Joy in the Season.

It was wonderful today to watch my youngest Isabella being a shepherd in her school nativity play. She is 7 now and the last year she has changed so much in terms of her confidence. Whereas a few years ago she cried the entire length of her play and was thoroughly overwhelmed, today she was happy and smiley and full of joy. She only had a small role but and I know I’m obviously biased here she gave it her all. I’m so proud of her and so blessed with all my children.



What does the future hold?

Once again I’m sat in a coffee shop waiting for someone else to make a decision about my family’s life. It would be hard to say how many times in the last 18 months this has been repeated. To say I feel powerless is an understatement.

In between these times family routine and work keep me going. These dates on the calendar seem to be far off in the distance. But then the day dawns and I’m left feeling in limbo again. Then I feel selfish for focusing on me when it’s my husband who endures it all.

Then there is the struggle of trying to keep some kind of normality for the children, to spread the joy of Christmas for them when I feel indifferent and sad.
There have been many times when God has felt distant and indeed absent. Friends though have rallied around us though to prove that He is not. They  have been Jesus to us with skin on. His representatives who demonstrate His  love in ways such as a listening ear, a comforting embrace, an envelope pressed into our hands, food parcels, gift cards and much more.

I see as well that they have tried to keep the normality for us by lifting our spirits, feeding us, reminding us there are still good times to be had and sensitivity enough to know when we don’t want to talk about things.

I would never have asked for this situation to happen to us but I will be forever grateful for the lessons we have learnt through it.

Thanks for listening, again.

In future I resolve…

I found this great pin on  pinterest today that I thought would be pretty cool for a writing prompt so here goes. It’s about resolutions for the coming year. I’m not wonderful at keeping up with my resolutions but that’s no reason not to try.

A bad habit I’m going to break : I’m constantly speaking negative thoughts to myself and putting myself down. I want things I do to be perfect and get frustrated when they’re not. It’s not easy to break years and years of negative beliefs but I am going to try at least to show myself some sympathy and kindness.

A new skill I’d like to learn : this one is easy, I’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano so will look into that.

A person I hope to be more like : this one is difficult not because I don’t know any inspiring  people, more because I know so many. Rather in this instance I’m going to aim to be the best version of myself I can be.

A good deed I’m going to do : I’ve been talking about it for ages but not done it. This year I’m going to get round to donating some food to our church’s foodbank.

A place I’d like to visit : again this is a tough one to narrow down because there are so many places I want to see. If I had to pick a specific one it would be Italy or the holy lands.

A book I’d like to read : I would like to catch up on some of the classics such as War and Peace and Anna  Karenina.

A letter I’m going to write : I love writing and I’ve never had anything published so perhaps this year I’ll write to and send in a piece of writing to a publisher.

A new food I’d like to try : I really  cannot think of any food I’d like to try but I’m open to suggestions!

I’m going to do better at : taking exercise and eating more healthily.

How about you guys? Any things you want to improve on?


Thanks to Pinterest for the suggestion.

The marriage vows I didn’t make but should have.

I barely remember making my marriage vows 17 years ago. I remember being nervous and hating being the centre of attention but the day went by so fast I don’t really recall saying those important words.

So much has happened since then. Hundreds of days that seem to have gone by in a flash, some of them a cause for celebration, others that are mercifully forgotten.

I opted for saying traditional wedding vows . It wasn’t the done thing then to write your own personal vows. I don’t suppose I understood the full extent of those promises then being so full of happiness and dreams of romance and the excitement of being with someone forever.

In hindsight I wish I had added to those vows with the following things I have realised the importance of the last 17 years:

I promise not to speak ill of you in front of other people and to magnify your good points instead of focusing on your bad points.

I promise to try to always have faith in you however the circumstances look.

I promise to make the effort to always be your friend.

I promise to not stop doing the little things for you I did so readily when we were first married.

I promise to try to count to ten before the unkind words leave my lips.

I promise to keep trying at our marriage and not to take it for granted.

I promise to cultivate our relationship and friendship and interests so that when eventually our children do leave home we still have something in common.

I promise to pray for you regularly and to encourage your relationship with God.

I promise to treat you with the love and kindness and respect you show me particularly when I don’t feel like it.

I promise to keep in mind the reasons I fell in love with you in the first place when times get tough and those memories dim.

The  good thing is it is not too late to implement these vows and keep trying at my marriage.

The Bravery Smile.

Excuse me if I’ve mentioned this before but when I was a lovestruck teenager I had a crush on the same boy for many years.

Tall, dark, handsome and funny he always seemed not only out of my league but out of my possible universe. And yet we were friends and every once in a while there would be miniscule glimpses of hope that there could be something more between us……

But only really in my imagination. It was all very awkward. Every once in a while I would give myself a strict talking to that this romance was never going to happen and would make attempts to distance myself from him. This was practically impossible because we moved in the same social circles and he was the brother of my best friend. More awkwardness.

And in the meantime, convinced that if I only waited long enough we would be together, my heart was breaking more and more.

Oh the delicious angst. I can still feel the echoes of it now.

During one of these particularly angst ridden sessions my girl friend told me “Just smile and put a brave face on it and one day you’ll be able to do it for real” and something clicked inside at her words. I didn’t get over him overnight. I was able though to function better and not be such a gibbering wreck in his presence.

That act of having to consciously compose myself and present myself as fine and uncaring actually helped to soften the blow of my unrequited love.

I could console myself that even if I was heartbroken he would never know it.

It’s not advice I would pass on to someone else because it was appropriate for that specific situation and besides it isn’t really ideal to quash your feelings like that. But it was helpful for that time and situation.

Eventually I removed myself from that situation entirely and went away to college. That was the real healer.