Wednesday, 20 April 2011

School Holidays

School holidays are a great time for catching up with special friends who still live nearby but who have moved to different schools.

They're a great time for finally getting rid of stabilisers and learning to ride on two wheels. 

Even if you do fall off sometimes.

They're a great time for taking the dog to the park.

And just enjoying time away from the day to day hectic run of life.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Further Thoughts On Giving

Further to my earlier thoughts here, about giving, I'm thrilled to see in the national papers today, many articles relating to general happiness of people in the UK and how it is sorely lacking, mainly due to our self obsessed culture.  Articles that are encouraging us to give a little more of ourselves to other people, either by attitude or action.  When we first think about 'giving', our minds and thoughts automatically turn to money and the fact we don't have enough to give away, or why should we give what's ours to others?  But giving is SO much more than that.

How much?:  Deuteronomy 16:17 - Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.

Who to?:  Proverbs 3:27 - Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.

Attitude?:  Deuteronomy 15:10 - Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

Who needs to know?:  Matthew 6:3-4 - But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  (In other words, you don't need to brag about it).

For some months I have been acting on a scheme I found on a Christian website.  It's called the 10 Day Give and encourages us to not only consider others, but to make a conscious effort to actually act upon practically doing something to make that person's day better.  There is no need to be outwardly public with what you do, there is no need to restrict it to anything monetary, just the willingness to think outside your own busy life and act in a way to brighten up the day of somebody else.

The scheme was restricted to ten days, but I have tried over the past few months, to stop concerning myself with me and to start concerning myself with somebody else.

  • If you're a lady you could compliment another female co-worker if you like something she's wearing. (I mention ladies as this is not really a blokey thing)
  • If you're a Manager, take time to go up personally to thank somebody for the work they've done, don't send an impersonal e-mail and certainly don't take the credit for their work. 
  • Offer your neighbours a cup of tea and invite them in for a chat if you see them outside. 
  • Let the person behind with just a few items go before you at the checkout.
  • Bring cakes into work for your colleagues to share. 
  • Go out of your comfort zone.  Apologise to somebody if you know you've done them wrong, you know who to - even if time has worn away your courage and it means a little bit of egg on your face - you may find you get a better reception than you think. 
  • Contact an old friend if you've allowed distance and life to separate you both. 
  • If you're not comfortable with children, offer to babysit, you might find you enjoy it and the parents would appreciate the break. 
  • If you're healthy, find out where the next blood donor session is near you and get down there - it only takes 30 minutes. 

The possibilities to give are endless.  They cost  nothing and take up so little time, but can so very often be the difference between someone else having a good day or a bad day.  Isn't it great to know that you have the power and ability to put a smile on somebody's face?

Free Coffee?

Check the link below.  Watch the video and then imagine that woman is Jesus, handing out His love and forgiveness.  Then think about whether you've walked on by, either suspicious it's a trap, don't have time, allergic (in that it's likely to make you uncomfortable) or just simply ignored it.  Or, like some of the people, have you graciously accepted it, said thank you and walked away with your cup full?

Then, consider, if that were Jesus standing there, have you made Him happy by accepting, or made Him feel a little more miserable because your perception of his gift is warped?

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


 12th APRIL 1997

St Mary's Church

followed by reception at
Bell House Hotel

That was the day I married the man who was to become my best friend, the man who I trust most above all others and the man I simple love and adore.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Expecting your first child is globally not a unique situation.  Every mother's been there.  But when it's your own child and your own body that's growing this little person, and it's your pregnancy test that has that magic blue line, you feel like the only person on the planet experiencing this life changing force.  I remember referring every day to my book, 'What To Expect When You're Expecting', eagerly scanning the pages to see how my baby was developing and whether he or she had grown to the size of a grape or an apple.  I would stand at the mirror and turn sideways waiting for that little bulge to form into a neat round ball, testament to the world that yes, I was expecting a baby and not just putting on a bit of weight.

I recall the immense tiredness of the first few weeks - absolute exhaustion.  I would come home from work and fall asleep on the sofa, only to be woken by my husband who'd arrived home an hour later, had left me sleeping and prepared dinner for us both. I'd eat and then sleep again.  I have never known a tiredness like it. 

Then the first scan.  That life changing moment when you see your baby on the screen.  It seems a blur of lines, then the sonographer points arrows and shows you legs, arms, eyes, nose and best of all, a tiny beating heart.  Then you hear it.  The whoosing sound like an ocean and then the 'bwoph, bwoph, bwoph' sound of your child living inside you - that God breathed life that's been gently placed there as a gift, all neatly tucked away.

Then your clothes don't fit anymore and the realisation that now it's time to go shopping for maternity wear.  Big enormous trousers that could fit around a space hopper and skirts like scout tents.

Alternate weeks with the midwife and doctor.  Being prodded and poked.  Blood tests being taken.  All to make sure your baby is well and growing.  Finding out your baby's head is half way down or two thirds down, or it's popped up again, now it's down again, and finally 'engaged'.  This is it.  Not long to go.

The final few weeks.  You've had enough now.  Surely it's ready to be born.  You can't sleep, you can't turn over, you can't bend down to do your shoes up, getting out of the bath requires assistance, you can't pull your chair close to your desk at work because your bump is in the way and you can't get back in the car at the supermarket because somebody has parked too close to the driver's door and you're too big to get in the gap. 

You're excited, you're scared.  You know it's coming soon.  You know it's going to hurt.  You've visited the hospital and seen all the contraptions and checked with the nurses they're well stocked with pethidine, entonox and anaesthetists.  The nursery is ready, tiny nappies wait unopened in their packet, grandparents have stocked you up with hand knitted cardigans, the pram is in the hall and your hospital bag is packed.

* * *
Joshua was born 7 days early.  An 8 hour water pool labour that was halted because he was face up, stuck and distressed.  I also had maternal exhaustion and the increased effort of trying to deliver him was sending me into a delirous unconsciousness.  I gave it all I had and it wasn't enough.  He needed help to get out and was swiftly delivered by ventouse.  A beautiful baby, 7lb 7oz.

Joshua, is 12 years old today.  A remarkable young lad who is growing up to be an exceptional young man.  He's doing very well at school and has lots of nice friends.  He's learning each day more and more about who he is and who God wants him to be.  I love him immensely and I'm incredibly proud of him and of all things most, I thank God, that of all the women in the world He could have given Joshua to, He gave him to me.