Saturday, 28 April 2012

Thankful for Hope (13/1000)

This afternoon I had the privilege of supporting Karen Mehta as she led an afternoon of Remembrance for the Twins and Multiple Birth Bereavement Support Group. These myriad of families are separated by age, race, distance and yet united by experience of loss gather to remember, to support and to encourage each other, and there are tears and laughter mixing pain with hope.

And it's the hope that for me is key, I don't think that anyone goes through life with out pain. The pain of loss, the pain of disappointment. As a parent the pain of seeing my children hurt, whether as a result of their own or others actions can quite simply hit me to my core and is where so much of my pain lies currently.

The dictionary defines hope as feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen and in our worldly lives hope is often described as being clung onto, but for me hope is so much more, its more than a feeling or a desire, it fact it's more like knowledge.

I do not cling onto hope, but rather I am enveloped by hope, because my hope is based not upon any earthly thing or person that is that is fallible, my hope is based on Gods promises that I know are steadfast, I know that they are unchanging,

So when the pain of being a mum to a hurting child threatens to overwhelm me, that knot in my stomach, the ache in my heart become so tangible I catch my breath, I remind my of Gods promise in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." and I know that that promise extends to my children and I allow myself a hope today I am thankful for hope.....

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Thankful for my GiGs (11&12/1000)

Friendship is crucial. If I am honest I can make friends easily but I have not been great at developing friendships. My own insecurity at revealing too much of who I really am and then being rejected has caused me and others heartache, I deeply regret the hurt to others.

On recent years God has put right across my path 2 amazing women, my Girlfriends in God. Our life experiences past and present are different, our children in some similar and some not life stages, our faith journeys different and yet we share something special.

We have laughed together, had fun times, shopped, wined and dined, but God put something on our hearts to be more to each other. He created a place for us to be vulnerable, to share our fears, admit our failings. We've cried together, full on snotty crying, hidden in cupboards and prayed feverishly to get through the next bit of the day.
We've challenged each other. We don't agree on everything, we handle situations differently but throughout we have supported and encouraged and allowed each other to work it out. We talk shoes and handbags and kids and husbands and God and we love fish finger sandwiches and cold white wine.
They have seen my big knickers as I wore my hospital gown, and cried when they said goodbye at the end of visiting time.
When I have sent a prayer request text, doubting my parenting abilities again, they came, knowing a hug would make things better.
They have seen my bedroom, untidied, in that 'theres people coming to dinner and we've run out of time and so everything else that needs to be done is shoved in there state' and they still choose to be my friends.
We are 3 different people united by a love of God and a willingness to expose our own vulnerabilities in order that we might grow and that tomorrow we will be better than we were today.

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (NLT)

Thankful for my men..(8,9,10/1000)

Matthew, my wonderful husband
Matthew is genuine, warm, and from the first day I met him has been able to make me smile.

Jack, my oldest twin by just three minutes, now 14 is a most amazing young man. His smile is infectious, he is a talented keyboardist, his heart is open and he is so full of potential.

Max, 14 and still growing, a brilliant guitarist, he is funny and bold, he has a great future ahead of him and I am excited to see it.

Thankful for Grace and Gods Promises (6-7/1000)

Oh my, ever feel you set yourself up to far behind am I, and not for lack of things to be thankful for, for they are there's in abundance. I was tempted to write this off as a bad idea and let it quietly fade away but I am fed up of giving up.
You see I really am not one of lives long term completers, I am great with the short term project stuff, organising the events at works and pulling them together for others but the long term stuff I need in my life I am rubbish with.

I read these blogs by organised mums with immaculate laundry cupboards and tupperware organised pantries and get inspired and will have a mad flourish and sort through the towels and bedding by size and colour, or rearrange the kitchen cupboards and sort the dreaded junk drawer that every kitchen seems to have, and it feels great and then I don't keep it up. Next time I put the laundry away I'm in a rush so just pile the towels in, or in a quick kitchen tidy I sweep all bits and bobs into that drawer before the guests arrive. Then each time I grab a towel or search for the lemons zester I am confronted with my failure to maintain order, to keep it up.

I don't seem to have stick ability, even when I can see success I get derailed. My weightloss is a prime example, I know what to do, I have done it with 4 stone worth of success and yet for the last 4 months you would think I had never heard of low fat food! Every day I make decisions that sabotage my own growth and well being.

And it is so easy after the first, let alone 6th or 19th failure to just stop trying, to believe the lies that I'm not built for long haul, to give in to food temptations, to resign myself to accept that I lack commitment to my own well being.

Or I can accept that I am all that I am, that all I have need for is already within me, that I need to dig deep and find it, that I need to start things with no end in sight and just do them because they are good for me and those around me and because I know they are part of Gods plan for me to have a better life.

David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. (1 Chronicles 28:20 NIV)

So today I will carry on, not a new start, but under Gods grace a continuance and will be thankful not only for that grace but also for knowing that He promises He will take my humble offerings and messy life and make it beautiful.

In the words of the Gungor song ( click below to listen)

I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You
Beautiful things by Gungor

Monday, 16 April 2012

Thankful for coffee time , and for 1lb off (4-5/1000)

4. Thankful for coffee, not just any one, a skinny one of course, and with some sugar free hazelnut syrup but more than that, what made this one extra special, having a good friend to share the time with, to speak truth to and be spoken truth to, to build up and be built up, to encourage and be encouraged by.

5. One pound, not money but weight, some of you will know I lost 4 stone last year but since my gallbladder surgery I have not lost any, in fact and in honesty I have gained....but tonight I had my first loss in 12 weeks, not a gain , not a stay the same but a loss, and no matter how small 1lb may seem, to me it could have been 100lb, for the feeling I had to finally have turned a corner. By no means were all my food choices good this week, but there were more good ones than last week, and next week there will be more good ones than this week. For those of you who wonder what 1lb fat looks like here's a pic......

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Thankful for Hugs 3/1000

I am thankful for hugs.

Today felt like hug day, there we hugs to welcome my sister and her family home for a short holiday, hugs for my parents who treated us all to lunch. There were squishy hugs with my niece and nephew as we snuggled on the sofa playing games, and tonight were some special girlfriend hugs. One was for someone I wanted to know was not alone but have so few words to help them with and one was with one of my GiGs, (Girlfriend in God) that just said missed you and love you and I'm so blessed to have you in my life.

A Simple Hug by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr

There's something in a simple hug
That always warms the heart;
It welcomes us back home
And makes it easier to part

A hug's a way to share the joy
And sad times we go through,
Or just a way for friends to say
They like you 'cause you're you

Hugs are meant for anyone
For whom we really care,
From your grandma to your neighbor,
Or a cuddly teddy bear

A hug is an amazing thing -
It's just the perfect way
To show the love we're feeling
But can't find the words to say

It's funny how a little hug
Makes everyone feel good;
In every place and type,
It's always understood

And hugs don't need new equipment,
Special batteries or parts
Just open up your arms
And open up your hearts

1000 things to be thankful for, 1&2

This morning has been a housework morning, getting the house straight before a family lunch...think that will be a good picture opportunity.

I read a blog recently that said the first place to start to get your house organised was the kitchen sink, give it one big clean then shine it daily, there was a whole load of other stuff that seems far too domesticated for me but a shiny sink was small enough for me to accomplish, so today I am thankful for my shiny sink, and sticking with the domestic goddess theme my second thankful is for a large working washing machine for the piles of clothes my family goes through

Saturday, 14 April 2012

A journey of thankfulness ....

I have been inspired by two people I work with to start a new blog challenge. Dave Betts has started a blog a day for a year challenge and Heather Pocock blogged about a book she had read and the challenge to record those things we are thankful for.
Dave Betts Blog
Heather's Blog

Both these hit a chord with me, Dave's because I am terrible with starting and not sticking with things, I lose my way and then am too embarrassed or scared to start again, and Heather's because i really hate when I write a whole day off as a bad day because of one thing and go bed with a negative focus.

So I have that each day I will pictorially represent my 1000 things I am thankful for. These will not be epic photos, I am no photographer, but candid snaps on an iPad, or representative images. I will not be offering profound writing, just simple thoughts. My focus is just to develop a better attitude of thankfulness in me and if anyone else is along for the journey that's great too.

In a year it works out about 2.7 pics a day, so if I aim for 3 then that gives me about 30 days of grace if I fall behind. I am a girl who knows she needs grace, and who needs to remember deep within my spirit that whilst not everyday may be a good day, there will be good in every day..