A day of memories

A day out of the normal was all I needed to refresh my soul.

To allow my spirit to be free.

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A day with my husband just the two of us.

We got to smile and laugh.

Browse and chat.

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Lounge over coffee, warm and creamy.

Sampling food without children screaming.

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Holding hands as we walked along, tenderness in his warm embrace.

A day of memories to hold close.

We need to do this again soon.

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Vast as the universe

I realised something today, something I knew deep in my heart but not something that I really had taken on board.

You can’t go back!

It’s a simple statement but the repercussions from it are far from simple. They are as vast as the universe.

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I have spend so much of my time looking back that I’ve stopped appreciating or even experiencing the now.

The irony of this statement is that Livvy the reason I look back so often actually taught me the value of the moment. The need to live in the now, the gift of the present.

She must be up there in heaven thinking “mom I’ve taught you better”.

And she would be right, she did teach me better.

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Each day we live is a gift

Each morning coffee with a friend.

Every cuddle with your loved ones.

Every burst of laughter as your children play.

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The joy of the moment.

The gift of that smile that lights your face when you receive a text from your dear but crazy friend.

The savouring of the fullness of your stomach as you finish your meal.

The relief of someone doing the washing up.

I have so much to be grateful for in my life. So much in the here and now. My past will never be forgotten its stays here in the present in the love of my heart.

But life isn’t meant to be lived backwards, so today I’m driving myself forward.

Into the wonder of now

The joy of the future

The promise of eternity.

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Tumbling

I’m tumbling into the midst of my pain. My heart is aching from the missing. I need to fill my heart with sweet memories but the broken vessel is leaking endlessly.

Grief is such an exhausting emotion. It pulls, it tears hard at my soul.

The false smile I fix to my face is slipping. My hiding place is found.

I need to find my place again in this world. A place that fits a grieving mother.

I want joy to fill my heart. The light to shine in the recesses of my very being.

So much left to cherish, so much left to love.

I know I cannot do this alone, my strength does not compare.

So I turn to the one who loves me. The one who restored my soul.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
(Psalms 73:26, NIV)

Empty Corridors

I walked through the entrance and already the pain was overfilling in my heart, seeping out through my veins straight to my mind. My heart was racing so quick the ache burning deep into my soul.

Flashes of images in my mind of what should have been. Anger at what wasn’t to be.

The dear lady showed us round, it’s a wonderful place. You can feel the children’s joy, you can see their happiness in the colourful artwork that adorns the walls.

Yet all I can hear is the distance echo of footfall that will never be heard in these corridors.

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I’m doing ok, the false smile plastered across my face, the school is wonderful so much to offer, so much to give.

Then my heart stops mid beat, there on the lockers before me are photos of her two best friends. They were once a trio now only the duo is heard.

“each child has their own locker” I’m told. “not mine” I scream silently.

Our visit comes to an end, did she feel my pain as she shook my hand?

I stumble to the car before the tears are allowed to fall. “drive please” I beg my husband.

My heart opens and gut wrenching sobs escape. I cannot breathe for the heartache.

“she never went there”. Alan states, “we have no memories here”. It’s true, his words are the truth. Yet that’s why the anger consumes me. Why the knives are stabbing deep into my soul.

So many places she didn’t get to go, so many things she didn’t get to do.

The “why ” forms on my tongue but not spoken. “why not” I guess is my answer.

Why not my child!

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I hold on tight to the grace of our Lord, I know he hears my anger ,catches my tears.

I give thanks for the life she got to live. The places she got to go. The memories I have to cherish.

My heart aches so desperately but I remind myself that this life is just a blink of an eye in the truth of eternity.

Yes it was a wonderful place I visited today, but it cannot compare to the beauty of heaven. I allow this knowledge to become the healing balm for my soul.

I give thanks.

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My Nemesis

Like a annoying tune that never stops playing.

As close as the hairs on my head

Running around my body like the blood in my veins

Relentless like the cold calls for personal insurance.

I try to be positive and not let you wear me down, but slowly my strength is slipping away.

I so fed up of explaining myself because of you. Invisible to others you plague me.

I’m missing the person I was before you came along.

You soak up my energy and my spirit like a never fulfilled sponge.

My arsenal to fight you is giving up the battle, ammunition running low.

I hate you with a passion that consumes me. I tried to be indifferent but I can’t.

My nemesis, my enemy, my foe, different names for the one known as

MY PAIN

Christmas overwhelms me

I’m nervous about Christmas it’s a time of year with overwhelms me. The pressure to have the perfect decorations the perfect dinner and if course making sure that the gifts are perfect for all the ones I love.

The noise level goes up at Christmas. The annoying carols that play in every shop you visit. The constant stream of adverts telling you “this is the must have toy for your child”.

Everywhere you go you are faced with bright lights and trimmings that sparkle so bright straight into a headache for me.

Cards to be written, having to check your lists twice making sure that some distant relative isn’t going to be forgotten.

Presents to be wrapped and hidden. Receipts to be kept safe, endless roles of sellotape and batteries added to the shopping list.

Christmas time is exhausting!

Yet I love the sharing of presents, the warm feeling I get inside when I see the genuine smile on someone’s face when they open their gift. And Yes the worry of the last few months does disappear in the chaos of giggling children ripping open their presents.

The destruction of the living room is one of my favourite parts of the holiday. The floor covered in spend paper and opened cards.

The beautiful sounds of hymns being sung at the church carol service. The peace found in the telling of the Christmas story on Christmas eve. The warmth of the church as we all sit together and prayer as we remember the real reason of Christmas.

For only a day life seems to go on warp mode for the months before. Each year I make myself the promise of being prepared earlier yet all of a sudden December is knocking at my door.

My husband tells me I wouldn’t change it for the world but truthfully I would a little. I would like to be able to put less pressure on myself. To accept that no everyone will get the perfect gift but the fact that I have given in love should be enough. Accept that my Christmas dinner will never look like Delia Smiths but my family all enjoy it and if anyone is missed of my Christmas card list then maybe we need to stay in touch a little more.

Perfection isn’t going to happen in my home, but happiness and love will be a plenty.

I remember the true meaning of Christmas and that is completely overwhelming in a truly special way.

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If you would like to overwhelm someone with love and caring this Christmas consider making a gift in their name to the Compassion UK Christmas Appeal . Help Compassion release children from poverty.

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Defining Happiness

I’ve been thinking the last few days about happiness and what it really is? I know this may sound a strange question but I struggle with the concept of being happy. Now I can imagine that sounds rather maudlin but I don’t mean it to, it’s just the idea of being completely happy seems to far from me.

The dictionary definition of happy is ;

hap·py

adj. hap·pi·er, hap·pi·est

1. Characterized by good luck; fortunate.

2. Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy.

3. Being especially well-adapted; felicitous: a happy turn of phrase.

4. Cheerful; willing: happy to help.

5.

a. Characterized by a spontaneous or obsessive inclination to use something. Often used in combination: trigger-happy.

b. Enthusiastic about or involved with to a disproportionate degree. Often used in combination: money-happy; clothes-happy.

And to be honest this doesn’t help, these seem to be feelings we experience at times but can we say we are generally just happy.

So is happiness a something that is a fleeting emotion something you feel just for that moment?

Hopefully by photos will explain my thoughts a little better.

In this photo I have my arms around my beautiful daughters and I’m so happy.

Then I think back to when this photo was taken and my happiness slips away, yet doesn’t take away from the happiness I felt moments before.

Yet the strangest thing is when this photo was actually taken I was so happy.

See no wonder I’m confused and yes my mind is a scary place to be.

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
Albert Camus

I guess what I’m realising is that happiness does exist but it isn’t measured by time but by the moments that make our heart soar. Time and happiness are separate things, time is a unit that’s recorded and happiness is experiences that are lived.

Life isn’t measured by how many breaths we take, but by the moments that takes our breath away – Unknown

Time Out

I’ve been struggling this week for a variety of reasons, my grief being a main one another being sick with a vile head cold. This is the reason this blog as been so quiet, it’s hard to write when your head is banging and your heart is hurting. Yet having to take some time out isn’t always a bad thing it does give you time to look at the bigger picture and see some things you have been missing or the things, people you have in your life.

 

It has been in this time I have been reminded of Gratitude

Hopefully my words below will explain.

 

 

Have you ever sat at a football match next to a friend, felt each other’s pain at conceded goals or lousy free kicks, shared the joy of a victory, a place on the top of the league table. The connection you feel from the love of the sport emphasises the feelings you share.

This is how I feel about my friendships made in faith. Knowing the person I sit chatting with has the same love for God, radiates my soul. The giving of prayers, the understanding of the truth!

For a long time in my life I have felt so alone. The people I trust I could list on one hand, yet slowly my heart is opening up and allowing others inside.

I am so grateful that I am in a country where I have the freedom to practise my faith.

I give thanks to my church for being a place where I can wrap myself up in wonderful worship, fellowship and prayer.

I am so grateful for the family and friends who walk with me on my journey.

Yet I’m on my knees in gratitude to God for never letting me go for loving this lost sheep and for returning her safely to his flock.

 

Kindness

Have you ever been really disappointed not in an angry way just a deflated I thought better way?

I am feeling this way, those times when I read comments on Social networks from people who seem to feel they have a right to interfere in others lives. A right to bear judgement. I just want to scream “walk a step in their shoes.

Why is it that we all seem to think its our right to comment, abuse, condemn others? Why do we find it so hard to compliment, congratulate, uplift?

Don’t get me wrong there have been times when I’ve been bitterly disappointed in myself. Where I forgot to look at both sides of a story, got caught up in gossiping.

When I was little and about to whine about my brothers and sisters my grandad used to say to me, “young lady if you aren’t going to say something nice, stay quiet”. Wise words from a wise man.

Life is so precious but we all at times forget this. Imagine what the world would be like if people were more willing to build each other up instead of being quick to tear them down.

I know I’m going to make a conscious effort to stay quiet if my words aren’t kind and also to try and be uplifting in my comments and to give praise where due.

Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up. ~Jesse Jackson

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Confirmation

Gosh yesterday was a busy a day. I was honoured to have my confirmation at Aldridge Parish Church.

If you have been a follower of my blog you will know that I class myself as a new Christian I only came to faith in the last few years and was baptised 18 months ago. Yet my journey has been a powerful one.

I was blessed to start my journey at a different church to where we worship now. It was a place full of wonderful people who really love God. People who were dear friends of ours. At the time I believed that I would grow old within there. Yet God has different plans, my girls weren’t happy and to be honest I wasn’t at times to. So after a lot of prayer we decided to move to our local parish church.

At first it was strange moving from a small Pentecostal church to large Anglian church. The worship is really different but for me it soon felt like home. I was welcomed warmly into the congregation and soon found myself really enjoying the fellowship. It was hard to leave people behind but I knew it was right for me and my family. My girls joined the youth and have just blossomed. My one daughter was so cross at God for the loss of her sister, but she has been given the space, guidance and love to fall in love with God again and I can see powerful stirrings within her heart. It’s been incredible to see the changes in all three of my girls. They are loving the social side but also the teachings. As a mom this has been so special. It’s also having a big impact on my marriage as my husband is slowly opening up his heart to God to and enjoying his new found fellowship.

So yesterday I got to stand in front of my friends and the Bishop and confirm my faith to them. To say yes my journey began at my baptism but here I stand confirming this is who I am and whatI believe .That I’m excited and blessed to be part of this church family.

Aldridge Parish has been wonderful for me, I use the term the parish because it doesn’t begin or end with the one church. It is all a big community a big family. I have been blessed by some wonderful guidance, wonderful support and some incredible people.

I will always be grateful for the people who started me on my journey. They will always be dear to my heart. Yet we all have different pathways and for me this is mine.

I don’t know what the future holds but I do know who holds my future.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
(Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)