Yes, sometimes it is very scary to say we want to follow after God completely. For the minute we do this- little scenes of possibilities start flashing before us. A dirt hut. A life of poverty. Some kind of horrible tragedy to test us. A health crises that pushes us to the brink. Loss. Pain. Extreme sacrifice.

Satan says, "Look at all you'll have to give up. And there is no guarantee that Jesus will come through for you. None at all. Don't take this Jesus thing to seriously- lighten up.

Jesus says, "Look at all you have to gain. My love for you is so completely consuming, I can only have your best interest in mind. Make me the the center of your heart- and you will light up the world."

It's kind of like a little seed in a seed packet. The little seed likes living in the seed packet. The seed packet is safe and relatively nice- a little plain but nice nonetheless.

Then one day the farmer comes and plucks the seed out of the seed packet. Suddenly, it is pushed down into the deep, dark messy place. The seed cries out, "Why have you done this? I like being a seed in a seed packet. I don't want to leave the other seeds in the seed packet. Why do they get to stay in the seed packet. This is not fair. This is horrible. My life is bad."

Then horror of all horrors, the farmer pours water over the deep, dark, messy place. So much so that the seed starts to break apart and life as he knew it slowly slips away. The seed cries out again and again but the farmer seems cruel and silent. "Why? Why me?" seems to be the only thing the seed can utter over and over again.

But then one day this green shoot burst forth from the ruins of the seed and pushes up through the deep, dark, messy place and into the glorious light. It grows and blooms and becomes all that it had the potential to become.

Now, think about that farmer. Was he mean and cruel? Or was his love for that seed so consuming that he could only have the seed's best interest in mind?



Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My "Theme" for 2008

I hadn't really intended to seek God for a theme for this year. Not after last year which was the year with the theme of seeking God for myself, not relying on others. That turned into the most isolating year of my life. After that and other people's tales of years that did indeed follow their theme but not at all in the way they expected, I wasn't going to do it this year.

Then one of the guys at church prayed for me the other week. I trust this man so much, trust his instincts and his ability to hear God. And this time, as he has does and as he has done a number of times recently he talked about resting in God's presence. And I KNEW, I knew that I had my theme for the year. 2008 is to be the year I REST!

It's a funny theme really and I expect that some people might misunderstand it or think that I should be DOING something to make myself acceptable to God. Heck, I'm not sure I understand it all myself. I mean, REST? Does that mean I sit back and do nothing? Well, in a way yes, because this is about God coming in, loving me, pouring out on me etc.

BUT rest is active. Not in a "I must do ........." and "I have to do .........." in order to be acceptable kind of way or anything like that. But, sometimes rest has to be a choice. I have to choose to rest, choose to ALLOW God to do whatever He wants.
But, back to the other point, it is about me doing NOTHING!, because there is not one single thing I can do to make myself acceptable and I have been trying for so long. Trying to make myself a good enough wife, a good enough mother, a good enough friend, a good enough office worker, a good enough person, and I CANNOT do it! Not one think I can do will ever make me good enough, or acceptable or lovable.

And heck, most of us are good Christians and we know this in our heads, right? We KNOW that stuff, we don't need little old Zoe telling us, I mean, she must be daft is she hasn't worked this one out by now. But, you know what? I thought I had got it worked out, I thought I understood it, but I was STILL striving, still trying to be enough. So, really, the only thing that I believe god requires of me this year at the outset is for me to say "YES LORD!" "Yes, Daddy!"

Does this mean I might stop doing some of the things I have been doing? Oh quite possibly. I have no firm plans for anything like that right now, and actually in effect some of the stepping back from things might be more emotional and spiritual, cutting the ties that involve too much of my soul in these things, whilst continuing to be involved in them in a more right way.
There is going to be a lot of learning to say "NO!" So be prepared for that if you need to ask me for something later in the year. Because this year is about learning that God loves me no matter what and I do NOT have to do do do do do do do to earn his approval. Even those things that you personally think are good and right for me to be doing, even that you think I SHOULD be doing, for whatever reason, I might well, not do them, I might well, say NO! And I don't have to give an explanation, I don't have to make it OK for me to do that, all I have to do is do it. And if I hurt or upset anyone with that this year, I am sorry.

So, is it all going to be nice, and lovely, and me sitting back, letting go of things and just being loved loved loved? Probably NOT! I sincerely doubt it in fact. Because I sincerely doubt that all of the times of rest will be by my choice. When this guy at church prayed for me last week, one of the things he said was that he got a sense there MIGHT be coming a time of ENFORCED rest. He's been through that himself the last couple of years and it has not been easy, I know that. But he said, not to fight it and try and battle my way out of it but to just let go and treat the time of rest as a gift. It's not necessarily a nice and pretty prayer, that one, but my spirit recognized it. Does that make sense? Something in me said "yes, he's probably right".

Does that mean I sit in fear of what that might mean? Absolutely not. There are two possibilities that immediately come to mind and that is either me losing my job OR something health related. But it wouldn't surprise me if it comes a totally unexpected way, or even not at all. And that's OK, because I KNOW that god is in this. That's all I can say, I KNOW that He is in this and I say "Yes, Daddy".
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