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You need it and deserve it.

To my regular readers an apology. I know that I have touched on this topic a few times in the past but it is so important and backed by so much new research that I felt it was worth mentioning it again.

Language. This blog is (thankfully) read all over the world. People in places like the UK use the term holiday and vacation interchangeably but most our US friends tend to see a holiday as something like Thanksgiving Day. I will therefore use the term Vacation to avoid confusion.on-vacation-2

Americans are not taking all of their earned vacation days. A 2014 survey revealed that while 96% of people recognize the importance of taking time off, 41% did not plan on taking all of their available vacation. Another survey showed that 42% of Americans did not take a single day of vacation in 2014.

This is bad for your health, your family, your mental well being and for your effectiveness at work!

Vacations are good for your health.

For example, a nine-year study, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, found that middle-aged people at high risk for heart disease who took regular annual vacations were 32% less likely to develop heart disease.

According to the Framingham heart study — a renowned longitudinal study of cardiovascular disease — women who vacationed frequently were less likely to have heart attacks or die of coronary-related reasons.

A Wisconsin study of 1,500 rural women demonstrated that frequent vacations led to less depression and tension, as well as greater energy and marital satisfaction.

Family
Families as a whole benefit from vacation, too. A poll found that 97% of parents with children aged 5 to 17 said their children learned more about them on family trips. Also, these getaways enable families to have more meals together and be sillier and more affectionate with each other.

Dr Lucy Goundry, Nuffield Health’s Medical Director, said: ‘Our clinical results show how vacations helped couples reduce their blood pressure, improve their sleep and manage their stress levels better. ‘These results clearly demonstrate that on vacation our ability to physically cope with stress improves.

Lady
Ladies this bit is specially for you.
Stress May Cause Fat Around the Midsection in Lean Women

Even some slender women have problems with fat. Research shows that lean women who are stressed-out may be more likely to have “spare tires” around their midsections -which increases their risk of certain diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. “Our findings support the idea that greater life stress and stress reactivity can contribute to central fat, especially among lean women,” says study author Elissa Epel, PhD. “For lean women, central fat may indicate an underlying sensitivity to stress rather than being in part a result of obesity.” Epel, who was a research scientist at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., when the study was conducted, is now with the Health Psychology Program at the University of California, San Francisco.

“When you have chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, you crave carbohydrates and fats, and these extra calories make a beeline to the inner abdomen, she explains. As levels of the female hormone estrogen change as women age, fat goes to the abdominal area instead of the hips and thighs, where it was formerly needed to support reproductive functions”. Dr. Peeke says.

So why do we not take the much needed break?Why?

We enjoy them.
We need them.
We want them
So what is the problem?

Research suggests that there are 2 main obsticals.

tired-lady
1. People are concerned that their job will not manage without them. Actually the research clearly shows that you will do a far better job with a break.

 

Vacation Makes You More Productive and Relaxed

Interestingly, the concept of leaving unused vacation days is practically unheard of in Europe. In fact, the European Union requires its citizens to receive at least 20 paid vacation days every year. (In contrast, U.S. companies are not legally required to give their employees any paid time off.)

This mandate stems from the idea that workers are not only less stressed when given time off, but that they come back more productive and less likely to burn out.

2. People feel that they simply can’t afford to take a decent vacation.

Let us help you. That is what we are here for.

As a registered house sitter you and your family will be offered a wide range of vacations all over the world. Totally rent-free.
But what about your home and pets? What will happen to them?
Again we can help. Register as a Home Owner (it is free) and we will help you find a suitable person to look after your home and pets free of charge.
Cat strutting

Don’t delay. Be bold and take a major step towards a happier, healthier and more productive life.

If you would like to benefit from our service please have a look at the website. http://www.Christian-housesitters.com or  CLICK HERE.

God bless you,
Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

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Free Service for Christians Everywhere.

I love saving moneyI have news about a genuinely free service.

Not like the spam messages I get every day with things that look good on the surface but are there just as bait to get you to spend money. No this is a service that will not cost you anything. Not now and not in the future.

We have just passed Easter and many people are now starting to think about their vacation later in the year.

Vacations are wonderful, benefit our mental and physical health and build up relationships within the family but they can also create tremendous stress because of the cost.

If you have any pets they will need to be looked after while you are away.  I am quoting UK prices where you live the prices may vary but this is to illustrate the point and I can’t, in a blog post, put prices for every country in the world. The average price in the UK Dog and leadfor having a pet minder to pop in for a few minutes every day in order to ‘look after’ your pet is around £200 per week.  More if you have more than one pet. All that money and the pets are still left alone for about 23 hours a day and your house is left unprotected. If you want someone to stay in your house and look after your property as well you can expect the cost to be significantly higher.

The majority of us can’t afford that.

On top of that if you hire a someone through an agency they select the person. You have no idea who you are letting into your home. They may have no criminal record but are they really the type of person you feel happy giving the run of you home unsupervised while they know you are away?
Oh yes it's free

Using our service it is FREE. You know that the people will be Christians, you will have references from a leader in their church and you are able to make contact with potential sitters and prayerfully select the right person or persons.

Christian House Sitters will provide the service FREE OF CHARGE. No catch, no small print, no hidden cost. FREE.

Our service is available all over the world. Right now we have members in:

Canada,
America,
England,
Scotland,
Ireland,
Wales,
France,
Spain,
Germany,
Holland,
Italy,
South Africa,
Australia and
New Zealand.

How can you get this free service?

Easy. Visit our website and register as a Home Owner. Yes, it is free and only takes a few minutes.

The  other big vacation expense is renting somewhere to stay. A cottage, hotel room, or even just a camp site. If you chose to register as a Sitter then you can have Rent-Free accommodation. Registering as a sitter is also very quick and easy but this will cost you the tiny sum of £25 per year. Note all the income goes to look after children at a Christian Children’s Home in Kenya. Children who would otherwise be homeless, living on the streets, begging, stealing and often dying. Your annual £25 will allow you to apply for as many vacations as you like during the year for yourself and your family. You will stay in a home not an impersonal room and save a fortune. The annual cost is way less than one night in a very modest hotel room. We have had members who have enjoyed many months of rent free accommodation during their year. Others are content with just a week or two. But even at a week you are probably saving in excess of £200 to £300 per week even if you do not have children.

Have a look at www.Christian-housesitters.com

Do your friends a favour. Share this opportunity with your friends, your family, your church and be a blessing to them.

God bless you,

Ray

 

Christian House Sitters is part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

 

 

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What’s in a word? Travel

I enjoy writing these blogs but at times my brain runs dry (no rude comments please) and so when someone kindly sends me a guest post I am grateful. My sincere thanks to Lesley Roberts for today’s blog.

TRAVEL
By Lesley Roberts

 I once read a Christian book, in fact it was a Lenten Study, called “What’s in a Word?”
Excited
TRAVEL:  What does the word conjure up for you? Some of the words that come to mind are: anticipation, excitement, planning, studying maps, reading up on the area, etc.  I think anticipation and planning the holiday are part of the fun of the holiday, especially as once the holiday begins, time flies, and before one knows it, it’s all over!
Perhaps the word Travel conjures up memories of travelling overseas, exciting plane or boat trips to exotic destinations?
Perhaps for some of us, who are elderly or unable to afford to travel,  travel entails “Armchair Travelling”, paging through Getaway Magazine or Country Life,  going down memory lane.

We once had a book put out by the AA, called “En Route in SA”, and that was our travelling companion for many years when we took off on holiday.  When our children were small we mainly headed to the South Coast of Natal.  Being in the Methodist Ministry we couldn’t afford fancy hotels, except once we stayed at the famous Four Seasons Hotel in Durban.  (Our holiday was funded by a congregation member).  We hired many a holiday cottage up and down the South Coast of Natal, the South Coast being ideal for families with small children.

My late husband and I once planned a barge holiday in the UK, I remember I was reading a devotional book at the time, written by Eddie Askew of the Leprosy Mission.  He described his holiday on the canals where the “butterflies flew faster than the barge”.

UK Canal Barge

UK Canal Barge

That appealed to me – slowing down to that pace, drifting along, being one with nature, to the point where butterflies flew faster than the barge was moving.  Sadly, we never got to take that holiday as Mike became too ill with cancer.  It’s still on my bucket list.

As we approach the Lenten Season, the picture of those disciples on the Emmaus Road comes to mind.  Sad and discouraged, they were plodding along, talking amongst themselves about the happenings of the last few days, when Jesus came alongside them….. This is still one of my favourite readings in the Bible, and became very meaningful after my late Mike’s death.    When we travel the grief journey, according to Joyce Rupp, we need to carry the following in our suitcase : “Faith and Courage”  from a book by Joyce Rupp called “Praying our Goodbyes”  She suggests that instead of asking the question “Why” when we embark on the Grief Journey we ask “With Whom” am I going to go on this journey ?

Stilbaai

Stilbaai

Tomorrow I start a new chapter in my life, I am going to travel down the coast from Sedgefield to a little town called Stilbaai (Afrikaans for Still Bay), to live with a family that need a Caregiver for their father.  Being single, I am able to do this kind of thing, and I see it as an adventure.  I am testing myself, and if I cope, I would like to do some Caregiving in the UK to make up for lost capital spent on my own operations and ill health.

I hope to explore the surrounding area in my free time.  My patient says he gets cabin fever, and has asked that I drive him to visit friends in surrounding towns.  This is going to be fun.  So here I go, with Jesus by my side, travelling into unknown waters…..

I look forward to exploring parts of the Western Cape that I have not travelled to before, the famous Route 62¸  and to travelling off the beaten track in my trusty little Suzuki Jimny.

Lesley Roberts

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would you like to travel more?
Are you being held back by the cost?
Are you worried about leaving your home and pets?
Christian House Sitters can help wherever you live. Our worldwide service offers rent-free accommodation and also provides reliable people who will look after your home and pets while you are away. They will do it free of charge.
Have a look at www.Christian-housesitters.com

Share this opportunity with your friends, your family, your church and be a blessing to them.

God bless you,

Ray

Christian House Sitters is part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

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Adding Spice to Retirement

I am running a mini series in which I am reproducing articles that have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world about Christian House Sitters in the hope that it will provide a better perspective of what we do.  These have not been edited by us in any way.

Last week we featured an article from Cathedral Connections.  St Peter’s London Ontario

Here is Article Number 2 and it is taken from the UK Magazine Woman Alive

wa_logo
I’ve become a house sitter’

Sheila Jones from Great Wyrley in the Midlands is a retired researcher and teacher in higher education, and currently an artist.

She worships at St Mark’s and spent her summer house sitting for a couple in Beaconsfield. A few years ago, she joined a worldwide organisation called Christian House Sitters, whereby one looks after a house for anything from a week to several months. She has so far looked after properties in France, England and New Zealand. Sheila has two grown-up children and four grandsons.

She has been widowed for 30 years.

About five years ago, I was browsing the internet and wondering if there was an opportunity to house sit in New Zealand, when I came across http://www.christian-housesitters.com. It is not a house swap, although I could put my house on the website for someone to look after while I am sitting for someone else if I wanted to. It costs just £25 to sign up and it’s a matter of seeing what
locations and properties fit in with the holiday time you have.

I went to France last year and New Zealand the year before that. The longest time I have spent away is nine months in New Zealand. This year, I stayed in England and went back to a lovely house in Beaconsfield, where I have been several  times before.

As a house sitter, you often have to look after the family pets. Sometimes it’s cats or dogs, and this year it was also chickens. But in return, I had all the eggs!

It’s an affordable way of seeing different parts of the country and visiting other parts of the world. I have enjoyed taking part in worship in other churches and it’s lovely to come back and share those experiences.

I usually go on my own, but I have on occasions taken my son or daughter. However, it’s important to let the owners know if there is more than one of you going, so they can get the rooms ready.

I would love to go to Canada, but although there have been houses that have come up from time to time, so far they haven’t fitted in with my free time.

Sheila’s Tips:

If you do house sit, make sure you are there before the owners leave. It enables you to meet them properly and know where things are.

One of the questions asked when you are linked up is whether you would like to be put in touch with one of the house owner’s friends. I would say yes and I always try and go to their local church when I am there. It is always good to see how others worship.

Have a spirit of adventure. If you are retired, it helps you get out of the “retirement mindset”.

Have a look at our website for more details. We are a Christian Ministry NOT a business.

www.christian-housesitters.com

God bless you,

Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

Some recent rent-free houses around the world

I am often asked what sort of houses we get on the Christian House Sitters website. Some people seem to assume that they will only be tiny apartments tucked away in some dark back street. Far from it we get a wide range from small to big, town to country and everything in between

To give a rough idea here is a short slide show of where some of our recent houses were located and what the sitters found when they arrived.

Remember these were all rent-free. Visit the website for more details CLICK HERE

God bless you

Ray

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Funny places in England

Posted on

Nothing serious today just a few things to hopefully make you smile. They made me smile

Two months ago we moved from Sussex to the delightful village of Seavington in Somerset. But when we first arrived I had great difficulty in shops, at the bank and chatting to people because nobody had ever heard of the village. I eventually discovered that even though it is spelt as Sea-ving-ton it is pronounced Seving-ton. Why? What happened to the ‘a’? I have no idea.

This morning I was driving Marilyn to a Physiotherapist appointment. Halfway between Ilminster and Chard we saw a village called Sea. The nearest coast must be at least 20 miles away so why is it called Sea? Again I have no idea.

This started me thinking about British town names. We certainly have some odd places.

How would you like to tell people that you live in Puddletown (formerly Piddletown)  a village in Dorset, 5 miles east of Dorchester in the Piddle River Valley

I can’t help wondering if it was named by someone who now lives in Crackpot, Swaledale, North Yorkshire.

Crackpot Town Sign

 

In Norfolk near to Walsingham there are a couple of villages one called Great Snoring and the other Little Snoring.

Sign to Great and Little Snoring

Here is a picture of the Great Snoring Church notice board. I was tickled by the section that says “Great Snoring Sunday Services” Not very encouraging. I feel sorry for the preacher.

Great Snoring Church

Could this in any way be related to the town situated near Grayshot in Hampshire which has the wonderful name Land of Nod.

Sign to Land of Nod

Ladies would you live in Ugley, near Bishop’s Stortford.

Ugley street sign

I suppose that is better than Pity Me, north of Durham.

Pity Me Sign

Recently the town of Dull in Scotland decided to twin with the Oregon town of Boring. So you can now officially be Dull and Boring.

Signs for Dull and Boring

I could name many other odd places but some official town names are frankly not suitable for this blog.

Ahh the joys of travel. I love exploring new places

By the way have you visited our web site? CLICK HERE

God bless you

 

Ray

 

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Overcoming Prejudice.

Immigrants

I saw the picture above on a friend’s Facebook page and it really appealed to me.

I grew up in a very small rural community of farmers in South Africa and did not travel abroad until after I was married and we had children.  Unknown to me I was forming mental pictures of national stereotypes that encouraged prejudice.

Stereotypes

 

Since then I have lived in England for many years, spent a year in France, months in Italy and visited about 20 countries for prolonged periods. The result is that I now have a far better understanding of people from different cultures and I have friends all over the world.

In my opinion the best way to get to know people from other cultures is to spend some time living with them. A vacation staying in a hotel catering for tourists is great but no substitute for living with the locals.

But, I hear you object, it costs so much I can’t afford to travel all over the world.

Neither can I but that has not stopped me and hopefully my travelling days are far from over. There are still so many places I want to visit, so many people I want to meet and even places I want to re-visit.

The only way I have been able to afford it is by House Sitting. That means my only expense is getting there and my food. My accommodation is free of charge. What a blessing. It also means I stay in lovely homes rather than a hotel room, I meet real local people, I can visit the home owners local church if I wish and be assured of a good welcome and I have a wonderful time and make new friends.

Why don’t you give it a try?

Christian House Sitters can help you enjoy  rent free vacations all over the world. We can also help you find reliable people who will look after your home and pets free of charge while you are away.

Have a look at the website for more details. CLICK HERE

God bless you

Ray

 

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

 

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