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.

With more…

Our God is a resurrection God. We believe in the resurrection of Jesus so we need to believe in the resurrection of our world, our country our people. 

Dont waste this time praying for what you had, pray for what you want your future to hold.

What has this time of fear, trouble, disease taught you?

What have you learned about yourself?

Are you going back into a job that you love, will you go back with renewed vigour? Will you look for a job that will fulfil you more?

When your children go back to school, will they go back with a more intense desire to learn, will you as their parents understand their way of learning better, be better advocates for them with a renewed understanding.

Have you learned of what you really need to survive? What is truly valuable in your life or maybe more importantly who is valued.

Will you understand yourself more, cherish your time more?

So often in life we forget that we live with the gift of resurrection. That we have the promise of more. So many right now will be heartbroken and believe me when I tell you I understand the pain of lost so deeply, so raw as if it was yesterday but I hold on to the promise of forever, the promise of our every tear being cherished.

May we come through this awful time and strive to live with more clarity, more truth, more time, more love and more hope. 

Memories cherished as memories are made.

I have just returned from a wonderful week in beautiful Wales.

I have loved every minute of it, from the beautiful sunsets to the endless beaches.

Its been a truly wonderful week.

It was a week I so needed, time to recharge and refresh my mind.

Time to allow the words to form and the passages to write.

I am feeling stronger that ever.

My heart and mind are on the same path.

This holiday was the first time I have gone back to this area of Wales without Livvy.

I honestly believed that it was going to have to be another first without her.

Yet it wasn’t because as I have enjoyed the views, cherished the sunsets and loved the ocean I have felt Livvy everywhere.

Memories cherished as memories made.

Dogemals 2015 Newquay 2015 west wales 2015

All together

My daughter returns from university today and yes I am so excited to see her.

So why did a friendly comment feel like I had been punched in the stomach?

My friend said “ I bet you are excited to have all the family back together’.

How simple and true is this comment.

Yes i am excited.

But my family will not all be back together.

You see there will always be a missing piece,

missing piece

 

An empty place at the table.

A pile of presents that have not been bought.

On Christmas day only three of my girls will be celebrating it here with me.

Heaven holds the celebration for the other.

I want to say that i’m ok about it all, that i can be happy and enjoy the season but I can’t.

The ache in my heart is getting stronger and stronger as we head towards the 25th.

I hate that on Christmas day I have to visit the crematorium, that the only gift I can give to my daughter is flowers on her stone.

I want the air to echo with her laughter, the harmony of my four beautiful girls to play.

Yet all i can hear is the silence of the missing note.

Christmas is a special time of year, I love the wonder of it all.

The excitement that builds in peoples hearts.

The joy of giving , the love that is shared.

Christmas is a time for celebration and I promise I will try.

Still I hope that it will be ok, that sometimes through this season i disappear.

Disappear to a place where i can allow the tears to fall.

Where I can allow the missing to show upon my face.

Because I cannot pretend all the time.

I just don’t have the strength.

I need to give my heart freedom.

Freedom to grieve my beautiful missing daughter.

Loving hard

Being emotional.

Is it a bad thing?

For many years now I have felt it is.

I have held back my heart, my feelings, my emotions.

And I feel suffocated.

 

Years ago when I was a teenager my Nan told me that wearing my heart on the outside would get me hurt.

She was talking about my heartbreak over a boyfriend at the time and she was trying ease my pain.

She said that I needed to hold my head high and act as if it didn’t matter and that i was ok.

I know she meant well but I believe I took that advice a little to literally.

 

You see I do love hard.

Its as simple as that.

But over the years I have held back.

Tried to be someone I’m not.

Taking words as emotional, dramatic, as insults.

Changing who I am to please others.

 

Even when Livvy died I never allowed myself to let go.

I didn’t fall apart, scream at God or generally let rip.

I held on.

I could tell you that it was to be strong for my girls, or my husband but that would only be partly true.

I held on because I was scared to let go.

If I let myself fall apart would i be able to put myself together again.

Well I was praying about this last night and God gave me this beautiful image of a mosaic and he reminded me that some of the most beautiful things in life are made from broken pieces.

Mary-And-Jesus-Mosaic

I have to allow myself to break,

Allow myself to really feel.

Holding back is suffocating me.

I can’t breathe.

 

I do love hard.

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It is who I am

I am emotional

I am dramatic

I am all or nothing.

But I love with all my heart.

I will fight to the death for those I care about

and I will be by your side always.

Remember if I love you, I will love you hard.

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Always

I am a mom that had to bury a child.

Yes I am that mom.

But I’m also a mom who was so very blessed.

I thank God every day that I got to be Olivia’s mom.

That I got to walk her journey with her.

Caring for this beautiful girl changed my life.

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I learned so much.

I learned about true love.

 

It’s not easy losing a child.

Wow what an understatement.

It’s so not easy 

I always will have a part of me missing.

Yet I would do it all again.

It a heartbeat.

 

Walk those hospital corridors

images

Wait those endless hours for appointments

Fill those never ending prescriptions.

 

When you become a mother you take on many roles.

Carer,

Protector,

Teacher

 

When you have a special needs child these roles extend

 

Nurse,

Chemist,

Advocate

Fighter 

 

At times it feels like each day holds a new battle.

And yes we do get battle weary

But our children are always worth the fight.

always

It’s my birthday

Today is my birthday I am 38 years old.

I cannot believe how amazing my 37th year has been.

I have finally found me.

That sounds crazy doesn’t it.

How do you lose yourself?

I don’t think i  actually ever lost myself because I don’t believe i had ever found myself before.

For so long I have tried to be who I perceived others wanted me to be.

Hiding my heart to keep others happy.

But its not honest and its certainly not a way to live.

 
I will be ok when I get my degree.

I will be better when I lose weight.

I will become nicer.

I will try to be kinder.

More open, more trusting

A better mom.

A better wife.

 

My list became endless and always out of reach.

 

No more.

 
I finally can see that.

I am kind hearted

I am a good friend.

Good mom.

Good wife.

I am beautiful.

I am so loved.

 
What a year!!!

I wish it hadn’t took 37 years to get to this place but hey ho I am here.

I am so excited to see what my 38th year will bring me.

I already have exciting things planned.

I mean I’m modelling for goodness sake.

Whatever happens I know it will be fun and filled with love, laughter and friendship.

What more can this birthday girl ask??

 

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My greatest gifts.

With Christmas a day away I have been thinking a lot about family and in particular the joy I get from being a mother.

17 and a half years ago I began the journey of motherhood and not for one second have i regretted it. From the moment my children were planned they were loved. From the moment they were conceived they were cherished.

Being a parent isn’t easy. I have made mistakes and I have struggled but my girls were and are the greatest gifts ever.

I look at my children now and they are nearly grown and it scares me. Next year my eldest will leave for university and my heart is fearful.

How do you let them go?

From the moment I saw that second blue line I have done all that I can to protect my beautiful girls. I feel I failed when Livvy died. I couldn’t protect her from Rett Syndrome.

Now I’m scared I will not be able to protect my girls from the world.

How do you let them go?

How do you find the courage to loosen the ties and give them the freedom they need to grow.

I guess this is where it comes down to trust.

Trust that you have raised them to be wise and keep themselves safe.

Trust in them.

It’s not easy and I think now of Mary and that moment when God asked her to carry Jesus.

How brave she was.

How faithful she was.

Did she know her son was to be persecuted?

Did she know he will become our Saviour?

I cannot imagine her pain.

But I can admire her courage.

Her trust.

She knew that her son was in the hands of God.

I know my girls both here and in heaven are also in his hands.

I trust.

The reason why.

Yesterday I attended the Compassion UK conference for advocates in the West Midlands and other areas.

It was a truly inspiring day and I am slowly working my way through all that I learned and all that I will share at a later date.

The thing is as I came home I was on one of my social media sites when I was asked the question, why am I an advocate?

This person couldn’t understand why I would give up my free time to something that wasn’t really part of my life.

To be honest I could write a long winded reply reminding him that we are all God’s children and that the place we are born shouldn’t be the reason for survival.

I could write about all that Jesus did for us when I, when we wasn’t part of his life.

But I’m not going to….

I’m going to share a video that yesterday reminded me why I am an advocate for Compassion UK and why I will do all that I can to get a child sponsored and lifted from poverty in Jesus name.

Please watch this video and may God place child sponsorship on your heart.

This child and the millions of others is my reason why.

I was blown away by Rend Collective

Have you ever have one of those days that blow you away?

A moment that you never expected that makes your heart beat that little faster.

I had one of those amazing experiences Sunday night.

I was advocating for Compassion UK at a Rend Collective tour date.

Now I knew I was going to have a good night as I love volunteering with Compassion but I never expected to be completely blown away by some amazing music and fantastic worship.

The evening started with the artist  Ben Cantelon  to be honest I knew off him a little but hadn’t really heard much of his music but I have to say he was pretty incredible. He stirred up your heart in a way that you could sense the of the whole atmosphere of the church  change.

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Then Rend Collective took to the stage and WOW the place just lit up. Never have I seen such energy in a performance, in the music.

There was no fancy lights, no big instruments it was raw incredible talent being shown all to bring glory to God.

Their music was so fresh that I was just blown away.

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“Rend Collective Experiment is an eclectic collective of multi-instrumentalists from the North of Ireland. An inherent desire for something spiritually substantive in our increasingly artificial world is exactly what brought the movement of friends together. United by a common purpose, these twenty-somethings began exploring the intersection between God, life and community.”

The night was the final one of their Campfire tour and my goodness they were incredible. Yes I am gushing as they simply gave me an incredible high and called me closer to God than I have been in a while.

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Yet it wasn’t just the music that stirred my heart as the members of the band spoke about the need for us to remove ourselves from the artificial and connect with the real. That to be the church that Jesus calls us to be doesn’t just require us  just to attend a building every Sunday but to live as the light.

So many of us attend our weekly service and thats great, but we should never leave church the way we came in.

I needed to hear these words, I needed so badly to feel this worship. I’m not having a crisis of faith just feeling lost about church.

Worship doesn’t have to happen in a church on a sunday, we can worship God in our homes, in our schools, in our play, around a campfire.

Faith isn’t a thinking its a doing.

If you have never heard of Rend Collective I cannot urge you enough to go check them out and Ben Cantelon too.

Their music is different, their music is raw, their music is soul refreshing.

Enjoy, I certainly did.