As some of you may have gathered by now, I have a daughter. I do not mention her name on public forums to protect her privacy. But some times it’s really convenient to be able to refer to someone by name rather than by some pronoun. So. I will now refer to my daughter as Sara. I’ve taken this name from the title character from A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Sara Crewe. The Wikipedia article about the book describes Sara as “very intelligent, polite, and creative”, and I felt that this kindof describes my little one, toddler though she is. It’s just a label. So, world, meet Sara.
At the weekend my husband picked up a knitting and crochet magazine for me while we were out shopping. I have just completed crocheting my first baby blanket ever (cannot post pictures as the mum-to-be has yet to receive it) and embarked on a second for another mum. Now I have Noah’s Ark, owls, baby/child sweaters, doggy draught excluders and a whole host of other projects (did I mention a Christmas jumper and leg warmers?) running around in my head!
Question: When am I going to find the time for all of this!?
I’m a SAHM, run an editing business (which I only work on when my daughter is sleeping), love to read books and have to run a house. Um….
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. – James 2:14-17
As many around the world know, the UK has been battered by storms for the last almost-two months, with some communities now abandoned and several others evacuated. Over the last two days the question running through my mind has been “where is the church?” And by this I don’t mean “Is the church praying for the flood victims?” That is all too easy to do. No. The church needs to be helping physically – whether it be by giving financially or by actually getting into one’s car and driving down to physically help building the flood barriers, providing food and other necessities to the victims. To not do this brings into question the faith of those who are praying – according to the above scripture. I live not even two hours away from areas affected badly by the flooding and I haven’t heard of any churches local to me getting involved in any sort of support for the flood victims. If anyone local to me (Oxfordshire) reads this and knows otherwise, I would love to know about it!
While I had heard that the churches local to the flooding have been giving what aid they can in this time of crisis, I had not heard of any national effort to lend assistance. I have just run an internet search and, to my relief, have learned of two appeal funds that are raising money to help flood victims. Here is one, and here is the other. There may be more (I hope?), but these were found on a quick search.
Christians, please don’t let your comfort be placed before those who are in a real crisis.
It always warms my heart when I read of acts of kindness, neighbourliness and plain, simple humanity. Follow this link to read more about what I’m talking about.
It’s been a while since I’ve actively read several books simultaneously. About twenty years, I think. But there’s a reason for the madness. The first book of this batch that I started to read, The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder, is a paperback, and I cannot read that when holding my toddler-aged daughter. So I needed to find something on my Kindle for when my hands were tied, so to speak.
I’m rubbish at deciding which book to read next, so I went for the oldest book – a collection of fantasy stories – in my Kindle. This led me to The Little White Bird by JM Barrie. Now, while this story intrigues me, it is very slow going. Having just slogged through Little Women (the unabridged version), I’m hesitant to get stuck in the mud again, so to speak. So I’ve picked up a more intellectual book I need to read for a friend: I’m OK – You’re OK by Thomas A. Harris. A good read if you’re dealing with relational issues, by the way.
Anyway, so that’s the story of how I come to be reading three books at once. Does anyone else out there do this?
Over the last week or so I’ve been in the book of Hebrews as part of my daily Bible reading program. Last night I hit Hebrews 10. The rest of Hebrews is one of my favourite passages in the Bible, and I am now about five days ahead of my reading program, as I simply devoured most of the rest of the book. The ball picks up pace from this point (the start of Hebrews 12, NIV):
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
What an awesome passage of encouragement, and one that – I now discover – was particularly relevant for me last night.
For the first time in my life I find myself in a position where I want to set some goals for the new year. I’m deliberately not calling these ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ because I am dead set against that whole concept. But, that doesn’t mean that I cannot aim for ‘something’ in the new year, right?
To be transparent, I started goal-setting at the beginning of this year already. In 2012 I read a lot of stories (short, novella and novel-length), and in January 2013 I took up the Goodreads Reading Challenge – with an aim to read seventy-five books during 2013. Not to brag, but I smashed that. And yes, it’s a good feeling to have achieved my goal – and surpassed it.
So, on to the goals for 2014.
- Read seventy-five stories (short, novella or novel). I am not going to increase this goal as this is a manageable quantity for me – if this last year has been anything to go by.
- Finish reading through the NT and begin to study it. I am currently almost 3/4 of the way through reading the NT using a reading plan. I plan to return to the gospels and look at a few more passages in them in greater depth, and then study the rest of the NT.
- Do some reading each week for education or career reasons. Most of the reading I do is in some way educational for me. If it is fiction, then I am learning how to write better. If it is non-fiction, then I am usually learning something. I do, however, need to focus on my chosen career – editing and proofreading. I have materials to study, and I need to begin to do so.
- Spend less time on Facebook. I have a toddler, and I do try to NOT be on the computer all the time while she is awake. I don’t always succeed, but there you go. I’m not trying to eliminate Facebook at all, but if I can be away from it for longer periods of time as opposed to checking in every few minutes, I can only be mentally healthier. I’m pin-pointing Facebook as opposed to other websites because Facebook is the most detrimental for me.
- Have some down time each day. By this I mean no contact with the outside world; books, internet, TV, phone… Having a toddler, I achieve this most days, but some days it is difficult.
There you go. Five goals for 2014. And please – any of you who read this are welcome to pop a note to me and check up on how I’m doing. I believe they are all achievable, although some are going to be a real challenge for me. I hope I’ll remember this post come the end of the year and then I can evaluate how the year has gone.