Category Archives: family

Sorry for the Silence

I’m sorry for the silence. I have not forgotten you, but unexpected events changed what was meant to be a summer break from writing into a difficult and trying time for my wife and I.

It started with the prolonged acute illness and death of a loved one which took most of our time and energy. On top of which my cancer treatment has not progressed as expected. This has left us leaning on Jesus as never before and is taking us way beyond our own capabilities. We have been here before, but this is a ‘biggy!’  As my wife remarked the other day, “This is the biggest challenge of your life” and I replied that it was also a challenge for my life.

Jesus is taking us through and when the time is right I hope soon, God willing,  to be back writing with renewed inspiration from our experiences. I wish to thank those who have commented, expressed concern and for your prayers.

In the meantime you will find a weekly selection of my posts on Sitting Under My Fruit Tree.

New Year Blessings

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Filed under bible, Christian, family, illness, personal

I Only Wanted a Hug

HugFood was scarce in wartime Britain, so my father dug up half the back lawn to grow vegetables. As a small boy I loved watching him skilfully prepare and rake the soil. Then I would help pop the pea and bean seeds into the holes he’d made with his dibber. He even let me have a little plot all to myself, where I grew radishes and lettuce. I got very impatient and used to pull the tiny seedlings up to see if there was anything there.

We also kept chickens and I delighted in lifting the nesting box lids to see if there were any eggs. If there were, I would rush back to the house clutching my precious prizes. Hopefully they arrived unbroken. For a real treat we would have one of the birds for Christmas dinner. My father was surprisingly squeamish, so asked the milkman to do the dirty deed. I helped with the plucking. I remember the fluffy under-feathers floating around and filling the air in our small lean-to greenhouse. We fed the hens on something called balancer meal, which was mixed into a mash with cooked vegetable waste.

One day, the peelings were boiling merrily on the kitchen range, while I reclined in comfort on the floor just below. I don’t quite know how it happened; Continue reading

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What is Normal?

All our young grandchildren are a delight, but there is one who is special. She has been diagnosed as being just within the ‘autism spectrum!’ That is the ‘label’ she has been given, as if to explain away her uniqueness. We refuse to accept such a label. She is who she is. For the first two or three years of her life her hearing was impaired. This disadvantage has been corrected and with encouragement and some heartache she is finding her own way through.

She is gifted and talented and we are proud of her. She has a vivid imagination and lives life to the full, can be very sensitive and often takes the lead in group play. But just now and again Continue reading

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The Thirty Nine Steps

My wife is the Guest Blogger this week and writes about living with an illness long term:

The Thirty Nine Steps

We really welcomed our move to Cornwall. There had been some delay. We headed an ever-growing chain of interested buyers, so made the decision to arrange a bridging loan. It was risky, but John had to start his new job. We were separated for a time, but eventually moved on 5th November 1972 in the rain.

Our children – six and three – thought our new house was great, with bedrooms downstairs built into the hillside and 39 steps up to the front door. They ran up and down and in and out excitably. The beach was just down the road – a new adventure to be lived. Continue reading

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Filed under biography, Christian, chronic fatigue, disability, family, healing, illness, personal

Stick and Carrot

Speaking with a friend the other day, he asked me if I loved and accepted myself – meaning in the same way God does – and I replied about eighty percent. He said he felt he didn’t have a very good view of himself, so settled for twenty five percent.

I’m convinced that this was one of the factors that contributed towards my chronic fatigue syndrome. Continue reading

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Filed under Christianity, chronic fatigue, family, healing, health, illness, Jesus, personal, relationships, spiritual

Putting Away Childish Ways

ice-cream-2As it was school’s half term last week, we had the company of our grandchildren all week. Three delightful little girls, each one quite different and a credit to their parents who sacrificially go to great lengths in bringing them up and teaching them what is right.

They are already forming their own opinions and it’s particularly at mealtimes when their individual likes and dislikes came to the fore. ‘I don’t eat cheese’ and ‘I only drink apple juice’, etc. Continue reading

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Of Desires and Dreams

I had a long telephone conversation with a friend the other evening. At one point I asked him what he would really like to happen before he died. I hasten to add that he certainly is in no danger of passing on, but I thought it would sharpen things up. Without hesitation he replied that he would like to be at peace with himself. This naturally brought God into the conversation. He then reversed things and asked me the same question. I had to stop and think. Continue reading

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Filed under biography, Christian, christian personal, Christianity, chronic fatigue, creativity, family, personal, retirement, seniors, spiritual