So this morning..

I actually wrote this earlier in the week but then decided not to publish. I think it’s strangely apt now so I am polishing it and publishing it!

So, yes, this morning I was doing the washing up whilst listening to Lauren Daigle (Look up Child). I found myself thinking about things that had happened in the past. Not particularly the distant past, more the last decade or so. It was quite emotional, to be reminded of things, things that hurt, things that I’d done, things other people had done. Actually, it was very emotional and quite a release really, as I thought and thought and cried and spoke to God and tried to listen.

What then occurred to me is that if we all knew all this stuff about each other, because we don’t, we don’t in general know much about others, we would probably be absolutely horrified and others would be horrified to know certain things about us. In some cases we probably wouldn’t want to even associate with each other. And we would almost certainly almost revel in putting each other down and talking about each other.

But God is actually the only one who will ever and does know absolutely every little thing about us, every thought, every action, even before they happen and still wants us and loves us.

‘Oh Lord you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. (Psalm 139:1-5).

He is also the only one who if we go to, will forgive us, but not only forgive us but put our sins as far from us as East is from West. He cleanses us and makes us whole, makes us new, through the blood of Jesus. As the popular scripture says in 1 Corinthians 13, ‘Love keeps no record of wrongs..’ and;

‘if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’. (1 John 1:9).

Isn’t that amazing? God, God! who knows every last thing about us, every good thing, every bad and terrible thing, will forgive us and cleanse us. He does forgive us and cleanse us.

So, who are we to look down on others? Us, who have done so much wrong in our lives but been forgiven? As scripture also says…

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5).

There should be truth and there should be love. And part of that is walking in truth with each other and telling each other when there’s a problem and also being able to go to trusted people when we have problems. Also, if there’s any abuse, that should most definitely be dealt with openly. Closing ranks should never be an option. But! God loves us and forgives us, that should be and is a game changer.

For those who don’t know Him, I will reiterate, He is the only one who will ever know anything and everything about you and still want to know you, love you and not keep a record against you. All because of Jesus and His life, death and resurrection. He will change you, but only in good ways. Why wouldn’t you want to know someone like that?

Amen!!

The picture is simply because I think Sweet William’s are gorgeous!

Thursday 24th June 2021.

It’s raining, it’s pouring! The old man is snoring. He went to bed and bumped his head and couldn’t get up in the morning…

That’s a strange rhyme really, isn’t it? I still like it though, reminds me of when I was a kid.

It is raining, unusually, haha (joke). But! it’s meant to be good weather after this for a week or so, so that is excellent news.

Thankfully, it will water the new annuals I planted on the front. The garden’s looking great, it’s starting to actually fill up a bit, cottage styley! And, almost even more thankfully, it was dry for our St John’s Eve bonfire last night (last year it poured down). So we managed to burn all excess wood and a mountain of cardboard and it was nice and even enjoyable! The kids were riding up the field in the jeep with their dad, bringing stuff to be burned in the trailer and when they weren’t in the jeep they were playing at the top of the field or helping (with supervision) to throw the wood on. They were late to bed but that wasn’t a bad thing because they had a lie in this morning.

We’ve just had dinner (lunch if you’re posh) and they’re playing with lego and playdough, it’s quite peaceful. We haven’t done J’s letters and numbers yet and so we’ll do them in a while. He’s quite happily making at the moment so we’ll definitely leave it for a bit. A beautiful home education bonus – flexibility.

There are a lot of bonuses, I love it most of the time. I suppose the negative aspect might be that our home is often quite messy, but hey ho, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives as far as I’m concerned. And I actually do really enjoy being with them which is cool and has grown and grown over the last year.

We’ve just hatched some turkey’s, all six hatched, so the boys are involved with looking after those too. We’re going to look after them for a few weeks and then decide whether to bring them up ourselves or whether to sell them on. At this present moment we have five ducks, six ducklings, seven hens, one very young rooster, three chicks, twelve quail and now six turkey poults, so I need to have a think. As someone has pointed out to me, turkey’s get quite big! So yeah, will have a think and see how we get on. It may be the last hatch for this year, but we’ve probably got enough to be going on with I suppose.. watch this space..

Still haven’t sorted the picture problem.. think I may have to pay a subscription if I want to put more photographs up and I’m not sure I want to do that, so it may just be writing. There’s always the instagram!

See you later!

Cathy.

Always on my mind!

There’s a few things on my mind at the moment, so, whether to go with the mind things or whether to focus. I could just focus on this place and the animals, or I could wander round as my mind takes me. Let’s see…

So, number one on my mind is….God and becoming Catholic. I’m (we’re) getting excited again about this, I still don’t know when it’s actually officially going to happen, but my heart literally leaps within me when I think about it. What I should understand, but quite frankly don’t..still..is some people’s attitude towards it. I should, because I used to be like them and only believed what other protestant’s told me and I even thought Catholics needed converting to ‘our’ beliefs. But that shows you what happens when people don’t get proper information, just chunter amongst themselves. My advice is do some reading, or watching if you want to know more. Bishop Baron (word on fire) is a good place to start, as is Keith Nester (ex Methodist minister), EWTN’s The Coming Home Network for conversion stories, for the more intellectual, Scott Hahn (his conversion story is quite something) or Catholic Answers (there are actually a ton of resources). Don’t slate it if you know nothing about it apart from what other people tell you, you have more of a right to if you actually have knowledge..! Thankyou for listening to my rant. Haha. Of course, you may not give a monkey’s and that’s ok too!

Of course, to those who have actually been open and honest and been people who I can actually talk to, thankyou. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou! It means a lot.

Number two. I’ve forgotten what it is, so onto here and the animals and garden and all that… if you’ve got this far, thanks! It’s sometimes a disadvantage that you only see the first few lines on the facebook page.

Do you know what? I love Jesus, I absolutely so just love Him. Sometimes, like this moment, His love just fills me, and it’s often when I’m not at my best, like when I’m defensive or hurt and He just fills me and yes! makes me ‘feel’ wonderful, but also just know Him more and more. Since we’ve come here, we’ve often not been part of church meetings and more on our own and whilst I wouldn’t normally advise people to stay away from Christian meetings, it’s been a good experience of learning to walk with Him, to hear Him for ourselves, to go to Him with everything and not just wait for a ‘meeting’ but to meet with Him every single day, worship Him, talk to Him and get to know Him better, to trust Him no matter what. Gets you away from this consumeristic type worship where it’s all about us and our lives, it becomes more about Him and His will. He teaches us all the time, there is so much in me that is wrong and He teaches and leads me. Telling me when I’m wrong too, which is actually a very good experience.

Anyway, I’ll blog about the house, ducks etc in another post. I’ve just realised because I didn’t update my subscription, I can’t upload any more photo’s, so I need to look into that. Having read it, it’s a little all over the place, but I sort of like that, so I’m keeping it.

Have a lovely day. Hello to all our friends and family in the UK! It’s been nearly two years since I was last there. It’s gone fast but it is still a long time not to have seen anyone. When I said in my blog after I came back that it was now Ireland time, I had no idea how true that was. Hello pandemic! Hopefully Goodbye pandemic at some point!

See you soon. God bless you one and all.

Cathy.

Smallholding.

It’s been a gorgeous day today, both sunny and slightly windy, so we’ve made the most of it and have been outside most of the day, the boys playing and running around while I’ve been mowing and planting and weeding. Whilst I was planting onions (it’s a bit late, the weather hasn’t been great), I was thinking. It was a great way to think, down on my knees planting onions, with the sun shining and the wind blowing. The kids were happy too, so it really was nice.

So, I was thinking and I got to thinking about how I’d wanted a smallholding for quite a long time. A memory came to mind of an away day I’d been on with the district nursing team when I first went on the district full time. We were all around a table and we had to tell them something about ourselves they didn’t know, I said I would like a smallholding one day. I also know that I’ve wanted one since I was about 5, there was one in the area I grew up in and I used to walk past with my mum and look at the goat and the chickens and really want that very same thing. It just looked so cosy, to use a really strange word to describe it.

Then I started thinking about how scripture says ‘delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart’, then I started thinking about how we talk about how when we delight ourselves in God He changes our desires in line with His and therefore our desires change, which is often true. But it suddenly dawned on me that it’s not always true, I now have what was the desire of my heart when I was about 5 and I’m very glad I’m not God, because if I was I’d be saying, ‘I’ve given you what you wanted and what do you do? you moan! nothing’s every good enough for you!’ haha. And this has been true at times, the adjustment has been hard sometimes and so has being away from family and friends. I’ve also questioned occasionally whether it was actually God’s will that we came here or whether it was my own selfish ambition (which the bible also warns about). But God doesn’t say that, He just carries on changing me and working in me for His good and is patient and kind. He put desires in me which were good desires even when I didn’t know him. He knew me. Even back then.. We know that’s what the bible says, but when you have real examples of it in your own life and see it, it’s so beautiful. Now to trust Him with the rest of it and do what He tells us.

Some may argue or say, well, you obviously made it happen, you wanted it so much. Whilst there is a degree of truth to this as we did have to do our bit to get here. I would say no, as it wasn’t that long ago I was completely in debt with no way out for what looked like a long time, God dealt with that, He put Chris and myself together, He gave us the kids and the means to do it. His ways really are a mystery but I do know He loves people and life and what happens really is a massive story unfolding, one that we often have no idea about, but He does.

Life with God is exciting and it can be unpredictable and I love that and I never want to forget it. I love being surprised by God.

Cathy.