Daughters in law.

One of today’s reading at Church was from Proverbs 31.

“A perfect wife who can find her? She is far beyond the price of pearls. Advantage and not hurt she brings him all the days of her life.”

One is sure to wonder who one’s son will marry. In India it is the tradition to have arranged marriages for sons.  The mother of the son gets to arrange a suitable wife. I’m thankful we don’t have that tradition here and I’m sure my sons are thankful too. I was reassured and comforted by a the scripture that says I will give your sons understanding wives.

Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth, but only the Lord can give an understanding wife. Proverbs 19 v 14

This word doesn’t say what religion she will be, what nationality she will be, what family she comes from,  if she is a good cook, or what kind of a job she has.  There are no conditions, only that she is an understanding wife, chosen by God.

Five of my eight sons are married. Tamara is from Italy, Marta from Slovakia, Rachel from Ireland, Morven from Scotland and Simone from Canada. My boys moved beyond the parish. These are the days that Daniel spoke about. Knowledge and travel will increase. My children have got to avail of both. Thanks to Ryanair and Airtransit they have flown to Europe and Canada to find wives.

I came across these two photos on my phone today. I am encouraged that’s these ladies are enjoying wearing necklaces I made. They inspired me to write this blog.

It was my daughter in law, Simone’s birthday this week. Isaac and his family live in Canada. When Hannah visited them recently she gave Simone a necklace that I made. She was delighted with it. A little bit of Ireland.

Morven, who is married to Patrick lives in Scotland.  I’m happy too she  is  wearing the green sea glass necklace I made.

I’m thankful for all my daughters in law that God has chosen for my sons.  They are under the shadow of the Lord’s wings and are covered by the Blood of Jesus.  They are and will be the mothers of some of our grandchildren.

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Family Friday Woollen Blankets are Comforting

When I moved to my present home a friend noticed the curtains in my bedroom, left behind by the previous owner.  She gasped, “What beautiful curtains.  That material is sixty pounds per meter to buy.”  Then I thought, “Yes it is a good idea to have woollen curtains.  It keeps the cold air out.  Wool is a good insulating material.”

When I visited my children at their Scottish universities I would buy a tartan woollen blanket each time.  I now have a collection of blankets in all colours, blue, red, purple and grey.  I use one as a throw over a duvet on a winter’s night.  It prevents heat lose through the night.  They come in useful for ground cover on a picnic or warmth for a baby playing on the floor.  I use one over my settee.  It is useful when one needs to stretch out and put one’s feet up for forty winks in the afternoon.  Even the dog got to have one.

I always tried to visit my children, each one, when they were at university.  One son shared a flat with five other lads in Glasgow.  When I arrived the students were sitting around a play station.  They were concentrating on the game.  The kitchen sink was full of dishes and the garbage tin full of cans and empty bottles.   My son showed me to his room that he had prepared for me to stay.  The situation did not phase me.  I stepped over bodies to get to the room and rested for a while after my journey.  I was so glad to be alive to visit him, after my healing from cancer.  Things that would have annoyed me before, didn’t bother me.  I could have been in the grave and never have seen my boys on the earth again.  What did a few dirty dishes matter.

When I got up later everyone had gone.  It seemed these boys came alive at night and kept a low profile by day.  My son took me out for a meal and we spent a short time together before I moved on by train to Aberdeen to see another son.  He gave up his bed for me.  He showed me around the university and introduced me to some of his friends.  I was relaxed enjoying my visit with him, being alive.

I traveled down to London after Aberdeen.  I shuddered when my son showed me his bedroom.  It was freezing.  The window was single glazed, the curtains were flimsy and the duvet light.  The young mustn’t feel the cold.  I went out and bought my son a woolen blanket.  At least it will give a bit of comfort and warmth.  Only mothers see the need.  The blankets have become an inheritance for my children.  This son still has the woollen blanket I gave him.  He has brought it to his new home in Canada. 

I bought a tartan blanket for another son when he was at Oxford Brooke’s.  He used it for picnics on the lawns of Oxford universities as well as a covering on his bed.  He still has it and it is still in use for his two boys when he takes his family on picnics.  I was talking to him recently.  He was staying in my home while we were away.  He appreciated the woollen blankets I had beside the sofa.  He enjoyed a few siestas with a woollen blanket pulled up over him.  

A thought dropped into his mind, “I wonder could I make a wrap around out of a woollen blanket.”  There is a special warmth that comes from a woollen garment.  He was delighted later that day to find a pure woollen dressing gown in a thrift store for a few pounds.  He will have no fear of the cold winter evenings.

I suppose it is a mother’s instinct to make sure her children are comfortable.  When my children were babies I always made sure they were tucked up warmly in bed.  They slept better that way.  The scriptures make reference to this in Isaiah 66, where God promises to comfort us.
As a mother comforts her child, so I’ll comfort you. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭66‬:‭12-13‬ MSG)

An Inherited Brooch Brings Back Memories.

I was wearing a brooch on my coat lapel today.  It belonged to my husband’s mother.  I liked it because it was in the shape of a tree.  It caught my son’s eye as we were out for a walk.  He said “Is that the olive tree with all the branches around your table.”  He was referring to a scripture that described our young children sitting around our table.
Blessed is every one that fears the Lord; that walks in his ways.
For you will eat the labour of thine hands: happy will you be, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife shall be as a fruitful vine within your house: your children like olive plants round about thy table.
Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed imagethat feareth the Lord. (‭Psalms‬ ‭128‬:‭1-4‬ KJV)

We used to sing this Psalm often.  Abraham said “Let me count the number of leaves on it.”  He counted fourteen, the number of children we have.  I was excited and could not wait to tell Brendan.  I showed the brooch to him and he was pleasantly surprised as well.  He counted the number of leaves.  Yes there were fourteen.  But he looked again and counted six white leaves and eight green leaves.  We have six girls and eight boys in our family.

The brooch is inexpensive but it is priceless now.  It is prophetic.  Nannie had this brooch for many years.  I bet she never expected her son would have fourteen children.  I am wearing it in memory of her and all our children The Lord gave us.

Children are a blessing from The Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127

We moved house recently.  Brendan has been working to get our home ready for visiting family and grandchildren.  We push ourselves to get one more job done, even though our bodies ache.  We take a break and start again.  We have a big house and it is a bit  lonely with just the two of us, after years of activity and bustle.  Our hearts ache as well when we remember our loved ones far away.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?  Though she may forget I will not forget you.”  (‭Isaiah‬ ‭49‬:‭15‬ NIV)

Abraham returned from university yesterday; the first of the birds flying home to Ireland for Christmas.  Three more arrive on Friday.   I am blessed today as God reminds us of all our children we reared down through the years, in this little brooch.  They are returning home.  He has not forgotten us.

Lift up your eyes and look around; all your children gather and come to you. As surely as I live,” declares the Lord, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭49‬:‭18‬ NIV)

I will wear my brooch and think of God’s love and faithfulness to us.  Yes his promise to me will come true.  My children will return.

I received an e mail from a friend in Canada. She reminded me of Proverbs 13 v 12,

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭13‬:‭12‬ NIV)

When I was suffering from cancer I had lost all hope in the future or my dreams and prophesies coming true. But God intervened. He had mercy on me and for his Name’s sake he healed me. Today my hopes and dreams are coming true. The brooch resembling a tree is an encouragement to me that my longings are being fulfilled, and that God is restoring my life.

There is life after cancer. I am staying alive.

How we got a Big House for our Big Tribe, our Promised Land

 

Then The Lord  said to Moses, “Divide the land among the tribes, and distribute the land in proportion to the tribes’ populations, as indicated by the number of names on the list. Give the larger tribes more land and the smaller tribes less land, each group’s inheritance reflecting the size of ite population.  (Numbers 26:52-54 NLT)
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When our tribe became sixteen, we were outgrowing the house in which we lived.  Five  of our older children had left home.  Our home then was suitable enough for my children who were toddlers or under ten.  But I knew as my boys got bigger they were going to need more space.
I began to pray and ask God to for a bigger home.  His word promises “The Lord will supply all you needs.”  I needed a bigger house for my tribe.
 I was encouraged by the scripture I have mentioned above.  I was believing God would provide a big house for my big family.  He blessed me with my children so I believed God would help me rear them and provide a home for them.
 Many people believe one is crazy for having a big family.  In these times getting married is not popular and having children is even less popular.  “Where will you get the money for a big house.”  “It must be very expensive to feed and clothe your children.”  “How will you pay for their education.”  I had faith for each day and not worry about tomorrow.
Jesus said “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:31, 33, 34 NLT)
Having Faith in God takes off all the pressure.  God is not a liar.  When he promises to do something he will bring it about.  Our part is to believe, be patient and not doubt or give up hope.  The danger can be when one has to wait a long time for the fulfilment of a promise, the temptation is to give up hope.  Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”Proverbs 13 v 12.
 I tried to move to the country.  There is space in the country, my children could roam over fields, like I did as a child. I saw a large Presbyterian Manse for sale.  We showed our interest in buying it but were refused.  I found another big house to let in the country,  but again was rejected.  I kept looking.  We tried to move down to Kerry.  That did not work out and I was bitterly disappointed.  I had been hoping for five years for a bigger home.  I gave up.  My husband said he would do an extension in the house in which we lived.  I did not want to hear.  I fell out with God and stopped praying.  But he didn’t fall out with me.  He had his plans.
 A friend of mine, a single mum with four children was praying for a new home.  Her children got sick during the winter because of the cold house in which she lived.   She found this beautiful house to rent.  I thought “God has helped my friend.  He will help me.”  My faith was restored and I began to believe again that God would help us.
 A few months later my husband had a picture of a man he knew from the past.  He would see this picture every morning for three weeks.  At last he called this man up and talked to him about our interest in finding a bigger home.  He is an estate agent.  He lived in another part of the country, in County Down.  That is where I lived when I was young.  Would God bring me back to live there? Another scripture came to mind.
At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the Lord.. (Zephaniah 3:20 NIV)
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We waited another five months.  Our house sale completed.  We had to move in October.  We called up the man Brendan connected with many months earlier.  We went down to meet him and his wife and they welcomed us and were willing to help us. No more rejection.  We prayed together and asked God to guide us.  We need other members of the body of Christ.
Our new friend was able to find a house suitable for us.  It was owned by the nuns from the convent where I went to school when I was young.  We got favour because they remembered me and our family.   We lived there for a year.  It gave us time to settle in this new area and for our children to adapt to their new schools.
We met regularly with other people who prayed.  They were praying for us to have a permanent home.  We did find a house suitable for our needs.  We were welcomed in our new community.
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God gave us land according to the size of our tribe.  Thank you Lord.  He is faithful.  Our children grew tall and flourished in their new home and big garden.  They made new friends.  They could walk to school.  No stress.

 

DO YOU WANT AN INHERITANCE?

Another Monday morning and you have to get out to work, or clean up after the weekend when you tried to recharge your batteries but never quite got the required boost.  The treadmill keeps on turning and you wish someday you can step off. 

Well let today be a new start.  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for God and not for men.  Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord which is your reward.  It is the Lord you are serving.  And be thankful.” Colossians 3 v 15 and 23 to 24

So whatever work you do, from the company manager, the home manager, creator, student or voluntary worker you are going to get an inheritance from the Lord.  Each day counts in building up that inheritance.  It cannot be stolen from you.  It will not decay.  If you change jobs or find yourself unemployed and help someone without payment, or are a mother at home with children you are still building up an inheritance with God.  There is no devaluing in God’s bank; you can still invest, even in the recession.

Do you believe me?  Try it.  Start being thankful to God for all things, even the difficult things. You will begin to think differently and the atmosphere around you will change.  Goodness and mercy will follow you.

God is no respecter of persons.  From the king to the poor man, no matter what nationality you are, God created you and he loves you.   He rewards those who diligently seek him.  God’s plans are for you to prosper and give you a hope and a future.

Angela