No Words.

Day 40 – Lent Challenge – Begin.

To the little person that asked so much of me, you changed my world.
My faith stated with a silent prayer, that screamed from my heart.

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Life built on a foundation of fear .

Day 27 – Lent Challenge – Fear.

Children who have experienced instability, frightening events, or inconsistent care build foundations of fear.
Beliefs which come from a foundation of fear tend to be negative, such as:
• I can’t trust adults to take care of me
• I have to be in control to stay safe
• It’s not safe to love or be vulnerable

Children with such negative core beliefs often have concerning behaviours such as stealing, lying, defiance, etc.
As a foster carer it’s our job to understand these behaviours. We look beyond the fear to the child that is hurt, confused sad and afraid.

They are afraid to love. This blog is for one young person who’s fear of love turned my world upside down.
God prepared me for this. In that preparation I understood this child acted out if fear. It was not personal, they were not to blame.
I understood that fear and love could not co exist. I knew the only way forward for me was to trust God and stay with love.
Love came with understanding and forgiveness. I felt so loved. In the darkness it was love that removed doubt, gave hope and purpose.

The fear this young person felt was contagious. It spread to others they pulled away.
Logic and reason was replaced by fear. The fear of making a bad error of judgement.
Those that came alongside us and walked us through our pain held and loved us. Their love came from God not fear. They listened with love. They prayed for us and with us,
held and surrounded by love.
Love does not take away the pain that fear causes. Love does not stop fear trying to destroy your life. Love does not have the answers.
Gods love gave us a future and hope. Gods love stopped the pain becoming fear. Gods love gave us focus through the blur and numbness.Gods love was supporting and always their.
I have learnt to put my trust in God. That trust gave me the strength to cope with the devastation left by fear.

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A mother’s longing.

Day 22 – Lent challenge – Longing.

Today’s blog is for a family broken and destroyed by a mother’s longing to have a 2nd child. They had very little support and life spiralled out of control.
Pregnancy loss, miscarriage, grief, still birth are all words that consumed my friend. They become her everything and in doing so cost her everything including her own life.
I spent a lot of my time as a child and young adult with this family. Being alongside them, caring for their daughter as they battled with grief and loss. When the second child they longed for was born post natal depression took away the joy and the happiness of bringing home their miracle baby.
Unknown to me at that time, pregnancy loss and that longing would not be stranger to me either. I too would experience that deep personal lonely pain when your baby dies.
I remember one day feeling totally consumed, grieving by yet another miscarriage. I asked myself why aren’t you satisfied with one daughter? Why is one child not enough for you? Through my tears grief and pain I thought of my friend and her family. Her daughter and son growing up without a mother, a husband without a wife. It made me realise that this last loss threatened to totally overwhelm me. That repetitive loss snowballing the pain into something bigger than ever before. It was affecting my ability to be a mother to our child.
I started to think that I should look at what’s in front of me rather than what I longed for.
The reality of a pregnancy that would last more than 12 weeks was now only a very dim hope.

Tomorrow is mother’s day and this family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
This mother’s day our church is having a mother’s day runway service. It’s is the first year that I have a space to acknowledge my babies on mother’s day. A safe space to grieve to runaway from the flowers and the smiling mums. To be with people that find mother’s day hard for whatever reason.
The hour long service will include liturgy, poetry, music and stories acknowledging the bittersweet emotions surrounding Mothering Sunday. It’s a space to hold and be still, share my pain and the pain of others with God. Inviting the God who loves us into our stories of struggle.

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Psalm 40:1-3  The Message (MSG)
1-3 I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God

Ordinary things impact people in extraordinary ways.

Day 21 – Lent challenge – Deliver
This blog today is a thank you to my Sunday school teacher.
I remember one Christmas afternoon a car driving down our road, that was strange in its self. Our quiet road of only five houses had very little traffic. A car we did not recognise was certainly out of place on Christmas day.
Moments latter a card came though our letter box. The card was a birthday card addressed to my sister from our Sunday school leaders.
It was not the card that stood out to me but the fact my sister was remembered by them on Christmas day. They took time out of their busy Christmas to deliver a her a card. It meant the world to my sister who’s birthday was always overshadowed by Christmas.
She was thought about loved and valued on her birthday. In that simple act of hand delivering a birthday card they showed such love for the family’s that attended Sunday school.
Sometimes it’s the simplest acts of kindness that have the most lasting effects. Sometimes ordinary things impact people in extraordinary ways.
There are opportunities all around us to show God’s love. I need to be reminded that we don’t have to always think big or complex, acts don’t have to be extraordinary.
They can be the normal,everyday things we do. No matter how simple or complex, no matter how ordinary or unique we always have the opportunity to show the love of Christ through our actions.
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Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. We can show God’s love for us through our actions. We can serve by accepting that Jesus served us first

To ask over and over and over again.

Day 18 – Lent challenge – Ask
When I write my blogs I normally find a bible passage that fits my blog. Mark 10 13-16 always stands out to me. Today it spoke to me in a different way.
My thinking is far from joined up but here’s a go at why it made me think about the second child that we fostered.
So today’s blog is for a 2.5 year boy that came to live with us for only 10 days.
This little boy never stayed at the centre of anyone’s world. He had no voice, no power to change things. No person to trust.
He made me aware of the pain caused to families by parental imprisonment.
No one looked at life through his eyes. No one tried to make things better for him. Paper work and produces just kept getting in the way of this little boys simple request to be with his mummy.
He knew what he wanted and constantly asked for it. Without raising his voice or getting angry he would just walk to the front door and ask for mummy key (he called her mummy key as he associated her with prison keys).
This little boy had only one thing on his mind. The relationship with his mother who could meet his needs.
I could physically meet his needs as his foster carer. But I could never be his mother that loved him unconditionally. No amount of toys and games could fully distract him. It was obvious to him what he needed to do make his life whole. To ask over and over and over again.
I think what I am trying to say is the system kept my little boy away from the unconditional love of his mother.
We fill our lives with so much we become that system. Keeping ourselves away from the unconditional love of God our father.
We have a choice to be with God. To pray to listen to him or just to be. He will not turn us away he loves us. The bars we create between us and God can be removed just by asking.
When we have a relationship with God our heart becomes whole. We receive his grace. Grace pours out love and kindness to all who trust in him.
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Mark 10:13-16 The Message (MSG)
13-16 The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.

 

Family.

Day 15 -Lent challenge 2018 – Family.

This blog is to my wonderful beautiful friend (my second mother).
A strong lady that listened and loved me as I did her.
She had a natural earthy connection to our world. Her front door was always open, her home a warm inviting place to go and just be me. I always left her house covered in dog hair and happy.
She understood me, never minced her words. Saying what she saw at the same time understanding,acknowledging what was going on in my world.
Her eyes lost their sparkle I was just finding mine.
She had started to talk to me about her faith journey. A part of her that she had never shared with me before.
Being terminally ill seemed to make her faith more reachable more connected.
In her final weeks she would share a prayer or we would just sit silently together.
My faith was still so new to me. I was still so confused by everything I felt. She knew God was changing me. Yet I was still not able to find the words to tell anyone what I was feeling. She could see the little change in me that others could not .
Faith was something we never had the chance to explore together. I often wonder what she would be saying to me today .
The last thing she said to me was you are beautiful. We held hands so tightly that day knowing we would never hold hands again.
Four weeks after her death I was confirmed. My faith journey reaching a milestone that I could not share with her.
The empty space she left was already being filled by God.I was exploring a new place to be me; prayer. I was feeling God in my life.
I started forming friendships within the church family. New friends that I could laugh and cry with. Friends that understood.
My beautiful friend left me just as I was discovering a whole new world and family.
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Proverbs 3 Good News Translation
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.

Brief encounter with love.

Day 13 – Lent challenge 2018 – refresh .
My Auntie K keeps coming to mind when I think about faith and the word refresh.
I think it has something to do with how real she was to herself and God.
She recorded her thoughts and prayers in dairies. The two diaries in my possession record the wars years 1939 -1940. She records air raids, birthdays, the church services she attended with her mum (my great grandmother).
She also tells her another story. Her brief encounter with love. Her life becomes increasingly complicated because of falling in love with a man that was not hers to love. They meet secretly, fell in love, bringing about unexpected consequences.
Her scribbles telling of the conflict in her mind. Concerned about the pain that she would or could cause others. She battles with her faith. She knows it must end.
She acknowledged the pain love caused. She worried her writings might be found. One diary entry tells how she must stop scribbling.
She wrote out prayers that asked for strength, she turned to scripture for guidance.

The old lady I loved struggled with life “messed up”. When we mess up, which we do and will, God loves us just the same.
Her scribbling provided her with a place to of load her thoughts and feelings. I treasure these diaries as her gift to me.
She tells me that when things go wrong it’s God we turn to. She tells me we mess up.
Theirs something in all of this about not denying who we are being real with God. In that realism we form a closer relationship with God.
When we give voice to our complaints, our worries, our bitterness, or our fears, we aren’t telling God anything he doesn’t already know. We are laying ourselves bare before him, holding nothing back, and asking him into our lives.

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Psalm 73 – Good News Translation
26  My mind and my body may grow weak,
but God is my strength;
he is all I ever need.