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Better. 

We always think there are better days ahead. We look forward to the days the kids are grown and can take care of themselves. We dream of the days a bill  comes through the door and we can pay it straightaway. 

We look ahead to the time we no longer have to go out to work and plan what we’ll do when we retire. 

When times are tough it’s natural to look forward to the storm passing, to want to glimpse calmer seas on the horizon. 

In the days of keeping up with the Joneses  (who incidentally buy most things on credit) we’ve become a dissatisfied people. We want better things, better technology, the latest gadget, to see the latest films etc. 

It has become unfashionable to live in the moment and that’s a great pity because that’s where the treasure is. 

I know from personal experience that it’s difficult to know contentment sometimes. Everyone else’s grass always looks greener but it isn’t. 

They have dissatisfaction and discontent also. You just don’t realise it because you’re looking at their highlight reel on social media. 

A picture came up on Facebook today. It was of my youngest daughter standing outside our house shortly after we moved in here. 

I couldn’t help but notice how much she’s grown. Her face has lost its baby chubbiness. She’s grown taller. She’s in her penultimate year of Primary school and I just don’t know where that time has flown to. 

But I can say this. An awful lot of it I spent waiting for better days, for easier days, for lovelier days .

Jim Elliott, the missionary said “Wherever you are be all there”. 

It’s one of the biggest things I struggle with yet it’s so important. 

Learn to live your life in the now. It takes practice but it can be done and it’s necessary because while we’re waiting on a bigger and better ship to come along laden with everything we think we possibly need we’re missing out on valuable memories now. 
Till next time. 
This post was written in response to the Daily Prompt -better. 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/better/

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The Ghosts of Christmas past. 

Perhaps somewhere in a different time we share Christmas day together. You bring your family. We share tales of growing up separately but bound by blood. Perhaps it begins an annual tradition of meeting and exchanging gifts and sharing each other’s lives. 

Meanwhile in a different realm I bring home a special guest. We laugh at the repeats on the TV and bicker over Brussel sprouts.

Later after you’ve had a glass or two and your pipe you fall asleep in the armchair, your cracker hat slightly askew as you snore gently . I look at you and think “when did you get old?”. I remember you carrying me up the stairs to bed in your arms when I fell asleep downstairs. So strong then but now you resemble an old comfy arm chair yourself. The children look at you and giggle. I shush them anxious not to stress the fragile brokered  Christmas peace. 

In still another time, she is there.  Laughing with the children, making merry with the sherry. Making us scream with laughter at her awful charade reenactments. I dream she has had a happy life, a life of peace and wishes fulfilled. 

Lastly in another Christmas I bounce upon my knee a little one. I can see their tiny fingers and their rosebud mouth. They look at their siblings, desperate to join in the fun and excitement. “Soon” I tell them. “Soon you’ll be old enough”.
This Christmas will be a happy one. We have lots of blessings to be grateful for. We love our little family. I won’t feel anything amiss. 
But sometimes I wish the ghosts of Christmas past would collide. 

When dreams come.

The other night I dreamt about my father. Nothing unusual in that you might think but it’s unusual for me. That’s because we don’t have a functional relationship. In fact I can’t remember the last time we spoke other than by email and that was a year or so ago.

This is pretty much how it’s always been. He’s not a significant part of my life and I’m used to that. I accept that. Gone are the times I’ve sat by the door on my birthday wondering if this is the year he’ll remember me. 

I rarely think of him now. I may get a twinge of jealousy when I see my friends having a great relationship with their dads but on the whole I try not to dwell on it. This is how it is and it is largely my choice too. 

It’s not all his fault. He’s made efforts in the past to be in touch and for us to see each other but he left when I was 5. He has rarely been a Daddy figure in my life. We’ve both tried but our relationship is lacking something and neither one of us is desperate to rebuild it.

And yet in my dream I asked him “just tell me are you ever going to make time for me? I need to know”. 

Why did I need to know? I’m not sure. It seems laughable to me now. I’m happy with my life mostly and I don’t often grieve on the things I don’t have. Instead I try to be grateful for the things I do have.

The dream left a bitter taste in my mouth. It brought up feelings I thought were dealt with. Things that I’m tired of dwelling on continually.I guess I’m still that little girl who misses her Daddy. The difference is now I’m older and harder inside . I choose not to have a relationship with him because it’s easier for me.

It’s an awful thing to not be able to relate in part to your children because they know the joy of having a Dad there every day. A Dad who loves them and cares for them. They’ve never known anything different. They take it for granted and I’m so glad for that. It’s just sometimes……

I wish, I’m not sure really, I suppose I wish my childhood had been different. I wish my Dad had been there.

The honest truth is I can’t forgive him for the fallout he left in my life by leaving.

He has told me awful things about my parent’s marriage, that no child should have to hear, how do you bounce back from that?

And yes I’m a Christian and yes I know I should forgive him. I’ve tried to, several times but the guilt that arises from not being able to manage such an onerous task combines with the pain of the unforgiveness.

It’s not something that I could ever accomplish by myself and thankfully I don’t have to.

The only legacy he has left me with is insecurity and this I could do without. It colours every relationship I have and causes me to second guess myself continually.

Was I too open with that person? Did I share too much? Was I too clingy or needy in that relationship? Is anything I do of any value? Did I say the wrong thing in that text or that comment? What did so and so mean by that or by this?

I hate it. I hate being an insecure person. It’s awful. 

So this is why I try not to revisit this relationship, this topic. It is what it is. It can never be changed. It can never be unhappenned( if there is such a word!)

But oh, sometimes, only sometimes, I wish it could be.

Ways to say I love you. (Daily prompt-underestimate)

Never underestimate that brief squeeze of your arm,
that kiss dropped upon your forehead,
that “text me when you get home so I know you got there safe”,
that ” Do you need a lift?, that “Call me if you need to talk”, that ” I noticed you’re quiet, are things ok? “.

Do not fail to appreciate that clean, folded pile of clothes left on your bed,
that bag of groceries left on your doorstep,
those bedcovers folded back for you,
that cup of tea or coffee made for you without asking.

Never underestimate those people who walk into your lives and make it home, however brief their stay.
The ” I saw this and thought of you “mention,
That breakfast in bed you were not expecting,
That sunny morning you awoke to and conversely that rain that refreshes the humid day.
The breathtaking splendor of a sunrise or sunset or thunderstorm when the skies put on their light display for you.
The unfailing love of a Saviour,
The times spent happily doing nothing much with your favourite people.

Slow down. You know the cliché ” Life is short”. But be grateful. Count your blessings even if they don’t immediately spring to mind.

All of the former are signs of love. People may not always voice their love and care for you but take note of what they do and what you do for them.

That is theirs and yours love language.

Do not underestimate it.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/underestimate/

Pedalling straight and true.

Sometimes I want to stop the world and get off. Time hurtles by so fast it seems the days are done before I’ve had a chance to put my big girl boots on and deal with things.
I don’t want to waste time. I want to make good smart choices, wise choices but I don’t know what they are.

People think because you’re a mother and a wife that you’ve got your life sorted, that you know where you’re going next. How can I explain that so much of my day is spent just coping with the minutiae that I don’t have time to make big decisions?

I sometimes wish I was back in the days of my youth. The school clock would count down incessantly slow until home time. The hot Summers felt as if they lasted half a year. My biggest decision was what nail polish or music I was going to buy.

Now it is different. Other people depend on me. I can’t just do what I want. Or go where I want to go. And that’s ok. It’s part of being an adult. I know that.

The hard part is we enter adulthood but we’re still children inside. We’re not properly trained and equipped to cope with some of what comes our way. But we have to. The  stabilisers have been taken off. Now we must pedal straight and true.

It’s just a pity that life doesn’t come with a road map and a clear set of directions.