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Life, My faith in God

Lent – Some Thoughts And What I Am Doing This Year

Hey Lovelies happy Friday.  Weather isn’t too great today but it’s still Friday, yay!  I’m really ready for spring now.

What does lent mean to you?  Is it something you participate in and if you do why?  I’m going to talk a little bit about my thoughts on it and what I am doing this year.

Traditionally lent started within the catholic and protestant faiths as a time of moderation and self denial.  Some believing it to be a way to receive Gods blessings and grace and yet it tells us in the bible that grace is “the gift of righteousness” (Romans 5:17).  In other words it cannot be earned so doing it for that reason is unnecessary and against everything that I believe God to be, loving, kind and patient, which is why it has never been something I have felt a need to do.

There are those who use lent to ‘give up’ certain comforts as a way of meditating on all that Jesus has done for us which is a beautiful thing to do as long as it’s not out of any misguided sense of obligation but rather a heartfelt desire to be closer to Him, which can obviously be part of our lifestyle everyday not just lent.

A lot of people that I know don’t have any particular religious views and so do it as a tradition and an opportunity to give up things that they either don’t want to do anymore or feel they indulge in too much i.e smoking, chocolate, drinking etc which is never a bad thing, especially if it kick starts them to make a permanent change for the better.

That being said I have decided to do something this year which is a combination of what I have already mentioned.  I have decided to give up all kinds of refined sugar (could you tell from the picture?).  Talk about going from not observing lent to this – it’s huge!  Let me explain how I have come to this decision and why.

I have touched on food and image very lightly in previous posts, one being Growing Into Our Skin.  Food and body image has been a massive deal for me all my life, as for a lot of people.  I have tried every single diet, most kinds of exercise, just not eating, and everything in between.  My weight has gone up and down and with it my emotions.

There has been so much talk about how bad sugar is for us and I have an incredibly sweet tooth.  It tends to rule my mind and emotions as I get strong cravings, leading to poor food choices and then mood swings and dips.  So I have decided that giving up sugar could be just what I need.  I have done some research and like anything there are some varying ideas about what sugar free means and the best way to do it.  I’m going to be learning as I go, but my starting point is cutting out the obvious sugary things to start, but also looking into what contains sugar (which is far far more than you would think, it’s quite scary really).

The reason I decided to do it for lent was partly a coincidence as I was thinking about it seriously at the beginning of the week and thought it would be the perfect opportunity, but so much more than that it has to do with my faith and that God wants us to be free and enjoy life to it’s fullest as well as looking after our bodies (which I believe is so that we can get the most out of our life).  I have prayed so many times for help with my eating habits but when it comes to wanting something that isn’t very good for me I just put my fingers in my ears and say “lalalala” like when I was a child and I didn’t want to listen to my Mum, you did that too right?.  (That is metaphoric by the way, I don’t actually stand in the middle of the kitchen with my fingers in my ears!)

So heres the plan

  • Take each day as it comes
  • Learn as I go
  • Do my best
  • Not to get down on myself if I mess up
  • Do it with Gods help and grace
  • Do it for the right reasons

When I say do it for the right reasons I mean I’m doing it for the greater good not just image which is what has always driven me before.  The slimmer I was the better I felt about myself and the more confident I felt, but I have come to a point where I just want freedom, to eat well without counting calories constantly or feeling guilty about everything I eat.  I have always been an all or nothing girl, eating everything that I want or denying myself and not eating what I want with no balance, it’s so exhausting and we weren’t designed to live with all that pressure.  I want to be healthy in the real sense of the word, to have more energy and be more balanced.

This is going to be a marathon and not a sprint, even though I’ve chosen to do it for lent I am so hoping that this will be the beginning of a permanent change.  I’m planning on writing a bit of a journal to see the changes that occur and what really works for me.  Everybody’s body is different so we have to find the right balance for ourselves.

I will keep you posted along the way which will also be helpful.  If you have tried sugar free eating I would love to hear how you have found it and what benefits you reaped.  Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed this post.

Wishing you a fabulous weekend

 

Much love

Kate xxx

 

 

 

General, Life, My faith in God

Rainbows

Hello lovelies welcome to the weekend – yay!

Its always lovely to get to the weekend, but some weeks it’s so needed.  My week has been an interesting one and honestly, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday felt like a real slog.  There were a couple things that were getting me down and because I was on a low eb anyway, got to me even more.

If your new to the blog I have dealt with depression for a long time and have always been very open about it to try and help others.  If you would like to read my post on depression you can find it here

So, this was a bit of a ‘blip’ exacerbated by the things that were bothering me.  The first one being overwhelmed by the house and the amount of things that need doing.  The second was that we had promised the kids a holiday this year as we haven’t taken them abroad for a very long time, in fact I’m not even sure if Mr H and I ever have and realising that we just didn’t have the money to do it.

As with a lot of peoples pressures both of these were money related, something I’m quite sure most of you can understand.  When you are at home most of the time doing housework, cooking cleaning etc it’s hard to switch of from all those little (and not so little) jobs that need doing and it becomes very frustrating when you don’t have the money to do anything about it.  Thursday morning I started to feel more ‘on top’ of things.  One of the most frustrating things about depression is that you are not in control of how you feel, sure you can help yourself to a point by avoiding certain circumstances or spending time with people who lift you, but that is sometimes easier said than done.

Anyway because I had more space in my head by Thursday morning I could look at things with a more positive outlook.  Mr H and I had written a list of all the jobs that needed doing in each part of the house, including the outside.  I sat down with a coffee and a pen and started ticking the jobs that could be done with little to no money which worked out at about 2/3 which made me feel better straight away.

One of the biggest jobs was to clear my craft room.  I have been putting this off for a long time as I found it very overwhelming, not surprising when you look at the before pic!  Do you ever get in one of those moods when you are still in your pj’s and decide to crack on and get dressed later?  It was much much later that I got dressed.  I rolled up my sleeves, so to speak, and went for ‘operation tidy craft room’.  It was so therapeutic, I was chucking out all sorts of things like glass jars, ribbons that I have had for years and patterned papers that I didn’t even like.  I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to craft bits.  By the time I finished I was buzzing, it felt so good.

Before and after pictures.

IMG_5874IMG_5881

Apologies for the dreadful picture quality but you get the idea.  There’s much more Id like to do to make it more cosy, but I am currently sitting in the new tidy space writing this and loving it!  I have also done a fair few of the little jobs that I can and Mr H and myself are going to have a massive DIY weekend.

Now onto the second thing that was really bothering me, the lack of money to take the kids away.  If you know me or have been following for a while you will know that I am a christian and I very much believe in the power of prayer and that God is good and wants to give his kids good stuff.  I have been praying for at least 3 months for the finances to be able to go away as a family.  Like I said the first three days of the week were tough and by wednesday night I was really low, but by Thursday morning something had shifted.

While I was happily tidying, Mr H came up to speak to me about a telephone conversation he had just had.  Obviously I don’t want to divulge personal information, but through completely unforeseen circumstances we have ‘come into’ a bit of money, in fact just about enough money to take all 4 of us on a holiday this summer.  I have been so excited.  I know not everyone will believe that was God, but I am in no doubt what so ever that it was Him and I can’t thank Him enough!

The reason I chose the title rainbows is because they are Gods promise to us that He will never leave us, even when we don’t understand whats happening He is still faithful.  I took this picture a week or so ago and it was so apt for this week.  Needless to say I am in a much better frame of mind now than I was at the beginning of the week.  Now it’s time to decide where we want to go on holiday and book it.  Feel free to share some of your favourite holiday destinations.

I hope this has encouraged you in some way.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

 

Much love

 

Kate x

 

 

 

General, Life, My faith in God

Happy 1st Birthday

Hi everyone, yet another post in less than a week, what’s going on?  Well I had to post today as its a very special day for me at inkatesshoes.  Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday inkatesshoes, happy birthday to me!

As I said in my vlog last week, I can’t quite believe that its been a year already and I am so pleased that I have made it this far.  There have been several times when I have wanted to give up and people, including Mr H, have said “why are you putting yourself under so much pressure?” but for me it hasn’t felt like pressure so much, as wanting to do something well, to the best of my ability, to accomplish what I set out to do.  I have for the absolute majority loved it.

I’ve not naturally been someone who is particularly good at ‘sticking’ with things.  I get bored easily and want to move onto the next thing, hence why there are several ‘to be completed’ projects around the house.  It has taken me a long time to realise this out about myself, in fact its taken me a long time to work out a lot of things about myself, call me a late bloomer.  Does that resonate with you?  Stepping out of my comfort zone and pushing myself has been totally amazing.  If you have things in your heart that you would like to do, I so want to encourage you to go for it.

I just went back to the original post I did a year ago, which you can read here and two things struck me.

1.  My presentation has come a long way and I have learnt a lot about how to do certain things on a     blog, considering I didn’t ‘get’ blogs thats quite an achievement.

2.  I have managed to do what I wanted to do, which was to do this for myself and at the same time encourage you along the way.  So many people have said how reading the blog has helped them which has spurred me on no end.

As most of you know from reading my blog that I am a christian.  This whole thing came about because I felt God was nudging me to do something new.   I kept thinking about writing and that maybe a blog was the way forward, but because of my lack of knowledge and fear I kept pushing it aside.  I kept praying about it and asking God if it was Him to show me.  On one occasion I asked Him for confirmation that morning, not even 5 mins after I got a message from a friend.  He had overheard me mention about maybe doing a blog and said “I  would really like to help you get up and running up if you don’t already have someone”!  It was exactly what I needed.  Thank you so much Nik!

Now for those of you who don’t have faith in God that must all sound very strange and I can really understand that, but it is the most natural thing in the world for me to talk to Him and ask for guidance in everything I do, thats just what praying is.  Saying that, I don’t by any stretch of the imagination always get it right. I don’t have it all together, as you may have noticed from the blogs!  Whether you believe in God or not, I know from my personal experience that He is good and I have come so far because of Him.

So I am celebrating today, I am celebrating life, I am celebrating how far I have come, Im celebrating my achievement.  I think you all have things you need to celebrate today too, even if you don’t think so. Celebrate being alive, celebrate being a Mum, celebrate all the good things in your life, even if there is a lot of not so good stuff, find something to be joyful about and celebrate!

I’m off out this evening to take a creative evening with some lovely ladies to show them some crafts and talk about my journey so far, yet another first, can’t wait!  I’m taking some Bubbles so we can all celebrate where we are at in this crazy, exciting and sometimes scary thing called Life!

Really hope you have enjoyed this special post.  Please leave me a message and let me know your thoughts or if you have any questions.

Cheers!

Loads of love

Kate xx

 

General, Life, My faith in God

Good Friday

Hi how was your Easter weekend and what was the weather like where you were?  Our best weather day was Good Friday.  It was absolutely beautiful, a real spring day.

We went to a place called Bedgebury Pinetum, Goudhurst. It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny day with the family and the dog (if you have one). There are amazing walks and other activities it’s also a lovely place for a picnic.  We hired bikes for the kids and Mr H and I walked with Saffie dog. We all wore t-shirts for the first time in a long time. It was one of those days when everyone was happy to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine and the fresh air.

On our way back from Bedgebury we stopped at a lovely gastropub called The Milk House for an early tea. Some friends of ours introduced it to us about a year ago, but to be completely honest Mr H and myself weren’t having the best day so it wasn’t the best experience ever. Anyway after our visit on Friday with the kids and Saffie we have some brilliant new memories. My heart felt very full at the end of the day so it really was a Good Friday!

So what does Good Friday mean to you, if anything? For me it’s a time to recognise that Jesus died on the cross for me, my sins and ultimately my freedom.  There are a lot of differing opinions about when Easter should be and if Jesus did die on the cross on a Friday, none of that matters to me. I believe what He did and it makes no difference if it was a Friday a Saturday or indeed any other day of the week. The point for me, is that He did it.

It says in the bible in Romans 14:5 “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”
God is not concerned with which day we think is more important, it’s a heart to heart connection, a relationship with Him that He wants.

We didn’t go to any service on Friday or do anything in particular to mark the day, but by being with each other, family, I think it was the perfect way to celebrate what Jesus did for us. We did go to church Easter Sunday, but not out of any obligation but because we wanted to.

Now I know that in a lot of people’s minds church conjures up an old, cold, grey and boring place to be. No offence meant to those of you who do like traditional churches.  Church is not about a building it is about a group of people who follow God. You could be in an older church that is full of peace and joy and you could have a lovely new building that doesn’t have the presence of God at all. The building itself is not relevant.

The church we go to is called Eastgate which is in Northfleet.  A lot of people think it’s a long way to go to church, but it’s only 20 mins door to door, you’d drive that far to go to a restaurant or the shops so it’s no biggy.  Some of our friends come from the coast and Surrey every week! There is such a sense of family and freedom to just be.  There are no ‘expectations’.  Why not come and visit and experience it for yourself, you would be very welcome.

I’m not saying that our church is perfect, it’s full of people so it will always be imperfect, but there is an honesty and a reality that we are all travelling the same road just at different paces with different obstacles. What joins us is our faith, hope and trust in God.

What are your thoughts about church? Do you have a faith? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Much love ❤️

Kate Makes, Life, My faith in God

Christmas Candles DIY

Hello all, or should I say Ho Ho Ho! It’s the 1st December and the real countdown to Christmas has begun! Unless you are one of those ridiculously organised people (we love you really, we’re just jealous) you still have lots to do.

We will be putting up the tree this weekend and I can’t wait! We are having a real one for the first time in years 🎄 and I’m going to try out some different decorating ideas too.

With all the focus on getting ready, buying presents and all that has become Christmas, I think it’s important to remember what Christmas is really about and for me that is remembering that God sent his son to the world to be our saviour. It’s also about spending time with loved ones and being grateful for what we have.

The tradition of present giving is so wonderful but its sad that it seems to have become out of control. Everyone runs around trying to get all the things they think each other wants and they are prepared to get into debt for.

Its one of the reasons I have become so fond of hand made gifts. There is something so special about receiving a gift that has been thought about and made for you. For me though it’s even more special to hand out the gifts that I have made, it just fills me with lots of joy.

Now I’m not saying that the only way you can experience joy in gift giving is to make the presents, that’s just what I love and not everyone can or wants to make presents. However you do it just try and take time out to remember what it’s really about and enjoy it!

Anyway onto the Christmas Candles DIY!

This is one of the simplest, cost effective and lovely diy gifts to do in my opinion.

You will need

Plain White candles

White tissue paper

printer paper

Printer

Tape

Scissors

Hairdryer

Firstly you need to decide what you want to put on your candles. I chose to print images from a blog that I found on Pinterest called Decorators Notebook, thank you to them for the beautiful images. If you want to use the same click here or you can find your own, the internet is loaded with this kind of stuff.

Then cut a piece of tissue paper about an inch wider than an A4 piece of paper all the way round. Fold the piece of tissue paper round the paper and tape in place.

Put your paper in the printer tissue facing down and print. Let the ink dry and gently take the tissue paper of the printer paper.

image

Cut out the image that you want to use.

image

Place the image on your candle centrally or wherever you want the image to be. Keep in place using a small piece of tape either side. Don’t use too much tape as it can become tacky and stick on your candle.

image

Now get your hairdryer and select the medium heat and keep going over the image until it starts to look like its sticking. Remove the tape and carry on going over if it looks like it needs to stick more, being careful not to melt the candle too much.

And that’s that, obviously you can adapt these for any occasion depending on the images you choose. You can also personalise them by printing what you want to say, I haven’t tried that yet but it’s definitely on my list of things to try.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog and that some of you will give the candles a go. Did you find the instructions understandable and helpful?

Let me know what you think.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

Take care ❤️