Monday, 13 October 2014

Mindbomb Monday

In the 1970's the founders of Greenpeace came up with the idea of using electronic media to communicate revolutionary ideas, they came up with the tactic "mindbomb" whereby they would use simple images, delivered by the media, that would "explode in people's minds" and create a new understanding of the world.
On some Mondays I hope to share an image that might be considered a "mindbomb" that could get people thinking throughout the week ahead.  I won't include any words with the image as I hope the image alone will speak for itself.  Sometimes I will use images found online, other times it will be my own photographs and they will reflect something that has spoken to me from the past week.  It might be shocking, inspiring, confrontational or uplifting.
If you would like to join in please share your "mindbomb" in a comment.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Faith Story

I am about to share with you a story about an experience that happened to me several years ago.  God gave me a picture of something he said would happen.  When it seemed like the thing wasn't going to happen I cried out to God and said to Him that if the picture came true then I would tell people about it, not as a bargaining tool, but as a way of thanksgiving and to glorify Him. It happened, so here I am telling you!  

There have been many occasions over the last few years where I have thought I didn't really need to share the story, that it was no longer relevant, that God had forgotten about it, but surprise surprise, God doesn't forget and he has been nagging on at me ever since.  SI shared the story in church this morning and now I am sharing it with you:

In September 2010 my husband and I began trying for a baby, sometime after we began trying I was sitting in my parents living room, on their sofa and suddenly received an image of me sitting in the same place, but looking about 7 months pregnant, it was Christmas I felt like the image was from God because it was so vivid and real feeling. 

After about 6 months of trying for a baby nothing was happening, and I also wasn't having any periods, so went to the doctors and was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries, meaning I wasn't ovulating so couldn't get pregnant.  I began a course of treatment, but nothing seemed to be happening, about 2 months later I saw the doctor again and asked how long I should expect to wait before it started working, he said several months, so I felt I was in for the long haul, I had moments of despair when I thought I was never going to have a baby and started looking into adoption, around this time I also read a Bible verse that spoke to me, it was from 2 Samuel 7:11-12 and read:
The Lord declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you : When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom.

This Bible verse and reminding myself of the image of myself pregnant,( although I didn’t know if that was the near future, or many years down the line),reassured me that one day I would be pregnant. 

Throughout this time, my church home group were in on what was going on and I received a lot of prayer from them, I remember one day particularly stood in the super market car park after a church session and two of the girls placed their hands on me and prayed for me.  About 6 weeks later I found out I was pregnant, about 6 weeks pregnant! I hadn't had a period for 5 months.  I was of course absolutely thrilled and felt so thankful to God that I was pregnant and he had been faithful to the image he sent me.

When I was 12 weeks pregnant, the day before I was due to have my 12 week scan I had a massive bleed, I thought I was losing my baby.  I couldn't believe it, I cried out to God, I was devastated, we called the doctor but he said I wasn't having a miscarriage because I wasn't in pain, but that didn't mean I wasn't going to have one, and that it could take 3 weeks.  God amazingly gave me the strength to accept that I might be losing the baby, and to be able to give my situation to him totally, I didn't feel like I had been let down, or that the image wasn't from God, I felt like maybe it wasn't this pregnancy, maybe it wasn't this baby, but that God was faithful and I would one day have a baby, I just prayed that if I was going to lose it, then please let it be quick.  I felt a real and strange sense of peace although was obviously still very upset.  It wasn't my own ability to be faithful in God that made me able to feel like this, God gave me the faith I needed.
Thankfully a scan at the hospital confirmed that the baby was still there and I was so happy and thankful to God.   I had two further bleeds after this one, but God gave me the strength to continue to be faithful to him and to trust in him. 

Sometime later I sat on my parents sofa, 7 months pregnant, living the image God had given me.

So what I learnt from this experience is that there is no amount of effort that you can put in to get the confidence and faith you need in God, it is God that gives you the faith and strength you need to trust Him. 

Friday, 19 September 2014

Fun Things to do With Toddlers - Play Dough Gardens

Got a pile of playdough going hard, crystalised and smelly in a tupperwear box somewhere?  Fear not, you need not throw it out, you can give it a second life as a play dough garden.
This was such a quick, fun and easy activity, great for enjoying the last of the warm weather.

We spent sometime gathering bits of plants from the garden; well I cut and gathered and Boris just cut and let the bits drop on the floor, but never mind, he tried.

I pre arranged the paper plates with play dough squashed onto it, then showed Boris what I had in mind just by poking some of the plant off cuts into one. 

He quickly got the idea and started making his own.

He worked fast and his plate was soon full with an array of greenery, which he invited me to sniff. 

He finished off his design by sprinkling sand over it which I felt was a delightful finishing touch.

Like a mini flour arrangement or work of art.  He even included a few stones and a pine cone in his assemblage.