14 March 2021

Celebrate the Hurting


I have always found Mother's Day difficult, and more so in recent years. I know many women who also find it difficult for various reasons: mums without their child, daughters and sons without their mum, people with memories of an abusive mum, women without children because of infertility or singleness, etc.

As a child, I felt inadequate on this Day because my mother actively discouraged me from treating her to breakfast in bed or of acting any different to usual. She was very controlling and preferred always to do things her way, irrespective of what any well-meant action on this Day represented.

I was an avid reader from a very young age and having read about a little girl buying her mum a blue glass vase for Mother's Day I resolved to do the same. I was so little that I had to ask my dad to get it. He was a good dad but definitely a product of his generation so I wasn't allowed to go and choose it with him and while he asked me what kind of vase I had in mind, he evidently didn't listen because he came back with a beige and brown pot affair with hideous red splodges on it. I was disappointed but not surprised. He wasn't being mean, it was just how things were. My mother seemed pleased with it, however. She was never keen on chocolates, flowers or smellies so could be challenging to buy for.

Since Adi and I discovered we couldn't have children and then miscarrying our tiny twins nearly fifteen  years ago, I have struggled with Mother's Day. Advertisers always seem to assume everything is hunky-dory and make no provision for heartache, loss and empty arms,

Thinking of all this, this morning I wondered what God thinks about Mother's Day. I was reminded that He heals the broken-hearted and binds up our wounds. And the Father comprehends exactly the heartache caused in losing a beloved child. 

So today I celebrate the hurting women. 

12 March 2021

Delivered and Possible


This Friday I'm once again combining the Lent challenge (delivered) with Five Minute Friday (possible):

I took this photo of Japan's Kohei Uchimura at the 2012 Olympics (on the television; sadly, I couldn't get tickets for the actual event). Uchimura is one of my favourite male gymnasts (now retired, I believe) because even if he fell and his routine went awry, he always kept going and giving his best - and often won a gold or silver medal in the process. He made the impossible or unlikely seem possible.

Several years ago we had a powerful move of the Spirit in the church I then attended. As part of that, many of us who had been Believers for years were delivered from evil spirits. Yes, they are real, and yes, they can cling on to Believers. None of us had idea they were there until they showed their presence, often during Sunday services and prayer meetings. 

I discovered in a very real way the power of Jesus's name - the spirit world is well aware of who He really is and they have no choice but to obey Him. Jesus is far more powerful than any evil spirit. Although I've always known the theory of Jesus's cleansing blood and that by His death and resurrection He rescued me from the domain of darkness and put me safely in His own beautiful Kingdom of Light, during that time and since I've experienced that reality. 

God makes all things possible, even being delivered from evil and haunting influences. A word of warning though: as an account in Acts in the Bible makes clear, you can't mess about with the unseen. Their power is real and they hate humans who are made in the image of God. 

08 March 2021



The first thing that sprang to mind when I saw today's prompt (thanks) was the time my dad got a heart transplant.

My dad had a very poorly functioning heart in the early 1990s and the only treatment he could be offered was an organ transplant. He was put on the waiting list which was 2 1/2 years long; he was given 2 years to live. I was never very hopeful of it working out and, in fact, turned my back on God at the time. 

After nine months, my dad had no real quality of life and was slowly dying before our eyes. I jumped every time the phone in the kitchen rang (this was before mobile phones).

We had two false attempts before he finally got his new heart. He had been so ill and it felt like time was running out - we were overjoyed when he had the surgery. On behalf of my family, I wrote a short letter to the generous family of the heart donor to thank them. My dad had always been a fit, active man who played football and climbed Snowdon. While waiting for his transplant, I had to wheel him around in a wheelchair. It was heart-breaking. After having his new heart, he took up golf and represented the UK as a swimmer in the World Transplant Games. 

Thanks to the wonderful generosity of a family from the north of England, my dad enjoyed another ten good years when he was able to give me away at my wedding, play golf and go horse riding with me, and spend time with his young grandchildren.

My dad really had two new hearts - one physical, the other spiritual. He wasn't perfect but no one could doubt he loved the Lord. He was whole-hearted in everything he did, including being a Christian.

06 March 2021



This is my friends' dog Skipper. When I stayed with them one weekend, Skipper loved it when I played with him with his toys. 

I count it an honour when an animal wants to be with me and invites me to play.

I once had a guinea pig called Pickles. I taught him to climb the stairs and I'd race him on all fours. I hugely enjoyed it but didn't realise how much he did until one day I felt two little paws on my calf. I'd let all eight of my piggies play in the hall and when I glanced down there was Pickles on his hind legs pushing against my calf with his front paws: his way of asking me to race him up the stairs. We both got into position and set off. I forget who won (he was faster than me although I was bigger) but that memory still gives me a lot of joy. A guinea pig asking me to play. What an honour.

05 March 2021

Rested and Green

Today I'm once again combining the Lent Challenge (rested) with Five Minute Friday (green).

I chose the above photos from a long weekend away I had in Flald-y-Brenin three years ago with a good friend. It was both restful and full of greenery.

Rest is as important as exercise and activity. God set the ultimate example by resting at the end of the first week from His work of creating the universe. 

I belong to a Facebook group which encourages individuals with health issues to get moving. We applaud a few steps round the house and thirty mile bike rides. We also cheer each other on when someone has a rest day (like me today). 

Rest is important for the wellness of our whole being. I also find - with lockdown and other challenges - that enjoying nature is important for my mental and emotional health. I mostly keep away from the countryside around us because so many other people are enjoying it but don't always bother to socially distance, making me feel unsafe with the current pandemic. So I often confine my walks to the town but pounding the streets doesn't relax and refresh me as much as the greenery and rivers.

The psalmist, King David, clearly valued the joys of nature as evidence in Psalm 23: 'You lead me beside still waters and make me lie down in green meadows; You restore my soul.' 

04 March 2021



One of my favourite Bible verses is Matthew 11:28: 'Come to Me, all you who labour and are burdened because My yoke is easy and My burden is light.'

Words of Jesus.

In those days in the Holy Land it was common for a working farm animal like an ox to be yoked up with an older ox so the younger ox could learn how to work correctly. If they were both pulling in the same direction, the yoke should sit easy on their shoulders/necks. I gather Jesus' words were meant to conjure up a picture of an individual being yoked to Him, ie doing life His way, meaning that it would be much better for us to do so than pulling against Him all the time.

God lets us do things our own way but the invitation is there to come to Him and do things His way: invitation with a promise that it will be better for us. He doesn't force us into anything. The decision is ours. We can either labour on with life hoping we're right or we can chuck in our lot with God and live life His way, thus experiencing an 'easy yoke and 'lighter burden'. 

(The word labour also made me think of a donkey which is  often described as a beast of burden. So I had a very pleasant few minutes looking up donkey pictures on the Internet. Enjoy.)

03 March 2021



Steadfast makes me think of rock, permanence, commitment, faithful, reliability. Words that could be used to describe God. Even in the really dark, tough times, regardless of how it may seem, He steadfastly loves me. Nothing can change His love or separate me from it. I need to cling to that when everything feels overwhelming.