Tuesday, 26 March 2013


I keep the Jesus Storybook Bible on my pile of devotionals by my favourite armchair.  That way, if a small person comes along and wants to join in, I always have something to read them.  It's a brilliant book.  It looks at the whole Bible through the lens of the promise and fulfilment of the Messiah in the person of Jesus Christ.  That sounds a bit complicated and theological but actually, in the very simplest terms, it outlines God's plan for the salvation of humanity from day one.

Anyway, the other day I was reading Daily Light in my favourite armchair when Elijah came and took up residence on my lap.  I dutifully put down my devotional and picked up the Jesus Storybook Bible.  I flipped it open to a random page, which just happened to be the story of the loaves and the fishes.  It's a familiar story,... so familiar, in fact, that sometimes it's easy to gloss over it and fail to see the amazing truths it contains.  I mean, yes, it's one of the miracles of Jesus which help to validate his claims to be divine,  but it's also more than that.  It's about a young boy who chose to give what he had when, in all honesty, what he had was a mere drop in the ocean.  If it was me I'd have been tempted to ask what good my little bit could do and keep it to myself.  Isn't that what we do, oftentimes, when faced with situations of great need or injustice??  We think, well my contribution would be so small that it would be completely ineffective,... and so we make no contribution at all.

It reminds me of the story of a little boy walking along a shoreline where thousands of starfish had been beached.  As he walked he picked up single starfish and threw them back into the water.  He was challenged by a passing adult who asked him what he hoped to achieve in the face of such an enormous environmental disaster; he couldn't possibly make a difference.  The boy, calmly, picked up a starfish, threw it back in and said,... well I made a difference to that one.

The boy with the loaves and fishes surrendered himself to be used,... but more than that.  He had faith that in doing so he could make a difference.  God is the God of increase.  He can take our measly offerings and make them into something astounding and abundant for his purpose and glory.  It doesn't matter how much we have; if we give it with a faith filled heart, he will multiply it and use if for his kingdom.  

As a mother who has suffered from depression and constantly questioned her ability to raise Godly children, this story gives me great hope. If I surrender myself to this task he has given me;  if I mother to the best of my God -given ability; if I have faith to believe that my offering is acceptable to God....  It sounds like a spiritual gymnastics class but in reality I think it comes down to one thing: trust.  We entrust ourselves to God and we believe that he has a good plan for us.  It's not about us; it's about him.  And so I breathe a huge sigh of relief and leave you with the wonderful closing words of the tale of the loaves and fishes from The Jesus Storybook Bible.

But it was the most natural thing in all the world.  It's what God had been doing from the beginning, of course.  Taking the nothing and making it everything.  Taking the emptiness and filling it up.  Taking the darkness and making it light.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (New Living Translation)
 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Trim & Healthy Mama

I have been trying to lose weight and improve my health using the Trim and Healthy Mama diet plan.  The plan is detailed in a huge tome of a book written by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison.  It's a great read.  Not only does it outline the health benefits of the THM way of eating, but it also charts Pearl and Serene's diet journey as well as including a whole host of delicious recipes.  The main premise of the diet is not to mix fats and carbohydrates and, when you do eat carbs, to keep them to a limited amount.

I must say that I have thus far found the diet very easy to follow.  There are so many delicious meals and treats you are allowed that it doesn't really feel like a diet at all.  You can eat chocolate brownies and meringue cookies!!!!  It's fabulous.

I am not a stickler for getting weighed but I think that I have lost slightly in excess of two stone and have dropped from a size 22 to an 18.

 This is me before I started THM.  Look at that spare tyre.  Lol.
I know that I still have  a belly but I think you'll agree that you can see I've shrunk somewhat.

I will definitely be keeping on with the THM style of eating so I hope to keep losing and eventually get my shape back.  The main THM website is here: .  You can also buy the book from Amazon .
Keep an eye open for more THM posts in the future.

God's blessing
Jo x

This boy!

This boy is almost three years old.
This boy only eats sweet things.  Yogurts, fruit, jam and bread.
This boy climbs on counter tops to steal Easter eggs hidden away for safekeeping.
This boy draws on freshly painted walls with felt tip pens.
This boy paints the television with nail varnish while his mother is cooking the dinner.
This boy climbs on chairs to climb on furniture to hang out of windows.
This boy breaks his mother's prized heirlooms.
This boy breaks his brother's Lego models.
This boy has escaped from the house twice and been brought back by an off duty police officer.
This boy causes havoc and mayhem wherever he goes.
This boy has speech and language delay and is being assessed for further developmental delay.
This boy creates lots of hard work.
This boy is one of the reasons I get up on a morning.
This boy makes my soul sing.

Sometimes you just need to remind yourself that the mess, the hassle and the strain on your physical and mental health is sooooooooo totally worth it.  I love you Eli. x

Coming Out of the Darkness

The last year has been hard.  Really hard.  After my month in hospital when Josiah was born it took a while to get my health back to full strength. However, the trauma of being institutionalised (albeit with excellent care) and, worse still, being separated from Phil and the children, was not quite so easy to put behind me.  It's hard to explain post natal depression to anyone.  You have a lovely baby, a lovely home, lovely family,... so much to be grateful for.   And yet, despite all this potential for great happiness there is, in the depths of your soul, a pervasive blackness which envelops every spark of joy that ought to be yours for the taking.  And that's really all there is to it.  No reason, no rhyme,... just hopelessness and despair.  So there I was.   Hiding my soul from the health visitor and striving to hold everything together for the sake of my family and this precious baby I had birthed.  And one year later here I am.  I don't know how I made it; how, when other people succumb so tragically to the siren of suicide, I managed to ignore her tantalising taunts and walk forward into the light.  I can only thank God and my husband for their grace and favour; for not abandoning me in my time of need.  So do I have any advice for others going through a similar situation?  Take one day at a time and if need be one moment at a time, accept help, take time for yourself, know your limits, be kind to yourself, and a hundred other things that escape me right now.  But know this: there is light and hope on the other side.  If it takes anti-depressants and a hospital stay to get there, so be it.  Whatever it takes, as Jim Morrison said,... break on through to the other side.

May God's light shine upon you
Jo x