Gentle?

Oh my goodness when I read the word prompt for five minute Friday this week I just smiled at the irony, gentle on a day that was far from gentle for our saviour.

He was beaten

He was mocked

A crown of thorns placed on his head.

The nails hammered through his hands,

The spear pierced through his side.

Not gentle, not kind, not right.

Yet this man so gentle and kind bore this pain, bore this torture, died for us.

I struggle through Good Friday, I mean how can you find the words to honour this sacrifice. To breathe life into the holiness of the love Jesus had for me. I often find myself looking forward to Easter Sunday excited to celebrate the resurrection. Yet this time inbetween needs to be felt, this closed tomb needs to be understood.

How often in life do we focus on the good that’s coming. A journey is always about the destination, but is it? Shouldn’t we sometimes slow down and view the world that we pass As we start towards our end. Maybe we would see some wondrous sights or maybe not , yet to look is never a waste, to rush is to miss.

So as we sit in this in between time I often think of those that loved Jesus. How did they feel? Did they know without doubt that he would return? Did they trust? What would I have done, I mean I know I will be reunited with my daughter one day but I still grieve. This time in between feels hard. I know that come Sunday the tomb will be empty but this space is hard.

Yet I know without a doubt that I will hold my girl again.

Because of a gentle man who suffered a horrific death

because he loved me.

Jesus the gentle breath than fills my lungs with salvation. From nail pierced hands to my promise of eternity.

Not a gentle love, a saviours love.

Join in with five minute Friday. Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

Mother’s Day love

Mother’s Day, a day where we come together to celebrate all things that are Mom in whatever form that comes, stepmoms, adopted moms, grandparents being mom and so many more.

Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world. The exhaustion of pregnancy, the labour of delivery, feeding, sleepless nights and so much more but yet it’s often the most rewarding role we will ever get to hold.

It’s tough and this last year has been a real struggle , ‘wow’ is pretty much all I can say about the last 12 months. From home schooling to the deep pit of fear that has been in your stomach since the words Covid 19 were first spoken, it’s been a year.

Still if I wish to challenge all moms a little now in fact probably all parents regardless of gender. What do you think is the one thing that is the hardest to cope with when being a parent?

Exhaustion, worry, finances,

Shall I share what I have placed on my heart this week. What God has wanted me to share with you all.

The hardest thing about being a parent

Expectations

These pesky little things that penetrate our minds and hearts.

I should be

I could be

If only

All turn into

I failed

I’m useless

I’m letting them down.

Now I’m coming to you as a mom of a five so a little experience here and also as professional of therapeutic childcare and I just want to state something here and I really want you to hear me.

You are enough

You are enough.

Our children enter this world with only a few needs, to be fed, to be warm and to be loved. Speaking confidently right now I am sure that each of your children are having those needs met. They are either grown and off living lives that you have encouraged and nurtured. They also could be there in your arms snuggling tight or even kicking out in your precious womb. They could be causing complete mayhem running around the house but all done in the knowledge that ‘they are loved’.

You are enough.

Yet we only have to look back the last 12 months and the changes this virus has brought into our lives. Homeschooling, isolation, exhaustion, fear. How many of use have felt lost, that they are failing?

My hands are right up in the air, me me.

I have watched social media posts of moms with beautiful converted classrooms with their children willingly working away. Houses spotless, make up perfect and I’ve literally cried. I have cried as Daniels homeschooling paperwork fell off the printer for the 15th time, cried as he completely ignored me as I tried to encourage him to work, sobbed at the state of my house and as for being perfectly made up, well I’ve had a shower and I’m saying Amen to that.

You see I couldn’t reach the expectations I had put upon myself and that’s ok. Because Covid 19 or not, being a mom is hard.

We mess up, we lose our temper and we suck at patience some days. Because motherhood didn’t come with super hero powers just the responsibility.

Anyway where am I going with this, well I’m leading to something I have personally took a long time to learn.

You don’t have to do this life alone.

As friends and family we are there to walk alongside one another. Reach out to friends, not only those at your stage at life. We have a wide breathe of generational wisdom to tap into.

But most importantly

Reach up, reach out to Jesus and ask him to walk alongside you. Ask for wisdom, hope and a big one for me, for patience.

Ask him to free you from the lies of the enemy that you are not enough. Free you from the untruth binding of expectations. To be beside you as you raise the next generation and to guide you as you walk this pathway of parenthood.

I ask you to look now at your child or if they are not with you bring them into your mind. As your heart swells of the love you feel for them as the love you have warms you to your very core, I want you remember.

I want you to remember

“We love because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19

He loved us first,

He loved us first.

Remember that Jesus loves us as we love our children, that warmth you feel for your children he feels for you. He loves you to your very core.

and I want you to say this loud

“we are enough. “

I am enough.

Speak life

I watched this video yesterday and loved it . The message is so simple and so true.

Words can heal.

Words can wound.

Words can make a day brighter.

Words can surround one in darkness.

Words can build one up.

Words can tear one down.

Words spoken.

Words typed.

Words in any form are powerful.

Choose your words carefully

and

Choose to speak life.

 

 

 

My word for 2014

As per the last few years I have decided to choose a word then represents all I wish to be this new year.

So for 2014 my word is

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I am so tired of being afraid. I struggle with so many fears and they are slowly driving me insane or as I’m sure my loved ones would say have already drove me insane.

No more

This year I am going to be BRAVE

Brave in friendship

Reaching out the hand of friendship. Building friendships old and new and allowing myself to let down my guard.

Brave for family life.

Spending quality time making memories rather than getting bogged down in other things.

Brave in my career

I am determined to push myself both in fostering and my writing and to achieve greater things with them.

Brave (and determined) to build up Livvy’s Smile

Raising more money and awareness so that we can make more memories, create more smiles and also support the causes that are dear to our hearts.

Brave in my studying

Putting the time in to get the qualifications I desire. To eventually get the career I dream of.

Brave in letting go of the past.

Leaving the past where it belongs and concentrating on building a future for my family and I. To stop allowing myself to be hurt all over again.

Brave facing my health fears.

Seeing the specialists, working on my fitness and general improving my health.

So there you go a few of the ways I wish to be Brave this year.

So this is my word for the coming year.

What’s yours?

 

 

 

I am proud of my scars

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I came across this quote last night by The Alchemist author Paulo Coelho. It was one of those quotes that stopped me in my tracks as it is simply words that I could have written.

 

I look back in my life and the heartaches and suffering I have faced and realise that they are my scars and regardless if I want them or not they are my reminders of the life I lived and who I am today.

 

I’m not sure I am one of those people that believe that everything happens for a reason but I know I am a believer in the choices we have to make. Do we let our most painful moments destroy us or do we rise from them a wiser and sometimes stronger person.

 

I can not honestly say that I ever wished to lose Olivia but I can say that losing her has allowed me the empathy to walk along side other grieving parents.

 

I won’t ever admit to being grateful to be living in constant pain but I am grateful that I can understand and support others in the same situation.

 

These moments don’t  always have to be dramatic occurrences they can also be found in the simple things. The kindness you show to others can be the example you set for your children. The opening of your heart to a friend may allow that friend to open her heart to another.

 

Life is all about choices and the decisions we make at the hardest of times and at the easiest of times. They become the definition of who we are.

 

I am proud of my scars they are what made me who I am today.

Don’t pity me for being a blogger.

I am getting so tired of seeing the look on the faces of people when I tell them I’m a blogger. It’s as if in that single sentence I have become a second class citizen. As if my writing is nothing but a little hobby that I have taken too far. As if publishing my words is a cry for attention.

This makes me angry probably more than it should, but I am still working on those self belief issues.

You see I don’t write as a hobby.

I don’t write as a cry for attention.

I write and I blog simply because I love it.

When I first published a blog post it was in determination. I wanted to show that raising a child with Special Needs was hard yes, but that it also brought you a lot of joy. I was tired of people feeling sorry for me for having Olivia. I wanted them to see what a gift she was to me.

I wanted to share my ideas and experiences with anyone that was willing to read.

After Olivia died I considered giving up blogging. I felt that I have nothing left to share. Then somehow I found myself writing about my grief and my pain. I expected these posts just be shared between family and friends but then I found other grieving parents contacting me telling me that my words were helping them. That they were finding comfort and strength in my posts.

So I carried on writing

In the last 6 years my blog has become my friend. Its a place I bare my soul and times yes I may over share but I do wear my heart on my sleeve and my writing shows this. I cannot make apologies for who I am.

This blog has been on a journey with me. As my tagline states “a journey through this chaos we call life”.

This blog has brought me some amazing opportunities. I have attended some great events and received the opportunity to write some fantastic reviews.

It has also given me a platform to educate and inform people about Special Needs and Rett Syndrome.

This blog has brought me into contact with people who have become friends, dear friends.

But beyond all this, on this blog I have found freedom.

Freedom to allow the words that have been running around inside my head a place to fall out. The endless journals of bygone days are now being filled here in my virtual diary.

I can accept some may never understand why I blog. But please don’t pity me for being a blogger. I am blooming proud of this piece of cyberspace I call home.

Dear Olivia – 5 years too long xxx

Dear Olivia

Today marks the 5 year anniversary of your death. Anniversary sounds so wrong. Its meant to be the celebration of something. But I don’t celebrate your death, how could I when the missing of you has left my heart beating to a broken beat.

I can try to celebrate your life but even that isn’t so easy when all I want to do is scream that a life lived only for nine years isn’t enough.

Though as quote states “life is not measured by the breathes we take but the moments that take your breathe away.”

Now these are the moments I can relate to. Those one in a million moments that’s you packed into your short time here in this world. Those crazy moments that filled our hearts with such overwhelming love.

From the moment you entered this world you lived life with a purpose that I am only yet understanding. 

You came to change. You changed me, your dad, your sisters, grandparents and so many more.

Anyone who had the blessing to know you left being touched in a way we still cannot find the words to describe. 

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People have told me you were an angel and thats why we only had you for a short time. I’m not sure if an angel is the right description but you certainly was my inspiration.

I watch the videos of you and look at the photos and its as if I can almost touch you. I try to convince myself that you are just in another room and try to hide my heart from the truth that you have gone. I play the clip we have of you laughing and close my eyes. Its as if for that moment you are right there beside me. I hear your laughter, I feel your presence.

I still don’t understand why we had to lose you. If there is a bigger picture I cannot see it. I am so thankful for my faith as its the only thing that gives me hope. The promise that we will be together again.

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Your sisters are so grown up now. Kennedy is preparing for university next year. I tease her about leaving home but its going to be hard. Every since I lost you I am so scared for them. I want to wrap them up in cotton wool and keep them safe.

Do you watch over them?

They all miss you so terribly each in there own way. Brodie hurts desperately she misses her partner in crime so much. I remember how wherever we went she shared the moment with you. Pushing your wheelchair so you could see things.  Do you remember the penguins? How you loved to sit and watch them. You in your chair and Brodie by your side. Dad and I was convinced we were never going to be able to leave. You were transfixed, giggling as they splashed into the water.

I still can’t believe its been five years, my heart still feels like it was yesterday. So raw inside. 

Grief is a funny thing, I don’t understand how its supposed to work, “time is a great healer” is the worst lie I have ever heard.

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I often find myself wondering about heaven. Is that crazy? I wonder what its like there for you. I take comfort from the fact that my grandparents are there with you. I know Grandad is looking after you for sure. I remember saying to your dad when your were diagnosed how much I wish he had been here then. How he would have been your best friend, the hours he spend teaching me to read, count and write would have been there for you too. He would have learned all about Rett Syndrome and all about your therapies. I know that you are free from Rett now but I do hold the fact that he is there with you in my heart.

 

These last few years your best friends have joined you. I hate that their parents are feeling this agony but I know that between you, Ryan and Rachel there is a lot of laughter in heaven.

 

Livvy this is so wrong. I should be lying on the sofa right now holding you in my arms. You should be sending sweet looks over to your dad for his chocolate.

 

Its all so wrong but its whats happened and what we have to face. 

 

You and your sisters are my inspiration. You all are the reason I wake each morning knowing how blessed I am.

 

I miss you honey so much it physically hurts but I am trying so hard to make you proud. Trying to make a difference in the lives of others just as you did.

 

You are my inspiration, my hope!

 

Livvy five whole years has passed since that fateful morning. I still have flashbacks now.  Could I have done anything?  Why my girl?  Why my daughter?

 

I have no answers.

 

But regardless of the whys I still give thanks.

 

I am so thankful that I got to be your mom.

 

 I am so thankful for the nine years I got to love and care for you.

 

I am so thankful.

 

I miss you my beautiful girl and I will continue to miss you until we are reunited.

 5 years too long xx

My heart beats to a broken drum.

My life’s jigsaw will alway be missing a piece.

My beautiful, adorable minx how do we survive with out you?

I am trying my very best.

What I would give for one more day, one more moment.

Five  years missing you , is five years to long.

I love you my baby girl.

My sweet precious Tinkerbell.

Until forever.

I love you to the moon, stars and back again.

Mom xxxx

 

 

 

 

Organic God – booksneeze review

* I was sent an electronic copy of this book for the purpose of this review from Booksneeze

I review for BookSneeze®

I chose this book hoping for something to draw me closer in my relationship with God.

The front of the book states

“Fall in love with God all over again”.

I’m sorry but it didn’t move me at all.

Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice book the sharing of the authors stories and her moments, but it just left me cold.

I really struggled to finish it and have only done so for the purpose of the review.

Just not one for me.

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Bare

Sometimes I wonder if anyone sees the real me

Sometimes I wonder if I actually know the real me under the fronts I use for protection

The mom

The wife

The daughter

The friend

I wonder if anyone can see me stripped down and bare.

Would anyone like what they see?

I start the day with a smile that hides so many things, worries, fears.

Exhaustion, exhilaration

But am I really bare without the roles I play.

Or are my roles pieces of the jigsaw that is in truth who I am.

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Joining in again with Lisa-Jo’s Five minute Friday

Light overthrowing the darkness

The funeral yesterday was beautiful. A fitting celebration of a beautiful life.

Somehow I managed to keep it together, of course I cried but I managed to hold back those gut wrenching sobs until I was stood in privacy at Livvy’s grave.

This place of finality brings me so much comfort at times it’s my place of remembrance.

Though to be honest it was at the gathering afterwards that I really struggled. As I sat there drinking my coffee I was struck again with the thought “the world moves on”.

As I watched my dear friends move between the mourners I realised that their reality, their normal has changed.

Nothing will ever be as it was.

I write that as if I’m in a place of acceptance but that is so not true.
Four years on I still haven’t found my new normal, I don’t think I ever will.

Normal belonged with our daughters, I think they took it to heaven with them.

I was taken back to four years ago when I was at Livvy’s funeral and how I was wishing it to never end.

The moment that I left that place I was leaving my daughter behind. It was the finality of final.

After the gathering we returned to our home so full of her things but so empty of her.

Our life had been filled with the caring, the loving of this beautiful incredible special needs child, now the empty hours seemed endless before me.

My girls will joke this was the time I started ironing their knickers but in all honesty they speak the truth. I tried earnestly to fill those empty hours.

I’m told by my children that at times I was suffocating, that I needed to be with them every moment of the day. They understood but they were young and had a life to live, school to attend, friends to play with.

I used to find myself caught up in unexpected rage after hearing a parent speak harshly to a child in the street. The “why did I ever have you” comment spoken not in truth but frustration tore at my soul. Alan dragging me away when I just wanted to scream “every moment is precious” “never let your child feel unloved”.

How does the world move on without my beautiful daughter.

I wanted to demand that everyone stood still and allow time just to freeze right there.

Of course that wasn’t going to happen.

Platitudes were given in love but were driving me insane.

“No more suffering”
“No more pain”

As if suffering and pain was all Livvy’s life amounted too. What about

“No more laughing”
“No more dancing”
“No more mischevious behaviour”

Livvy was so much more that what her syndrome was, pray tell me people could see that.

Then the anger left me and the darkness came it was all I could see when somewhere in the corner there was a ray of light.

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Faith

The more I read the words of the bible the more my heart was filled with something I had never dared dream of again.

Hope

One day I would hold my beautiful girl again.

That this life isn’t the one we should hold on to.

Eternity is ours.

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV

Love is eternal