Mama on the edge

Where has the time gone???

Goodness me! Apologies...

Lockdown has got me all confused with the days and hours and weeks of my life right now! Ha! How is everyone coping with it? In all fairness, not a lot has changed for us, still homeschooling so the morning routine has stayed the same, but the afternoons...whoa! That's a whole other story! Thankfully my sister's friend set up this awesome Whatsapp group called 'Surviving Through Play' and there's a whole bunch of us mums on there in the same situation, just trying to make it through the day, keeping our children entertained and happy, and keeping ourselves sane! Haha! The latter is easier said than done!

I used to be out 3-4 times a week with church commitments and then taking the kids shopping with me on another day (not saying I miss this part, shopping by yourself is way easier...if you forget about the anxiety that Coronavirus brings to everyone's shopping experience! Ha!) Anyhoo, the afternoons have been dragging but it's so nice to know, none of us are on our own. Despite feeling alone sometimes.

We're all going through the same thing, albeit some aspects will be slightly different for everyone, but you get what I mean. We're all trying to obey the rules and keep ourselves, our loved ones and those on the frontline safe by staying indoors.

What I've found especially challenging is not being with other people, I've always enjoyed my own space and love that, but I am also rather sociable and I love spending time with people who I have built up good relationships with over the years. Sure, we all have ways of contacting people, but it's so different isn't it? I have found that with this challenge, if I let it, it would consume my every thought, making my days and weeks very, very long and that wouldn't be good for anyone! So, I need to constantly remind myself, each day, that God has blessed me and my family with a roof over our heads and a lovely garden to escape into. The weather has been wonderful, which has definitely helped this new season in our lives.

But still, the devil tries to wiggle in and put those doubts and fears into our minds; are my finances ok? Do we have enough food? What if I've brought the virus home? What if churches never go back to 'normal'? Little things like that, which actually make a huge impact into our lives, if we choose to let them. I've found that I need to mentally push those thoughts aside and go to the one place I know I can find my hope and security from - God. He hasn't changed one bit in this constantly changing time. He's been there from the beginning and He will be there til the end.

If you don't know God personally yet, why wait? There are so many things at the moment online that we can all take advantage of. We all need encouragement and reassurance in our lives and we all need to know there is a hope for us, no matter how big or small that is.

My hope is in God - is yours?

Continue doing what you're doing everyone. Keep strong.

B x

Isolation - 25/3/20

So, it has been well over a month since I last posted so I apologise.

Things have changed a little in the world, haven't they? It's a strange feeling having everything around you just stop. But on a positive side, I am loving having the hubby home and so are the kids, although getting used to a new normal and finding a routine that works for all of us now, is a little tricky but we're on day 3 now and things seem to be going ok...ish! Haha!

How are you all finding this new 'normal'? For me, not a lot has changed really, having the hubby working from home and not having any groups to go to or run, is about all that's changed. We were already home schooling so that has continued and the weather has been gorgeous these last few days so we've been living in the garden after we've finished with school. Happy days :-)

It's so nice to see all these support groups popping up all over the place. We live in a time which has been very blessed with technology and so, although physically we might be alone, mentally and emotionally we aren't, and that is a huge factor in helping to maintain a healthy balanced day-to-day life.

I will be having my second scan in a couple of weeks and actually had a phone call this morning warning me of the change of venue and time, due to taking extra precautions for expectant mothers. That I can cope with and understand, but I have to attend the scan by myself, partners are not allowed, despite us all being in isloation together! This part I am struggling with. I like the support my hubby gives me and it makes me feel like he is more involved in the pregnancy as it's not like he can do anything else over the 9 months! Haha!

So, in lockdown, no social contact with any 'outsiders', no kids groups, no church gatherings....not a lot to be positive about really...or is there?

'And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].' - Philippians 4:7

'May the God of hope fill your with all joy and peace in believeing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in his promises.' - Romans 15:13

These 2 verses have really helped me this past week. We all have a hope. The world might be falling apart around us, but God isn't. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. That is a hope I can cling to in these uncertain times.

Don't suffer alone in these circumstances, reach out to someone, you are not going through this alone.

Much love

B x

Illness - 3/2/20

So, these last few weeks have been a real battle for me. Physically, mentally and emotionally. We got some fantastic news that we are expecting our third baby, but man, this pregnancy has hit me like a ton of bricks! I have been exhausted, to the point where I can literally sleep most of the day and still sleep all night! Morning sickness, well I don't know who came up with that name, but this time round it's been all day nausea which, I think for me, is worse!

The main thing is we are delighted to have this new bundle of joy arriving in however many months! I have been trying to focus on the positives rather than getting consumed in the here and now of the pants feelings I've been experiencing!

The hubby has been brilliant, really stepping up and helping out with the kids when he can despite working stupid hours and him being exhausted himself! It got to the point a couple of days ago where we decided that, for the time being, I need to worry less about my commitments with other things and focus on resting and being here for my husband, kids and the home. If I am exhausted from doing too much, then I neglect my responsibilities in my home and that is much worse than missing out on other things.

My main worry has always been letting people down and so this decision was a tough one but one we decided would be the best plan to help us just whilst we're in this short season.

This blog was hard to write because it opens me up to my vulnerability and I let people know that I am only human, but, we all are. So why do we pretend that we can do everything all of the time?

I love serving others, but I must ultimately serve my family first and that means resting and helping this little being cook inside me!!

I have found comfort in these verses recently:

"Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end— Because I am God, your personal God...I paid a huge price for you...That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you." (Isaiah 43:1-4 - MSG)

I especially love how The Message Bible writes it, because, to me, it emphasises just how much God cares for me, little old me in all my self pity at the moment! He gave up everything just for me. Now that's something to take comfort in and smile.

Have a blessed one everyone.

B x

Relax - 18/1/20

A day late again but have no fear...I am here! Haha!

We had a busy day yesterday, although I did manage to use my Christmas present from the hubster. He brought me a massage which was a wonderfully relaxing hour. A very thoughtful gift and one that I felt very spolit with. I've never been that great at relaxing but being in that kind of environment just helped my brain to switch off for a little bit and actually relax. It was lovely.

We all need time to relax. Be it physically or mentally. I don't know about you but for me, as a mum, sometimes relaxing just seems like something forgeign! I constantly think I need to be doing something or if I'm not doing something, then thinking about doing something, normally which doesn't even need to be done or thought of!

My challenge to you, and also to myself, is to try and make time each day, even if it's 10 minutes, to sit in a quiet place (or if it's my house, somewhere slightly less noisy!) And use that time to pray or read your Bible or even that book that's been sat on your bookshelf for the last 3 years! God urges us to rest and more importantly to rest in His presense. He will always give us everything we need which includes rest, so why do we always worry or stress about everything.

Make sure you make relaxing a priorty in your every day :)

Have a blessed one.

B x

Have a little faith - 10/1/20

Faith, what is it? The Oxford dictionary says - it's having 'complete trust or confidence in someone or something'. Imagine never seeing someone but having a trust in that person which outweighs everything else. The Bible says - 'Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see'(Hebrews 11:1). We may never see God here on this earth but we can rest in the certainty that He is who He says He is and He will always look after us. Giving up control and letting God have the reins...now that's faith.

I’ve spent my whole life living by faith, well trying to anyway. My dad is an evangelist so learning to rely on God’s provision financially, and with many other things, has been ingrained in me since a young age. God always provided everything we needed, we never lacked anything.

Now, I brought this faith into my marriage but the hubby, being from a slightly different background was very different with his faith when it came to finances. I was all gung-ho lets-just-buy-that-God-will-provide (slightly dramatised!) Whereas the hubby was more on the, lets-sit-down-and-work-out-where-the-money-is-going-to-come-from-so-we-can-adjust-other-spenditures type! Don’t mistake me here, he has a huge amount of faith and trust in God but when it came down to finances, he would crack out his multi-coloured spreadsheet and type and calculate away. Everything was recorded and amounts set aside for different things, it was like a tightly run ship.

I was so amazed at this, and a little confused but to cut a long story short, we’ve evened each other out. The spreadsheets are no more (which I actually liked, it was like a rainbow chart of digits and letters! Haha!) and I have come to realise that being sensible with money (not that I was ever silly with it), and trusting God a whole lot still, is a good way of showing God how we can be good stewards in minding what He gives us.

Notice up above I said God provided everything we needed. Not wanted. It’s difficult to draw a line between those two as I can quite easily come up with some very good reasons as to why I need a new pair of jeans to add to my ever growing wardrobe, but do I actually need them? The likely truth is that I don’t need them, I would just like a new pair! That's where trusting God with your money helps a huge amount. Knowing I have everything I need is more than enough to make me close my purse or close that tab on the online store.

What I’m getting at here is, trust God with everything, including your finances this year. He gives it all to you ultimately, so start seeking His guidance with how He wants you to use your money. You’ll be surprised at how far a tenner will go if you’re struggling. Just give it to God and let Him do the rest.

Be blessed.

B x

Happy New Year - 4/1/20

So I decided to have a little rest over Christmas, hence the 2 week gap.

We had a lovely Christmas as a family. J and F were so excited and very overwhelmed! The abundance of gifts was extraordinary and I have finally managed to rearrange their toys and make room for the new ones. They got some great ones this year, lots and lots of lego which they have played with every day since (as have I!) It’s so fun to watch their little minds beginning to explore different play avenues.

Anyhoo, this New Year has started off great, albeit only 4 days in! The hubster and I are so excited to see what God has in store for us this year. We have lots to look forward to and will be continuing to seek God’s will for our future. It’s not an easy thing to do, accepting change that is, but when God is involved things seem so much easier.

Knowing where your future lies, what paths you are supposed to take, where you will end up. It's all a hugely daunting task. So, I say stop. Stop thinking too much, stop weighing out all the options, stop jigging around finances. Just stop.

Give it to God. He already has your whole life planned out. He knows where you're going to be next week, next month, even next year. All we have to do is take that leap of faith and trust Him.

Have you ever seen that Indiana Jones movie where he has to cross this very high cliff and there's this invisible log (which he obviously didn't know was there until he stepped on it!) Well, trusting God with everything is just like stepping off of that 100 foot cliff and trusting that God will catch you and carry you along. Please don't go and jump off of any cliff though! It's hypothetical!

Trust God with everything within you this year. Believe it's going to be a good one 🙂

Have a blessed week.

B x

Mum Guilt - 21/12/19

Well hello there again! Clearly I'm a day late again....no excuse, I simply forgot it was Friday yesterday!

Do any of you feel like you have failed/are failing as a parent? I get that feeling far too often! I shout at the kids, don't get all the housework done when I planned too, I'm late with dinner (or occasionally just forgot dinner completely so take-out it is!) My list can go on...seriously. But the fact is, I'm not failing, and neither are you.

We all have our rough days, yes mine seem to be more than the non-rough days at the moment, but I know when my children look at me, the way they run and give me kisses and cuddles, how they're trying so hard to use manners and tidy up, etc. All those things remind me how much they love me and how much of a good job, even if I don't believe it, that I am doing.

This all came to light yesterday when we had to take J to A&E. I had such a busy day planned so the hubby took him. Now this was like someone telling you there's no Christmas this year, or suddenly realising you've left your door unlocked whilst you're halfway to town!!! My body went into major anxious mood as I am always with him, always do the doctor runs, always there to comfort him and reassure him that everything is going to be ok. But yesterday I abandoned those duties, drastic I know, and let my hubby take over. 

Now, it's not that I don't trust him, he is an amazing dad and the kids love him to pieces but it's like that big pit in your stomach opens up and threatens to engulf you, but it's important to let go sometimes. And it was good for both myself and J. I got loads of my jobs done and he was able to spend some quality time with his daddy - I'm not sure the hubby was as enthusiastic after sitting in A&E for 3 hours with a toddler though!!

Anyhoo, all is fine. J has a potential break in his elbow but it was too swollen to see it properly in the x-rays so he is now sporting a very fetching sling (which he will not keep on! I mean, if any of you have any advise, send it my way please! Haha!)

Don't let the lies take over you. You are not failing - speaking to myself also. Just take one day at a time and know you are doing the best you can for your children and family. Leave the rest to God.

Merry Christmas everyone. Have a wonderfully blessed time over the week.

B x

Christmas preparations - 13/12/19

Sorry about the silence everyone, last week was so busy, it got to Saturday evening and I realised I hadn't posted but then got a migraine so that was that, no blog!

On the plus side, it has given me extra time to think of what to write for you guys. I don't know if any of you have been doing it but I've been reading through the book of Luke since the 1st December and reading a chapter each day. I've read the book before but taking a chapter a day and really thinking about what it says about our Lord Jesus, has made me appreciate that time. The quietness and closeness of God is so special, especially at this time of year when the craziness of Christmas just seems to overwhelm everyone, me included.

Just making sure you've got the right presents for each loved one and at the same time wondering whether it's going to be good enough or do you add more to it. Spending, spending, spending. And if you're me, worrying!

The last couple of years I have tried to make the majority of my gifts to help save some pennies but in doing this, I find I get so stressed trying to make sure the gifts are perfect, getting frustrated when they go wrong, trying to figure out how to fix the ginormous mess I just created!! The list goes on and I'm pretty sure I'm not on my own in this hubbub of Christmas preparations.

But what Luke 12 taught me yesterday was that I don't need to stress and worry because worrying doesn't add anything to my life (Luke 12 v 25), it does the complete opposite. It takes away my peace and my joy. Time I could spend making memories with those closest to me.

This season of gift-giving and festivities, remember one thing if you don't remember anything else; Jesus is the reason for the season.

Don't get me wrong the gifts are wonderful, the food is great but 10 years from now are you going to remember that Aunt Mable gave you a blue and red Kazoo or are you going to remember the laughter, the fun, the memories. I know what I would choose any day of the week.

Don't get weighed down with gift-buying this season - enjoy precious time with your loved ones and remember that Jesus came to give you peace and joy.

Have a good weekend all.

B x

Peace in the Chaos - 29/11/19

Well, what a week! It has been manic, but in a good way...mostly! 

Here's my week in a nutshell (ok, a rather big nutshell but you catch my drift!)

I don't even remember what happened on Monday, it seems like a blur!

On Tuesday, I went and did my food shop with the kids on their balance bikes (buy the way, these are awesome - seriously). Literally as soon as we left the house the heavens opened! Then as we were just a short distance from the shop, I mean I was staring straight at it! We have to come down this slope which the kids love and have done many a times before. Well, today was the first day we'd done it in the rain and J put his feet down to stop but instead of stopping he continued to skid right into the railings!!

The bump, cut and bruise came up immediately and I have never heard him cry like that! I felt so guilty as I was paying attention to F because she has no fear and a slope is the greatest thing to go down, at full speed despite not being able to stop! Anyhoo, I ended up taking him to A&E as it was just above his eye and it just kept swelling but thankfully it was just soft tissue damage and all is well in J-land!

So that took out my Tuesday. Wednesday was a mad catch up day but thankfully I babysat in the evening so managed to get loads of jobs done ready for our Christmas fayre on Saturday and then Thursday we went to our usual church coffee morning and stayed on afterwards with everyone to help prep the church ready for the fayre.

And today, I have spent in the kitchen baking goodies and doing a ton of washing...where does it all come from?! Thankfully the sun was out so I managed to get some stuff out on the line. 

...aaaannd breathe.....

Wow, my brain, my body...it just needs to hibernate for a bit! Haha!

But in all this chaos, there was a peace...this quiet stillness amidst the storm. Although, all my plans got changed one way or the other, God knew just what I needed. He gave me rest when I needed - a sit down on the sofa during the kids quiet time; time and space to do prep for the fayre; safety with J during his 'crash'; and most importantly this week, energy. When I felt like I had nothing left to give, to church, to my children, to my husband - God gave me exactly what I needed.

We can get so busy, especially at this time of year, that we end up neglecting ourselves. I don't mean going to the hairdressers or going on a shopping spree. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this, I'd choose these any day of the week! Ha! I mean, the quietness. It's so easy as soon as we've got half an hour or an hour while the kids might be sleeping, to just sit on the sofa and catch up with a programme, or crack on and see if you can beat your record with cleaning the house in the quickest time possible whilst being as quiet as a mouse!

But, our spiritual body needs to be nurtured. Grab a moment and spend it talking to God, however that may be, read your Bible, do some journelling. Whatever it is, that 'food' that our body needs is so important in helping us keep our relationship strong with God, our children and our husband (or wife - depending on who is reading this!)

Take 5 minutes out of your day and just rest.

Have a good one everyone.

B x

Stress - 23/11/19

Stress...a massive player on people's lives whether it be affecting them in health ways, behaviour (arguments with loved ones) or mentally. It is a nemesis which can play such a huge role in your life, becoming all-consuming.

I have been affected by stress many times before, in fact I don't think I know anyone who hasn't, be it big or small. The smallest thing can rip holes in your world...or so it can seem.

When we let our guard down and let the weight of the world with all the worries of work, the commitments with church, family engagements, etc. We open up a small gap for the devil to creep in and take a hold of the one thing we can always depend on…God’s peace.

God is our peace-giver, our comforter, our protector. He never gives us anything which we can't cope with. Plus with the hubbub of Christmas and work getting busier this time of year and just meeting general family needs on a daily basis, can seem like a massive challenge. So stop and let God back in. I'm not saying it's intentional. I have never purposely gone out of my way to shut God out but when we stop focussing on the One who controls everything, we give way to the one who wants to destroy everything.

Today, take a break (with or without a kit-kat!) And refocus you thoughts and life on the Maker who cares so much for you that He willingly gave up His son to take your place on that cross.

Don’t let stress rule your life. Take control and let God in.

Have a blessed day one and all.

B x

Mountains - 15/11/19

Ever feel like you're stood on top of the mountain and the fog just keeps descending?

Lately, it seems to be one thing after the other just weighing in on me. If it's not something to do with the kids, it's trying to keep on top of the housework, making sure I'm being the best wife I can be, getting involved with church activities, etc.

The thing is, if we let the busyness of life take over, we are allowing the devil in and that never ends well. We need to give it all to God and take things slow, enjoy the time with your loved ones and make more time for God - the washing will still be there tomorrow, so will the dust!!

Taking care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually, is so important in every day life. Don't get weighed down by the things of this world. Take a little time each day, even if it's in the bathroom! Shut that door, grab your phone and read a few verses! My sister-in-law got some notebooks for her children so they can doodle the bible story she is reading whist she does her morning devotions - get creative. Find whatever works for you. Make time, you'll never regret it.

Have a good evening everyone.

Be blessed.

B x

The Mad Cat Lady! - 8/11/19

WE GOT A CAT!!! Yep, we're now one of those families...well we've always been one of those families really. I'm stereotyping families here but I don't actually know what family I'm actually talking about!! Ha! All families are different but what I'm trying to get at is...we've joined the 'animal family' family!

So technically we joined that group two years ago when we got chickens and then a year later bunnies. We loved our chickens, having fresh eggs every morning was wonderful, in fact we used to get so many we had to distribute them to friends and neighbours! What a blessing. Very randomly though, some delightful people decided that it would be fun to steal our chickens so took off with them on two seperate occasions! Very strange...I've never heard of a chicken burglar!

Whilst also having chickens, we got our two beautiful bunnies, I fell in love with them instantly but unfortunately, they were not well and were only with us for a short time. We decided to have a break from pets until the children were a bit older....and then I had a visit from a mouse one evening...and Zuma arrived!

Welcome to the mad house Zuma!

Whether it's cats, dogs, chickens, hamsters or goldfish (the list goes on), pets become part of the family. When I was growing up, my sister and I had a cat, rabbits, fish, mice and possibly more! It becomes second nature to look after something, or someone else. People get pets for various reasons but one of the reasons that pets are great for families with young children are because they teach responsibility.

It teaches them how to feed and water, how to clean up after the mess (no one likes a smelly litter box - ok so this one happens to be a mum job in our house), how to play well and how to comfort and love. All are important in growing up healthy and strong in animals.

And it's the same in our walk with God. If we don't have our souls watered or feed - going to church, reading our Bible, praying (speaking with God on a regular basis doesn't need to be done in a specific way, be you, be real, be honest), then we become dry and empty. Our souls become sad and bitter and we become negative people. If we keep fed and watered, we are the people that God has created us to be, loving, cheerful, positive people. You wouldn't neglect your pet, so why neglect yourself?

If we don't have help cleaning up our messes, whatever the mess is - big or small. The load will become too much for us to handle. Sharing a needs and concerns with a friend or family memeber, asking for help with baking a cake, telling someone you're struggling with reading your Bible - these might seem trivial to you, but God smiles when He sees you reach out. No one can do this life on their own. Jesus most certainly didn't. 

How to play well - so you may be thinking this is a strange one, how is she going to turn this one around...well I'll tell you how...We all need to let down our hair every now and then. As in, take a break from work and the busyness of life. Spend time with loved ones and just enjoy being in each others presence. And if you want to play a game or two, then do it. Laugh together, have fun...enjoy life. Don't be so consumed in what needs to be done tomorrow or the next day because the here and now won't last forever.

We all need to feel loved and comforted. Everyone is different in how they like to receive this but we still need it. God has imprinted it in each of us and it's not a bad thing. It might make you feel vulnerable at first but you are with people who love you so start learning to be loved and comforted back. It's a hard thing sometimes but it will get easier. the more you start to let down those walls you have built up over time.

God made families different for a reason. If we were all the same, it would be a very boring world. Every person is different and has a particular role to play within their family unit. God designed it this way for a reason and He knows what He's doing.

Families are like puzzles - every piece is unique but every piece has a place.

Have a blessed evening/day depending on when you read this!

B x

Dancing in the Kitchen! - 1/11/19

Last time I mentioned about going away for the weekend to lead some sessions for young people at a conference, and the weekend did not disappoint. It was a brilliant weekend had by all despite getting off to a rough start with finding out our little girl is travel sick!!! Not a pleasant start to the trip when you’ve only packed the exact number of clothes! (I was so proud of myself as well for packing so light!) Emergency trip to Tesco by the hubby at 10pm, after our first session, to save the day (as always - that’s why I married him…amongst other things, obviously 😀)

Our group sessions went really well. Well I think they did anyway! Haha! The kids loved their little sessions and did not want to leave them which is always a good sign. And I even managed to get into one of the main sessions led by Ian Coffey. It was lovely catching up with friends we only get to see once, maybe twice a year, and even though we barely see each other, we are all a family and that’s what makes these conferences so awesome.

Righteo-ho, onto the nitty gritty stuff…

I’ve actually just been listening to some good ol’ fashioned Disney songs whilst I was getting dinner ready. Normally we eat together as a family, when we can anyway. But tonight the hubby and I are getting a rare dinner to ourselves as he’s late home from work. I told the kids what I was going to cook and they were not at all interested in it! I mean, I thought spaghetti bolognese was a no brainer, but apparently I was wrong! Currently my kids are crazy fans of porridge!! If they could live on the stuff I’m pretty sure they would! As long as it’s got chia seeds, flax seeds, honey and raisins in then they’re happy and quiet…So they’re sat munching on that and I’m stood writing and cooking!

So my question to you is, who likes to have a dance around the kitchen when they think no one else is watching? Or who has a hidden secret they enjoy but are too afraid to let their loved ones see for fear of being embarrassed or ashamed? Come on, I know there’s some closet dancers out there…

Well I rock it out in my kitchen most days, I love it and this evening was no different except when I spun round there was little Miss shaking her booty and dancing alongside me!! Haha! It filled my heart with joy to see the massive smile on her face.

Sometimes we need to let people in rather than stick to the ‘closet’. Let them see the real us, the ‘clean-freak’, the shy one, the avid gardener (nothing like a bit of The Good Life), the anxious one, the crazy kitchen dancer! Let the real you shine through. God doesn’t like it when we hide who we are, He made us to stand tall and proud of who we are in Him and I want to be able to share that with my family, crazies and all!

It’s taken me a while to do this, and I’m still working on it but I’m getting better! I used to dance competitively and it got to a point where God really challenged me because dance was becoming my idol. I spent 3 nights a week training with the occasional all day training on a Saturday as well and then competitions were on Sunday’s. So some weeks I was spending 5 days a week dancing! I was incredibly torn because I loved God (still do just to clarify this fact) with all my heart but I also loved to dance. It gave me a freedom that I didn’t think I could get anywhere else. It made me feel like I could conquer the world. It made me confident and proud and it gave me an identity. But, just like I talked about in my last post, that was so far away from where I needed to be.

I still went to church on the Sunday’s I wasn’t competing and I attended the midweek meetings but the majority of the time I was so tired I think I must have dozed through a lot of the meetings! God challenged me and I knew I had to quit dancing competitively but in order to do that I needed to cut it from my life completely because I knew I just wasn’t strong enough to continue dancing for fun and not compete. It was a very difficult decision for me and one I didn’t take lightly but one I knew that I needed to do because I knew I wanted to honour God with everything.

The day I quit was the day I stopped dancing and looking back now it still causes a lump to rise in my throat because my passion for dancing never left me but my passion for God was, and is, so much stronger than that and I knew that God could give me ten times more than dancing ever could.

Thanks for sticking with me on this one!

What I’m trying to get at here is, we’ve all got passions and dreams. Things we might chase after or long for but where is our focus? If you’re finding it hard today to stay focussed on the One who loves you and accepts you and adores you, then stop. Re-evaluate where you’re at and breathe. Life gets tricky, it gets busy and weighs in on us but giving in and giving it to God releases that pressure and gives us back our freedom.

So my kitchen dancing is my freedom which God has given me. It sets me free of myself, my fears. Of the typical ‘mum’ duties, of the cooking, the cleaning, the washing - it makes all of those things way more fun, for both me and the hubby if he walks in on me dancing with a mop!! It reminds me that I can mess around. That no one is judging me, that I don’t have to be perfect. That my kids love me and just want to be with me. It reminds me that God loves me and wants me to be happy. These are the memories that I want to remember. My family laughing with me (and at me most of the time), good times, as well as the bad, but most of all, just being me and being happy in the skin that God has given to me.

Remember to have fun wherever you are in your life today.

Have a good one.

B x

Identity - 25/10/19

Well hello there friends!

What has happened since the last time I wrote to you all? A lot of stuff has happened actually but it’s all rather tedious stuff! Haha! Nothing riveting to tell you here I’m afraid!

The hubby did build a gate on Wednesday whilst I was out with the kids which was lovely to come home to. It makes life so much easier than me having to man-handle the bike trailer up over a big pile of rubble after I’ve attempted to slide the big cast iron gate we had propped up against the hole in the fence on it’s side! On a plus note, I didn’t need to pay for a gym membership, I had my own weight training right here in my back garden!

Anyhoo, onto more poignant things…

We are leading a few sessions this weekend for some young people so I’ve been working on the talks for those. One of the talks has really struck a cord with me, it’s about identity, and where we get our identity from.

For me, these past few years I’ve felt a little lost in myself. Just not really knowing who I am anymore. I’m a mum first and foremost but that seems to be all I am anymore. I know most mum's probably go through this at some point in their lives so I'm hoping I'm not alone here! But I seem to have let that define me.

So I get up, consume myself with children’s stuff, housework, toddler groups, etc. But lately I’ve been thinking. Who am I?

Yes, being a mum is a huge part of my life and I love it so much and wouldn’t change it for the world but I got so caught up in seeing all those perfect pictures on Instagram and Pinterest, with the mother and child playing perfectly, their clothes immaculate. Dinner fantasticly healthy and looking amazing. The house clean and tidy, not a speck of dust to be seem. Then I looked up, saw my children looking at me and realised, wow! If i just took my head out of the ‘fake’ world that has gotten me so hooked and consumed. The world which is making me feel so guilty about my life and what I do every day. Then I would realise, my children crave my attention. They want me, messy hair, washing piled up, dust on the sides. They don’t care about that. They see it as an opportunity. Messy hair = hairdressing. Piles of washing = hidden treasure pirate games. Dusty sides = a chance to practise their writing skills.

Then, whilst I was studying for my talk, it dawned on me. Being a mum doesn’t define me. Having the ‘perfect’ house (whatever that is) doesn’t define me. God defines me. I am His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). He created me to be me. Exactly who I am. When I look in the mirror and I start to pick out the flaws, the things I don’t like, or when I remember what my body used to be like before I had kids, I stop and remember God loves me. He created me just the way I am.

I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). Most days I don’t feel like I’m winning let alone being a conqueror. I'm like a duck, all peaceful and quiet on top of the water but kicking like crazy underneath, just for me to stay afloat (beacuse the hubby pointed out that ducks float despite whether they kick or not!) But God says I am more than a conqueror through Him. When I’m failing, when I mess up, through the ups and the downs. I am more than a conqueror because I have God by my side.

I am loved and accepted (Jeremiah 31:3). This has probably been one of the hardest things for me to accept. I still don’t know why but for me to feel accepted and loved just blows my mind. Especially when it’s coming from God. I mean, He made the world and all of that magnificent creation and yet, He takes the time to come and comfort me and put His loving arms around me and tell me that I am loved and accepted. And yes I am.

If you’re feeling anything less than amazing today, just remember these three things;

You are God’s masterpiece.

You are more than a conqueror.

You are loved and accepted by God.

Have a blessed day everyone.

B x

Date Night <3 - 18/10/19

Well hello there!

This week has been a busy week, I have no idea what has happened to October! It's whizzing past! But fear not because today has slowed down just a little as IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! Woohoo! Another year older but loving it. Birthday's are very special to me (like Christmas - yes, I mentioned it...) I like to celebrate them because it's a special day - it's the day God chose to bring you into the world.

Normally the hubby and I will go out for a meal, accompanied by our chaperones, yep we might be married but we haven't been able to get rid of the chaperones completely yet! Haha! They are very good at making sure the meal is PG though! 😉 But tonight, we have been blessed by a lovely church friend who is coming to babysit...WHHAAATTTTT!!! A child-free meal.....what will we talk about?? We will actually be able to eat hot food! What is going on with the world! Haha!

For real though, I'm super excited. Clearly you can tell we don't get out very often for date nights. Our date nights usually involve sitting by the fire (obviously in winter as we'd sweat our butts off in summer) with the TV off and our phones on mute for a couple of hours playing board games. Now, I'll let you into a little secret, the hubby does not like board games! He endures them for me, that's true love! Ha! He is an outdoorsy, DIY, 'let's-build-a-campfire-and-sleep-under-the-stars' kinda guy, whereas I'm a sporty, artsy (was going to say crafty but that seemed to make me sound dodgey!) 'lets-chill-out-with-board-games-in-an-evening-after-having-the-kids-run-round-my-feet-all-day' kinda gal! Haha! They say opposites attract.

We have found that date nights, although they are few and far between, are vitally important to any marriage and relationship. It is so important to keep the flame alive, to show the person you love, that you do still love and appreciate them. That you want to spend that time alone with them. At first it might be hard, knowing what to talk about might be difficult if all you've spoken about for years are the kids, or house stuff, but it will come with time. It'll be like dating again! It'll be fun. Your marriage should be fun though, right? Marriages all have their ups and downs but you're most definitely allowed to have fun.

I am so thankful for the married role models I've had in my life. Those couples I have looked to on a Sunday morning in church and seen how they spoke to each other without actually speaking. A simple touch on the arm, a longing look in the eyes. No words spoken. That's the kind of love I want to be able to give to my husband and I know that I've got a long way to go. Please hear me when I say, I am by no means perfect, nowhere near. All I am saying is that I am trying, really trying. I mess up on a daily basis but I pick myself back up and try again and when I look back I can see that God has carried me through all my failures.

God cares about every relationship, every marriage. Whether it's the strongest marriage out there (if you're reading this please get in contact) to the marriage who is on the brink of divorce. Don't give up. Keep fighting and keep looking up. Remember God's holding you in His loving arms.

Have a good weekend everyone 😀 Now go work on your Cludeo skills together...

B x

The Unknown.... - 11/10/19

So, this past week has been a bit of a strange week. I'm not really sure what's happened in all honesty. It's not been hugely busy, we had our Harvest service at Church which the hubby and I were both involved in, I then had our Home Ed group Monday then nothing significant happened until Thursday with our Church coffee morning and that was it. I mean, Homeschooling was a little tough this week, I have no idea what happened with our numbers this week but we, apparently can't count to 10 now!! 1, 2, 3, 7 - is how it goes! Apparently I was taught wrong in school! Ha!

But despite the lack of anything drastic happening, it has left me feeling physically and emotially drained. I have zero energy and just want to curl up in a ball and not talk to anyone for a month!!! Please tell me I'm not the only one this has happened too??

I've tried to think about what it is that could have sparked my koala-like state this week (koala's are essentially solitary animals despite their super cute, cuddly facâde - just thought I'd explain my random animal usage for ya! And although they would rather hug a tree, I'll stick to my comfy blanket thank you!) The thing is, sometimes, we just don't have the answer, and although that might bug us and cause us to spiral into what might feel like an even bigger 'pit of dispair' (alright, slight exaggeration there for me - but for some, this is a real thing). It might infuriate the ones closest to us because they love us, and for them, to see us sad and lonely, and for me especially this week, grumpy and irritated, with the smallest things like a toy not being put back in the exact right place...I mean, it's the end of the world!!!

But for real, the ones closest to us suffer too. It's hard for them, like it's hard for us. But it's also hard for God when we suffer. He cries for us and with us. He see and feels our pain. When we are in our darkest moments, He hurts along with us. He knows what we are going through. I know, I know. I can hear you all saying, "but Bekah that's not helping me in the here and now to figure it out!" Trust me. I'm not saying it's going to be easy. Uh uh. Not in the slightest. My week hasn't gotten any easier, I'm not feeling hugely better and I don't know what tomorrow is going to bring but I do know that God's got this. Whatever this may be. I for one don't trust myself, but I do trust God, with everything within me.

Don't let the small things settle in and weigh down on your life today. Give it to God and let Him carry you through.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

This verse has gotten me through a lot. Read it and believe. Notice it doesn't say we might have trouble or there's a possiblilty, it says we will. God knows it's not going to be easy but he also knows that He has 'overcome the world'. That sends tingles down my spine every time I read it. It excites me.

Go and get excited about God tonight, today, tomorrow (whenever you read this!) And remember to give it to God, no matter how big or small.

Be blessed.

B x

 

The first!! - 4/10/19

So this happened yesterday...I started a blog!!! Argh!!! For real! Like a proper, grown up blog! Haha! Not so sure about the grown up bit but yeah, the blog part is real!

Didn't think this would happen....I've been thinking about this for quite a while now, just going back and forth about it. Should I, shouldn't I? Would people even read it? The hubby's been telling me for ages to do it, he always sees what I don't see, it's so easy to doubt yourself :/ I find it so easy to encourage others and support them in their own ventures but fall short on my own.

But the funny thing is, God never doubts us. He is always right there with us; on the sideline cheering us on, picking us up when we fall down, giving us a hug when things just feel naff. You know, He just gets it.

So tonight after having a 'short' 5 minute (ok 50 minute) phone conversation with my wonderful, beautiful friend, this happened!!! Who knows what each post might bring. I'm here to be honest and real. It'll be about my homeschooling journey, mum life, church life and just life in general. You know, just throw it all into the pot, why not!

So for now that's it for this one. Be blessed and remember, God doesn't doubt you, so why are you?! Go and be amazing today...

B x