A Mind Blowing Day !!!!

How can I put into words the night, the day I have just experienced? I am rocked to my very core.

Yesterday we attended the Big Church Day out at Stanford Hall, Loughborough, Leicestershire. I am full of energy for my faith, for my God.

Lou Fellingham started off my day of music, she is one lovely lady. Her voice is as good live as on her albums. She filled my heart with peace. Her new song My God cares had me in tears, the meaning behind the words touched my inner being. She is also very pregnant; I wish her all the health and happiness for the birth of her new child and for her family.

Tim Hughes celebrated the love we have for Jesus. The crowd were collectively worshiping how wonderful, all standing together singing for our love for Jesus. I had never heard Tim before, will be looking for his albums now.

Switchfoot rocked the stage, and my daughters are all now Jesus freaks courtesy of Toby Mac. It was so uplifting to see so many young people really getting the worship.   Israel and New Breed brought people meeting and greeting each other.

They were other artists, bands, theatre companies that were performing but I didn’t get to see them all. It’s a hard choice to make. Next year!

The finale was Hillsong United, and my goodness they really rocked the stage, people crying with love for Jesus. Old and young coming together singing their hearts out, hands raised high all for our love our God. The heavens must have heard our praise last night and I know I was blessed to be part of this amazing experience.

For old Christians for new Christians and for the many that gave they life to Christ right there yesterday. The Big Church Day out was an amazing experience.

For me this was my first event like this. It definitely won’t be my last. I got to meet some wonderful people, people were so open and friendly it was so uplifting. I learned about some amazing charities’ and the wonderful work they do. It fact some of these have moved me so much that I will be featuring them on my blog in the near future.

For me the day was special because I got to sing my heart out to the Lord.  I got to lose myself in the music, in the worship. I have never felt as alive as I do right now. I am so inspired, uplifted.

I have a sore throat, aching legs but my spirit is bursting with joy.

It was a day to be remembered. For me next year cannot come quick enough. For those who didn’t make this event this year. I whole heartily recommend that you do next year. It has blown me away.

Panic and Fear, no longer hold me.

“Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” Mthw 6;34

“Panic! Why do I allow this to overwhelm me? One minute I’m fine the next I cannot breathe. I’m sure at times someone standing close to me will hear my heart as it pounds against my chest.”

Ten years ago I was diagnosed with post natal depression. The Dr’s believed the combination of child birth then becoming seriously ill with an infection sent the chemicals in my brain into frenzy leaving me feeling unbalanced and terribly alone.

Unbalanced, yes that is a good way of describing how I was feeling at this time.

There were many emotions running through my body, panic, fear, sadness but the one that really dominated me was anger.

I couldn’t understand why when I should have been so happy and enjoying my beautiful daughters I was crying and having panic attacks. Why couldn’t I pull myself together?

A few months later it all seemed like a bad dream, but like any nightmare there is always a memory that is left behind.

There are days even now where I find the darkness clouding my life. Days when for no reason I just can’t feel happy. Yes they are very rare but they do happen.

As you may know the last two years have been filled with traumatic times for me. I have lost a child then lost again. My faith family and friends have kept me strong. I won’t say it has been easy, times I have been on my knees crying out to our Lord.

Life isn’t meant to be easy. How can we learn if we don’t allow ourselves to make mistakes? My mistake was to believe I could run and hide from my low moments from my fear and panic.

How I wish I could go back ten years and tell my younger self to ease up on the internal anger that consumed me. To accept that your body and your mind had been put through so much. To give myself a break to give myself time to heal.

I can’t go back to then, but I can return to now, when at times I allow the panic into my heart again. When for that one spilt moment I just feel like giving up on my dreams on my happiness. Instead of being angry at myself and berating myself for weakness. I will give myself joy. I know that through the darkness there is light. My strength, my faith, my eternal love and of course hope is there to guide me back into the light.

“Why am I so depressed? Why is this turmoil within me? Put your hope in the God, for I will still praise him” Psalm 42; 5

Unlike ten years ago, I now know God, and in knowing him I have eternal hope.

How do you carry on ??

One of the main questions people ask me when they hear my story is “How do you carry on?”

I’m not sure I have a real answer. Losing my child nearly destroyed me, but I have to remember the three amazing girls who are still with me. I know that in Heaven God is holding my angels tight. If I wasn’t here or strong who would be there for my girls.

Everything in this life is part of something bigger. What my part is to be honest I haven’t a clue. In fact there have been many times when I would wish my life could be read from a different script. In faith I have to stay strong and remind myself that God knows.

Fighting my way through my grief is a daily struggle. Some days it feels like a new battle every hour, every minute. The emotions are so raw not giving into the despair inside.

When we lost Livvy, Alan and I had to put our grief to one side and look into the faces of our girls. How we handled life from here forward would be the life lesson they would learn.

We read a lot of siblings account’s of when their brother or sister died how they felt they had lost their parents too. Not physically but emotionally. The grief simply drained the life out of them. This could have easily happened to us, at times we both came incredibly close, but we held on. WHY??? For our girls, Kennedy, Eden and Brodie.

Losing their sister devastated my girls. No many how many squabbles they have the bond between my daughters amazes me. Even death hasn’t broken this bond. Livvy is talked about and laughed about daily; she is still part of our family. Death for us is only a temporary separation.

For Alan and I as parents we had no choice but to carry on. Our children had learned the pain of grief and sorrow. We had to remind them of the joy of love. They needed to see us laugh again, love again.

Our second loss could have destroyed us, but I thank God each day for my brave incredible daughters as they reminded us that each day we spend together is a blessing.

Memories are one of my greatest gifts, if I could tell any parent one thing it would be. “Create memories every day.”

Look what happens when i read other peoples blogs

I end up spending money. Now unless you speak to my husband you know how much I hate that. No to be perfectly honest to me one of the best things money can buy is a book so when my friend Cherie at http://www.heartandsoulreflections.com/ write a post about how this book

<a href=”http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0310273927?ie=UTF8&tag=walkingwithan-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=0310273927″>God’s Power to Change Your Life (Living with Purpose)<img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.co.uk/e/ir?t=walkingwithan-21&l=as2&o=2&a=0310273927” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

had inspired her. Me being me, had to go and check out the book and then decided I fancied a copy of my own. The problem being is that somehow this book also ended up in my virtual basket.

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0310239273?ie=UTF8&tag=walkingwithan-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=0310239273″>If You Want to Walk on Water, You’Ve Got to Get out of the Boat<img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.co.uk/e/ir?t=walkingwithan-21&l=as2&o=2&a=0310239273” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

To be perfectly honest, I love reading people’s blogs and I also love reading how certain books move people. To say I’m a book lover is a slight understatement. My sister calls my bedroom her library and my husband called it a fire hazard. For me a book is a ticket to a different world an escape. The words can make you cry, laugh, despair or fill you with inspiration.

Thankfully my children have also inherited my love of the written word and many nights I have found a child burrowed under bed sheets with a torch just desperate to finish the page, chapter of this weeks book.

I know now we are given the opportunity of the written word in many forms, ebook, the new reader things (see a complete tech phobic). For me nothing beats the smell of an old book or the crispness of the pages of a new book. Maybe I am old-fashioned who cares. I know there are many more books yet to be read and if any of you will like to make me recommendations please do.

My daughter’s grace

Last night my eldest daughter Kennedy made me incredibly proud. For months she has been working towards the semi final of the counties pop star competition. Then we were hit by the heartache of the last month. Her mind hasn’t really been focussed where it needs to be, understandably so.

I would be lying if I don’t admit how nervous I was for her. She loves to sing and being the completely unbiased mom I am, I think she is amazing.

Anyway let’s go back to last night at 6pm I had a very sick very nervous young lady who just didn’t believe she could do it.

At 8pm as we were sitting in the theatre watching the others sing their songs. I received this text from my daughter. “I’ll be fine mom, God is with me and my sister and brother are to. I’m going to rock the stage.       You know what she did.

My heart was bursting with pride, not just because she stood up and sung her heart out but because she realised that she was never alone. That her loved and God stood beside her.

When her name was called out as one of the three going straight through to the final I screamed with joy (literally).

Whatever happens at the final, nothing will take away my pride and my joy in my daughter’s grace.

What a relief!

Maybe I’m a terrible person feeling this way, but as a new Christian I feel I am daily failing my God when I let my faith be tested and let doubt enter my mind.

The comments on my last post showed me that we all have times of struggle. When our faith is tested. So I am being perfectly honest when I say “What a relief”. I cannot thank  my friends ( I hope that I am not making presumptions) for the comments they left on my post. Their honesty filled me with hope and assurance.

I was praying earlier today about this and came to realise that most of the time its our faith in ourselves that gets tested. I know of many occasions when I have felt like I am letting God down, not that he has let me down.

As I spend my time praying I was reminded of Peter who denied Jesus three times, yet when Jesus stood on the shore Peter swam to meet him. Although he knew he had let Jesus down he had complete trust, complete faith in Jesus’s forgiveness.

“When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tied his outer garment around him and plunged into the sea”.

He knew with all his heart that Jesus loved him.

It is a peaceful feeling that surrounds me today. I feel I have been too hard on myself. Lets face it the last few years have been like a living nightmare. I have suffered the lost of two of my beautiful children. I use the word loss but I know with all my heart that they are in heaven with our eternal father. So I guess they are not loss to me, just out of reach for a while. I know we will meet again.

While the years have been hard I can look back in hindsight to some of the amazing things that have enriched my life too. I have been able to live my dream of fostering children with special needs, though this has not being a easy journey it has filled my heart with joy as well as the sorrow and I am sure in will continue to do so.

My faith has been restored and I have returned my heart to Jesus. I also believe that all the trauma has made me stronger and this has given me a conviction to my faith that I may not have experienced if my life hadn’t gone this way.  I guess this is what they mean when they write Beauty from the Ashes.

The peace I find is simply in the knowledge that yes life may be hard and at times in may feel unbearable, but I am never on my own. My faith is my blessing.

“Everything is possible to the one who believes” Mk 9:23

When will I learn?

“Any of you who does not give up everything he has, cannot be my disciple” – Luke 14.33

I listen, watch, read the words of my fellow Christians and admire and in most cases envy (sorry) the way they trust whole heartily in the Lord. They hand over all their worries, plans, finances, children’s futures to him.

How do I learn to do this?

Patience is what I lack, add that to my controlling attitude I struggle. If I have to wait for anything I am awful. When I look forward in my life I find myself frustrated as I don’t have an itinerary for my future. I would seriously love a plan of when, where and what to do. I know this is because of my insecurities but so.

How do I surrender myself to the Lord? I crave peace and contentment in knowing my life is in God’s hands.

 In hindsight I can look back on my life and see many decisions where my lack of patience lack of trust has cost me dearly. When I have tried to give God a timetable. I know this is wrong, one of the hardest lessons I am learning is that God has his own timetable and that he knows what is best for me.

My ego and fear cause me to battle my inner demons so very often.

I don’t want a life where I say I know God. I want to feel God inside of me to have a closeness that fills me in his pure love, trust and faith. I want to be free in God’s eternal love.

I know my eternal father is waiting for me to surrender my all to him. I am just so scared of rejection I hold back.  When will I realise he won’t reject me, he gave his son for me.

My friend always writes “I know not what the future holds but I trust the one who holds it”

I want to surrender to this trust. I want to be a disciple.

Life is a test !

Blessed are those who endure when they are tested. When they pass the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love.” James 1.12

So life is a test! This I can understand but sometimes accepting it isn’t so easy. The question WHY raises its head too many times. Trusting in God is easy, understanding why isn’t. Well not for me anyway. The pain of my loss is just too raw.

Like most parents who have lost a child I question why them, not me? It’s not that I wish to die though I would rather have it been me any day that’s a fact.

I know that God loves us all and that when I weep he weeps with me but sometimes my tears blind me to this.

Losing my child was a gigantic test of my faith. Living my life without her seems sometimes out of reach. Endurance is something that I have to find each and every day. I know there is a plan for my life. Maybe that’s why I am struggling as I have no idea what the plan is.

As a child I felt like I had no control over my life and I know this is the reason I became the way I was, over obsessed by planning and organisation. I have learned to let go a little but at this exact moment in time that fear of being out of control is so overwhelming.

I need to stay strong in my faith and my trust of God. As a new Christian I am trying but I have moments of doubt. I have people around me who challenge me “If there is a God, why do these terrible things happen”? Or “you must be evil for God to punish you so”. I know this is what the enemy wishes me to believe. Sometimes it’s hard not to, especially as I do wonder if I have been evil. I know I fall far from perfection.

Some days it would be easier to feel this way it would be easier to hate than to hope. I refuse to do this. I have faith and trust. I guess the perfect quote for me today is from Mother Teresa

“I know God will not give me anything that I cannot handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much”

It fits perfectly

Its fits perfect.

Isn’t it beautiful, as you can see the engraving says Livvy, This was my beautiful daughters bracelet. She loved wearing it and was forever showing it off to anyone anywhere, bless her.

When we lost Livvy I didn’t know what to do with her bracelet I didn’t want it just to sit in a box and fade and tarnish. Like my memories I want to hold it close. Then my husband suggested I had the bracelet made bigger and wear it. I went through many emotions will I damage it? What if it broke? Is it right? In the end I knew Livvy would love me to wear it and enjoy it as she did. I know there are many treasures in heaven. Livvy would be pleased I am enjoying one of her earth based one.

So here it is extended for my wrist and fitting perfectly.  Does it fill my heart with joy every time I look at it, yes in a way! Will my heart ever be full to the brim with joy again? I don’t think so. While I know without a doubt that Livvy is free from the pain her earthly body brought her and is in the wondrous realm of heaven. I cannot shift the pain of my grief 100%. I miss her too much. Though I now see life not as one more day without her, but one more closer to us being united. I thank God everyday for my faith and for making me realise it fits perfectly.

Happy Heavenly Birthday

Happy Birthday Livvy.

My daughter will be celebrating her eleventh birthday in Heaven today. I do believe that she will be dancing with the Lord, angels and loved ones. It’s this belief that gets me through the pain of not being able to be with her on her special day. I know that in Heaven she is free from all the pain her condition on earth brought her. She is free to dance, free to run, sing, praise.

Livvy was and is an amazing young lady; she showed strength in her character that i can only hope to reach. Her spirit and desire to live life to the full inspires me each and every day. She took the life she had been given and blessed others around her. She suffered and struggled and whilst there were times she was in pain her smile never left her. Praise my beautiful brave daughter.

The hole in my heart and my life where she should be is forever empty. Nothing or no one will ever fill it. I take strength and courage from my faith. I know without a doubt that I will hold my beautiful daughter again one day. We will be reunited. This is my light in the darkness of sorrow and grief that surrounds me today.

I pray today in Livvy’s honour that a cure for Rett syndrome will be found. Dear Lord please hear my prayers.

As for my darling daughter, until I get to hold you again save those hugs and kisses for me.

Happy Birthday, I love you to the moon, stars and back again xxx