What a Face! - A Dose of Encouragement

Having grown up (as some would have described me) as a Tomboy; I made it into my teens not too conscious of my looks or interested in make-up.

Then when I was 14 I met a boy!

    And I didn't change.

I met him at a youth meeting and decided he was the guy for me.
(There really is a bit more to it than that but that might be for a different story sometime).

 I didn't go to the youth meeting all the time but we got to know each other a little as friends over the next 2 years.  There were things I wanted to know more about from the Bible and he was the one I talked to.

Two years after we met there was a Summer Youth Camp for a week and I wanted to go.
My problem was the week before it I was going to be on a School trip to France arriving back into Belfast on the day the camp started in Bangor.  The Pastor of the church which ran the youth group approached my parents and asked if it would be ok with them for him to meet me off the boat in Belfast and take me to the camp and they agreed.  I was delighted and even though I had been promised for a few years that I could go on this trip in my 5th year at the grammer school I was now looking forward more to the camp than to the trip to France.

While on the school trip I found I had a little blister forming on my cheek but just thought it would be ok. By the time I arrived at the youth camp I was greeted with remarks about how I really should go to the chemist and get something for my face but it was Saturday evening and they weren't open.  By the time it got to Monday morning the blister had spread up my cheek and was not very nice looking.  Walking me along to the chemist were two of my girl friends and this guy I liked, but when I got there I just didn't want to go in.  I dreaded the thought of anyone touching this cheek and even though they tried to persuade me several times I would not go.

It got bigger and bigger and when I think back now I can't believe anyone would have wanted to be near me at all as it could have looked as if I was contagious with something.

Towards the end of the week this blister thing was quite a sight to see and was rather ugly.  I was not looking at myself all day so I didn't have to see the ugliness but others did.

Then there was the day that we all went to walk up Slieve Donard the highest mountain in the Mournes (I believe).  There was a bunch of us who got lost and headed the wrong way but had a laugh anyway.  I'm not sure that everyone else would have been too happy had there been any accidents; as I was carrying the First Aid Kit.

Well who was I sitting beside in the car on the way home?
You've guessed it, that guy I liked.

Well I sort of (cough, cough) fell asleep on the way home and whose shoulder was conveniently there for my head to slip down unto?
You've guessed it, that guy I liked.

All during that week I was in his company a lot but never alone, always with other friends.  Then the last night of the camp we did get the chance to be on our own for a very short time during which he told me he loved me.  Quick work for the quiet lad everyone thought he was.

When I arrived home my parents were startled to see the "thing" on my face.
The doctor was called immediately and he did a home visit.
Apparently I had caught a virus while sunbathing in France and it had caused my skin to develop several small blisters as it burnt and these then turned into a horrible scab.  I was prescribed an ointment which was very effective and the scab seemed to dissolve and most of it just slid down off my face.  My family were relieved that my face cleared up very quickly with no scars, while I was relieved that there was not as much pain as I had feared.  This virus still lies dormant under my skin and flares up now and again.

When I would think back to that time and tell our kids the story of how daddy told mummy he loved her before they even went on a date together; the main thing in my mind would always be that this was our special story.  But one thing that my sister had said to me all those years ago always made it more special to me in particular.  She said

She told me that she couldn't understand how I came back from camp with a boyfriend when I looked the way I did.

Later when I asked Fred (the guy I liked) why he hadn't been put off by my ugly face, he just told me that he thought I was beautiful and that something on my face didn't change his mind.

So you see all these years I have been very happy and extremely thankful that Fred loved me when I was looking ghastly and I never would have thought I was beautiful.  He wasn't attracted by my looks,  he was attracted to me, the person I was.

Maybe I should explain that 4 years after this camp I married Fred and we have now been married for 36 years.

Even as the years have passed and I have not thought myself to be pretty, Fred has often told me that I am Beautiful.  That has always helped me to feel special.  This is just one of the reasons I still love my husband.

A lot of the attributes of God are hard for us to see, or to understand because we think as humans but He is God.  When I experience the love Fred has for me and how he sees me it helps me to see how God can love me and see me as beautiful just the way I am even though I am far from perfect for which I can never cease to be thankful.

Do you know that God wants you to know that you are beautiful?

Do you know that God loves you?


Why We Worship 3

I am taking time each week to ask myself "Why we worship".

I am not presuming that there is one overall right answer.

Perhaps because we are all uniquely different people we may also believe we have uniquely different reasons for worshipping God.

I believe we will have some uniquely different ways of worshipping but there are many reasons why we worship that must be common to us all.

In this series I'm really focusing on the attributes of God at the moment with

          God is GREAT

                    God is WORTHY 



and for today I'm taking the bible verse   1 John 4 v 8

How do we know that He is Love?

The Bible tells us He is Love as in the verse above.

Our pastors and leaders in church explain to us that He is Love

But most of all our personal relationship with Him cries out to us that He is Love.

We would not even be able to have this relationship with Him if He was not Love.

We would not have been given the only way of Salvation through Jesus if He was not Love. 

We would never be able to get beyond our sinful nature if He was not Love.

I am thankful that God is Love and I have experienced His great Love for me.

Without a doubt God is Love!

Do you have this relationship where you can say without a doubt that 

God is Love?


How to get the Housework Organised.

What has to be done on a regular basis to keep the home neat and tidy?

How to get organised with the housework for me means schedules, lists and plans.

It also means making it easier, throughout the year with less time & effort where possible.

I'm talking here of just being neat and tidy for us not particularly for guests arriving, but hey if some did we would want it to be good enough.

Well there is always the general tidy up of the kitchen
                        which (for us) as well as being an eat-in kitchen also functions as

1. A charging station for all things electronic

This area is always getting messed up.

Then my husband Fred had added his new shaver here to charge after Christmas but had just left it there, so it had to go.
He also liked to use the tissue box and the decorative boxes to rest phones, kindles, ipods on while charging so to stop him doing that I placed his bits and pieces organiser (which he never used in the bedroom anyway) behind the ipad charger and there are sections in it which will hold the kindle and phones etc. nicely.
There was also a pile of CDs in the back right corner but our CD player is not here so they were taken away as well.

I have to add that the decorative boxes do serve another purpose - one holds coins that would otherwise be found lying around in another corner and the other two hold all the little bits and pieces that appear out of no-where (well at least they are supposed to).

2. A sitting area

The Christmas Decorations had been taken down and packed into their boxes but then had been left here so now they have been placed back in the garage.

Some things we had bought a few days before had been put down and not lifted away again so they have now been put away and Fred's belongings which had accumulated on the chair to the right have now gone to the bedroom.

I know other people relate to this setting down of items when we come home and not getting round to putting them in their correct places until a few days later.

3. A "this is where we throw all our receipts, business cards, post and whatever is in our hands when we come in from the car" area

After I had done the clearing up and sorting out of this part of the kitchen I realized that I had forgotten to take the before picture so just image it all covered in supermarket receipts, petrol receipts, more pens, business cards, envelopes from opening post, etc.

A determined effort must now be made so that all things similar to those which were taken away do not mess it up again.

I revived my old Tickler File system in my Roll top Desk filing drawer and the post to be dealt with, bank statements to be checked off and other things for filing have gone in there to be dealt with on specific days of the week - to yet be determined.

I took all the extra pens, pencils and odds and end that had just accumulated to my study as that is a more suitable place for them.

So with the kitchen back in order & the dishwasher on,  it was

That wasn't toooooo much to have to do and
 I was happy with the result.

Now back to thinking some more about fitting in all the regular housework jobs with the overhauls and inventories etc.   So time really to think on a monthly basis and prepare a spreadsheet because I know I want to overhaul (spring clean - but not necessarily in the spring time) and have a good home inventory for each room once a year. 

What jobs do we need to do at other times that may also be part of the overhauls?
  The inventories can just be checked through each year but things like windows will need to be cleaned more than once a year.

So along came another time to sit down and think this out resulting in:

1.  Changing the Bed.

I do not change our bed every month, every other month is fine.
So I put changing our bed down for every other month starting with the assumption that it would also be on the overhaul list for Jan and then the next time would be March and so on.  

The only other beds that are not sofa beds etc. are in the Guest room but they will be taken care of when guests are coming and after they leave.

2.  Cleaning Windows.

The cleaning of the bathroom and Master Bedroom Ensuite windows will be included in the cleaning of these rooms every other month.

The Hall windows means the front door and adjacent window & I will clean these every 3 months.
The kitchen windows will also be cleaned every 3 months.

I chose to clean the windows of the remaining rooms just twice a year.   
This meant that I chose to put cleaning windows of each room in 6 months after that room had its overhaul. Then I can review this if there are ones which seem to need done more often. 

3.  Cleaning Bathrooms.

In this house I have a bathroom, 2 ensuites & a toilet which means I could be kept very busy so I had to think about this carefully.  

I decided that our ensuite and the main bathroom were the ones most used so should be done every other month.
The Guest room ensuite would be okay twice a year and then also any time we know someone is coming to stay. 
Lastly the toilet is rarely used so twice a year would look after that and any time we know we are going to have a full house I can clean in preparation for that.  
(You need to remember that there is normally only the two of us and I have never believed in cleaning for the sake of cleaning, only cleaning because there is a need for it.)

4.  Washing Floors.

Downstairs the rooms all have either hard wood flooring or tiles.  
Upstairs the rooms all have carpet except for the Master Bedroom Ensuite.

The washing of the Bathroom and Ensuite floors will be included in the cleaning of these two rooms every other month.
The Kitchen Floor & Utility Room Floor will need to be washed at least once a month so I can start with that and review later.
The Hall floor will be washed every 3 months

The other rooms with floors to be washed will be washed twice a year so that ties in with the windows of those rooms.

5.  Storage Room Tidy Up.

This is the walk-in cupboard off our Dressing Room which has bedclothes, shoes, handbags, scarves, tablecloths, towels, travel needs etc. 

Obviously the storage room will not remain completely sorted for a whole year, unless I am a perfect person and so is my husband, so half way through it will need a serious tidy up.

No washing involved as there are no windows.

6.  Dusting & Hoovering.

Upstairs every 2 months starting with January.
Downstairs every 2 months starting with February.
Dividing this nicely between the two levels of the house will hopefully ensure that I do not get fed-up with it.

Of course this will also be supplemented with the times we know people will be coming to our home but then only a quick run round with duster and hoover should be needed.

7.  Wardrobes clothes & Cloakroom Coats Seasonal Changeover 

This will be done twice a year and the obvious times would be March and September I think.

So this is what I came up with next.


I chose March for the Sun Room because we usually move into it from the lounge around Easter Time so getting it ready in March would be perfect timing.
I chose December for the Dining Room because this would mean it was ready for the more frequent use around Christmas.
I chose April for the Guest Room because that would leave it ready for the more predictable summer time visits.
I chose September for the Study because the new curriculum year of Kids' Work starts then.

Next I slotted in the other main rooms and then picked the ensuites to naturally go along with the Master Bedroom and the Guest bedroom and the storage room to go along with the Dressing Room.

Finally I was left with Fred's Office, the Hall & Stairs and the Shed so I chose the other monthas that had already not got what I considered to be a very heavy load.

So with the kitchen back in order, the dishwasher on & all this planning completed, it was now time for another COFFEE.

And the consideration  -   Have I made it  more Funwork than Housework?

My answer was - It's getting there because I had a satisfied look on my face and I was happy with what I had achieved so far.   But!  Boy did this take a lot of time!

And the other questions floating through my mind:

I wonder what I have not thought about yet?

Is this only almost fun for me because I love lists and spreadsheets and planning?

Is this too serious a schedule?


Automatic Pilot - A Dose of Encouragement

Do you drive your car or does the car drive you?  

My car drives me more often than not.

          Sometimes for various reasons I had to drive my two teenage sons to school.  My oldest boy Jonathan had been working for his Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award and of course this involved hikes and camping which in turn meant rucksacks.  This is why one morning I had to drive the boys to school (there's hardly enough room for all of the pupils on their school bus, let alone a number of rucksacks as well). 

Everything went very smoothly and we even left in very good time and they were early for school and I was back in time for a 9am appointment.  The boys even praised me when we got to the roundabout on the way to school as I managed to go round and take the right road.  

Of course I'm perfectly capable of negotiating a roundabout and I do know where the roads in my city lead.  However my kids are quite used to me driving straight through that roundabout and taking the other road that I travel on each afternoon instead of the one that leads towards their school because I'm on automatic pilot.  You know those times when you are driving carefully enough but not concentrating enough to remember you have to deviate from your normal route - don't you?  My excuse is simply that the car takes over and goes its own way.  

Then there was the example of just the other day when I went round that same roundabout three times as I tried to remember which exit to take on that specific occasion, now I did have a friend in the car talking non-stop but I can't blame it all on her.


      Then there was the day a few years ago when as I was driving along I suddenly had to ask myself where I was going.  Was I going to collect my daughter from Primary school as I did each day at 3pm, or was I going to my mother's house (they are both in the same direction)?  As I thought about what day it was, and noted the time on the clock in the car I remembered it was neither of these, it was only 2pm and I actually was going to the Primary school but to collect my nephew not my daughter.  Then I was to call with my mother before collecting Linda.

Obviously my mind wanders a lot. 

So it's no wonder God has to catch my attention repeatedly.
How often do we go along on automatic pilot and forget to tune in to where and what God is telling us to go and do?

Are we doing everything the same, each day, each week?  

  • Do we teach Sunday School or kid's club in the same way each week?  
  • Do we preach to the same format each time?  
  • Is our outreach approached in the same fashion each time?  
  • Do we plan our meetings in the same way each time?  
  • Do we even read the bible and pray in the same way each day?
  • Do we write our blog posts in the same way each time? 

Do you think it is time to stop automatically doing these things and treat each one as a completely unique event?

Maybe it’s time to consider the roundabout and carefully ask God which exit we are to take today, tomorrow, and the next day………….??


The Best Game on my iPad

I have always loved puzzles, whether word puzzles or number puzzles and can easily sit forgetting the time why I work through one and then decide that I have enough time to tackle another puzzle and then another ......


by Bertheussen IT

I am on this app almost every day.

       I play around 20 people at a time and enjoy the challenge of beating someone who previously beat me.

        Now this doesn't mean I am constantly playing because you have the time limit of 72 hours between turns so that gives you time to think about the best word to play and not rush into it, or to have a break for a day or two from a game.

      One of the people I play regularly is a lady who suddenly didn't play one of her turns for almost the 72 hours and then apologised for the delay explaining that she had just had a baby.  I love the fact that she still wants to continue the game in her little breaks from looking after the baby and finds it relaxing.

Well I think this proves that I am not the only puzzle addict!

I tried to get all the family to play me but only succeeded in having games against my oldest son but he doesn't play every day.  The rest just probably don't want me to beat them all the time.


So at some time most days you can find me on this app (very similar to scrabble) trying to puzzle my way through my letters and get the highest score I can or at least find the best word arrangements to get a good score in each turn to make sure I beat my opponents.

One time I had a really good long word and manage the whopping great score of 152 in one game, never to be beaten or matched since.  I just wish I had had a screenshot of that game.

Mustn't forget to mention that it's a free app too!

It's a 5 stars from me.

Do you have it?

You can check out my comments on another app at  One of the Ways I Stay Organised


Why We Worship 2

If someone were to ask you today why you worship God would you know how to answer?

We dealt more with that in the first one in the series featuring GOD IS GREAT                             
         Today let's look at                          

Revelation 4 v 10 - 11

        the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

If the 24 elders who are before the throne of God worship Him because He is worthy then we can not disagree but need to proclaim exactly the same thing now here before we need to do it in Heaven.


Some people might say
                              "Let's Practice what we will be doing for eternity"
 but instead we should say

"Let's worship and let's do it now" 

Let's declare it now "God is Worthy to be praised".



                                                              now and for eternity.


Forty Winks - A Dose of Encouragement

One Sunday afternoon we went to visit Fred’s aunt in hospital.  

As we were sitting chatting Fred’s uncle nodded off to sleep for a few minutes,  later that afternoon his dad nodded off sitting in our house and in the early evening Fred himself nodded off.  

Does it run in the family or what?  Well I remember when my dad used to nod off on occasions too, so is it a “Man” thing?  

We usually laugh about it but sometimes I get annoyed at Fred because I don’t think I’m that boring really.

The next morning when I sat down to read my bible, I found I had got to Psalm 121.  Well because it’s rather well known I immediately thought I’ll read this one quickly and get on to the next one. 

However, verses 3 & 4 made me sit up and take notice.  

It says God will neither

slumber nor sleep

and I of course thought back to the day before.  

This was now much more meaningful because suddenly I felt that I had the proof that I’m not boring to God, He is always interested in what I’m doing and is always listening and attentive to my needs and fears and anything else I’m thinking about. 


We may sometimes think things are boring or uneventful or going on the same, day after day, but God doesn’t.  He doesn't find us boring because He loves us. 

So remember that you, yes you are loved by God and you are so important to Him that 

He isn’t nodding off at any moment at all.

I am so thankful that God doesn't slumber or sleep, are you?

Have you read Psalm 121 recently?

If not maybe you could just take a little moment to read it now and be encouraged.