Listen with Mother!

Sometimes it's not practical to have a sermon playing while we do our housework: if our children are with us and want to talk with us, it would not be wise to be listening to a sermon instead of to them, for example.

But often, we have opportunities. I have found that playing a sermon in the kitchen while I work is hugely beneficial. Oh, I come and I go, and I don't hear it all. I certainly don't take it all in, but there are always 'snippets' that do me good. Sometimes, I will play the same sermon two or three times, and over the course of the day or two, I am able to hear almost the whole message. Most of the sermons I listen to come from Sermon Audio - a most wonderful store of sermons.

And here, you can listen to the Bible, beautifully read. What better 'background noise' could we have whilst we go about our daily chores?


Update on The Schedule....

So....you want to know how it's going? No! Oh well, I'm gonna update anyway!

I have been up and about every morning as planned.

End of update.

What? You want more?

Well, on Wednesday, my friend, my sister and their children came to visit.
On Thursday my Mum and Dad arrived before noon to spend the afternoon with us.
On Friday, our car had to spend the day in the garage, and so I had to leave here shortly after 9am.
Today (Monday), I was all over the place with Dad having been taken in to hospital yesterday, and being flown to the mainland today.

But.........Yes, there's a 'but'. This is what I've found: because I've been up early; because I've had my devotions early; because I'm able to have laundry done in the morning; because our 'school' day is beginning earlier, and is more structured.....what I have found is that all the 'unexpecteds' - whether delightful ones, like having visitors, or the not-so-delightful ones, like going to the garage, or today - have not meant that everything in the household has gone to pot! Things are running incredibly smoothly (well, by my standards!). It makes such a difference when dinner is planned the day before; when laundry is done early in the day; when the main lessons are done early (when children are at their brightest, and Mum's brain is still functioning. Mmmm). Yep, The Schedule is here to stay.

For now anyway.

Medical report

Has anyone out there ever heard of a burst kidney? This is what my Dad suffered yesterday. He was taken to A&E yesterday (Sunday) lunchtime, and by last night, we had the diagnosis: a stone that had been lodged in the kidney had caused the kidney to burst. No doctor we saw yesterday had ever heard of it. None of the nurses we spoke with had ever heard of it.

What is true is that we are so thankful to still have Dad with us. It was a close one. 'It was not yet his time'. Praise God that had it been his time, he is ready. We are glad it was not.

He was flown away by ambulance plane to hospital in Inverness this afternoon. We don't have a urologist in our local hospital. All in all, we are glad he's been sent away, though it does mean we're not able to see him every day. Mum went with him, so please pray for them both, and for the doctors who are treating him. We pray they would be guided and given wisdom; that Dad would know that peace that passeth all understanding; and that Mum would be calm and be able to absorb the information the doctors give her.

How little we know what a day may bring. What a blessing to know that 'underneath are the everlasting arms'. Deut 33v27


A Recommended Listen

I will 'recommend' a favourite sermon of mine, or a sermon that has been especially blessed to my soul, each week. This is the first of these: The Love of God in Heaven

I listened to this a number of weeks ago, when my soul was heavy, heavy, heavy. How unspeakably gracious God is, to bless our souls when we deserve nothing but His wrath and curse.
I had been so convicted of my sin for days before I listenened to this. I felt like crawling into a corner and never having to see or to speak to anyone again. In providence, God gave me an afternoon on my own in the house, and I listened to this sermon. I want to say this though: I was not in the 'mood' to listen to a sermon, nor to read, nor to pray. My soul felt like it was being crushed, and yet I was not wanting comfort. What strange creatures we can be. As I said, all I wanted was to hide away somewhere and not have to face God or the world. But God is good. He is gracious. He is kind. He gently leads us into green pastures where we find rest for our souls. What a Saviour we have! Would that we would love Him more.
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" And what rest we find, when we are resting in Him.

I hope this sermon is blessed to you too.


Marry....only in the Lord

"Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord" (Prov 18:22).

Sadly, despite Scripture being clear on the teaching that a Christian must marry 'only in the Lord', there is often temptation on the part of a single man or woman to look for their spouse outside of the flock. It is surprising to many of us that the Christian community on our island has in the past - to a greater or lesser extent - appeared to accept this practice. Unfortunately, many do not seem to see too much of a problem with it even now. I can not understand their position. Many look at examples of seemingly happy marriages amongst their acquaintances, where one spouse was saved and the other was not. They claim this is proof that such marriages can work, and that God cannot be too displeased with such unions. What a strange way to look at providence, and at Scripture.

It is true that God is gracious, and He does not deal with us as our sins deserve, but surely, God's graciousness is not our excuse to walk into sin. I do not want to say too much right now, but if I am able to reach any single woman out there, I would plead with her to: "Trust in the Lord, and do good....Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.....Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" Psalm 37

I believe there is no greater gift outside of the gift of Christ as Saviour than a loving marriage. I am not unsympathetic to men and women who are single and who long to be married. But I would still say this: under no circumstances would our Saviour wish for us, His children, to be unequally yoked in marriage to an unbeliever.

I like this quote:

"God gave us a spouse, not so that we should rely on Him less and depart from His body, but that we may support one another, growing in faith, and forming a threefold cord that is not easily broken: God, husband, and wife."

I will return to this subject another time. I will show you a letter I once sent to a lovely young Christian girl who was about to marry an unbeliever. I will also tell of the response to the letter - from her and from her Christian parents. What I say might surprise you. On the other hand, if you know human nature, it might not.



Aahh, schedules. I love them. Well, I want to clarify that. I love making them. I cannot keep to them, and I hate not being able to keep to them. So we have a love-hate relationship.

This is our latest attempt. I must stress that even at best, we are flexible. But it makes such a difference for me if I at least have something to go on.

Laundry on; Cuppa; Quiet time

7.00am - 8.00am
Porridge on; check mail; answer e-mails etc; Kids up

Kids have breakfast
Mum: laundry; tidy kitchen

Kids: morning chores (make beds, tidy rooms, dirty washing to laundry; CP-dishwasher; KG - main bathroom; CS-brushes kitchen floor)

Worship: this is normally the reading of a portion of Scripture with some discussion of it, the singing of a psalm, and prayer.

Maths - for all the kids

Reading together: Story of the World right now
Discussion and questions - work on essay questions (relating to what we're reading, etc

Break; chores

CS: Language
KG: History lesson
CP: French

Set reading - this varies, but non-fiction mainly

Housework, etc. Girls prepare lunch. CS - free time/Online Maths challenge
(Maybe some preparation for tonight's dinner - depending on what's planned for evening meal)

Lunch. Break

CS: Lapbook or similar
Girls: Chosen subjects

Extras - Photography (we're doing an online course, once a week)
- Vegetable plot (my personal favourite, and it will be getting priority over the next
few months. Yippee!)
- Work on essays
- unforeseens - (of which there are many!)

Mum - Ironing (my friend and I are beginning to study the Heidelberg Catechism right now, so I normally listen to the appropriate sermon from here whilst ironing)

Letter-writing, e-mails, blogs etc;

Prepare dinner. Check mail; correspondence; blogs etc

(Our dinner tends to be later than I'd like. The Builder is normally late home and the Builder's Big Brother normally eats with us - but only after his animals are fed, his dog is walked etc etc......sigh. It means that by the time dinner is over, I am not in the mood for any more housework. This normally leaves work for the following morning. Most people would hate this, but it's the only way I can do it. It's not like this ALL the time, but it is most of the time. An hour of sitting with the family in the evening simply takes priority over dirty pans. This then becomes part of the 7-8am chore the following morning.)

I promise to let you all know how it's going. Mmmm. Did I just promise?


Who from History would you like to meet?

This is the man I'd choose.

This is one of my favourite non-Scripture quotes of all time:
"Mr. Smith, my religious faith teaches me that God has already fixed the time of my death; therefore, I think not of it. I am as calm in battle as I would be in my own parlor. God will come for me in his own time." 'Stonewall' Jackson when asked how he could remain so calm on the battlefield.

You gotta love 'im. I do.


Green Fingers

Today, I was planting. That's why I spent the day with a smile on my face. Here is a photo of what I was doing today.

And here are some I made earlier....2 weeks ago, I planted the seeds. They were kept under polythene in our porch - warm and sunny.

Here are some we planted MUCH earlier! A year ago!

And this is what I do with some of them.

Ready to be made into Scotch Broth.

The planting bug only bit 2 years ago. And it has well and truly bitten!

I'll keep you all updated as the seedlings grow, are transplanted outside, and as the vegetable plot begins to shine.

Oh yes, I'll tell you all about it. Whether you're interested or not! Cos I just can't stop talking about them. They're amazing. Keep a note of that word. It will appear time and time again in connection with my veg. Why? - Well, because they are. Amazing.

As an aside...

I'm gonna post later today. I've been planting seeds, and potting some seedlings. These seeds have become my friends.

But, I've got to tell you this. My friend, Dawn, makes the most unimaginably delicious carrot cake ever. She has just posted the recipe on her blog. I told her not to. She should have the copyright. Anyway, she didn't listen, and now you can make and taste - what I've never made, but have tasted. From her. For free!

Have a look here.


Quick Intro

And blessed be His glorious name

to all eternity;

The whole earth let his glory fill,

Amen, so let it be.

If you have never been part of a heartily singing congregation, singing this psalm to the tune Effingham, you don't know what you're missing! There are some things in this life you really have got to experience. This is one of them. We have just had our communion weekend. If you have never heard of Scottish Communions, read about them here:

We had a wonderful time of remembering Christ's death, of listening to God's word being preached, of fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. These weekends are so special, and their fragrance lasts and lasts.

So...I better introduce! I am Anne, wife of one - the Builder - and mother of four, all of whom you'll meet soon. I will post photos up shortly. When? Oh well, okay, I may as well be honest. I will post photos when my daughters are here with me. They're more technologically minded than I am. And no, that wouldn't take much.

We homeschool. Learning about, and beginning to home-schooling is probably the single most life-changing event that happened to us, apart from our being saved. Our journey has been nothing short of awesome, life-changing, all-consuming. Homeschooling was almost unheard of in Scotland when we began this journey. Even now, nearly ten years on, most people have never heard of such a thing. I wouldn't swap it for the world.

We live on an island off the West coast of Scotland. Bit by bit, I will tell you more and more about our home life, our community, our heritage. So much to say. I hope it will whet your appetite for this fabulous part of the world.

Last week, we began planting seeds - indoors. Until two years ago, I'd never so much as kept a plant alive for more than a week. Then we began growing some vegetables. Last year, we grew even more. I became hooked. Big time. More on this in the weeks to come. And yes, more photos.

Before I close this first post, I must tell you that the Builder and I went on a date this week. Big deal? Yep. Hey - four kids, homeschooling.....need I say more. This is not a regular occurrence. In fact, this really is not an occurrence. So - the other evening we got out together and went to.............actually, I don't think I'll say. A momentary lapse into knowing when to hold my tongue. Rest assured, this will not happen often. Probably as often as dates with the Builder. It'll all be revealed soon. I just don't do the holding-my-tongue stuff well. Watch this space.

You'll laugh. Or cry.

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