Ok so after many months of debating in my head about how useful I am, I decided to start looking for a job. I have sorted out my C.V. and started to look around. I had not anticipated positive responses when applying for job but I did manage to get an interview. Very, exciting! I have to admit that my emotional response caught me off guard. I was happy yet felt so sad, the realisation that if I got a job I would be gaining some freedom yet giving up my volunteering roles, and giving up some time looking after my young one.
Well anyways I had some wine to celebrate getting so far on the job journey. I got emotional then words started forming and jumbling in my mind so I had to get them down on paper. This is what I think conveys how I felt about giving up some of my volunteering (by the way I feel I should give you a cheese warning) :-
My Children Centre, the heart beat of my community,
My Children’s Centre, the ability to smile cheerily,
Raising up women to achieve,
Raising up mothers to succeed.
My Children’s Centre, the educator of the weary,
My Children’s Centre, the comforter to the teary,
Raising up families to believe,
Raising up me to fly free.
My Children’s Centre, the victim of your own success,
My Children’s Centre, Thank you, we are so Blessed.
Have you ever tried to fit in with a group? Or society in general? You know, follow the crowd, be the same as others, have something to bond with others about. Well recently I decided to try to fit in! I decided to read a book that lots of people have been reading. You have probably heard of it because it’s been made into a film “The Girl on the Train.”
Now, those who know me, know that I don’t exactly enjoy reading. I find it difficult and I don’t always understand the written word (it’s probably something to do with being dyslexic). Anyway I downloaded the Kindle app, signed up and searched for the book.
I started to read and I was instantly hooked! The book was gripping and mysterious. I found it flowed easily and was soon engrossed in the story. I enjoyed guessing what was going to happen next, fitting each clue together to guess what was actually going on. I read this book in 3 days! Yes you read that correctly – 3 days. I was so pleased with myself. I couldn’t wait to discuss the details of the book, the characters, the theories, and the general story line with my friends.
In fact I was so pleased with myself that I posted about it on Facebook. Friends chimed in with how much they had enjoyed (or not enjoyed) the book. They asked me what I thought. Well, I didn’t want to give anything away online so I kept my answers vague.
It wasn’t until a few days later when we were at a friends for dinner that I got my chance to talk about it. I lept at the chance. “Hey, I read that book that everyone is talking about” I said. She said that she didn’t particularly enjoy it but asked what I thought about it. Now the kids were still at the table and I didn’t want to go into to much detail so I described the book as good but parts of it sad and a bit freaky due to what happens with the young boy……. I was met with a confused look. I can’t quite remember the exact conversation, something about discussing the main characters names, but I do remember putting my head on the table as the penny dropped and saying “I’ve read the wrong book. I read Girl on a Train NOT The Girl on the Train”. So, yes, I had read a book. One called “Girl on a Train” by A.J. Waines. My husband burst into laughter exclaiming “Ah, Classic Vicki.”
Now it is funny, my husband isn’t being mean (I have a long history of misinterpreting things, and going off on my own tangent). It is, however, incredibly frustrating. Not only have I alienated myself by reading the wrong book (the exact opposite of what I had intended), I don’t have anyone to discuss it with! Yet again, I have got the wrong end of the stick. I have done something to highlight how different I am from others! It’s not exactly my desired outcome! #GirlonaTrain NOT #TheGirlontheTrain #Pleasereadit
But, hey every cloud and all that. Did I mention I read a whole book, and enjoyed doing so!
So this post started out as a list in my head and has pretty much stayed that way. I also can’t get the “Happiness, Happyiness, the greatest gift That I possess” song line out of my head. So I have pretty much just listed a few of the things that have made me happy of the past couple of weeks.
Christmas happened. We spent time with family. This made me happy.
On Saturdays we spent time with friends. We had no time frames, we just ate good food, chatted, laughed, went for a walk, and spent time together.
Also a friend texted me to say she loved the present I got her for Christmas. This made me happy.
On Sunday a friend announced that she got engaged. This made me happy.
Also on Sunday my son randomly picked up a book “Keith the Cat with the Magic Hat” and fumbled his way through the book. Sounding out and correcting himself. This made me happy.
This week my often tantruming 2 year old kissed and hugged me and told me she loved me. This made me happy.
My husband got up with the kids yesterday and I got to sleep more. Yes, you guessed it, this made me happy.
A few Sundays ago I watched my husband open a tin of dog food (Sunday’s are so busy he doesn’t have time for breakfast) and eat it. The kids in Church erupted out of their seats, shrieking, yelling and of course making “EEEWWWWW” sounds. It was hilarious. He continued to eat it while asking us if we could remember the Church’s verse for the year. The kids could not believe it, and every time he took a mouthful they winced, yelled and desperately tried to make him aware of what he was eating….
But of course it wasn’t really dog food. It was chocolate rice pudding and he had changed the labels on the tins. This got me thinking. How often do we get the wrong end of the stick in a conversation and react immediately? I think I do this a lot more than I want to admit! Sometimes I give the correct response, sometime not and sometimes I’m so far from the truth that I end up just embarrassing myself!
We can so easily judge and make assumptions so it’s just as well God knows what’s in the tin. I’m going to try and see what’s there also!
So here is a little story from our summer holidays. We were all walking up to the park one day. It was a lush family moment. The sun was shining, the kids were happy, running ahead of us, and me and Joel were walking hand in hand. I was thinking to myself “Isn’t this awesome”. When we were approaching a bench where two people sat. They seemed to know Joel and beckoned us over to say “Hello”. Anyways we got round to the question we knew they were waiting for which Joel asked “So, how are you?” Well, their story exploded at us come at us like a sprinter out of the blocks and then started meandering around not really knowing where it will end.
I think most people would expect me to respond with compassion and caring but to be honest I was angry. Can these people not see we are having family time? Can they not see that Joel has time off? Can they not understand that I would appreciate some conversations not happen in front of my children? Well, the answer to these questions apparently was NO.
If I was a dog I would have growled a low slow long growl showing my teeth. If I was a cat I would have fluffed my fur, arched my back and hissed. My mothering instincts kicked in and I needed to protect my children, to give them quality family time so I grabbed both of my kids by their hands and continued on our journey to the park leaving Joel behind to continue the conversation.
I am fully aware this makes me sound uncaring of those who need this attention but at the same time I do have a duty of care to my family. This is just my initial personal thought process. Of course, I understand that Joel’s role, working in the community means making sacrifices to edify, encourage and support those around us. I also accept that we have chosen this vocation so as a family will have to make sacrifices but like all Mummies I want to protect my kids.
As I scowl through my Facebook news feed today, it is filled with so many celebrations new babies, a few ordinations, baptisms, birthdays, friends learning new skills. Just so many blessings and things to be thankful for. What amazing people you all are!
So, I went to church on Sunday where we looked at Ephesians 6 (the Armor of God bit). As I sit here, having done three loads of washing, I still need to put another load on, empty the dish washer, do various Mummy jobs, give eldest medicine (and pray it stays down) and wake up the youngest poo machine (who will no doubt be grumpy), I don’t feel very awesome like you lot are. I feel numb, anxious and unable to concentrate (as this post will probably demonstrate).” Try to be positive” I tell myself, “Your being an idiot to feel this way. There is nothing wrong with you. Exercise, and equip yourself with coping mechanisms (or in Christian terms, pray, read the Bible and put on your Armor), this will change your mood.”
Even as I’m tying this there is a niggle in my head saying “what a crock of sh*t, these things won’t make a difference. Your just fooling yourself because you are gullible, weak and stupid” Is it just me that has these negative thoughts? Or is it just that I am in a season of dwelling on them? I have no idea to be honest. I can’t be totally lost to wallowing in my own head because I feel so grateful for my family. My folks and in laws who have come to help and provided much needed support . They took over household jobs, helped clear up sick, entertained the kids, and cooked where I just didn’t have the energy to. They made me feel valuable and gave me some rest. With this in mind I’m going to employ those other tactics once sickness leaves our household…..Also I just laugh, some times life is just too ridiculousness.
Now if you will excuse me I’m waiting for my sick husband to bring my sick mother in law back from a&e, while my sick child plays Skylanders, the other naps and I need to empty the dishwasher.
Ah here’s the thing I love buying things. I love the thrill of finding a bargain and the buzz from purchasing said item. I love to have a budget in mind, go shopping with the aim to get what I need and stay under budget. I find it can be quite addictive. So, when I do find a bargain, it is a great feeling (that doesn’t last long) and likewise if I don’t “get a bargain” it can be disappointing (which also doesn’t last long).
I know that materialism is part of our society, it is world wide, all the adverts telling us we need to buy, buy, buy. I know, right? #firstworldproblems. I can’t remember where I got this fact from so can’t validate it but I once heard a talk that said the Coke Cola logo is the most recognised sign or symbol in the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is true as the company spends a fortune on advertising.
At least, I say I love shopping, yet I have just spent such a fun morning with my kids and
their friends without spending a pound. We went to a Really Wild event organised by an environmental charity, Groundwork. The kids got to walk through the woods, design and make clay “tree faces” and their own stick flags. Before we knew it two and a half hours had passed in which we got lots of fresh air, exercise and made stuff. Spending my time in this way, definitely doesn’t give me an adrenaline buzz like buying a bargain but rather a slow growing and deep rooted happiness. Now that’s a bargain.
Maybe its just taking me a while to understand the value in the invaluable …….
Its hard living in today’s world, especially when everyone is encouraged to be Judgey McJudgeface’s (see what I did there). Anyways, I end up regularly doubting myself and the decisions I make. My self-worth takes a beating and I just want hide away from the world. Even when joking around with friends, I find myself needing to explain to them that I’m joking (and not trying to be offense) just in case I should cause offense.
Of course this feeling isn’t constant. It’s like a snake slithering silently around in the undergrowth, so when I’m least expecting it….it strikes. With ease and stealth it effectively wounds me. Delivering it’s poison of insecurity and, worst of all, fear. Fear is like venom to me. It seeps into all my relationships, like it flows through veins, searching and destroying, in search of the ultimate victim – the heart. It holds tight trying to consume me, stopping me confiding in friends, making me hold in emotions (because to be honest what do my problems matter?), convincing me I’m not worth anything. Plus, like, I don’t want to bore them. We all have problems…. I should just be able to deal with it.
But you see that’s the problem….the antidote is the exact opposite of what feels natural. Remaining open rather than shutting down, talking to loved ones rather than remaining silent, praying and meditating rather than ignoring and doing jobs. I should fight acid with alkaline and do what feels unnatural rather than shy away.
So something strange happened this week, I just didn’t have any word to write but rather I felt that I should draw a picture. I am definitely not an artist so make of it what you will. I was inspired by this passage from Ephesians, Chapter 3.
A Prayer for the Ephesians
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,15 from whom every family[a]in heaven and on earth derives its name.16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Sorry to go all Christian-y, I’ll keep it in check next time!
OK so something has been weighing quiet heavy on my mind and I’m not quite sure how this post is going to end up because I’m not sure how to feel about it. Cancer has affected various loved ones throughout my life (sometimes more than once) but over the past year my church has been praying for an inspirational young man battling a rare form of cancer. So I guess I’ll start with the facts.
So a 23 year old friend (his name is Peter) of some friends has been battling against a rare form of cancer which affects about 50 people world wide, a year – cervical chordoma. He basically has a tumor growing within the cervical spine. The tumour has wrapped it’s self around and is invading the bone at c1-c2. Recently the battle has intensified. The NHS has exhausted their treatment options and he needs specialist treatment from America which doesn’t come cheap. Step up Peter’s friends and family who have started the most amazing fundraising effort. They are doing everything from sponsored waxing to organising a music festival. The community response has been incredible with members of the public going out of their way to support a family that they might not even know. So please read Pete’s story on the Crowdfunding page and consider it.
Cancer affects so many people and takes many different forms. It’s difficult not to become angry with the physical and emotional pain it causes. I have to hold my head in my hands disparagingly, and ask the question, how can something so evil exist? Well I don’t have an answer. But I do have faith that this vile beast hasn’t come from my God but rather something negative and destructive.
The beauty of the human race is our resilience and fighting spirit. How we stick two fingers up at negativity and find a positive! As Peter fights his fight, he inspires me to want to do more, to donate, to raise awareness of cancer, to somehow show support for his friends and family who must being going through hell yet are remaining positive.
Praise God for you, my awesome, inspirational community.