My boss at works does not like shell fish. To be honest he doesn’t like much that isn’t meat or potato! Anyway, whenever we talk about going to ‘Red Lobster’ he asks us how we cope with the silent screams. We laugh at the time but I do have a sense of guilt.
Today I was in the office when a beaming, proud, new mum walked in with her four week old baby. So gorgeous, so pink, so loved. Immediately everyone swarmed round, counting fingers and toes, exclaiming delight at her little features. I couldn’t move. I let out a silent scream.
Grief is lonely and whilst the burden on a day to day can be manageable today it was crushing, I can barely breathe.
What a wonderful reminder, He sees us as we are called to be and not what we are.
My husband’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when Charles was a teenager. She underwent a radical mastectomy that affected the nerves in her arm and hand and she lost sensation and mobility enough that she was always afraid of using or handling the fine china and crystal stemware she had collected from the time she was a young bride for fear she would break them. When I met her in the late 70’s, one of her only regrets in life was the fact that she had not utilized her fine dishes more.
Today, I began my feeble attempt of spring cleaning (as I do every year), and one of my dreaded chores is pulling all my fine china out of my display cabinet to dust them. Unfortunately I have not taken the advice she gave me those many years ago to use the dishes. “Don’t worry if you break…
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Blessed, praised and glorified be the God, Most High!
Thank you for your prayers.
My Dad has made a miraculous recovery, he is now home and happy with my Mum. She has a lot on her plate supporting his progress and adapting to the changes in him and their life together, her strength and unerring faith in God, never ceases to amaze me. She is quite an example. Dad is up on his feet and able to move around their home, he can take care of himself and fix food. His speech is returning.
Next weekend we are travelling home to celebrate my big birthday with them.
Matthew 4.4 became very real to me this week.
During the early hours of Monday morning I received ‘that call’.
My Mum said, “Darling, Dad, stroke, pray”
Dad has been an inspiration to us in the years since he retired, he has lived life with gusto. One of the little jobs that he does each week is to visit, shop and collect library books for ‘old people’ who in many cases are younger than him!
During Sunday he had experienced a numbness in his right hand which was frustrating him. In the evening while he and Mum sat chatting before going to bed, he let out a strange cough-choke which sent my Mum running to the phone to call for help.
On arriving at the hospital they began to work on him and confirmed that it was a stroke.
Despite having very limited speech, unable to say what he would like to eat or answer the therapists question as to what you would use a toothbrush for he can say the Lord’s Prayer and recite the Psalms.
God’s Word conceives life, that is good. God’s Word is bringing healing to his 88 year old steadfast follower, my Dad.
When my friend and I prayed together and agreed on his health and healing, the Word came to us that this us not my Dad’s time, God has a plan and it is a good one. His glory will be seen.
My prayer is that he will see a grandchild from me and the baton-legacy of faith that was passed from my Grandmother to my father to myself will be passed by hand to my future child.
Psalm 100:4-5 Enter his gates with thanksgivingand his courts with praise;give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Oh Lord, this is my prayer that I learn to see and treasure in myself just what you see and treasure when you look at me. For I am fearfully and wonderfully made in your image! X
Over the New Year there were many declarations of gratitude for ‘true friends’, this led me to mull over what that really means…
This is a really hard issue to write about, as during last year my husband and I found ourselves deemed ‘untrue’ friends following a misunderstanding.
My husband and I made a decision that our very dear friend considered to be against her.
It is such a tangled mess of emotion, situation and reaction that I don’t want to pour out the whole sorry tale, the bottom line is that sadly we both received devastating news on the same day, she received a cancer diagnosis and we went through an ectopic pregnancy. Whilst we were both dealing with our situations and across 3,500 miles we lost sight of where the other was up too.
From our point of view a decision made enabled us to deal with a situation that was adding to our grief, while from her perspective we lent support to an enemy.
Had we not been grieving we would not have made the decision we did. Now we are dealing with the loss of a friendship and the sadness that our actions caused somebody else pain. There is also a touch of disappointment that we were not allowed to make a decision in light of where we were at, in this instance acting in our own best interests, helping us to heal as a couple.
We are sorry for the pain our decision caused her.
My feeling is that ‘true friendship’ is in the eye of the receiver; it makes a person feel good about themselves, they are protected, treasured, that all is well in their world. We all need that.
On reflecting on this sad, sad situation I truly believe that it is important we take care that we don’t cast out good friends in the instances when they don’t live up to our expectations.
I pray that one day forgiveness will bring wholeness to our friendship.
In February I will be turning 40, my thoughts turned to what to achieve in the next decade, so here are my 50 by 50.
Ten years ago, as I was about to turn 30 I moved from the UK to the Middle East, a huge challenge for someone who lacks in self confidence! The sense of regret at missing out on making such a change outweighed the fear.
Well, I am still here, settled, with a great circle of friends, have met and married a terrific husband and achieved more than I thought possible in my teaching career.
This next decade is about quietening the voice that tells me .. ‘you can’t do that’, ‘ you have nothing to offer’, ‘so-and-so is so much better’ and replacing it with ‘I can, I will, I have’.
Some of the things on the list are places I have been to or things that I have done, then let go of because of that dumb voice, so I am going back to reclaim them.
It’s not so much about me ‘… But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph (as trophies of Christ’s victory) and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere’ 2 Corinthians 2.14.
Just three months before I made the move to the ME I met a young girl who was in a difficult place in her life. She saw me overcome the doubt and fear in making the much needed change in my life. After I left she too decided to make a change in her life, she told me that she thought ‘if A can do it then so can I’ and she did. Last week I received a beautiful picture of her with her little family, so happy.
By making a change in the way I think about myself and about how I lead my life I can make a difference to others, that’s what I want to do, give to others, pass it on, encourage them, build them up, celebrate life.
The first few items on the list are what I would like to have place in the next two months from then on there is no particular order…
My 50 by 50 …
1. Implement and embed the Paleo diet into my daily eating habits, improve my health and well being
2. Reduce my weight and importantly BMI … and maintain!
3. To take up Yoga, following DDP
4. Learn to meditate
5. Cook meals from scratch, get rid of packet mixes
6. Spend more time reading the Bible and in prayer, each day
7. Have time without technology each week…. watch a movie, visit a restaurant without reaching for the iPad or phone!
8. Think positive thoughts about myself, stop giving thought-time to the negative and irrelevant… may take a while
9. Learn to paint landscapes and trees
10. To relearn sign language, as a young child and into my teenage years I had a deaf friend so was fluent, I enjoyed the expression of signing
11.Take a road trip, would love to take a VW camper van around Scotland
12. Spend more time exploring my home country, something like working our way Lands End to John O Groats, probably not all at once
13. To visit Iceland, see the Northern Lights
14. To tour Scandinavia, enjoy the fresh air, paint and photograph the stunning scenery
15. To go on Safari, photograph the big five in their environment
16. To visit different States in the USA, maybe another road trip, either North or South coasts or East to West coast just to observe and value the history, geography, significant characteristics and differences of each state
17. To follow in the footsteps of Anne of Green Gables and Jane of Lantern Hill by visiting Canada and especially Prince Edward Island
18. To complete a Fitness challenge, not sure quite what yet, not sure I can run anymore so maybe not a marathon but possibly a walk or cycle or aerobic event
19. Complete dive training and dive in at least three different countries, to see and photograph pretty fish
20. Knit a jumper that can be worn in public
21. Crochet at least one item
22. Attend ‘Betty’s’ cookery school, cover the basics and bakery
23. Visit Singapore and attend cookery magic with Ruqxana
24. Buy a holiday home, caravan/cabin/ apartment – we use the same holiday cottage each year when we visit my parents, we love going back to the homeliness and familiarity so would like to have a holiday home we can relax in and share with friends and the family
25. Own a house, we sold my house last year, we need to set up our own family roots
26. Adopt a kitten and bring it up, we have always had grown rescue cats and always will. I would like to have a rescue kitten though to see him or her grow up. I often wonder what our cats would have looked like, how they would have behaved as kittens and what shaped their characters
27. Adopt a dog and enjoy regular walks, I love the idea of sharing the companionship of a dog on a long walk, the fresh air, the sunshine, rain and chill of winter tramping across fields or down on the beach
28. Sponsor a child
29. Look for ways to give other than financially on a daily basis
30. To support a cause – to find a charity to believe in and trust that what is given in effort, finance and support is not eroded by politics
31. Helicopter ride across an amazing geographical wonder
32. To learn photography and enjoy taking pictures of flowers, trees, landscapes
33. Become a fan, enjoy following a sport or musician wholeheartedly
34. Attend a concert … No less than once a year
35. Leave a huge tip for a waiter or waitress
36. Attend a festival, try out a few but then make one an annual trip
37. Start a family tradition
38. Do something significant for our parents that will make a difference to their lives
39. Meet up with extended family more frequently
40. Find a newspaper worth reading, watch the local and international news regularly
41. Relearn to play the guitar
42. To make eye contact with, smile and/or speak to somebody new each day, regardless of how I feel
43. Complete a course in something other than education
44. Get the tattoo have been talking about for years
45. Watch a cricket match, it has to be more interesting than initially meets the eye!
46. To spend a weekend at the GP
47. Read more books, broaden range of my reading, include poetry and non fiction
48. Find a church or group of like minded where we can share
49. Shoot a target, dead centre … with a gun and with an arrow
50. Give fencing a try… I like the way they move their feet
And there is one more,
51. to go fishing with with my husband on a regular basis
A great place to start the year from x
Lucy Maude Montgomery in her classic, Anne of Green Gables book said, ““Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” It has become one of my most favourite quotes but also one I remember every New Year’s Eve. The New Year begins with great fanfare and excitement; a New Year full of promise and expectation AND a New Year with no mistakes in it…yet.
Start the New Year off right by meditating on God’s Word:
1. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” – Ecclesiastes 3:1
2. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
3. “So teach us to number our days, that we…
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