An Invite for Eleven to Dinner

There is often a storm before the calm. I want to give you an example of how our unseen enemies can prevent us getting a blessing. I often remember that God said to Satan “You and your offspring will bruise the woman and her offspring, but they will crush your head.” Genesis 3. I have many offspring that can do some crushing to Satan and his demon’s heads.

Being a big family meant we didn’t get invited out to friends’ homes often. I remember one occasion very well when Rose and Seamus invited myself and ten children, who would have been under fourteen years old, to dinner. Brendan was away on a trip and I was looking forward to the treat of someone making dinner for us. I was determined nothing was going to stop me getting there. Very often when we would arrange family events some difficulties would arise to prevent us getting a blessing.

I encouraged the children to get ready early so we could get to Rose’s house in good time. Ruth offered to help her little sister get washed and dressed. She was very fond of her baby sister Angela, for whom she had prayed. There were six boys between Ruth and Angela. Ruth had longed for a baby sister.

She prepared the bath and put the baby into the water. The only problem was she forgot to put on the cold tap. I heard cries from Mary upstairs, “Ruth has put the baby in hot water!” I ran upstairs to rescue my baby. Angela was upset of course but I settled her all the while praying for her healing of the trauma and any harm done. The skin on her legs was red. I thought I would bring her to the clinic to get some cream to be on the safe side. I reassured Ruth that it can be easy to forget to turn on the tap. She was young and wanted to help.

Many of the other children were distressed at what happened and were angry with Ruth for her oversight. I continued to pray for my children to settle. I tried to calm them and said Angela is going to be alright. I’ll bring her to the nurse for soothing cream and she will be as right as rain. All the while I was aware that this mishap could cause me to cancel our dinner date. I trusted God’s word which says “He will be with me in trouble and deliver me out of it.” Psalm 91. God’s angels are around us to deliver us. I believe there was unseen evil going on to prevent our going out.

Because I had made sure the children got dressed in good time, we had time to go to the clinic and still get to dinner. All ten of the children climbed into our yellow minibus and I drove over to the clinic nearby. I took Angela to get attention and left the other children in the van. They were obedient children and knew to occupy themselves till I returned.

I was in the waiting room when Hannah came to get me. War had broke out between Mary and Ruth back at the van. I prayed again for God’s help. There was yelling, crying, screaming and upset with the younger children as they watched the melli. Mary had not got over her anger at Ruth and blamed her for hurting her wee sister. There were fists flying and pulling of hair. I ran back to the van to bring order and peace. I stopped the fight and made them forgive one another and settle down. The baby was attended to back in the clinic. She was none the worse for her experience.

Calm was restored to my children. I drove us all to our dinner date. I overcame unforeseen circumstances that could have prevented us getting there. We all enjoyed a feast. Our host Rose had made a big effort to prepare dinner for us all, not an easy task. Thank you Rose and Seamus, I  will be ever grateful for your kindness.

I was relieved we came out of the storm only with a few bruises.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/relieved/

Give Thanks

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who struck down mighty kings. His faithful love endures forever.
He killed powerful kings— His faithful love endures forever.
He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever.
He saved us from our enemies. His faithful love endures forever.
He gives food to every living creature. His love endures forever.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭136:1, 17-18, 23-24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In front of my window this morning blackbirds, a pigeon, wag tails, starlings, a chaffinch and robins feed. The God, who created the heaven and the earth cares for them.
It is a privilege to be alive to see the life around me. It is good to be still and take rest in the peace. I heard a pastor say that nature is a bible for us to see with our eyes. The heavens declare the glory of the risen Lord.

I remember back to many times in my life when I was feeling weak and helpless. I was doing my work looking after my husband, family and home. At times I felt overwhelmed. Our unseen enemies put pressure on us.

There were enemies in Israel called the Amelikites. God hated them because they picked off the weak ones among the Israelites. The elderly and the young are the most vulnerable. If they attacked the people the elderly and the young die first. They will not survive in war.

When Moses travelled through the desert he went at the pace of the people who were with young. He protected them. When Jacob was returning to see his father Isaac he went at the pace of the women and children.

The Amalekites are a symbol of spiritual enemies in our lives that are out to attack us when we are weak, to rob, destroy and kill. I believe a father and mother are so important to protect our young from the unseen spirits. Only with Jesus help can we overcome.

“He remembered our utter weakness. He saved us from our enemies.”

I can testify as we reared our children God covered our backs from our enemies who wanted to snare us.

It has been said that it takes a whole community to rear a child. In the past in Ireland neighbors and extended family looked out for one another. If a parent was under pressure a granny or relative would look after the children for a day to give respite.

Now families are independent and nuclear. One may think, “Oh I’m okay I won’t need anyone’s help.” The pressure comes when children are sick, the husband looses his job or other unforeseen difficulties. We need others.

I enjoy nature programmes. I have watched how wildebeest, zebra and caribou migrate in search of food and to have their young. When they come to the green pastures there are hungry enemies waiting who haven’t had food for days. A crocodile lies in wait under the water to gobble up some weak calf or sick animal who cannot get across the river and is cut off from the herd. Scrawny wolves lick their jaws when they see a meal coming their way. They hunt in packs and pick off the weak, sick, lame, old and young of the herd that have fallen behind. Lions hunt down the wildebeest that begin to stampede. The young and old can’t keep up with the rest so become easy prey for the lions who outrun them. There is safety in staying with the group.

Where our family lived was important. Our homes were always near schools, doctors, dentists, shops, hairdresser, bus stop, friends and recreation areas. There was a hospital, library and swimming pool in each town where we lived. The teachers knew our children as they passed up through the schools. They were kind to them. School friends were important. My eldest daughter still meets regularly with friends she met at school. Football coaches were supportive and looked out for my boys attending soccer, rugby or Gaelic. The clinic was nearby for care from the doctor when I was pregnant. I could walk to the supermarket from each place I lived. We felt safe in the places where we lived.

God brought us to green pastures and protected us from our enemies.

How Weeds, Slugs and Caterpillars disappear!

imageBrendan enjoys flowers. He worked with his pots,  filling with compost, planting, watering, feeding and refreshing.
When we lived in a town house our window boxes were overflowing with lobelia and petunia, thanks to my husband’s expertise.
People passing admired the display of dangling colours.
We collected various shapes and sizes of pots over the years.
Their numbers would be added to as presents on birthdays.
When we moved house the pots came with us.
Brendan’s garden of pots increased.  Daffodils and tulips and primroses sprouted each spring.
Window box displays continued each summer.
Roses did well without much attention.
There was always some flower growing as the seasons changed.
Even in winter there was colour from primula and pansies that danced in the breeze.
Over the last two years, as our children left home, Brendan and I came to realise our home and garden were too big for us.
The birds had flown the nest.
It took time for us to let go and move on.
We had many happy times and memories raising our children in our home in Downpatrick.
Brendan and I now have a new start, a new beginning.
We moved house this spring.
A house that is easy to maintain, no more ashes, just the flick of a switch for heat.
Out plants are having a new beginning as well.
We brought our plants in pots with us.  The yard out back looked like a garden centre.
Over the last few weeks Brendan and I have been sorting them out.
It is sunny where we now live and if my pot plants do not get watered often they will quickly deteriorate.
I was sorting out pots that did not seem to have any life in them and I was pleasantly surprised to find a harvest of bulbs.
I won’t know what they are until next spring.  I suspect most of them are daffodils.  Anyway our pots needed fresh soil so contents of all pots had to be inspected and sorted.  We found little tree shoots growing in some.  Seeds from trees in our last garden took root.  I have ash, sycamore and lime saplings potted out separately. Dead roots and weeds were disguarded to the dump.  The other contents of the pots were choking out the flowers intended to be growing taking away the nutrients and water.

A new beginning for bulbs next year.

I do not need to use slug pellets or roundup.  Other pests of our pot plants at our last house was snails.  They loved the trees, walls and hid under the rim of the pots.  They came out at night to eat.   Caterpillars just loved nastursums.  They munched at the tasty leaves.  The butterflies have not arrived yet so I don’t know if I will have caterpillars.

One way of getting rid of weeds, caterpillars and slugs is to turn up the heat.
The heat and the sunshine just causes them to wither up.
So our pot plants have a new start with weeds and slugs gone.
All is needed is watering regularly with the odd boost of Miracle Gro.
Flowers are blooming and a little pruning here or there is keeping things going well.
I am getting plenty of exercise, fresh air and sunshine as I water my plants.
Perhaps my new situation is telling me God is just dealing with my enemies in the spirit.
Like the slugs and weeds they cannot live in the new conditions.
The heat was turned up in our situation with having cancer and children leaving home.

Job in the bible went through suffering and did not know why.

But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer.
For he gets their attention through adversity.
“God is leading you away from danger, Job, to a place free from distress. He is setting your table with the best food. (Job 36:15, 16 NLT)

God has brought us to a broad place, free from distress.
I can testify that God is good and faithful to keep his promise.  Believe and hope in God.
Brendan and I can flourish and grow without hindrance in our new territory.
God is faithful.  He said in His Word he will deliver us from our enemies.

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.  (Psalms 107:1, 2 KJV)