Dear diary......welcome to inside my head.

Well, well, well, I've finally bit the bullet and started a dear diary thread - welcome to the inner workings of my mind. 

I've been documenting life for our family for the last few years, but most of the time my blog posts centre around some piece of family advice. I've not ever taken the time to just document what's been going on - what funny thing has my 3year old come out with this week? What have I learnt about being a mother? What have I got excited about, or hated, or cried at - and the time has finally come to spill my guts every Monday about the drama that has been going on each week.

There's a lot that goes on in this little (ha!) family of ours, and I'm about to let you in on it - the ups, the downs and everything in between! It's hard to document reality on social media, but a blog really allows you to dive deep and see the thinking process of the writer. I hope this is a character development series you come to love.

For those new here? Hi, my name is Hollie. I'm a Christian mother of 4, and current foster carer of 2, trying to chase Jesus in everything that I do. I am married to Lee, and we have a dream of owning a farm/small holding that sells ethically raised produce and employs people who ordinarily would struggle to work. We are currently living out our farming dreams in our Derby city home with our kids, chickens, ducks, quail, fish, cats, and a dog name Rosie. It's a pretty full house.

So, onto the blog....


This week has been pretty full on. The foster kids have just started letting down their guard, and the honeymoon period of them being on best behaviour is well and truly over. Mixed with the mid-holiday stir-craziness that tends to happen every time school breaks up, we have a house that spends 80% of its time throwing a tantrum or arguing with each other. It's great fun.

I've always been a big advocate of "your home is your safe space" (if you can't let all your ugliness hang out there then where will you ever be able to?), and mostly I am just honoured that our extra kids feel comfortable enough to show us that side of them now, but gosh it isn't easy! When 6 of them are all going at once it's very hard to remain calm, collected and full of the 'gentle parenting' voice - I've had to do a lot of separating children into separate rooms! Life with 6 kids is joyous though. I'm one of four, and Lee and I always dreamed of fostering as well as having a barrage of kids ourselves, so it just feels like we're living the dream. It's noisy, and everything takes a little longer, but it's the biggest blessing. 

Something is going on with my three year old Addie. She's the third child and a little fireball. I have never met a more stubborn kid. One time she literally told her Grandma that she couldn't tell her what to do because, "you're not the boss of me". Wow. She's going through a stage of not listening very well. Scratch that, she's listening. She's for sure heard you tell her to stop tipping the soil out of the houseplants but she does not give a flying fart, and will carry on regardless. I think this largely stems from the fact that at 1 and a half when she did something naughty we laughed and laughed because she was this little blonde bundle of stubbornness and it was cute anytime she did something 'cheeky', but I have fashioned a very strong rod for my own back and am regretting my life decisions. Nothing seems to faze her, and it's just a wonder she hasn't damaged herself by purposely doing something dangerous after we told her not to. Pray for us.


I've been thinking a lot this week about what it means to care for people. In the Christian world there's a huge emphasis on telling the gospel message. Someone this week told me about a charity they know of who don't do anything without spreading the gospel - and if it doesn't spread the gospel then it's not worth doing. It struck chords with me, because biblically I can see a reason for both, and I'm concerned that in our desire to tell as many people about Jesus as possible, we can tip into being manipulative and abusive in our methods. If we say to the poorest in society that they can only make use of our food banks if they take a christian course are we really 'feeding the hungry', or are we just being emotionally and spiritually manipulative? Does it really honour people well? On the flip side though, I see countless stories in the bible where people asked Jesus or the disciples for food/healing and instead they forgave sins. Does this mean that we should only be doing good works if the gospel message can be physically told? Is it enough to represent Jesus and trust that the way we live our loves in front of others can also be a means in itself of telling others about the Good News? 

I suspect it's a mixture of it all. I'm no theologian, but the more I read the bible the more I realise that every scenario is different, and every situation requires a slightly different tact. It's about heart. 

It's so easy to use that as a cop-out clause for unthinking behaviour (ultimately no one can determine a heart attitude so it's an easy excuse to use), and we *must* make sure that our actions are above reproach, but if our motives are 'for' people, then it rarely goes wrong in our outworking. We're in a time when the world is zoning in on churches and calling out toxic behaviour (if you've seen the recent Hillsong documentaries then you'll know what I'm talking about), so it couldn't be more important to look again at our practices as Christians and throw away all that doesn't fully represent who Jesus is. He isn't manipulative. He isn't abusive. He doesn't make people projects. He is a God full of love and grace, who ushered the worst of society into his presence and told them how truly cherished they were. It's time we got back to doing just that.

Until next time....


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