Dad won’t be sat at the Christmas table today.
Joanne will not turn up overloaded with beautifully wrapped grifts.
Dad won’t complain the sprouts are overdone.
Joanne won’t delight us with her stories .
But they will be with us this Christmas .
Our little boy won’t run down stairs to see if Santa has been.
Our little girl will not ask if it’s morning yet.
But presents will be brought.
Santa will come
They will be with us this Christmas.
Mum won’t sit at the head of the table.
Our large family of children will not cause chaos.
Mum won’t refuse us ice-cream and custard.
Children’s delightful faces will never be seen.
But they will be with us this Christmas.
I keep them all alive .
In ways that others might not see.
My prayers today are for them the ones I and cannot see.
Writing this blog has been for my benefit. The writing started when I went through a life-changing event. It’s helping me try and process my thoughts and feelings. When the pain was at its strongest pressing the publish button was a short-term release.
Sending my pain into the ether dumping it on the world helped my grief, gave me focus and purpose.
When I first put pen to paper I was scared.
Fearful that: I would no longer see the beauty that surrounds us, forget how to smile, scared I would not see beauty in creation, frightened that my grief would totally consume me.
That’s why the title of my blog is “ It’s a beautiful world “ ( read more and all will be explained )
It helped me, amazingly people read my blog! not only that they took the time to like my blogs even leaving thoughtful comments.
Every blog takes a lot of time and effort. Spelling and grammar is a constant battle, I am so determined it will not stop me writing.
I have had to learn about sentence structures, going back to the basics learning what I missed out on at primary school.
Learning to find ways around my dyslexia has improved my writing. Conquering my fears has seen my confidence grow.
I have also learnt that when the blog was created I misspelt world and that my blog is called it’s a beautiful word ( not world ).
When this was pointed out to me I saw the humour in this. The humour was short lived when it seemed more purposeful, growing from world to word started to take on its own meaning.
When I started my blog it was all about seeing everyday beauty in the world. Writing and journeying with my blog I have discovered that words are beautiful too, not something to avoid or be afraid of.
My blog is my journey from the visual world to the deeper inside world of me, my spiritual journey, the word of God guiding, inspiring, pushing, almost shouting me along.
When big things happen it’s writing that gives it some certainty conforming my thoughts and feelings.
One big thought has been on continuous repeat in my head for many months “ is God opening new doors to me in a way that seem impossible.”
The person ( me) that started this journey was petrified of words. I left the library book club due to my fear of being asked to read aloud. Avoided writing whenever possible, if their was a card to sign I would never sign it ashamed of my handwriting /spelling, this is all slowly changing.
It’s God that’s pushing me forward changing my beautiful world and allowing me to see beautiful words.
As the fear very slowly eases so the direction all this is going is starting to unfold.
The calling I have to be alongside people in our communities is overpowering. Exploring the possibilities of being called to ordination is the path that I am walking.
It seems totally bonkers, repeatedly asking myself can this be real. Can I, Could I be called to be a Deacon? Is this even possible?
This is not my plan; it’s coming from God. I am going to have to push myself every step of the way acting out of my comfort zone beyond what I ever imagined and believed I am capable of.
Last night I sat with lots of people that have a calling and was not afraid to be their ( Three years ago I would never have gone ).
I was not afraid of who I am and what I believe.
The best thing about last night I felt comfortable with the conversations. I was quiet but learnt so much listening. Just like the written word the spoken word will take me time for me to practice it before I see and feel its beauty too. But the best bit was I felt like it was the place God wanted me to be.
1 Samuel 16:7The Message (MSG)
7 But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”
For a while have I been trying to blog about the day I sat with my beautiful friend who was terminally ill with cancer.
I just could not find the words, so wrote this poem. It’s about the day we spent together waiting for two callers.
First was the vet coming to put my friend’s dog to sleep. A faithful old dog that was entering the end of her life. Cancer was eating her up at an alarming rate and she was suffering.
We made the decision that I could not look after two old ladies with cancer so Lucy was put to sleep with love and dignity. She died in our arms with the people she loved.
Hours later the ambulance came to take my friend to a hospice. A wonderful place full of compassionate staff. My friend slowly died over the next 6 weeks.
There are no words to express how we both felt that day only silence between two friends.
The space between two words
Silence whirls and settles on the sofa.
Exhausted words filling every space.
Heartbroken words too afraid to form.
Locked up words that want to stamp and rage.
Unspoken painful truthful words.
Will it ever be the right time?
To say what’s on my mind.
Silence is the only word that remains.
Love and silence fills every space.
Salt-laced words that drip and run.
Words that can only be shed.
Splashing overflowing emotions that puddle and soothe.
Trying to tell each other that we both understand.
Wanting to shout out “Why?”.
Wanting to say, “Please don’t die.”
Memories marching though our minds:
Evenings on the sofa, tea and chatter
Like nothing mattered.
Mutual thinking, simultaneous laughter.
Parallel thoughts unite our pain.
Overflowing , overpowering unwanted grief.
Mourning, journeying, our eyes meet.
Eyes that tell our stories.
Eyes that do not lie.
Sandpaper exhausted eyes from late nights, early mornings.
Nursing my dying friend.
Her eyes old and fading.
Tired and cloudy near the end.
Observing eyes leaking painful tears.
Avoiding each other as it hurts to see
Just how much pain is inside you and me.
The reasons why I wanted to say “I do” again.
My dad escorted me down the aisle of our parish church, to marry the man of my dreams. Surrounded by friends and family we said our vows to each other with love and meaning.
We were young, and very much head over heels in love. We are still very much in love. It’s a different love today; a love that has matured and developed with age. A love that has been battered and bruised, a deep rooted love.
So why do it again?
I wanted to say the words with God in my heart . I wanted to stand at the altar and feel the words. Not just say them – actually feel them .
God was not a part of my life when we got married .We exchanged our wedding vows, knelt for the prayers. The vows were exchanged with love, thought and meaning . The prayers were said but only as words not with meaning.
Renewing our vows gave us the opportunity to pray together as a couple. Holding hands, kneeling in prayer together, with a deep understanding that not only do we love each other, but God loves us too.
We made a promise before God with our friends and family 24 years ago and we affirmed that promise again and celebrated our love for each other.
So why do it again ?
I wanted to show my love to my amazing man. Not just say “I love you” , I wanted him to know how much I love him. For him to understand that I married him for richer for poorer, for better for worse, and in sickness and in health .
These last 12 months we have been living the reality of vows we made to each other on our wedding day. We have felt poor both financially and in life. The dark cloud of depression has shown us how hard life can be living together during times of sickness. We have seen some of the worse days of our lives.
I have prayed that we both had the strength to see us through the dark days. The days when depression and anger were all consuming.
The poor days have taught us how rich and beautiful the life we have together is .
It’s time to be thankful for all that we have, learn to accept our losses and move forward together with love.
Why I said “I do” again?
It was time to move forward with our lives; allow the wounds to heal.
We have been surrounded by love these last 12 months. Supported by friends and family that have had little understanding as to why our lives fell apart.
They have not asked questions, just held us in love and walked us though our grief and pain.
Depression has left its scars but we are loved so much . I wanted to show my husband this amazing love and for him to see it with his own eyes.
Though prayer and love, God has given me back the man I married. A little older and balder but that sweet hearted funny man that I love is still there . He is shining and I am feeling the warmth of his sunshine.
Life is not perfect. I have been embracing each moment. Listening to the beautiful things he says and treasuring our time together as we are never sure what tomorrow will bring.
Day Thirty Five – Imagine – lent Challenge
I never imagined I would be able to say goodbye to my babies that died, I never imagined there would be the right place, or the right time.
I never imagined I would have the strength to let them go, the courage to face the realisation that I can’t hold on to them for ever. This was all made possible by the faith I never imagined I would have .
The right place was the Lady’s Chapel in Exeter cathedral, the right time was 8th of April 2017.
The strength and courage came from God and prayers.
The service was beautiful and very moving acknowledging baby loss as something you never get over but something you need to learn to live with.
The poem ” I will Never ” by Clark- Coates / Fossberry was read out and afterwards a hand bell was passed around during the playing of Pie Jesu recorded by Katherine Jenkins .
I held the bell knowing I would chime it 5 times, a chime for each precious life, it felt for the first time that they were babies .
I prayed for God to care for them until I can be with them again, I looked at the candles burning in the chapel, as the flame flickered it reminded me that although they are gone the flame in my heart will never go out but remain lit and burn brightly.
The chimes allowed me to let go and pass my pain to God, I have carried this pain for a very long time and the time has come to allow God to carry the pain and leave me with warmth and love .
The beautiful stained glass window In the chapel showed Mary holding Jesus as a baby cradled lovingly in her arms. The little baby that she had once held in her arms died crucified on a wooden cross, and pierced her heart. Jesus was her son and she was his mother .
In the presence of God I said my goodbyes, God who knows my needs, hears my cries and heals my wounds .
The hymn Amazing Grace was sung and radiated around the little chapel, the light of the spring day cast colourful shadows of light over us as we sang. The warmth of this sun gently soothing my pain and drying my tears .
I Will Never
I will never get to hold your hand through a storm.
I will never get to wipe your sticky fingers.
I will never get to teach you to tie your shoelaces.
I will never get to watch you catch your first snowflake.
I will never get to know who your best friend would have been.
I will never get to see you fall in love.
I will never get to hear you tell me about your first day at work.
I will never get to hear you tell me ” l’m going to be a grandparent.
But always know ……..
I will never be too proud to ask for help.
I will never be too scared to say this hurts.
I will never be too frightened to declare you matter.
I will never be too afraid to carry on living .
I will never forget you
I will never stop saying your name.
I will never stop wondering who you would have been.
I will never stop loving you.
I will never stop remembering the sound of this bell, rung in memory of you.
By Clark – Coates / Fosberry.
1 Peter 5:7Good News Translation
Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.
Day Twelve – lent challenge- Hope
For 21 years, I struggled to conceive . I counted days, took vitamins, fertility chats , blood tests
God has used the agony of infertility to grow and shape my faith I am grateful for my infertility. It is a blessing that took me on a journey of fostering and faith .
If you are struggling with infertility, God holds you close to His heart. I pray that wherever you are on this journey, that God will give you wisdom and peace
When a negative becomes both positive and negative .
We both agreed to start a family
10 months latter baby – easy
21 years pass no baby number two.
Ovulation, pregnancy dominated my every thought .
Positive tests have negative outcomes
Negative tests have negative outcomes .
Positive means pregnant – pain and loss
Negative means not pregnant – pain and loss
Miscarriage’s , ectopic pregnancy’s
Life of folic acid, healthy eating, doctors fertility clinics
Pregnancies that threaten my life.
Emergency surgery – grief , hurt , anger .
Heart full of love for each unborn child.
Children that never grew up,
Children that never cried.
Beautiful loved babies ,
Blessed that I have learned to except
Able to grieve and cry
Never ever giving up hope .
“even tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil – for you are with me – your rod and staff comfort me” psalm 23
Day Severn – lent challenge – questions
The film spotlight tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. This tense investigative dramatic-thriller traces the steps to one of the biggest cover-ups in modern times.
After watching the film I was left with many questions but one very big question
How could people of faith rob these people of their faith ?
I have a personal level to this film I was brought up with a negative view of the Catholic Church , I have seen how much anger and hate-rid it caused and thought I understood the reasons why , since developing my own faith and how that has changed my life around I feel so much pain and hurt as the person I loved was never given that opportunity to develop their own faith as it had been tainted by someone they should have respected loved and valued.
When in times of trouble we turn to God, we turn to the church we trust we give and we love.
But what happens when you turn to the church and it turns on you , destroys you as a person and any faith that you might have .
God is love – he loves us unconditionally as his children . The film just hurt the core of my beliefs I keep asking myself the same question that how can man of faith be so evil and cause so much pain and yet still they carry on living out their faith.
“Spotlight” reminds me that if we don’t speak up when we see something we know is wrong, then we become participants in the ruination of others, the film focuses on the fact that each individual priest acted in alone, but it was the system the failed, the system the covered for them and allowed them to move on and repeat the abuse over and over again.
The photo today is a place where I go to pray and feel close to the People that I love that are no longer with us. I have hundreds of questions zooming around in my head from them. But no answers some questions are best left unanswered .
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3