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Hi. Welcome to my "taboo" blog. My name is Steph, and when I first started this, I was still in my thirties. In 2017, I switch decades! I am a Christian, so underlying everything I do and say is the Word of God, and the foundational truths I have learnt over the years. This doesn't mean I'm perfect - I am human. It just means I recognise I need God's help to live this life and try to live out His way, as best I can. So that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the time to read through my blog, I hope you draw strength, hope or encouragement from what you read.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Salty Spring Water

Each night, before I sleep, I listen to the Bible on my phone. The plan I'm following at the moment reads a number of chapters in chronological order as I work my way through it in a year, although I tend to do more than one day at a time, some days.

I can hear you muttering, "that's not very blog-worthy", but bear with me, I just wanted to set the scene for you. 

Having been brought up in the Church, the daughter of a Baptist Minister, I thought that when it came to the Bible, there wasn't much I've not read. But God is clearly sooo much bigger than I am, because in a recent reading from the Bible reading plan, I heard about Elisha's first miracle after he had watched Elijah being taken into heaven. And I know I must have read it before, but this time, I actually HEARD it, if that makes sense.

2 Kings 2: 19-22 (NLT): One day the leaders of the town of Jericho visited Elisha. “We have a problem, my lord,” they told him. “This town is located in pleasant surroundings, as you can see. But the water is bad, and the land is unproductive.” Elisha said, “Bring me a new bowl with salt in it.” So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the spring that supplied the town with water and threw the salt into it. And he said, “This is what the Lord says: I have purified this water. It will no longer cause death or infertility.” And the water has remained pure ever since, just as Elisha said.

Did you miss it too?

When Elisha throws salt into the spring which supplies the town's water, he tells them,  “This is what the Lord says: I have purified this water. It will no longer cause death or infertility.I was so surprised by this, that I actually exclaimed aloud (Hubby HAD been asleep), "INFERTILITY"??!

As soon as I could, I wanted to check how the Hebrew Scriptures puts it, whether it meant infertility of women or whether it was talking about the unfruitfulness of the land itself. 

The Orthodox Jewish Bible says,
And he went forth unto the motza hamayim (spring of water), and cast the melach (salt) in there, and said, Thus saith Hashem, I have healed these mayim (waters); there shall not be from there any more mavet or meshakkalet (unfruitfulness, barrenness)

While The Complete Jewish Bible writes it as,
He went out to the source of the water, threw salt into it and said, “This is what Adonai says: ‘I have healed this water; it will no longer cause death or miscarrying.’”

The Complete Jewish Bible certainly offers the strong suggestion that somehow the waters were not only bad for the land, but for the people who drank from the Spring too. There are instances in Scripture where God causes women to be infertile as a result of sin, such as when Abraham tells Sarah to lie about who she is, and God caused the women of Egypt to be infertile while she lived with Pharaoh (Genesis 20:18). She was a woman of the promise! But I don't think there is an actual situation like this where the water supply is causing a problem with infertility.

I have explored the influence of food on the body (see for example, Taking Control or Removing the Yeast) in past blogs, and will probably continue to do so, because I do think there is a correlation between what we put into our bodies and the affect it has on our health - and fertility is a health issue!

But this story has made me think, "Maybe I need to go and live in Jordan"!!! OK, perhaps it hasn't, but I wonder if there is anything I need to understand about the basics of things like the chemicals which are pumped into our water supplies and how this is affecting me. Do I need to get some special salt and put it in each glass before I drink it??!! 

OK - I'm being overly-flippant here, I know I am... But what if...

I'm now about to leave my spot in Starbucks and pay a visit to Holland & Barrett!!


Never Satisfied...

 There are three things that are never satisfied —
    No, four that never say,

               the grave,
                      the barren womb,
                            the thirsty desert,
                                   the blazing fire.

Proverbs 30:15-16      


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Women in the Bible who Didn't Conceive

Whenever I think about women in the Bible whose stories relate to ours, with the journey for a Baby, there always seems to be a happy ending to their stories. But no amount of faith or hoping can guarantee a happy ending to my story. And I'm not speaking out of faith here, I'm just being realistic!

So I asked God, "Lord, where are the story of women who would have wanted to become mothers, in the Bible, but who didn't?"

There are three women who came to mind, and I have decided to study their stories for this blog. 

Part of what I do in my "real life" is to teach from the Scriptures, so it would be only right to allow this aspect of my character and passion to flow through to what I am doing here in this blog, in order to remain true to myself. The purpose of this blog is to offer encouragement to anyone who is on a similar Journey for Bubba to mine. Although, at the end of the day our stories will all be different, and this may not actually interest you. But I needed to know if there really are women in the Bible who anyone can relate to - and I believe this is what God is showing through the lives of the three women He is highlighting.

As I read through each woman's story, I hope to be able to share my study with you.
But for now, here are the three women:  

Tamar (1 Samuel 13)
"So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house."

Jephthah's daughter (Judges 11)
"And it was so at the end of two months that she returned to her father, and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed. She knew no man."

Anna (Luke 2)
"She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years"


I want a baby!

Hubby is currently away, spending time with his son, and it's giving me time to think and wonder what it would be like to spend time with my own child. It doesn't help when Hubby handed the phone to my Step-Son who thought it was his mum and so called me "mum". 

What would it be really like to be called "mum", like for real? 
By my own child? 
To actually belong to someone in that way???

There's only so long I can stay strong for, before the hurt begins to overwhelm me... and today is one of those days. A day of unmet longings. A day of wondering. A day of sadness. A day of heaviness. A day of recognising the loneliness, rather than trying to run from it, or hide from it. 

To admit - I want a baby.

And though it has been thrown at me, "You're too desperate" is that such a bad thing??
I am desperate.

Desperate to have a child of my own.
Desperate to be a mum.

God is our strength, and draws closest to us when we feel furthest away from His embrace. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Eavesdropping Again!

So I was sitting in my second office - which actually doubles as a coffee shop - when in comes this fabulous couple with three children, stealing a chair from my table, they crowd around one of the little coffee tables.

In between reviewing Christian music for an article, I suddenly hear the family discussing the names they will call the baby. This outing was one for the parents to inform their children that they will be joined by a little Jessica or Henry.

It was really cute, actually, listening to the family discussing the future, and to hear the excitement of the soon to be older siblings of a new-born. It made me wonder what it would be like. If / when we get the pleasure of speaking to my gorgeous Step Son about a future brother or sister we would add as a family unit to his life. Although he's at the age where he relishes having his Dad all to himself! Who knows how he will take the news!

But for now, I'll just eavesdrop on the happy news of this family, and dream one day of my own family as we sit together in my second office, jiggling along to the jazzy music with joy at what the future holds.

Father God, I pray for the family, and all other families who are expecting a new arrival this year. Lord I pray Your hand of protection over the mother as she carries her developing baby, and I pray - for this family next to me in particular, that if they don't know You, they will come to know You, that the new baby will accomplish great things for You and Your Kingdom, become a world-changer for Your glory! In Jesus name, I pray - knowing that although I will never see this prayer answered, You will watch over the baby and his or her family.