When I get a moment (they are few and far between, but few is still something, right?), I tuck into a book, read an article, come across a thought-provoking message and think, this needs to be shared. Ruth’s Roundup is a post released once a month where I will share with you some content I have been engaging with over that month, or that I have written. You may laugh, cry, get mad, dig deeper, unfollow… who knows. Maybe it will be of use to you or someone you know. Happy browsing!
**Apologies for no Roundup in February. I wrote about our move to Cardiff, Wales which had me pretty busy! Having young children also does that too!**
The cross-generational sisterhood – Woman Alive Magazine – I wrote an article for Woman Alive on having friends that cross the generations and why this is so beneficial.
Suffering is Painful, But… by Alistair Chalmers – Such a great post on suffering from someone who has spent a lot of time with people who have gone through the valley of suffering, and who has also experienced deep pain and sorrow himself. Alistair points to real hope in it all, whilst not making light of the pain. Do go and read this one!
The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers – This is a book that I am reading to help focus my heart and mind on God. These written prayers take my eyes off of myself and place them on the hope found in the Lord. They bring to mind His faithfulness, kindness, love, steadfastness and so much more, whilst reminding me how much He loves me and how I need Him every day and in all things. I would encourage all Christians to have a copy and see their affections for Christ grow and deepen.
Episode 1 – A Debt Has Been Paid – Hope With Ruth Podcast: I started a podcast to record some of my blog content as audio. I am also recording some original content for it now too. I am planning to release an episode of original content every two weeks. But the podcast may update with blog post audio in the mean time! This episode reflects on the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was detained in Iran for six years. I share how much greater the debt we owe to God, yet Jesus paid the price in full, so we (the guilty) go free.
Episode 31 – Grieving with Hope – Pod of the Gaps: I really love listening to this podcast. They had a bit of a break due to a family bereavement which is discussed in this episode. It’s well worth a listen for thinking about grief and loss, especially as its so raw and personal for the hosts. Fundamentally, there is hope in Jesus even in the midst of deep heartache which they share and have experienced.
Habits Q&A: Special Needs; One at a Time (video or audio) – Simply Charlotte Mason Homeschooling: – For those who are following the parenting/motherhood aspect of my blog, you may know that we are home educating. I really love all of the wisdom from this podcast/YouTube channel, and found this one very useful on helping children with special needs to form good habits. We have a four year old and are trying to cultivate good habits starting from now!
My Blog Posts for February AND March
A Refuge for Refugees – ‘Many of us in the West are used to living in peace and comfort, but conflicts are prevalent across the world today and throughout history. Evil is a reality in this world that we see on our smartphones and 24/7 access to news. The longing for peace and justice to reign and for wickedness to come to an end is a God-given design within us. When humans are rightly outraged at the senseless killing of others, we are reflecting something of what it means to be made in the image of God. If we feel outraged about the gross injustices and suffering we see around us, we need to know how much more God does.’
Life update: Welcome to Wales! – ‘Hello from Wales! Our family relocated to Cardiff at the end of February which is why the blog has been unusually quiet for the last couple of weeks. It’s so great to be back writing again. It’s raining outside and the background noise is the sound of moving traffic on water. I am so thankful that we made it here.’
What to do with fear? – ‘There are points in our life where we finally realise that we are not really in control of our life. Health concerns are one way to bring that truth to the front and centre of reality. God is not a distant, uninterested deity unfamiliar with pain and suffering. He faced it with all of the mental anguish and physical distress that comes with it. Like Jesus, we can also surrender our suffering and fear to Him.’
Lift up your voice – ‘Have you ever felt so hopeless that you have wailed? Sobbing uncontrollably as the tears fall. Groans from the very depths of the soul. At times, we may encounter deep trouble and sorrow. We cry out, longing for justice, healing, help, hope, in the midst of pain and great trial.’
The strong-willed child in all of us – ‘I have come to see that there is a strong-willed child inside all of us. It might not look like a tantrum on the floor of a supermarket or howling great big sobs that would rival any Academy award-winning actor. Yet, it’s that tendency to want what we want. We are set on getting our way, so we resist listening to others. We charge on ahead, believing we know what is best for us, that person, that circumstance. Our attitudes, thoughts, actions and/or words may be entirely justifiable in our own eyes. However, if someone challenges us, says ‘no’, or gently rebukes us, the defences come out, the drawbridge pulls up, communication breaks down and we stand in our castles with arrows pointing at the opposition.’
You can listen to some of my blog posts by listening to the ‘Hope With Ruth Podcast‘. You can access this via Spotify or Google Podcasts, or scroll through some of my more recent blog posts and listen to the link at the top of each post. I am hoping to do some more episodes of fresh content too. Tune in if you want to listen to me chat about the hope that I have!
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