Me

Posted on
©AliMarriottChristianCards

I actually can’t believe I am writing a second blog post in just over a week. Many times I have had such good intentions to keep you updated with what’s going on but I just couldn’t keep up. So this is me hoping I can keep up with what I will call writing my thoughts rather than ‘blogging’, I feel I’m not worthy of that term.

It’s been so long since I wrote anything about me, so I think that’s a good place to start, if you fancy a read.

I’m Ali, well actually I’m Alexandra but most people call me Ali, Al or more recently mummy! Firstly, so nice to meet you, thanks so much for being here, and for taking time to sit/stand or whatever you are doing in order to read my ramblings.

I’ve just recently turned 29, been married to Dave for over 4 years, together for over 8 years and we have a little boy called Seth, who will be 2 in just over a weeks time. Which is crazy! I was looking for photo’s to put in this post and came across video’s of Seth when he was a little baby, which really isn’t that long ago, but just made me realise how quickly things change. And also slightly emotional and dare I say broody! Continue reading Me

Just be you!

Posted on
Encouragement Cards

Just be yourself!

Social media is great for so many reasons, it’s great to connect with old friends, update family members, post photos! It’s even greater for business’s like me, to be able to share my work with an audience for free! It’s definitely part of how my business got of the ground.

But there’s also negatives. Some of which are no ones fault, they are just down to plain old doubts and insecurities. So much of what we see can be perceived as something different than what it truly is. I love looking at so many people’s instagram posts, love insta stories, seeing what people are up to, but I totally struggle to post my own stories. Continue reading Just be you!

Do you know me?

Posted on
dave_blog

While at home group on Tuesday night someone mentioned the verse John 14:9 “Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”

It felt like God was challenging me right there and then.
“Do you know me Dave?”
“yes of course I know you”
“No, do you really know me? Why are you checking the score instead of getting to know me? Spend time with me Dave”
I know what’s happening in the football, I know what’s happening in the apprentice, I even know a bit about what’s happening in the Great British bake off. But do I Know God? I know who He is, but do I know all about Him? Continue reading Do you know me?

Be Brave

Posted on

This weekend we have celebrated Seth’s first birthday! WOW! This year has totally flown in, people tell you the first year goes quick, but like everything you don’t realise it until the year has gone by. We are so thankful to God for our beautiful, funny little boy, and we believe he is an absolute miracle from God, like all children, but here’s our story and you will realise just how precious Seth is to us.

(I’m sharing my story because we totally believe God is a God of miracles and we give Him all the glory & hope our story will encourage you to hold on to him or trust in him for the first time. Also something to look out for when your going through pregnancy, it is very rare, hence why it wasn’t picked up sooner.)

Anyway here I go! Continue reading Be Brave

Encourage one another

Posted on
Print

On Saturday I was out with friends, celebrating our lovely friend who is about to have her 2nd little one, when a friend said she was on my blog & she noticed I post very little! It’s TRUE! It was my intention to post monthly, but that kinda didn’t happen, so I hope to update it a little more than I do! Being a mummy now and also running two businesses I will do my best to make the time! As I would love to share bits & pieces about Ali Marriott and what we get up to. Continue reading Encourage one another

Whatever you do . . .

Posted on
Work_blogPost

Do you ever just question everything? I do. Mainly about my job. I love designing, don’t get me wrong, but some days, I am just like aghhh! Why am I doing this job? Do people even like what I design? Does it encourage anyone or do anyone any good! These are the thought’s that often run through my head, maybe they do for you to.

Recently I was reminded of these verses in Colossians 3:23 – 24, ” Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,  since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving”.

Whatever you do, yes you, work at it with all your heart. Whether you are a stay at home mum, a nurse, a teacher, a cleaner, a bus driver, home help, shop assistant, designer, a full time granny. Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God, doesn’t matter whether it pays you thousands or it pays you in hugs & kisses. Whatever you do, don’t worry about anything other than working at it with all your heart, as if the Lord was your boss. After all, our inheritance comes from Him and our reward will be found in heaven.

I often have to remind myself that God has us where we are for a purpose. Whether it’s to learn patience as you wait on the next job, or to sit with your child as he or she grows and learns, or do both, run a business and raise your child(ren). Or maybe it’s being a place of vulnerability & risk, serving God but relying on the support of others. So whether you are happy in your role, fed up & looking for another, or wondering what on earth am I doing, God has a purpose for it all. The bible says ‘His timing is perfect’, you’re in this position for a reason, ask God to help you learn and embrace whatever you are doing today! And also remember to work at it with all your heart!

Be blessed!
Ali

Would you tell your face!

Posted on
Wouldyoutellyourface

It’s Saturday 13 February, Valentine’s weekend, I’m sitting in the Stadium of Light in Sunderland watching Sunderland v Man Utd. From start to finish, the Utd fans don’t stop singing. Don’t stop encouraging the team, cheering them on, celebrating the past players and achievements. They aren’t just sitting or standing with blank faces, they are pouring their hearts into it.

When we meet friends we smile as we greet them and as we chat with them. As we walk into church each week we greet each other with smiles and excitement to catch up since we last spoke. It all flows naturally for us.
But sometimes I feel that when the service starts there’s a switch inside me that turns off any physical display of affection or excitement of what’s ahead.
Why is this? As I stand and sing songs that talk of Gods forgiveness, Gods power, God fuelling my life, I can’t seem to muster even a smile.
But why are we like that? Do we not know who we are worshiping, who we are cheering on? It’s not a group of guys playing football or a few girls singing on a stage. It’s the creator of the universe! It’s the God who knit us together as we are! It’s the ultimate rescuer! And yet, I can’t even seem to muster a smile as I sing.
Yes sometimes the tunes we sing songs to are very traditional and could do with being amped up and it’s hard to feel happy, but surely the words themselves should be enough to make us at least break a smile, maybe look up, close our eyes or dare I say it, raise a hand. Take “It is Well with My Soul” as an example, written over 150 years ago, not the most upbeat of tunes, but look at the words:
“My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”
  1. How can I sing these words and not get excited? How can I keep that excitement locked inside me? My sin is nailed to the cross!! Praise the Lord! Why on earth am I not telling my face to show the world how happy I am?
  2. But what confuses me even more is when we sing upbeat songs. Now when I’m in the car and I hear the start of the song come on, the volume normally gets turned up, I instantly feel excited, happy, pumped and bouncing along as I sing. But as I sit in church, I recognise the song as the band starts to play, I start to feel the excitement flow and as we start to sing, nothing. No smile, no bouncing, my excitement is gone and I’m standing as a statue and I seem to have forgotten to tell my face and my body to express what I’m singing about.
Compare it with this, 4 years ago when I was leading a team of young people on a mission trip to Uganda. We are taking part in a church service in a country thousands of miles from home with no one else we know and yet the same thing happens. We are leading worship with a song and yet we are still so glum. Contrast it with the Ugandans who smiled and danced and even lifted chairs above their heads in praise and worship to God!!
Why do we find it so hard to get excited about Jesus? Are we too comfortable? Have we got it too easy? Or are we simply too afraid to open ourselves up in this way in front of our friends and peers?Are these really suitable arguments or excuses as to why we don’t display our excitement as we worship?
Doesn’t the creator of the universe, the God who knit me together, the ultimate rescuer, deserve more than me just standing and going through the motions?
Oh and by the way, Utd lost that day and yet the fans still kept singing.

Holding On

Posted on
IMG_2429

On a windy day, many Northern Irish people will comment, “It would blow you away out there”! I feel like Seth and I experienced this today. I have NEVER held on to his pram so tightly before. The fear of the pram tipping and the look on Seth’s face every time a gust of wind came and seemed to take his breath away, we decided to turn back and head for home, this stormy day was just to much for us!

As I walked/quick marched (haha) home, and held on to the handles as tight as I could, trying to protect my baby, a little thought popped into my head, I feel God gave me this analogy to share. Today, storms may be all around you, and you feel you can’t cope, you wish you could turn back. But please know this, just as I held on to my child tightly, your father, God, is holding on to you. He’s holding on to you as tight as he can, he’ll get you through the storm. It may not be today or even tomorrow and he may have to hold you for a long time before you reach your hands back out to him, but HE is holding on.

 

Please know this today, He’s got you, have faith!

Be blessed!

Ali xo26

Inspiration

Posted on
image-82
Life as a new mum running my own business just seems so busy! I feel like the months are just flying by. Seth is almost 6 months and we have started weaning him, which is great fun! But lately I have been feeling so uninspired, probably due to having only a few hours in the day to get some work done, and being up 3 times a night to feed, doesn’t give you a very active mind during the day. At Ali Marriott, most of what I design and create is inspired by the word of God but becoming new parents we found that our time was taken up with Seth that we neglected to spend proper time with the One who gave us our beautiful son. We’ve been really challenged by this.
Dave & I first began our relationship by watching Louie Giglio’s dvd’s, his talks on creation and his passion to see young people come to know God, amazing! So as I watched Passion 2016 online and listened to some of the talks, Christine Caine (founder of the A21 campaign) preached at one of the sessions. As I listened to her talk I heard two things, as if they were aimed at me, here they are; “STOP wasting your time, watching rubbish on tv”, and “Mediate on the word of God day & night”. WOW! If I was looking for God to speak to me and inspire me, I had to stop wasting my time in front of the TV and start mediating on his word day & night!  I have been so challenged by these statements, and daily I am choosing, with His strength, to spend time with God. I don’t know about you but I feel a bit rubbish about myself sometimes when I read other blogs, especially those in business, because I read there blog and think they must have it all together, but social media is so deceiving, every one has there struggles. Believe me, if they haven’t yet, they are coming! So here I am baring my heart to you, whoever you are reading my little thoughts, telling you that I struggle a lot, I sometimes don’t have my priorities right but I am learning daily, just as you are too. Suppose this is why the bible tells us to encourage one another along the way and carry each others burdens. Maybe a wee challenge for us girls (or guys if you read this) is to ask our friends, how they are doing not just physically but spiritually. In Northern Ireland, we all seem to be ‘fine’, but don’t settle for that!
So looking for inspiration like me, or feeling a bit deflated, then spend time with the ultimate designer and creator, the God that created the world and created you & me! How wonderful!
Blessings,
Ali xo