Wednesday, 26 August 2015

If my kitchen could talk...

Dear Emily,

I know you're not much of a domestic goddess, and I absolutely realise that I am here to serve your needs but I wondered, if you wouldn't mind, if I could maybe give you some feedback. I'm not trying to be rude, and I realise you should be able to live your life however you want to, but I'm sorry to say we can't continue in this manner so it's time I spoke up.

  • I am only small so may I remind you that the sideboard next to the sink would be much better purposed if you didn't cover it in dirty dishes. It could be used to house an extra appliance, a food preparation area or even a decorative fruit bowl would do the trick. 
  • Following on from that, everything would run much smoother if you endeavoured to wash up your dishes when you use them... not when you need them!
  • Please inform your husband that I hate the way he drips tea bags across my nice, tiled floor on the way to the bin. He can either leave them on a saucer or quite simply, he could squeeze them out on the side of his mug to limit the drips.


My prized possession


  • Clearly you favour your coffee machine as your appliance of choice but the smoothie maker is gathering dust in the back of the cupboard and feeling left out. Also, if you showed your kettle, toaster and microwave the same amount of love that you show the coffee machine then everyone would be far happier. A quick wipe and descale wouldn't go amiss!
  • That space behind the door currently filled with an old hoover and a mountain of old carrier bags? Sort it out! You could fit a freezer in there for crying out loud! (And we all know your mini fridge freezer under the counter would appreciate the extra space).

And finally, I hate to bring it up, but there's been a couple of occasions where you've left the oven on. Not just the oven, but the hob. Now come on now, I wouldn't be a good household kitchen if I didn't raise this with you. Pay attention!

Forever in your home,

Your Kitchen

Alright kitchen, you've said it, I'll try harder - especially with Bake Off and autumn comfort food round the corner I'm kind of feeling inspired to change my ways and make more of you - or at least the resulting food that might come from you. But you're gonna have to get the hubster on board. I've tried to talk to him about that tea bag thing but even in eight years of marriage we've never quite cracked that old habit - you're not liking the tea stained look then? Your not-quite-a-domestic-goddess, Emily
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Friday, 14 August 2015

Post Comment Love ~ 14th-16th August 2015


 photo 3050e876-5d08-44fa-b416-1e09c2490383_zpse12fd438.jpg

Wow!

So this week I have the privilege of hosting Post Comment Love for the lovely Vicky Welton over at www.vevivos.com while she is away on holiday (hope you're having a fabulous time, Vic!).

I'm a little bit nervous about it because I'm slightly in awe of her as a blogger (ssshhhh!) so it feels kind of strange to be having such a well thought of, successful linky of hers over here in my little corner of cyber space! Despite that, I'm glad you've found your way over here and I'm excited to get to know you all and find some new, lovely blogs to read.

The last few weeks have been a bit quiet over here because we've had a couple of breaks, holidays and celebrations and it always seems to take me an age to get back into a routine with blogging, life. This week, however, hubby is working a five day week (finally!) which has given me a chance to catch up, settle in and get some things done! Normal service will resume, I promise (whatever normal is, anyway!).

We've been loving the sunshine and are sad to see it slip away from us, spending time with family, reading this book, buying more books (The Works have a lot to answer for, I'm telling you!), and making September plans which may all fall to pieces should I bite the bullet and get a job - you can read about that ongoing struggle here.

Anyway, thanks for dropping by, and without further ado, on to the #PoCoLo fun!

If you are a regular linker then it would be great if you spread the #PoCoLo word. However, if you are new then welcome! Post Comment Love is all about sharing posts which you have written this week which just haven’t got the attention they deserve and, with them all in one place, we can help each other share the comment love. This is one of the easiest links EVER. You don’t have a ‘special theme’ to have to write about, the post can be personal, sponsored, a photo, a review, a competition, your own linky, something you've linked to a linky….WHATEVER you like – as long as it’s one you've already written this week! If you want some publicity and attention, then you are in the right place!

Please make sure you go across and comment on at least two other linkers posts. Linkys work if everyone supports each other :) then spread the #PoCoLo about this link up on Twitter. The post you link up has to have been written in the last week. The link will go up every Friday at 6.30am and close on Sunday evening at 8pm.

Don’t forget our #SoFoLo community on Google + and our #PoCoLo Facebook group where you can come and post your PoCoLo post for some more shares as well as any of your social media accounts of yours that need more followers.

If you link up, don't forget to tweet me @EmilyDavies85 as I'll endeavour to give you all a shout out at some point over the weekend!

Vicky has a list for the Newbie Showcase running into March 2016. If you would like to be featured then please email her at vickywelton@hotmail.com so she can put you on the rota. Remember, your blog needs to be under a year old to feature from the time of sending your email to her.

Now, unfortunately the Newbie Showcase Vicky had organised for this week has been unable to take part which is a shame. So, I hope Vicky and the rest of you awaiting your Newbie Showcase don't mind - it's not my intention that anyone should skip the queue, but I wanted to offer something up to you all in its place rather than leave you hanging. I'd instead like to introduce you to my friend Kate at Yes, She Writes.


Her blog is just over a year old (sorry, cheating!), but it has only taken shape recently as she has relaunched it this month and it is pretty awesome. She blogs about beauty, fitness, books and basically anything that takes her fancy, but she's funny and quirky and all those good things in between. You should definitely check her out, but I particularly think you'll enjoy this post about her love/hate relationship with yoga and this post about her secret super power - complete with crap pen drawings to illustrate (you'll like them).

Now, onto the Linky!


An InLinkz Link-up

EDIT: Sorry, the linky isn't showing in situ - can't work the html. If you click the link above it will take you to all the other linkers and to link up your own post. Thanks!

Post Comment Love
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.vevivos.com/post-comment-love" title="Post Comment Love"><img src=" http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u568/ToriWel/4e4a1bf6-07cb-494b-b06e-f959b1fe1311_zps654d027a.jpg" alt="Post Comment Love" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Decision Making

I used to be a pretty kick ass decision maker. Some might say impulsive, but I never wondered about long term life decisions, I just pushed doors, saw which ones opened and walked through them.

Let me give you an example:

Picture the scene, I've just turned 17, sitting in the lounge with my parents:
Parents: Now, we know this is a bit of an upheaval but Dad has got a job 60 miles away which includes a house. We're all moving 60 miles away.
Me: Well I'm not coming!
Parents: Why?
Me: Because I need to finish my A-Levels at the same college. I can't leave.
Parents: Well where will you go?
Me: Hmmm... well, my youth pastors who I'm not all that close to have had a lodger move out. I shall become their lodger!
Parents: Ok.....

So I did.

One year later......

Not the best Boyfriend in the world: I'm moving to Wales.
Me (between sobs): I shall come with you! I know we're crap together, but I've finished my A-Levels now and I can't continue being a lodger here. I shall move to Wales too!
Not the best Boyfriend in the world: Where will you live?
Me: We will find someone for me to be a lodger with.

So I did.

Other seemingly impulsive decisions might include, but are not restricted to, going to City University because it was the only one I bothered to go to the open day for, taking a job in Colchester even though I lived in London and had no intention of moving (this commute lasted four years) and marrying my husband (I'm not sure you have to think about Love, right?!).


I've never regretted any of these decisions. In fact, a huge amount of the good stuff in my life happened precisely because of these decisions. But now, decisions are hard to come by.

In fact, you're more likely to find me sobbing in the frozen aisle because I can't decide between chicken nuggets and fish fingers than you are to find me marching through life in a decisive, seize the day kind of manner!

Why?

Because I have this munchkin to think of!


This indecisiveness was highlighted this week because last week I decided to get a job. We need money, I don't work, simples. Right?

Except no.

I have a munchkin to think of. She's not yet two and a half, she's never been in childcare. Full time childcare is a lot to throw her into all at once.

This is what my brain looks like right now:

Can we afford childcare? 
Do we have the support network to enable us to both work full time? 
We'll lose certain benefits, can I earn enough money to compensate for that and the childcare? 
Will it be worth it? 

What other things will we have to sacrifice if I work full time? 
Will we never have another baby if I go back to work now? 
Can I handle the stress? 
Is it feasible to work part time? 
Or would we just end up earning less, losing more benefits and be worse off? 
Are there even any part time jobs in my skill set out there? 
Will childcare vouchers help? 

How the **** can I get my head around all of these hypothetical figures to see if this would hypothetically be worth it? 
If I do manage to get a job, will there be space at the nearest nursery? 
Who will do pick up / drop off and how because we don't drive? 
How will we find the upfront costs of childcare before I earn my first pay cheque?

Argh!

So anyway, as you might be able to tell, despite having applied for a couple of jobs in my initial enthusiasm, I'm pretty nervous about the consequences of this decision, and this panic has got me caught like a rabbit in the headlights so I haven't made progress and applied for any more (yet!).

I'm kind of hoping we will hit the jackpot and I won't have to make this decision at all! (Ha! We don't even play the lottery).

Any advice?

Do I just jump right in and cross each bridge when we get to it? Or do I try to come to a well thought out plan before getting there?

I miss the impulsive me!
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Saturday, 8 August 2015

Book Review: Live, Love, Lead by Brian Houston

In Christian life there is one book that stands above the rest and that should be our first port of call - The Bible - obvs!

However, when other people have walked a journey and are further along in that journey it would be silly not to arm yourself with the wisdom that they have picked up along the way. I mean, if somebody has already learnt a lesson (often the hard way) and then there is an opportunity for you to learn that same lesson without having to go through the hard stuff, why wouldn't you?

My former senior Pastor, Brian Houston, released this book, Live, Love, Lead recently. This is a man who has been in prominent Christian ministry for decades, he's learnt a few things, often the hard way, and he's chosen to put it all down in a book so that we can learn those things too. How thankful am I?!


I read it in three days. I highlighted and annotated it. I prayed and journalled my way through it.

Whether you're just starting out in your Christian faith, you're not a Christian at all but wouldn't mind applying some Christian principles to improve your life, or you've been a Christian for years and are in ministry, there's something in this book for you.

I attempted to read a chapter a day so that I could really meditate on the lessons learnt, but it was such a page turner that it didn't always work out that way!

It's easy to look at these high profile ministers who have been in it for decades and think that they've had it easy or that they have it all together, but this is Brian's most honest, autobiographical and transparent book to date and you very quickly find out that he's had to face some trials and tribulations - some within ministry, some within his own personal life but with heightened pressure because of his profile.

Each chapter is full of anecdotes and stories, accompanied with the biblical perspective, teaching and scripture. This style makes it both a fantastic read and a challenging lesson. I'm left with lots to mull over and apply into my own life. It covers issues of purpose, pioneering, facing tough challenges, trauma and coming out the other side with integrity and authenticity.

I am so thankful that Brian chose to write this book. I believe it will change many lives and his honesty and vulnerability over some tough issues is something to be admired.

Available here.
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Saturday, 1 August 2015

My heart is full

My heart is full.

It's been all quiet on the blogging front the past few weeks. Life gets like that sometimes. I am easily overwhelmed by the endless tasks, plans and responsibilities of life, and blogging is often the thing that takes a back seat. I'm ok with that. I hope you are too.

The last few weeks have been particularly busy. We started last week with a funeral, ended it with a christening and sandwiched a massive three-day church conference in the middle. I've then needed a week to process, reflect, recover and to get up and go again.

But my heart is full.


My heart is full, knowing that God, in all His glory, chose to sacrifice His Son so that I could have a relationship with Him.

My heart is full because I know how woefully inadequate, unworthy and insignificant I am. I know what I'm like. I know that I am so far from perfection. I know that I am a total work in progress, sometimes a wreck, and yet God knows me better than I know myself and still chose to make a way for me to have a relationship with Him.

My heart is full knowing all of that, because not only did He want a relationship with me, but He also decided to call me, equip me and gift me so that He might use me for His purposes.

My heart is full because 10 years ago He planted me in a church that had more vision than I could ever have for myself. A church that encouraged me to live a full and expansive life, a life worthy of His sacrifice. A church that taught me to reach for the moon, dream big and trust God for the impossible.

My heart is full because despite my failings God wove my life into His plan so that I might participate in a purpose beyond my wildest imaginations.

My heart is full because I live in a day where 10,000 people can fill the O2 Arena for three days and lift the name of Jesus over London, over Europe. That as a result, the eternal destiny of many individuals, families, churches and nations are changed.

My heart is full because we are now living in days and seeing things come to pass that 10 years ago we only dreamed of and believed to be impossible.



My heart is full because even though we are no longer a part of this particular church, we carry its legacy wherever we go. Our lives are changed, and the lives of other people are changed because of the investment of many wise, visionary and amazing people who have gone before us.

My heart is full because those wise and visionary people knew me as an awkward, shy and lost 19 year old and still saw something in me that was worth investing in.

My heart is full because many of those people are still investing in us today - their legacy is in us as our legacy will be in future generations.

My heart is full because despite suffering losses, God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams. I would have been happy with any child, and yet God saw our loss and entrusted us with a child who is the embodiment of His blessing.

My heart is full knowing that my children will be raised to believe for the impossible, and it will come to pass.

My heart is full because I'm only now seeing the impact of our own lives over people that we have had the privilege of leading over the years - to see their lives move forward has been one of my greatest joys.

My heart is full because God continues to have a plan and a purpose for my life, one to give me a hope and a future. I am only scratching the surface when I think of what has been before and try to imagine what is in our future.

My heart is full because the best is yet to come.

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