Let’s Celebrate Each Other

On Sunday we gathered together for a celebration of life. To remember how much our life had been touched if only for a short while by our loved one. Laughter in our memories. Tears in the missing but the for the most we were filled with joy.

As we stood and shared our memories I was struck by the idea that I had special moments in so many things. How in a way it was a shame that we wait until someone is no longer with us to tell them how much they mean to us.

How certain people touch our lives in minutes, others in years. Though each as special in their own different ways.

Life is a gift, I want to remember that everything I do sets in sequence different events, different feelings. I want to tell people now how special they are and how much they mean to me.

Each moment we share together is should be cherished. If shared in sorrow or joy. Each affects us and changes us.
Ecclesiastes 3.8

“A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

There is a time for everything, for laughter for sorrow. I want to remember this more often and celebrate the people in my life more and to let them know how special they are.

Let’s Talk About It

Yesterday I had the divine pleasure of meeting a lady I met on twitter for coffee. I admit I was rather nervous it was a big step taking an online friend into a real life friend.

I’m pleased to say our coffee date was a complete success, I felt as if I had known her for ages. One big thing that we do have in common is our faith.

As we chatting we both remarked how sometimes you can work next to people, socialize with people but not know their faith.

When I was growing up I was told that in polite conversation there are two things you do not discuss politics and faith.

To be honest, I could easily survive not chatting about politics, but my faith means so much to me. I want to share it with the world.

Of course I don’t mean forcing my views on everybody but I want to be honest about my faith, my love for the Lord Jesus.

I could be sitting next to a follower of Jesus for weeks on end but if we don’t talk about it how would we know.

Bless my friend being a Reverend the dog collar gives her faith away ( why are they called dog collars?). People know what she believes in and what she holds dear at first glance.

To be totally honest I love this, but I think a dog collar is a bit out of my reach.  Well you never know.

This conversation has left me thinking (not always a good thing). I need to break out of the constrains of polite conversation and start openly talking about my faith and my love of Jesus. Of course I am going to come across people who don’t share my views but if we love and respect each other this won’t be a problem. Yet by being open about how passionate I am about my love for Jesus, I may encourage others to speak openly about their faith to. The more Jesus becomes part of our daily lives the better life will be.

Revolution ????

In so many articles or religious programmes I’ve heard, read discussion on the subject of the revolution. It’s coming to a church near you. Did you know that? Maybe it is, but to be honest I personally believe the revolution should be starting but in our own hearts.

The person you are, do we dare to really look inside and see who we are? Personally I know I have areas that need the light shined on them.

James 4; 10

“Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up.”

There are parts of my character that I am not totally happy with. I find I can be easy to anger, I lack patience at times. I’m not a good housekeeper, and well when it comes to finances the less said the better.

Yet I know these failings and I’m bringing them to God and ask for forgiveness.

Are we willing to change the way we live our lives?

It’s a question I know I have to ask of myself.

 The world is crying out for spiritual guidance, so many people witnessing so much evil. Yes we do need a revolution; we need to see amazing changes in this life.

We need to see people stepping outside their comfort zones, being open about their beliefs and questioning their leaders.

We need to look around the world and see the unfairness; we need to restore the balance. Why should we have teenagers in one country moaning about brand names and another starving?

The desire to hide away from this is overwhelming, I love my life with all its luxuries but we are all one people. I need to question my decisions, do I really need this?

Deuteronomy 31.6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them for the LORD our God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.”

The journey towards revolution isn’t going to be easy but let us look inside our own hearts. Let open our hearts and let the revolution begin.

Laid to Rest ??

Why do we use the term laid to rest. When I think of my children who have gone before me, resting is the last thing I will be expecting them to be doing.

I imagine Livvy free from the physical burdens of Rett syndrome. Running, dancing living life to the full. I really can’t grasp the concept of laying to rest.

Yesterday I had the honour of attending Ryan’s funeral. Any event like this is hard, but no mother should have to bury her child. Ryan’s family did him proud. I was choked when the car pulled up to see a Dr Who coffin. How crazy, how Ryan.

The chapel was filled to the rafters, standing room only. People from many walks of life, family, friends, and professionals, anyone who came into contact with Ryan were touched by his beautiful spirit. Yesterday’s attendance proved that. He was, no he is much-loved.

I have to confess it was a hard for me. The last time I had attended the chapel was for Livvy’s funeral. So you can imagine the turmoil in my mind and heart.

The tears they fell. Yet I was filled with a mixture of emotions, grief of course was paramount but this is going to sound awful I was envious in a way.

Envious you ask? I know it is wrong but I was of Ryan. As I watched his committal I was struck that with the freedom of the body Ryan was with his eternal father in heaven but most of all Ryan was with Livvy.  How terrible am I to feel this way. But as we joked about the kids being reunited all I could think at the time was Ryan you lucky monkey you get to kiss her, to hold her. Two things I know he will be doing.

I’ve never been frightened of death, if I’m truthful I find life a lot harder to handle. Since finding my faith death is something I kind of look forward to, not in a morbid way. When my time comes, I will be free from this earthly body; I get to be with Jesus, in heaven where perfection is the normal. No more hunger, no poverty just pure love. Jesus promised that we will all be reunited with our loved ones. So I know that I will hold my daughter again

Luke 23; 43 “Jesus answered him. “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”

Yet in all this I know I still have a life to live here first. So yes I was slightly envious yesterday. We still have work to do here before we reach eternity.

As I sat there yesterday listening to the memories of Ryan, I watched the pain on his mothers face. My dear friend how I love and admire her so much. How I know that pain! How I wished I could take it away, but like myself I know if she was asked if she would live it all over again I know she would.

Ryan was blessed with an amazing mom and dad and brother and sister to. I only hope and pray that in the coming times they will find comfort in their memories or like me in the knowledge that two best friends are reunited.

Watch out heaven Double Trouble are together again.

What define’s Strength

Strength 

1. The quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigour. 

2. Mental power, force, or vigour. 

3. Moral power, firmness, or courage. 

4. Power by reason of influence, authority, resources, numbers, etc. 

Who or what defines strength really? Who says that the way you react to a given situation is about strength. For example is it a weakness to cry? 

I was once told that it takes more strength to walk away from a fight, yet to some this would be seen as cowardice. 

Amazing how different people’s perceptions can be! 

I try not to cry in front of my children, but then I question if I am doing the right thing. What if they learn crying is a weakness, what if they become ashamed to cry. This won’t be doing them any favours. 

Situations arise in life when it would be best for all to move forward yet is it a weakness to move away from a situation, to draw a line under it. Or should we stay and fight to the bitter end. 

Last week I witnessed incredible strength. The reason behind this strength was pure love. This I believe is the defining factor in deciding what is strength or a weakness. The reason behind it! 

If you cry because you love, that is not a weakness. 

If you walk away because you love that is strength. 

I often wonder about the incredible strength of Jesus. How when he could have easily run away and avoided capture he stayed knowing what the future held for him. 

Discussing the trial of Jesus with my daughter, she asked me why he didn’t defend himself.  Why he didn’t fight back? I think she thought of this as a weakness as we do teach her to stand up for herself. 

How do I show her the amazing strength of Jesus?  By reminding her of his great sacrifice.  His incredible love for us! Jesus knew he had to suffer for our salvation. Jesus showed unlimited strength, he stayed quiet in strength because he loved us. 

He who shout’s the loudest, fights the hardest is not necessary the strongest. 

To me strength is determined by the reason behind it. Convictions, dedication, loyalty, love. 

In Jesus you can find strength. 

Psalm 28: 7 

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped; therefore my heart exults” 

 

<p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=879″>Image: luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Edge of the Divine – Sandi Patty

When I received The Edge of Divine with Sandi Patty I was rather concerned I had ordered a weight loss self-help book. This was not at all what I wanted and thankfully there is a lot more to the book.

Yes it does focus on Sandi’s desire to become slimmer and healthier, and the drastic way she achieved this goal. It also shows the way Sandi needed to change the way she viewed herself from the inside before she could change her outer self.

I did enjoy the book but I think I struggled at times due to the fact that I haven’t read her previous ones. As on a few occasions she refers to an event in her life briefly and explains that she had written about it in previous books, this left me wishing to know more and may have opened this book up to me more.

The Edge of Divine is an easy to read book, it is obvious Sandi is a woman of great faith. I just felt there were areas that needed more explanations. In saying that, any fans of Sandi will enjoy the book immensely.

One Special Young Man

On a hospital ward many years ago I met an amazing lady and her handsome cheeky son named Ryan. This young man showed me that disability doesn’t define who our children are. Their spirit, their soul does.

A character who brought tears of joy to my eyes and my heart.

Livvy soon realised what a catch he was, and before long we teased them about being boyfriend and girlfriend. Livvy would giggle at hearing his name. Ryan’s face would light up at hers.

 Ryan and his family have given my family so much. They showed us that the only limitations on our children are the ones we put in place.

They even convinced us to try camping. Many are shocked at the idea of seriously disabled children camping but its possible and so much fun.

Livvy and Ryan became known as double trouble; let me tell you a story.

One New Year we were all together to celebrate when we noticed Ryan in a fit of giggles. We hadn’t a clue what had tickled him until we turned around to find Livvy helping herself to my glass of wine. The little monkeys.

Ryan and his amazing family are so dear to my heart, we may not see each other every week but when we are together it is like we have never been apart.

I will never forget his face when we first visited him without Livvy, he knew she was gone but yet I believe in his heart he was praying.

Ryan went to join Livvy yesterday. Fifteen years is much too young, but this young man lived a life full of love and laughter. I believe God saw he was weary and called him home.

I had the blessing to spend some time with Ryan in his last days. Yes he was heavily sedated but I pray he heard me tell him how much he means to me. How much I love him.

Unfortunately I know the pain so well his family are feeling today. The emptiness of their hearts and their arms. I want to wrap them all up and take away their pain.

The bravery this family have showed in the last months I cannot put into words. The strength they have had in the last days.

They are simply incredible. I now pray for their comfort and healing.

Ryan please give Livvy a kiss for me. I love you to the moon, stars and back again.

John 3.15 “ That everyone who believes in him may have eternal life”.

 

The Wonderous Gift of Memories

The last few days have been full of memories. Together we have laughed and we have cried.

Memories can be an amazing gift but they can also bring us pain. Time plays an essence in this. When your pain is raw you don’t want to remember, when time has softened the broken pieces of your heart memories become smiles that gently lift your spirit.

I still have days when the splinters in my heart cause me pain but for the most I’m doing ok. I am glad of the gift of love my memories bring.

How I wish I could teach the world the importance of creating memories, so many wait until it’s too late.

I am so thankful that God gave me a wakeup call in 2004, Livvy nearly died. The shock of being so close to losing her and the relief of gaining a reprieve rocked our family to the core. It taught us to make everyday count.

Never go to bed on an argument.

Forgive each other as no one is perfect.

Cherish your children for childhood flies by way to fast.

Hold each other close.

The big one for us is love each other with ALL your heart. I’m sure we could all add many more.

Since we lost Livvy in 2008 it has been the memories that have kept us strong. Her testimony to our lives.  This is the reason we started her charity Livvy’s Smile to help create  special memories for others .

As I am watching a family I care deeply for suffer so much over these last few days. I want to give thanks for their memories. The days of joy that in time will bring them comfort. Tears full of the laughter we have all shared together.

Memories are the greatest gift we can give to ourselves. They don’t require money; they only require time, love and laughter.

Whatever you are doing this week create a memory. Snuggles at bedtime, hot chocolate chats and back garden races. Laugh, love and create.

I also know without a doubt that we will all be reunited with our lost loved ones again one day. That will be a time for great celebration and a time for new memories.

Revelation 21:4  He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

 

My girls all together xx