Hello Me

I was sitting watching a program last night about a tattoo parlour. It was a random choice as Christmas television is awful at this time. So after channel hoping I found this rather cool programme.

As I watched it I was struck by the way the people on it knew who they were. What style they wanted. They were literally comfortable in their own skin.

I turned to my husband and explained this to him and he surprised me with the comments “you have lost that haven’t you’.

“You’ve been dressing old”

Wow straight to the point, straight to my heart.

His comment is so true!

I know that finding my faith left me with the need to make changes in my life but I think I’ve lost direction at some point.

While I am a great believer in modesty I need to remind myself that I can dress modest without dressing old.

I’m only 34, yes I love black, and purples and tattoos but none of this stops me from loving Jesus.

Jesus looks at my heart not my body.

Obviously there has to be respect, tattoos that insult my God, my faith is something I would never have but the reality is that there is beautiful artwork out there that is liberating, celebrating, worshipping.

The realisation wasn’t just about tattoos. It was so much more. It was about me trying to fit myself in a box. To be someone I’m not!

In doing this I have found myself slowly slipping away. Looking into the mirror and not recognising the person looking back.

So many times people tell us it’s not the clothes you wear and yes I agree that is true. But sometimes the right outfit fills you with confidence to face the day.

I miss me. I’m not sure to be honest who I am at this time in my life but I’m going to have some fun finding out.

I allowed myself to get restricted by preconceived notions. Rockers are all mean, Goths all worship Satan, and Christians are all boring and style less. (Yes I can hear your screams already).

I apologise for this, I am a great believer in individuality. I teach my girls this all the time. Yet I know I’ve been a complete hypocrite.

I could say I did it for the love of God but this isn’t the truth. I know my God loves me for who I am and who I wish to be.

My Lord checks my heart not my wardrobe.

A journey to find myself starts right here, today!

Watch this space.

I’m so glad Christmas is over?

If I had an enormous bag I would happily fill it up with Christmas 2010 and after tying it tight I would leave it outside for the rubbish men.

(Sorry not the normal cheery post about Christmas, honest blogging and all.)

What a few days, I’m exhausted, frustrated, devastated and angry all in one. Why do I get myself worked up about pleasing others and then beating myself up when I can’t? It seems you can’t please all of the people all of the time and some people well you can never please them. I have learned a valuable lesson though, to let go of some expectations.

 Ok, maybe I am exaggerating a little, they has been some amazing moments. The girl’s faces on Christmas morning were special watching them get excited was so wonderful. Yet going to the cemetery to leave flowers at your daughter’s graves tends to damper your spirits.

I am so grateful for what’s in my life, but this Christmas I have been so aware of what is missing!

So add the flu to hormonal teenage girls well less said the better. I think sometimes you do have to just accept that life isn’t the way you wish. I know that having the flu has zapped from me the strength I usually have for the false bravado that I can normally summon to hide my tears. I’ve barely had the energy to do anything. Brodie also has suffered and this has left her sad and missing too.

So yes Christmas 2010, thank you for the joy but goodbye. I am so glad to see you leave. A lot has happened in 2010, a lot of heartache, loss for friends, family. It’s been one heck of a year. I’ve learned a lot about myself this year and faces things I never imagined I would have the courage or strength to face.

I guess while 2010 has been a stinking year I do have a lot of things to be thankful for.

I am looking forward to the New Year with hope; we have exciting new things happening for us that I know will bring love and laughter into our home. I am filled with promise for 2011.

Yet I am going to spend the last few days of this year in rest;

” My soul finds rest in God alone: My salvation comes from Him.” – Psalms 62:1

I am going to rest in my Lord, knowing that whatever I have faced I didn’t do it alone and whatever the future brings my Lord is by my side.

His love is eternal.

” And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”1 Corinthians 13:13

YAY, ITS THE HOLIDAYS

Do you know what I really look forward to in the holidays?

The lack of structure, the absent of school and the chance just to be with my girls.

I am blessed with amazing girls yet their lives at times are crazy!

The stresses of school work for Kennedy who strives so hard to achieve and does fantastic. Her singing lessons and concerts which bring me great joy yet can be exhausting.

Eden and her 5am starts for ice skating, her ice shows, her determination to land that double loop before we can go home.

Brodie and her innocent way as she comes home heartbroken from school as her gift from the teacher is make up and she is only 9 and too young. Getting ready for Brownies or Creative beat!

My girls are my life and while I am happy to be general organiser, alarm clock, taxi driver, tissue holder. I am looking forward to slowing down and being just mom.

A Mom who curls up and watches a DVD with them. Mom who walks the dog through the local wood in the snow watching them throw snowballs at each other and pull faces at me due to my constant desire to take pictures.

I want to stay in my PJs just because. I want to enjoy our dinner because we have no plans after.

I want to just be!

Life is rushing past me so fast. The girls are growing up quicker than I ever dreamed or wished. I want to live life in slow motion and enjoy every second.

I love spending time with my family. At times I get jealous at the demands on our time. Yet I know and understand the need to children to have hobbies and dreams.

I also know that quality time together is a must. I want my family to stay connected.

The holidays give my girls breathing space. The older two get to be children again instead of the pressures of being teens. I love watching them play with their (annoying) little sister. I love seeing them together.

Our family has learned the hard way the lesson of loving and losing. Holidays give us time to cherish each other and remember the missing piece.

Yes I’m so glad the holidays are here!!!!

Lesson’s Learned

Yesterday we held our Livvy’s Christmas party. To say all didn’t go to plan is a GIANT understatement.

The good old British weather came to mess with our plans. Normally I’m a great lover of the snow but not when we have people travelling miles to come party with us.

Slowly but surely the list of cancellations got longer. Parents upset they couldn’t make it, children devastated from missing the fun.

My heart was aching, the tears fell and I was so disheartened. Then a family turned up followed by a couple more.

The balloon man had gone home, the face painter hadn’t even got here, but there was a bouncy castle, donkeys and food. The children were happy. After some arm twisting we also had a stand in Santa (my hubby rocks).

Brodie and her Santa Daddy

As my husband in the red suit ho ho hoed and asked all if they had been good this year. I watched the faces of the children. I saw their eyes light with wonder and I was struck by the words, quality not quantity.

Eden & Santa

It didn’t matter how many came in the end, the smiles on the faces of those few children, made all worthwhile.

Livvy taught us to take each day and make it count. To see the special in the ordinary! Today was one of those days.

Santa & his big girl Kennedy

I forget the financial lost of today and see the emotional gain. You cannot put a price on a child’s smile. They are priceless.

I am so grateful for what we have achieved. I know Livvy would have loved the party and while I’m missed having her there desperately. I know she was sending blessings from Heaven.

Lessons learned;-

Quality not Quantity!

See the special in the ordinary.

No matter what your day brings please see the special in the ordinary. Each moment we share together, be it doing chores, or crazy fun days out, each minute is a gift from God.

Cherish them and create magical memories x

Moments

Do you we all have them? Moments when nothing makes sense. When the whole world feels overwhelming. Where the tears fall and you cannot stop them.

I call mine the Livvy moments, when the missing breaks through my defences and the pain overrun’s  my heart. I have no way of controlling them. They happen at the strangest of times. I have to just hold on and ride the waves.

I’m stuck in two minds over these moments. Part of me thinks well I should have them, they are a reminder of my loss my missing of my darling daughter Livvy.

Yet another part wishes they wouldn’t come so often. The strength I need to fight the following despair sometimes makes me worry if I will always have the energy to overcome.

I want my memories to bring me joy not pain. I want to see her smile in my mind and it to fill me with the joy of the remembered moment not the pain of no more memories.

I wonder if I will ever reach this place. At times I think I have reached there, then a Livvy moment happens.

I remind myself that we all have moments like this for a vast amount of reasons yet for the most we survive and live to fight another day.

So to another day xx

Moments

Oh My I’ve Been Nominated

Oh my goodness I’ve just realised I’ve been nominated, short-listed whatever you call it for a Brilliance in Blogging award under the category of  Inspirational Blogger.

I am so excited and so very honoured just to have been nominated. I’m not even considering winning.

I blog partly for my own personal therapy but mostly in hope that by sharing my experiences both the painful and joyful they will bring comfort to others.

This nomination has inspired me more than you know. I am deeply surprised and so very  blessed.

I guess I must ask if you would be willing to vote for me. I do feel so cheeky asking but I would be so thankful. Please vote here

Whatever happens,  thank you to those that nominated me and I pray and hope that my words will inspire others and give  hope to all.

Advice, a love hate relantionship

Advice, the thing will love to give but are not that willing to take!

I wonder really about giving advice to be perfectly honest, I am terrible at offering advice. I’m good at messing my own life up so I choose to leave others alone.

At times I have regretted stepping forward and offering help and support yet at times I wish I hadn’t kept my own counsel.

When we lost Livvy we received a lot of well-intentioned  advice but at times I wanted to tell people to go stick it, I mean how do they know?

When my illness was diagnosed so many had ideas of how I should deal with it, some were good some would have killed me.

Life is a continuous set of lessons; some times we have to fail to succeed. What works for one wouldn’t work for others. Will are all individuals and handle things in our own unique way. I love that about life. How special we all are!

When it comes to advice I know there is one who knows me inside and out.

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows ” Luke 12;7

To him I turn on my knees, he knows how I feel, he knows how I need to deal with things, he knows what the future holds,

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

I am changing the word advice to prayer, when I’m tempted to offer words of wisdom I will offer prayer and support.

I will confess that I don’t understand how they are feeling, that we have to deal with it in our own way. But I promise to pray that they receive advice from the one who knows.

Hope at Christmas

I’m not sure where the last few weeks have disappeared to, under the veil of stress, illnesses and the general chaos I call life.

I cannot believe we are already at Christmas time this year; it seems only yesterday I was putting on my mask of false smiles and bravo to survive the holiday season of 2009. Yet here it is again Christmas 2010.

The last two years Christmas has been so different, we used to have our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, then only a buffet on Christmas day. The reason being that on Christmas day we find ourselves with lots of visits from grandparents, we have four sets and Livvy bless her soul couldn’t wait for her dinner. So buffet food allowed us to feed her on the hop. The last two years we have had Christmas lunch on Christmas day. It didn’t feel right to keep the tradition if the reason we started it isn’t with us anymore. Does that make sense?

So here we are facing our 3rd Christmas without my beautiful daughter. How life has changed in the last years.

Sometimes I wonder if I dare allow myself to hope again. I begin to open my heart and something seems to happen. I don’t want to live my life this way.

So I put my hope for Christmas and everyday in our Lord. In him I know perfect peace. He never promised us an easy life in fact

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trials you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” Peter 4:12-13

I’m far from rejoicing in the suffering I wish I could say my faith was that strong, but I do understand and accept the wisdom of Gods plan. The sheer understanding of the why and why not’s are beyond me but I trust in my Lord, my saviour, my hope.

I want to remember the true meaning of Christmas and hold that hope close in my heart. In the stable birth I find the strength to face the new day. In the birth of our Saviour I find my hope.

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us” Romans 5:5

So as the season of Christmas is upon I wish you too,

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

Changing the way I think at Christmas

I have to make a conscious decision not to get stressed about Christmas. The emotional and financial aspects of the season are at times extremely wearing.

2010 has been a hard year for us as a family, at times it has felt like we haven’t had a break since losing Livvy in 2008. Money has been so tight and we have struggled but for the most we have been ok, if fact we have been more than ok. So ok no family holidays or extravagant wardrobes but we have cherished family time. Walks in the forest, games on the fields. It’s not been easy; the girls have missed out on opportunities I would have wished them to have. Alan and I would love a night out but the reality is that as I look back throughout the year I can see we have been blessed. A roof over our head, warm food in our stomachs.

A lot more than others throughout the world

Yet still as Christmas approaches I find myself stressed. The girls have been amazing and haven’t asked for a lot but that in itself makes me want to give them more.

Some hard (for me) decisions have had to be made. I love the gift of giving at Christmas the time spent finding the perfect gift for family members. The hoping of the smile the gift will bring. This year we have had to make some changes. Only the children of our family will be getting gifts. Moms, dads, brothers sisters are going to have to just receive our love. I hate this but after speaking to them, no one has minded, if fact they have been so lovely about it. The problem is mine.

So yes Christmas will be tight this year but I know and embrace the real reason for Christmas. I know that my Lord Jesus was born to our world. The beginning of his journey for our salvation! This is the greatest gift.

 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3.16

Can I be a good friend??

I’m not sure I’m cut out to be a friend. I seem to have a track record of messing things up. Not though cruelty or nastiness just the changing of life.

I came across some pictures the other day of a group of friends having a good time, the only thing different for me was that I was missing from the photos. I remember occasions previously when I would have been there, yet I wasn’t. It’s no ones fault just that my world dramatically changed and theirs hadn’t.

I have heard it said that sometimes people come into our life for a moment, a day or lifetime and I guess I just have to accept this and move. Yes the world does carry on turning.

I know for a fact that I’m not the same person I was before Livvy died so why should I expect to be surrounded by the same people.

I don’t want people to read this post and think I’m bitter because I’m not, it’s a experience I have lived before when Livvy was diagnosed, some people who I classed as dear friends couldn’t cope with the life I had to live. That’s ok, we are all different.

Life is forever changing and we are forever growing. Yet I must admit I do wonder if friendship and I do mix.

I know I can be quite selfish and just want to spend time with my family. I forget to text and phone calls well phone phobia doesn’t help here. I’m lousy at making plans mostly due to being the personal assistant to three adorable but busy girls.

I also love time on my own, reading, praying, blogging.

Where do you find the time to be a good friend, the kind I want to be?

My husband tells me I’m adjusting and that I will relax and embrace the joy of friendship again. He is probably right (please don’t tell him I said that), but I wonder at this moment.

I have nearly deleted this post because it sounds full of self-pity

That’s not where I’m at!!!!

I do have some amazing friends don’t get me wrong but I worry that I let them down. I guess my husband is right. I think way too much.

Today I’m taking comfort in the fact that whatever life throws at me I have a friend in Jesus.

“No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. ” John 15: 13