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

Frustrated

Today I am finding myself so frustrated. I feel lost with no direction. I know God wants me to work in his name. I hear him calling for me to speak his word. I just don’t have any idea of the how, the why or the when.

I know I have so much to learn. I am only on the first stage of my journey. My knowledge is limited but yet I don’t feel as if God wishes for me to hold back until I know more. Will any of us ever understand the vastness and the magnitude of God’s wisdom?

Staying faithful to God’s plans and his timetable isn’t always easy, especially for control freaks like me. I like to know where I am going and when I’m going to get there.

It isn’t that God hasn’t left instructions on how to live our lives, the bible tell us quite clearly.

I do want to serve others, help others, support, comfort and so much more. Also I want to spread the word of our Lord. Is just the direction I need to take is lost to me at this time.

This doesn’t mean I will rest until I find the inspiration. I know that there is something God is calling me to do. I am trying to be patience though I am failing terribly.

Not all of us are called to be inspirational speakers, missionaries, authors. We are all called to serve and bring glory to our God.

“Make your ways know to me Lord; teach me your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; I wait for you all day long” Ps 25 v4-6

True Worship

“O Lord, you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created. “Revelation 4.11

 

How easy it is to forget that we were born into this world to bring pleasure to our Lord. How often do we get caught up in making our great big lists of wants? I want to be this, I want to do that, I want to have this. We forget and lose sight of the real reason we are here.

I know I have many questions I should be asking myself and many things I should be asking of myself.

If I wish to live my life for God’s pleasure what changes do I need to make?

My hands are raised; my head is lowered as I confess. I have many changes that I need to make.

I love to spend time in church, singing my worship to the Lord, but my worship shouldn’t just be about the praises I sing. NO WAY!

EVERYTHING I do should be about and for bringing glory to God.

“Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual worship” Romans 12:1

I have to learn to be showing more patience, more compassion. I need to organise myself better. I need to show more commitment to doing more for others and so much more.

I am full of great ideas but they will always just be thoughts in my head if I don’t back them with commitment and ACTION.

I need to bring honour to my Lord in all my ways and at all times.

I pray that I can change and live my life as one worthy to worship our Lord

“Love the Lord with all your heart with all your soul, and with all your mind” Mathew 23; 37

 

Wonder

Have you ever had one of those days where the sun shines perfectly, you are surrounded by people you love and all is right with your world. Well yesterday was one of those days for me.

With the wonderful company of my sister in law, her husband and my adorable nieces we visited the local natural beauty spot, known as Cannock Chase. It was full with families enjoying the warm weather and each other.

My girls played on the park, with their daddy and generally just had fun. You could see this in their faces which were alight with laughter.

As a family we have been through so much in the last months, years but as the sun begins to warm our bodies, our hearts are beginning to heal. Loved ones are never forgotten, memories cherished.

It is times like this I awe in the wonder of God’s grace. I give my thanks to the Lord that he never leaves me and is my forever.

 

A Mind Blowing Day !!!!

How can I put into words the night, the day I have just experienced? I am rocked to my very core.

Yesterday we attended the Big Church Day out at Stanford Hall, Loughborough, Leicestershire. I am full of energy for my faith, for my God.

Lou Fellingham started off my day of music, she is one lovely lady. Her voice is as good live as on her albums. She filled my heart with peace. Her new song My God cares had me in tears, the meaning behind the words touched my inner being. She is also very pregnant; I wish her all the health and happiness for the birth of her new child and for her family.

Tim Hughes celebrated the love we have for Jesus. The crowd were collectively worshiping how wonderful, all standing together singing for our love for Jesus. I had never heard Tim before, will be looking for his albums now.

Switchfoot rocked the stage, and my daughters are all now Jesus freaks courtesy of Toby Mac. It was so uplifting to see so many young people really getting the worship.   Israel and New Breed brought people meeting and greeting each other.

They were other artists, bands, theatre companies that were performing but I didn’t get to see them all. It’s a hard choice to make. Next year!

The finale was Hillsong United, and my goodness they really rocked the stage, people crying with love for Jesus. Old and young coming together singing their hearts out, hands raised high all for our love our God. The heavens must have heard our praise last night and I know I was blessed to be part of this amazing experience.

For old Christians for new Christians and for the many that gave they life to Christ right there yesterday. The Big Church Day out was an amazing experience.

For me this was my first event like this. It definitely won’t be my last. I got to meet some wonderful people, people were so open and friendly it was so uplifting. I learned about some amazing charities’ and the wonderful work they do. It fact some of these have moved me so much that I will be featuring them on my blog in the near future.

For me the day was special because I got to sing my heart out to the Lord.  I got to lose myself in the music, in the worship. I have never felt as alive as I do right now. I am so inspired, uplifted.

I have a sore throat, aching legs but my spirit is bursting with joy.

It was a day to be remembered. For me next year cannot come quick enough. For those who didn’t make this event this year. I whole heartily recommend that you do next year. It has blown me away.