One of my favourite books from the last few years is a book called 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know this isn't a very Christian novel and it certainly deals with lots of big issues but I loved the film with Julia Roberts, and when I got the book I loved that I could identify with the main character in so many ways.
Before you all go saying a prayer for my marriage and children (although all prayers are gratefully received), it was more about her personality and her desire to discover things about herself and go on adventures I loved, as well as a few quotes that made me cringe with self-discovery. Although I would LOVE to go and spend a couple of months living in Italy, I know that I can have just as many adventures and 'a-ha' moments right here with my hubby and children around me! And of course, if she'd just trusted God at the very start we wouldn't have had the film at all... :)
So, since I love the book so much, I thought I'd borrow it's title for my weekend posts, highlighting a couple of things that make me 'me'. I want to bring you into my life, right into the messy centre of everything, and tell you about something wonderful I've EATen this week, a PRAYer that has been answered, and something that I just LOVEd :)
So to start things off, here is this weekend's offering...
Even though I am trying to eat a more healthy clean diet, nothing beats the treat we had on Monday. My mum and my sisters went out for afternoon tea in a very fancy hotel in the centre of Belfast, for my youngest sister's 30th birthday. The food was amazing, and the fact that it was accompanied by the laughter and fun of family getting together made it even more special. Have a look at these treats!!! Definitely not on the diet list!!! :)
I had a very big prayer at the start of this week, which God has answered in a wonderful way. I know it can be hard to see this sometimes, but this was a great chance to see Him at work.
This week, on Tuesday and Thursday, I started as a volunteer classroom assistant in the school my sons go to. I was extremely nervous - it's been a long time since I did anything outside of meeting women for coffee and encouraging them in their walk with God - and this was totally different as I was to be in with a class of 26 children, a classroom assistant and a teacher that two of my sons had for P2!!
I was scared that I'd make a fool of myself and not be able to carry out the simple tasks I knew I could usually do blindfolded. I worried that I'd be a nuisance and not a help. I worried that I'd do something very wrong and that they wouldn't want me back. And I need to come back to do my placement year when I start my course in September!!
But God answered my prayer in a very real way. Firstly, for these first couple of weeks,o I am shadowing the classroom assistant who works in the class - and she is a wonderfully kind and chatty woman who makes me feel so at ease. Secondly, I've had lots of company at break-time and lunch-time and haven't felt out of place once. And thirdly, the teacher, has made me feel very welcome, and I have loved meeting all of the children in the class and getting to know them. I'm sure I'll make some mistakes between now and June which will make me cringe with embarrassment, but I know that this is where I'm supposed to be right now and I thank God forgiving me such a wonderful first week and a great school to go into.
At the end of last week my youngest sister turned 30 and we got the surprise of our lives - my second sister travelled all the way from Australia to be here for her special weekend!! Kathryn has been living outside Melbourne for a couple of years now, and was in Perth before that, so it's great to see her and to have the family back together again like the good old days!!
We laughed, giggled like school girls and reminisced about camping trips, cars with broken heating systems and lots of other wonderful memories. We talked about serious issues, we talked about God and we talked about our individual families. And we will probably cry when she heads home today...
I don't know when the next time I get to see her will be... whether it will be another happy occasion or something a lot sadder... But I know one thing for sure - I loved having her here and I wish she lived a lot closer. Thank goodness for Skype, FaceTime and Facebook - they make catching up and staying in contact a lot easier than a snail-mail letter.
So thats my Eat, Pray, Love for this week. I hope you enjoyed the little glimpse into my weird and whacky life... What did you enjoy this week?
Keep shining xx