Monday, 5 January 2015

Getting My Joy Back

If you’ve been following along the journey here, you’ll know that we’ve had an extra soul living here the last year or two. That hasn’t always been an easy thing for me. I’ve known a spot (alright it was more of a huge blotch) of desperation or two. A striving towards the light. A failing and falling. A grasping onto hope. A quiet clinging to the One who covers the whole sticky mess with Grace. Because without that? I hate to think just where we’d be.

While I consider myself one who tries to look for the good in things - to spy that speck of joy in the muddy puddle - I have to admit that I lost my way somewhat this past year. Hope was always there but I’d conquer the darkness and then it would conquer me. And round and round we went.

Desperate for some me time, I stayed up far too late recently and caught up on my favourite blogs. Thank you ladies for putting your imperfection out there. I love you for it. So much. In the midst of the quiet I found myself relating all too well to a post about depression. One thing led to another and there I was staring at a list of possible symptoms able to tick a good three quarters of them. There is a healing of sorts in such a moment. A dawning of realisation that the emotional exhaustion, general ‘just over life right now-ness’, and the barely coping with a certain situation that has carried on much too long-  are all just signs pointing to the fact that the puddle may actually be more of a bog and a little help and self-love are very needed.

You see, I know that things haven’t always been too pretty here. I’m quite aware my attitude has downright stunk at times. If the situation wasn’t enough to weigh me down, the constant nagging thoughts in my head certainly have. Difficult decisions have been made that left me feeling compromised one way or the other. What if the choice I made wasn’t the best? The alternative still had its issues too. Impossible to win. Looking back I wonder if I enabled that which frustrated me. Did I put in my best effort? Could I have exercised a little more grace?

In the end there’s nothing to do but be still. What’s done is done. Now we wait for the miracle where He works it all out for good. This is also time for the f word: Forgiveness. And that starts with myself.

“He offers us forgiveness for every intentional sin, every accidental one, and even the ones we have no idea we’ve lived out. Nothing we have or haven’t done in our lives-or for or to our special kids-either merits or disqualifies us from His love for us (Romans 8:28). The only aspect that hinges on us is this: will we receive it? Because that’s what “forgiving ourselves” is all about.” – Laurie Wallin

I feel deep in my soul the need for joy. The timing of Laurie’s new book couldn’t be more appropriate. I’m not quite sure what the journey will look like in 2015. But I know it begins with a step towards healing. With goodness and mercy following me, I’m getting my joy back.

Are you a special needs parent? Or maybe just struggling with a difficult child? Need a dose of joy yourself? Join me in reading “Get Your Joy Back”. Get your copy here.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Where I'm At

The Lord will
for you,
you need only
be still.
 -Exodus 14:14

Shhh! Don’t tell the kids. Mama’s been drawing on the walls.

In big blue chalky letters. Right next to the bed. So she’ll see it every morning when she wakes up, every afternoon around nap time, and in the evening before she closes her eyes.

Because the anxiety gripping her heart didn’t belong there.  Because she tried and tried to give it to Jesus, but couldn’t let go.  Because she asked God for wisdom on the matter. And He saw fit to plant this verse in front of her one morning - in a way that it struck her square between the eyes and she finally got it.  

Be still.

You don’t need to do anything. Quit your worrying, the what-if’s, the could-have-beens, and what-would-have-been-nice-s.

The battle belongs to the Lord.

Just hand it ALL to him and be still. Be still and know that I Am

A difficult chapter is drawing to a close. I am grateful for the challenges, the lessons learnt, and the opportunity.

I am also grateful to be at the end. Mostly that His grace is all sufficient.

There is a lot to cram into the last few weeks of this year yet. My body is done. I’m taking it one step at a time. Then resting. Practicing the fine art of being still. So very necessary right now.  Not always easy.

I’ve decided that as much as I love making my Grandma’s Christmas pudding, it’s one task I don’t have to do this year. The teachers? Store bought presents will do. If you normally get a card from us? This year you won’t. What energy I do have is going into making my home beautiful. This year we are going to have decorations up well before Christmas Eve. I am determined to spread a little cheer for my family where there is usually just last minute hurry.

That’s all that matters to me right now. It’s what my being still looks like for the moment.

A beautiful friend posted these lyrics on Facebook the other day. I don’t recall the last time I sang this hymn. How very relevant though.

Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, and Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power, thou hast made me whole.
Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
O, how great Thy loving kindness, vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness, lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved, know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise, and have made it mine.
Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless, satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings, meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings: thine is love indeed!
Ever lift Thy face upon me as I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ’neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory, sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting, fill me with Thy grace.

-Jean Sophia Pigott

Friday, 5 September 2014

A Drop of Sunshine

Why did God create flowers, fluffy clouds and good picnic weather?

Why? Because He loves us.

They are a gift. Simply to be enjoyed.

A lover’s note whispering sweet nothings on a gentle breeze, which is absolutely something to the deepest depth of our soul.

The exuberant bees hanging out in my overgrown pak choy patch? The essence of sunniness.

Perhaps you need some joy today friend. This post is dedicated to you. I’m passing on a hug, a smile, a drop of sunshine.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re going through right now…

He knows.

He sees. 

He loves you.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

-Romans 15: 13-

Friday, 15 August 2014

A Smashing Time

I watched in dismay as one of my pretty blue mugs fell from the bench and shattered into uselessness on the hard tiles below.

Hubby broke one of his favourite cups in a similar fashion.

One of the kids knocked a parcel of delicate glass candle holders onto the floor. You know- the ones I was just about to wrap for my secret prayer friend at Church. When the shops are closed and I need to have it ready for first thing in the morning.

The theme has continued…

Stuff keeps breaking, like the light bulbs I never saw sitting on the bench. Until they no longer were.  Becoming quite useless after a split second trip to the floor.

Or the car yesterday. Not its first ride home these past few months on the back of a tow truck.


The word seems to be shouting at me.

I feel it inside myself too.

The longing to connect with a certain young man who moved in with us last year. The realising just how hard that is going to be.

The need to help another one understand that we really are just trying to help. Please don’t think of us so, dear child.

The messes and lists that go with them. Aware of my limitations.

The tiredness we feel as the year marches on. The exhaustion that sets in, at times making relationship at home strained and awkward.

My seeming inability to relate to those in the world around me too.

I remember reading about a broken window once (or twice – I loved this book)

“Most significant, perhaps, is my twelve-paned bedroom window installed in the front wall when remodelling the room from a garage. The lower left-hand pane was broken when my ex-husband was moving a large mirror shortly before he left our home. The mirror shattered. As for the broken pane, I never had it replaced, because after our divorce I never had an extra fifty bucks. Yet I’ve thought a lot about that smashed windowpane with its spiderweb appearance. It became a symbol of our broken home, and I was forced to come to terms with its cold, sharp edges and tacky appearance. Perhaps I never had the window fixed because somehow I knew things need time to be what they are.” 
–Marlee LeDai

What we are.

Maybe I just need time to appreciate where things are at. Not because they are beautiful right now. Rather what they have potential to be.     

I have to the see the blemishes as something more.

When we go treasure hunting for vintage finds, it is not the perfect pieces we are drawn to. The stuff that comes home is often tattered, well worn, and tells a story in the scrapes and bruises it bears. Sometimes we leave it as it is. Other times we administer a dose of TLC. But we are careful to never strip a piece completely of evidence of the life it has lived.

Because this is where the beauty is found. A beauty that is not so much about perfection as realness.  A beauty that draws us in and fascinates us with its character. Beauty that stands tall despite (or because of?) hardships and difficulty.

Beauty that says, “Me too.”

Two thousand years ago, a wee babe entered into this world. The conditions were hardly what we might consider ideal. Just a dusty stable full of animals and a makeshift manger cradle. Why?  Because he was willing to enter into our mess. Our brokenness. He was willing to take it all on. To get to know us. On our level. To be real. To be able to say, “Me too.”

To love us where we are and invite us to so much more…

All that shattered glass cannot be mended. It doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things anyway. The brokenness inside us does. I’ve puzzled over this recurrent theme trying to make sense of it all. I’m not quite there yet. I’m handing my pieces to the master craftsman though. Trusting him to work it all out. In his way. In his time. Hoping that one day the beauty will be revealed.

“Windows may not be fixed right away, but that does not mean they will never be mended. Everything may not become clear in a twinkling. It takes courage to begin to think in different ways about anything that gives you pain. It takes courage to see the possibilities in disability or disease or divorce. But that doesn’t mean that you and I can’t live with style, dignity, and intention.” – Marlee LeDai

Friday, 18 July 2014

Blooming Sunshine

Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: Bloom.

Five Minute Friday


Bloom where you are planted,’ they say.

But what if you don’t?

What if I watch you and all I see just makes me sad?

What if you have just shriveled instead; refusing to bloom because the flavour of the dirt here isn't quite to your taste?

They also say that it takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow.

My heart has been so heavy with the rain. It hangs over you when you walk in the door. Sometimes I think I will go crazy with that cloud of gloom you cling to.

Though it’s not my cloud, it still obscures the light at times. Gives me a cloud of my own to carry.

But He has been showing me that I need to lay aside the burdens I feel for you and somehow sparkle in the dark shadows. To show you something that shimmers instead of watching me battle my sad.

Because if there’s to be any blooming, you’ll need rain-

and sunshine.


Now, your turn…

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