Sweet Sixteen No More (and an announcement of sorts)

How quickly time goes by. It does not seem so very long ago that it was June, the beginning of summer. And now it is the end of summer and the beginning of Autumn. September. My Birthday. The Lord has brought me through another year of my life, and I am now 17 years old.

I guess my 16th birthday passed pretty unobtrusively, as I wasn’t blogging at that time. A lot has happened since my 15th birthday; the Lord has truly been good to me.

It is of the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions they fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

And what of the year to come? I can only leave that in the Lord’s hands; He knows what will happen in the next year of my life; the joys, the sorrows, the frustrations, etc. He can see. But one thing is sure and certain; He will be with me through all. And I can rest secure in that knowledge. For,

Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)

Also, I am thinking of recommencing blogging. I may not blog a lot, but I plan to blog a little. However, should I start worrying about what to blog or my lack of blogging, I will have to drop it at once.

Then… and Now…

That was then (i.e., last May):

Wasn’t he so small and cute a year ago? I can hardly believe that it was a year ago! What a change a year can make! He is now 14 months old, and a real little character, into everything, and busily employed in mischief  most of the time!

This is the now:

Yes, he has ‘sprouted’ the most adorable curly head imaginable!

He has such serious expressions. On the other hand, he is very cheeky…

Need I say that I love my little brother?!

There are no promises of any follow-up posts…. I just thought that for the benefit of anyone who still checks my blog, I would post a few pictures of my precious little brother. The photos are a couple of weeks old, but they still are more recent than the rest on my blog!

A Time to Keep Silence

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:… at time to keep silence and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7)

It is over three weeks ago since I last blogged and almost four weeks since I said that I hoped to blog more and to return to what once was. Yet, after unsuccessfully keeping this aim, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot return to is. That door seems to have been closed behind me. What was last year cannot be returned to this year. Things cannot be the same again; at least not in the world of blogging.

And so it is, with great sadness, that i am going to allow the curtain to fall on this blog. It may be for only a little while; it may be forever. I may still blog occasionally, but on the most part, this blog is set to become pretty much dormant. When the curtain shall rise again, I cannot tell.

My reasons are many and various. I may have hinted of the spiritual struggled I have been experiencing, and you should be aware of the birth of my baby brother (who is, by the way, doing very well and has a beautiful smile and lovely chuckle). However, they could not be called the only reasons; there are other reasons that I chose not to share.

I am still intending to read and comment on other people’s blogs. On a side note to any Blogger readers I have still remaining, I will be using my Blogger account on Blogger blogs from henceforth. That should mean that I appear as Anna. (I hope to add a photo soon as well!) For any WordPress readers, they need not worry, for it will not change for them!

I have been blessed by blogging, including acquaintances made whilst blogging. I hope to keep up with the majority of these acquaintances.

I have now almost finished my long drawn out post, saying that which I could have said in one short sentence in several whole paragraphs! I have been meaning to post this for almost two weeks now, but I was having a hard time “letting go” of my blog, even if it was to only be for a little while.  However, I felt it was the Lord’s will, and so I have done it.  For me, at this present season, it is indeed “a time to keep silence.”
May the Lord bless you all,

Anna

Let Him Pray

“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray.” James 5:15

This verse spoke clearly to me last Lord’s Day. How strangely things are brought to our attention when we need them most.

We may be afflicted in many ways. There is bodily affliction and spiritual affliction. I am not bodily afflicted often, but at present I feel afflicted in another sense. I am afflicted by sin and my own self.

“Let him pray.” How important is prayer. And though during times, of both affliction and pleasure, prayer can be far from my mind, it should not be the case. What can be a more important time for prayer than during times of affliction, be it bodily or spiritual?

Yet how come it is that when I am spiritually weak, the last thing I think of is prayer? One is daily afflicted by sin and the snares of the devil and thoughts infiltrated into one’s mind by the same, and then come to pray and find no joy or life in their prayers. So they stop. Yet “let him pray.”

In a day of affliction nothing is more seasonable than prayer…. To this end God sends afflictions, that we may be engaged to seek him early; and that those who at other times have neglected him may be brought to enquire after him.

– Matthew Henry

I also found a verse in Job that interested me. Job had been my companion of late and I had found this book comforting. If any suffered, Job did. And then in the last chapter, in the 10th verse, I read this, “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends.”

Note: it was when Job prayed for his friends, that his captivity was turned. I mused on this verse, thinking that I was almost certain to be misinterpreting it.

However, turning to Matthew Henry (methinks I need some variation here) I read this:

God turned his captivity, that is, he redressed his grievances and took away all the causes of his complaints; he loosed him from the bond with which Satan had now, for a great while, bound him, and delivered him out of those cruel hands into which he had delivered him. …what was more, he felt a very great alteration in his mind; it was calm and easy, and the tumult was all over, his disquieting thoughts had all vanished, his fears were silenced, and the consolations of God were now as much the delight of his soul as his terrors had been its burden. The tide thus turned, his troubles began to ebb as fast as they had flowed, just then when he was praying for his friends, praying over his sacrifice which he offered for them. Mercy did not return when he was disputing with his friends, no, not though he had right on his side, but when he was praying for them; for God is better served and pleased with our warm devotions than with our warm disputations. When Job completed his repentance by this instance of his forgiving men their trespasses, then God completed his remission by turning his captivity.

— Matthew Henry

And lastly, a quote from The Diary of David Brainerd (emphasis mine):

It is good, I find, to persevere in attempts to pray if I cannot pray with perseverance, that is continue long in my addresses to the Divine Being. I have generally found that the more I do in secret prayer, the more I have delighted to do, and have enjoyed more of a spirit of prayer.

– David Brainerd

That is correct. It is better to continue in attempts to pray, even though one is unable to pray for any length of time. Though prayer may not seem sweet, I should persevere, for:

“Prayer makes the darkened cloud withdraw,
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw,
Gives exercise to faith and love,
Brings every blessing from above.”

– William Cowper

from his beautiful hymn “What Various Hindrances We Meet”

Oh, Lord, teach us, teach me, how to pray!

When compiling this post, my thoughts on the matter seemed poorly expressed, so I apologize for any lack of coherency in it.

Quote for Today

DSCF0053_1What if the great enemy of souls should for a while triumph over us, as he has triumphed over better men than we are, yet let us take heart, for we shall overcome him before long. We shall rise from our fall, for our God has not fallen, and he will lift us up. We shall not abide in darkness, although for the moment we sit in it; for our Lord is the fountain of light, and he will soon bring us a joyful day.

– C. H. Spurgeon

I have personally found the above quote of comfort lately, and decided that I would share it with all those who visit and read my blog. Also, thank you to all those who have commented recently; I appreciate your comments and mean to reply to them soon (that will be Monday now!).

Have a blessed weekend,

Anna

Gooseberry Picking

gooseberries

Last Friday, the gooseberries on our one gooseberry bush were ripe, so I ventured out into our front garden to pick them for Mummy.  I took my little sister with me, giving her a nice small bowl to fill, while I myself had a large metal colander. picking gooseberries

My little sister, however, soon discovered that the gooseberry bush had prickles on it and appealed to me to help her fill her bowl.  Then she would occasionally pick gooseberries in between wandering around and taking photos on my camera.  Like the one below:

gooseberries

She is certainly much better at taking photos than she used to be!  She took three photos like this, one of each of the bowls we had, but the other two had my camera’s wrist strap in them!

I also photoed some other things myself:

ivy

Ivy growing on our gate…

rusty bolt

…and a rusty bolt on the same!

And, yes, it is hard to drive that bolt home when you close the gate.

We picked 6lbs (just under 3kg) of gooseberries.  I used half of them to make jam.  I had never made jam before, and so was quite pleased when it turned out well!

jam

To blog…

me and little brotherOh dear. It would seem that I can count the posts of the last two months on the fingers and thumb of one hand. It would also seem that I haven’t blogged for almost a whole month. Where has the time gone? And what have I being doing?

My excuses for blogging are many and varied. But apart from the fact that I have been busy (true!) and that my baby brother has messed up my routine completely (again, true!), I feel that the main reason for my lack of blogging of late is that I am personally far from settled myself at the moment. I quite simply have been having spiritual struggles of my own.

Anyway, to blog again. I don’t have a clue what I am going to blog about, but I am determined to start blogging regularly again. I don’t know how many will rejoice when they see me reappearing, but I know that I will, for for me it will signify a returning to normal (normal being what I was back in February), though I fear I have changed.

The photo at the top was taken a little while ago. It is me with my adorable baby brother, who now weighs a whopping 10lbs and 11oz. I took the photo myself, hence the strange position!