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?

The Cause and Effect of Yelling

The Cause and effect of yelling

I’ll never forget the first time I yelled at my kids.  It was more of a raised voice than a yell, but it was the way I felt when it happened.  I remember feeling irritated with my kids, for the first time ever.  What’s wrong with me?  What am I upset about, they’re just being kids.

I was 7 months pregnant with baby number three and my girls were starting to squabble over the same toy.  And so out of frustration I yelled at my girls when a calm and steady ” please stop arguing” would have sufficed.  In my personal experience I have found a direct link to me yelling at my kids to me being frustrated and angry.  And guess what, I still feel frustrated and angry afterwards and my kids just feel scared.

Neither of these emotions should be taking place in my home.  Home is a haven.  It’s a place of rest, peace and love.  So when mummy starts to feel stressed, overwhelmed and just plain irritated by what’s going on inside the home if those feelings go unchecked – yelling will occur.  But who is at fault here?  The kids or me?  Is it their fault that they didn’t clean their room when I asked, is their fault that they’re now hurting each other from petty arguments?  No, it’s my fault and here’s why.

When you’ve reached breaking point and there’s no response from your kids it means you’ve waited too long to intervene.  I’m the one who didn’t follow up on the kids tidying up their room and let the whole morning go by without reinforcing consequences for disobedience.  It’s also my fault that petty squabbles turn into violent brawls because I didn’t step in at the beginning and separate them with consequences.

Now this may all sound a bit extreme, but it happens very quickly. With multiple kids in the house things left unchecked can escalate very quickly and it’s the same with my attitude.  My temper can ripen and flare in a moment but it’s all because I didn’t do something about it earlier and I’ve just left it to fester.  Fester, fester, fester, rot, rot, rot.

Yelling is a fear tactic.  It’s not discipline.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

If this is a very common volume of speech in your home then there’s work to be done.  Discipline is to be done from a heart of love to instil love in our children. If we’re yelling in anger and frustration we’ve waited too long and it’s now on us.  It’s my responsibility to have self-control, long suffering and patience with my children. But’s it’s also my responsibility to raise up my children in the way they should go.

I’m talking from my own personal experience. I have my moments of exasperation when I just want to be able to to finish a phone call without being summoned by the sound of screaming children, or eat my food without having to get up and go find the stray children who walked out of the kitchen without unloading the dishwasher like I asked .  It’s exhausting and constant work being a parent, but it’s absolutely necessary in order to raise our children in love.

People in positions of high esteem don’t need to shout to be heard.  Their respect is earned and their voices are heard.  That’s how we should be as parents.  If our children respect us, they’ll listen.  If they don’t we’ll be ignored.  So the next time you see your kids ignoring you or fighting or arguing – step in.  Rather than letting the frustration become unleashed on your kids through yelling get yourself physically in their space and talk to them firmly and calmly eye-to-eye. No intimidation necessary, just follow through.

Showing this kind of self-control is a priceless lesson to our children.  We want to model to our kids that we don’t start yelling when things aren’t going our way.  We don’t yell at each other because we love one another.  It’s that simple.

Have you struggled with yelling?  Let’s take time to apologise to our kids for yelling and show them how we want to communicate from now on.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31

Here is a fantastic post with tips on how to stop yelling from Alison Wood.

6 Tips to Stop Yelling at your Kids

What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

What to do when you don't know what to do

Every day we are faced with issues, situations, thoughts and attitudes that challenge us.  They challenge our attitude, behaviour, thinking and sometimes even our faith.  We can then get lost in our pattern of thought that we think will lead us to an answer, when it really just leads to more doubt and fear.

I love what my friend, Will Marais, says “when you don’t know what to think, think about what you know.”  He shared this after telling of his shock after the death of his only son.  This grabbed hold of my heart.  What do I do when my faith gets shaken, when my beliefs get challenged and my way of life comes crumbling down?

I go back to what I know.  And what do I know? That I believe in God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit – my God is three in one.  I believe in the resurrection, that Jesus will come again and that Jesus is Lord.

This is what I believe.  No matter what happens, not matter how little I understand of anything else, I will always know this of my God:  that he loves me with an everlasting love.

When I read about David in the Bible I see more and more of how conflicted he was.  He was always trying to make sense of things happening in his world.  He just couldn’t understand so much of what went on in life.  But he would always, always, always return to God and take comfort in his unfailing love for him.

When my worry is great within me, Your comfort brings joy to my soul.  Psalm 94:19

If you’re worried today, troubled or afraid – find your comfort in the eternal love of God that is steadfast, secure and immovable.  Stand on Christ as your cornerstone.  He will not change.  Take comfort today in our Sovereign God. Nothing and no one is greater than Him.

Do you need reminding of who God is in your life?  Listen to this, I promise it will strengthen your faith and bring peace to your heart. ‘

We Are 100!!

We Are 100

Today we get to celebrate the 100th post!  I can’t believe how quickly we got here.  It’s been 10 months,  around 50,000 words and countless hours of creativity and hard work!  It has been a wonderful journey so far through blogging.  I never thought I would be a writer, but somehow I’ve ended up loving it!  But what I want to celebrate today is YOU!  I want to celebrate every person who has been encouraged, inspired and drawn closer to the Father through this blog.

What I’ve loved the most about blogging is the conversations it’s brought about. Many friends and every single family member has brought ideas, encouragement and insights about blogs I’ve written – including my kids!  I’m pretty sure my oldest is set to start her own blog as soon as I get her that iPad she’s been praying for.  Keep praying Eliana – your time will come!

Growing up in church and listening to my dad share the Word of God I have grown up with a keen appreciation for words.  Every word has an impact.  We are supposed to live by the Word of God.  Words matter to God and they should matter to us too.  I believe in the power of words.  After all, we hold the power of life and death in our tongues (Proverbs 18:21).  I believe in words that move hearts and mountains.  Words that tear down hate and build up love.  They are powerful and can have an eternal impact on people.

My heart is that every word will impact you to make a difference in your world.  That is my motivation.  It’s what get’s me up at 5am some mornings and keeps me up past midnight some nights.  I believe each word can make a difference.  And there is so much more to come!  I have been working hard to launch something new and wonderful for you, so stay tuned!    Thank you so much for reading and I hope you continue to join me in learning to live life to the full and love it.

 

How To Really Enjoy Summer Holidays

How To Really Enjoy Summer Holidays

I’m sorry I’ve been a bit behind on the blog but Summer holidays are in full swing and our weekends have been busy so far with little time for writing.  So far our Summer has been fun and relaxing with the kids enjoying each other’s company and having loads of fun.  But this hasn’t just happened by accident.  I have spent some time thinking of how I will get through the days with all four kids at home and keeping them happy, busy and relaxed.  This year we have no holiday plans away so we’ll be making the most of our time at home.

We live in amongst the beautiful countryside with plenty to entertain.  But it’s easy to for kids to wear themselves out and start arguing over who took the last strawberry.  So to keep things simple and fun here is my little routine to get us through the Summer.

1. Eat breakfast together as a family.

With no tight, busy morning schedule to stick to we can take our time at the breakfast table and we’ve been enjoying some extra yummy one’s.  American pancakes are a big favourite for our kids and they can make the batter and flip the pancakes too!  We’ve been enjoying our extended breakfasts with lots of giggles and funny stories to share.

2. Have some quiet Bible time.

Normally we run through some Bible versus at the breakfast table but now we’re reading through a little kiddy version of My Utmost for His Highest.  The kids are doing so well at sitting altogether, listening and sharing.  Building a love for the Word is something to treasure.

3. Quiet time during nap time.

My youngest still takes a nice big long midday nap and I find all the other kids have a big dip in energy at this same time.  We’ve watched a few movies but some days I even get them all into their beds for a little nap.  The whole house goes quiet and all of us get the rest we need to make it through the afternoon.

4. Outside in the afternoon.

I’m not very big on going out with all the kids.  I find it very exhausting and expensive, but I do want my kids to enjoy the Summer while it lasts so I get them to play outside for most of the afternoon.  I’ve noticed that they like to be outdoors from around 3pm onwards as it is just a bit too hot for them until then.

5.  Stick to the same bedtime routine.

Over the half term breaks I get so relieved that to have a nice break that I can really let things slip when it comes to bed time.  But I’ve learned that this makes them more grumpy and tired and starts to bring on a lot more whining when you do try to finally get them into bed.  So we had given them a Summer bedtime of 8 o’clock (rather than 7) and have tried our best to stick to it.  Also making sure they have that same wind down time in the bath and with a good story to help them ease into sleep makes all the difference.

Now we’re off to enjoy the sunshine outside!  What are your Summer holiday tips?  

4 Reasons I Love My 4 Kids

4 Reasons I Love My 4 Kids

Growing up I had no affinity to children.  I didn’t enjoy babysitting or helping in the creche.  I didn’t go all doey eyed over a newborn and I had never even thought about having my own some day.  But God had another plan for me and as soon as I was married we started talking about expanding our family.

With every baby that came along I knew that God was giving them to me as a gift and that he had a great plan for them.  But I know that he has a plan for me in raising them as well.  My children have taught me so much about my character flaws, my strengths and weaknesses, my passions and deep desires.

We’re into the second week of summer holiday’s and have just had an incredible weekend away at church camp and I loved every minute together as a family.  So I thought I would share the things I love the most about my children.

1. They’ve taught me about unconditional love.

I never understood how Christ could have loved us unconditionally until I had children.  The love is unparalleled and still astounds me.

2. They give me new mercy every morning.

No matter what has happened the day before, we all wake up with a whole new love for each other.

 3. They make me laugh every day.

Kids are soooooo funny, from their hilarious statements, strange questions or explanations and crazy expressions.

4. They’ve taught me patience.

The more children I had the more patience I certainly needed, but I actually surprised myself when I had my first baby at how patient I was with her.  I am actually a very impatient person and like to live life in fast forward, but my children have taught me that patience really is a virtue and that the kindness comes from patience.

What do you love about your kids?