- It’s International Woman’s Day.
Hip, hip hooray.
Many women have done well with their work in medicine, engineering, sports, literature, art, teaching, justice and caring jobs all over the world. With education available in the Western world women have had many choices of career available to them.
Not so for many woman in the third world.
I want to celebrate today women all over the nations who are wives and mothers of children. Some may be one of many wives a husband has. But she is faithful to her situation and looks after her children. She doesn’t have a choice. Well done to woman who rear their children in poverty situations, giving their last drop of milk to save a dying child at her breast. And women who care for their children on their own because their husbands have abandoned them. I celebrate today any woman who have chosen to have her child despite the doctor’s advice to have an abortion, the mother who is caring for her sick child and the mother who is rearing many children.
I was one such mother. I chose to have fourteen children and stayed at home to rear them. It was twenty four seven work.
I congratulate woman throughout the world who are wives and mothers.
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.
From the top of the hill near where I live I can see the sea at Rossglass. There lives the biggest gathering of common seals in Northern Ireland.
image from Islay Natural Trust.
My son and I were out for a cycle on Wednesday morning.
I live two miles from the local Rossglass beach. It suits me fine to go for a cycle locally as the roads do not have steep inclines. The journey takes in some fabulous scenery and coastline along the way.
As I cycle along the road there is a stillness in the air. I can hear the bees buzzing in the honeysuckle that is bursting out of the hedgerows.
My son is keen to advise which gears to use to tackle the hill ahead.
But I am enjoying what my eyes and ears are sensing. I am not in a hurry. I don’t have an appointment to keep. It is good to be outdoors on a warm summer’s morning in Ireland.
We have rich farmland here.
There are different crops are at different stages of growth.
Some farmers grow Maize for cattle fodder.
Potatoes are growing in one field with rows of purple flowers and lush green leaves.
Another field has rapeseed growing. It is ripe for harvest.
Another field is sown with barley. It will turn golden soon.
The fields are ripe for harvest.
All the farmer has to do is plant the seed and it multiplies in the ground producing a good income for the farmer.
He has faith. He is not fretting every day looking to see how his crop is growing. He trusts God who causes the seed to grow in the ground.
God has promised seed time and harvest.
As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” (Genesis 8:22 NLT)
We can take courage from the farmer and sow good into people’s lives and it will produce a harvest in due course.
God is pleased when we bear fruit.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. (John 15:5, 7-8 NLT)
We turn down a road that stretches along the Rossglass coast.
I suggested we stop for some refreshment. I had already prepared some coffee.
We parked our bicycles down a path to the beach and rested on top of the sand dune.
This particular coastline is an area where common seals congregate. It has the largest colony in Northern Ireland.
“Perhaps we can catch a glimpse of some seals today” I said to my son.
This is a safe, quiet part of a large bay stretching from Ardglass to Newcastle.
The seals blend in with the colour of the stones and outcrops along the coast.
There must be plenty of fish in the bay. Seals are not the friend of fishermen. They eat too many fish.
The timing of our stopping off could not have been better.
The tide was coming in. The seals lie on small islands offshore, safe from anyone disturbing them.
As the tide rises the islands get covered with water. The seals move to the next piece of dry ground. There were about twenty heads popping in and out of the sea circling around after being dislodged from the rocks by the incoming tide. Mother seals frollicked with their pups in the water.
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
A mother seal and her pup climbed onto an outcrop of rock not far from us. Their black glossy bodies rippled up onto the rock to enjoy the warmth of the sun and just laze. Others mothers and pups soon joined them.
The biggest seal, a male, took the highest point of the rock outcrop. From the top he could be on the look out for danger, protecting his herd. I suspect he was the head of the group. They were of various colours, white specked, grey and black. They blended in with the colour of the rocks. I counted thirty seals.
I had a never to be forgotten opportunity to see the seals close up. Different factors contributed to this moment. There was a high tide and warm sunshine just happening as we were out this morning. I could not have planned it better.
I sat for half an hour savouring the experience of this intimate scene. The seals were oblivious to their visitors. We were well camouflaged on the bank nearby. From the top we could observe the wildlife. It was special moment.
I did not have my camera with me that morning. I went back the next day trying to capture some seals on camera.
Conditions were different. The tide and the seals were far away. As if to say “You will not recapture the moment” a mist quickly rolled in from the sea. I keep the sightings of the seals in my memory.
Sometimes God displays his Glory just for our eyes.
“He leads me beside still waters to restore my soul.” Psalm 23
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