"I have a mustard seed, and I'm not afraid to use it."
Pope Benedict XVI
What I see and what I think about it.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Saturday, 22 November 2008
I have a totally unproved theory that in heaven God keeps our memories safe. All those things we forget. The way our children looked the first time we saw them, our own first glimpses of the world. They are all kept safe for us. And I look forward to seeing this lovely lady again. She will be with the Lord she loves so much, she will have the same joy and she will be restored.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
The other way it has been a blessing is that today, as I have no energy at all, I have put all those thing I "have" to do on hold. I have spent a really lovely morning with Tilly and Evelyn just playing on the floor and reading stories. It has been really lovely. And I think we have all benefited from some chill out time. My to-do-list has only 2 things on it today and one of them was writ ting this blog! The other was to change the CD's in the car, which I have also done. So all in all being ill was not nice at all (and I pray that my girls don't catch it). But the end result has been a blessing. I need to get down on the floor to play more often without illness dragging me there.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
So you know what I am talking about when I say modesty here are the guide lines I have set myself and my girls. Skirts should be no shorter than knee length, trousers shouldn't hug bottoms too much , no bare midriffs, shoulders covered, no sexual/demeaning slogans. (I can't believe I have to say this about "children's" clothes.) The list could go on but you get the idea.
I think this has really begun to be an issue for me since I have had my 3 girls. I think that anything I expect them to do I should be doing already. I should be setting the example. I am also the one to teach them about modesty. I want them to start now so it isn't something that is suddenly imposed when they hit the pre-teen age. So I have started thinking a lot about what I wear and how covered I am. I have read LOADS of really encouraging things on line and it is good to know that there are others who share this view point. What worries me is how hard it is to find funky clothes that are modest (and not too expensive). I have taken to buying school skirts a couple of sizes to large for Martha just so they reach her knee. And it is getting harder and harder to buy clothes that cover my children. (I am very grateful for the recent rise in long skirts and tunic tops for me!)
I was shocked and horrified the other day when I saw a 4 year old girl wear a denim mini-skirt. It was barely long enough to cover her bottom. Yes, she was wearing thick tights but what sort of message are we sending out when we let our children dress like this. I think we are taking away their innocence. They should be given the chance to be children. They should not be dressed in scanty sexualising clothes. I want my girls to be known as people who love and care, who are helpful and considerate. I want people to see 'them', not what they look like. I want boys (in the very distant future) to notice their personalities before thinking them "fit". I also want them to not be stumbling point for men.
I am only at the beginning of this and am searching for the way forward. (I am thinking a lot about swimmies at the moment, and will let you know what I come up with.)I know that some people might think it I am silly and over-reacting. But I would prefer to land of the side of caution even if it seems over the top. I am trying to find a way of us dressing that reflects who we are. I don't mind being different. Jesus was different and he has called us to be the same. One of the way I am choosing to be different is in the way I dress myself and my children.
Friday, 7 November 2008
But then they would be cuddled and kissed goodnight. They would get to kiss the ows better. It would be them who are begged to sit and watch TV, to play jigsaws, to read stories, to draw (very bad) pictures. They would be the ones to hear the "love you"s.
Maybe I will be the mummy after all.....
Thursday, 6 November 2008
Here is a little catch up:
Evelyn: Is now 3 months old. She has started taking an interest in the world, which is simply lovely. She smiles a lot and loves her sisters talking to her. She is also sleeping well, normally from 7pm-10.30pm then I feed her and she goes back to sleep till about 5.30am but I don't feed her till about 6am. So not too bad really. She has had lapses but I am hoping that we are nearly there now.
Tilly: is heading towards the 2 year old troubles. Her will has joined us, but common sense hasn't! It is an interesting time. She is so different from martha who would shout and scream. Tilly sulks. I have to remind myself that she is only 2 1/2 and that makes all our lives better. I am prone to expecting too much from her. At her heart she is still a smiling, loving child and I know without a doubt that we will get through this difficult stage and she will be that again.
Martha: is so grown up. She has blossomed with Evelyn arrival. She is proving herself a very motherly little girl, for all her tom boy ways. It is a delight to see. She is the reason I know that Tilly will be ok. Martha (whom I love) eas horrid (at times) during the two year old phase. But she has come through it now. and is obedient and kind. She still has her moments but don't we all. I am just really proud of her.
So that is how my girls are getting on. I'm getting the hang of this mum-of-three lark, slowly. I am a big routine fan and am in the process of changing everything to fit our new family. It is a slow process but I am making sure that I get blogging time!
Monday, 1 September 2008
Saturday, 30 August 2008
1. If you could have any first name in the world, what would you choose:
Amy - it means beloved, so I am always reminded that I am loved.
2. If you could be any item of stationery which would you be:
a pad of squared paper.
3. If the world could only be one colour for the rest of eternity which would you pick:
blue... or maybe yellow
4. Starters and main course, or main course and desert:
Main course and desert
5. What song has inspired you most in your life so far:
Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof
6. Who was your fave teacher and why:
Can't remember her name but my English teacher... she truly loved her subject.
7. How would you spend a million pounds:
Buy a house with a bit of land round it. Have chickens and lots of children.
8. What is your favourite book:
Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham.
9. If you could swap lives with someone for a day who would you choose:
At the moment it would be Evelyn... I could really use the sleep.
10. What cartoon character do you most relate to:
Marlin from Finding Nemo
11. What was your favourite subject at school:
12. Which celebrity would you like to be stuck in a lift with:
If I'm allowed someone dead then, Jim Henson. If not then Judy Dench.
13. Which celebrity would you like to hit over the head with a wet fish:
Anyone who hasn't worked hard to get where they are... in other words anyone from Big Brother!
14. What is your favourite type of weather:
15. Do you have a favourite month, and why:
May because it is my birthday and it is just getting warm, but not too hot.
16. Do you have a 'bolt hole' and where is it:
The book that I am reading at the time... I vanish into books.
17. If you were to bunk off work on Monday, where would you go:
To bed, then for a long walk through the country side followed by chips in a pub garden.
18. Who has been your favourite Prime Minister:
Not a clue
19. What do you love about yourself:
That I get very passionate about things
20. What is your favourite train station:
Swanage - the stream railway one... it is like being in the railway children.
21. Tell us one embarrassing fact about yourself:
I still sleep with a soft toy elephant.
22. What is your favourite smell:
The air after it has rained, baking and backstage in a theatre.
23. Do you have a favourite photo, and who is in it:
It is me and my dad (I was about 3). We are on a beach and I am sitting on his lap eating a ice cream. It had dripped all over him. My dad hates being sticky. but he is smiling at me. This is what love is.
24. What is the last film/TV programme that made you cry:
"Swallows and Amazons"
25. What do you most regularly order in starbucks/the coffee shop of your choice:
Smoothy and a huge slice of wheat-free cake...yum.
26. If you could dye your hair a wacky colour, which would you pick:
I have dyed it blue, maybe a very red red.
27. Are you happy:
28. What did you dream last night:
Not a clue
29. Who was your best friend at school:
Katherine, Denise and Jo.
30. What colour is your duvet cover:
the one on at the moment is a deep red.
31. What is your favourite pizza topping:
32. Do you have a favourite make of car and what is it:
33. Tell us three words which describe you:
Creative, mummy, tired (I have just had a baby... so the last is available to change)
34. What is your favourite fruit:
Raspberries, eating whist picking others in my Granny's garden.
35. What world situation worries you/drives you to prayer/makes you cry:
The fact that my beloved England is turning it's back on God.
36. Are you tidy or messy:
Messy with a tidy person trying to get out.
37. How many pairs of shoes do you own:
Not sure, about 8.
38. Who is your hero/heroine:
39. Who did you last shout at:
Martha for not wanting to change out of the winter clothes she had just put in, dispite the fact that it is boiling and she is a very hot child.
40. What makes you happiest:
Friday, 29 August 2008
The alarm woke me at 3am this morning in order for me to wake up Evelyn so she could feed. I took the opportunity of being awake to do a wee and that was when it happened... i smelt gas on our landing. This is not what you want at 3am. I got nick to smell it too. And then he went down stairs and checked down there. (nick has hay fever and so his sense of smell is not at it's strongest in summer) So i went down stairs too. There it was again. It seemed to be hoovering near our gas hob. All the little knobs were off so we were at a loss.
Having had it drummed into me that you never ignore a gas leak (and having a 4 week old baby who I didn't want breathing the stuff) we called the emergency gas leak people and they came round in 20 mins. By this time it was 4.12am. After used big sensor things the nice gas man couldn't find anything.
After some probing (and very loud banging on front doors) he discovered that it was coming from our neighbours house. They had accidentally left the hob on and the gas was seeping into our house. I felt a guilty about them being woken up by someone battering on their door. then I remembered they were smokers and praised God for keeping them (and us) safe.
We have not had the smoothest of relationships with our neighbours and at times I shout at God about them. But it struck me as i was trying to get back to sleep (for 1 1/2 hours before the alarm went off again) that although they can drive me mad God really loves them and cares about them. And is keeping them safe.
And that I need to see them through his eyes more often.
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Saturday, 23 August 2008
Thursday, 21 August 2008
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
and we all know that lions go ROOOOAAAARRRRRRR!We had a really quite nice afternoon after that.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Monday, 18 August 2008
Sunday, 17 August 2008
"If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito"
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Saturday, 2 August 2008
Friday, 1 August 2008
I really wanted to share a bit about the birth and how wonderful and great God is and was during the whole thing. It will be a bit detailed so feel free to skip it and just praise God if you don't like birth details!!
We had planned a home birth. I had some worries about giving birth, but God had told me to trust Him. It was such a powerful message that went through me and I have clung to God and knew that his plan was perfect and He would give us the strength we needed.
My waters broke at 8pm Wednesday evening. Nothing seemed to be happening so we went to bed and prayed. We asked God that it would all kick off at 12, and Nick had a feeling the baby would be born around 4am. I woke up at 12.02 with big-ish contractions and all was going on ok until we discovered that there was maconium in the waters (basically the baby had pooed - which is a sign of distress and needs monitoring). So at 1.30am we bundled the girls off to my mothers and went into hospital. Labour was progressing nicely and contractions were getting stronger. I felt that God was in charge. I didn't feel at all disappointed that we were in hospital. I just knew that we were going where God was leading and had real peace (this is big thing when you are in full on labour!)
At 3am they examined me to see how far dilated I was and the midwife said that she could feel something in front of the head! she didn't think it was the cord (very bad) but she couldn't figure it out. So another midwife came in and thought it was a hand, She called the Registrar... he discovered the reason God wanted us to be in hospital... it was a foot and the baby was a footling breach (bottom first). Whilst this was going on I carried on getting stronger contractions and still feeling huge peace. At the hospital they don't do vaginal breach delivery (not sure why) so they decided to give me an emergency c-section. All was being prepared in theatre and they get me and Nick ready too. By this time I was having the urge to push and was being told NOT TOO! The only thing to stop me pushing was to pray in tongues (I think they must of thought I was mad, but it was the only way I could give it to God and He gave strength back to me). So we got to theatre and they gave me a spinal block so I couldn't feel anything from the waist down but would be awake. I remember that someone said how calm I was and I just replied that I believed on God. Of course it was ok He was in charge! They just got me lying down when they realised that the baby's feet were already out! So they decided to let her be born vaginally. I ended up with my legs (which I couldn't feel) in stirrups being told to push (which I couldn't feel) while they wiggled the baby out. After about a minute I asked what was going on and Nick said that all her body was out and then her head was out and Evelyn came to join the world.It was 4.10am, just when Nick had said it would be.
We then discovered that the registrar had never delivered a breach baby before. I was left with no tears or cuts and feel really great considering everything.
I cannot praise God enough. Would could have been a nightmare was a blessing. God was with us and gave us such peace and provided for us in miraculous ways. The icing on the cake was that our new car (which we have been waiting for 3 weeks for) was ready this morning. Just when we have started to need it.
Thursday, 12 June 2008
My lovely husband wears shirts to work. Every evening he takes it off and put it in the dirty clothes basket. All good so far. BUT because of the way he takes them off they are always inside out. Now I know that all the best marriage books say you should never say "never" and "always" in a fight. But I do the washing... I know! So when they come out of the washing machine I have to put my hand into the damp sleeve and pull it through. For some reason this drives me mad. I don't know why and I know it is irrational and stupid. But isn't that the case. It isn't the big things but the little ones that drive us mad. I have tried to get him to turn them the right way round but to no avail.
"Where does the blessing bit come in?" I hear you cry. "So far you have just moaned." Well, I have know something for a long time:
If you can't change... re-arrange!
I do this all the time with furniture! But it works here to. I can't change the way Nick takes off his shirts (I have tried and after nearly 5 years I give up!) and so something needs to be re-arranged. In this case..... ME! My attitude is going to be re-arranged. Instead of grumbling I am going to remember, with every sleeve, the work my husband does whilst in those shirts. I pledge that from today on I will turn his shirts the right way round with a smile and a thankful heart for my husband. Then each shirt will come with a blessing attached for him to take with him.
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Monday, 9 June 2008
Yesterday in Kidzone (one of the Sunday school groups) they were doing word searches as one of the activities. All was quiet for about 5 minutes while the children were concentrating and searching. Then came a voice raised in joy:
"I found "Jesus"!!!"
Saturday, 7 June 2008
"Am I a good mother?"
It makes me panic.... The things is, what is a good mother? Each child is different and so each mother has to be different. I have good days and some bad days and some days when my husband walks in the door and I walk out! I hope that the good days out weigh the bad. I think they do. The thing with being a mother is that you really are making it up as you go along. There is no manual. Well, actually there aer about 1000 manuals but none of them are about me and my children. I have to write that one as I go along. And just about when you have it sussed and all is running smooth you breath a little to deeply and your child goes into the next phase and you start back at "WHAT IS GOING ON?"
There are really only two (soon to be three) people who could answer the question with any authority. They are the ones who live with my successes and mistakes. I might not ask how they think I'm doing while they are 4 and 2. Unless I have just fed them chocolate cake, of course. I hope that when they have children they will forgive me the mistakes as they make their own. and build on the success that, I hope, I will be more remembered for.
In the mean time I just do my best. I have the help of a fantastic husband and a gracious God. And when it comes to "that" question I just have to say... "Whether I am having a good or bad day, I am the mother God has given my children. He has his reasons. And I will trust them."
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
I came across one of these yesterday. It is in Exodus and talks about building an altar. This is a paraphrase...
"Don't build your altar up some steps".... WHY? WHAT? Does it really matter? wait for it....
"because some one might see up your robe and see your nakedness!"
Well, if that isn't a practical God, I don't know what is. SO next time you are struggling with practical things remember that God knows all the answers and see what he has to say... Even if it is "Make sure you can't see your pants!"
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
I have known for a long time that I love little babies, all yummy and squishy.
And then I love the age Tilly is now (18 months to about 2 1/2 ish) She can do loads, has a longing to be helpful and kind and hasn't got to the point where she has discovered screaming NOOOOOO really loudly. She can also talk well and make herself understood. Lovely yummy age.
Then there is the bit that I find really hard. That bit where sense hasn't kicked in but will power has. The bit where you watch, helplessly as your child throws themselves on the floor screaming because you asked them to do something unreasonable like not hit there sister. The bit where you hear the word NO all the time. And "My DO IT". The bit where you realise that you really do sound just like your mother did when you shout back because you have lost it too. This is, in my book, one of the hard bits. And this is the bit I have slowly realised that with Martha we are just about coming out of. And I cannot tell you how pleased I am. I know that she has bad days, when she is tired, or hungry, or poorly. but by and large we have got over this bit and I have discovered that the next bit of time is a really fun one. ...
Martha is now 4 and once again loves helping. But the bonus is that now she actually can do a lot. We have been planting seeds, watching them grow, making food, baking bread, cleaning the bath... you name it. She wants to be a part of things and loves being involved. I just need to remember that things will take longer and I will need a bit more patience and it really works and we have a lovely time. She has also reached an age where she is very content to play on her own. Her imagination has kicked in and she spends ages playing with the dolls house, totally entranced. She also is very kind and helpful towards Tilly. Always trying to include her.
What can I say... the hard work in the hard bit seems to have paid off. (I know that I am letting myself for a tough few days saying this!)
All I can say (and pray) is that they stay in these good phases until about 6 months after the baby is born. Then I might, just, be able to cope.
Sunday, 1 June 2008
Just for the record... she is standing up in the first three and sitting down in the last two.
So you see there is a lot to moan about. But I didn't really want to share the glumness. And I wanted to think of funny ways to moan but it just didn't work out... hence the blogging silence.
I have been thinking about this and feeling a bit bad because I really have a lot to be so thankful for. I really can see God at my side in all this and that is the bit that I should be sharing.
So I thought I would try and find 10 things/ways that God has blessed me. Hopefully this will jolt me out of the gloom and back into cheer...
1) God has been making his plans for our housing really clear. One step at a time.
2) Martha loves the baby in my tummy and loves kissing my tummy and watching it wriggle.
3) God has given me such a lovely, supportive husband.
4) During my Grandpa's funeral I felt so surrounded by prayer and love and God. It was amazing.
5) I get to see one of my best friends on Tuesday (she lives in Africa, so it is a big deal to see her)
6) ...and I get to see Hairspray!
7) Tilly's smile.
8) I have a very healthy, lively baby growing inside me.
9) I have Ben and Jerry's ice cream in the freezer (Phish food - for whose who are interested!)
10) I am truly loved.
Not a bad list really. And do you know what? That list really didn't take long at all to do. I really am blessed. It all depends which way you look at it.
Sunday, 18 May 2008
I think what his death has made me think about is what we leave behind. Our inheritance. Here in the UK there are a lot of people ranting and raging about inheritance tax. I don’t really understand it at all. It just seems a bit unfair. But whilst the government can take money away from us when a loved one dies there are many things it cannot.
So what I have inherited from my Grandpa:
Love. The bible says that love never dies. This is not just true of the love we give. But of the love we receive. I know that my Grandpa loved me and my brother, and his son and daughter (my dad and aunt). He was a quite old fashioned and wasn’t a hugging and kissing type. But he loved us. And he showed it. By providing for us. By spending time with us, being interested. By telling us stories. I feel this love as I sit here and type. It is with me. And so part of him goes on.
Memories. No one can take these away either. Towards the end my Grandpa was very frail. But that is not how I think of him. I think of him in the canoe when we were little. I think of him refusing to join in games at Christmas, but getting lots of enjoyment out of the rest of us playing. I remember the look in his eyes when he found out my daughters were not only to have my husbands surname but my maiden name (as a middle name). They are his only great grandchildren and I could see the pleasure and pride that we had chosen to connect them with the past and with him. I remember him whenever I speak their full names.
Crafts. My Grandpa whittled wood. He made the most beautiful wooden carvings. I haven’t carved wood but the creativity has come down the line and I love crafts of all sorts. I wouldn’t be surprised if I carve the odd duck of my own as the years go by.
There are strange things we inherit. I, like my Grandpa, am allergic to penicillin. I inherited a huge love of my country. He was Canadian and proud of it, even though he has lived in England for a very long time. His connection to his country has rubbed off on me. I am always proud to say that I have a Canadian Grandpa. This has, for some reason I can’t explain, got something to do with why I love England. I have inherited this love of country. I love photography, which he did too. And particularly photographing flowers.
These things just pass down, father to daughter, mother to son, father to son, mother to daughter. You never know where they will turn up next.
As I see my daughters grow up I know I will see them change and develop. I will see Grandpa’s traits come out in them. They, sadly, will not know the man I was so proud to call Grandpa. But they do have his name, a little piece of the inheritance. And when they ask me “Why, oh why” they have such strange middle name. I will stop and say, with a smile: “Well, there was this man called Russ and he was my Grandpa…”
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Martha wearing her "I am 4" badges
Our friend (and Tilly's God daddy). Martha kept telling him what faces to pull and then take a picture. We have a series of these. Thought I would share these 2.
First being a lion
Then his sad face
Granny (my mummy)
Me in my favourite chair