So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog

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Rain and thoughts

The next session on being a spiritual sacrifice which I listened to on my damp trot around the golf course took all my thinking a step further. Being in the wind and rain really seems to concentrate the mind. It’s the teaching that you have to give up all that’s you if you want to find out what is God’s will. No I don’t mean chucking in the day job. It’s a surrender, allowing him to correct our course, even as far as putting your shopping trolley back in the right place and waiting patiently in traffic!

It’s a me being prepared to give up writing -though I have said to him that while he gets me sorted I’ll go on other wise I’ll go spare with boredom! being open to what ever he has for me. I’ve been so aware since coming into our new fellowship that I’m just gagging to do more than the children’s ministry but not necessarily being in charge. I’ve changed over the past few years to being quite happy to being told what to do (yikes).

Of course, there’s fourteen years of frustration in me as well after the living in the spiritual desert of Austria!

I lay it all aside and however he spells this out to me, whenever he considers I’m usable, I’m at peace for that time


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Getting fed

The next recording I’ve been listening to is the series on Destiny. On finding God’s will for your life. Now I’ve listened to this teaching many times and it’s good to get a refreshing. The main thrust I got this time is that God’s will is for us to be in relationship to him, to walk and talk with him in the cool of the evening, that our vocations and works are secondary to all this. So I came to a place where I stopped worrying about the books sales, the next book, do I need to find work for our finances and concentrated on chatting to God, meditating on things I’m reading, about him and me and waiting in his peace, not worrying about my world.

At this time, I began to read The Dean’s watch by Elizabeth Goudge. I’ve read her books all my life and somehow had missed this one. It is the most beautiful of her books, a story about love and forgiveness and healing. I think maybe it’s her best book. Never before as I’ve read a book, have I been so emotional. I’m so sad to be on the last chapter. But from it, I’ve learnt a God lesson. It’s love, and you can consciously decide to love and let this be your highest emotion in your life, letting it guide you.

The reading and meditating on his word is working in my life.

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At present, a lot of the United kingdom is under an,’arctic blast’ with snow, frost and freezing frog!

We have central heating in our house, and we looked forward to it when we moved in. Fourteen years of lugging wood (up to 14 cubic metres) into the store had taken the edge off  the love for the wood stoves in our Austrian flat.

We weren’t prepared for the huge price hikes here but at present think we can cope. However, we set the heating on a timer for early morning and the evenings and last year we were fine. This cold spell has had me chilled like never in Austria.

Then when I pondered, of course! In our little flat, we had the wood kitchen oven which we heated all day and then lit the sitting room one in the evening. We were always snug. This house quickly gets cold when it goes off, particularly with with conservatory roof in the kitchen, and we don’t realise we’ve got cold too, so it feels worse when we go out. So now we have put the heating on during the day, maybe it might cost less if it keeps a steady heat all the time rather than having to heat from scratch. Hopefully Wales will return to being mild and wet before long!

One thing did make us laugh. When it snowed on Sunday, we drove down to church without a thought, while our garden was covered with about 10mm, the roads were clear. It was a huge surprise to find the church with only three others there, we’d never given the snow a thought!

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A new start

I hope to make a new start here, not  just chronicling life in Wales, but my Christian journey through the year. I’m not one for resolutions, they don’t work. But before Christmas, I came down with bug after bug, then we were away, then there was no church service for New Year and I slowly became conscious that I was feeling dry and tired inside. I was missing God’s word, along with listening to Mr Wommack while walking the dog around the golf course in the mornings.

Body and soul need to be fed, so my first move was to take up the challenge of reading the Bible in a year, so at least I was feeding the word into me, letting it soak in, whether conscious or unconscious, it would be spiritual nourishment.

The next step was to get back to listening. I’d got ear buds for Christmas and it’s much easier with just one in, encased under the woolly hat under the rain hood. Yes, it has rained slightly here!

The first teaching I got at random was all about the soil and the effects it has on us in a Christian walk – Matthew 13.  The conclusion I reached after listening to the teaching, is that my seed has germinated, but it’s not as far out of the ground as it should be. It certainly has been held back by the weeds and rubbish of this world. I already shunned the news, avoid murders when I can, and have totally given up reading the newspapers. I’m also guilty of switching off to my husband when he goes on about climate change, political correctness and the state of the NHS. I will no longer let things that I can do nothing about, or agree with cause me unease. I will keep the peace of God’s flowerbed as I grow this seed.

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Since returning from the family at Christmas, we’ve had 3.5 inches of rain!

Last night it rained continuously and when Swingle and I trotted up the road, it was awash. Culverts overflowing down like a small sea.

Quite a difference to silence walking up there this summer when the streams had all but dried out.

But I’d still rather be splashing in puddles and mud than slipping on snow!

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Christmas cards

This is our second Christmas back home and I’m getting back to being very English and sending my Christmas cards along with some newsletters. I remember well, before the advent of computers, writing out these letters several times and sending them to relatives and what a drag it was.

When we arrived in Austria, we sent cards and  letters in our first enthusiasm, then as the years went, as Austria really doesn’t do them, I went with the flow and didn’t send any.  Laziness and cost were also excuses.

Now I’m back, and especially in our new church home, I was given a load of cards and have thoroughly enjoyed writing, with a fountain pen return ones as well as the ones I’d planned. I’m re-finding a small joy in receiving and giving them.

Do you write Christmas cards?