Monday, 8 May 2017

I Will Lift Up My Eyes

For the most part I’ve accepted that CFS is just something I have to deal with. I take each day as it comes. Until I don’t. Until I find myself struggling with low to no energy for too many days in a row. Until my emotions end up scraping the bottom of the barrel as well. Until I’m crying out, begging for healing. Asking how this or that is supposed to happen.

Each and every time I come to this place he asks me to trust Him. To rest in the knowledge that he’s got this and he’s got me. Though I can’t see the bigger picture, he can. Just believe.

I realised the other day that it’s nearly the anniversary again of when this all began. 23 years ago. It’s been an emotional week as I process how I feel about that. But it’s also been a time of renewed hope.

Realising what the date was didn’t come on its own though - It came wrapped with memories of his faithfulness.  When I was tempted to overthink it all, finding myself focused on the waves instead of Jesus’ face, he spoke a Psalm to my heart. Returning to that place of acceptance once more he brought me full circle (undoing me again) with the same old hymn that he used way back at the beginning as I came to grips with it all for the very first time.

I suspect I’m not on my own with these struggles. So I’d like to share a sample of where my head’s been at. I pray, if you’re reading this, you’ll find encouragement too…

May the grace that sought my heart on that first day
Be the grace that binds my heart to stay
May the truth that opened up my eyes on that first time
Be the thoughts on my mind that never go away
For you are a lamp to my feet
A light to my path
You’re the hand that’s holding me

Faithful God, every promise kept
Every need you’ve met, Faithful God
All I am and all I’ll ever be is all because you love faithfully.
Faithful God.

May the love that caught my heart to set it free
Be the love that others see in me
And may this hope that reaches to the depths of human need
Be the song that I sing in joy and suffering
For you are the love that never leaves
The friend that won’t deceive
You’re the one sure thing

How deep how wide the love
That pierced his side, the love
Redemptions mine, O Love that will not let me go
(Laura Story – 2011)


“I will lift my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord the maker of heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.” (Psalm 121: 1-3)


And that, that is well with my soul.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Sometimes It's Okay If The Only Thing You Did Today Was Breathe

So I've been gone a little while...  I'm not sure that I'm completely back. But writing has been calling my name again and I think I'm finally ready to take a great big breath and try once more. Even if it's only intermittent for now...

Much has changed for me since we last spoke. I've had a lot of healing to do. It took me thirteen years to gather up all the pain  and one blessed year to hand it completely over to The One and leave it there. It's been a time for quiet. To take thoughts captive. To release them once and for all. To forgive. To find joy. To heal. To breathe. I can honestly say I've moved on. 

Now I wonder, 'What's next?'

While I can't answer that question fully, I feel deep within that something new is waiting just over the horizon. He hasn't lit that part of my path just yet and I'm quietly trusting Him with the few puzzle pieces I do possess. For now I need to focus on the physical. The CFS has flared and it's unwise to attempt to move forward without facing it. 

I hadn't made it to church the last couple of weeks and was determined to get there today. I feel challenged to trust for healing of late. The exhaustion of the last few weeks in particular has left me frustrated with bodily limitations. But God in his goodness saw fit to undo me tonight with the final song. I hate crying in front of everyone but am so very grateful He spoke to my heart. 

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Because He is Lord. Lord of all. 

And perhaps that, right there, is the very first gem to collect as we set off hunting for peculiar treasures again.

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-

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