Reflections of 2015

Can you believe that in a couple of days time it will be December already? How has your year been? Are you excited and ready for 2016. I love this time of year, I love to reflect, to sort and clean my home for Christmas and to have a good break after a hard year's work. As it gets colder it seems to get more magical.  Before the autumn leaves disappeared we had a family photo shoot and we had so much fun!

Daniel and Amy love to climb trees so we have several photos of them up in a tree or just hanging around like in the one below. They are such monkeys!

Can you see the little bump on Lorah below?  She is PREGNANT so I am going to be a grandma in January! It is so exciting and I can't wait to meet my first granddaughter.

Here is an amazing photo of Samuel, Lorah and the bump taken today.  Ooh I am so excited I could pop!

2016 has also given us two litters of kitten from our precious cats, Muffin and Poppy.

It could be so easy to reflect on the struggles and difficulties we have faced this year but equally we have the choice to focus on all the good times which is what we will do. The struggles have been many and I am always honest with you here on my blog and share them freely along with what God is teaching me.  But what a joy today to be able to post some of the amazing times that we have had this year.

How about you, what has brought you joy this year?  I would love to hear from you and see your photos too.


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Book Sale

10.00 £5.00
Everything must go!  £5 only (UK postage only) Buy as many books as you like here and we will reply to find out which ones you would like.   Click on each book to see the description on Amazon.  We have the following in stock, the list is updated as the books are sold:

Get your books here

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An interview with Daniel about diabetes.

Today we are taking a look at a child's perspective of diabetes in an interview with my 9 year old son, Daniel, who has had diabetes for nearly 3 years.

When did you first know that something was wrong?
It was at my sister Amy's party. I was eating loads of sweets which was making me drink loads of water. I had six full cups of water and was still thirsty so became a bit suspicious at that time. My parents were probably suspicious as well.

What happened next?
We didn't think much about it but my parents thought it best to go to doctor and see why I was drinking so much water.  So we went to the doctor and they didn't give me a diagnosis or anything but sent me to the hospital.  At the hospital they gave me loads of blood test which were really painful. The used these really mean rectangle finger prickers and they discovered that my blood sugars were very high. They gave me the diagnosis and I found out I had diabetes.  

So what happened after you were diagnosed with diabetes?
I had to stay in hospital a little longer until we got the hang of things and they explained it. So I was in bed most of the day and I made a friend who was also diagnosed with diabetes. It was actually my teacher's daughters son I later found out. I used to go over to his bed and we used to play Lego Starwars. The hospital was really annoying because I had to have blood tests every few hours. I remember having nice big meals and I had to eat all of the desert too as it was counted in my meter. YUM!

How did your life change when you came home from hospital?
Well firstly I had to do loads of blood tests and I had to have injections which I slowly got used to. At school I had to do the same thing. I had to eat biscuits before play times and running around. From then until now I have been trying to get my blood sugars at the right level. It has been really hard working with diabetes. 

What do you hate most about it?
The blood tests and injections because they are really annoying and painful most of the time. Sometimes even now. 

What would you say to another child who has just been diagnosed with diabetes?
I would say that you will get used to it. Even though the dextrose might seem nice, don't eat them when you are not supposed to. Be very accurate with your carb counting so you don't have to go through lots of trouble. 

What would you say to a parent whose child has just been diagnosed with diabetes?
Make sure you are good with the carb counting and you should probably download the blood sugars to figure out patterns so you can keep it level. 

Do you believe that God can heal you?
Yes definitely. 

Why do you think He allowed you to have diabetes?
Maybe He will use it for something good to help other people and to show stuff to the world.  The spread the word when He heals me that God is real and God can heal.

Why do you think He hasn't healed you yet?
I believe it's all part of His plan. He has something special install for the future.

Do you believe God makes people sick?
No! I believe he makes good out of sickness but doesn't make people sick.

What are your plans for the time between now and when you are healed?
Getting my blood sugars stable and praying to be healed. Asking God what He is going to do for me.

Do you feel sad about being sick?
Yes but if God is going to make something good about it then I am fine to stay with it a bit more. 

What would you advise to help people?
Keep your blood sugars stable because this has happened to me, if your blood sugars go too high too often, you get very bad stomach pains and it stings a lot. 

If you are a child or parent with a child suffering with diabetes please feel free to ask Daniel or I questions below or read other posts about our journey.

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Giving thanks in all circumstances

This past Sunday we celebrated our 140th anniversary at Charlton Kings Baptist Church. Wow what an amazing history we have and what amazing people have gone before us and worked hard so we can enjoy the church that we have today. It's incredibly and so easy to take for granted what we have today without realising that many have paid the price so that we can have all that we do.

The message by Revd Dr Nigel Scotland was on thankfulness and it was a powerful reminder of a very important foundational principle of our faith and that is plain and simply to give thanks in all circumstances. What really stood out for me what that he said that we don't have to and can't always give thanks for all circumstances but we can always give thanks in every circumstance. What a powerful thing to remember.

Nigel went on to remind us that to give thanks is to be in God's will and not to is to be outside of His will.  How many times do we beg God to tell us His will and spend hours seeking Him for His will but really it is quite simple.

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
 - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

How simple is that? To give thanks in everything is God's will. The word thanks here is from the Greek eucharisteō which directly translated means to be grateful. It's no big mystery, there is nothing nicer than someone who is grateful and God loves it too.

So, how about we connect as often as possible on our Facebook page and share what we are grateful about? I would love you to join me at the end of every day before we settle down for the night, to share what we are grateful for that day and fall asleep meditating on how grateful we are. Come over and connect with us at www.facebook.com/KingsDaughtersUK or twitter.com/_kingsdaughters  using #dailygratitude at #kingsdaughters and leave a comment below about what you are most grateful for right now.

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Daniel and Diabetes

Daniel and Amy

I have four amazing children, two of whom still live at home and two who have grown up and moved out.  It was nearly three years ago when our eldest, Lorah-Kelly got married to her high school sweetheart, Samuel. It was also around this time that we noticed that something was wrong with our son, Daniel who was 7 years old. He seemed fit and well and nothing seemed out of the ordinary except that he was drinking unusual amounts of water. It got so bad that he had to get up during the night several times to have a drink and of course go to the toilet. So after about a week of this I decided it best to go see a doctor even though it seemed like a silly symptom to go to the doctor for.

Everything from the doctors appointment is a bit of a surreal haze and even two years and nine months on, I can remember the shock as if it were yesterday. The doctor did a urine test and afterwards looked gravely concerned and called the hospital.  Daniel was sent over as soon as possible and we were told to be prepared for him to stay overnight. He didn't say what was wrong. Upon arriving at the hospital Daniel was seen immediately and had blood tests. I don't recall exactly what happened or the order of events, all I remember is that his blood sugar was 33  (normal is between 4 - 7). They said they were surprised that he looked as well as he did and was not in a coma. He was that ill!

Daniel was admitted to hospital and we spend the next week at his bedside learning about type 1 diabetes, watching him crying as he had his finger pricked and blood taken often during the day and night. It was heart wrenching. Eric and I were in shock. After a week of excellent education by the NHS diabetic team, we were expected to start caring for him. They assured us that he would not be allowed home until they felt confident that we were able to manage his blood tests and insulin injections. We had to learn how to count carbohydrates, check his blood sugar levels and give him 4 to 6 injections a day. The severity of the situation was heavily impressed upon us and we were reminded that if his blood sugars went too high or too low he could die. It seemed every 5 minutes we were reminded that it was a life threatening life long disease that could not be cured ever.

Eric and I were exhausted from being in hospital, little sleep coupled with a lot of worry and uncertainty. We reached a point where we just wanted our family back home all together so we could get some sense of normality back into our life. Although it was clear life would never be the same again we craved some sort of routine. Each day we were asked if we were ready to give Daniel his injections. In the past Eric has passed out when he saw me have an injection during labour with Amy, I could not see him ever coping with this. I thought I would be fine but when they put the insulin pen in my hand I burst out crying. There was no way I could ever inject my son, or so I thought.

Much to my surprise Eric took the pen and gave Daniel his injection. I asked Eric how he managed to do it as I simply couldn't and he said that he knew that if he didn't, Daniel would not be able to come home. The nurses kept reassuring me that things would get better and giving the injections would become easier. Although I believed them and knew it was true I couldn't see how. Eric became highly competent in caring for Daniel and so he was allowed home. I struggled. I couldn't do the injections. I couldn't prick his finger to test his blood. I was a mess. Shock, confusion and tiredness took over.

I will continue our story and our journey in future posts.  The past few years have been incredibly difficult and today I make the decision to share our story, what we have learned and how we are coping. Daniel will even write his version of the story too and hopefully I can get Eric to also. I know there are others out there struggling with the same thing and I hope that somehow sharing our story will be helpful and comforting for them. For those of you who do not have this particular struggle, you may find it useful for when you meet someone with diabetes or someone with a diabetic child. I had no idea how ignorant I was about diabetes until we were hit with it.  I would also like to look at faith, healing and medicine so there is a lot more to come.

Please chat to me if you have diabetes, are supporting someone with diabetes or just have questions in general about illness and/or healing. Let's stick together as this is a terrible illness but we believe in a God who heals.

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One thing that I have been struggling with lately is to be who I know I am. It's not that I am faking it or being insincere, it's nothing like that, it's just that I haven't felt like myself for quite sometime and really want to get back to that place of being centered, aligned and at peace within. Getting free from depression has been really hard work this time around. It's not that when I wrote Hope's Journey that it wasn't a struggle, it was just a completely different struggle.

Today I wanted to talk about something that I have been working on. Habits. In our life we could have habits that help and habits that hinder. I am extremely aware of the habits that I currently have that are hindering me as well as the ones I want to have to help me. This isn't new to me either, I have had these bad habits and awareness of the good ones I want for literally years! Some years I manage to overcome the bad ones with the good and other years I tend to lean towards the bad ones! Aargh I so relate to Paul when he wrote in Romans 7:19,

"When I want to do good, I don’t; and when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway."

That's me!  I desperately want to get the good habits into my life and yet I end up doing the very things I don't want to do! So, I have started tackling these habits one step at a time. One habit I desperately want in my life and know that I need it, is to wake up in the morning and go for a run. Since I was about 11 years old I have been an early riser and have run in the morning. I have no idea why I was like that but when that is part of my routine I have always been happier. It seems that this is a part of the real me. Starting the day right is essential for me and lately I have struggled with this habit. For months I struggled with sleep so grabbed sleep whenever I could which made getting up early impossible. Then I went on anti-depressants and started sleeping like a baby every night, so I didn't want to set an alarm and ruin that. In fact I haven't used an alarm for the past 18 months, I have relied on my body to tell me when it has had enough sleep. I know when I am well and happy I will naturally wake up between 5 and 6 o'clock. Of course there has been no natural rhythm for quite a few years now.

My method for getting this helpful habit back into my life is to just take it one step at a time. Although there are loads of good habits I would like back in my life, I am just starting with one. So every morning for the past few weeks I have thought to myself when I wake up, "Get up and go for a run". The thought has lingered, the mornings have got colder and I have not got up and gone for a run! This hasn't deterred me. I continue to have the same thought every morning and keep pushing myself to get this thought to become an action. In the past few weeks it has become an action on 4 occasions - woo hoo! I will keep pushing myself until it becomes a daily habit. Once it becomes a habit I am going to push my endurance, at the moment I am not managing much distance at all but that's OK because I know that forming the habit is the most important thing.

Did you notice that I am not focusing on the bad habits I want to give up? I don't know how it works for you but the more I focus on a bad habit the harder it is to give it up, so for now I am just focusing on getting this one good habit into place and then will tackle the next one.  I am fully aware of my bad habits so it's highly unlikely that I will forget about them but I am hoping that with enough good habits in place I won't need the bad ones anymore.

How about you, what do you do to deal with the habits in your life?  Are you struggling with anything at the moment?  Please do chat about it in the comments box below, I would love to hear from you.


PS Another habit I have got back into is writing this blog, at first I had no words but I am pleased to report that I am finding a steady stream of words again.  Enjoy!
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The Hard Work of Rest

Eric hit the nail on the head tonight when he told me that I have to do the hard work of rest. God has been gently and at times very firmly telling me to slow down. He told me through the gentle whisper of His Spirit, through the audible voice of my friends and even through the doctor prescribing anti-depressants for burnout! Despite the clear and obvious warning as well as my desire to rest, why is it so difficult?

Rest isn't as easy as it sounds. It's not like I can just stay in bed and sleep all day. If only it were that simple! I have to make a conscious decision to rest, to slow down and to find the balance in my life. My family still need caring for, my homes still needs cleaning, my business still needs working on and my ministry still needs me to turn up. I have cut a lot out already and said no to very many things, which has been a good start. It wasn't easy, I mean I was half way through my campaign for the next local elections and had to pull out. It really hurt me to let the team down and I hate being a quitter, but I knew that I was treading on dangerous ground and had to start letting go of things.

"He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters." - Psalm 23:2

Am I struggling because I am resisting His leading? Is it hard work to rest because He is trying to make me and I am not? This verse is so beautiful and it's clear that God wants me to go to a place of rest and comfort but why is it so hard to go there? If  it is so beautiful and so peaceful why don't I just go and lie down?  I have several theories:

1. Habit
I am in a bad habit, like a hamster stuck on a wheel going round and round but getting nowhere. Bad habits are hard to break. Even though I see how bad it is and that I am going nowhere, I still keep running. So, my step one will be simply to stop and get off the hamster wheel. Exactly how I do that practically is another story.  One step at a time a guess. Every time I recognise repetitive behaviour not producing fruit I will have to stop doing it.

2. Discipline
Lack of self discipline can actually be more tiring than a disciplined lifestyle. It seems ironic but it is true. It is hard work to lead a peaceful life. For example, I am a much happier and more peaceful person when I exercise and eat healthy. To rest for me doesn't mean to eat junk food and laze about the house, it actually means keeping my body in good shape so I am healthy. I cannot recover from this horrible burnout without taking good care of my body and mind. So almost every day, whether I feel like it or not, I try do some form of exercise and eat as healthy as possible.

3. Devil
The devil can be keeping me from doing the things I need to do because he likes me being in this state. He knows I have nothing to give right now which is exactly where he wants me to stay. I know to resist him and he will flee. I cannot rest until I have done the hard work of dealing with the devil. I do this practically by making sure I confess truth and scripture as opposed to allowing my negative thinking followed by words to come out of my mouth. It doesn't come naturally but we as a family are committed to keeping the tone positive so tomorrow during family day, we are going to write out and stick up our favourite scriptures and stick them up in key places in our home until positive and scriptural confession is normal to us all. That reminds me of an old post called The Power of the Tongue.

4. Disobedience
Plain and simply, there are times when I am just a silly disobedient child and don't do as I am told! It is my own fault for not getting the rest I need because when God or my husband or someone who loves me tells me I should or should not do something and I don't listen then it's on me.

This is my story, what's yours? I would love to hear from you, to know that I am not alone in this as I try figure life out. Please chat to me in the comments box below.

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