Who is in Control? - A Dose of Encouragement

Today I'm starting off with a question.

“What are the encouraging words you want to

 hear when you’re having a hard day?"

Sometimes things going on around us get us down and really that is only natural.

One week I had heard about something that really disappointed me.  I was hurt and annoyed that when setting standards for choosing a group of people (in which I was not involved) it was obvious that good ethics had not been taken into consideration.

Although I told myself that everything works out for good because God says so in His Word it seems that I didn’t really believe this on that occasion.

The next day this was still on my mind and then everything else I was doing was just not going as planned so basically I was having a "bad day".  While driving along in the car I decided to listen to a new CD to take my mind off everything. 

One of the tracks started and I thought that it was just horrible but maybe it would improve.  

As a song it didn’t get much better but then the words really struck me.  

Over and over it repeated

“God is in control, God is in control.” 

I played that track many, many times and still I could not say that I liked that song, but God certainly told me then, that He was in control.

There they were, the encouraging words I needed to hear that day.  They may not have been what I would have thought I wanted to hear because in all likelihood I would probably just have wanted someone to agree with me about my bad day - you know coffee and sympathy.

But God knows what we really need to hear even if we should already know it.

Let's remember this passage in Luke chapter 12

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 
23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 
24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 
25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 
26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 
27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 
28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

I am so thankful that God knows us better than we do and I am thankful that God was ready to use this song to to tell me what He wanted me to hear.

Do we sometimes need a nudge to remind us of what we already know? 

  Yes I believe we do; to help us really believe it at all times.

Well I still don’t like the song too much but then God doesn’t have to only use the things we like to speak to us, does He?


Why We Worship 5

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

Psalm 99 
The Lord reigns;
Let the peoples tremble!
He dwells between the cherubim;
Let the earth be moved!
The Lord is great in Zion,
And He is high above all the peoples.
Let them praise Your great and awesome name—
He is holy.
The King’s strength also loves justice;
You have established equity;
You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt the Lord our God,
And worship at His footstool—
He is holy.
Moses and Aaron were among His priests,
And Samuel was among those who called upon His name;
They called upon the Lord, and He answered them.
He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar;
They kept His testimonies and the ordinance He gave them.
You answered them, O Lord our God;
You were to them God-Who-Forgives,
Though You took vengeance on their deeds.
Exalt the Lord our God,
And worship at His holy hill;
For the Lord our God is holy.

Psalm 99 

has only 9 verses and three of those verses proclaim the reason for worshipping God that we are considering today.

          Verse 3
                 Let them praise Thy great and terrible Name for it is Holy

          Verse 5
                 Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool; for He is Holy.

          Verse 9
                 Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His Holy hill; for the Lord our God is Holy

Why would the Psalmist need to tell us what appears to be the same thing?

Simply because it is not the same.

I believe this Psalm was very deliberately written with these three verses, it is not idle repetition.

Repetition with God's Word shows us how important something is and it is to be carefully noted.

Firstly   we are told that God's Name is Holy

and then 

Twice   we are told that God is Holy.

An indication that everything about God is Holy.

Yes in two of the verses we are told to worship God because He is Holy but in each case a different place is mentioned.

We are meant to worship God wherever we are 
because He is Holy no matter where we are.

There is never a time or place when God is not Holy.

We may feel as if some place is holier than another but God is always Holy 
and the place will not determine what He is like 
nor how we should treat Him.

Do you worship God differently depending on where you are?

Do you believe God is Holy?



I Love Lists! - I Need Lists to Organise Everything.

Gosh what a job it is "spring cleaning" or overhauling your bedroom and then what a time consuming job it is to make an inventory of everything in your bedroom.

So the only way I could tackle this properly was to break it down into smaller jobs.

This of course meant LISTS and I love LISTS.

Right so using my Todo list app on the iPad the one I prefer is


Unfortunately a short time ago I discovered there is an update to the app which has brought in a new icon.

This is a simple todo list app which is great for listing all the things you would want to do in your overhaul of a room and then checking them off one by one when you have done them.  It keeps a running total at the top of how many tasks are still to be completed and as you check them off they do not disappear but just go faint.  Then when you have checked off the last task you do not lose your list but get a message asking if you want to start over again.

This is ideal for regular task lists too and I use it for several things like prep list for the Kids Club I help to run, travel lists and I have used it for the list of toiletries I should always have in the Master Bedroom Ensuite (already mentioned in last week's post in this Series).  I also used this app for the "Wedding" Todo List last October for our son's wedding.

There are features like icons that can be applied to each list, streaming of todos by time they are due, reminders, colour co-ordinating, emailing lists etc.  many of which I don't bother to use.

I will now be using it for the "Overhaul" List for each room in the house.

As you can see from the list I had 15 items listed (there is one just off the screen at the bottom - washing all the woodwork) so I was able then to think roughly how long each would take and know how long I'd be working at the bedroom at any one time.  I did most of the tasks in order as I had them listed here (note: changing the order of the tasks is very easy in this app).
Sometimes I did one thing in the day some times I did as many as three of the tasks just depending on what else I needed to do that day or to be honest what else I preferred to do that day.  This meant that although it was a big job it was not so bad broken down into these more manageable tasks.

Of course a Notebook or File (Binder) would do the same job as my app.

Divide the notebook or file (binder) into 4 sections.

1.  Overhauling Rooms
Take a page for each room and list out all the tasks that would be needed to be done in that room

2.  Inventory of Rooms
Count the number of items of furniture in your room and allow a page for each one then add another page. On the page for each piece of furniture you can list your items it contains.
On the extra page you will list all the items on the walls or surfaces and the items which do not contain other things.

3.  Top Up Lists 
Use a page for each type of list of things you would want to top up or list of things that should be always available in the house and then it makes it easier for shopping too.
For example my Ensuite Toiletries list, and I also have lists for travelling such as contents of a toilet bag for short trips and a toilet bag for long trips.

4.  To do Lists
Take a page for each room to make a list of all the things you think about while working in that room.
For example when I was overhauling the Master Bedroom I had 3 boxes of photographs (yes we have many photos from before the digital age) and they are not very well organised so I have decided that I will make time later to properly sort them into smaller boxes to be better organised (throwing out the ones we really do not want) and then make another time for scanning them all unto a hard disc drive.  
This is where you can note down what decorating you want to plan
for the future too.

My top up lists and my To do lists will also be on my POCKET LIST App 


TOP UP LIST - Master Bedroom Ensuite
1.  Toiletries

TOP UP LIST - Master Bedroom
1.  Make-up etc.

TO DO LIST - Master Bedroom Ensuite
1.  Make DIY Toilet Fizzlers     (see how at WhileHeWasNapping ) 

TO DO LIST - Master Bedroom
1.  Redecorate 
2.  New Carpet
3.  Curtain or drape for Velux Window
3.  Sort photos to new smaller boxes
4.  Scan all photos

Now ready to do the end check list for January

Okay (I have to be honest) most of the things are done 
did you notice one thing not done yet?

I did not do the Games Room Window.  
It is a velux window on a room that is not used often at the moment and it is awkward for me to get at.  So my excuse is that my husband Fred was away with work over the last two weeks and I'm waiting for him to come home because he can reach it more easily than I can and I think he won't mind helping out with this.

Is there something we are forgetting?

In an overhaul like this and inventory surely some things need to be moved around or maybe even moved out of the room?

That is exactly what happened.   So.....

I got two baskets one for Fred's things and one for mine.

Anything I thought should not be in this room I put in the basket and then the basket could be taken downstairs and the items put it in their proper place. 

Is everything now out of the baskets?

No way, loads of things still in Fred's basket and some still in mine.

I just have to make sure that he does not slip the things out of his basket and back to the silly places he had them in to start with.

Do you allow me to get away without the window being cleaned?

I cannot say I loved all the work of the bedroom this last week because there was so much but the sense of accomplishment is fantastic, plus knowing that things are in sensible places and the fact that I have a note of everything is worth smiling about and when I'm smiling - I'm HAPPY.

DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated to any of the apps I have mentioned in this post - wish I was!


The Hotel Pool - A Dose of Encouragement

Our children have always been excited when we have had the opportunity to stay at a lovely hotel especially when it has a pool.  So the three years we lived in America were very happy as we had several opportunities to stay at hotels with outdoor pools whilst on various trips across the states.

 On one of our trips back home to Northern Ireland we stopped over in London for a weekend at a hotel with an indoor pool and of course the kids just could not wait to get into it.  Jonathan and Daniel had learned to swim reasonably well by this stage but Linda was only 6 years old and was only just getting confident.  

Unfortunately she was too confident too soon 
as we were about to discover.

          Fred and the children got their swimsuits and towels ready and headed down to the changing rooms while I headed to find a seat at the poolside to relax and watch them enjoying themselves.  
But there were no seats by the pool, in fact, I couldn’t get close to the pool at all as there was a 4 ft high barrier all around the area. The only access to the pool was through the changing area and showers. 

          I stood and leaned on the barrier watching as Fred played and swam with the kids in the pool.  There was only two other people in the pool and very soon one of them climbed out and went over to sit in the Jacuzzi.  A short time later he left the Jacuzzi and disappeared from sight.  

          Linda must have watched him because a little while later she stepped out of the pool and went over towards the Jacuzzi but neither the boys nor Fred noticed her leave the pool.  The boys were playing together and the other person in the pool had started talking to Fred.  Neither the boys nor Fred could hear me as I yelled to them about Linda. 


 I hoped she would not actually get into the Jacuzzi but that’s exactly what she did and almost immediately she disappeared down under the water as it bubbled up.  Still Fred couldn’t hear me and I couldn’t get near the pool, all I could do was pray as I saw her head appear up out of the water only to disappear again. 

          Suddenly Fred realised she was missing and looked round.  He hurried out and over to her but by this time she had been under the water several times.  He dragged her out and we both were afraid it was too late, but as he laid her down on the pool edge she coughed up a lot of water and started to cry.

            It all happened so quickly and I had felt so helpless.  

I felt alone and unable to do anything.
Linda must have felt so alone too and could not help herself.
I am so thankful to God that He never leaves us alone.
He has promised to never leave us.

Fortunately this incident did not leave Linda with a fear of water and she still enjoys going swimming.  

It did however leave me with the knowledge that we can’t protect our children from everything now or in the future, God is the only one who can do that.

Thank you God that you love us and watch over us 

and preserve us and answer our prayers.

You never leave us nor forsake us.

Have you experienced God watching over you and your family?

Do you know that you are not alone when you have handed your life over to God?


Why We Worship 4

I am taking time each week to ask myself

 "Why we worship"

One of the things about God that we may find hard to understand is that God cannot be measured or defined.

Our minds are so finite that we can not really understand that there can possibly be something that is infinite.

Except if you are a Maths teacher as I was and then you have often had to talk about positive and negative numbers both going on to infinity.
 ( I love the symbol used for infinity  ∞ )

infinite adjective
  1. limitless or endless in space, extent, or size; impossible to measure or calculate

Isn't that marvellous to think about?  

God has no limits!

So God has no start or finish.

Do you ever ask God to help you appreciate how different He is to us?        


5 Spring Cleaning Tips

Yes I love lists! 

So the inventories of each room in our house are very appealing to me.

Even though Spring Cleaning is NOT!!

But the Spring Cleaning has got to be done so why not have some tips to help us out.

I hate to spend a long time at any task (except things on the computer where I could spend my whole day if meals and a husband did not disturb me) so I don't intend to do all of the inventory of a large room at one given time.

This then was part of my reasoning when I chose to do the Ensuite of our bedroom first. Also because the first week of January is always busy for us so to work on a smaller room first makes more sense than our larger bedroom.

Developing on from the yearly Schedule found in How to Get The Housework Organised (see part of it below)

I took all the monthly, weekly and daily activities around housework and organising in our home and made another spreadsheet for these.

I know I will think of more things later that should go into my monthly / weekly / daily schedule below but these are my main things for now.  

The idea is to get into a regular system of doing things in small doses so that it will never get to be a real chore and take up lots of time.

Then I placed the bigger tasks into Weeks of the Month along with the monthly tasks and created the first two months of my Organising Schedule.

As you can see I used four weeks to each month and then in any month with five weeks I can either have a week off from the bigger tasks or have it as some catch-up time if I am getting behind.

I did not include the weekly and daily tasks into this as it would make it too cumbersome and probably better to keep them on their own perhaps into todo lists. 

Everyone's house is different and everyone's home life is different so anyone taking on this idea would have a unique schedule.  

Now on to the first main Task of January 

Master Bedroom Ensuite Overhaul

The room is only about 8 foot square so not a huge job.
There is a corner shower, a vanity unit with wash hand basin and a toilet.

TIP 1.
I always have a container with a handle, in which I keep the essential cleaning materials I would need for any room.  Then I can just grab it as I set off to clean.

TIP 2.
I keep one of these in all 3 of our showers.

These are the best ones I have found and I love them so much I bought our son in England one a couple of years ago for his apartment there and our son, who just got married in October, got one in his Christmas stocking (no kidding).
The family are all well warned that they should spray the shower glass doors and sides with a shower cleaner that is always sitting in the shower cubicle then spray with water and then use the squeegee.  This means it is easier when it comes to the bigger cleaning times.
They are from Lakeland and are cheap.

TIP 3.
I use my steamer throughout the house and it is great here for the floor tiles, wall tiles, shower unit base and under the rim of the toilet.  Steam cleans thoroughly.

When we lived in Belgium we had a much larger ensuite and I had a really large laundry basket in it.

 It was too big for this room now so last year I decided to get a smaller white laundry box instead.

I was rather pleased with myself because I managed to put it together without the help of my husband.

I also hated my ensuite in Belgium because it was so dark due to the colour of the tiles and bathroom suite in it and also because several of the tiles were broken.

I love my ensuite here because even though it is smaller it is so much brighter and in good condition.  
NOTE:  We rented our home in Belgium and the landlord did not believe in updating any of the bathrooms or even the kitchen and hall tiles. 

Here is our nice bright Ensuite

With everything cleaned down and round and up and under and the shelves in the vanity unit sorted out it was now time for a coffee and I could read some of my book.

Don't worry I haven't forgotten the rest of the tips.

Master Bedroom Ensuite Inventory

Out comes the iPad and my inventory app.

I have very little in this room so this was an easy job.

Although I could tell already that it may be more efficient in future (with larger rooms) to do the inventory of drawers and shelves while they are being sorted out and not leave it to later.

I have already started the inventory for the Master Bedroom so I thought I would show it as there is much more to it than to the Ensuite.

TIP 4.
Obviously I did not do a thorough inventory of toiletries in the vanity unit but I made a list of all the toiletries we are likely to want in the ensuite and have this on a Todo List app on my iPad which can be referred to at any time.

And finally

TIP 5.
I made a note of any toiletries that needed replenishing in my shopping list app so that I will remember to get these the next time I am shopping.

I have not spent a long time at any one part of the inventory or the housework throughout the week so not finding it a hard job so far.


Not a lot of  FUN but not bad either.