On Sunday I attended my church’s All Souls service, which is held to remember those we have loved and lost. I have been to this ever since we lost Abi. The vicar’s sermon focused on this passage. What he said … Continue reading
Since Abi died, prayer has become part of my day. I didn’t often pray before, except in church or the occasional Lord’s Prayer. Now, my prayers are more like mini conversations with God. Sometimes, I read a psalm or sing … Continue reading
One of the hardest aspects of grief – as a grieving parent – is forgiving yourself. Children die every day. And, for every child that has left this world, is a parent left wondering what they did wrong, how they … Continue reading
In The Book of Forgiving, Desmond & Mpho Tutu offer a process called ‘The Fourfold Path’, which helps us to move from a position of anger and resentment to one of forgiveness and (inner and outer) peace. This part makes up … Continue reading
In my first post about forgiveness, I outlined the impact resentment can have on our physical and emotional health and wellbeing. In the second chapter of The Book of Forgiving, Desmond & Mpho Tutu explain what forgiveness is not. This might seem … Continue reading
Grief is a complicated emotion. In the early days, life’s trivialities pale into insignificance. Little disagreements or annoyances fade away as you are thrown into the stark reality that life is precious. Arguing about whose turn it is to put the bins … Continue reading
In my weary, 8-month pregnant, sleep-deprived state, the weekend doesn’t appeal. As the chores mount up (and are harder to get through as bending and lifting becomes an effort), the children fight over what (irritating) TV show to watch all the while creating even more mess and work, the husband idling after a stressful week and still recovering from illness, three work deadlines to meet by Monday, worrying about finances and things I need to do but physically can’t… etc… I ask God to be my focus and I immediately get the amazing Psalm 127.
In the midst of life’s distractions, it’s easy to succumb to the pressure, the sense of simply being overwhelmed, worrying about the future (I would hide under the duvet, if it wasn’t so uncomfortable to lie down with my aching pelvis!).
God has shown me that, without Him, there’s no point. That He’s made me to deal with this, and more!
God has always provided for us. He’s guided the growth of my business. He’s given my husband a stable job. I need to put the effort in and use the brain He gave me, but He always provides the opportunities for me to provide for my family.
But I also need to allow myself to switch off and rest. To not worry about the provision, to trust that it will come. To be mindful of what – and who – I have now, today.
Each of our children are blessings – the ones who never made it to birth, the ones who didn’t stay, and especially the ones who test us more than others. It’s not their fault they create physical and emotional work. It’s not my fault I’m too tired to deal with it all at times. They are not there to be worshipped and pampered, but to be moulded and shaped with love and healthy discipline, given space to find their feet within a loving home.
Having another (fifth) baby is scary at times too, as I consider how I’ll cope, or not, with all the other pressures in my life.
Yet this is God’s miracle and I must cherish it. I know we are truly privileged and I must try to ignore the practical stuff to see this, to see that I won’t always feel this tired, this weary.
I must find a way to see the many blessings through the few trials. And God is the answer.
This is a picture of Abi and me on holiday in about 2011. I love the health and happiness radiating from BOTH of us in this picture. Of course, there was never any sign that Abi would have a brain haemorrhage … Continue reading
I’ve realised that it doesn’t take much these days to break me. I always mourn my daughter harder when life feels tough…illness, sleep deprivation, anxieties, parenting challenges all set to chip away at my weary soul.
Women, mothers, hold up so much. We carry so much burden to alleviate the physical and emotional burden on others. We keep things ticking. Our minds work at a thousand paces. Yet we are human too.
I pray for patience then sin with words. I pray for peace then sin with angry thoughts. I feel I should be more. Be calmer, milder, more accepting but that only seems to create the opposite as I fail to live up to my own expectations. I’m not happy with my behaviour. I beat myself up. I’m irritable. And perhaps worst of all, I feel desperately alone. Pressures God knows I don’t need.
Today, I prayed a psalm of thanks which fell open in my Bible. I then prayed for God’s help, again. My prayers feel selfish but I poured it out to God in the brief moment I had without a child’s demands. I opened my Lent book, God on Mute, by Peter Greig, and read this quote… Yet again I realise that, in prayer, I don’t need to search too far or for too long to find comfort and guidance just to…
…breathe deeply in faith.
Now that Mother’s Day has passed, I feel I can exhale. I have a little more breathing space (until Father’s Day which is another tough one). I posted on Facebook yesterday about how hard I find the run of ‘special … Continue reading