August Blues. I Have Joy Now Instead Of Blues

September’s weather has come in August here in Northern Ireland.
It is cooler and wetter.  The summer is cut short. 
The last bank holiday was a wash out.
In previous years August had been a busy month for me.
I had to get my children ready for the return to school.
I would check on last years’ school trousers, jumpers,  blazers or skirts to see if I could squeeze another year out of them.
If not I paid a visit to the local drapery store to get the necessary outfits.
That would have been my biggest bill of the year.
One year I had eight children at school.
The Lord promises my children will not go begging in the street.

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. (‭Psalm‬ ‭37‬:‭25‬ NIV)

I wanted my children to feel fresh and smartly turned out as the new school term started.
My last child left second level education last year.
All the uniforms are forgotten and schools ties’ and blazersimage are hanging at the back of the cupboard, only to be retrieved for a fancy dress party perhaps.
I don’t know if I have more money in the bank this year in August, but I am glad I do not have the stress of shopping for back-to-school items.
August is a time of harvest.  Fruit is ripe, wheat, oats, barley, hay and maize are ripe.
Fruit, plums blackberries and apples are picked.
In the past August has been a month of testing for me.
It steers the course for the coming year.
I had three children in August.  
I was in hospital in hospital twice in August.
But this year I am expecting fruit from all I have invested into others.
The farmer sows seeds in the spring.
In autumn he expects a harvest.
It grows of itself.
Our creator causes the growth.
So it is I expect my God to cause the growth in seeds I have sown into people’s lives to produce a harvest.
And I expect to eat of it.
Two people I prayed for in the past have had life changing experiences this August.
I have joy when I hear of answered prayers and when God uses me.
I am not expecting a baby this year but I am expectant for God’s promises to be fulfilled in my life this August.
Are you expectant?

Pride and Joy: What are your Greatest Possessions



My husband and children have given me gifts of jewellery, which are prized possessions.

I value them and remember when I was given them.

But my pride and joy are my husband and children and children’s children.  They are the greatest possessions of all.

They are gifts from God.

Scripture says, Look around you and see, for all your children will come back to you. As surely as I live,” says The Lord , “they will be like jewels or bridal ornaments for you to display. (Isaiah 49:18 NLT)

I will not leave them behind like gold and silver, but they will be with me in heaven and we can enjoy being together for eternity.






I do get Mad but I Have Learnt to Forgive and Forget.

I do hold grudges but after a while I choose to forgive and forget.

I get mad at times with those closest to me.

I was mad last night is fact.

Very often I go to bed angry with someone.  I toss and turn and can’t get to sleep.  I get up and watch a programme on TV.

Perhaps I write down what I am upset about.  By the time I have written down the problem I am happier and can go back to bed.  

It is better to talk things over to clear the air before bedtime.

Scripture says “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold.  Ephesians 4 v 26

But very often the other party is not aware there is a problem or is to tired to resolve the issue.  So the anger remains till the morning.

If the issue is not resolved I hold a grudge.  But sadly I am only harming myself.  The other person is often oblivious to the hurt done, so the anger grows.  The bitterness increases.  The devil has got a foothold.

This is what happened to me when I developed colon cancer.  I was upset with people and did not get issues resolved.  I became angry, unforgiving and bitter.

Forgiving is the key to life, health and happiness.  

I find it easy to accept God has forgiven me, but it is harder to forgive someone who has hurt.

I choose to forgive others.  It may not be easy.  I do not want to get sick again.  













Singing the Blues. The Time for Singing of Birds has Come


A good night’s sleep is always helpful when I am down.  Lack of sunshine and warmth can give me the blues and cause me to scurry to the comfort of a warm bed.  Sufficient unto the day is the troubles thereof.  

When I awake and my worries, anxieties or depression are still heavy on my mind I have a quick prayer, Help Lord. 

Whatever time of the day if I am overcome with loneliness, despair or despondency I would get a cup of coffee and something sweet and relax.  I would listen to some uplifting music, or a worship song.  If there is one I really like I would play it over and over.  I would pray for someone else or pick up the phone and talk to a friend and encourage them. If that fails I would share with my husband.  He often sees things from a different perspective.

Having something to look forward to doing often gets me out of the blues.  The down time will come to pass.

It is springtime.  The time for singing of birds has come.   I will sing and be joyful as well.





How I am adjusting to The New Technology


I do like using my i Pad.  What a great invention!  Initially I didn’t think I needed one, and said so when Brendan wanted to buy one for my birthday.  Many years ago when my children got their first mobile phones, they enjoyed texting their friends.  I thought I will never be using one of those.  I had to eat my words when I got my first mobile phone.  I find texting invaluable to be in touch with family and friends.

My children are now up graded to i Phones .  They are texting, taking photos, listening to music, playing games, talking and recording all on this little machine in their hands.

Again I thought to myself I do not need one of them.  Then came the day I could not get hold of a plain mobile that texts for free and phone calls are cheap. I had to give in and go for an upgrade. I can even take photos.  Now I have to pay a monthly bill and I don’t know what for?

I took some interesting photos of scenery recently.  I asked a friend to help me transfer them to my I pad.  It was not quite as simple as I thought.  They told me I needed a Dropbox.  What on earth is a Dropbox.   Maybe it is not on this earth.  It is probably up in the sky somewhere!

Another friend had some beautiful photographs of my garden.  I asked if he would send them to my e mail, so I could store them.   I have advanced to use the e mail and store photos.  He told  me to install What’s App on my phone.  I was only asking for a simple doable request.  I am not a whizz kid on information management.  I just wanted some one to help me.

I must admit I am guilty of avoiding explaining something to a child.  I was just too tired to answer and told him to “Google it”.

Why does the mobile phone sales assistant want to get extra commission by selling a pensioner a phone that runs up a big bill?  Why are the younger generation impatient to help someone who is older?  Were they not helped by us when they were young to learn their A B Cs and cross their Ts and dot their Is.

One cannot survive on one’s own.  Let’s not be independant.  Let’s share skills and help one another with doable requests.

Much knowledge separates the generations and the genders.  The more we are independant, we do not need others and do not receive help from others.  I am willing to see the situation from another’s perspective.  Maybe the person I asked to help me was under pressure to get to work or had other pressing things on his mind.   Maybe he will change his mind.

I think many of us get illnesses because we internalise our frustrations.  Perhaps we think others are too busy to listen or they may not understand one any way, so why bother.  People go to the doctor looking for help.  Very often they are offered a prescription of pills to numb the pain.   A wise doctor may be able to look beyond and offer a comforting word of encouragement.

A wise person said “A good night’s  sleep solves many problems.”  It is like balm to one’s soul.

Let us communicate, stop, listen and help one another.  That develops love and understanding.  We will be all the more healthy.  Then we will be obeying one of the commands Jesus gave us “Love one another.”


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We built This City. Daily Prompt. Downpatrick, in Northern Ireland, the Place where I Live.

Next Monday, the 17th March is St Patrick’s day.   There are celebrations all over the world on this day.  In America green beer is sold.  When my husband was in China on St Patrick’s Day the locals gave him a can of Guinness.  He said it was the best can of Guinness he had ever drank in China.  It was the only one!
The Irish people have spread all over the world and that is why most countries have heard of St Patrick.
St Patrick  is celebrated as an man who lived among the Irish in the fifth century.  He preached the gospel of Jesus and did many signs and wonders among the people.  It is recorded that he drove the snakes out of Ireland.  There are no snakes in Ireland.
The town where I live is called Downpatrick.  It is claimed that St patrick is buried here.  Many tourists come to visit this historical place.
The people of this town have lived at peace with each other during the recent troubles in the seventies.  Every Good Friday all denominations of Christians walked through the town behind a wooden cross.  People took turns to carry it.  The people of the town demonstrated their unity, when in other parts of Northern Ireland people were being murdered.
I believe there is a blessing over Downpatrick because of it’s history as a centre of Christianity and civilisation.  There are many schools and colleges in our town.   Christian brothers set up a school for over eleven year old boys back at the beginning of the twentieth century.
They brought education to the poor.  My children attended this school.
I was praying for a bigger house for our growing family.  I needed more space.  I believed that God would provide for us a big family, like he provided for the tribes that went into the Promised Land.
About that time I read in the bible “Look for the ancient pathways where you will find rest for your soul.”  Jeremiah 6 v 16.  Downpatrick is an ancient pathway where Christians have lived for many centuries.  St Patrick may have walked down the pathway or street where we live.
My husband and I believe that God can speak and guide people.  God showed my husband in a dream to get in touch with a man who lived in Downpatrick.  This man, some months later helped us get the big house we now live in.   It has seven bedrooms, two kitchens and two living rooms.  We will be ever grateful to our friend who helped us find a home here.  He helped us when we were in need.
Downpatrick has been a blessing to our family.  Our children were welcomed into the schools.  Their friends’ parents welcomed them into their homes.  The local soccer club and Gaelic club were somewhere safe for my boys to play, supervised by responsible caring volunteers.  It felt as if we always lived here.
We joined with other Christians to pray in unity.  We were blessed.   Where brothers dwell together in unity there The Lord commands a blessing.  Psalm 133.
Since we moved here as we prayed with others for our town,  new things have come here.  A new hospital is built, a new cinema, two new schools, and a new supermarket.
Where I came here I met other families that returned here to rear their children.
Downpatrick is a pleasant and safe place to live.
We have a vibrant Art Centre that gets funding from the government.  Downpatrick punches above its weight.
It has a pleasant climate.  It rests in the lee side of the Mourne Mountains.  The rain falls on the mountains, so we receive less rain than other parts of our country.   We often had our dinner outside in the summer time.  We could never do that in the last town we lived in.
There are beautiful local parks and coastlands.  Within seven miles we are at the beach.  Coney Island is nearby.  It is made famous by the Van Morrison song.
As people live together in harmony the Mayor of our town will have an easy job.
Soon we are moving to a smaller house not far from Downpatrick.   I will always be grateful to God for leading us to live in Downpatrick.  I am thankful to all the teachers, coaches, friends and neighbours who helped our family and have made our time in Downpatrick a happy one.
you too can be guided by God in your life.  He will speak through dreams or circumstances that may arise in your life.  God loves you.

Special Ingredient in My Kitchen


With my big family I learned to shop for vegetables, meat and other ingredients that would be nourishing and filling.  Brendan and I took turns at making our own bread.
When I was away, perhaps in hospital having a new baby, my husband would make a meal.  He named it “Tuna de Beano.”  The main ingredients were tuna and beans.  But Brendan told the children how wonderful this meal he was making was going to be, that they got so excited they ate every last drop.  Brendan’s favourite ingredient was excitement.
When the children were young I would make a stew with one pound of minced meat.  When the children were older, with six growing boys, I still made a stew with one pound of mince meat!  The food seemed to multiply in the pot!  I would add herbs from my garden, bay leaf, parsley, celery, rosemary and sage.  Whatever vegetables that were at hand were cubed, sometimes turnip, carrots or parsnips.  Stock cubs are important to give flavour.
I would leave the stew to simmer in a big saucepan on the log burning stove in my kitchen.
My children loved my stews.  They looked forward to what I had at lunchtime when they took a break from school.  We were blessed with the Grammar school being near our home.  No expensive school meals for my children.  
I had a dream one night.  In it I was making a stew as usual.  But there were white strands through out it.  A voice said to me “Those are strands of love you have put in the stew for your family.”
So my Special Ingredient in my kitchen is Love.



My Experience on A Flight Yesterday. Write a Post in the Present Tense


I am on a flight to Tel Aviv, at 37000 feet altitude. The sky is blue right to the horizon.  I am enjoying the brightness up here.  As I look below I see the snow capped mountains and the cloud filled valleys of the Alps.
 Life is all around me inside the aircraft.  There are many families with young children on this flight.  There were prams and car seats folded beside the stairs as we boarded the aircraft.  In the past when Brendan and I took some of our children on holidays we would be the only young family on the flight.
Families are sharing their fruit and sandwichs   There is a pleasant waft of freshly peeled orange.  Mothers nurse babies.  Toddlers are being entertained with stories their mums are reading to them.  Women are standing in the isles, stopping to chat with friends.  I am thinking this is like a small community on an airoplane.  My neighbour says “I have never been on a flight like this, with so much activity.”  We quieter folk read a book, do a crossword, Sudoku or write on one’s i Pad.
It is three o’clock, prayer time?  It is the time Jesus died on the cross.  The men, with their hats on, are standing at the back and front of the aisle.  They read from their books of prayers.  I am reminded of the the Book of Daniel.  He was a governor in Babylon and was one of the Jewish exiles taken there when the temple was destroyed.
He did his job very well and other officials in the King of Babylon’s kingdom were jealous of Daniel.  They wanted to get rid of him.  The only thing they could hold against him was that he prayed three times a day.  He got put in the Den of Lions because he refused to stop praying or bow down to any other God.  And his God delivered him.
I think “Do I take God serious enough to talk to him three times a day.”  If  I love someone who loves me and has blessed me so much in my life, I want to spend time with him.  I am going to spend some time now reading from my book of prayers!


Blurb for book I want to write.

My husband and I wrote a book called Staying Alive.  It tells about my journey from being diagnosed with fourth cancer to the head consultant writing me a letter to say he could find no trace of the nine centimetre tumour in my colon. Four years on, I am staying alive and I have produced this book about my family.
Whatever your views have been about having children up to now, this book about our big family will change your ideas forever.
I tell stories about life from day to day in our home, how God interrupted our lives and guided us on a journey we did not choose.  Scripture says I chose you.
Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10 KJV)
You will laugh, you will cry, you will have renewed hope and courage.  This book will bring healing to you, your marriage and your wider family.  My book tells of restoration of broken relationships by the power of God.  Barriers broken down and unity and love restored in family.
God came into my life and has multiplied me to become a tribe of thirty four people!  I have fourteen children, six in laws and twelve grandchildren and counting.
The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly.” (Isaiah 60:22 NIV)