I haven't been watching the new series of Being Human, and I'm now glad I didn't bother as I hear the baddies are 'fundamentalist Christians' who want to destroy or experiment on the heroes. I know I'm not alone in being frustrated by the media inability to portray Christians accurately. Quite disappointed, it was so promising.
We pushed at a door this past week, and it was closed quite firmly. The closing happened yesterday and 24 hours on, I'm quite reconciled to it. It's made something else much clearer, which is a real blessing.
Sometimes we pootle along without a clear view of God's will for us, but it really feels like we have been given that view, at least concerning the area of finances.
And of course, now the door has closed, I feel a lot better because I'm now dealing with a known situation, rather than having a potential steal my thought energy, if that makes any sense at all.
It's like God has said 'No, you're not to do this, but you do have the opportunity to do this other important thing now'.
Your prayers would be appreciated as we try and be faithful in the task ahead of us.
I don't normally join in with memes and blog diary events, largely because I am a bit scatterbrained. So if this doesn't happen next Thursday don't be surprised, I'll probably be thinking it's Wednesday or be consumed with the menu planning for the Saturday shopping expedition. (And to prove it, I overlooked the day and originally posted this last Friday)
So, what am I thankful for today?
I'm thankful for the freedoms that enable me to home educate my children, and for the availability of curriculum that gives me confidence I'm not messing them up by doing it myself.
I'm thankful for the warning Jesus gave that his followers would have to take up their cross and follow him. Without knowing that it would be all too easy to whine about life not being fair because it's not revolving around my needs and wants.
I'm thankful that I'm able to make my own washing liquid, especially when we have to tighten our belts financially.
I'm thankful for brie, stilton and cheddar with crackers, always a sumptuous treat and an opportunity to spend time chatting with my lovely husband, who I am also thankful for.
I'm having a blood test on Wednesday, part of the regular regime with the medication I am taking. Time was I had quite an aversion to needles, due to the inept attentions of a junior doctor when I had measles. He punctured every vein he could see without success, and my preteen self became hysterical by the end of the experience, which did eventually yield sufficient blood.
For the longest time I avoided injections like the plague, refusing routine blood tests or at the very least forgetting I had to go get one. While I still don't relish the experience, time and frequent use have helped me to get over my fears. When you simply have no choice but to submit to the attentions of a phlebotomist, you have to squish down unpleasant feelings.
So I shall sit in the comfy chair ("No, not the comfy chair!") and avert my eyes while I am jabbed with that thicker-than-most needle, and take some deep breaths. In short I will just get on with it. One only has to look at the situation in Haiti to be disabused of the preciousness that we sometimes allow ourselves. I haven't lost everything, and at least I have access to medical attention, even if it is unwelcome. A bit of self-discipline is sometimes neccessary.
I'm having a really good time with school at the moment. There has been talk recently of making use of a christian school nearby, but apart from the costs involved, I am reluctant to outsource something which I enjoy and gives structure and purpose to a family day at home.
It's an attractive siren call, though - send them to school and you'll have time to yourself. I'm getting nagging from certain quarters that what I need is freedom from the constant demands of children.
While I certainly think it's good to have time alone, the simple fact is that I chose to have children and this necessitates a certain amount of sacrifice, including the luxury of great swathes of 'me-time'.
Besides, like I said, I'm enjoying the work. It means that housework has to take a back seat, but I'm not putting in for a full page spread in Homes & Gardens, so that's alright. The more I do it, the better I'll be able to balance it all (and hopefully I'll learn to check that there isn't a disposable nappy in the washing pile, like there was this morning.)
As you may be aware, the vast bulk of the UK is blanketed with fairly significant snowfall. Here in the midlands it's been no exception, the snow playing havoc with the schedules of both work, home and church.
Now, I quite like snow, being an Autumn/Winter kind of girl, but even I am getting a bit heartsick at the sight of the frozen ground and the ice rinks outside our doors.
By coincidence, a friend recently gave me a book with quotes from Samuel Rutherford, and I've been impressed by the fact that he was clearly burning with love for Jesus Christ.
It struck me that here I am, pining for a thaw to come to the ground outside my home, and my heart is just as icy and yet I do not yearn for a thaw there, or not nearly as much as I should.
I want this to be true of me - Christ hath come, and run away to heaven with my heart and my love, so that neither heart nor love is mine. How about you?
As part of the flurry of new year 'resolution' posts on some forums I visit, I have been encouraged to take stock of the last decade of my life. It's been a momentous time, losing a parent, getting married, becoming a parent a few times over.
Aside from these life-defining events, I've developed convictions on faith that have defined the choices I've made - choices to be a stay at home mum, and to change church.
At the beginning of the decade I was an active charismatic, arminian in theology. I had no concept of motherhood as a calling, and I saw in the new millenium dressed in a mini-skirt and a backless top.
As the decade progressed, I changed beyond all recognition, but also had to face some hard things, including very difficult pregnancies that literally crippled me for long periods of time.
This review of the last decade showed me that I've very much lost my way in the past couple of years, due to my mental health issues, and I've been inspired to revisit many of the things which first kindled enthusiasm for me in the first few years of the decade.
I've finally got around to getting a copy of 'Passionate Housewives, desperate for God' which is co-written by one of the women who first influenced me to take a counter-cultural approach to family, Stacy MacDonald. It's a bracing read, and so far I'm thoroughly enjoying it.
At first I think I clung to these convictions because they felt like stability after a life of instability, and inevitably I fell into thinking that I had to be like certain people or I wasn't being faithful to my callings.
The trials of the past few years have really impressed upon me that I need to own what I believe and live it out in my own context - I realized I had wanted to be like Stacy, rather than wanting to be embracing the same convictions but in my own way.
I'm ten years older now, and Lord willing, a little wiser. I hope to get myself back on a firmer foundation so that I can fully hold to my calling, respect and honour those who have influenced me, and hopefully be a godly influence myself.