2009 Lessons and Loves

2009 has been a toughie that's for sure! I think whatever could have been thrown at us has been and it has been very challenging. I could write a book on the lessons I have learned and the person I have become through it. I can honestly say that I do wholeheartedly agree with James when he wrote in the Bible that we should count it all joy when falling into various trials. It has been a joy - truly, I am not just saying that. It's almost like saying that labour and child birth is a joy. It's the same sort of thing, you don't deny the pain but the fruit far outweighs the bit of pain that you have to endure. I thank God for working all things together for good in my life and for the lessons he has taught me in 2009.

I also want to thank my beautiful family for being on this journey with me. Together we have faced giants, conquered battles and celebrated the victories. Together we have also cried, argued and driven each other quite crazy on some days. Never-the-less we did it together!  I am so grateful to God for my family - I know what we have is quite rare, in fact we are very special. Thank you my darling husband, Eric, for still loving me even though you have seen my at my worst - you are an incredible man and I respect you with every fiber of my being! Thank you Lorah-Kelly for being the reliable one in the family, when we are all losing it and acting like children you speak wisdom, sense and show us the mature way of doing things - you are an amazing young woman Lorah, if you keep walking on the path you are on you are going to do awesome things in this world. Thank you Jordan for your unconditional love and for being the fun one in the family. I often don't think I deserve the love you give me and I want you to know that I am very proud of you and love the young woman you are growing into. Don't EVER try to be like anyone else Jordan, you have such treasure inside of you and I look forward to watching you discover it over the next few years. Daniel and Amy can't read this yet but they are so very cute and make every single day of my life special just by being as cute as they are.

2010 is just around the corner, I can't guarantee that it is going to be easy but I am convinced it is going to be AWESOME. I am looking forward to all the adventures that God has planned for us and I look forward to being transformed from glory to glory! What did you learn in 2009 and what are you looking forward to in 2010?

Happy New Year



Looking for the Messiah

SUPPOSE JESUS CAME to your church. I don’t mean symbolically. I mean visibly. Physically. Actually. Suppose he came to your church. Would you recognize him? It might be difficult. Jesus didn’t wear religious clothes in his day. Doubtful that he would wear them in ours. If he came today to your church, he’d wear regular clothes. Nothing fancy, just a jacket and shoes and a tie. Maybe a tie … maybe not. He would have a common name. “Jesus” was common. I suppose he might go by Joe or Bob or Terry or Elliot. Elliot … I like that. Suppose Elliot, the Son of God, came to your church.

Of course, he wouldn’t be from Nazareth or Israel. He’d hail from some small spot down the road like Hollow Point or Chester City or Mt. Pleasant.And he’d be a laborer. He was a carpenter in his day. No reason to think he’d change, but let’s say he did. Let’s say that this time around he was a plumber. Elliot, the plumber from Mt. Pleasant. Rumor has it that he fed a football field full of people near the lake. Others say he healed a senator’s son from Biloxi. Some say he’s the Son of God. Others say he’s the joke of the year. You don’t know what to think. And then, one Sunday, he shows up. About midway through the service he appears in the back of the auditorium and takes a seat. After a few songs he moves closer to the front. After yet another song he steps up on the platform and announces, “You are singing about me. I am the Son of God.” He holds a Communion tray. “This bread is my body. This wine is my blood. When you celebrate this, you celebrate me!” What would you think? Would you be offended? The audacity of it all. How irreverent, a guy named Elliot as the Son of God! Would you be interested? Wait a minute, how could he be the Son of God? He never went to seminary, never studied at a college. But there is something about him … Would you believe? I can’t deny it’s crazy. But I can’t deny what he has done.

It’s easy to criticize contemporaries of Jesus for not believing in him. But when you realize how he came, you can understand their skepticism.

Jesus didn’t fit their concept of a Messiah. Wrong background. Wrong pedigree. Wrong hometown. No Messiah would come from Nazareth. Small, hick, one-stoplight town. He didn’t fit the Jews’ notion of a Messiah, and so, rather than change their notion, they dismissed him.

He came as one of them. He was Jesus from Nazareth. Elliot from Mt. Pleasant. He fed the masses with calloused hands. He raised the dead wearing bib overalls and a John Deere Tractor cap.

They expected lights and kings and chariots from heaven. What they got was sandals and sermons and a Galilean accent.

And so, some missed him. And so, some miss him still.

From A Gentle Thunder by Max Lucado


Sleep for Christmas

Eric & I had a lovely 2 weeks in the USA to visit my mom & dad! It was a fantastic time of rest & catching up with family. We arrived home last Wednesday morning after 3 aeroplanes & a bus trip from London. It is great to be home but it seems that all that rest has already been used up. Eric & I can't sleep!!! Since we have been home last Wednesday we have been averaging 3 hours sleep a night. All I want for Christmas this year is some sleep ha ha. It's been a week now & we are getting desperate for sleep - any suggestions?


Free Book - Nevertheless

Nevertheless is John Kirkby’s story of the adventure of starting Christians Against Poverty.

In 1996 John and Lizzie Kirkby set out on a faith adventure. John felt God call him to give up his successful career in the finance industry to do what he could to help the poor and needy in his home town of Bradford. John did what he was best at and devised simple budgeting systems that allowed people to reduce their debt whilst living a decent life. In doing this John found that he could share the life transforming faith he himself had experienced some four years earlier, and people’s lives were changed before his very eyes.

I have read this book & couldn't put it down, it has really changed our life & given us strength to get through many difficult times. Eric at times said he had to put the book down as he couldn't continue reading - he was wondering how anyone can get through what John managed to get through. Eric & I have also had to privilege of meeting John Kirby & seeing the CAP head office. John & Lizzie have done an amazing thing & many lives are being changed all over the world because of the very high price they paid for something that they believed in. Thank you so much for all you have done John & Lizzie.

I highly recommend that you read this book. Get a free copy here


Christmas Fun

It's that time of year again - what fun! I love all the gift wrapping, baking, parties and all the fun around Christmas time. One of the things I like to do is sort out the children's toys to see if they need anything new. Well needless to say this year they don't need anything new, what they did need was a ton of batteries for all the old toys! Look at the photo above, these are all the toys that they never played with because their batteries had run down. Well, thanks to my wonderful mom and dad who bought us a giant pack of batteries, they are now all working! I do however realise why I let the batteries run down though - all these toys are noisy!!! Oh well, all good fun. So what are you doing to prepare for Christmas?



Marriage Tip #3 - Leave the Past Behind

One of the nicest things Eric ever said to me is; "I don't care about your past, I care about your future". The best part is that he totally meant it, he has never brought up my "colourful" past or used the mistakes of my past against me. Sometimes I even feel like he doesn't believe the stories I have told him about all the bad things I have done in the past. It is so amazing to be loved for who I am not not based on what I did (good or bad) in the past.

In the photo above are two of our most wonderful friends, it's so important to have great friends who will also leave the past in the past. One of my best friends ever, Michelle (above), has seen me at my best & at my worst, she has seen me single & married - and still she is my friend (whew!). I can't tell you how amazing it is to have a husband & great friends who all believe in my future & don't judge me on my past!


Hello From...

Hey there King's Daughters! Eric & I are having the most amazing time on holiday but thinking of you all every day. God has been so amazing by providing us with this unexpected gift of a good, restful holiday. There is lots of news but before I get into the news... who can guess where we are? Check out the clues in the photo above & tell me where exactly in the world you think we are!