Sunday, 2 November 2014

Happy November!!!!

Hi everyone!!!

Happy November!!! 

You may or may not have noticed that this month I took an unofficial bloggy break. I'm afraid that life in a house with 4 boys, a husband, and all the after school and extra-curricular activities that they fit in left me feeling quite overwhelmed and way behind in my laundry, cleaning and menu planing, to name just a few things....

So I've picked myself up after a lovely break away with my Mum and Dad - amazing how much that always helps!! Even us big kids just need our mummy sometimes!!! - and I'm back!! 

While we were away I watched the news - I know I'm shocked too but it happened to be on and I was too relaxed (not lazy - relaxed!!) to change it!!! - when a very interesting topic came on. They were discussing energy and the crisis that may or may not hit the UK if we get a very bad winter this year, as apparently the output is only just more than what is needed and if we get a really rough time we could be in for some energy restrictions. 

This got me thinking about how much we rely on electricity in our everyday lives, and yearning for days of old when life seemed to be a little simpler. 

For instance - I'll run through my day and see how much power we use...

6am - washing machine timer goes off setting load on wash
6:30am - heating goes on for an hour
7am - alarm goes off on phone... which is charging 
7:30am - electric shower
8am - washing moves to tumble dryer

Boys out at school / Hubby at work / Me either at school or at home
If home - washing machine and tumble dryer get used again and I usually have either the iPod or tv on as background noise. 

After school :
4:30pm - after the homeworks are done the boys watch TV or play on the tablets 
5:00pm - I cook dinner using our electric oven
6:00pm - the dishwasher runs 
7:00pm - the immersion might go on for bath time or the boys will have a shower (electric)
Also the heating goes on for another hour and of course all the lights are on. 

WOW! That's a lot of power and a lot of devices used in the course of a typical day. I've been talking to the boys about what might happen if we have restrictions - more fires being lit instead of the heating going on, nights by candlelight - all the nice stuff!! But the reality is finding ways to do laundry, dry clothes, and cook our meals. 

We take so much for granted and its sinful how wasteful we are in so many ways. Just thinking about a life without electricity or with limited energy has me dreaming of the days when we weren't so reliant on our iPhones or iPads or TVs or tablets... When we knew what was important - family game night in front of a roaring fire, or meals around the table where people actually talk to each other, so I'm determined to bring some of this back into our family life. 

Don't get me wrong - we do have our meals up at the table each night and the boys love playing board games - but I want to be more intentional about shutting down things we don't need on and start thinking about simplifying life a little. 

So I'm planning on starting by simplifying Sunday and bringing it back to a technology free age, where we can set it apart, make it special and spend some lovely quality time together playing games and reading - yes we may even get proper books out!! :) 

Just a couple of thoughts running through my crazy head!! I'll let you know how it goes!! :)

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

And the winner is....

So last week I had a wee giveaway on the blog and all you had to do to win was sign up to receive the blog emails :) Easy!!! Thank you to everyone who entered, or to those who already get the posts by email and who were automatically entered! I out all the numbers into a random number generator and came up with the winner -

And the winner is - DAWN MACKENZIE :))

So Dawn not only has won a copy of Messy Beauitful love (which will be winging its way to you from their publishers) but has also won a wee box of goodies to go with it! I hope you will get as much out of this wonderful book as I have, Dawn. And well done!!! :)

And for the rest of you - the book is available on Amazon and all good bookstores - and it's well worth buying! Keep shining xx 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

'Messy Beautiful Love' launch day!!!

It's finally here!!!! Today is the launch day for Darlene Schacht's brand new book!!! 

So what can I say about 'Messy Beautiful Love'....?

Every so often I read a book that changes my life - but I absolutely love it when I do. And this is one of these books.

Darlene is so honest, so graceful and so challenging in the way she has written this book that it makes it one that you will read again and again, and be challenged by again and again...

She deals with issues that face every marriage including those that may not be spoken about very often. For instance, how many of us compare our husbands to other men in our lives, or to other people's husbands, or to characters we watch on tv or read about in a book? 

For instance, my dad is an amazing handy man. He can turn his hand to anything and everything, and since my husband's skills lie in other areas, we always ring my dad with a list of things that need done in my house! It would be so easy for me to think less of my husband because he can't fit shelves on my wall or can't build my flat-pack filing cabinets, but I know he can do so much - just in other areas!! 

And I always find if I read too many romance novels that I start feeling discontent. Thoughts like wishing my husband would fly me off in his private jet to Rome to a 5 star hotel just because... get dragged down with the realisation that he doesn't have a private jet, or the money to whisk me off to a 5 star hotel and the fact that we still have 4 boys to cart off to someone before we could do anything at all!!! You have to love reality!! 

But when you start to think about your husband in positive light, realising that he is unique and a gift from God, then you start to see how lucky you are and how much of a blessing he is, rather than comparing him. 

This is just one of the challenges you get given reading through 'Messy Beautiful Love' and there is so much more. 

So apart from telling you to READ THIS BOOK, I want to remind you of the giveaway happening this week. If you want to join in, read THIS POST and get in!! 

More about the book again tomorrow :) 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Giveaway time!!!

It's giveaway time!!!! :))

Tomorrow is the official launch day of Darlene's new book 'Messy Beautiful Love' and we have a giveaway to help excite you all about it!!!  

But first, I realised when I was posting last week that even though I have over 100 people who have 'liked' my Facebook page, (and thank you SO much for that!!!) they don't actually get to see all my posts because of FB's changing policies. So I'm going to run our wee giveaway in an attempt to make sure you get my posts where it's easy to read - your email!! 

On my blog there is an area at the top right where you can subscribe by email and the posts go straight into your email account. I do this with the blogs I follow because that way I can read them without having to get caught up and distracted by going on Facebook!! It's a great way if keeping track of series posts and of finding out about competitions etc. 

So this week I'm having a week-long giveaway with lots of lovely prizes. As I said at the top, it revolves around the book launch or Darlene Schacht's wonderful new book - 'Messy Beautiful Love' so my main prize is a copy of her book!! It's truly amazing and worth winning - or buying if you can't wait!!! 

But because I want you to feel well and truly appreciated, we have a couple more lovely prizes to join the book. You'll win:

• A copy of 'Messy Beautiful Love'
• A lovely box of Starbucks tea or coffee (the wee ones you can pop in your bag!) 
• A big bar of chocolate (to eat while you drink your tea/coffee and read Darlene's book)
• And a lovely candle (to set the mood to 'relax' mode) 

All you have to do to enter is subscribe by email!! If you already have done (or when you do) this then you can earn an extra entry by liking and sharing this post (yes on Facebook!!) and you can earn extra entries by liking and sharing the giveaway posts every day this week... 

BUT you have to subscribe to be entered in the first place!! 

This book is so good that I feel so privileged to be able to offer it to you like this. This will change the way you look at your marriage and will help you really love your husband in a better, more God-glorifying way. And you can't get better than that!!! :) 

So go on and get signed up - if you aren't in you can't win!! 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Giveaways galore!!!!

Next week Darlene's book 'Messy Beautiful Love' is released!!! This book is SO good that I can't wait for you all to be able to read it!!! 

Well... I have some FANTASTIC news for you all!! Not only did I have the privilege of being on the launch team but I also have been given a copy of the book to give away to one of you wonderful readers!! 

It will be part of a week long giveaway which will start on Monday - so keep an eye out for what you need to do!!!! 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Lessons from the Doctor...

Yesterday I posted this on my facebook wall...

As I thought more about it I realised just how much there is in this. So I thought I'd share a few thoughts with you. 

I know I'm emotional - and it may have been mentioned on here once or twice!! - but this was beyond emotional. As the episode played, and we meet the 'mad' Vincent Van Gogh, who was of course chasing and fighting aliens ( it is Dr. Who remember!!), we meet a man who is lost and who is completely alone. He has no noone around him. And when a Amy and the Doctor tell him they'll be leaving soon he actually cries. He is a broken man who thinks he is less than he is. He thinks he is useless. He has people everywhere, every day, telling him he is worthless. 

And to top it off, he sees the world in a different way to everyone around him. 

Now that storyline is enough to bring anyone to tears - especially when, as the viewer, you know that he is an amazing artist who committed suicude at the age of only 37. 

But that's not what got me. In an attempt to show him that he is more, he is worthy and he is special, Amy and the Doctor take him to modern day Paris to the Musee d'Orsy where he gets to see an exhibition of his work, surrounded by people who love it, and meet a curator who says this: 

I started crying as soon as the Tardis landed in Paris... I knew what was coming. To watch someone as they realise that they are capable of achieving so much more than they ever thought possible was incredible. Total emotional overload. And yes I know it's TV and they are only acting, but as I watched I looked around at my four boys and realised that I want them to know that feeling and grasp that truth without having to time travel in a magic blue box! 

You see as Christians, believers in the one true God, we trust that He has an almighty plan for every single one of us. We are here on this earth at this exact time for a purpose. And that purpose should bring glory to God. 

And as we look back on our story, my four boys all are growing up, like Van Gogh, seeing the world a little differently than everyone else. Because they see it as a place where they can live their lives to serve God and glory Him in all they do. They see it's wonder, beauty and the awesomeness of God's creation. They see His fingerprint all around them. 

Unfortunately pain, suffering, persecution, depression and loss may still come. They may well go through periods in their lives where they get a little lost. They may experience an illness or a mental health issue like their mum and Vincent can Gogh. 

But when trials come, they will be ready to trust their Heavenly Father, and they will be able to stand firm in the wake of persecution or pain... At least that is my prayer for them. 

But the one thing I'm certain of is that they have a God who is bigger than any problem and He has the power they need to get through it all. He will bring them out the other side in victory, and they can be certain that His plan and His purpose will help them to be the best they could ever be. 

They will hopefully grow up knowing that God created them to be amazing - to be the best they can be so that their lives bring Him glory. And that's the best feeling ever. That's the feeling you get when you know you are in the centre of God's will - no matter what's going on around you. And the feeling you get when you know you've heard His words and obeyed. 

Its a special feeling that I think they captured in this episode of Dr. Who, even if it didn't help Van Gogh to overcome his internal demons. 

As we watch each episode I don't expect to get life lessons or words of great wisdom - it's entertainment after all - but I love it when God steps in and blows me away with His truth. 

Whatever you are doing today - do it well, do it for God and be amazing. 
Keep shining xx 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A picture of hope...

This weeks photo was one I have shared before - one that was taken in the middle of the summer when I took my eldest son to Scotland for a wee treat. 

As we explored Stirling Castle on the second day of our trip, we went down into the dungeons, where there were no lights and very few windows. They had converted several of the cells into different rooms where you could experience different parts of lcastle ife - like the music they listened to or the clothes they wore -but on the other side they had these dark cells, where there was nothing but stone walls, stone floors and a gate. 

But in this cell I found this little plant. There was a single ray of light shining down, and through the cracks in the stone floor a little plant had sprouted up and was growing. I didn't capture the image as nicely as I wanted - in my first attempt at the picture I used the flash and just got wall!!! - but I love the fact that it sits so clearly surrounded by darkness, yet living in the light.

It just reminds me of the words we read in John 8:12 -

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, 
“I am the light of the world. If you follow me, 
you won’t have to walk in darkness, because 
you will have the light that leads to life.”

Jesus is the only way to eternal life - and the only way to truly live in the midst of this dark world of ours. When I see this picture I'm not only reminded of the 'Light of the World' who came into the world to save us from our sins, but of the hope that He brings to a hopeless world lost in its own selfish desires. Praise God that He loves us that much!!!