Tuesday 30 December 2014

#FitandFree - Practical steps

I made this blouse for myself in 2014 and I've never worn it as it is too tight!

OK, so I've made the decision 2015 will be the year that I get fit and free myself. I will become fit for purpose and be ready and waiting for whatever is planned for me.

It is not enough to just sit back and say this will happen though. I need to make plans and plot some practical steps that will allow me to achieve my goal.

Saturday 27 December 2014

So what happens now then?

I was asked this question a couple of weeks ago and I think it is a very pertinent one and it has certainly been useful. I have found myself many times in the last few weeks pondering - what now?

The quick and simple answer is that I have no idea.  I do not know what the future holds or what I am supposed to be doing. All will be revealed in God's good timing and I must have patience to wait and see.

That is pretty frustrating though, as of course I want to make things happen, to change the world and to stop injustice. I want to jump on it and make it happen now, not tomorrow, not next month and certainly not in five years time. I see what others are doing and my actions feel inadequate but we are not supposed to compare ourselves to others, that helps no-one. We must just follow our own personal path.

I've mentioned many times that I do not like resolutions as I feel they are made to be broken but I do see the value in setting goals and having forward vision. To some extent it is difficult to set long-term goals as I truly want to be open to what God has in store for me and I don't want to be too busy off on a tangent that is not part of his plan.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Have a very Happy Christmas

Christmas Eve is almost over and the big day will arrive very soon.  The kids at last sound as if they are asleep and I pray they will stay there until at least 6.30am tomorrow morning!

Today has been fabulous, as had yesterday if I'm honest.  it really does pay to be organised and then once the kids are off you can just focus on them and the wider family.

We have a big day ahead tomorrow - friends over for pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon and maple syrup for breakfast.

Monday 22 December 2014

Let me introduce you to the World Moms Blog

Image Credit

When I travelled to Washington D.C. back in October with ONE I had no idea what to expect from the #AYAsummit. I knew it would be pretty amazing as the ladies at ONE do not do things by half. Having experienced a trip to Ethiopia with them in October 2012 I knew the standard to expect and the conference did not let me down, I met the most amazing plethora of inspirational women and men.

Everything I heard and learnt is still sinking in and whilst I'm having a break from the on line world in December I am praying and pondering on what the future holds and how I can continue to help and work with ONE. I'm often so tempted to feel like a little fish, out of her depth but I have to remember that I have a part of play and I must do my footwork. God will take care of the big stuff and the right people will read my material or be compelled to act by what they see or hear from me.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Visiting Surrey with the family - 6 great days out

Until the age of 18 I lived in Surrey and 23 years later my parents still live there so I'm a frequent visitor. It is probably the county I feel fondest about, all my firsts happened there - steps, words, tooth, school, kiss and I even bought my first house with dh there.

Nowadays when I go back to see my family I am a visitor because we do not have a base there and my parents home is not big enough to house us all so I am always on the look out for a good quality hotel that does not cost the earth and can accommodate three or four of us in the same room, within a short travelling distance of Woking.

We tend to leave one or two of the children with my parents (and they think this is a wonderful treat) and the other comes with us to the hotel. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that we could get a room at the Holiday Inn, Farnborough for four of us to stay after Christmas for just £78 for the night. That kind of price is comparable to what we would pay for a budget hotel but this is no budget hotel, you only need to look at the photos on the site to see how luxurious the hotel it. I was highly impressed with the indoor pool, air conditioning in every bedroom and the kids stay and eat for free promise, we will definitely be checking in to the Holiday Inn, Farnborough in the near future,  it is only about a 15 minute drive from my parents front door.

Thursday 11 December 2014

Our perfect family holiday in the sun

When Mark Warner asked me what the perfect holiday was for my family I really had to apply some thought. We are all quite different and holidays can be interesting (to say the least) as we try to find good compromises to ensure that everyone gets to do something they fancy.

First off you have my eldest son and he is all about the water. He announced to me the other day 'Mum, you know those holidays my friends go on where their parents just sit by a pool all day and the kids play in the water and I always said they were so boring? Well I think I am ready for one now'. So at the grand age of 11 years I can confirm that JJ is ready to go abroad, he wants to swim, play water volleyball, hang out with mates his own age and have a good time.

Sunday 7 December 2014

In His Time

By the time this post publishes I'll have delivered a short session tonight on this very subject. As I sat and wrote the material I realised I probably ought to capture the essence of my talk here on the blog as it is always good to look back and see where God is working.

In the age we live in, the general expectation is that we can have what we want, when we want it and predominantly people want things NOW.

It is an age of instant gratification and there is no need to wait for anything.
  • You want food – go ahead and eat it, it is not rationed.
  • You want a car - buy it, even if you don’t have the money, there are loans readily available.
  • You want an intimate relationship with someone – then just have a one night stand, everyone is doing it after all, what's the issue?

But life is different for us, as Christians we are proud to rely on God’s word and His instructions for our lives and he very clearly tells us to ‘be in this world but not to be of it’. But what does that mean?

Romans 12: 2 (NLT) says "Don't copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." 

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Sharing my Top Tips on Managing my Household Budget

My current beautiful home

My husband and I bought our first house back in 1997 and I have to be honest and say that he taught me everything I know about managing a tight household budget. I was always a 'live now and forget tomorrow' kind of spender and whilst that was lots of fun it often led me back to my parents and getting bailed out whilst I was at University. Of course, once you are in that spending mentality it is pretty hard to break it and it was only because my husband said we would not combine our finances until I showed him I could be trusted with money that I started to work hard to change my ways. I'm really keen that my kids don't go down the same path as I did and I am avidly teaching them about financial literacy

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Christmas - get the kids involved!

Christmas can be a really busy time and for some it all becomes too much and the burden of jobs and money takes its toll. I'm firmly in the camp that says if you can't afford it, do not do it. No Christmas is worth having to pay off credit cards for months afterwards. Nor is it worth making yourself ill with stress.

Christmas is supposed to be a time when we celebrate the best gift of all, the birth of Jesus Christ and ultimately the sacrifice He made for us, so it is important for me and my family to spend time during Advent where we focus on Jesus and not ourselves. That is not the easiest of tasks with three kids as ultimately they would like to just take, take, take but they need a grounding and an understanding that Christmas is bigger than them.

I don't think Christmas is just the responsibility of parents, they should not have to plan it alone and do all the organisation, the kids need to be involved too. My kids may have groaned the first few times I asked them to set the table, empty the dishwasher or do the recycling but now they do it as standard and know they are part of a team and are making a difference to family life and you know what? I think they even enjoy it too, it gives them a sense of achievement and they thrive on the responsibility.