Storm Katie Arriving? We've our very own ...

Apparently Storm Katie is about to hit the UK. The Met Office are telling us that England and Wales are going to be affected by winds of around 60mph.

I have two things to say:

1. Winds of 60 mph are not a storm. They are but a gentle breeze - the kind of breeze us Nisich (folks from Ness) wouldn't even notice except to say, 'Oh, what a great day for the washing'.

But more importantly ...

2. Did no one tell the Met Office that Storm Katie arrived exactly 19 years ago?

Yes, 19 years ago, God gifted us our second daughter. You can go to this blog post to see a whole lot of Katie :) . For today, we'll concentrate only on the past year.

This was Katie last year, celebrating her 18th birthday ...

And in the year since that evening, so much has happened.

She visited Paris, and was enthralled by the Eiffel Tower and the rest of the city;

She spent a week in Italy (yes, Italy!), and delighted in its ancient history, its food, and its sunshine.

(We're not jealous, are we?)

She then left her room in the home she'd known since she was six years of age:

She voted for the first time, 

And chose the Atlantic for her Ice Bucket Challenge dip.

And of course...

She was bridesmaid to her dearest (okay, she's her only) sister.

Aye, it's been something of a full year, my darling, and now we thank God for His blessings of another year, and wish you a very happy and blessed year for this coming one.

(with one of her birthday presents: Highland Cow, by Tamsin Thomson Art)

And getting ready to blow out her candle, kindly supplied by the staff at Pittodrie House Hotel!

 You are such a gift to us. A precious gift from God, and I hope you know just how much you are loved by us.


Giving Thanks Again. And Again. And Again....

I often feel that I have so much for which to be thankful I barely know where to begin. And when I do begin, I feel I'm saying the same thing as I've said a hundred times before. I almost feel like God is worthy of thanksgiving that is SO much more glorious than the same-old same-old words I repeat.

Does this ring true for you? Are you nodding and thinking, Yes! I feel like that too!

I was so glad to read something this morning that encouraged me and delighted my soul at the same time, and so I wanted to tell y'all about it.

We were reading 2 Samuel 22, where David's song of praise is recorded for us. In this wonderful song, David recognizes that he owes everything to God's wonderful mercy and His faithfulness. To Him is ALL the glory! He composes, by the Holy Spirit's leading, this outburst of praise and thanksgiving, but it's the note at the end of the chapter in RHB's Study Bible that really warmed my heart.

"David is careful to give the Lord the thanks and praise He deserves. Similarly, we should be conscious of, and sensitive to, all that God does for us in preserving, protecting, and providentially meeting our every need. Like David, we should lift our hearts  and voices in praise and thanksgiving. 

Now, listen to this next bit:

"God does not grow weary of the praise of His people, even when they are praising Him for the same things over and over again."

Oh, that is so precious! Do you, like me, feel like today's thanksgivings are so like yesterday's were? So often I feel like a broken record, repeating my thanks for repeated blessings. But ...

God does not grow weary of the praise of His people!

The comment goes on:

"That David's song in this chapter is virtually the same as Psalm 18 directs us never to forget the Lord's benefits to us and never to cease praising Him for them. It is quite acceptable to repeat; God is not looking for originality so much as He desires genuineness and sincerity."

I found this so encouraging, and like all the wonderful encouragements of Scripture, it speaks more of who and what GOD is, rather than anything good in us. All His kindnesses to us speak of His goodness. His daily mercies to us speak of His faithfulness. And His delight in hearing our praises - even our poor, oft-repeated, poorly worded praises - speaks of His nature of love rather than anything lovely in our worship.

And so I am encouraged to repeat my prayers of thankfulness. Yes, even the same faltering, repetitions, because HE delights to hear the voice of His child. 

Yet another reason for never-ending thankfulness.


Spring ... To Stay or Not to Stay?

I woke this morning around five o’clock, and at six o’clock, I opened the bedroom blind and the window to let both the stunning morning colours pour in to the room and also the sweet birdsong. Both were beautiful. Both gave me that real oomph feeling that is often nowhere in sight in the mornings. And both meant one thing: Spring has sprung!

During the morning, as I was texting my mum, I grabbed a quick photo with my mobile to prove to Mum that, honestly, the day actually was as good as I was saying. 

The weather here is so amazing - to me - that we have a bit of a daily joke going. Mum phones or texts and inevitably comments on their weather. I answer with my usual speil, telling of yet another stunning day, with not so much as a breeze etc etc. Mum reckons I simply press Play on a recording!

Hence my taking of this photo and sending it in a text to Mum!

However, only an hour later, this was the photo I took with my phone.

What a difference an hour or so can make!

I couldn’t resist handing over my camera to Calum, who was heading out with the Builder, and he took some photos around the estate. 

It's just as well there was no wedding on at the hotel today. The scenery would have been stunning (as has often been the case over this past winter), but the guests may have had some difficulty making their way along the country roads.

Seems like if Spring sprung, it sprung a long way off again. But personally, I have no qualms with the snow giving us a few more glimpses of its quiet beauty.

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