Seòras Murdaidh Fionnlagh

Staring into oblivion, originally uploaded by peigi_pest.

So, this is what has served as my creative outlet of late, and what has kept me busy, both in preparation and arrival, and away from this little space. We have a little baby boy. He is nearly two weeks old here in this photo. Born on the 9th April 2013, weighing a pan drop under 7lbs, he has now doubled in size! It has been so lovely seeing his development, both physically and character-wise, over the past 3 months and we can’t wait for what lies ahead. Seòras is a Gàidhlig name, equivalent to George in English. You may know that I have a brother named Seoras, who was named in memory of our maternal grandmother, Georgina. But baby Seòras (or wee Seòras as he is becoming known as!) is not named after uncle Seoras. Both Ruairidh and I both had special Grandpas called Seòras, who hold a special corner of our heart, and it is after these men that baby Seòras is named. I have to admit taking a while getting used to calling someone other than my brother, Seoras! Especially my son! Seoras is normally preceded by a shout of “MUM!…” and followed by “…is annoying me!” I have to admit, in the early days, I frequently called him Ruairidh accidentally! His middle names are also memorably significant: Murdaidh after my late father by blood and my maternal Grandfather John Murdo; and Fionnlagh was Ruairidh’s other Grandpa. So that’s all the Grandpas covered!

Seòras loves to laugh and smile, showing off his dimples. I think he’s going to be a singer and musical like his father, he loves songs and music, and joins in with his own noises. He is very much a movement loving boy, happy to be on the go and swung or carried about. We are thankful for this for the 1hr 15-30 min car journey north to the main island town of Stornoway and to family. He doesn’t mind the car at all. But on the other hand, he doesn’t mind sitting, settled and happy, in his bouncy chair or on your lap as long as he can see what is going on around him, has action or new surroundings to contemplate, knows you are near and pay him special attention once in a whiley. Not too much to ask?! We are so chuffed that he is a cuddle-loving baby, because I don’t think we could not cuddle and kiss and squish and squeeze, low raspberries and tickle those toes! He delights in life, we delight in him, and are delighted with such a blessing in our lives.

It’s strange how it seems that life could never have been without him. Even though there are so many new things, challenges, difficulties, joys and wonders we never knew before, it is as though he has always been. He has always been a part of our lives, just waiting to enter the act at the appropriate scene. What wonder to think that he, he is the little one over whom we held such great anticipation throughout those long months; who was tucked safely away until the appointed time, when he turned our world upside down and our hearts inside out with joy…and sleepless nights! To think that that wonder will continue throughout life – this boy, this teenager, this man, was that tiny baby?! What a journey! Deep down, we were always waiting for him, and now we get to enjoy him, knowing that our time is full, blessed, and challenging, but short.

Joys and worries


We are experiencing a wonder in our lives- the creation and development of a new life. We hope to welcome baby MacLean into the world sometime mid April! It’s hard to believe how quickly the past six months have passed, and I’m sure the days won’t be slowing down much anytime soon, although I probably will as this bump continues to get bigger! Everything has gone smoothly for us so far, and will hopefully continue so. We’re so excited to meet this little person, especially after meeting our new niece just last week! Seeing newborn babies really brings a realisation of the reality of this baby, inside me, that will join our lives, in God’s good will and pleasure. Those tiny toes and fingers are even smaller just now, but everything is perfectly formed, waiting for the day of expectation to astound us with their beauty.

Of course, the fears and burdens of this reality also present themselves. But I do not want to live in a spirit of fear, allowing it to consume my thoughts, stunt my growth, restrict my actions, choke my dreams and rob me of peace and joy. We are commanded by Jesus not to be anxious, for “is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?… And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:25, 27 ESV). It can be difficult, casting away the fears and worries. Stopping them from developing. Surrendering them in the acknowledgement of our own weakness and frailty. Denying ourselves the indulgence of worrying even. We like to control things, but the reality of life is that we cannot control anything.

I confess I’m not of the personality prone to great anxiety and distressful worrying. But that doesn’t mean that the fears don’t come, that things don’t cause worry or concern, that certain things don’t really make my mind all tangled and my thoughts dark and my hands fidget. It happens, all too often probably. But I have to say I hate the turmoil connected with worry and turmoil, and I’ve learnt it doesn’t achieve anything- it only makes the situation worse. Instead I choose to let it go. Walk away. Leave it in much more capable hands. Surrender it. Often I’ve allowed myself to go too far down the path of worry before this happens! But sometimes the experience of release is all the more obvious then. How often to we have to learn the lesson?

Peace is a strange thing. How do you describe it? Resting. Surrender. Acceptance. And yet struggle can be involved in keeping it! We need to fight to keep it. And to look in the right direction in the first place. The picture given in Ephesians of the warrior, ready to stand in battle, points to this fight. Each day brings its own challenges and fears, what can we do in battle against such overwhelming care and concern?

“Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:13-18 ESV).

The power or ability isn’t in ourselves. I’ve tried and failed too many times to come to this knowledge! We have to go to the one who can arm us, equip us in what we lack. That decision of surrender changes everything for me.

My husband and I are entering a new season in life, who knows what it will bring?! Plenty of worries I’m sure! But I will choose to let them go. And enjoy the present moments, and the expectation of the joyous things rather than be consumed over what might never be!

The world, this life, it’s all too big for my shoulders. And yours. Don’t let it crush you, let it go.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33, 34 ESV)


‘The LORD’s my saviour and my light– who will make me dismayed? The LORD’s the stronghold of my life- why should I be afraid? When evildoers threaten me, to take my life away, my adversaries and my foes will stumble in that day. Although an army hems me in, my heart will feel no dread; though war against me should arise, I will lift up my head.

One thing I’ll plead before the LORD, and this I’ll seek always: that I may come within God’s house and dwell there all my days- that on the beauty of the LORD I constantly may gaze, and in his house may seek to know direction in his ways. For in his dwelling he will keep me safe in troubled days; within his tent he’ll shelter me, and on a rock me raise. My head will then be lifted high above my enemies; and in his tent I’ll sacrifice with shouts of joy and praise.

LORD, hear me when I call to you; be merciful and speak! “Come, seek my face!” you told my heart; your face, LORD, I will seek. O do not hide your face from me, and do not turn aside your servant in your righteous wrath, for you have been my guide. O God my Saviour, leave me not; do not reject my plea. My parents may forsake me, LORD, but you will welcome me.

Teach me, O LORD, how I should live, and lead me in your way; make straight my path, because my foes oppress me every day. Give me not over to the will of vehment enemies; for liars rise to slander me and breathe out cruelties.

Yet I am sure that in this life God’s goodness I will see.

Wait for the LORD; be strong, take heart. For him wait patiently.’


Psalm 27 (C.M.)

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What beauty has been revealed to us!
Horgabost Beach, Isle of Harris

A Prayer from the Heart

Embracing family


We, as an extended family, have no problem with getting   of the camera lens. Photo-taking has been very much a part of our lives since we were little. And since my eldest brother took an interest in photography that lead to his pursuing it to a professional level, photos and cameras are an even greater part of our lives! All of ‘the siblings’ take photos almost every day, even more so with the wonderful tool that is the iPhone! Embracing the camera isn’t something we have difficulty with! But I do think we need to be more deliberate in sharing these photos, and in recording the memories and context that go along with them. What an even better insight and memories to cherish for future generations seeking a glimpse into the lives of their forefathers.

This has been a lovely week, despite the rain and clouds covering us for days! Surprisingly though, the coming of the rain has been like the welcome return of a dear friend, our gardens, and lochs, and everywhere really, have been getting pretty dry over the past month. Some older folk in Leverburgh here have actually said that they have never seen the loch beside our house as low! There has also been the welcome return of my brother Colin and his fiancé Nma. They came on Monday for a little holiday break, and they’ll be leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow. Not really the crack of dawn. That would be at 4.30 am here right now, and then it isn’t even dark here, especially when there is little to no cloud cover. A night of twilight! They’re catching the early ferry, so an early start whatever the light! Not as horrible as in the dark of mid-winter though.

They have had a quiet week, set against my busyness of organising various events such as a youth club BBQ on Friday night (I hope it’s dry by then!) and youth camp which is coming up in the next couple of weeks. We went out to the Anchorage for a lovely dinner tonight (the only restaurant in Leverburgh, but so nice you don’t need anywhere else!) and decided to get a photo of us all to remember our week. After many attempts with the timer, we managed to get an acceptable one! Even if not such amazing quality, it’s the photo moment that counts! How do you Embrace the Camera?


A horsey day


What a lovely day we had yesterday! My brother Seoras and his girlfriend Stephanie are home on the island for a little holiday, and we decided to do something fun, out of the ordinary, along with my sister Mairianne. We went horse-riding/pony-trekking! Guess where? On the beach! It was such a beautiful day, and with lovely company. But Seoras and Mairianne’s horses were rather lazy and were miles behind us the whole way! It was nice to get more experience with horses. In another life, I would have loved to have been a ‘horse-person’. We embraced the experience (a first time for Seoras, very brave he was, and well matched with his horse who kept eating whatever he could reach! He must have needed the extra energy carrying Seoras!). Embraced the sunshine and breeze, and the camera. So thankful we have some shots to help remember a lovely day on the Isle of Lewis. We’re stuggling to embrace the sore legs and bum now though!

Embrace the Camera

↓ Seoras on Ben; Stephanie on Roddy; Mairianne on Paddy; Me on Sherridon. {before we clambered off and collapsed in a heap of jelly legs}