I am blessed!

I have been on a spiritual mission lately. I have felt this strong pull towards rekindling and nurturing my spiritual connection with God and feel like I’ve been on my own inward mission lately. I have felt somewhat detached from reality and the busyness of life because I have all these thoughts going on in my head and desires puling at my heart. Despite this, it has been an incredible, enlightening experience and the best thing is: its only just begun!

A few things I have discovered so far (perhaps I always new these things in theory but had never truly and deeply experienced them for myself in practice):

  • Nurturing the spirit requires that you fellowship with others, as well as spend quiet time in your own faithfulness. I remember my mom telling me this on a few occasions – referring to the importance of going to church, but I had always thought it wasn’t necessary and that I could do this on my own. Well, the reality has finally set in and I realise the importance of coming to God with a group of like-minded people, even if it is only once a week, and singing praises and listening to a prepared message about God’s Word. I have definitely felt a sense of spiritual fulfilment which has been lacking in my life for a while. What’s more is that Harrison is absolutely loving Sunday School and it is wonderful to see how he is beginning his own spiritual awakening and path (I’ll come back to this further down the page).
  • Reading the Bible is also key to nurturing one’s relationship with God, but I have realised that to truly understand what you are reading and then be able to apply it to your own life and to “feel” God speaking to you, it has to be approached in prayer. I think a Bible study tool will also help to interpret the many wonderful messages God has in His word for me to live a full and blessed life. I am only just beginning this part of my spiritual journey and so will need to report back on further nuggets of realisation regarding this, but I am excited for it!
  • God does speak to you, its just not always a “tangible” message. I think I have always just assumed that if God speaks to you, you will “feel” or “hear” it, whether as a stirring in your spirit or a voice in your head. I have come to realise in the infancy of this journey that this is not necessarily so and that God is always near, guiding me and speaking to me in one way or another. I have realised too, that he has ALWAYS BEEN near, if I look back and reflect on my life. It reminds me of the story of the footprints in the sand.
  • There are so many amazing resources that assist in drawing one closer to God and have had such an impact on me in such a short space of time. I believe God guided me to some of these while I was looking for answers on how to better deal with and discipline Harrison, particularly in a Christian-focused manner. Godcenteredmom.com; Inspiredtoaction.com; the M.O.B Society and others have all been amazing and through the advice offered together with faithful prayer, my relationship with Harrison has improved and my feeling and love for him has literally revolutionised! The reason I say this (and this brings me to tears because it is a difficult thing to admit but one that I (I hope?) am perhaps not the only person to ever do so?) is because up until now (and Harrison is now 26 months old) I have never truthfully looked at him and felt an overwhelming love that so many mothers speak about. I’ve never known what that really feels like and when moms say “they wouldn’t change having children for the world” – I have never truthfully agreed with that. Its been hard and I have questioned whether having a child was truly meant to be my destiny BUT in just a space of a week and I believe with God’s grace, I just can’t get enough of him (Harrison). I love looking at his beautiful face and listening to his happy chatter and soaking up his joyful innocence. He is a gift from God and I just love him to pieces! This is also why there is another very important reason to teach and guide Harrison in the way of Christ. He is God’s gift to us and we (Andrew and I) made a commitment to God when we dedicated Harrison to the Lord, that we would raise him as a child of God. That is a special responsibility that we as parents have been granted. Not only that, but in the world we live in today, God is really the only anchor we have to depend on – He is steadfast and true! Harrison needs to know that if all else fails him in life, God will not.

I am sure that I am going to make many more discoveries of truth and have many more “epiphonies” along the way, but for now I can say that I AM BLESSED. In so many ways. I have an amazing husband whom I perhaps don’t always appreciate or at least show my appreciation for. I am sure this will be another area in my life where God (and I pray) will show His mercy and grace and bring us ever closer to one another to grow our relationship and love. I have a beautiful son whose soul is just so kind and loving and happy. I have wonderful parents who themselves made a commitment to God to raise me in a Godly manner and which I am only now realising how important it is and indeed what a blessing it is.

So that’s it (for now). I really had it on my heart to share this with whoever may read it. I’m sure there will be more as I learn and grow in Christ.



Normality returns?

So, Andrew surprised Harrison and I on Saturday when he arrived home (flowers in hand) a day early from his fishing trip. It was wonderful to have him back and Harrison’s excited reception of him was enough to absolutely melt your heart! We ended up sharing Valentines Day with my folks who came round for a fresh fish supper, cooked by the fisherman aka Captain Cook (apparently) himself! It was delicious dorado and perfectly prepared – thanks my love!
So it would seem that normality had returned to the Cook household. We were even able to begin my New Years resolution for 2015 which was to start going to church and taking Harrison to Sunday School – which he appears to completely enjoy.
However the week has not turned out to be completely back to normal – as is to be expected with young children. Today Harrison woke up with “pink eye” which, knowing it is rather contagious, especially among toddlers at school who share all their toys and otherwise, I couldn’t take him to school. This meant a trip to the doctor and taking the day off work to be at home with him. Not the ideal situation when work is piling up, but blessed to spend some quality time with my little squirido.
The other thing that happened this week which is pretty much out of the norm, is the surreal experience of hearing my very own niece, Ashlinn Gray, being interviewed on Wackhead Simpson’s Breakfast Express on 947 and hearing her very first debut song, Battleships, being played to 1.6 million people who tune into the show daily! So, so proud of what she has achieved – watch this space, Ashlinn Gray is going going places!
Other than that, I guess my week has been normal in every other regard. Looking forward to a dinner with friends tomorrow night and a wedding this weekend 🙂

Hello world!

I have decided to start my own blog, in order to keep a record of and share my memories. I think it will also give a different sort of purpose to life. I aim to provide shared memories, anecdotes, hints and tips I’ve learnt from in my own experiences of life and maybe sometimes just an interesting read, an opinion or even possibly, inspiration!

Andrew (my husband) is currently away fishing in Cape Vidal. He was invited to accompany a friend on a Marlin fishing competition. He’s been gone for a week and is due back tomorrow, but unfortunately the marlin were not biting for them this time. They did catch a couple of other fish, so looking forward to some fresh fish dinners next week. Yum!

Harrison (my son) is at his Nana and Granddad’s house. He stayed over there last night as I had a function on and with Andrew not being here, he needed babysitting. As a result, I am relaxing and enjoying a Saturday morning to myself and making some use of my time in the midst of loadshedding to start this blog. This, after a quick shopping spree to spoil myself  – it is Valentine’s Day after all and I am without a husband…

I obviously still need to get the hang of all this as far as sprucing up my page is concerned and uploading photos, but I’m looking forward to this new little digital venture!

I bought a new book today – Ken Follett, Edge of Eternity, the last of a trilogy of books starting with the events of WWI and ending in the 1960s (I think). I’ve been so looking forward to reading it but seem never to get the time. Ken Follett is one of my favourite authors and this trilogy series is so brilliantly written. Its a historical novel, but he has woven real-life characters and events into his fictional story and used other characters to represent actual events of the time as well. Absolutely brilliant and as a history teacher myself, I fully appreciate it and find that I’ve learnt so much more about these historical events while enjoying a great novel! In an effort to inspire my students to read, I’ve given them a book review assignment where they have to read any book that has a link to history and then review it. I’m looking forward to their reviews, both of the books and the actual assignment.

Anyway, while I’ve got the time, let me tuck into the beginning of this book 🙂

Cheers to my first post!