Photo courtesy of Charlotte Friis Photography

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Friis Photography

Just the other day, as my husband was preparing to cook tea, and, being the amazing wife that I am, I offered to help.

No thanks, was his response. I replied, Are you sure? I have nothing else to do.

He then said, Um, you never have ‘nothing to do’ – GO AND WRITE.

So, as I went and switched on my laptop, poured the obligatory ‘writing’ glass of wine, and settled myself at my little desk, I said a prayer of thankfulness for the amount of support that surrounds me.

I am fully aware of so many people who are chasing their dreams on their own, either physically or emotionally.  These people have my utmost respect. It’s hard enough following your dreams when you have a whole team behind you, let alone when you have no one in your corner.

I don’t always have the courage, the motivation or the confidence to keep working at my dreams but what I lack, my husband gives me. And if he is busy with his own life, one of my super great children will remind me to write, or say something that gives me what I need to keep putting fingers to keys.

We need people barracking for us from the sidelines. We need people who can see the finish line, even if our view of it is obstructed by other runners on the track. We need people who know when we need to talk through all our insecurities about our project, and when we just need a stern talking to and a firm push in the right direction.

Essentially, we need people around us who won’t give up and who won’t let us give up…oh and maybe one who cooks tea while you do it too 😉

On faith and beauty

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Friis Photography

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Friis Photography


But we esteem too little the mission of beautiful things in haunting the mind with higher thoughts and begetting the mood which leads to God.

Physical beauty makes moral beauty. Loveliness does more than destroy ugliness; it destroys matter. A mere touch of it in a room, in a street, even on a door knocker, is a spiritual force.
~ Henry Drummond

It’s no secret that I love beautiful things. And it’s for this reason that I love this quote.

Having beautiful things around us is important to our emotional and spiritual well being.

My parents have helped many people along in life and just one instance that stands out to me was when one of these people had a birthday.

My mum bought this person something that had no practical value whatsoever. She bought it because “everyone needs something that’s purpose is to bring beauty into their lives’.

My mother is an extremely practical person, and while she gave and served this lady in so many practical ways, she also understood the need for beauty.

This lady’s needs weren’t just food, money for rent or life skills; she also had the basic need of beauty. Which my mother sought to fulfil with her gift.

We mustn’t underestimate the need we all have for beauty and it’s ability to nourish our soul.

Beauty does indeed lead our thoughts higher, towards God and a greater awareness of our need for Someone outside ourselves.

When was the last time you appreciated something, or bought something, purely based on its beauty?


Parenting, toolboxes, credit and houses

vintage toolsRecently, someone said lots of wonderful things about one of our children and in amongst it all, we were complimented on our parenting and encouraged in how we have raised our children.

As parents, this sort of feedback is always a shot in the arm because, as you would know if you are one, you never really know how you’re doing. And often, we only see what we could have done better with hindsight. So having such words spoken while ‘still on the ground’ is true encouragement indeed.

Naturally, I’ve been thinking about what was said. To take credit for our children is a bit like handing someone a toolbox, watching them build a house and then tell everyone we built a house.

You see, to me, parenting is really about providing our children with the tools for living. Which tools they pick up and use, and which ones they deem unnecessary is entirely up to them.

Essentially, they are building the house and deciding which tools they’ve been given will build them the kind of house they want to live in. They are hammering the nails in, deciding where the walls go, whether the house faces east or south, how many rooms it has. Sure, we may be called in for advice, or handed a paintbrush every so often but they are building their house.

Of course, as parents we hope that once their house is built, it will be a place we like to be in, and a place where our child will want to invite others to enjoy.

But at the end of the day, it’s their house, not ours. And while we hope to admire it and to even show it off occasionally to our friends, all credit should go to the child for how they have built it, not us.

So to our child who may, or may not, be reading this – please own what was said about you. You have made you who you are, not us. I’m just delighted that your ‘house’ is already somewhere I love to be and where I know many others love to spend time, too.