Monthly Archives: August 2013

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A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.
~Washington Irving~

Thoughtful Thursdays

If We Want To Be Beautiful On The Outside, We Need to Be Beautiful On The Inside

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We are a people obsessed with our looks.  we want to look good, beautiful, handsome.  Society expects it of us in many ways.  We can often find ourselves waking up in the morning staring at the face in the mirror and wishing it was more like this or that.  We despair over wrinkles and ageing skin.  I’ve been there.

We get told that drinking x amount of water and whole foods will help our bodies from the inside and thus give us a wonderful complexion, shinier hair, brighter eyes, or whatever else we are promised.  These things are all good, and these things all do go somewhat towards keeping the insides of our bodies in good working order which is then reflected in the skin on the outside.

On its own, however, this is not enough.  You can have the healthiest of diets and use all the right products and still be an ugly person, because what’s happening in the heart in our very inmost beings is what is reflected to those around us.  “The north wind brings forth rain, and a back-biting tongue an angry countenance.” Proverbs 25:23  How we are, how we act, behave and think affects our outwards appearance either negatively or positively.

Our inward beauty is the most important tool we can have in our make up kit.  When we have calm and gentle, peaceful spirits our outward countenance is also one of peace.  when we have an inner spirit which is in turmoil, or is angry and bitter  it is reflected in our outward countenance as well.

Instead of applying lotions and potions to the skins to make ourselves more beautiful, we ought to spend more time tending to our inner hearts so that the joy and peace will overflow to our outward appearance.

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In most schools today, children cram to pass but fail to know.

~Karen Andreola~

Thoughtful Thursdays

Am I Growing In Love?

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Yesterday, I listened to a talk on these verses in 1 Corinthians 13: Love suffers long and is kind: love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

What a lovely image of what love is!  It’s easy to read along these lines and nod in agreement that, yes, this is what love is, but it doesn’t go further than that.  The talk was a challenge that the sign of our change and growth as Christians came in how well we were loving others.  And the longer the talk went on the more I started to squirm in my seat as my heart was convicted.  As I asked myself truthfully how I was doing in this area, the resounding answer was not very well at all.  In fact, I have become extremely stagnant in this area.

The speaker talked about how love covers a multitude of wrongdoings.  He used the example of an oyster who upon getting a grain of sand inside their shell, weeps an emolient over it.  The sand hurts; it aggravates; it irritates, but the oyster weeps an emolient over it giving it a covering and the end result is something precious and valuable.  in the same way we are to cover others’ faults and failings with love because love changes all.

It’s so easy to grumble and complain and pick at people’s faults.  We live in a selfish, me first, society, where if someone does us wrong we take care of ourself first; we judge others by our standards instead of seeing them as Christ sees them.

So, how am I doing?

Long suffering: I am so short tempered and snappy.  I have no patience whatsoever.

Kind: hmmm, erm, I find it much easier to spew unkind words and without from doing kind deeds.  It is my natural bent.

Does not envy: I envy a lot.  I envy other people’s success, their career maybe, their domestic skills, their crafting skills, the list is endless of what I envy.

Does not parade itself:  Fail again

Is not puffed up:  Yeah, I like to boast and be proud and conceited sometimes, ok a lot of the time.

Does not behave rudely:  oh boy, this is an area where I need a LOT of work.  Again it comes so much more easily to me to be rude to other’s to ensure my own needs are looked after than it does to be gracious and kind.

Does not seek its own:  Well, I think it’s pretty clear that I can be quite selfish.

Is not provoked:  I am too easily provoked and I fly off the handle far too often.

Thinks no evil:  I judge, I huff and puff about people, I resent, I hold on to wrong doings done against me

Does not rejoice in iniquity: Ok, so I don’t rejoice with evil acts in this world like murder etc, but when something bad befalls someone I don’t like very much it’s easy for that little voice in my head to think yeah, well, they had that coming or they got what they deserved.

rejoices with the truth:  Truth and honesty are big things for me, so by the grace of God I do rejoice in truth.

Bears all things: DO I always protect?  Yes, myself, but I am not so good at doing the same for others.

believes all things:  Do I trust?  No, experience has taught me to be suspicious, so this is a major area for me

Hopes all things: I rarely hope.  I currently prefer wallowing in despair that nothing will change etc so why bother.

Endures all things:  For me it is far easier to give up and quit than to keep at it.

 

Wow, that’s me; a horrible person when I really start delving into my true heart.  I want to love this way.  I want to be characterised by 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, but I can’t on my own.  I may succeed for a few days…probably more like a few hours, but in my own strength this would be exhausting to do.  To change myself into this, I need time everyday in the presence of Jesus.  I need to spend time in prayer and reading the Bible to allow him to transform me with His love flowing through me.  Only then can I even have  a hope of loving others like this in His strength.  So the first big change for me is setting more time aside in my day to spend in prayer and study.

The speaker in his talk told us of these words that someone (I don’t know who) has written:

 

Joy is love enjoying

Peace is love resting

Patience is love waiting

Kindness is love reacting

Goodness is love choosing

Faithfulness is love keeping its word

Gentleness is love empathising

Self-control is love resisting

Lord, help me to love like this. Amen.  I think I may do something with these words so that they can grace the walls of our home and be a daily reminder.

 

Be with Jesus

The Blanket Is Finally Finished!

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Well, folks, the moment has arrived when Miss E’s blanket finally came to an end…all but weaving in the final ends.  I finished it on Wednesday evening.  And here are the final results:

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So there it is!  All finished and ready to keep a special little girl warm on wintry nights.  Have you been creating recently?  Please share your makes; I would love to see them.

 

My Spa Hotel Break

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Recently, we have had a lot of stress and it has been taking its toll on my health.  I am struggling to sleep due to the stress, hearing rats running about overhead in the middle of the night(yes, folks, they are still here, but the problem does not lie with us we have found out) and also a bad infection in a wisdom tooth.  Miss E has also been struggling to sleep as some more of her teeth are coming through.  This has meant that time in the evenings for unwinding was taken over with entertaining her.  So I was struggling to cope with that as well…being an introvert I need space to recharge.  Mr P had mentioned booking me into a hotel for a night so that I could get an undisturbed night of rest.

Finally this week, I decided this would be a very good idea indeed!  I then took very ill Thursday/Friday after a homeopathic treatment sending my body into a healing crisis, so we didn’t book anywhere in the end.  The plan was to see how I was on Saturday and book in somewhere in the afternoon.  I had a lovely full body massage around midday, yesterday.  I used to go and see this lady quite often a few years ago, and then stopped, but due to the amount of tension in my body, we felt it was time to see her again.  After that we all went and had lunch at Pizza Hut.  BY the time we got home, I was so tired and relaxed from my massage I couldn’t even have thought of packing and bag and getting to a hotel.  Mr P suggested it wait until another time, but he would sort the room out so I could spend a nice evening relaxing in our bedroom instead.

This is what I ended up with instead:

Keycard for my "hotel" room....he's so creative :)

Keycard for my “hotel” room….he’s so creative 🙂

 

lots and lots of candles

lots and lots of candles

 

There was also a room service menu, and of course I had to make use of that 🙂  I had a lovely evening continuing to unwind, crocheting, reading etc.  I fell into a deep slumber and for the first time in many, many, many months I didn’t even hear Miss E wake up.  In fact, I am so relaxed I’ve been having to fight falling asleep again all day since getting up. 🙂  Many thanks to Mr P.  I think I may have to book in for a spa break at this hotel again in future. 🙂