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  1. Maurice in StarbucksBaby bear and I have developed a mutually agreeable arrangement for midday fun known as "The Starbucks agreement". She lets me enjoy a break in Starbucks, so long as I choose a window seat and order her fruit toast. With these two requirements met she can happily entertain herself people watching out of the window lent over the back of my armchair whilst munching her fruit toast; whilst I can catch my breath and enjoy a hot chocolate and some spiced pumpkin loaf. We are not quite at the stage where I can read my Bible, as I need to ensure she doesn't nose dive off the back or smash Maurice the monkey into the window so hard it disturbs others (other than poor Maurice who is quite used to having his face smooshed!) but she enjoys the time and finds it fun, I enjoy the time and find it relaxing. I even feel like I have regained a bit of 'normal life' - if that exists! Win win!

  2. Arabella's selection

    This week I had the pleasure of handing over a quilt I started over a year ago at the start of February 2013. I had not long been back from the Far East trip with my hubby, but he was away again in Germany and I was sat at my sewing machine working on a large Dragonfly quilt for a double bed. Whilst I sew I’m usually listening to a podcast, which is either Bethel Church’s Sermon of the week or Friday night comedy from BBC Radio 4. At that particular moment I was listening to a really great preach from Bill Johnson all about standing with one another as we petition God for things [Philippines 4:6 [ESV] "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."], he encouraged the congregation to tell people that they were standing with, that they were them in situations and to do things to demonstrate this. I immediately thought of some of our dearest friends who were trying to conceive at the time. Since the previous September I had had an alarm on my mobile phone set for 12noon every day – which was a reminder for me to pray for them and this situation. I felt really encouraged to stand firm with them in their situation and at that moment I felt God say “start the quilt for their baby, in faith that she will come”!

    Straight away I put aside the dragonflies and went to my stash of material to search for ‘neutral baby’ material. The collection started neutral because despite the fact I had heard “she” I wanted to be safe, so I picked little lambs on green background, blue grid, blue spots – if anything it was leaning more male… then all of a sudden I caved and went super girlie. For various reasons we all believed this baby, when it came, would be a girl. So I went with it, I felt spurred on to make a quilt for the little girl we all felt God had promised.

    I didn’t make it all and finish it back then in February 2012. I made the whole quilt top, then folded it up and put it to one side in order to finish the commissions already waiting – like the dragonfly quilt that was a 60th birthday present! But I didn’t stop praying for that baby, every day at midday at the very least. It was not quite two months later that I found out that we were expecting ourselves. Such exciting news, but only moments after reading “positive” on the test my heart was breaking again for my friend and her situation. It was another six months or so after that before this quilt’s recipient began to be formed!

    Closer view

    As soon as my little one started sleeping through and having good lengthy morning naps I took this quilt back out to make it into the finished quilt, I found some fabulous map material for the back which nicely complimented the front as well as the nursery – although I didn’t know that at the time! The most time consuming part to finish was of course the hand binding and now morning nap time is an hour tops – it was a good 8 sittings at least! So this quilt is filled with more love and prayers than any other I think!

    The beautiful baby arrived in May this year and yes, she is a girl! Despite the huge warning I had time wise, I still did not get the quilt finished before she arrived – but she seemed very happy with it when she finally received it this week!

  3. Baby Monitor

    Well, it's over a year since I last wrote on the blog and life has changed quite drastically since our bundle of joy arrived safely in December!

    It takes time to develop pattern and routine with a little one and it's taking time to figure out my own routine around her too. When and how do I get my "quiet time"? Can it even exist now I'm a Mum?? Many people have suggested ways of finding time to spend with God around life as "Mummy" but non have really worked for me. Yes I can have a worship CD on in the background - but I never really hear it and engage. I could listen to talks as I take her out in the pram, but personally I cannot do that. If I'm taking baby bear out in the pram I am engaging with her and getting her to engage with the world around her, not plugging in my headphones and ignoring her! One of the best ways of engaging with things for me has always been listening to a podcast sermon as I sew. If I listen to a podcast and do nothing else my attention wanders - if I sew that takes up enough focus to stop my mind wandering, but I do it on autopilot enough to be able to fully listen to the sermon… Slowly but surely we are getting there and I am now getting time with my sewing machine again. It looks a bit different - there is a baby monitor by my side and time slots are limited to a maximum stay of one hour, but it's a start!

    The hope is that I will get back into the rhythm of writing on here and in doing so process and figure out life as Mummy...