Saturday, 29 June 2013

Le Tour

Today is another day.
Most excitingly for me, today is the start of the Tour de France which I avidly's just such an epic race!  For the next three weeks, my beautiful wife will sit with me each evening as I watch the highlights from each day's racing (poor lady!!). I absolutely love cycling !

Perhaps more importantly for us as a family we plan to buy a house (again!) ...recently Ellie and I feel like we've been doing the Tour of Berkshire and we now have 4 possible options; none of them are 'ideal' but all of them are possibilities with some positives and some negatives.  Our good friend Keith the builder is coming with us to see one possibility today which would need quite a lot of work doing to it (ie gutting and starting again!) but which would be amazing space for us ! We are seeing another place this afternoon and saw two other places in the week which 'tick our boxes' to a greater or lesser extent.

So by the end of the day we plan to have made an offer on a house one way or another....please pray for wisdom for us as we really want the Tour of Berkshire to come to an end!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

In control...

We have a favourite restaurant as a family that we've been to when we sold both Ellie's house and our last house...and we've been looking forward to going there to celebrate the purchase of our new's been a while since we've been there !

When we found out that our last house purchase had fallen apart, one of our boys said, "Why don't we go out for dinner to celebrate that God's still in control?"

A couple of days after that, we received a card through our letter box with some money inside and a lovely message...from an anonymous sender.  It was as if God was speaking directly to us and saying that He is indeed still in control even though things haven't worked out the way that we had hoped for or today we have used the money to go out for lunch at our favourite restaurant...and we've celebrated was jolly yummy !!!  We're now all very full !

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Middle distance madness....

Couldn't resist a little blog about today's crazy antics....I got up at 2.55am (!) to meet up with two fellow nutters and get to the 6.10am race start about an hour away for my first middle distance triathlon (1.2/56/13.1 mile swim/bike/run).
Surprisingly the swim went really well (I don't usually enjoy the mass start/washing machine/getting swam over and kicked/lake swim experience)...but it went like clockwork really and I got out of the lake in 36minutes. 
The bike leg was long - 2 laps around the same loop but mostly fairly flat.  I worked hard but didn't totally 'cane-it' as I still had the half marathon to save beans for....cycling to my 80% max heartrate with nutrition to keep me going for the remainder of the race was the worked well.
The run leg was really hard work after the bike but I maintained a pretty steady pace around the three laps that made up the half marathon....coming over the finish line was just fabulous - 5 hours and 11 minutes after I started.  I was the last of the three of us but we all came in within 12 minutes of each other so we were all very pleased.

Ellie is pleased that I didn't die during the experience (me too...!)

Tonight I'm really tired, my legs ache, my rocket-bike is safely stowed away and I have a huge smile on my face.  Walking down the stairs in the morning might be a challenge though !

Tomorrow the house hunt continues.....

Saturday, 1 June 2013


So the house saga continues….it’s a long story and I won’t bore too much with the details but basically we had our offer accepted on the house (and were ecstatic!), then lost it within about 3 days because two Estate Agents both expected the sale commission from the owner (we’d originally seen the house 8 months ago at a higher price through a different agent).  The owners had another offer on the table after accepting ours…so they had a predicament – they could either sell the house to us and try to reason with the estate agents (via the ombudsmen) to get a just outcome, or face potential litigation from the one they didn’t pay….or they could dump us as the buyer and go with a “clean” sale. 
You can guess which they did (fairly understandably from my perspective!!)

So another door has been firmly closed on us.  (It’s a shame because it was a lovely door attached to a lovely house!)

We keep praying for God to guide us (see last blog entry from my good lady!), and I’m sure He is indeed doing that….but we’re still really disappointed that we’ve lost another house that could have really worked well for us as a family home (and all because of Estate Agent ethics!)
Our current rented house is very nice in many ways but it doesn’t really feel like ‘home’ as we can’t really make it ours in the way we could if we owned it.  It was really cold in the winter too (old house, lots of draughts, very expensive to heat) so we really don’t want to do another winter here if we can possibly avoid it.
When we originally moved here in August we planned for a 6 month rental and negotiated the contract accordingly because the rental cost is really high.  It’s now 10 months later and we’re back to Square One on the house hunt. 
House buying and selling feels like it’s consumed too much of our thinking for way too long! 

We do have a roof over our heads, of course, and we’re very grateful for that!!

Sometimes, to be honest we feel like the psalmist in Ps10:1 “Why Lord do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”

He hasn’t hidden himself of course…but the whole process hasn’t worked out in the way we’d hoped it would, and to be frank we oscillate wildly between complete frustration and annoyance on one hand to trusting that God has something waiting for us on the other hand.  Our huge daily challenge is to choose peace in the midst of the turmoil of it.
I reckon it’s fairly easy to trust God in theory, but living it day-to-day in the stuff that matters to you, when you’ve had disappointments like we have, feels much harder….

We're gonna choose to keep trusting through disappointment.
One day I’m sure we’ll look back and laugh!