Discovering our purpose.

 Amazing how we change as we grow. Seasons of our life. As a young child I had many dreams. Deep convictions of the person I wished to be. Fast forward a few years, I’m the wild teenager who has no desires. Life was something God used to punish us.

I’ve dreamed of being many things, a dancer, a soldier, and a business woman. Nothing close to the dream, reality is far from the fantasy.

My identity is something I struggle with on a daily basis. What people see of me is not always the real person inside.

Faith adds a new dimension to your thinking. Just like the moment you become a mother, you become second in your life.  This isn’t a bad thing it’s the realisation of love. Loving someone more than you could ever love yourself. The feelings when I first held my daughter’s words could never describe.

I often wonder of the baby blues you know those few days after giving birth, you find yourself crying for no apparent reason. I find that the emotional impact of loving becomes overwhelming. How such a tiny infant could consume every inch of your heart and soul with love.

I digress but I hope with a point. Finding my faith felt a lot like becoming a parent, the impact of knowing something beyond wonder, bigger than your wildest dreams. The reality that you are a small part, in a much bigger picture. Small but not insignificance! You find yourself asking the question’s not what I want, but what I can do to bring glory to God. The strangest thing is that the two are not different. In what God has called me to do I have found so much joy. Not surprising, God knows me better than I know myself.

I would have never imagined how much I enjoy being a mom. How I loved caring for my daughter with severe needs. As a teenager I would have bolted at the mere mention of any job that involved caring. Yet here I am years later a mother by birth and by heart.

Yes God knew my heart. I discovered God’s purpose for myself and in doing so found where my heart belonged.

 

Today’s post is part of Bonnie’s Jam at Faith Barista  popover to her site for a warm welcome and amazing writing that can not help but move you.

Cinderella – Please let me go to the ball.

I’m so excited on November 18th I am attending the official launching of the Rett Research Trust UK in London. 

Yes London the capital city of good old England. I must admit I’m rather nervous, two reasons one is that I’m attending on my own. It isn’t possible for both my husband and I to be there. So I will be on my lonesome in the big scary city. No seriously I looking forward to meeting some Rett parents who I have chatted to online. I know Livvy isn’t with us now but I will always be a Rett mom. A bond will always connect us. 

This event is so important to me, it will give me an opportunity to speak about Livvy and how amazing she was, how much we all miss her. How my heart is forever broken. How desperately we need a cure for Rett Syndrome, please God. 

Anyway my second reason and the main worry. It may sound trivial but I haven’t a clue what to wear. The last time I wore a dress I got married. 

14 years ago, my wedding day
See !!!

 

This is me now x

 
Yet this event is a champagne dinner so formal dress is a must. I live in jeans, my idea of dressing up is jeans and a nicer top. I would love to say finding a dress will be easy but I’m not what you would call petite either. 

So the battle has commenced how do I get myself feeling like Cinderella. I really do wish to go to the ball. (Well dinner ). 

So friends if you know any nice shops, online etc that have stunning dresses for beautiful(wishful thinking)  plus sized ladies like myself, let me know. 

Arrrrraaaahhhhhh Thats it !!!!!!

That’s it, I have really had enough. No matter what I do it is never going to be good enough. So from this moment on, I’m going to stop trying.

I didn’t grow up having the best of everything, money and affection were both extremely tight, so I can safely say I have over compensated with my daughters. Now as teenagers the reality is that this way has not done me any favours. The girls expect me to fix things, get things ready and provide things on their timetable.

Some children (mine) do get things to easy, everything is an instant response. They never have to wait to chat to friends, we have texting or email for that.

I know I have not done my daughters any favours by allowing them to live like this. I’m not setting the right example.

There are times in life when things that matter need us to show patience, determination and dedication.

Children are by far not the only candidates for the most impatience award, I (raising hands) confess to not always understand the delay in life. The times I have prayed to God yet things haven’t happened. I don’t understand or to be perfectly honest enjoy the wait.

Proverbs 14.29

“A patient man has great understanding, but a quick tempered man displays folly”

Today this should read a quick tempered woman is a folly because that exactly how I feel. I am fed up on being the patience one when the rest of the world seems to be moving forward.

I am frustrated at the demands of others when I know I should show Grace.         

It’s far from easy being the example you wish to be. Each day brings new lessons.

James 1; 3

“Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance “

I’m exhausted Lord, my patience is wearing thin. I’m tired and am slowly losing my enthusiasm for life.

I know in my heart that this is just one of those days and tomorrow is a new day, but………….

Competition

Competition

I have to confess how I hate competitions. The nervous tension, the sick feeling that lies in the bottom of my stomach. Watching the faces of the competitors, the nerves etched on their faces. The small giggles that escape through pursed lips.

I especially hate them when it involves children. How I wish it could be like we all say, “it’s the taking part that counts” sportsmanship, but it isn’t. They all want to win, 2nd doesn’t cut it.

My daughters have all entered into the world of competitions in singing and ice skating. I am so proud of them but with all my heart I can honestly say I wish they hadn’t. They are in fact good sports; they root generally for friends and complement honestly on others performances and truthfully wish them well.

For me I just feel sick, no matter how many times I tell them how proud I am of them, how to go out and enjoy themselves, I see the desire to win burn brightly in their eyes.

The reality of life is that they won’t always win, some days with come back with a 2nd, a 3rd some days we don’t even make the board, but for me my girls are always winners.

Today was a good day; Eden took part in her first ice skating competition since returning to the sport in August. Yes it was only a local competition but for her it mattered. No matter how chirpy or blasé she pretended to be her eyes gave it all away, she wanted to do well, and she wanted to win.

Gold for Eden

 

 I was a proud mom before she skated; I am a proud mom now too.

 

Well done Eden, you did great xxxx

Letting Go of Worries

My heart is racing. My palms are sweating. I can’t hear myself think from the constant chatter in my mind. The battle has begun. The enemy is whispering in my ear “You are not good enough” “They won’t like you” “Your house isn’t posh enough”.  An endless tirade against my confidence.

I’m not good enough is so easy for me to believe. It’s what I see every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or window pane.

Today I can’t let him win. I m good at my job, I have a passion for it. My heart is fully committed to it. My house may not be posh but it is a home filled with love.

I have FAITH.

Worrying isn’t going to help me, it won’t change anything. The decision is not my mine to make. I’m only a small part in a much bigger picture.

I have to TRUST.

My heart is open, my soul is bare but worrying will bring me no comfort.

I close my eyes and whisper words of prayer” Please Lord let your will be done.”

I wrap up my problems, my fears, my worries and the wickedness of the enemy in my words of prayer. I hand them to the Lord.

Psalms 34.4

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”

I have turned to you Lord and my worries are in your hands. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I trust, I hope.

Letting go of my worries and laying them at your feet.

 

This post was supposed to be up yesterday as part of the Faith Barista Jam  but thanks to a wonderful migraine I couldn’t bear to be in the light let alone on the computer. Please still pop over to her website as it so full of inspiration.

The decision I was fearful for has been made. It wasn’t a bad decision but it placed us in a position we didn’t want to be in as a family. It went against what we believed in. So we stepped out. I’m not a competitive person and I believe at times the enemy wishes to cloud your judgement. I am refusing to allow him to do that. Whilst doing what is right is painful I know God sees the bigger picture and as it is written

Jeremiah 29; 11

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

What is your dream????

What would be your dream if you won the lottery? I ask this question often and am not really surprised by the answers I receive.

Exotic holidays, the fastest cars, best clothes, new houses, people dream about them all.

My dream is different.

I would buy a new house, but it would have to be built with purpose designed bedrooms for disabled children.

If money was no object I would adopt. I would open my home to children with severe needs who are in care.  Maybe from this country maybe from others, the destination isn’t the issue the need is.

I dream of a new car, a fully adapted wheelchair accessible van. Crazy I know.

My heart is full of love for children with disabilities that was the legacy my daughter left deep inside me. It’s a heart I am so grateful for. It has brought me pain but so much joy to.

As a foster carer of children with special needs I do get in a way to live part of my dream, but the reality of fostering is the lack of forever for the child. I want to offer forever. I want to give forever.

Am I insane maybe but i know without a doubt I would be happy.  Off course being a lottery winner would also allow me to take Livvy’s Smile to the next level. It would also open up funding for Rett Syndrome Research Trust two charities’ which have my heart.

As I write this I remind myself that I don’t actually have a go on the lottery, not really into the concept of gambling, then I question if I don’t take the chance how can the dream be achieved.

Any suggestions on this, do I have a go or not?

 

Does he know how much I love him? He scared me!

Yesterday morning I was woken by a phone call that shocked me to my very core. It was my husband, he had taken a fall while out mountain biking. My heart just stopped as he explained that he was ok, he had struggled to breathe for a while but was bashed, sore and bruised but otherwise he was ok and  on the way home.

If I had been able to think straight I would have realised he was in the car, capable to drive so he must be ok. I couldn’t see this, I just broke down and cried, images of him being stuck in the middle of a nature reserve where you can go and not see anyone for hours struggling to breathe.

All I could think of was how much I love my husband.

If you have ever read my testimony you would have read the fact that I know my husband saved me. I didn’t believe I deserved love, didn’t really believe in love. Alan showed me true love.   No matter how many times I tried to push him away he never gave up on me. He has never given up on me.

Don’t get me wrong there are times I could easily strangle him, for example when he goes off biking on his own. Or when I have to repeat a conversation he has completely forgotten or hadn’t really heard the first time. Yes he is far from the perfect husband just as I am far from the perfect wife.

Though for 15 years I have loved this man, nearly 14 as his bride. The idea of losing him is something I couldn’t even comprehend.

We have been through so much together, raising our girls, caring for a severely disabled child, financial worries the lost of our home, my illness and of course the biggest loss our daughter Livvy.

When Livvy died someone told me of the amount of marriages that fall apart when something tragic happens. I spoke to Alan about it, as we were both so hurt so damaged this worried me. He held me close and simply said the words “I’m not going anywhere”.

I love this man, he is my partner, my equal, my lover, my friend he completes me.

I know all this but I wondered yesterday if he did. As I held him tenderly (sore ribs) I sobbed into his shoulder how much I loved him. How much I admire and respect him.

He just simply smiled and said “that’s why you put up with me”. Bless him so.

 I can’t promise that I won’t take him for granted again, I’m human after all. What I can promise is that I know how lucky I am to have the honour to be his wife.

1 Corinthians’   13;13

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

I love my husband but it will be a long time before I let him go mountain biking alone again.

I so love this man

Unexpected Encouragement

When I agreed to be part of the weekly link up by Faith Barista, “Faith Barista Jam “.I began to panic this week’s was on Unexpected Encouragement. I’ve been struggling through many emotions the biggest one being my grief. I wasn’t sure I would find the encouragement or be aware enough to notice it.

I should have had more faith. In some incredible amazing way God gives you what you need, the answers, the support, the encouragement, the hope.

After writing a book review for a Christian magazine, I was overjoyed to receive a gift through the post. A book “Choosing to SEE “by Mary Beth Chapman. I knew of this book, to be honest I knew the story behind the book. Steven Curtis Chapman’s album “Beauty will rise” had got me through many nights when the pain of my grief overwhelmed me and crushed my heart. When the endless “Why’s” denied me sleep. The words of these songs kept me hanging on.

So I knew of the book but had been scared to order it, scared to read a mother’s pain, the rawness of her aching spirit. I was barely coping with my own grief.

Yet I found myself opening the first page. I felt as if God had sent it to me to read, so I trusted in him.

Bless you Mary Beth! The pages are tear-stained, my heart is torn yet my soul is filled with hope. Reading your (Mary Beth) accounts of Maria made my heart smile. Livvy was my bundle of mischief, my Tinkerbell.

Mary Beth spoke of the quietness that had been left behind. I know that silence. The great gaping hole which had once been filled with the cheeky spirit of my darling daughter.

As I read through the pages my own journey was to be found in the words. The doctor at the hospital telling me there was nothing they could do, Livvy was gone.

The guilt, I’m her mom I should have seen, should have known, and should have saved her.

The pain of watching your husband, your children cope with a loss that no one should ever have to face.

“This is not how it should be

This is not how it could be

But this is how it is

And our God is in control”

                                             Steven Curtis Chapman & Mary Beth Chapman

Yet as I read the words through tear filled eyes. I felt Jesus by my side, telling me he was there with me. I have always believed it, now I knew it, I wasn’t alone.

There was so many emotions Mary Beth wrote about I could relate to, yet I know each journey is different. How we survive is up to us.

In “Choosing to SEE” I found unexpected encouragement. I found HOPE!

I pray each day for my darling daughter. She holds a piece of my heart that will never be complete until we are reunited again. Yet I do take comfort and strength from my faith. Livvy is in the arms of Jesus.

I live with HOPE.

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love in our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us” 

         Romans 5.5

Just one more hug

                                                                           

I’m Lost

Yesterday I sent my husband a text saying ” I know I am a miserable cow but I am a miserable cow who loves you with all my heart” I guess this pretty much sums up the way I have been feeling and behaving the last few weeks.

To say I’m overwhelmed by life is a truth and a falsehood all in one.  Life has been strange a lot happening yet so little as well.

Let me explain, normally I survive on routine knowing what is happening keeps me on the straight and narrow. Yet the routine of mine has disappeared and along with the routine my sanity.

I am so bored; life feels like I am stuck on standby. I’ve completely lost my direction, my energy and my humour.

My husband, bless him tries to reassure me that I’m just fed up because I’ve been ill. He tells me when I feel better I will be fine, but I wonder. The last few years my identity has been changed not always through choice.

One minute my life was caring for a child with special needs the next I was a grieving mother.

Who am I? What do I want? What is it I want to achieve?

See living in my head is a scary place at the moment. I would personally love to escape my mind for a day or two.

I have been turning scripture and to prayer but even here I am struggling. I can’t hear God; I can’t understand what he wants from me. I am lost.

1 Peter 5; 7

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”

My eyes show it all.

I look into the mirror and who do I see.? 

A parent who has lost a child!  It’s the haunting of my eyes, the smile that never fully forms.

Yes I see the loss as easily as I see the wrinkles on my brow.

Yet recently I have seen something new. A determination I didn’t know I had. A steel inside my soul which is ready to fight.

A fight for life, in fact a battle for many lives.

My daughter lost her fight with Rett syndrome, yet today alone so many have been diagnosed with the same condition. While I may not be able to hold each and everyone of those hands. I can stand beside them and join the fight for the cure

Please visit http://reverserett.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/82/    and read the guest post I never wanted to write.