A Day in London

A day in London

Back in November Mr T and I spent a day in London together which is always so special for us.  It’s where we fell in love, it was home for over three years and we it’s one of the worlds best cities!

We drove up instead of taking the train as we were seeing a late night movie with friends at the IMAX so needed  safe transport back home.  We parked at Waterloo and as we headed out we spotted the Boris Bikes and spontaneously decided to hope on and cycle rather than take the bus.  Oh my, did I love it.  I cycled behind Mr T. who mapped our journey on his phone while I was able to just look around and take in the amazing sights.

A day in london

We ended up at Sloan Square where we parked the bikes and headed to the Saatchi gallery.  It just so happens to be in my favourite part of London, Chelsea, and is right on Kings Road – my fave shopping destination ever.

A day in London

 

A day in London

The Saatchi had a special exhibition of Rolls Royce and we were just blown away by the detail and passion that is put into the making of these super deluxe and exquisite cars.  They had playful interactive art displays that we got a little carried away with and they even had a Roll Royce xbox driving game that Mr. T had a few goes on.

A day in London

funny art

Best gallery I think I’ve ever been to.  So much more than plaques and paintings.

A day in London

A day in London

Heading back out onto Kings road we stopped for tea and strolled around to soak in this lovely little area all decked for Christmas.

A day in London

 

A day in London

A day in London

A day in London

But we, of course, couldn’t leave this area without heading to ‘the’ London destination – Harrods.

A day in London

 We fall in love with this city all over again every time we visit.  It’s so beautiful this time of year, all lit up for Christmas. It was a special day to be in love in London.

When was the last time you were in the city?

Why do we need to forgive?

Why do we need to forgive?

There are many different reasons we need forgiveness in our lives.  We like to think that we can hold onto un-forgiveness without it effecting anyone but us, but it can have an eternal consequence for so  many people.

Look back at Joseph. He was given special gifts, favour and even a special calling from God.  But his brothers hated him so much that they attempted to kill him and ended up selling him into slavery.  How angry would Joseph have been?  When he finally became second in command to Pharaoh he had control over distributing grain to all the people.  There was a world wide famine and Josephs brothers made their way to Egypt to beg for grain in order to survive.  Joseph had to make a choice to forgive his own family for their cruelty.  And by forgiving them he saved the whole nation of Israel from starvation.

Moses murdered an Egyptian slave master and fled to the desert where he lived quietly.  Then God called him out of obscurity and appointed him to deliver the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.  But Moses felt so unworthy.  He had to accept forgiveness for his own crime in order to fulfil the calling God had for him.

These are two very different stories but it took forgiveness in order for God’s plans to be fulfilled.  Without forgiveness we cannot be used in the same capacity that God has planned for us.

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  but if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.  Matthew 6:13

Yikes!  Now that’s a wake up call.  That sounds like an old testament scripture.  It’s so black and white with no wiggle room and it’s a command.  But how can this be when Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross covered all of our sin.  Aren’t we living under grace? Why would God deny us forgiveness for not forgiving others?

That’s a very good question.  Why do we need to forgive?  If we don’t extend forgiveness we become unable to love.  Because love covers all sin. A friend of mine brought up this great point in discussion.  There are so many people in the world why does God want us to forgive rather than just leaving that person behind and moving on to someone else?

We would eventually end up alone, isolated and unloved without forgiveness in our lives.  And we need to always remember that it’s our prerogative to forgive just as Christ forgave us on the Cross.

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.  remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.  For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.  And always be thankful.  Colossians 3:13

Forgiveness brings peace, love, unity and thankfulness into our lives.  That’s what God wants for us.  Isn’t that what we all want?

Something else that we find here is that taking offence is just another word for holding un-forgiveness.  Wow!  If we feel hurt by someone’s actions or words and we get ‘offended’ we’re holding un-forgiveness towards them.  That’s certainly a fresh perspective on taking offence.  But how easily does that happen?  We didn’t get invited for dinner, they showed up late for our meeting, they didn’t remember my birthday and on and on it goes.  So many little things that can hurt us and we end up holding un-forgiveness.

We need to allow for other people’s faults.  We’re not to judge and we’re not to take offence.  We’re supposed to extend grace and love freely.  Allowing for other people’s faults stops offence in its tracks.  Don’t let it take hold in your heart.  Chose to love despite of the hurt.

Forgiveness doesn’t say, hurting me is okay‘.  It says, ‘I love you despite hurting me.’  This is the forgiveness Christ showed us on the Cross and it’s the same forgiveness we need to extend to others.

I’ll leave you with this final thought.  How can we tell we’ve truly forgiven someone?

What Happens When We Don’t Agree

what happens when you don't agree

I’ve been learning a lot about unity in the last year.  I’ve always known it’s right.  And I’ve witnessed first hand how God blesses unity.  But why does God need unity?  If we’re all created different, unique, individual why do we all have to agree, work together and have one purpose?  Isn’t that contradictory to how God made us?

That is completely selfish thinking.  It’s all about me!  Why don’t I get to do what I want to do.  Why do I have to do something I don’t agree with or serve someone I don’t believe in?  Why must I submit to my husband if I know he’s wrong or don’t like his approach??  So, so selfish.  But isn’t this how we think.  Don’t we all struggle with issues in our life because we don’t agree with it.

Let me show you how God sees unity.

In Numbers Moses is once again trying to get the Isrealites to go into the Promised Land and once again the Isrealites are discouraging people from listening to the word of God because they don’t want to go to war.  They’re happy with the land they have, why fight for more?  This is how God responded to that division.

Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Numbers 32:11-12

Wow an entire generation was passed over to receive God’s promise because they didn’t wholeheartedly submit to God’s will.  This really challenged me.  I’ve always been taught about submission and respect, but surrendering wholeheartedly to someone I didn’t agree with, that’s another story.

Am I stopping myself and others from receiving God’s promises because I’m not standing united with my husband, leaders and church?  Am I discouraging others from doing God’s will because it doesn’t sound like a good idea to me?  Am I causing division rather than unity.

The Isrealites were in division over taking the promised land not just once but twice and they were very close to having to live another 40 years in the dessert.

If you turn away from following him [God], he will again leave all these people in the desert, and you will be the cause of their destruction.  Numbers 32:15

We are all responsible.  If we want to receive all that God has promised we must be united.  We must submit to God’s will wholeheartedly.

Wholeheartedly, what a great word.  With every bit of our heart we serve, surrender, submit.  We don’t hold back, withdraw, reserve or discourage. We do it anyways to see God’s blessing for all, not just for us. The Isrealites had been in the desert for so long they didn’t even want the promised land.  They wanted to stay in the desert.  How sad is that.  We can get so used to where we are we say no to God’s blessing because it’s too much work to move forward.

I’ll have to move house, sell my car, travel farther to church, wake up earlier, take a pay cut, cancel my holiday, give more money, give more time.  All reasons we may not want to  take the promised land God has waiting for us.  God wants us together, united.  It’s an act of love and worship to God to stand united even if we don’t agree.  And it’s in unity that God can bless us.

Do you have a hard time submitting to your husband or leaders/boss because you don’t agree with them or think they’re idea isn’t as good as yours? Pray that God will help you to submit and surrender your opinions and ideas so that your whole family/
church can be blessed.  I’m praying this too, we’re in this together!

 

How To Be a Wife And a Mother

How To Be a Wife and a Mother

Do you ever find it hard to kiss your husband hello at the end of the day when he comes home from work?  Do you get annoyed every time he gives you a proper hug that you can’t escape from?  Have you lost count of the number of days since you last had sex with your husband??

Our marriage came before children and it will remain after they have all grown up.  We need to always keep our marriage a top priority.  Motherhood is a full time job and one of the most exhausting jobs there is.  But it doesn’t mean we get given a ‘get-out-of-marriage for free’ card until your kids have left the house.  We have to continue to maintain a healthy marriage throughout motherhood.

Having a healthy marriage will create a healthy family.  When there’s insecurity, resentment or dissatisfaction in our marriage it reflects in the whole family. Family life can get pretty full on and some days all our physical and  emotional energy can be completely sapped well before dinner time.  So how do we muster up the energy for our marriage at the end of the day??

Here’s a few things we try to stay on top of in our marriage whilst raising our four kids:

1. Reevaluate priorities and make changes

This may sound like a cliche but it’s so important.  If something is not working then you need to change it!  Not having enough sex because you’re too tired all the time?  You need to go to bed earlier and get at least 7 hours of sleep and then wake him up with a nice surprise!!  We constantly talk through any issues in family life and discuss how we can improve and what changes need to be made.

2.  Have lots of sex

This is the most important thing you can do as a mother.  Making love is the best way to show and tell our husbands that we love, honour and respect them and are making them our priority.  When we stop making love to our husbands it can make them incredibly insecure and feel useless as a husband and a father.  Connecting through intimacy brings a security to our marriage.  Husbands can so easily feel that the only thing they’re needed for is to bring home a pay cheque. Sex is serious affirmation for husbands.  It doesn’t matter how you feel about sex as a wife, just know that that is how they feel and will always feel about it.  Without sex in the marriage they will feel like they’re failing.

3. Spend time with God

Again this may sound obvious, but spending time reading the Bible (not just bible studies, scripture of the day, or blogs), praying and listening to the Holy Spirit will give you focus and encouragement for the day.  When our eyes are on Him all our ‘issues’ disappear – amazing.

4. Let your husband be a husband

Men are called to be the priest of the home, but so often us wives don’t give them the opportunity to fulfil that role.  We take it away by disciplining the kids all by ourselves, hearing from God for our husband and showing him that we can do everything all by ourself.  This can make the husband feel useless and flaunting how well we take care of the kids, the house and them, and that they couldn’t make it one day without us, only makes it worse.  Let your man be a man!  Let him give direction, instruction and protection.

5. Remember to Laugh

Going on dates is sometimes just not an option when we’ve got young kids, but staying in and having fun is always a great night.  My husband always knows how to make me laugh and it really is the best medicine.  Watching a comedy, having a tickle fight, making fun of our horrible days always releases any stress of the day and connects us.  This is something my husband had to teach me, but it has really changed my life.  He’s shown me how having fun can be helpful.

What’s one thing you can do this week to improve your marriage??

P.S.

I’m going to be making some changes to the blog over the next couple of weeks.  I’m doing it myself so there will be no big reveal but don’t be alarmed if things are a little different.  And if you can’t find anything let me know!  I hope you enjoy seeing some new things here.  xx

Are You Embarrassing?

Are You Embarrassing?

In the early years of our marriage my husband would have to sit me down and talk to me about all the over-sharing I was doing.  We would be with friends and I would get carried away with the fun and start talking and talking and talking.  But then later my husband would tell me that I was embarrassing him by sharing too much of our marriage, faults, or lacks. 

We’ve been married 8 years now and it’s not very often that my husband has to tell me that I’ve embarrassed him, but the Holy Spirit does.  I’ve come home from a night out and had to apologise to my husband for not being an honouring and respectful wife.  You see we’re married.  That means everything I say and do is a representation of my husband.  That’s just how it is.  I am no longer an independent ‘free agent’.  I am bonded forever with my husband and we are one.  We share in the triumph’s and the failures.  This is the same for every Christian.  We are all ambassadors of Christ.  Are we doing a good job in representing our Saviour?  

Have you ever felt this conviction?  Do you sometimes get carried away and end up with a guilty conscious for making people laugh by pointing out other’s faults or being a show off?  The longer I’ve been married the more God has taught me how to honour my husband.  When I’m not living by the Spirit I end up acting foolish and embarrass my husband.  But whenever I am submitted to God I am much more in tune to his Spirit guiding my words and actions.  This minor adjustment in my life has brought huge breakthrough in our marriage.  I still make mistakes, but I am much quicker at recognising my mistakes and saying sorry before my husband even has to bring it up.  

If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.  Galatians 5:25

 

Are You Messing Up Your Marriage?

Are you messing up your marriage?

 

In our generation we see all over the telly how women are smarter, braver, quicker and better than men and that they just can’t get out of bed without our help.  As wives we are the helpmeet, aid, companion and partner to our husbands.  But have we taken this too far?  Are we getting carried away with our skills of meeting needs and filling in the gaps?  When I was reading through the Old Testament I saw three wives who married Godly husbands and who God had great plans for.  They loved God and their husbands but they took their role of wife too far and caused huge ripple effects in the lives of their families from trying to make things happen in their own strength without trusting in God and their husbands.

Sarah and Abraham were promised a child at an age past her fertility.  Sarah got tired of waiting and decided to take things into her own hands and convinced her husband to sleep with her maid to give birth to a son.  Now Abraham did have a son, Ishmael, but in his wife’s way and not God’s.  We are still living with the turmoil of Sarah’s interference with God’s plan.

Rebekah had twin sons but loved one more than the other.  God had told Rebekah that her sons would be two nations that would always be rivals and that the younger son would serve the oldest.   But when her husband chose the oldest son, Esau, to receive the blessing she took things into her own hands.  She planned a plot to deceive her blind husband to pass the blessing of God to her favourite son, Jacob.  There was turmoil in her sons lives for over a decade and Esau’s wives gave her and Isaac misery.

Rachel was a beautiful women well loved by her husband Jacob.  But she was so jealous for her husbands love because he was also married to her sister.  She despised her sister for having four sons and she was unable to give birth.  She told her husband to give her children or else she would die,  When her husband told her that he wasn’t God and that He was the one stopping her from having children she told her husband to have sex with her maid to give her children.  After years God gave her a son – Joseph.  Joseph’s brothers beat him and sold him into slavery out of jealousy.  Now where did they get that from??

These wives loved their husbands and loved God, so how could they mess up their marriage and families so much?  By trying to fulfil the promises of God in their own strength and in their own timeline rather than being patient and submissive.  What a lesson for us to learn.  Submission is Godly.  It is not to keep us quiet, de-valued or enslaved.  It’s to protect us, strengthen us and receive all the blessing God has for us.

If you’ve received a promise, but it just seems like it’s never going to happen or it’s just plain impossible – just wait.  Don’t take things into your hands.  Don’t do your wifely duty of meeting the need, fulfilling the vision and filling the gap.  Wait on God’s timing and remember that when we are weak (impatient, frustrated, and fed up) our God’s strength is perfect.*  Don’t give in to the temptation of jumping the gun and dragging the whole family with you in the process.  Wait, and keep waiting until his strength is made perfect and his will is revealed in full.  Listen to your husband, submit in love and wait on the Lord.

* 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

 

5 Ways to Find a Life Partner

5 Ways to Find a Life Partner

Next Saturday I’ll be speaking to young adults about…relationships.  Specifically, of course, around dating.  Dating – that very word irks me.  My husband and I never actually went on a “date” until we were a couple.  And I have always been thankful for that.  The whole idea of sitting down and eating in front of someone you don’t know very well has always frightened me.  I’m not a pretty eater.  I spill 9 out of 10 times from pasta sauce to salad dressing.  It will be on my face, my clothes and almost always in my hair!! But God is good and this is something my husband loves about me.  Full on entertainment during dinner.  You can sit me and my 6 year old next to each other at dinner and I will make more mess than her.  

Okay, so back to dating. I think we can all get very legalistic about the do’s and dont’s of dating, but one thing is for sure, everyone who is married has a different love story.  The how, where and why they fell in love will be completely different couple to couple.  So how can we bring God into that process?  If there’s no one way to find the man/woman of your dreams who you’ll spend your happily ever after with then where do we start?  How will we know they’re the one?

These are questions I get asked a lot and so I want to share a few things that God has shown me about finding ‘the one’.

 

1. Find Christ First

The one thing I always look for when love is involved is whether they are first in love with Jesus.  This will be the driving force behind every decision we make.  If you’re like me and you’ve dreamt of being swept off your feet and kissed till you’re out breath than it’s easy to forget what love really is.  Love is not just a feeling its a choice. To know what love is fall in love with God, for God is love. 1 Timothy 1:5, Matthew 6:33

2. Be in the right place

 

If you want to find a Godly partner who is always putting their priorities right and loving Christ first then be where they’ll be and get involved in healthy and wholesome activities – church, camps, community volunteering, and wholesome hobbies.  Getting dolled up and heading to the pub/club every weekend to ‘get out there’ and find someone is not the best way to find a man after God’s own heart.

3. Observe in every environment

 

Sometimes we can fall in love at ‘hello’ and we completely lose our brains as we enter the ‘in love’ bubble.  But it’s very important to see each other in different environments.  For example how do they behave with their friends compared to your friends?  What’s they’re relationship like with their family.  How do they behave in church?  Do they serve in church or just attend?

4. Listen to your elders

 

Now I’m not just talking about church elders, but generally anyone who has a healthy marriage who you know and respect.  Ask their opinion and listen to what they have to say.  If you’re so far gone in the relationship that you’re unwilling to listen to a married veteran warning you of your boyfriends debt, anger or manipulative ways than you are officially in the ‘danger’ zone of falling in love.  You are no longer being led by God, but by your own emotions.  This is where trouble starts to happen.

5. Say no to ‘trial marriage’

 

The lie that is being fed our generation of ‘trial marriage’ and ‘sexual compatibility’ is complete nonsense and goes completely against the Word of God.  1 Corinthians 6:13, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5. And if you don’t believe the word of God then believe this – statistically  your chances for divorce increase by over 30% when you live together before marriage and studies have shown that you will be less satisfied in your marriage if you do stay married after living together.  That is very sad and not what God intended for marriage.  You may think God’s way is just ‘out of date’, but there is a reason for his method.  One very important reason for waiting to give yourself to your partner until marriage is that sex leads to babies!  Statistically in the UK “around 27% of couples that were cohabiting when their child was born have separated by the time the child is aged 5, compared with 9% of couples that were married when their child was born.”

I love being married and believe in it whole heartedly but I know that everyone has a different story to tell.  So share your best ‘dating’ advice to finding ‘the one’, and don’t forget to show the love by sharing the post!

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