Change my Perspective

On Sunday I had the absolute pleasure to hear Rachel Hickson speak at my church. To say she spoke for God would be a total understatement.

For me hearing her words was like an explosion in my mind. The last few weeks I have struggled. Lost and bound by fear. I’m being totally honest when I confess I’m scared. To put myself out there again in case I get hurt, my family gets hurt. As a family we have suffered enough grief, enough heartache.

Rachel spoke about Courage, how I needed to hear this. Rachel asked us to look at our perspectives, the way we view situations to look at the wider picture of life.

Last night as I lay in bed I began thinking of Rachel’s words I was reminded of Luke 24, 15.17

While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself approached and began travelling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognising him”.

I believe at times God does prevent us from seeing what is around the corner or behind the closed-door.

It is times like this when we need to have trust, to stand strong in faith. So many times, pain and fear hide the good from us. We become blind to the truth and just want to believe the negative lies.

I have learned, lived this lesson the last few months. So many people telling me what good we have done when all I could see was the loss.

God may have been preventing me from seeing what was coming but I should have known, for he has never forsaken me.

The enemy loves it when we listen to the negative thoughts he places in our mind. He loved us to forget that we are never alone. I confess there have been times when I have felt so alone.

Never have I doubted God, just myself. I believed I had let God down.

When will I learn???

Yes the future can and probably will be a very scary place full of heartache and pain. If the past taught me anything it is this. If I could get a pair of scales and weigh all the pain on one side and all the joy on another. The joy would certainly outweigh the pain.

Again, a different perspective!

Yes moving forward on my chosen path may be risky and painful but there is no doubt about the joy it will bring. My cup will overflow with love and laughter.

A new perspective takes me forward (thank you Rachel), along with the courage my faith gives me.

Hebrew 12 1:3

“Let us, run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.”

Lazy days are driving me mad

Beautiful days, warm sun soaked days filled with endless lazy hours.  There lies my problem, lazy hours. I’m not good at being lazy. I hate waking up without plans, nothing in the diary. 

It’s driving me crazy, people may say I am mad and I should just enjoy the break, but it’s like being on holiday at home. There is only so much you can do to amuse yourself. My home is tidy, washing is done. Shopping fetched.

It’s been a long time since I have felt like this. For the last 14 years my life has been a constant whirlwind being a mom a carer filled my days. Of course I’m still a mom but losing the role of carer has left me empty. No hospital appointments, medicines to arrange, feeds to manage. My girls get up and are off to school, the days are mine.  I should be happy; relishing the time I have to myself. Enjoying the slower pace of life.

I hate it, I’m exhausted yet I’m doing so little. I feel like my identity is slowly slipping away from me. There must be a woman underneath the roles I play. Where do I look for her?

I was twenty years old when I became a mom. I have travelled far in my life and changed so much. I’m not sure an ounce of the old me is left to find, the party animal has disappeared. Not sure if she is the person I am searching for anyway.

I don’t want to go back to who I was; I want to find who I am.

I’m sure we all reach this part; we all come to a crossroads in life. We all have choices to make. My mind is filled with endless questions with no answers. I have my map but nowhere to travel to.

I pray for directions.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own
    understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He
    shall direct your paths.
                                                                                 – Proverbs 3:5,6

I need to learn this scripture and hold it to my heart. To trust the endless questions to the one who has all the answers.

To find myself I have to lose myself to my Lord.

I don’t want to remember.

The day began with the rising of a hot and humid sun. The previous night had been spent tossing and turning in a warm sticky bed. I awoke calm and relaxed all was good in the world. Then the memories flew into my mind of days spent being woken by the tears of a child in need. The beeping of an alarm on a machine that feeds and restores throughout the night.

So many times you will hear me say, “Memories are wondrous gifts” or “create memories everyday”.

Not today! Today I wish I didn’t have to remember. The smell off her freshly washed hair, the mischievous giggle that captured her spirit. The bravery in her smiles as the seizures attacked her body. I don’t want to remember today.

This day is nothing different to yesterday or the one before. I just don’t want the pain anymore. The ache of my heart, empty from the missing. I want to scream life isn’t fair, why my baby, why my daughter why why.

I tell others about the glory of Heaven and what a wonderful time she is having there, but today I cannot find comfort in these thoughts.

The desire to hold my daughter in my arms is destroying my sanity. All my thoughts are consumed by this. I want to hold her close, twist her sweet curls around my fingers as I rock her gently to sleep.

Today the answers are too far for me to reach. Too far to make any sense in my grieving mind.

I’m angry at the world, trying to understand but lacking the wisdom, the knowledge, the desire. Maybe I just want to wallow in my pain. Does moving forward mean leaving her behind? My head aches with questions I have no answers for.

I want to scream, shout let the inner rage escape but I won’t, it’s not to be done. I cling to the strength she instilled in me; it’s still there underneath the pain somewhere.

The illness that took my daughter away is still causing pain to others. My friends asking me for prayers as their children fight the syndrome. My prayers are for them I promise, but my heart is still broken for my little girl. No parent should have to feel this pain. No one deserves this living nightmare.

As I listen to their fears I feel selfish as I would give anything to be there once again, to have one more day, one more hug, one more kiss, one more. I don’t want to feel this way, where is my compassion. I don’t like who I am when grief overwhelms me. Where is my strength, my purpose?

I look forward to the oblivion of sleep, the emptiness of my dreams. Maybe tomorrow will be brighter; maybe the memories will fill me with joy and sweet smiles. Tomorrow may be better but how I wish for the yesterdays.

Just one more hug

Wow, I have a award. Thank you.

Wow, I have won an award.

Michelle at some Some Girl Tweets blessed me with this award, Outstanding Blogger. How great is this.

The rules for this award are:

1)      Thank the person who gave me this award:

Michelle @ Some girl tweets a big thank you.

2)      Share 7 things about myself:

. My family are my world

. I love to read

.I want to learn more about my faith

.I want to undertake a missionary trip

.Disabled children have my heart

.I pretend to be confident but in reality I am very shy and insecure

.I really love school holidays

3) Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who I think are fantastic!

So here I go, in no particular order as they are all great.

Joy @ Joy in the journey

Amy @ Girlfriends get real

Cherie @ Heart and Soul Reflection

Erin @ Home with the boys

Amy @ Raising Arrows

Michelle @ Mummy from the heart

Hayley @ Singlemummy.net

Amy @ Tshirt and jeans mom

Sarah Mae @ Like a warm cup of coffee

Sarah @ Sarah Markley

Chele @ The Bona Fide Life

Terri Lynne @ Pleasing to You

Lisa Jo @ The Gypsy Mama

Kristie @ Kristiestephens

Erin @ Closing Time

These are all new blogs that I have just started following, I’m loving them.

Happy Birthday to my darling daughter

Yesterday along with father’s day was the 14th birthday of my eldest daughter K. Yes 14 years ago I was recovering from giving birth to a little pudgy madam. She came into the word screaming and her lungs have never let her down since.

K is a daughter anyone could be proud of, I know I am. Her heart is full of love and compassion for all. She walks into a room and younger children flock to her. There is nothing about K that is pretentious, what you see if what you get. K is a lot like me in many ways (poor child) sensitive  and a worrier. She also loves her jeans and t-shirts, and of course the much-loved pair of converse.

As K’s mom I have watched her grow and mature from a shy, reserved little girl to a confident young lady. She has a voice of angel and works so hard at school. Can you tell I’m proud.

I love our girly talks, though sometimes the subject matter makes me panic, I adore the fact that she comes to me with her problems even when she knows I may disapprove about some of her behaviours.

If I could change anything about K it would be the frustration she shows towards herself, she sets high standards and gets cross at herself if she can’t reach them. I never have to tell her off for bad grades she reproaches herself.

As I look at the photos I have taken of my darling daughter on her birthday, my heart soars with pride and also with fear. My baby is growing up and the world is a large scary place and I want to protect her from it. As for boys, well I am considering a shotgun.

Happy 14th

K has a strong faith and has been raised to respect herself but I will continue to be the overprotective mother for many more years or maybe forever. My baby may be growing up but she will always be my little girl.

I am so proud to call this young lady my daughter. May God bless her and keep her safe forever.

My Special Men

As today is fathers day I wanted to introduce the two special men in my life. My daddy and my children’s daddy my husband Alan.

First my dad. My dad and mom divorced before I was born but dad has always been a big part of my life, but to be honest I don’t think I really got to know him until I left home and had children of my own. Dad has always been a man for me to admire he has always strived for a good life, improving himself with education and working hard. For the last 14 years I can honestly say dad has become one of my best friends. He is always there for me. He puts up with me when I am moaning, comforts me when I am grieving. No matter when or where he is always there for me. He is my dad and I love him. I am so proud he is my daddy. He is a wonderful father and a fantastic grandad too.

 My Daddy and his dearly missed granddaughter Livvy xx
My Daddy and his dearly missed granddaughter Livvy xxx

 

Second is my husband Alan. Before I met Alan I wasn’t sure I ever wanted children. Alan changed my mind. I remember spending nights planning our family. The dreams we had for them, the plans we made. As the mother of his children I know we are all surely blessed. He is kind, patience and crazy. He has been everything from a taxi service, nappy changer, vomit cleaner and all without a moan. Alan is a foster carer alongside me and is wonderful at his job. His affection for children with special needs is endless. As a father of four girls he has also have to give up the right to the bathroom. He has already been practising his mean stare for future boyfriends. 

My husband and our beautiful niece
My husband and our beautiful niece

 

The last two years for these two incredible men have been so hard. Like us all they have suffered the pain of loss. Yet they have been my strength. I’m not sure I would have survived without them and I know I wouldn’t have the strength to carry on. I thank God daily for my dad and my husband.

Happy Fathers day xxx

Fostering – I love my job

Last night Alan and I attended the 10th birthday party for the fostering company we work for. Progress Children’s Services.

The evening was full of fun and laughter. Good food and amazing entertainment in the form of Bhangra dancers. The food was lovely and the wine flowed freely.

Alan and I were honoured to be nominated for a specialist placement award but it was awarded to another couple who I honestly admit deserved it more. They have been successful foster carers for a number of years and Alan and I have only been doing it for 8 months. Maybe, next time.

While the evening was a great success what struck me most was that although the room was full of foster carers there are still many more needed.

There are 50,000 children in foster care on any given day in the UK. There is also an acute shortage of foster carers who are able to:

Respond to the needs of children with complex and specific requirements

Provide a secure home life for days, weeks or years

Maintain sensitivity to the cultural and environmental background of the looked-after child

Children most often require care because of family illness, bereavement, abuse or neglect, and need to be placed quickly with someone nearby who can give them the support and routine they need.

See what I mean!

Alan and I love our job, it can be hard work, exhausting and sometimes very frustrating but mostly it is rewarding. The joy we have experienced from caring well I cannot find words to express. I can honestly say I love my job.

If you have ever wondered about foster caring, please contact your local provider and ask the questions that are on your mind.  Progress who we work for are a very family friendly organisation and I know they would love to hear from anyone.  My grandfather told me the only stupid question is the one not asked.

Innocence is Uncool

I was having a conversation with K my eldest daughter last night when she disclosed some rumour that has been going around her school. I don’t know if it is true but it has made me sick to my stomach.. K is 14 on sunday and hasn’t got a boyfriend so maybe I’ve been lucky but I pray I have raised her to respect herself. I want her to grow up before she falls in love.

 I find it shocking at the way some of the girls have been so open about being sexually active. My stomach is churning just thinking of it. K tells me people call her a goody two shoes. She isn’t worried but why is it cool to be sexually active at such a young age. Am I naïve to wish for children to be allowed to be children. Why is innocence so uncool. 

It’s so hard watching my daughters grow up. Knowing that I can only protect them so much. That I have to loosen the apron strings (so says my mom).  I pray I have raised wise girls who know how special they are. I hope the example of marriage Alan and I have shown them gives them an idea of what they deserve.

Raising my girls I want them to know how incredible they are. How life is there for their taking. How dreams are within their reach. I didn’t believe this of myself when I was growing up. I made many mistakes but I thank God for sending me Alan. He showed me how I deserved to be loved. He gave me courage and strength to believe in myself.

 This is all I wish for my children to love and be loved.

Weekend

B, cute, adorable as always

So was my weekend a success? Most definitely.  Was it hard? Very much so. Would I do it again?  In a instant (though maybe in hotel as all five of us in one room was very tight).

It was a weekend full of laughter, adorable children and good friends. My children made me so proud a few bad moments but they are human . If we had gone a whole weekend without any drama I wouldn’t have been able to cope with the shock.

A tired K

 I was glad to be home. I must admit I’m a homebody also love my bed. It was another of those first’s. They are emotional, exhausting but very needed.

E getting a different view of the world

 Have had a few tears since we have been home. Its hard explaining why awful things happen to a nine year old who just wants her siblings back. Or to quote her favourite question. ” If heaven is so wonderful why can’t we all go”.   I’m finding it hard to answer this today.

I’M SCARED

 Yes it’s true, I’m scared

I don’t understand why I just feel sick to my stomach. It should be a wonderful time a weekend spent with my closest friends. Yet it’s going to be so different to how I imagined it would be.

 Having friends with disabled children is such a blessing. People who really understand what you are going through. How exhausted you can be. Who know medicines better than most doctors. Who can sit chatting about bowel movements over lunch.

What happens though when you have lost your special child. I know my friends and I came together because we had our wonderful children but they aren’t the reason we are friends. It’s the weird sarcastic sense of humour, the faith we  follow. The independence of our spirits that join us.

So why am I scared? To be perfectly honest I am frightened of how jealous I will feel. When I watch my friends hold their children close.

Change their children, feed them, give them their medicines. It’s going to hurt like hell.

I can imagine people saying “hey you have three beautiful girls” and rightly so. My girls are my world but as much as they fill up my life the emptiness of my beautiful angel is still there. I loved caring for my  special child, each day was such a gift. She taught me patience. She taught me compassion and she showed me how to live each moment to the fullest.

It would be so easy to cancel this weekend and stay away from the pain but that wouldn’t be fair to my dear friends or to myself. It also wouldn’t be what Livvy would have wanted. She took everyday as a gift from God and I need to follow her example. Life does get scary at times but if we don’t take the risk we could miss some amazing moments and memories to cherish. 

How I miss that cheeky monkey. May Jesus hold you tight until we are together again x