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30.10.10

WWC - Turn Off the Computer

I can't tell you how many times a week I complain that I have so little time to do anything!  At the same time I can tell you how many hours a week I spend on the computer.  Everything I do seems to revolve around the computer, I can't imagine not turning it on for a day.   I tacked the whole FaceBook Addiction thing a while ago but still there are so many other things I need to do that involve this little box sitting on my lap right now.  I have noticed too that the little details that I used to manage in our marriage have slipped away.  Neither Eric or I take time to set the table beautifully for a romantic dinner.  I don't make his favourite desert much and I know there are loads of other little details that I simply don't get around to any more.

May I say, that if your husband comes home from work and is greeted by the back of your head, as you are busy on the computer - he is not pleased. There is not a man alive that wouldn't love to come home to a clean house, the smell of food cooking and a happy wife to give him a big sloppy kiss.  When Eric worked away from home my whole day revolved around his arrival home in the evening.  Kids were bathed, the house was clean and dinner was ready.  On a really good day I even managed to have a shower and get dressed nicely.   Of course I had bad days too when I got it all wrong, but on the whole I aimed for the good day plan.  A man LOVE's to be the king of his castle and I can assure you that if he is greeted by you on the computer he is not pleased.

I would like to take the last Wonderful Wife Challenge, of starting with the small things, one step further.   Let's have a computer budget so that the rest of our time is computer free.  I have taken a realistic look at what I HAVE to do on the computer each week, then I have added a little extra for things I want to do - like writing this blog.  I have set a budget to the numbers of hours I will spend on the computer so that the computer doesn't control my life!  Some days I may not even turn it on.  It is too tempting just to quickly check emails or FaceBook if it's left on, so I will get my work done and then TURN IT OFF!  It's a trap and if you are not careful you won't even realise that you have fallen into it.  How many hours a week do you spend on the computer?  Have a careful tally up and be honest with yourself. 
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28.10.10

What Do D7 Band And Bob Dylan Have In Common?

I was walking in town yesterday and spotted D7 Band's King's Square CD in the CD shop, so I did what anybody would do at such an exciting discovery -  I took a photo!  I got home and Eric put it on his blog right away.  Check out Eric's blog for the answer to the question... What Do D7 Band And Bob Dylan Have In Common?
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26.10.10

Out Live Your Life

If you don't want to be challenged to the core and moved to action, DON'T read this book.  Rather go to Argos to pick up a catalogue and plan your Christmas shopping.  Seriously!  Even a person with the hardest heart imaginable will be moved to tears within minutes of reading  'Out Live Your Life'.  The first two and a half pages, before chapter one even begins, gave me goosebumps! The first chapter caused me to start the Human Trafficking section of my blog because I had no excuse not to. My selfishness has been challenged to the core and my excuses have been obliterated.  I don't know when last a read a book that has impacted me this much and so have decided not to tell you too much more about it, so that you will get a copy for yourself. 

Thank you very much Thomas Nelson, for providing me with this book to review.
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25.10.10

Princess Jordan

My lovely 15 year old daughter got right on the case the second I Blogged about Human Trafficking!  She created this gorgeous picture for her FaceBook page and challenged all her friends to do the same.  It's amazing what can be done if people pull together - we really can make a difference one small step at a time.  Have you done something creative too to support this cause?  Let us know about it in the comment box below.
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23.10.10

Saturday Morning - What If?

It's Saturday morning and I am at my computer in my pyjamas, quite tired as I only got to bed around 2am, thinking that I really should write a blog post.  I have loads of future posts planned but none of them feel quite right for this morning.  Saturday is our family day, it is the one day a week where we just hang out together as a family.  No computers allowed so I usually post my Saturday blog post in advance or simply don't have one.  Today is slightly different because I need to let Eric have a lie in as he is not well at the moment, so I thought I would steal a moment to chat to you.

OK I will come right out with it - something has been troubling me lately!  I am becoming very burdened with the state of families on the UK and the general state of the world.  Yes I know sounds silly.  Usually I ignore those feelings, I dismiss them instantly because they are too big and there is nothing I can do about it. I am doing the best I can with what God has given me to do and already that is taking up all of my time. This past week, however, I have allowed myself to feel a little more that I usually do. I have allowed myself to fantasise about "what if?".  What if I can do more, what if I can make a national or global difference in this world? Yesterday I read about 400 young girls that were rescued from the sex trade. What shocked me most were their ages - age two to age fifteen! Come on there has to be something I can do about that - that is too sad for words.  Amy is nearly two years old, I can't imagine her being in that position.  

I don't usually allow these feelings into my heart because I feel so helpless, I block them out, I ignore them, I turn a blind eye.  My aim has always been to build my life to a level of financial stability and influence so that I can THEN do something about it!  BUT... I allowed the thought of this two year old into my heart and now it has messed me up completely.  I can't wait until 'then' any more, I have to start doing something about it now.  God doesn't take people of wealth & influence and 'then' use them, he takes people that are available and uses them, providing whatever is needed along the way.  My excuses are disabled now, I know the truth and it's time to get on with fighting injustice.  Will you join me?

Small steps:
  1. I am going to stop waiting and stop saying I can't and I am going to see what I CAN do.
  2. I am going to see how many of A21's ways to help I can achieve.
  3. I am going to rewrite my finance book, Money Does Matter, and pitch it in a way that we have a responsibility to sort our finances out so we can make a difference in this world and then donate a percentage to the A21 campaign.
  4. I am going to trust God and pray.
  5. I am going to look at Amy every day and thank God for her precious life and intentionally remind myself that there are other little ones just like her out there suffering and I can do something about it.
  6. I am going to believe that my small steps along with your small steps can make a global difference to the world wide problem of human trafficking!
  7. As a Church we are going to direct our entire focus for 2011 on families.  Building the nation by building our families.
Will you join me?  Don't brush it off like I did, too many of us do that which is why the world is in the state it is in today.  If human trafficking is not something on your heart what is on your heart?  What injustice are you standing up for?  

To partner with me in these small steps and to share in the journey that lies ahead, add the image above to your blog and link it to the new Causes page here http://kingsdaughters21.blogspot.com/p/causes.html  This will be a work in progress and your feedback and ideas are very welcome, I can't do this alone but perhaps you and I together can!
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20.10.10

Hope's Journey - Choose Your Friends

This is another sort of list really but it might be a bit weird if someone ever found it written down so perhaps memorise it! I have learned to understand that there are different types of people in my life; those that drain me and those that fill me, people who bring something to my life and people that take something from me and also people who divide or multiply in my life. I understand that I can't always avoid people that drain me, my job is to love everyone and my desire is to love everyone just as Jesus does. Equally I understand that life is seasonal and friends that bring something during this season might need to take things from me in the next season. Those are balanced friendships which are give and take. But there are other people that can be very draining ALL the time and intentionally take ALL the time. Over the years I have learned to limit my time with draining people and I have also learned to seek out people that fill me. Eric and I have one friend in particular that we have known for five years now and he is totally is AMAZING! No matter what is happening in his life or ours he manages to fill us EVERY time we see him. He is so very positive and so just totally amazing. If ever we are having one of 'those days' we pop over to see him and leave full! Even when we go to his home to give we still end up leaving full. I only hope we are not on his draining people list ha ha! We have been through all sorts of good and bad times together but no matter what he has never drained us only ever filled us.
Even when he has gone through hard times and we had to support him we still never got drained. Friends like this are rare gems, if you have one or two of them hold on to them.

Proverbs 13:20
He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

This verse says it all – if you choose wise friends you will become wise but if you choose foolish friends you will be destroyed! You can’t get any simpler than that can you? 

Cut Off Negative People

If you spend lots of time around negative people the chances are you will become negative too and quite possibly start to lead a negative life. Depression often stems from some sort of negativity and if you are struggling with depression at the moment please carefully observe the people that you are doing life with. You might find one or two people who are constantly negative and who suck the life out of you. Cut them off! Seriously don’t feel bad, you may be depressed because of them and there is only one way to find out if this is your root cause.

We had a couple in our congregation who were struggling with all sorts of things. Once we had got to know them and their friends a little better we quickly noticed the common denominator between them all. They were all unhealthy, negative, sensationalist people. We really loved this family so poured my heart and soul into loving them and trying to help them find their way to freedom and health. One of the first things we recommended, as you can probably guess, was to cut certain people out of their life. This was a huge thing to suggest as most of their friends had been in their life for fifteen to twenty years. However we still strongly urged that they drastically limited their time with them but preferably cut them off completely, even if only for a season so they could get strong as a family. For a short season of about six months they planted themselves firmly in our Church, they got involved in everything which left very little time for their unhealthy friends. The growth was fantastic and Eric and I were really pleased with how far they had come in such a short space of time. Even their children showed immense growth and health. 

Sadly they had one other thing that they struggled to let go of and that was sensationalism. It was all about the latest move of God and the latest signs and wonders and they quickly got bored with good old fashioned hard work in Church. Sensationalism was also the thread that kept them connected to their circle of negative friends. Much damaged was caused through this family bringing many unhealthy Christians into our Church and many new believers in the faith were damaged. There is a vast difference between a sinner involved in sin and a Christian choosing to stay in sin. We expect sinners to sin, they don’t know any better but we expect Christians to move forward and grow and when they choose not to the whole apple cart is upset. After nearly two years of trying to win this family to us and begging them to let go of their unhealthy influences we lost them. I am one hundred percent confident that if they had cut their unhealthy friends out of their life for a season and grew strong in the things of God they would be flourishing today and perhaps even their unhealthy friends would have seen such a change in them that they would have grown healthy too.


Ask your friends

Friends and family often see things that you might miss. If you already have a circle of friend that you can trust then ask them about what they think may be your root cause of depression. You might be surprised at what they say and you might find it really helpful. It is worth having a great circle of friends as you will find that they will be essential in your reaching your full potential. 

I will stop here but chapter 8 does continue, for full details about this book please go here.    
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19.10.10

Better the Devil You Know

Over the past three weeks we have been running a series at Church called The Naked Preacher.  The heart behind this series was that the leaders of D7 Church would be open and honest about  all sorts of things with the congregation.  Eric did two Q&A sessions where he answered all sorts of questions that people had sent in and I wrapped it up this Sunday with a messaged called Better the Devil You Know.  This message was based on my testimony from my recently released book, Hope's Journey.  I went into my struggle with depression & suicide and then took a look at the devil's strategy in our life.  I wrapped it up with my own victory story and the beautiful, awesome, incredible plan that God has for our life.  If you would like to have a listen you can do so here.    
 
Have a beautiful week.

Love
Angela
xxx
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16.10.10

Hopes Journey - Tell Someone

Eric is a wonderful support to me and I am thankful that I have him to remember what I need to stay full.  When I am unable to know what I need, He will know. Does this make sense? I have told him all the things that I do that fill me and also the things that drain me. I have shared my observations of who I am and who I am not. Many times when I am down he will ask what I need and usually I say I don't know because I genuinely don't know. In these times Eric knows what I need, he knows to take me for a walk even if I don't want to go for a walk as this always helps. He knows to encourage me to play my piano, or guitar, or work on a song. He knows that I might need some time alone, without the children. He knows that I might need him to tidy up the house a bit so I can find my strength to carry on. He knows all these little things because I have made a point of telling him what I need so that when I don't have to strength to figure out what I need he can help me. To tap into this is very easy too, when he asks what I need or what I want to do today I just say;

“Darling, I really don’t know what I want right now and don’t want to have to make a decision if that’s OK.”

This simple phrase activates my wonderful husband’s understanding of where I am at. Right away he knows that I really don’t know what is best for me so he needs to figure it out as well as make the decision as to what to do next. It’s so wonderful to be able to lean on him like that and to feel the blessing of being the weaker vessel. I love his strength in my weak times, I wish every woman alive could know and understand this simple principle. Too many women are trying so hard to be tough and independent without realising that they are only robbing themselves as well as those in their life that want to love them.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.

I Actually Do Understand

Sometimes we forget that other people have struggles too and might just understand what we are going through. When I was facing my final battle with suicide that I mentioned at the beginning of this book I felt totally alone. In my mind it seemed impossible that anyone would ever understand what I was wrestling with and so therefore there was no way at all that I could tell anyone about it. Most of all I am a leader, this immediately made the journey even more lonely as you have to be so careful who you share your struggles when you are leading. I was taught that a leader only shares the victories and only tells people about their own struggles once they have the answers. No one wants to hear about a leader struggling, it makes them look weak. This is what I have learned and tried to live by but I am seeing more and more that this isn’t always the case.  I think as leaders we need to have the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to judge the situation and each case individually.

James 5:16
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

I will stop here but chapter 7 does continue, for full details about this book please go here.    
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13.10.10

WWC - Small Things

Wonderful Wife Challenge - Start with the Small Things

I love the comment Cheryn posted and this is the perfect place to start the Wonderful Wife Challenge.  In fact I have decided to honour her in this post as she is the most wonderful wife that I know.  This is what Cheryn said; "I think we should start with the small challenges, the things we think don't make a difference but actually make all the difference. Just saying thank you and showing appreciation for stuff we often overlook and take for granted (like my daily lifts to and from the train station), make his favourite dinner/dessert.  Put a little card with some nice words in it under his pillow." 

Cheryn has definitely hit the nail on the head, let's start with the small things.  Most importantly let's keep it up and not forget to always keep the small lovely details in our marriage, it's so easy not to bother. I challenge you this week to come up with lovely small things that you can do, let me know what you did and how it went :)
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12.10.10

Book Reviewer Wanted


Every little girl wants to know that their daddy thinks they are beautiful! As we grow older that doesn’t change, our heart and souls still longs to hear the words, “You are beautiful”.  But what if your daddy didn't call you beautiful?  What if he hurt you or touched you in places that he shouldn't?  How can you feel beautiful or believe that your Father in heaven loves you when you have no idea what that means?  Secure on the Rock is an emotional roller coaster ride through my experiences with my earthly daddy and the security I finally found in the heart of my heavenly daddy.  

This is the second book in the three part series called Loving Life which I am working on.  I have completed the first draft and would like to invite you to have a proof read and to write a review too.  If you are interested please leave your email address in the comments box below and I will send you a copy to proof read. You can see the table of contents here.
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9.10.10

Wonderful Wife Challenge

My heart still flutters when I hear his voice, my knees still feel week when I see him in a photo like the one here!  After six years of marriage I am still totally and utterly in love with my wonderful husband, Eric.  We have a wonderful marriage but it has taken work.  If we are not intentionally moving forward as a couple we are moving backwards.  Life is always moving in one direction or the other, it never stands still.  So in order to keep my marriage moving forward and so as not to become familiar with my wonderful husband I have decided to challenge you to join me in becoming a wonderful wife!  Over the next while I am going to post some challenges for us that will help us intentionally be even more amazing wives.  Before I begin though I would like to hear your suggestions for challenges. What area would like to intentionally work on in your marriage?
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6.10.10

Hope's Journey - Make Lists

Yippee let's make a list - um... I guess not very exciting really! It's not that the list making is exciting, it is what the list can do for you when you feel down that is great. I have two lists; things that fill me and things that drain me. Every time I have found something that either fills me or drains me I write it on my list. This way when I am feeling drained and can remind myself of what fills me and force myself to do it. The list that drains me is a great tool too as it reminds me of what not to do too much of. Lists have really helped me over the years. I even have a list of who I am and who I am not. This has helped me so much too. On one occasion I was in an interview for a job I thought I would really like. I thought this job was a project manager role but half way through the interview I realised it was a personal assistant role. As soon as I realised this I said to the interviewer;

"I am sorry; I don't want to waste your time this job is not for me!"

It was such a liberating experience; I have never turned down a job in an interview before. The reason I was able to do that is because on my list one of the things it said was - I am NOT a personal assistant! I have done enough years of being an administrator and a personal assistant and moved into management roles to know that I really don't want to go back to being a PA.

On my list of things that fill me is playing my piano or learning to play the guitar, longs walks, long baths, writing songs, singing to God on top of my voice all alone in the living room, sitting on a bench in the garden when the sun is really hot, listening to live jazz or lighting candles and listening to jazz in my bedroom, walking on the beach, watching my babies sleep, staying in bed on Saturday morning and chatting to Eric about everything under the sun, etc. I am sure you get the picture. One of the verses I love in the Bible is in Isaiah.

Isaiah 61:3
To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

Pleasures Forevermore

The last thing I feel like doing when I am down is praise but it WORKS! Every time I start to praise, this usually this means singing songs to get started, the spirit of heaviness goes. It could be a spiritual thing or it could be the fact that your mind is taken off the problem and is set on God. Either way I really do find that this is one of the biggest keys to my sanity! Praise takes me into God’s presence and that is the one place where I find peace, love, hope and joy.

Psalm 16:11
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Isn’t that such a beautiful verse? Not only does He promise to show me that path of life and offer me fullness of joy when I come into His presence but he offers me pleasures forevermore. Wow, yes please!  Our joy and pleasure is important to God so I feel quite comfortable with making a list of things that bring me pleasure. God’s will is not for me to be suffering with depression but it is that I enjoy life to the fullest. Depression is definitely the plan of Satan to rob me of my joy and steal my pleasures from me. One of the ways he can steal these pleasures is by blinding me to the fact that they even exist! 

New Things


I will stop here but chapter 6 does continue, for full details about this book please go here.   

PS.  Have you noticed that my book's covers have been designed, have a look here they are really cool!
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3.10.10

Hope's Journey - Make Hope

This is a very simple suggestion but works wonders. In my own life and in other people's life I have observed that people struggling with depression often have nothing to look forward to. I often get down when all can see ahead of me is the mundane day to day routine of my life. Even though I love my life I can still get depressed by the routine of it all. Waking up in the morning, only to face yet another dirty nappy or a mountain of dishes that somehow seem to pile up - no matter how many times a day I stand at the sink washing up - somehow doesn't always excite me. Breakfast, lunch, supper - as usual! Then there’s people needing urgent assistance with something or other yet again. It's not that I don't care it's just that sometimes my heart does grow weary and cold.  The way I keep fresh and avoid getting really depressed is I make hope :) I put something in my near future that I will love doing, something that creates excitement and expectation. At least once a year it’s a holiday and then also occasionally a weekend away. Other times it's a visit with a friend I haven't seen in ages or perhaps even just a day out with my lovely daughters. This really helps keep my life more interesting. 

Planning

When suffering with depression, the last thing you have the energy for is planning something.  I have devised a plan to beat this.  What I have done is found a lovely place that we always go to for a rest.  Every year it's the same place and we all know that its purpose is for a good rest and we love it!  No need to scout for a new location, no need to spend hours trawling through spots on the Internet.  Outlook has the booking lady's email address and all I have to do is send one email and ask if the date is available and then it’s all done. No fuss and no hours or research and planning. Within minutes a nice restful holiday is booked and I can sit back and start thinking about how much fun it is going be so that the excitement and expectation can start building up! I do love exploring new places and when I am in a good place I might research somewhere new just for fun or something new to do, but if I am run down (which hopefully I can avoid now after reading these depression solutions in my book ha ha) I go somewhere or do something that doesn't take much energy or planning. Keeping something fun in the not too distant future always helps me.

It is essential to understand what makes you tick! Perhaps booking a hairdresser appointment on a regular basis gives you hope or having a manicure once a month. Explore new things to find out more about yourself, try an art class or join a kickboxing club. I don’t know you but you do and so do people close to you. If you really aren’t sure what to do ask your friends and family what they think – you might be surprised about what they suggest or even how they perceive you.

Date Night

Eric and I have weekly date night. No matter how hectic our weeks are we always have this night off to hope for. Usually it’s just a night at the cinema where we can switch off and escape into a fantasy world or a meal out where we can chat and have fun together. Other nights are nights at home where we sit by the fireplace and play scrabble. Our date nights are very simple and inexpensive but they are one of the things that we look forward to every week. I can’t tell you how much this has helped us through some very rough patches and also how this has helped us keep our marriage balanced. 

I will stop here but chapter 5 does continue, for full details about this book please go here.  
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1.10.10

Lorah's Fancy Dress Party

Recently we celebrated Lorah's birthday party. I have shared the morning activities with you but have just come across the photos of the evening's celebrations - the fancy dress party!  So here are some snaps for you to have a chuckle at.  Have a great weekend.  xxx

I went as Lavender
Daniel & Amy went as Lions... ROAR
Max, Dave & Ewen were Lumberjacks
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Hope's Journey




















"There was a time when all I wanted was to die but now that I have tasted life I really don’t want to die until I have truly lived!" Hope's Journey is a heart wrenching account of Angela's struggle with depression and suicide.  

"This book is helpful for people that are going through tough times as well for those who are trying to support them. It gives valuable insight into the feelings experienced in the midst of the situations as well as the tools Angela used to find her way through them. The tools are useful for anyone trying to find hope in dark situations, whatever they may be, and are helpful for leading a stronger, more balanced life." Ali Kirkwood 

Available at: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Kindle
StudyGuide: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | More Info 

Contents:
Introduction
Suicide
Eat, Sleep & Exercise
Have a Checkup
First Things First
Make Hope
Make List
Tell Someone
Choose Your Friends
Understand Hormones
Highs and Lows
Rest
Make up Your Mind
Spiritual Matters
Learn to Laugh
Cry Out To God
Helping Someone
Warning Signs
Find Your Purpose
Hope

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