Sunday, 26 June 2011

Credit The Creator

On our holiday there was lots of wildlife that came up close to our villa, they obviously know where the food can be found and aren't scared by people.

Although my friend wasn't very impressed with the squirrels, or rats with fluffy tails, as she affectionately calls them! We were all really please to see a deer, especially so close.             

I can sometimes irritate my family with wanting to record every beautiful thing I see in a picture.  I am not a photographer by any stretch, but the outdoors excites me so much I would love to be able to do it proper justice with decent pictures!                

My husband really liked this picture, I didn't think it was that great and I knew all I had done was point and shoot, but he really complimented me on it.

I then realised even if I was a proffesional photographer who took amzing wildlife shots, there is only one person who can take credit for the shots - God!  The Creator of all things.

Without God there would be no beautiful flowers, majestic scenery, breathtaking landscapes and cute rats with fluffy tails!  All credit to the Creator!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

I feel Great!

We have just come back from a weeks holiday at that well known place Centre Parcs.  It was our first visit, we went with friends and loved every minute of it.
At my last appointment with my counsellor he asked me to keep a record of the times I felt anxiety so we could work out where it lay most and work on eliminating it.  We both agreed this holiday may present lots of opportunities for anxiety to creep in.

Well by the end of the week I realised I hadn't written down one thing - I had been fine all week.  I just cried and cried with emotional happiness.  Two years ago we had to turn away from daytrips just miles from our home because I felt a physical wreck.  I hated being commited to events of any sort and missed out on lots of social occasions all because of the control my anxiety had on me.

Of course I read and re-read every scripture I could get my hands on telling me not to worry and I prayed and prayed for God to release me from the irrational fears I faced.

He answered those prayers by people who love and care for me around me helping me get the help I needed.  I may be having man-made intervention to help me, but I truly know without God guiding the way to all the people that have helped me get to this place I wouldn't be where I am.

Listen to your friends and the people you trust and if they are praying with you and suggesting you need a helping hand of some sort accept it - it is not giving in to weakness, it is showing strength and the will to move forward!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Weekly Song Round Up

After visiting my Sister's last weekend, we were priveledged to see their new £1,000 000 Church building, which they didn't have a penny for 9 months ago!  They managed to get it built without going a penny over budget and within the time schedule.  They now have an amazing building to meet in as God's people, but also a building to serve the local village community in many ways giving testimony to God's love.

At the service their were three baptisms, each person had such a lovely moving testimony.  My favourite song of the morning was Matt Redman's Facedown such lovely words which really expressed the emotion of the morning.

My eldest daughter did her last exam this week and that is it - no more education for her and a new start to whatever she decides to do, this song came to mind as it was one of my absolute favourites at around her age.  I loved the music video more.Life's What You Make It.

And don't know if this is an age thing, but I can't get enough of James Taylor on spotify at the moment!  This is a lovely song, which I'm sure if you heard it at a particular time in your life it would mean a great deal to you.Fire And Rain.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Good Sex

Week Six

Spag Bol....oh, who cares.

Contrary to popular female belief, sex isn't just for highdays and holidays, no, it's an integral part of a good marriage relationship.

A couple with a three year old daughter always kept Thursday evenings for each other.  One week the little girls bedroom was being decorated, so she was on a mattress at the end of her parents bed.  Thursday came and they'd had a lovely meal and watched a DVD, naturally when they went to bed the husband started to make his moves "no" the wife protested, "not with Lucy at the end of the bed" "she's asleep, it's fine, please darling" "No I really don't think we should" As the husband got more frustrated he started pleading with her "please, darling, I love you sooo much"  with that, a voice from the end of the bed said "Daddy, when Mummy says no, she means NO".

This is slightly amusing, but with a tinge of sadness.  Even within the marriage relationship "no" can be ignored or not taken seriously, leaving the sexual relationship in tatters, trust broken and a long healing process must begin.

It seems obvious but the thing to come out of this course each week has been communication.  Sex can sometimes be a difficult subject due to many and varied reasons, but if we are to get anywhere near a fulfilling sexual relationship for both husband and wife communication is key.  It is amazing to watch the realisation dawn on your partners face as you share with them your thoughts, fears, hurts, highs, lows and you start to 'get' each other.

I am confident that not only will my marriage be restored, but I actually feel our relationship with each other will be better than it was.  Sometimes you have to hit the bottom of the pit and crawl your way out together to realise that what is waiting at the top is even better - especially if you are reaching out to take God's hand to pull you up.

One couple were heading up to Scotland after the course, they said they would be doing their 'homework' on the plane.  I don't think they had turned ahead to the homework page, because this week it is a practical session......

Friday, 10 June 2011

Weekly Song Round Up

Bit different this week.  Since Monday, I have been absolutely flat out with my work, sorting out a prom dress for my daughter (thanks America - no such thing as a 'prom' when I left school)!

Important things like catching up with a couple of people I haven't been able to have a proper conversation with for weeks, etc. etc.  All good stuff but it has kind of left me in a spin, with no songs to accompany it, but I did remember this gem of a poem;

Leisure by William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

God gave us this wonderful world, and we certainly are poorer for not taking the time to stand and stare once in a while.

Last Saturday we were able to go and spend the day over in Wales, I have made an album on my Talking Christian facebook page, because I am constantly in awe of what God has made.  (It does tend to drive the family a bit mad, cos every time they turn around, I am pointing the camera at yet another flower or formation of some sort!)

I am going to share one song this week, we are going to stay with the lovely Riley family for the weekend and this is their family anthem!

Have a good one! x

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Parents and In-Laws (Or as some people prefer - Outlaws)

Week Five

Quiche (I know), Salad & New Potatoes followed by Apple & Blackberry Crumble - result.

Well for me the main question of the night was, "should Quiche be served hot or cold"?

Must admit, haven't done our marriage-course homework the last couple of weeks, and we're not that unhappy with our relationship towards our parents, so not too bad a session last night.

It probably helps that a lot of work has been done with my counsellor, so I am not really unearthing anything surprising, however, if we had done the course a few years ago we both agree we would have really been opening up Pandora's Box.

So I guess we would have faced our issues sooner or later.

Next week, the one we've all been waiting for.......Good Sex!

Although my counsellor suggested this week I approach it from a different angle.....oh, behave, I didn't mean that.

Let me know your opinions on the Quiche!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Why am I being baptised again?

For the purposes of understanding, whenever I use the word 'baptism' I am talking about a full immersion baptism.

With my baptism coming up next month, I felt I wanted to write this post to help anyone else out there who is searching for the answers I was searching for over the last few months.  Obviously the place to look for any of these answers is The Bible, but it helped me a great deal to read of people's personal experiences of why they were being baptised for a second time.

I’ve always known that God exists and that Jesus died on the cross, you hear something enough times and it sinks in, but for me it was just blank facts, did I believe in God? Yes. Did I believe Jesus died on the cross? Yes. age 12, I knew baptism was the step that was expected of me.  Coming from a family of believers in a strong brethren church, the minute you say you know Jesus died on the cross, you keep getting the vibe of 'when are you going to be baptised'  I am sure it is subconcious, but I have even seen my Mum direct this vibe to her grandchildren.
The problem is, as I have said in a couple of my previous posts, we cannot save anyone, and I think my parents mission was, make sure the kids get saved and then baptised as soon as possible after that. 

What everyone failed to miss was, that I had a head knowledge of God, not a heart knowledge.  So, I could answer correctly when questioned by the elders of the church and was accepted for Baptism.

I can remember having regrets about what I had done almost immediately.  Not least because I was constantly reminded of 'Christian's don't do this' and 'Christian's shouldn't do that'.  I don't think I can ever recall a phrase that went 'God loves it when we...' or 'God rejoices over....' It was hard.  I now had to try to live to the expectations of my parents Christian view without really 'getting it'.

After being married for a few years and having young children ourselves and being in a similar kind of church, I decided my family life was not going to pan out the same way it had been as a child.  Despite not really having any interest in God and definately no relationship with him of sorts, I still wanted to attend a church, so we changed to a different one that had a lot of young families with children our ages.
Over the years we would make our best friends in this church.  I started to see in the Christians around me they didn't just believe something, they were living with something, they knew God loved them, they knew Jesus had borne their sins on the cross and that made them so different to me, I didn't understand what it was, I believed in God, Jesus died etc.etc.
A few years ago I thought I want some of those feelings and experiences, so I was thrilled one day to have the picture from God “When you fall, I will catch you” That was exciting for me to have that revelation and I felt really blessed to have had that communication from God.
Over the next period of my life there were many times when I felt I was falling, and my faith that God was catching me wasn’t always strong enough, and I probably pushed Him away more than I let Him in, but I have some unbelievably good faithful friends, who refused to let me slip away and did everything they could to bring me into God’s presence again.
My next experience with God was when I was being prayed over and was delivered from a spirit of ‘Restraint’, that thing had had me tied up so much, I just wouldn’t let anyone in, least of all God, who I had never believed Loved me, the times I sat in the services, were spent wondering about why I still felt on the edge of what was going on, I wanted to be there but hadn’t quite got the connections right, God could not love me.
Eventually, earlier this year I fell my lowest, and true to His word God most definitely caught me!  I had the experience of being covered with God’s love for me and it was a few days after that I accepted I was His daughter and that He accepted me just as I was.
So, am I being baptised again? I don't think so, I see the first one as a false testimony, so I didn't really symbolically bury my sins.  Or as an infant christening in which the adults are in control of the decisions, the child cannot confess to be a follower of Jesus.
I have had a personal realisation of the truth.

I was more concerned with the possibility of ‘dying’ without God, that I hadn’t accepted I could ‘live’ with God.
Now that I know Jesus as my personal saviour, I want to let people know how important he is in my life, I know he listens to my prayers and I know I am important to him!
The difference for me now and the reason I’m being baptised next month, is because I believe God loves ME and that Jesus died to save ME!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Weekly Song Round Up

Whoa, these weeks are going fast - June already!

Listening to UCB radio earlier in the week, I thought I recognise that song, or rather, I recognise the words to that song.  The last time I sang it I was probably stood under protest at the back of a purpose built Gospel Hall, looking forward at a congregation of old men in suits and old ladies in hats thinking 'can this tune get any worse?'  Thank goodness for modern worship and the people who recognise that electrical instruments aren't the work of the Devil, but the gift of God to man to praise him in the most amazing way.....Glorious Day 

Baby Can You Hold Me Tonight I can say that, but I can't say 'sorry' and I can't say 'I love you', so this song is as if it's too me, not from me.  Lots of talking and high emotions have led on from our marriage course this week, we both know where our issues are.  I keep finding myself saying I just don't know what 'love' is, I know when I'm happy or sad or upset, but if someone says 'I love you', they could say, 'd'you want a cup of tea' I'm indifferent, so I hesitate to say the phrase myself, with that in mind I Wanna Know What Love Is.

Finally this week the sun came out and with it came The Pop Singers Fear Of The Pollen Count!

I can't believe it's only next month I will be getting baptised!  Can't wait!  At the moment I think this is my favourite potential song to have during the service Because Of Your Love.  Thankfully, that is the one love I do understand, I didn't used to think it was for me, but now I get it, it is for everyone who wants to accept it and live their daily life with it.  Thank you Jesus!

Happy weekend everyone! x

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Power Of Forgiveness

Week Four

Chicken & Chips followed by Chocolate Gateaux

There were tears last night, not only because the chicken was a little to dry.  We were both a little hesitant about whether or not to go - we've done our forgiving.

I said whatever the excercises were around, we should avoid bringing up what was for us the obvious issue, that is in the past and is/has being/been dealt with.

............And still you find more, I always knew my husband was sensitive, but I had no idea how much the slightest little comments had stuck with him, he used to feel dread at coming home from the supermarket with the wrong ingredient for fear of a row.  Yes, I used to point out that he must've gone to the completely wrong aisle because they definately stock whatever, but no row ensued, because he just would not enter into one, he took my verbal lashing, then got on with the day. 

I knew how stubborn and awkward I was, but he just took it, and sometimes I knew I was trying to just get him to tell me I was horrible and useless and he couldn't stand me, because that's how I felt about myself, why could he not hate me like I hated myself?

I say used to because we both agree now I am a different person, I am calmer, less bothered about little things, appreciative of any help and most importantly I have fully accepted Jesus into my life, He isn't just a person I know about, I know Him, and I follow Him and this has made a vast difference to both our lives.

The key phrase for me last night was "buried anger turns to hate".  I had buried my undealt with anger from my childhood and transfered it into periods of hate towards my husband, mainly because I knew he would take it, even though he never deserved it. 

Then of course when he did do something that deserved my anger, it went off like a bomb because the anger not just towards him, but towards the events from my past came exploding out uncontrollably.

I forgave him for his behaviour at Easter 2010 - over a year ago.  We are both in dramatically different places now, he can tell me if I've p'ed him off, without thinking I'll leave him, and I can accept his kindness without thinking there's an alterior motive.

It has been a long road, and it got far worse before it even started to get better, and I do feel there are many miles ahead, but I don't feel we're at the crossroads anymore, we are both taking the same journey so we'll overcome the breakdowns and emergency stops together.