small beginnings

I’ve always loved change.

I can remember, as a kid, how I used to love rearranging my room: moving the bed to a different corner, or shifting a wardrobe to a different wall, or if I was really lucky, repainting the whole room. On those days, after I’d shifted my room around, I’d lie in bed that evening, unable to get to sleep – so excited by the different atmosphere I’d created in my room. And I loved waking the next morning, having temporarily forgotten about the changes, and feeling that adrenaline surge all over again as I re-experienced the new dynamics of my room.

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(I shifted this room  around only the other day – seems I can’t kick the habit.)

You see, I love change.

… Which is maybe why we’ve lived in … I actually forget how many … houses since we’ve been married over the last 14 years. But it’s a lot.

Over the last few years, change has been one of the few constants, Just a couple of blinks ago there was just the two of us living in a terraced house on the top of a hilly Sheffield street. Ten years on, and we’ve swapped England for Scotland, Sheffield for Edinburgh, and the hills for the sea. Oh, and we also have three kids.

Life looks different for me personally too. I’ve gone from being a stay-at-home mum with three young kids to having three kids at school, and transitioning back to working life, primarily within the publishing world. I’m learning what it looks like to juggle family, work, a husband who travels, friendships, community life, lots of visitors in our home, and how I walk with Jesus in all of that.

It’s kind of a different season right now for me, and for us all.

My last blog saw me through my stay-at-home years. It was a great adventure, and I learnt not only about being a mum of preschool children, but also about myself, our marriage, leadership, and how to connect with God in those foggy years. I tried to publicly share some of those reflections on the blog.  And I guess, even though I’m still a fairly diffident blogger, I found my voice in that time too. But in these last few months, I’ve found myself not quite knowing what to share, or how to share it anymore. It’s not that I don’t have ideas — I have plenty of them. But I feel kind of different; a little like I’ve shed the skin of my last season but haven’t quite known how to take things forward.

So this new blog really reflects a new season of life for me, and for us as a family. Moving has given me a new lease of life, a renewed passion for creativity, and a significant reminder that when it comes down to it, love is the most important thing.

I don’t mean love in a hippy, ethereal, floaty kind of way. Real love is usually a lot more concrete than that. It’s not simple, or clear-cut, and it’s often about wading into the mess of ordinary people’s lives, and walking with them, knowing that you need them to do the same with you too.

I believe the source of that love is God. When I look at the bible I see that He embodies exactly that kind of love that I referred to above. Jesus left behind His rights in heaven, and entered earth as a small and helpless babe. He rolled up His sleeves and got involved in our mess:

The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood

Eventually, that love led Him to die on a cross

People look everywhere for love and approval … I’ve noticed that.

I’m beyond grateful to have experienced the love of my heavenly father.  He whispers his love over me each and every day; through His word, through His creation, through His people, through His son, Jesus. Some days my eyes are wide open to that love, and other times I make myself too busy to see it. But He’s always there, nevertheless.

Most of the time I don’t love very well … if you know me, then no doubt you’ll have noticed that (:-/ sorry). Maybe when you look at your life you feel the same too. No matter how much I try, my baggage gets in the way, and it all goes a bit pear-shaped. Which is why I’m not ashamed to admit that I so desperately need Jesus; His mercy, forgiveness and love bridges the gap between my failings and God’s perfect love. Each day I’m learning a little more of what it looks like to follow Jesus; some days that looks like two steps forward and one step back, and some days it looks more like one step forward and two steps back.

I called this site small things with great love for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because I believe love makes all the difference in the world; it’s often less about what we do and more about how we do it. The simplest of actions motivated by great love can change someone forever. The bible makes it clear that love is the most powerful force in the world:

Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love.

Secondly, because the quote was spoken by Mother Teresa, a remarkable hero-of-the-faith, who also happened to serve God in the country I still consider (this side of heaven) to be my spiritual home: India.

And so it seemed a fitting title for this new season of life for me, and for us, here in this little patch of Edinburgh. This blog marks the next stage of the journey for me, and for our family.

So I can’t make any promises of what this blog will entail, but what it will be is snapshots of our life right now – what we’re learning about and processing, our moments of joy, along with some of the issues we’re wrestling with. There will be some short and simple posts, some longer more reflective ones, pictorial posts, ideas and maybe even poems (if I’m brave enough).

What I do I know is that this is a new journey for me, and I’m feeling excited.

Maybe you’ll join along with me?

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