Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday

I’m still not sure this regular Tuesday thing is going to work, but I’ll carry on giving it a go for a while. Hello! We’ve been out today for the first time in a couple of weeks at least I think. We took Chris to work and picked him up again later, it wasn’t anywhere particularly exciting, picking up chicken feed and going shopping, but still good! I got a coffee. Love getting coffee.

The weather’s been very wet again and slightly colder, during the night both myself and Chris woke up because there was a brief period where it sounded like there was a massive storm outside, the wind was battering the house and it sounded like it was hailing. It was fairly brief, but it was spectacular sounding. It’s unusual for Chris to wake up, so it must have been noisy.

So, since last week, my tooth where I had the root canal done a few years ago has cracked off (well half of it), I stood up and stood on my glasses and the lens popped out and I’ve felt very, very, very tired and I don’t know why. It’s ok though, I think I just need to start taking care of myself a bit more, I managed to twist the glasses back into shape (in a way) and put the lens back in. So nothing dreadful, just a pain. My glasses don’t feel right, I think I might ask for my prescription and send off for some, it might be cheaper and wiser, I always seem to manage to step on them or drop them at some point.

Oh yes! and I’ve been in touch with someone to maybe start going to a prayer meeting regularly (a charismatic, catholic one). So that’s new. I’m excited, but it does feel weird. I guess I’ve had two or even three years of not seeing many people, so I guess it’s probably normal to feel a bit nervous. It’s probably time though I think. I’ve just found out tonight from the man where I got the poultry feed from, that there’s a choir locally too that I had no idea about! So that’s good to know too. He says they’ll be starting back up soon.

Anyway, there’s probably more than that that’s happened, but that is all I can think of at this moment. So toodleoo. A brief one this week with not a huge amount in it, but It’s always nice to say hello. Hello!

See you soon.

Cathy.

Perfect?

I’ve been thinking. Why do we expect people to be perfect? Do you? Do I? I think I do sometimes, much as I hate to admit it. Or like they aren’t good enough. Like people have to be a certain way, that we have to ‘approve’ of them to love them, for them to get our attention and keep it. Did God approve of us? Was it on our own merits that we were saved by Jesus? No!

Conditional love isn’t love. Love loves. It just does. No matter what someone is like, no matter what they’ve done. It loves. Love doesn’t leave, it doesn’t say you aren’t good enough, it doesn’t put barriers up. Why do we? Love doesn’t say ‘look what you just did’ or sit there silently disapproving or talking about you to someone else. It confronts lovingly or shuts up and accepts. We need to stop the comparisons. We are all sinners in need of Gods grace and salvation.

Start loving. Properly. Not superficially. Forgive. Love is a sacrifice, but not one that says ‘look at me’, it doesn’t wear a pained, martyred expression. It is just love. Accepting, loving, being loyal, praying, helping, being truthful but not because of our pride or wanting to be right but because there’s a better way, God’s way. Being present, being there matters.

I’m just writing this in one go, thinking as I’m going along. There’s some borrowing from the bible as you’d expect. It’s Interesting and challenging.

People’s worth is not determined by what we think. People are made for God and by God and that is that.

Thankyou to those I have known that have shown me this and pointed me to Christ’s love. Because He is who we need to look at and know. He is the one who changes us. We can’t change ourselves in any major way. Only through Jesus who is God. And I can personally say that He most definitely does change us, our most fundamental beliefs can change in an instant with Jesus. Gods mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning (lamentations 3:22-3).

I’ve decided to just publish without refining too much, so there you go! There are probably some sweeping generalisations, but it’s just ponderings and truth about something I think we can struggle with. Well, if I can, I’m presuming everyone else can too. God bless.

Cathy.

There are mooooore Questions than Answers…🎶

So over the past week I’ve been doing two things. One is singing the abovc words over and over again (it’s a song on the album I downloaded last week) and two, trying out a new interpretation of do not worry about what you will eat or drink. I can tell you the new interpretation doesn’t work. Eating whatever I want is a bit of a disastrous thing and has definitely disrupted my lose weight before I visit England thing 😬. Time to start exercising again! (And eating better).

It’s a bit later than I planned, but here is the Tuesday post. I’m trying to remember at this point, what exactly has happened since Thursday and I’ve come up with a couple of things. I’m also writing this whilst cooking tea.

We got a couple of raised beds! As mentioned last week.

Here they are! They’re quite small, 6’ x 3’, but we like that size because we can reach everything that will be growing in them easily. I couldn’t believe how much compost they took. The quick crop website said they would take 300l each, but they took double that to fill them up. We’ve put cardboard underneath and we’re going to try and do it as a no dig type plot. We’re also planning on getting a few more. It’s hard actually deciding what should go where. I need to do some seed planning. Chris is putting small paving slabs between them, mainly because it gets so muddy. It will be a lot easier to manage them with the pavers.

We moved our two ducks back onto the field today, I originally moved them into a large cage for the winter, but ducks tend to make a mess of the ground and this is no exception:

So today, as a temporary measure to try and stop them being eaten, I’ve put the little 25m electric fencing inside the larger 50m electric fencing, and clipped their wings so they (hopefully) can’t fly over and into the fox’s jaws. We got covered in mud and poo catching them too. It was good fun!

The chickens in the main pen have been out for a couple of days, but I’ve shut them back in now for a while, it’s just too muddy to let them out all the time yet.

There’s the main man himself.

I’m hoping to get a coop for the field at some point that will house all of them, plus the four girls we currently have in the poly tunnel. The plan is to move them around the field within an electric fence for a while this summer. Then their normal site will recover and I can reseed parts of it again too. They’ll also naturally fertilise the field! Bonus.

We’re still getting a fair few eggs. It dropped off a little over the winter but is picking up again. we’re going to have to start putting them on the gate I think.

A very poultry based post but as a last thing, we did some kite flying as well yesterday. We haven’t been outside that much recently, so I’m trying to get us back into it. The kite flying was the littlest’s idea. It’s great being outside!

See you soon.

Cathy.

Weekly blog.|

So, I haven’t posted for a while. I haven’t really felt very inspired to write really. But I’ve been thinking and I think I’m going to try posting regularly for a while, on a Tuesday and I’ll see how it goes. I’m not always very good with saying I’m going to do so and so on such a day, things happen and I get distracted. But I’ll try it!

I don’t get on with winter very well in a lot of ways, the darkness, dullness etc, so I’m very glad that it’s starting to feel more spring like, birds singing, a bit lighter. People keep saying we still have a winter to come, so I guess we will see, but I’m actually hoping not now. It’s been so mild this year that we haven’t even particularly needed extra blankets on the beds or anything, despite our lack of roof insulation. Mind, I think part of it is also that the cottage has warmed up, we’ve been in it for three years now, with fires every day in the winter and oil fired heating a couple of times a day and we think it’s dried out and warmed up a lot. J (the eldest boy) is a little disappointed though that we haven’t had any snow worth talking about, so I guess that would be ok. And no, I don’t believe in the whole tempting fate thing in case anyone reading thinks oh no! they’ll get a terrible winter now! No, if we are going to we will, if we’re not, we won’t and that’s that. I believe in God not superstition.

There is something I’m quite excited about. We’ve got some raised beds! Only two at the moment, to see how good they are and try them out. Then we’ll probably get a few more. We are apparently going to put them up on Sunday, near the polytunnel. We’re going to try the Charles Dowding no dig type approach. We’ve been watching him on YouTube, so there’ll be no spraying out or digging the area they’re going onto, just cardboard going on the bottom of them and then be filled with compost. We’re going to buy it this year and then we’re going to try to set up some bins and make our own, hopefully for next year. We’re hoping to use pallets to make some bins, by the side of the barn. So all that will be a work in progress this year, a very welcome one. I think Chris and I are very similar in that we prefer to be doing work outside rather than inside a lot of the time.

I can’t really think of a lot else to write today really, so it’s just a hello and welcome again type post. Also, this morning I’ve had this song on my mind which I thought I’d share. It’s ‘I can see clearly now’ by Johnny Nash. Not to do things by halves, I had it on my mind so I downloaded a best of album. Now my family have it playing over and over and over again haha. I love it.

Goodbye and see you next week!

Cathy.

Gone to the birds..

Hello one and all! Well, to jump straight in, we only have two ducks left, two females, all the rest have been eaten (we think) by the fox, it’s happened bit by bit over the last few months. So I’ve had a shuffle round today, A – because I didn’t want the last two to be eaten and B – because of the bird flu. So the quails have gone into the old chicken coop within the larger chicken shed, there’s now wire across the front of the chicken shed too, which will hopefully keep the chickens enclosed. I think I’ve said before, poultry is supposed to be under cover at the moment, and apparently bird flu is rife in Northern Ireland and we’re quite near there so I thought I’d better do something. It’s going to be harder work cleaning them out, but that’s preferable to having to slaughter them all and the ground needs a rest too, it’s a bog.

J’s been really helpful with it all this afternoon, helping me catch the ducks and carry the bath and feeder down, littlest gets fed up quickly and wants to go in, but he had to wait on this particular occasion.

I processed one more turkey yesterday and that’s in the fridge for a few days and then it will go into the freezer, we now have two turkeys left, we had three yesterday, but one got out and again, a fox got it, there’s feathers all over the field. It was J’s favourite (he wanted to keep it), so at least I didn’t have to actually kill it, but it was still unfortunate. So, two left. I think trying growing our own this year has been good and an experience, but I very much doubt I’m going to do it next year. I think we’ve got enough on with the other birds and everything else. Also, I like turkeys, they’re nice, friendly birds and slaughtering them is hard both because of that and because they’re huge! If I change my mind next year, you have permission to remind me of what I just said. I can just imagine Chris’s face if I decide to do them again though, haha. Maybe geese?? 😀

I haven’t had a phone for a week I think now, I bought one not long ago (a second hand one) and the screen stopped working, so I’ve sent it back and am waiting for another second hand one to come. It was strange last week without one, partly because we had storm Barra come to visit. The winds were really strong and I suddenly realised if anything happened I wouldn’t have any means of ringing anyone. We also had power cuts, so no wifi either. But all was well and we do have neighbours I could go to as well. I haven’t really missed it in a lot of ways, but the frustrating part is I can’t even check my bank balance without one because I tried to check it online and it wanted to send a security code to my phone to make sure it was me and ….I don’t have access…. my old phone is broken and won’t charge up. Modern life is so strange in some ways, my phone broke so I can’t access my bank account…ah well, hopefully the new (ish) one will be here soon.

As mentioned above, there was a couple of power cuts with the storm, but they didn’t last too long, hours rather than days. We’ve brought the gas hob and butane back into the house to use if we have any more. Everything else needs electricity to function. The hob and gas cylinder were here when we moved in and on our three year moving to Ireland anniversary they were back in. It’s very nice to have a cup of tea when you’re in darkness. It’s also good to have the fire!

Anyway, just an update and a big hello from us! Photographs will be back on when I have a phone.

love, Cathy.

3 Years!

As the title says, we’ve now been in Ireland for three years! Three whole years. Wow. If we stay two more years, we’ll have lived together in Ireland for half our marriage haha. That seems weird. I don’t know why, it just does. I suppose it’s because I still think of Derbyshire as home in many ways really. I wonder if that will change in the future? I guess we’ll find out! Our littlest is now older than our oldest was when we moved here, I guess he won’t even remember our old house or anything about Derbyshire really. Whereas J (the eldest of them) does, so he still misses it sometimes, he mainly misses family.

I’m not going to go on about what’s changed since we’ve got here, although the circumstances of our arrival do now seem bizarre! and very distant. Sleeping on air mattresses for a few months, waking up with damp skin and hair while the house dried out, not having a bath! Using a bucket in the kitchen and then later a big plastic plaster trough. I tell you what, I am so grateful for having a bath now, every time I get in I thank God for it :D. (and Chris who put it in.)

What I want to talk about briefly is dancing. I’ve started doing some exercise stuff recently on youTube and one of them is called grow with Jo and there’s a couple of exercise videos that use gospel/worship music and they’re brilliant! One of the songs is one called Shackles by Mary Mary. I hadn’t heard it in a long time but it’s one of those that I absolutely utterly love. It makes you just want to dance and praise God. So it’s been on a lot recently. Especially on our moving to Ireland anniversary day, I decided to dance.

This is because what the song says ‘take the shackles off my feet so I can dance..’ is my testimony about God really. That’s what He did.

As many know I used to be a drinker, I enjoyed it, I drank far too much and when I’d had a skinful I used to be up on that dance floor and quite embarrassing! I didn’t really dance much and definitely not publicly without booze.

When God saved me, I can remember one specific time when he broke this awkwardness. It was actually at a friend’s wedding, the evening bit, I just found myself up there on the dance floor, sober, and yes, probably looking stupid, but dancing and loving it, with no self consciousness, just enjoyment and such an awareness of Him and His love. It was awesome. I can remember dancing with a friend’s young daughter (she’s grown up now) and just messing about and twirling round. It made me smile then and the memory still does. God is awesome.

so this is my testimony –

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise You
I just wanna praise You
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise You
I’m gonna praise You (Shackles (Praise you), by Mary, Mary).

In every part of life! Not just dancing.

Cathy.

Bit of an update.

Thought I’d say hello again as the last post was on thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago. We’ve been inside a lot as it’s been really rainy (it’s winter I guess!) and everywhere is mega soggy. We haven’t had snow though and it’s been fairly mild really for December I suppose. I just start feeling like staying in at this time of year and have to forcibly remove myself from the house in order to go anywhere. It’s quite funny though because once I’m out it’s like ‘wow, isn’t it lovely! lets go!’

I’ve mentioned before, Chris has been working six days a week for a while now, so he’s just off on Sundays and I have found that change difficult. We’ve had the car a bit more though, so that’s been good, although it is because Chris has put a motor on his push bike and has been going to work on that. He says he loves it (and yes it is totally legal in this country before anyone comments on it) and he wraps himself up in layers and a waterproof suit and rides off most mornings. It takes a bit of maintaining as he’s doing a fair few miles every day, but he seems to like that too and he’s good at it.

We’ve got four turkey’s left now, I need to process them very soon and get them in the freezer. There’s a bird flu warning out in Ireland and all poultry is supposed to be housed at the moment, I haven’t got anywhere inside to put them, so I’ll probably sort them this week. I’ll be glad when it’s done. There doesn’t seem to be many places in Ireland (not nearby anyway) that slaughter poultry, so it looks like it’ll be me doing it. I know there’s often strong feelings on this, but like I’ve said before, I think if you eat meat it is fairly healthy to know how it’s been brought up and kept. Also, to have an idea of what is involved.

We also have ten hens and one rooster in another pen (they do have a house) and nine young chickens in the polytunnel at the moment. The young ones are doing really well, they scared me the other week as I went in one morning and their crops (the place they store food) were absolutely massive, they looked like they were ready to burst! but it turned out they’d just gorged themselves and they are absolutely fine. They looked so odd, little chickens with massive bulges to one side of their necks. Because they’re light sussex/cream legbar crosses it’s interesting to see how their appearance changes every week because I’ve never seen these particular crosses before. They’re just getting little crests on the top of their heads at the moment. And unlike the purebred cream legbars (that are autosexing), I couldn’t tell which were male or female very easily, so I’m still waiting to be sure.

We’re still home educating, we enjoy it on the whole, it’s very nice to have the freedom to decide what to do with our time and brains! but like anything, there’s ups and downs. But to be honest I’m very glad we’ve had the continuity of just home schooling all the way through covid, it’s kept them without all the ups and downs of schools opening and shutting and you can attend this and see people and now you can’t and recently there’s a whole new debate on younger ones wearing masks etc. So I’m glad to be out of all that too. We aren’t homeschooling due to Covid, we decided to do it before it started, but I’m glad we made that decision.

I love Christmas, we’ve got a devotional book to do and we’re making some decorations and crafting and painting and all that a fair bit. We’ve got the tree up (I think it’s the earliest I’ve ever put it up) and we’re on countdown. I love talking about Jesus to J (he’s 6), it sort of clarifies things and makes you realise whether you can actually explain about it in a clear way or not, because a six year old is very forthright and honest and says if he doesn’t understand or gets a very clear look on his face if he’s bored or confused. And you also soon realise how much rambling you do rather than get to the point! (or how unclear you can be) haha.

Enjoy advent folks! If you don’t know Jesus, if you don’t know why he came, or what he has done, try having a read of one of the gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John). If you read one chapter of Luke a day in December, you get all the way through by Christmas Eve. Jesus is just the best present ever, He frees you, to be you. No one else and nothing else will ever do that. He is also real, not some mystical figure way back in history. Knowing him is a real and active thing, not just a distant figure in a book. And the only way we can meet God is through Jesus. As Jesus himself said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me’ (John 14:6). Talk to Him, tell Him whatever you need to tell Him. Ask Him questions, seek Him and you will find Him (Matthew 7:7).

Good bye!

Cathy.

Thanksgiving.

…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

We’re doing thanksgiving this year. We aren’t American, we are English, living in Ireland, but we decided to do it. One of the reasons being we had a turkey! But to be honest we just loved the idea of it.

The whole thanksgiving thing set off a train of thoughts in me today. The turkey is currently in the oven and I’m making a butternut squash pie for pudding as well, the first thing was, that’s remarkable! I didn’t even think I could cook very well ten years ago. I couldn’t, compared to now. Well, I could cook, I just didn’t have much confidence. A friend encouraging me to cook for someone else encouraged a spark of self confidence and it grew from that time.

Then, I thought about what had happened over the past ten years and this is what I came up with. It’s actually really remarkable. Please be mindful that this is written from my perspective (Cathy’s), I can’t really tell Chris’s story. A lot is entwined but not all. His life changed beyond all recognition in a lot of ways too.

I was in terrible debt and that was dealt with just over 8 years ago, we went into marriage with no debt whatsoever. That was thanks to God and a group in the UK called Christians against poverty who helped me sort it out. Well, they did more than help, they were absolutely amazing.

I got married (I was a single parent for quite a long time before this), my eldest left home just before this, went to Uni and then stayed in the London area. Not long after getting married we had a miscarriage (which I found pretty devastating for quite a while) and then two sons, I left my job in nursing to be at home with them. We moved to Ireland just over three years ago, just under two years ago, Covid happened, which made things slightly awkward.

Chris left a job he loved but then got another one over here, doing something completely different but that he had the skills for. We left all our friends and family and church. Weirdly, due to Covid I’ve been able to continue in a way with that same church (for now). We’ve started homeschooling. We’ve been doing up a cottage and grounds. I can cook! We have chickens, ducks and turkeys (temporarily in the case of the turkeys) and grow our own veg etc to a degree. Chris has a motorbike (which he loves). In the last ten years I’ve lost my grandad, two uncles and my dad. I still love 90’s music and have it on at the moment while I’m typing this. Chris’s music tastes are even more dodgy. I’ve learnt to manage a home better (although always room for improvement haha) and a big thing I’ve learnt is that love should not be conditional. I’ve also learnt more and more to go to God with everything constantly and depend on him and I want this to continue. I’ve learnt much about how He is actually in charge no matter how much I’d like to be sometimes, haha.

The above is so simplistic, there’s so much more to tell as well, I can’t possibly tell it all. God is good and I am just so grateful to Him for his constant guidance, reassurance and love. Without His love, I would be completely lost. He has guided us, loved us, and worked in us. And I still feel like I’m only ankle deep with Him. There’s so much to look forward to. Life with you Lord is very exciting!

Thankyou for friends and family and hello if you’re reading this 🙂 We miss you. I’m cooking a turkey!!!!!! and it’s our own turkey! for the first time ever!

Love, Cathy.

Peace.

Chris said to me after the last post, ‘write one on peace’. I’ve been pondering this since, on and off.

The first thing I did was blitz memory verses I had on peace, the ones I came up with without going to the bible were:

He whose mind is set on me I keep in perfect peace. (Isaiah 26:3)

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you. (John 14:27).

Jesus is my peace. (Ephesians 2:14)

And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) – read the bit before this too.

I come not to bring peace but division. (ooh). (Luke 12:51).

When you’re happy and you know it clap your hands (got a bit distracted at this point). Still a good point though.

Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink or what you will wear. (Matthew 6:25).

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has worries enough for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34).

I will lie down and sleep in peace because you alone oh Lord make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8).

The people who dwell in darkness have seen a great light. (Matthew 4:16).

What makes you fight and quarrel amongst yourself? Sin! Your own wants and needs. (James 4:1), I will put the correct version for this (from the NLT): What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?

Trust in the Lord your God and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him Him and He will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

In my father’s house there are many rooms…(John 14:2)

Alright, some of those aren’t directly saying peace in them, but believing/following them does give you peace. And they’re from memory so not entirely word for word. But I’ve chosen to leave them as they are with the references so you can look them up if you want to.

You know, sometimes, I think, how can I speak on peace? I don’t have peace. Then I think again, and the thing is, I do. Jesus is my peace whether I recognise this or not and I actually do have peace. This came to mind today as I lay in bed earlier. I actually don’t feel that well today, nothing serious, just feel a bit under the weather. I laid there this morning and suddenly realised how much God has changed me and my life. I had a direct flashback to lying in bed just before I came to know Jesus, when I’d just got back in from church in the very early days. In that case I was lost, I was curled up in a foetal position, I had very little hope in me, I was despairing, depressed, did not know what to do or where to go and then God guided me to himself through Jesus. The direct contrast between today and then was quite something. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t always feel peaceful, like I said, I was feeling under the weather today and missing England, but it was so entirely different to that afternoon over 13 years ago. The difference is God, coming to know Him and having Him dwelling inside me, knowing Him. Him loving me and guiding me no matter what, me wanting to be guided by Him and changed by Him and that’s it. It’s lovely. Sometimes I believe He gives us these memories so we remember what He has done.

Thankyou Jesus!

There’s also been other stuff this year, I’ve had a lot to process since we left England and there’s been some stuff that I needed to go over, to do with forgiveness etc. I found myself becoming quite bitter and angry at times (not so much now).

A while back, I was mowing and talking, not so much ‘with’ God, but ‘at’ him, mowing is brilliant, no one can hear you (or so I think) and you can get it all out. However, God very calmly and clearly told me that there’s no room for unforgiveness in a Christian’s life. And I realised I needed to deal with it and get on with things. And the thing is, you could say, you just ‘decided’ to do this, out of your own strength, and yes, there is an element of that, but the main element is actually a supernatural loving kindness of God where he just changed me. It changed very quickly from thinking of a certain person with bitterness and anger, to actually naturally thinking of the good stuff they’d done and are and actually liking them again. It’s quite something the love of God and what he does. I was reminded of this when I was listening to a preach a few weeks ago and the same phrase was used of ‘there’s no place for…’ and I remembered.

We need to look at Jesus and be changed, We need to have zero tolerance for bitterness and deal with ‘stuff’ quickly. Don’t let stuff fester, it isn’t good for you. And no, this isn’t some self help thing, this is real, this is God, this is just a small example of what he does. He is for us, not against us. He is a Holy God who wants a Holy people.

And one more thing, this peace I speak of is not some sort of mantra ‘I will have peace, I will have peace, I believe in God type thing. Caring about issues and speaking out when necessary is not in contradiction to this peace. It doesn’t mean we aren’t called to think and use our brains and care. I believe this sort of caring about major issues can drive us to God and prayer in amazing ways. It is about putting our trust in Him and doing life with Him and having faith in Him and resting in Him.

Amen!

Cathy.

PS. There are a lot more verses to do with peace. I just used the ones that came to mind. And yes, there’s a lot more that could be written but I’m going to leave it there, the kids need my attention too! 🙂 Bye!

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.