Hello! I know I have been absent for a very long time… sorry. My internet is struggling at the moment and is too slow to blog from. My sweet friend Lindsey is posting the next few days up for me, and in trying to not overload her with things, I’m still graphic-less. You’re just going to have to get over that!
Let’s kick-off being back with a Merry Mondays post… email me with your lists or comment below! I love getting them :o)
I am thankful for:
1. Hot water bottles… they are life-savers on cold, cold nights.
2. Friends who give up time to update my blog for me.
3. Being back here, in my heart-land.
4. My team who are like family. Love them.
5. Being able to remember much of my language.
6. All the amazing time I’ve been able to spend with people here.
7. A joy-full Christmas.
8. Good health.
9. Being able to Skype with my whole family on Christmas Day.
10. Children playing in the snow, their laughter and enjoyment.
Looking forward to:
1. Spending more time with local friends.
2. Seeing ideas come together.
3. Spending time together with my team.
4. Pipes unfreezing and getting running water again (hopefully)
5. Taking a shower and washing my hair.
6. Having a certain family over for dinner.
7. Emails – sending and receiving.
8. Taking more photos and film.
9. Getting mail from my brothers (hopefully)
10. Just being here.
What about you? What are you thankful for? What’s happening this week for you?
I’ve not posted much the past week, other than FMF. I am still writing, and maybe one day it will make it up here. I’ve been reading lots of Gitz’s writing this week, and it’s been feeding my soul. Some days choosing joy is much more of a hard choice than other days. Sometimes I need this reminder more than other days:
Today I need to list things I am thankful for. I need to focus myself on joy. Here we go:
I am thankful for…
- Christmas lights that make houses and shops and streets feel so warm and welcoming.
- Christmas candles that sparkle and bring quiet to my soul.
- Friends who come over simply to chat and chill.
- My little kids club group who remind me what it is to have child-like faith and trust.
- Rainbows which remind us of God’s unfailing promises.
- Friends who welcome me into their homes at all hours just to lie and be.
- Central heating to warm my house.
- Hot water for long showers.
- The internet.
- All of you who read, comment, email, and be a part of this blog.
- My local church, who opens its doors to everyone and anyone.
- The community at my local church who love well.
- The youth here,who model so well what it is to be vulnerable, open, and honest.
- The youth here, who strive after Gods heart, who choose his joy in the face of hardship, and who are desperate to go deeper.
- My housemate who stays up to all hours with me when I’m feeling less than great.
- My sister who is always at the end of a phone, and always brings a smile to my face.
- Music, energizing, calming, joyful, expressive, music.
- Comfort from Him.
- The FMF community, what lovely, loving, welcoming, encouraging, ladies.
- Lindsey – I am so thankful (in)courage bought her into my life. Always a kind word, always joy, usually crazy, mostly fun, full of love.
- Libby – Always right at the otherside of my inbox, twitter feed, facebook page. Always hugging me with her words. Full of love, Thankful she is a new addition to my life. My life is so much richer.
- Stefanie – Thank you Lindsey for connecting us. Always full of joy, always pointing me to Christ, always gentle yet full of truth, a little bit of crazy in there too.
- For each of my CrossPoint peeps – for all they add to my life, encouragement, fun, support, challenges, love. You are so special to me.
- For CrossPoint the way it loves people, welcomes people, lives Christ, reaches out to all people around the world. The dedicated people who make the online campus happen each week.
- For airplanes that allow us to travel across the world in a day.
- For my car which gets me all over the country to see all sorts of people.
- The finances to go on my upcoming trip.
- God’s control over timing and visas to allow me to be where I need to be when I need to be.
- Finances generally. Provision to buy food, clothes, have a house, pay the bills.
- My godkids. I don’t get to see them much, but each of them are so incredibly special to me in unique ways.
- The work God is doing in me.
- Christmas – that God would become a tiny vulnerable baby, and choose to live, here, on earth, with all this crap, simply to show us how much he loves us, and to make a way for us to be together, forever. To choose to live in this broken place, with the ultimate goal of dying. Amazing.
- Friends who feel comfortable enough in my home to nap on the sofa whilst I blog.
- Pebbles – a very special baby on the verge of being born.
- Leaders who support, encourage, and value me.
- Doctors who help our bodies heal when they are broken.
- Drugs that make our body well, keep our bodies well, and reduce pain.
- Worship, sweet worship.
- Gingerbread lattes.
- My uncle – bringer of fun, laughter, silliness, love.
- My parents – who love me well, sacrifice for me, always make time and space for me.
- My brothers – who lived my childhood with me. Made memories, and still making memories together, despite the miles that separate us.
- My other parents – who have loved, cared for, provided for, encouraged, blessed, included, me – their adopted child.
- The Spirit who intercedes for me when I simply cannot find the words.
- Stillness – quiet – time – to be, with my saviour. Just be.
- His faithfulness. Always faithful.
I hadn’t planned to go as far as 50! But I couldn’t help myself. There is so much to be thankful for, from the tiny things, right up to the big big things. Even when we have to make a conscious effort to see the blessings around us, and be intentional about giving thanks, there is still SO much to be thankful for.
Won’t you add to my list?
What are you thankful for?
UPDATE: #37 Pebbles, is now even more on the verge of being born. She was due any day, and now she is literally coming as we speak. Her beautiful mother is in labour! I am SO excited to meet this precious girl.
When I look at the kids work in my local church I notice most of the people running it are mothers. It grieves my heart.
There are amazing women in this world. Women who spend day after day looking after their babies, their kids, their teens. Women who go out of the house to work, and then come back to their house and use energy that doesn’t exist make it a home. Women who spend all day at home surrounded by their kids, void of adult conversation and company, and who still pour out to create memories. Women who do the most important job, who raise the next generation, without getting paid, without being thanked; when they feel like it and when they feel like running away; they continue to love, to work, to raise those children.
Each Sunday there are a few hours, amongst all those other hours in the week, where they are ushered into God’s presence without fighting kids, dirty nappies, endless chatter, constant demands. An opportunity for them to have a couple of hours being with God, communing with Him without the anticipation of the next interruption. Knowing their kids are being looked after, and are also learning about and experiencing God. Yet so many of them are denied that one breathing space in their week. So many sacrifice it because others do not take on the responsibility of the kids work.
So my child-free friends. This is a challenge to you and to I.
Let’s say thank you to all those mothers out there who are busy raising up men and women of Christ. Let us express our gratitude to those mothers who day after day pour themselves out, deny their own desires, and selflessly provide with no recognition. Let us tell them that what they do is so very important, that they are so valuable, that they are noticed, and that they are appreciated. Let us step up to the plate and say you deserve these two hours of space, these times of being filled, of being refreshed. Let us take on the responsibility of kids work, let us care for their babies, let us give them a quick breather in their weeks.