Urgency.

It’s funny when you write anything that’s public, there’s such weird unseen and unsaid pressure on you. People from all types of backgrounds and beliefs reading it and actually judging what you write and possibly how you live. I find it can keep me from writing what I actually sometimes want to write, the questions arise in my mind ‘am I wrong?’, ‘have I put it right’, ‘am I doing it right’, ‘what if people hate it’, ‘do they hate me?’, ‘do they resent me?’, ‘do they pity me when I’m vulnerable?’ (I hate that thought, I think vulnerability can actually be a very good thing), ‘am I putting them off Jesus?’, ‘does talking about Jesus put people off my blog?’.’do the ‘experienced christians’ think I’m talking rubbish?’ ‘Do non believers think I’m nuts? And do you know the answer to all this? It doesn’t matter. I love people reading stuff I write and enjoying it but I also know that I have not been placed on this earth to make everything comfortable for them, no matter who they are. I know that it can be very good to make people (and myself) question things, sometimes even provoke responses and I believe God uses that quality in me for the good. I also know that He works in me and sometimes all I have to do is get it out, either in writing or in person and then it’s sorted. I believe it’s called external processing.

I love writing and I love writing this, but what I don’t love is the feelings it puts into me once I’ve written something, because quite often hardly anyone reads it and then I think, what’s the point? I know some love the smallholding stuff, the animals, the growing, the garden and the house progress and I think we’re all just that little bit inquisitive about other people’s lives, but I also know that I’m not just going to write about that stuff and that’s it, because Jesus in in me and with me and with us and delivered us from darkness into light. No matter what is happening at any point, he has still delivered us into his freedom and his light. As it says in the beginning of John, the darkness has not overcome it. (nor will it ever do, no matter what things in our lives or the world look like.).

So, what’s the point of this blog I’m now asking myself, I think it’s just to decide that I am going to carry on writing and I am going to include Jesus in it, because He is in every part of our lives, the Holy Spirit dwells in us and with us and we are His. And I do feel as well, an increasing feeling of urgency for people to know Him. So yeah, I’m going to be me, I’m going to write about practical everyday stuff and Jesus.

So now that’s sorted. It’s bank holiday weekend in Ireland this week, which is great, because it means Chris is off for two days this week, he’s mowing and strimming at the moment because there’s loads to do and he enjoys it. It was our 8th wedding anniversary recently, in some ways it feels as though it’s gone so fast and in some ways slowly. I feel like I’ve learnt so much since we’ve been married, I know people try to explain what it’s like before you get married, but you don’t really get it until you’ve done it and I am so thankful to God for his love and his guidance in relation to this particular relationship. I wasn’t very good at relationships before I knew Jesus and he has most definitely made me better and keeps prodding me and changing me and showing me how to just love. As the bible says

“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) ESV version or:

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (New Living Translation version).

I love God, try him, you will not be disappointed, he loves like no-one else ever.

Thanks for reading!

Cathy.

What a difference a week makes….

Well, just over a week ago I was sat on a rock waxing lyrically about the ducks and all that. Since then, two have been killed, one last night, so this afternoon was all about moving them to the top of the field and trying to proof their run. It’s a little bit of a mystery how the duck was killed last night because it was dead in the run with some wounds, hadn’t been taken or eaten, and the others were ok. One of the drakes definitely got taken under the netting earlier in the week, there was nothing left but a few bloody feathers. I thought I’d sorted the problem by mowing it again and repositioning the electric netting, but obviously not.

But anyway, when I was trying to catch the remaining seven to take them up the field in the dog cage, one went missing, so we now only have six. Maybe it will turn up, but I’m doubtful somehow. Such is keeping ducks… It’s sad, but I’m really hoping that’s it now (and by some miracle the missing one turns up). It was hard work this afternoon, carting everything up the field including the ducks. That particular task involved lots of running and trips up the field one duck at a time, they are very skittish and don’t like being caught. They’re lovely animals. It’s a pity foxes and minks think so too.

It will get me fitter anyway, walking up the field every day with a wheelbarrow and water. (There was a hosepipe at the bottom of the field, that’s why they were there.) It’s also a lot drier at the top, I think I’m going to have to move the pen every week during the winter to try to keep the ground ok. It gets so wet and ducks just stick their beaks in there and make it into a swamp. So it’s a lot more work but necessary if I’m going to keep them.

Managed to get two in the cage, the others had to be taken up individually.

I enjoyed quite a bit of it, I quite like work like that, it’s challenging and I enjoy the challenge, but it did start to get to me towards the end. I have trouble with my feet, have done for quite a while now. The left one was pinned and plated quite a few years back now and the heel/ankle joint can be stiff and painful, but my right heel has been really painful for months and months now, it’s terrible in a morning and after today it is too. If anyone has any suggestions on what to do they would be gratefully accepted. I’m guessing I need to start stretching it out, I’ll look it up at some point. I keep thinking about a word I was once given saying ‘look after your feet’ and wondering how I was meant to have looked after them. At the time I just thought it was a metaphor for my spiritual life, but now I’m thinking it was a lot more practical than that! or maybe there’s a link, I don’t know. Anyway, any suggestions welcome.

For those who read my account about our youngest’s fall and his cut face. It looks like it’s healing fairly well, it’s still difficult to tell properly but he is well in general and it looks ok. Thanks so much to those who asked about him or said they would pray. And praise God for looking after him and us.

Like I’ve said in previous posts, we haven’t had the car much recently and don’t expect to have it much in the near future. Because of the weather, Chris is mainly using it for work. So if we want it we have to take him and then pick him up again. But on Friday it was good weather, so Chris went to work on his bike, and I decided to stop everything and take the boys to the beach. It was wonderful. They love it on there and there’s just so much freedom on a beach to run and play and just be themselves. They don’t seem to notice the cold much either, it wasn’t planned, I thought they’d keep their wellies on, but they took them off and were running and paddling in the sea and making channels and sandcastles and just loving it. That was a good afternoon. A much needed release for us all. I love the beach, I love listening to the sea and the birds and the smell of the seaweed and looking in rock pools and collecting shells. Just breathing it all in. All made by God and pointing to God. Things to enjoy.

Bye for now. Have a good week.

If you’ve got this far, thanks for reading too!

Cathy.

Well hello.

I maybe shouldn’t be writing this, I feel like utter rubbish today, so it may not be a good idea, but I guess we’ll see. I’ll try not to let it affect the writing adversely.

There’s a few reasons, most of which are personal, but also, littlest fell yesterday when we went out. We actually had the car for the first time in ages, so I took them out in the late afternoon, it was beautiful. Until he fell on a sort of boardwalk which has metal things hammered in to stop your feet slipping. He went face first and lacerated his forehead (small but punctured) and above his top lip, that one was a bit deeper than I’d like, it was gaping a bit, so I decided after agonising about it, to try A&E in case it needed something more than steristrips. I also rang the GP and the receptionist told me to take him to the hospital because of the head injury….

So, I picked him up, sat him down, applied pressure to the bleeding with my jacket, when it stopped we had to walk back to the car, that took about ten/fifteen minutes. The journey to Sligo hospital then took an hour. You have to pay for parking, I didn’t have any money, so thankyou God, a fella came along and gave me his ticket. I took them in (J was with me too). You have to go to a sort of portacabin to be initially assessed (and either give health insurance or medical card details or pay the fee). Then you go through to the actual waiting room. There’s barriers all over in the hospital because of COVID, it felt so weird. The waiting room was packed. It was obvious that ambulances were coming in quite regularly too and my heart sank. It had already been over an hour and a half since he’d cut his lip. So we waited and waited. It got to about half 7 ish and a member of staff came and asked people to reconsider why they were there and that was the prompt I needed as I had two uncomfortable kids in the middle of a crowded waiting room, in a hospital where it’s been known to have outbreaks of Covid. One of whom had been wailing not too long before. So we left. Then it was another hour to get home. So, all in all from him doing it to getting home it was probably about 4 to 5 ish hours. By that time, his lip had swelled, so stripping it wasn’t that effective really. I’m not an expert in facial stuff, but I’m really hoping it heals well and doesn’t get infected. Praying. It’s not too uncomfortable today, but it’s still oozing and the strips are only to give it a bit of covering really. His head seems ok. Thankfully no signs of problems there either.

I was only saying the other day, I needed to get a proper medical kit together. And by that I mean a proper one, not the terrible ones with useless things in that you get as a pack. I think this has confirmed it. At least I have some knowledge of what to do too. During lockdown I had to repair little one’s head twice, he fell on stones. They healed well. Just leaving it, providing it’s clean, seems to do it. (covered with the strips). But this time, the lip injury made me feel unsure. Thankfully, his teeth are ok too. Bless him. We’re an hour from the nearest hospital, so good to be prepared..

This is my opinion and my opinion only, but I think the health system in this country is dire. We were so spoilt in the UK, with minor injury units, fast tracking, proper assessments.. Children’s units…Yes, there are problems, but nothing like over here. I’m not even sure here what you have to do to get things like smear tests and all that. (I’ve just looked it up, you’re supposed to get them free from 25-60), don’t know whether you need to chase them…but for most things there’s a cost. Children don’t get free dental care either, or regular check ups, they get one in school I think and that’s it, as mine aren’t in school, they won’t. I think if you’re seriously ill in this country, you have a problem, because of the structure, not the staff.

God bless the NHs and God bless the Irish system, may it actually benefit the people and not harm them.

I know his injuries weren’t that serious, that’s not what I’m saying, there’s just no support for health here as far as I can see. It’s very much laissez faire..as far as I have experienced and see. I’m very grateful we have a medical card at the moment too.

Cathy.

And it’s Saturday..

Running out of title ideas haha. Anyway. I’ve just done the birds, it’s the afternoon time and I’ve come to sit down on a rock at what J calls his quarry, it’s at the side of the field. It’s beautiful at the moment, sunny, warm, the kids are playing up near the chickens, so I’ve got a moment.

These are my current views:

It’s nice isn’t it?

The ducks are just about living in a swamp now, I’ve just text Chris and said one day I’ll go in and never be seen again because I’ll have been enveloped by mud. They seem to like it though. And thankfully, they’ve started laying inside their house. They were just dropping eggs in the mud before. So I’m thankful both from a mud perspective and because crows and magpies have been nicking the eggs and they don’t seem to when they’re laid in the kennel.

That brown square is their pen. Edit: you can see my rock in this picture.

I’m thinking whilst I’m sat here, phone in hand, thinking what’s new! Not loads. Chris is working 6 days a week now, so I’m here with the kids most of those days. I’ve planted some perpetual spinach in the poly tunnel and we still have tomatoes that are still reddening. There’s peppers too, but no sign yet of them changing colour. I’m hoping they will but I can still use them if they’re green. There’s loads of sprouts and some beetroot that are almost up to size. I do love planting, it has to be said. The front garden is still flowering, the rudbeckia anyway, and a few others, needs tidying, but I don’t get much time for that at the mo. I’ve had to gain a new perspective on weeds this year and had to accept I can’t get rid of them all!

The turkeys are doing nicely, still have 6, they’re nice and healthy, and seem happy enough. I moved their electric fence yesterday to new grazing, so they had a bit of time out on the field. It was hilarious, the kids were out too and J helped me herd them back in. They’re quite easy to herd really.

That’s them before I moved them, I was actually looking at the wagtail at the time.

I’ve put a new little house in for the quail:

Continue reading And it’s Saturday..

Tolerance?

I always find it funny how God speaks the same thing through others when he’s also been speaking to you at the same time. This morning I listened to a preach where the speaker basically said that themselves on their own are not patient in the slightest and it really reminded me of a blog I was going to do earlier in the week. Well, I started it in my head and then never got round to doing it.

Basically I got told earlier in the week that I was ‘very tolerant’, I replied with ‘I am definitely not tolerant’ to which was replied ‘you are’, and I just said ‘well you’d better thank God for that’. Because the truth is, I’m not. Me, by myself, I really, really am not. I’ve lost count of the number of times I just want to verbally rip into someone or tell them not to be so stupid or just be very impatient and unkind. That’s where God comes in. He speaks to me and works in me and makes me learn to be quiet when I would really love not to be. He teaches me through mistakes I make too. He gave me a new heart. It’s hard judging what is right to say and what is not sometimes, but telling the truth in love as the bible says, definitely does not involve ripping someone a new one, so I’m learning and learning to love rather than take offence. I still do sometimes, but as I said, I am learning.

I also thought today of some of the stupid things I’ve done since knowing Jesus, there were immense amounts of stupidity before, but there’s been some pretty awesomely jaw dropping moments since then as well. It’s been thirteen years of knowing Jesus this year. So, if I have been insensitive towards you either in person or on t’internet or on here, I apologise. I was quite insensitive when lockdown first started and I couldn’t see why people were complaining, I am a bit of a this is what you’ve been given so get on with it type personality… I was also quite touchy when I first spoke about becoming catholic, I just love unity in the church and hate division and it comes out wrong sometimes. I also just love Jesus and think we spend far too much time talking in general and about issues that aren’t that relevant.

I also thought today of when I was a very new, enthusiastic christian and sent my daughter off with people she barely know to a youth christian camp. They were very nice people, but still…. I basically sent her because I listened to others too much rather than actually being sensitive and caring and actually listening to God and just loving her, so I apologise for that too! She didn’t really want to go and I shouldn’t have sent her. You can’t force faith.

I’ll leave you with that thought!

Humans haha, process is good…!

God bless you one and all.

Cathy.