A Change of Perspective

So here I am, over a year since my last blog post, and not a lot has changed in my life…well actually, a lot has changed! This last year has been a year of growth and re-evaluations.

2019 was, in all honesty, not a great year for me. Depression and anxiety had a firm grip on me and I started to lose grip of reality. Which I couldn’t explain as I finally had my life back after my operation and things were looking up for me. And yet, I just couldn’t shake that monster sat on my shoulder. The year was spent crocheting and trying to go with the motion of my ‘new’ life…Traveling was suddenly easier and I wasn’t living in pain anymore.

The year ended with some absolutely amazing adventures in Costa Rica and in Scotland, where I suddenly realised that I needed to change how I was looking at life. I could go through life with a defeatest, negative attitude or I could pick myself up, see the positives and try and achieve my goals! Suddenly that monster started to lighten…I was able to handle more and see the bright side of life! And that’s when things started to change for me.

2020 starts in Scotland in a motorhome with my parents and a new outlook on life. 2020 was going to be the year that I change, that I started to grow as a person again. The first few weeks of January, I started looking and applying for jobs, when all of a sudden I find a dream job. I still have to take it easy and starting a working life had to be done slowly, and suddenly a job at Hobbycraft in High Wycombe appeared in my list. Part time, local, and in a shop that I love. Being a creative person through and through, this job was everything I could have wanted. So I sent off my application and the nervous wait started. To cut a long story short, I got the job!!!

First days are always nervewrecking but I was going to go into this with a positive attitude and try my hardest, as that is all I can do! Well here I am…just over a month later…and instead of being at work, we are on lockdown. I am loving my job and missing it terribly but this time is allowing me to work on myself. I started working out again and this time I am not giving up. I set small realistic goals for myself, instead of unrealistic goals that would set me up for failure.

One of the largest things to change in my life has been my perspective, and that has definitely been influenced by a special someone who unexpectedly came into my life. He pushes me on almost a daily basis to better myself and to see positives when I can. So here I am…in the midst of a lockdown and instead of letting the situation get on top of me…I am doing everything to thrive this year!

I am also now back with lots of new blog posts planned so make sure to check back regularly with lots of new content coming soon!!!

Hope you and your families are all keeping safe in this strange situation and that instead of letting this get on top of you…I hope you all thrive in the ways that you want! Whether that is finished that project you haven’t had the time for or having the time for readjustments, re-evaluations and relaxation!

Take it easy everyone!!! Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives!!!

Sunday

Good Friday has come and gone. Not sure why we call it good, when it was the most dramatic day in the history of mankind. We remember that our King died on the cross. But He stayed not dead, Sunday is coming!

I saw this poster on Facebook and I love it:

How true is that!

How did we know the world as we know it stopped existing about the beginning of March! We are all asked to stay away from each other. No church, no friends over for dinner, no normal things.

But a lot can happen indeed. We can find beauty in the little things. Gratefulness in our existence. Walks in nature. Reconnecting with our fellow house mates. Technology allowing us to worship together, remembering this important period in our human history. This period will pass.

Sunday is coming… no Sunday will ever be as beautiful as that day when He conquered dead and rose again!

How will you be celebrating this Sunday?

If you have a chance, listen to this beautiful concert from Jaime Jorge: https://youtu.be/rfm-RzFt2fA

Clouds

Tonight’s sunset was so pretty. Hints of pink in the sky, intensifying colours as the sun set and lit up the undersides of the clouds. The phrase ‘each cloud has a silver lining’ just popped into my head. The clouds all had a sliver of silver around it.

I have to say, not sure I have been able to find my silver lining just yet. I miss my family, my friends, my colleagues. I miss the banter in the office corridors, the social interaction. I don’t think I am an extrovert, but I find myself craving for interaction and a sense of normality.

What if this is the new normal? What if the world will not go back to how it was in early March? What if this is the beginning of the end of all we know? For sure we have all learned by now we can manage.. although some better than others.

Jesus wrote in Matt 10:31 ‘do not fear, you are worth more than many sparrows’. We are more valuable than the tiny birds we see everywhere around. In this time of fear, when we hear stories of death and sorrow every single day, we can be assured that we matter to God. God has ultimate power over our whole being but He exercises that power with mercy and love. That’s the story of Easter in a nutshell. Jesus loves us so much, He knows all about us and even gave up Hos life for us so we may live.

I may not have found my silver lining in my current circumstances, but I can rest assured that Jesus is my silver lining in the Corona virus cloud hanging over my head. He cares for me, knows my concerns and even knows every hair on my head. What a comfort that is!

Have you found your silver lining?

Clouds

Tonight’s sunset was so pretty. Hints of pink in the sky, intensifying colours as the sun set and lit up the undersides of the clouds. The phrase ‘each cloud has a silver lining’ just popped into my head. The clouds all had a sliver of silver around it.

I have to say, not sure I have been able to find my silver lining just yet. I miss my family, my friends, my colleagues. I miss the banter in the office corridors, the social interaction. I don’t think I am an extrovert, but I find myself craving for interaction and a sense of normality.

What if this is the new normal? What if the world will not go back to how it was in early March? What if this is the beginning of the end of all we know? For sure we have all learned by now we can manage.. although some better than others.

Jesus wrote in Matt 10:31 ‘do not fear, you are worth more than many sparrows’. We are more valuable than the tiny birds we see everywhere around. In this time of fear, when we hear stories of death and sorrow every single day, we can be assured that we matter to God. God has ultimate power over our whole being but He exercises that power with mercy and love. That’s the story of Easter in a nutshell. Jesus loves us so much, He knows all about us and even gave up Hos life for us so we may live.

I may not have found my silver lining in my current circumstances, but I can rest assured that Jesus is my silver lining in the Corona virus cloud hanging over my head. He cares for me, knows my concerns and even knows every hair on my head. What a comfort that is!

Have you found your silver lining?

God is in Control

Sometimes these old hymns just jolt me back in reality, their messages just as relevant now as when it was written. This particularly song is ‘This is My Fathers world’

In this crazy world we are now experiencing, its not so easy to see that our God is still in control. the media surrounds us with stories of death and sickness, shortages of critical equipment and all around doom. If you are not getting bombarded with news stories, or see it on Facebook or whatever other social media tools you use, you see it all around you. Driving along the motorway, the message on billboards and traffic sights is clear: stay home, wash your hands, stop spreading the virus.

It’s hard to not think about the passages in Matt 25 which speak of the end times, of last events being quick events. The questions we have to ask ourselves ‘am I ready‘. ‘Do I believe He is in control’ ‘what would I say when I see Him’. This virus came on so fast and the world as we know it has ceased to exist. We do not know if things will go back to before, but there is one thing I know for sure: God is still in control.

My dad reminded me that sometimes situations are utilised even if we did not realise it yet. His brother immigrated to America long before I was born. My mum, dad and I visited short before he passed away in 2017. My cousin and I clicked and have been friends ever since. And now, the year 2020 I find myself in their house awaiting the passing of this current virus situation. Maybe there is beauty in the fact my dad was not able to see his brother throughout his whole life. God is clearly in control!

The last verse of this poem which was set to music after the author died, sums it up so nicely:

This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

Sometimes it Takes a Mountain…

 

I face(d) a mountain,
That I never faced before
That’s why I’m calling on the Lord
I know it’s been awhile,
Lord please hear my prayer
I need you like I never have before.

Sometimes it takes a mountain
Sometimes a troubled sea
Sometimes it takes a desert
To get a hold of me
Your Love is so much stronger
Then whatever troubles me
Sometimes it takes a mountain
To trust you and believe
These are the lyrics from a song written by the Gaither Vocal Band and in this uncertain time it speaks to me. A virus has taken hold of many of the folks of this earth, and its not in our control who gets infected. We can do our bit and stay vigilant, isolate ourselves when not feeling well, or having been in contact with someone from a country where the virus is going around, taking the advice of people much smarter than us. Keep our distance, and don’t put ourselves in situations that could potentially be dangerous.
At this time I particularly think of all those folks that already feel isolated. The elderly and sick. The little contact they may have had is now also reduced to zero.
On Facebook this little slip is going around, to show neighbourly love. To offer help. A very sweet gesture and if I were home I would certainly also spread that in our own neighbourhood. Truth is, I am in the US. Flights are now greatly reduced between the US and the UK and I don’t know how long this will take. I feel a little isolated myself, although this is at the moment the better place to be.
I look around the shops and see panic has spread. Not just toilet paper is gone from all shops, but also vitamins, anti -acids, aids to help the immune system, Advil, pasta, rice etc. We are our own worst enemy, as once this panic starts its really hard to stop. What if you are genuine the one that is in need of toilet paper but now can’t get any!
Or what about hospitals and care homes that have anti bacterial on back order, as its completely out in the stores. Those folks still have to do their jobs and now take the risk as we panic.
Sometimes it takes a mountain, to trust and believe that there is a God who cares for us. It may not seem like it, but He is there. His love is so much stronger, and will carry us through this period of uncertainty and hurt. Even though the churches are closed, He hears us if we call on Him wherever we are. In times like these, I am glad He is on my side. I can face whatever is coming my way, and will deal with whatever happens. I know He gives me strength.
He will give you strength too. Sometimes it takes a mountain…..

Women’s Day

It’s the day in the year that women are celebrated. Their achievements through history that have made an impact. In today’s world issues are also highlighted that impact women.

How are you celebrating?

While I find women’s issues important, Inequality in the workplace still exists and women’s rights are not guaranteed, I will not specifically celebrate today. I want to celebrate every day!

Proverbs 31 in the Bible specifically mentions how the ideal woman behaves. Industrious, noble, gracious. Sometimes it’s worn as a badge. I have not decided if being called a Proverbs 31 woman is a compliment or not.

I am me, however. Unique, wonderfully made. As are you. And in my uniqueness I hope to be positively contributing to this world. In my own small circle, as well as in my circles of influence, work, society, church.

In my uniqueness I do crazy things sometimes. Being with friends throwing myself off hills in a tube, driving around trying to find eagles, finding rest in my crochet work etc.

That’s what I think Jesus asks of us. To be accepting that we are all made in His image, as it says in Psalm 139:14 ‘For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

So I’ll be spending women’s day appreciating that I am special in the eyes of God. As are you. I hope you’ll remember that every day!

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Coffee

I admit, I love my coffee! I have certain favourites from certain coffee places, but I also really love a cup of coffee just made at home. The warm liquid is comforting…

So we drove back from France to England and on the way I just really fancied a coffee. We stopped and I asked for a skinny vanilla late…. it was a stop at a well known chain, but the coffee lady was clearly new at her job.

A few miles further down I took a sip from my coffee… yuk!!!! the weirdest taste ever, def not a latte!

Opened the lid and stared into my cup of warm milk…. no coffee!!!!

We were debating what to do, and decided to stop at the next rest stop to buy an espresso and add that to the warm milk. It made it drinkable, but only just.

This thought me 2 lessons: always check your coffee before you leave the shop and I don’t like warm vanilla flavoured milk!

It’s a bit like going to church, listening to the sermon, participating in singing, chatting with the fellow participants … but then going home to forget all about God until the following week. Like shutting God out of life, just allowing Him to interact in a very specific setting.

Going through life like drinking warm milk without the coffee. A latte needs the coffee, and God needs the daily interaction in our life. And we need our daily interaction with God too! A perfectly flavoured coffee, fitting together well!!

28 Years

Oh my, time flies… it’s already the end of the first month of 2020, and it really feels like the year just started! However, January is a special month for us and no matter what.. she still looks forward to her birthday!!

I can’t remember the weather, this day 28 years ago. I can barely remember the days following.. but I can remember turning from a woman to a mother! She was the tiniest little thing, a number of weeks early.. but from day one she wrapped up around her little finger.

Today we celebrate her 28th birthday. It’s gone so fast! But still, each day I am so thankful for becoming her mum! We celebrated in style in a funky restaurant in Marlow where we had not been before. A birthday candle on the cake is still fun and asking the singer to sing happy birthday to her is a whole level of more fun!

Maybe this is what God means when He refers to Jesus as His Son. A whole other little of delight. Even if I don’t really understand how the Godhead works, I can so imagine the love flowing through Him when He recognised His Son!

Or the joy Jesus feels when we call Him our father and we recognise ourselves as His kids. A parental relationship is so special! One of deep trust and mutual love.

Melody, am so proud of the young woman you have become! Thank you for celebrating with us!

Another Day

Time has gone so fast, and I realise we have not written anything for some time! The new year started and the family is already back into the swing of things. It’s almost like Christmas never happened!

It’s now the 3rd Sabbath of the month and I guess it’s no longer appropriate to wish folks happy New Year!

However, that’s just what this is all about. New year, new beginnings, good intentions.

I did not really make any. I know I break them as soon as I make them. But still, reflection of the year past and figuring out the future year can’t really be escaped. So caught up in the hype, I did at least tell myself that this year i would try and think of my own needs a little more. Spending time doing things I love just because I love them.

If you ask how I have fared these first 3 weeks of the year.. Uhm.. not so good. However there is one thing I really love doing that relaxes me… Crocheting. I prefer not to do that alone though, it’s fun to do that together with my daughter. But as I am often away, I do find myself often crocheting by myself. Each stitch is done in a rhythm, while my thoughts freely flow. Maybe it’s just a daily reflection, going through the day, self examining and often praying for those around me.

Come to think of it, maybe that should be my good intention for the rest of this year. Starting each day with devotion, and finishing each day with reflection.

My current devotional is ‘my utmost for His highest’ by Oswald Chambers. I subscribe and daily the thought for that day is emailed to me. (https://utmost.org)

Maybe this year we can motivate each other to keep going?