Friday, 30 March 2012

Vacation Time

Ten things I have done this week which mean I really am on holiday.

1.  Have done NO crafting.
2.  Have completed a whole crossword in one sitting (okay so it was an easy one).
3.  Have already finished one book on my kindle.
4.  Have swam in our pool at 6.30am.
5.  Have had 13 hours of un medicated sleep and feel better for it.
6.  Have completed a codeword puzzle (first one I have ever tried - must do more).
7.  Have successfully messed up a soduko puzzle (first one I have tried in a very long time - must do less).
8.  Have had my toe and finger nails painted by my daughter.
9.  Have done NO washing.
10.Have not spent anytime by myself and am not feeling the need to :o).

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

People Pleasing.

I seem to have spent the last 40 years doing my very best to please the people around me.  My counselling has helped me to identify the areas in my life when I do this without realising.  I know why I do it and I can't change that.  However I do know that I can change.  So how do I cope with suffering  the consequences - the fact that I will disappoint people.  When I disappoint others it feels like the end of the world.  It is not as simple as just not liking being wrong - though I have been accused of this many times.  No body 'likes' to be wrong, but some people can cope with it far better than others.  I appear to be  the latter.

In the past this has led me to withdraw and 'protect' myself from the issue or people I feel caused the disappointing 'end of the world' feelings that I get.  So friendships and relationships have ended and working situations have changed.  This in turn has ended up with me being even more convinced that pleasing people is the only thing to do.  However this has a downside as well.  For one thing people pleases are false.  If  I am doing it in order to protect myself from conflict then I have to face the consequences, my natural creative self is going to be very stifled maybe snuffed out completely.

Gah - it feels at the moment like a no win situation.  I want to be the person that God created me to be, I want to be able to explore and make mistakes without the crushing feelings I end up with inside when others don't agree with me.  And most of all I want to stop having to 'protect' myself by running away!

Maybe other people who do not suffer with this 'affliction' could learn a little more sensitivity.  It does not mean that they have to suddenly start agreeing with everything I say.  That would solve nothing.  Language is maybe the key - maybe non people pleasers could instead of statements like," I disagree with you because....." make statements like, "could an alternative be ......."  or "my experience is this, which makes me believe ......"

I don't know if this would definitely solve things, but I would love to think that it might help.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Busy Hands

I have had very busy hands this last month or so.  In fact they have been so busy I have been rather suffering for it.  I had been thinking I had found the perfect yarn craft in crochet as it seemed I could do so much more than when I knitted before my hands hurt with my rheumatoid arthritis.  However it now seems to have caught up with me again.

This is what I have managed to produce:

This is the first garment I have every tried to crochet,  I could not find a pattern that would suit my almost 11 year old daughter.  I therefore took the pattern from a garment for young boys from this book.  I have a little dress making experience and so knew roughly the shape the pieces needed to be, I used one of my daughters cardigans for the size.  The yarn is sirdar simply recycled cotton, I wrote a post back at the beginning of February about buying the yarn and making decisions on what to make.  I am so pleased with the end result and it fits beautifully, when I get a chance I will take a photo of her wearing it.  For those wanting a closer look at the pattern here you go:
I brought far to much yarn and so then went on to design and make this halter neck top to go underneath it:

I can't wait for our holiday where it will be warm enough for her to wear this.

Last night my itchy fingers decided to get going on a couple of new projects inspired by this wonderful blog Attic24 especially an older post I saw eons ago on mini bunting.  So I set about having ago with some left over bits of fair trade cotton I had left over from my giant  ripple blanket project (which I still have not blogged on!).  This was the result:
My daughter hasn't seen this yet I took this photo while she was at school today, it will be a little treat for her to open on her birthday!  It has got me thinking of all the different colour combinations I could use and the things I could embroider on the little flags!

There was also just time last night to cover another pot that has been sitting waiting patiently on my shelves where I sit and do:
(is the yarn familiar? yes it is more of the simply recycled, that I had left over).  This inspired me to get on and sort my shelves out, I now have 3 card board boxes which I am going to cover in a similar way to the above pot.  When that is done I shall post the results.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Intolerant of Intolerance.

It's a very strange situation to be in.  I'm not intolerant of all intolerance's of course.  There are things that I am intolerant of (intolerance being just one of them).  There are crimes against people and property - I think I am probably fairly intolerant of those things. Mind you is it just the crimes I am intolerant of though? not the people that commit them?

So what has brought this quandary about today? It is somebody I consider a friend, saying that the Bible says that marriage should only be between a man and a woman and that if Christians do not stand against this 'issue' then we are condemning people to live apart from God.

Was Jesus intolerant of people?  or was he just intolerant of behaviour? is there a difference?

Did Jesus verbalise his intolerance of either behaviour and/or behaviour to others?  The Pharisees come to mind straight away - he certainly said something about their piety.

Is there anywhere in the Bible that tells us that if we do not warn people that they are sinning, then we are denying them access to Heaven and eternal life?  Jesus most certainly did advise the woman at the well that she should do the 'right' thing - is this the blueprint we should use?  If so what is that blueprint?  He certainly was happy to communicate and get to know her (asking for her help in getting water) before he even began to converse with her.  When their conversation deepened he waited for her to tell Him her marital status before discussing it.  So if we are intolerant of certain behaviour/people - should we not be conversing with them and getting along rather than causing them to take offence?

I have no idea if there really is a 'right' answer.  Christians are always going to disagree on issues and Biblical interpretations - they were thousands of years ago so why not now?  However when I begin to feel pressured into condemning a group of people for wanting equality in the eyes of the law, my heals begin to dig in.  What I do know is this:

I do not believe that I have the power to prevent an Almighty God from having His way in the world.  We are warned in the Bible not to be stumbling blocks to those that believe (Mark 9:42).  However a stumbling block is not the same as a no entry sign.  There is far more teaching on watching things that make ourselves stumble than causing others to (Mark 9:43-48).

Sin and death have already be conquered - the very reason we are presently in the season of Lent and soon to be celebrating Easter.

I also believe that satan sits rubbing his hands (if he has any) with glee as he watches Christians causing each other and others offence. John Beveres book The Bait of Satan, taught me an awful lot about the power of 'offensiveness'.

At the end of the day I would rather be refused entry to Heaven for my intolerance of the intolerant than accept the idea that I can enter Heaven without good friends who are going to be denied entry because of their sexual orientation.

Sunday, 11 March 2012


I have been searching for metaphors to try and describe how I am feeling at the moment.  I can't seem to find the right words to describe it, therefore a metaphor seems to be the most sensible way to go.

Life feels a little like I've been stuck in a snowstorm.  My head as been down and I have been battling through it.  Only now that the storm has subsided (I am very much hoping it's not just a temporary reprieve), that I am able to start taking stock of the changes that have occurred while things have been buffeted and buried by the snow.

It seems quite funny that this has coincided with what looks like the start of Spring in my real world.  My daffodils are out and I am watching for signs of life to see what has survived the winter.

It is now that I am started to feel things that have been buried deep. 

I miss having a third child in my house.  It still feels wrong at bed time when there are only two rooms to look into.  It still feels wrong at the end of the school day when only two children come home.  For two whole years we were five and I do not know how I will ever get used to being just four again.

I miss the life that mum and dad shared together.  There is a hole now that my dad is gone and I know it is a hole I will just have to get used to having with me, nothing will fill his place.

I seem to be in a place of taking stock and I can't believe how exhausting this process is.  It is making me not just tired but snappy with those around me as well.  I am so hoping and praying that I might be able to get over this period at least in part in time for our holiday (less than two weeks ago).  I am making a deal with God at the moment (I know that is shouldn't really be doing that!), I will give him these next two weeks and look forward to Him giving me a little more energy when I am away and able to give my time to my family.  Your prayers on this would be must appreciated.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Bunting Cards.

 The other day I was out shopping with my daughter, we went into a card shop and I saw some lovely cards with bunting on them.  I commented on what a good idea for cards this was.  When we got back my daughter drew this:

 I did a little google searching to get some ideas about cards and then with a spare couple of hours this morning I sat down with crafty sutff all around me and got started:


I ended up getting a little carried away!  Well it kept me busy while my fingers were too sore for crochet.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Two and a half weeks.

It is only 2 1/2 weeks until we go away on our BIG holiday.  This is something we have wanted to do with the children since before we had them!  13 years ago we had a three week holiday to Florida, staying one week with friends in a villa in Orlando, another week driving down to Key West and then flying back to Orlando for another week with our friends. We knew it was not the sort of holiday we would be able to do over and over again and so we have been patiently waiting for the funds and for the children to get old enough to really enjoy it.  After such a horrible year as we had last year with all it's upsets we decided in August the time had finally come.  We managed to keep it a secret from the children until Christmas day when we set them a treasure hunt which culminated in them finding two suitcases (suitably wrapped up in Christmas paper) under the stairs.  All of a sudden all that waiting is finally going to end.  All the major planning is done, I have done a little holiday clothes shopping as the weather is going to be sooooo much warmer than it is here.  I still need to try and find a good place for us to go to church - if anyone has any suggestions please shout up.

In the meantime, there are work bits that I need to get completed.  Being away for Easter is going to feel very strange, however I am sure work will survive without me.  And I will continue to try and look at the everyday things in my life and count my blessings.

720. Inspiring friends.
721. Family film weekends.
722. Talks about puberty.
723. Tidier children's rooms.
724. A clean kitchen floor.
725. Freshly baked rolls - enough for a week of lunches.
726. Hugs and kisses from my big little boy.
727. A thank you smile.
728. Watching my big little girl play with her guinea pig.
729.  Daffodils in the garden.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Enjoying Today.

                                                             Picture from April 2008

There will be days when I cannot sit and crochet a lovely girly jacket for my daughter but today I can.

There will be days when I cannot sit, listen and discuss 'The scariest thing about puberty' (her question) with my daughter, but today I have.

There will be days when I cannot mow the lawn at the front of our house and do my neighbours while I am at it to give them a surprise, but today I could.

There will be days when I cannot sit blogging while waiting for my children to come in from the hour or so of freedom with friends, but today I am.

There will be days when I cannot watch the washing on the line, but today I can.

There will be days when I cannot watch the slowly ascending sun beams on the house opposite where I am sat, but today I have.

There will be days when I cannot listen to my bread maker whirring away making us pizza dough, but today I am.

"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die tomorrow." Author Unknown

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.     John10:10