Saturday, August 30, 2008


Canela is over 14 years that´s like 98 in Dog years. She is an old lady, but she is still spritley and energetic when she hears the words "walkies!", eager and expectant in case some crumbs fall by the way during meal times and grateful for any attention that comes her way! We have been taking care of her for a few days,while my sister is on holiday.

Canela means cinnamon in Spanish, which suits her colouring to a tee! She is though, as her age dictates, somewhat grumpy and fiesty when it comes to allowing people to touch her....but I guess that due to the aches and pains her little body must experience at her age.

Canela is a true reflection of the words "sticks closer than a brother" and follows me without tiring, around the house. Where ever I go...she goes.... just like Ruth said to her mother in law! Wherever I am ...there she is at my side... even a trip to the bathroom can not be missed by her watchful eye and listening ear. There she follows me with her pitter patter of four paws making there clickety clackety on our fake wood floor up and down.

Even if I am in my tidying up mode up and down, and in and out of rooms, taking clothing here...dirty washing there.... it´s never too much for Canela to follow. There she is like a shadow at my side. Faithful, watching, loyal...close.

It make me think how our Heavenly Father also is always with us. There is no place where his presence does not follow. Nowhere where His love and grace do not reach us. If only I could remember this in those moments when God feels far away, distant and quiet.

Dear God, continue to renew the revelation of Your constance in our lives and may we always take advantage of our instant connection into Your presence and into Your arms.

Emanuel..... God is with us!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A special invitation!

For those non-Spanish speaking amongst us, this is the invitation we received from the American Embassy here in Madrid to join the Ambassador and his wife celebrating Independence day! (hey man I´m British..why am I celebrating this? Should I even be celebrating this??!!!!)

We enjoyed the honour of joining the almost 400 guests to savour great American delicacies such as hamburgers, donuts and Starbucks coffee with the overtures of a live country band filling the warm summer air! There was the traditional singing of the national anthem and flag raising, as well as a speech from the Ambassador!

The invitation said to go dressed up in either red, white or blue, or with a Western Theme! I went as a cowgirl together with hat and boots. I really did look the part (and hopefully soon will be able to get that photo off my sister´s camera and onto this post!!!) Little did I know my outfit would cause me problems later!!! Stephan being more "responsible" (or boring!!) went low key!

There were American Military people there dressed in their white uniforms (thought of you Grandpa Gordon!!!) who had so many badges and medals on their jackets that they were almost falling off! There were other ambassadors and those in high places, and then there was us!!!!

As I was standing on the red carpet nervously waiting for my turn to shake the ambassador´s hand, I was watching attentively how those before me were greeting this important man and contemplating all amount of questions like, why am I here? No, why was I born??!!!!

I wished that someone had run me through protocol by the security check at the door, but here I was and I had no idea what I was meant to do. No amount of coaxing from my dh seemed to calm the butterfly storm that was raging inside my stomach!

"Don´t worry...they´re just people like you and me!!" he whispered into my ear, but like Fred says on the Lucy show, I said to myself... "Yeah they may be people...but they are not like you and me!!!!"

It seemed that all the people before us in the line were close friends, because he asked after their sons and daughters etc! I knew I couldn´t follow that example.. so I pretty much had to go it alone! (no amount of watching The West Wing was gonna help me on this!!)

In front of the greeting party stood a row of journalists and camera men eagerly waiting to snap photos of all those important guests as they greeted the Ambassador and it was no surprize that as we stepped up to the Ambassador and his wife, they all took a coffee break!

As I mentioned, I was all dressed up in my cowgirl outfit, but what I hadn´t anticipated was that the Ambassador would be wearing a big white Stetson! So as we attempted to do the Spanish two kisses thing, we inevitably bumped hats!!!! I could have kicked myself for not thinking of taking mine off before I reached him, so this made actually saying anything outside of, "Opps I am very sorry!", pretty much obsolete! !

I managed to fumble my way onto greeting his wife who looked in my eyes with an expression of "Who the heck is this woman and why is she at my party!??!!" but graciously shook my hand anyway. In turn this was followed by what felt like an eternal minute of greeting more people who stood in the line who also entertained expressions of "How on earth did these people get on the invitation list?!!"

Then the ordeal was done!! I guess I could sum up the experience by saying that we reveled in the honour of being invited more than the actual party itself!

It made me think of the invitation we all have to celebrate at Christ´s table when he returns and how I will feel about attending that celebration!

I won´t have to worry about protocol as I stand on the red carpet waiting to meet the Lord. I know He will know my name and He won´t have an expression on his face of, "Who is this and why is she here?" I will be overwhelmed with excitement and not anxiety as I wait in turn to greet him. I will run into his arms and feel confident that He will love me in return. It won´t matter if we bump hats!

He will be just as happy to see me as I Him, and the honour of being with Him will far outweigh the joy of the invitation! He is more important than any King, Ambassador or Politician, and I am his daughter! I not only have the right to be at the party but he wants me there!

He can´t wait for my turn in line to greet me and He feels the same way about you too!!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Let´s catch up a bit....shall we?

The above photo in my header contain my feet.......isn´t it great? I love the sea...I love the sea... I LOVE THE SEA!

A dearest blog friend accompanied me walking up and down the sea´s edge..freezing our toes off...but loving it none the less.. chatting to our hearts content . This was just a part of the tapestry of events during the intense six day stay on my wonderful birth island of Guernsey, jewel of the sea!
Talk about that shaken down, pushed together feeling, by some miracle of time warp, we managed to fit in an abundance of visits and activities that exceeded the limits of a 24 hour day I am just sure of it!

The motive of our trip (I went with my sister), was to celebrate my brother´s 25th Wedding Anniversary, but naturally you combine it with catching up with family and friends and visits to sights that only are retained in your memory, as much as you can. Can you believe that I have lived away from the island now for 25 years!!!!

We enjoyed some lovely meals and fellowship which felt so rich you could have drowned us in the abunance we felt with those who shared their time with us. How important relationships are!
Sadly my camara and I had a falling out during my stay in Guernsey and I didn´t manage to get any pics while I was there... (Grr...grr) So I am glad that Prodigal daughter had hers to capture at least, our antics on film!
My mum was overjoyed by having us there and we had sleeping arrangements like the story of Goldilocks and the tree bears! There definitely was a Papa´s bed, Mama´s bed and Baby´s bed thing going on!
My mum lives in retired housing and there is just one room up and one down plus kitchen and bathroom, so we all squashed into the one bedroom with a normal bed...high and comfortable... that was for mum. Then came the camp bed a little lower, not the less with springs ...that was for my sister. Finally came my bed..... (and yep, you guessed it....) which was a thin mattress on the floor!!! Hmm........ there is something to say for status quo in my house! hahahah! But we had a good laugh and I know how important it is for my mum that we are all together even if I did envy her bed sometimes!!!

My sister and I need to take two flights to get to Guernsey, which naturally means that the travelling swallows up those days. Something interesting happened while waiting at the airport here to catch our flight to Gatwick.

My sister, who teaches English was called up then and there by her boss offering her another job teaching English in a company. She declined saying that the hours were impossible for her and after a few pleasantries, hung up. After a second´s thought I felt that this was a job reaching out for me. Why?
Because the last couple of weeks, several people had mentioned about doing english classes and I wasn´t sure if I could do that so I had brushed it off.

To be honest, I was feeling insecure about my abilities and didn´t savour the idea of a new challenge! But I was feeling that God was tapping on that insecurity door, and offering me His help to face the challenge...

Now here was a job knocking at my door, and I felt it was the Lord saying "Why not?" I knew I didn´t really have a reason to say no, so I told my sister to call back right then and say that I would do it. It was only for 4 hours a week, so I knew it couldn´t be that bad!!!!
The day after we returned from Guernsey, I had an interview and the job was mine....and I started this week. And you know what.... I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT!

I can´t believe I am getting paid to do this! I enjoy it so much and everyone around me seems to be nodding their heads knowingly, saying, "We told you so!!!" and thinking..."Why did she take so long to get it?"

I go one hour a day
just 20 mins away, and teach Business English to the staff of a electrics company and have a blast doing it. I also feel so happy to be able to contribute (even though just a little) to our financial situation without sacrificing being with the family.
I spend quite a bit of time preparing for the classes, but I know that this investment will get less and less. Yet I even enjoy preparing for the class!!! I love making my students laugh and have a good time. My theory is that if they are having fun, they WILL learn....
Thanks for sharing my joy! I know many of you have been walking the process with me!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A matter of perspective.

Yesterday I was reading one of my old collections of Reader´s Digests and came across this little dittie:-

"I had been Sports Editor of the Port Chester, N.Y., Daily Item only a few weeks when my wife and I went to the movies in downtown Port Chester. The house lights were still on as we walked down th aisle and the 13 or 14 people scattered throughout the theatre turned towards and began to applaud. I was stunned. Even though my daily sports column included a photo of me, I had no idea I had become so popular in such a short time.

When the moive was over, one of the patrons came over and vigorously shook my hand. "I´m very flattered that all you people recognize me, " I told him. "I´m really amazed and honoured."

"I don´t know about that," he said, puzzled. "All I know is that a few seconds before you and your wife walked in, they announced that unless there were at least 15 customers in the theatre, the wouldn´t show the moive!!""

Isn´t that precious? I just laughed and laughed when I read this and I began to ponder how important the role perspective plays in our lives!

This newspaper reporter had a certain perspective about what was going on and interpreted the situation from that stand point. It´s very funny to note that what he thought was the reason for the applause couldn´'t have been further from the truth could it?

One could conclude that our perspectives can often not be based on truth, and therefore the conclusions we often draw can be erroneous. Our perspective is based often only on part of the truth and not the whole picture.


a way of regarding situations or topics etc.; "consider what follows from the positivist view" [syn:
the appearance of things relative to one another as determined by their distance from th
e viewer

I am sure many of you have seen the movie Ratatouille and the part when the food critic Anton orders some perspective and the poor waiter stands there dumb founded wondering what on earth he is talking about.

Perspective is key when forming our ideas and opinions about where we are at, where we will go and what we will do. Our perspective plays a major role in how we afront difficulties and walk through life. It can be a make or break of many situations. It has the ability to rise above what we see. It´s interesting that our perspective is determined by DISTANCE or POSITION.

Working in a team gives us the posibility of having different perspectives and to view any given situation from all angles. The bible talks about there being wisdom in a multitude of counsellors and I believe that is what it´s conveying.

There is also reference to being in heavenly places with Christ Jesus...being up there with him and seeing our lives from His perspective. Placing distance between us and our problems can be the first step to gaining a truthful perspective on the whole.

1 Corinthians 13:12 says

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

Now we see in part...our perspective on this earth is limited, but God´s is not. He has the whole perspective from all positions and He wants to guide us.

Let us then be encouraged to do as it says in Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the LORD with all your heart

And do not lean on your own understanding................ (to your own perspective!!!!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Train chugging down the tracks of life!

My wise mother always says, "When it rains, it pours!!" (a little different from the title of the book I am reading lately!!!) She´s right of course, as mothers tend to be; and I find myself running from one thing to the other, finding that everything tends to happen all at once! I am meeting all array of demands and delights that seem to be connected like the wagons of a train chugging down the tracks of life!

My dh and I have been involved once again, in a yearly retreat we help organize for missionaries & pastors. This requires all types of coordination and preparation with our main role centering on leading worship.

We updated our repetoir with several new songs, which required some designated time before hand to do that, but which is a occupation that I enjoy! I love this retreat, because I love being involved in blessing others.... It´s so amazing that God allows us the priviledge of being his hands and feet to those around us, even more so to those serving the Body of Christ.

All 3 kids were placed in 3 diffrent homes, with their 3 different suitcases and information as to our whereabouts and contact numbers in case of emergencies!!!! That required major organizational skills on the part of my brain, which often isn´t up to par! That aside, everything went well and without hiccups and we returned Sunday evening tired but fulfilled from our four days away.

Now I have two days to unpack, wash clothes (from all 5 of us!!!) , plus prepare some meals for when I am away and re pack to leave Wednesday for GUERNSEY with my sister to celebrate my brother´s 25th Wedding Anniversary!
I am soooooooooooooooo excited. It´s been a year since my last visit and even though we will only be there for 6 days I am going to soak up the local colour like it´s going out of style! I will also get to be with a bloggy friend that I haven´t seen for years as well as my pastor and his wife which is going to be so great!
Choosing clothes to take on any trip is always a challenge for me... the actual packing is the easy part. Feeling comfortable in my skin is one thing, feeling comfortable in my clothes is entirely another! So tomorrow I will face that mountain! I have some final errands to run and a horseriding class for No 3 so tomorrow should be a busy day!

Actually no3 stayed home today, because she had a tummy ache and her foot started hurting again. I do believe though that she was feeling anxious about me leaving again after just being away, and I figured that there was a little of "Mummitus" going about too. So we cuddled together to watch Ice Age on the sofa and play a good game of Monopoly to fill up our emotional tanks!

I find having many activites back to back somewhat disconcerting, espeically the days in between activities. It leaves me feeling a little lost and like a person in transit at the airport. Especially if the acitivities have a high level of emotional and spiritual content. I am trying to just walk through it with peace and consistency and keep focusing in on God, that He is the same, no matter which wagon I am jumping into next!

Looking forward to catch up with you all again soon!


Wow, You're a Labrador Retriever!
Labrador Retriever
The Caretaker
Your family is what makes you tick, and you never "flea" from an opportunity to hang out with the whole gang. A family picnic complete with hot dogs, deviled eggs and a refreshing swim in the lake is hard for you to stray from. Your sparky temperament and dogged intelligence mean you are not only a blast to hang out with, but great to work with as well. Your close pals appreciate your patience and forgiveness, knowing you'd rather let sleeping dogs lie than dwell on the mishaps of the past. Your dashing good looks may one day lead to a modelling career, if only you can tame the unfortunate clumsiness that sometimes causes you to go flailing from the catwalk. Learn more »
FAMOUS LABRADOR RETRIEVERS: Bill Cosby, Jackie Onassis, Dr. Phil, David Beckham
LIKELY PROFESSIONS: Doctor, Sales Executive, Teacher

I saw this over at Mari´s and thought it was really good!

6 word memoir meme

I was tagged by Prodigal daughter
for this Meme

The Rules:

1. Write your own Six-Word Memoir.

2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.

3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.

4. Tag at least five more blogs with links.

5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

At the scent of water - LIFE!

I would like to invited anyone of you who read my blog to feel free to join in this meme.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Mum & Daughter Sleepover

My dh has been away for a teacher´s training all week(get´s back this pm) and so we pulled in the doublemattress from my bedroom into the frontroom and made ourselves comfortable.

Friday night my daughter and I decied it would be fun to spend the night in the front room and sleep in front of the chimney, watch movies and eat goodies! (No 1 Son was downstairs with two of his friends for a sleepover, and son no 2 was spending the night at a friends house!!!)
Actually you soon learn that the word sleepover is pretty much a contradiction in terms as one rarely gets any sleep....I think we should rename it "wake over" or something!!!
Anyway, back to me and my daughter. We watched one of our favourite movies of late called R.V. with Robin Williams´s got a good message and is full of laughs!
We played the card game "fish" .. which has become a new favourite for my Daughter, but an old time game for me as I used to play with my Mum all the time. (Now that´s going back a bit!!!)

We ate Reese's mini cups (great for the diet!!!) that my adopted Dad sent me from the US and took some photos!

These are our feeties.... and you can get a glimpse of the chimney...lovely eh!

Jessie took this of the two of us and you can already see that I am tired and we had just begun! To finish off our "wake over" in the morning my daughter had a nice hot chocolate with marshmellows and I had a nice cup of decaf tea!