Saturday, 29 June 2013

Google Reader.

I am a little slow about this but Google Reader is apparently going to cease to exist from Monday. Such a shame as I am just so used to it! 

I have switched over to Bloglovin' and it was easy peasy even for someone technically challenged like me. It has transferred my blog list over and I even get daily emails of new posts! I really enjoy reading blogs and wouldn't want to lose any that I follow. I don't want to lose you either! I have added a Bloglovin' button to the sidebar so it should be super easy. 

So this is a brief post in case, like me, you were unaware of the change. Oh and the giveaway starts on the 1st July! 



Friday, 28 June 2013

Meet Baby Joseph!

Isn't he adorable?! I saw his photograph and just couldn't look away. He has such beautiful eyes! I was shocked by how tiny his limbs are though. He looks so frail. Poor darling boy! I wish I could give him a hug and food and love. Basically I want to give him the world! I want him to grow up healthy and strong and to be able to develop whatever God given talent he has. 

Those big eyes that say will you love me? Will you hold me and protect me? Will you comfort me? Will you raise me up with praise and pray for me every day? 

I tried to stay unattached and removed as this may not be a long term sponsorship as little Joseph could get adopted. I would love that! He deserves a caring family. At the same time I would like him to be mine for a little while. I know that this is selfish of me. I find myself staring at his photograph. Just staring and praying. Praying with my whole heart. This little boy could change the world. He has already changed my world! 

I am becoming more and more convicted about my spending habits. Somehow knowing that some of these children live in countries where the average monthly wage is less than I would spend on a meal out means that I don't want to be frivolous with my money. It has made me re-evaluate wants versus needs. 

I have so much. I am guilty of moaning when things don't go my way and of thinking too much on some item that I want but don't need. My family is not a wealthy one and we have had struggles over the years but I don't remember us ever running out of food and we have always had somewhere to live. It is amazing how I have managed to disconnect myself from those people in the world that struggle. Partly through ignorance and partly because it is a hard thing to think about. 

While I am complaining that it is a little hot here there are children without water, parents that have to watch their babies starve, and whole communities suffering. How dare I complain about anything when I go to sleep in my comfy bed in my own room filled with books with no worries about where my next meal will come from. How can I have been so blind and cold hearted. 



Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wild Roses.



Monday, 24 June 2013

Love Mercy Uganda.

I heard about Love Mercy Uganda on the Compassion forums and it sounded amazing. I knew that I wanted to get involved! I thought that I would send a donation towards one of their projects. I had already decided that two sponsor children were enough as I wanted to make sure that I wrote to them frequently after reading a blog post about how important the letters are to the children. 

Love Mercy Uganda supports the Good Samaritan Children's Home in Uganda. Their website is and there is a lot of information on there! There are photographs of the children and staff as well as information about their special projects. I love that it is so honest! 90% of the monthly sponsor donation goes to pay for the care of your child. 

Their website says "We invite you to join us as we seek to rescue and enrich the lives of these children who have been orphaned, neglected, abused or found living in abject poverty." They are doing amazing work and are willing to answer questions. I should know as I have asked a lot of questions! There are two levels of sponsorship ($30 or $40 dollars per month) and this doesn't mean that the children receive different levels of care. It is just that some people can afford to and want to pay a little more! The children have clean water and good food to eat as well as a place to live and people who take care of them. 

One difference between being a LMU sponsor and being a Compassion sponsor is that you can send actual gifts to your child! So clothes and toys and books and school supplies can be sent! The children write letters and you get photographs too. You can write letters to your child and will receive 4 to 6 letters per year. The children live together as a family. I think that this is important as children need a family. They need to feel loved and cherished, to have faith and hope, and to know that they are worth something. They are not just numbers on a check list. They are children. Individuals with their own likes and dislikes and their own dreams for the future. A future that they need a helping hand to reach. 

I will share all about my new sponsor child soon! The little child that God clearly placed in my path and the darling boy that I fell in love with. 

Please pray for the children and workers at the orphanage and, if you have a spare few minutes, please read a little on the website. They are in a tough situation but they are working hard! 



Saturday, 22 June 2013

A Bit of Baking.

Confessions first .... this was a bread mix! My family love this one though. It is sun dried tomato and parmesan bread from a packet. Super easy to make as just just add water, mix, knead, shape, leave to rise, and then bake. It tastes so good! Especially when eaten still warm from the oven! 

Embarrassingly, my family prefer this bread to the ones I make from scratch! I try to buy a few packets when they are on offer so that I always have a couple in stock. It doesn't take long from start to finish so it is an easy option when fresh bread is desired on a busy weekend! 



Thursday, 20 June 2013

Happy Birthday Jeni!

Today is Jeni's 7th birthday! I sent off a card and a gift through the Compassion site but it will take a long time to get to her. I started sponsoring her at the end of May but gifts can take around 3 months to reach their destination. Hopefully she won't mind it being a bit late! 

I am not sure how old this photograph of Jeni is but she certainly looks young! Maybe she will be due for a photograph update soon. That would be exciting! 

Loani's birthday is in September and I just sent her card and gift in the last week. I am going to have to be really organised for things like Christmas! Luckily I normally start thinking about Christmas in September anyway! 



Monday, 17 June 2013

Shy Doris.

Don't be shy Doris! 


Cute nose. 

Cute paws. 

Cute Doris! 



Saturday, 15 June 2013

I Grew a Radish!

A funny thing to be excited about especially as I don't really like to eat radishes! Inspecting my tiny plot today I noticed a splash of red in my radish square. Sure enough some of the radishes were ready to be picked! Last year my radishes were all leaves and no radish so it seems that the raised beds are helping! 

A home grown radish - round and red and perfect! 

There are still plenty more in the ground but these are the ready ones! 

Fresh radishes straight from the garden! I am hoping that the rest of my vegetables do as well! They really seem to be thriving in my raised beds. The compost is certainly working out better than planting into the soil as the soil here is heavy and there were some funny shaped vegetables last year! 



Friday, 14 June 2013

Little Apples.

I am not getting too excited as there is still the June drop to come but .... there are baby apples on my trees! 

This is their second year in the garden so technically I am not due apples until next year. Hopefully a couple will survive! I am fully expecting to wake up one morning to find that they have all jumped off! 

The garden is doing well for flowers but vegetables are a whole other matter! The weather and wildlife are fighting back and my remaining seedlings look a little nibbled around the edges. 



Monday, 10 June 2013

I Had a Friend.

I was reading through Still Waters and this passage really stood out to me. I had read it before and merely skimmed over it but this time it seemed relevant and timely. Perhaps it is due to Compassion and reading about sponsors and their children being friends without ever meeting and thinking of what to write to my girls to encourage them. 

There is as yet no culture, no method of progress known to men, that is so rich and complete as that which is ministered by a truly great friendship. No natural appetite, not artificial taste, no rivalry of competition, no contagion of social activity, calls out such a large, healthy, symmetrical working of a human nature as the constant, half-unconscious power of a friend's presence whom we thoroughly respect and love. In a true friendship there is emulation without its jealousy; there is imitation without its servility. When one friend teaches another by his present life, there is none of that divorce of truth from feeling, and of feeling from truth, which in so many of the world's teachings makes truth hard and feeling weak; but truth is taught, and feeling is inspired, by the same action of one nature on the other, and they keep each other true and warm. 

Phillips Brooks. 

Such a beautiful passage! It reminds me that true friendships are rare and should be cherished. So often friendship involves competition and rivalry and wanting to out do the other. True friends encourage each other to be better people and to live better lives, often without having to say a word. Having a friend with strong faith, and a love for people that they live out in their everyday life, is more inspiring to me that one grand speech or gesture. Living a good life with your eyes on Jesus shows true faith in action. It makes me want to try harder and to be better! A true friend doesn't stand on a mountain and cry victory. A true friend turns and offers a helping hard to those that need it! 



Saturday, 8 June 2013

Loani - Photographs Through the Years!

Super excited! I contacted Compassion and asked if they could send me the photographs of my girls by email as the ones on the website were a little blurry. I hoped that they would be good enough quality to print and send to Jenifer and Loani as I read that some of the families don't have photographs of their children. 

I kept checking my emails as I am impatient like that! Very quickly one arrived from Compassion with attachments. That was exciting enough! Then I opened it and saw four additional photographs of Loani! She lost her sponsorship in September 2012 but had been sponsored for quite a few years previously to that. Oh it is amazing to see her change over the years! I never expected to see those additional photographs as I didn't know how long she had been with Compassion or if they kept previous photographs on file. 

Loani is currently 12 so I am assuming that is how old she is in the most recent photograph. No idea how old she is in the others though as I am dreadful at guessing ages! I think I have them in the correct order ..... She is so beautiful and I am so blessed to be her sponsor! 



Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Flowers in a Sunny English Garden.

The garden is full of flowers right now! It isn't an organised or regimented garden. There isn't really any order to it at all! I love that though and I love when a plant flowers unexpectedly. I am guilty of scattering seeds and then forgetting what I put in which place.

I am sure that this won't be too much of a shock to you but this is quite a photograph heavy post!

Summer has arrived in the garden! There are baby birds tweeting and fluttering their wings, the sun is shining, and the flowers are bright and beautiful! 



Monday, 3 June 2013

Introducing My Girls!

I am so excited to share this with you! I can't believe that I am lucky enough to be able to write to these girls and to encourage them in their lives and in their faith. Such a blessing! After I decided that I would definitely be sponsoring with Compassion UK I was ready to just jump right in! Then came the hard part of actually choosing a child. I felt drawn to sponsoring a girl which narrowed it down a little but still left a lot of children! I decided scroll through the pictures and see which called to me. I was sure that I would get guidance in this too! After a while I had narrowed it down to ten .... then with prayer to two .... then with tears to one. Oh but it broke my heart to leave the other little girl behind! 

I knew I could afford to sponsor one but doubling that amount to pay for two was a big commitment. I just cried and prayed and my eyes were drawn to a pile of magazines in my room. Magazines that I subscribed to and .... embarrassingly some that I merely flicked though each month and yet kept up the subscription. That was my sign! I realised that if I cancelled those subscriptions which suddenly appeared so frivolous and wasteful, I could sponsor a second child!

Meet Jenifer! She is 6 years old and lives in Indonesia. She lives with her parents and is an only child. She likes running and singing! She lives in a hillside community where most adults work as subsistence farmers and earn the equivalent of £45 per month. 

This is Loani! She is 12 and likes playing with friends and reading. She lives with her parents and there are 5 children in the family. Her home is on the plains of Honduras. Most adults here work in factories and earn the equivalent of £100 per month.  

Compassion works with children in a lot of different countries. Some people feel called to sponsor a child in a certain country, some choose a child whose age matches that of their own child to make it a family sponsorship, others, like me, choose the child that they are called towards. 

It is a big responsibility and not one that I took lightly at all. A child can stay in the Compassion programme until they are 18 or 22 depending on when they graduate and how it works in their country so this is a long term commitment. As well as the sponsorship of £21 per month for each child there is also the opportunity to send money via Compassion to your child. You can give individual gifts for the child for their birthday and there is also an option to give a family gift. Between the financial side and the letter writing this is a very real commitment. There is a child who will be told that you are their sponsor. It is amazing how fast I fell in love with my girls. There was an immediate connection there! 

I look forward to sharing more about my girls! 



Saturday, 1 June 2013

Baby Sparrow!

It is a really fuzzy photograph I know but it is the first and only one that I have managed to take of one of the darling baby sparrows in the garden! 

It is a good thing that they are so cute as they have been eating my seedlings and pecking out the seeds that haven't even had chance to sprout! Oh and all the birds seem to love the garden string that I have used on my raised beds to mark out the squares. They are constantly playing with it. I fully expect to look out one day and to see one of them skipping with it!