DARE TO SHARE

“The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness – even our wholeheartedness – actually depends on the integration of all our experiences, including the falls.” – Brene Brown

Your story matters.

I received a surprise last year when my friend sent me a draft copy of a page from the book she was working on and was humbled to see she had used my story as the illustration for the devotion on 19 June. When she asked me if I was happy for her to go ahead I replied with an excited yes please! What an honour.   

The book has since been published and ‘Walk out on the Water’ 365 daily devotionals for Women by Caitlyn de Beer is a book I highly recommend.

It is incredible that this year 19 June 2021 falls on the day before Father’s Day and ties together some of the most painful pieces of my journey, which God has used to work in my life. I am now able to share these experiences and encourage others to overcome their fears and barriers and give them hope. When you have gone through a similar situation someone else is facing, it reassures them that God will get them through too. Courage is contagious.

What are you doing here Debbie? God has used this question recently with me, which has required soul-searching to examine issues of my heart that I have not recognized or simply ignored.  It is often hard to own our story but it is even harder if we keep running from it our whole life. Your story can be someone else’s guide and their own fears are lessened when they hear you share how you overcame similar circumstances and hope is restored because they realize it isn’t impossible.

Nothing goes to waste if we share our experiences and use them to encourage others and give them hope.

World Book Day

World Book Day is celebrated annually on April 23, observed in more than 100 countries and is an occasion to celebrate and promote the joy of books and the art of reading. With us in lockdown, it is the perfect time to find a good book and let our imaginations run wild.

I woke up feeling a little sad today and thinking back to some of my favourite books, including childhood stories and memories, has definitely helped lift my spirits and bring a smile. They are the perfect link to the past and the future, as well as being a generational bridge.

a2ebc3712c078a5128ee9b94fd0ed23e

Personally, I could do with an escape to a make-believe world right now and love this other quote from Dr. Seuss, one of the most influential authors of all time: “I like nonsense, it wakes up brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”

This one by Neil Gaiman is great too:

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO sums up the theme of World Book Day 2020 through these words; “Books have the unique ability both to entertain and to teach. They are at once a means of exploring realms beyond our personal experience through exposure to different authors, universes and cultures, and a means of accessing the deepest recesses of our inner selves.”

bc617efdd2cae7b9cf788811d657ba1d

The quote above makes me think of all the teachers and parents at home with their children, doing school work.

Dr. Seuss also said, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.” I agree! Every book has its own lesson, for children and adults alike.

“Let us remember: one book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” Malala Yousafzai

Hang in there everyone.

54b2eb99d4c013266edf55ff47b60f5d

The Choice Is Yours

“Trauma creates change you don’t choose. Healing is about creating change you do choose.” (Michelle Rosenthal)

If this is the first time you are reading my blog, thank you for visiting. I do not write very often and usually my thoughts go into my journals (which I shred when they are full!) but I enjoy sharing some things on this platform and as much as it helps me to express my feelings, my prayer is that it encourages others too.

I was excited to hear that a review of my book “Whole Pieces” is going to be published in our local newspaper tomorrow. This came as a surprise and I am humbled that my story is still having an impact. Instead of running from our struggles, or over hiding, it is best to own our stories and let this bring us freedom and grace, from what we once thought were failures.

I have often written about hard times in my life after they have happened. This is because scars are often easier to talk about than open wounds. I am currently dealing with a situation that has brought me to my knees. I felt like I was dying, physically and emotionally…

But God.

He is my everything and I wouldn’t be here without Him. Rarely do we let each other see the wounds as they are healing. This is an intimate process, often accompanied by shame and others may not want to look, even if we invite them to. Vulnerability is like a glue, that holds relationships together and this means continuing to show up and face hard times, when you have no control over the outcome.

Living like this takes courage. It takes courage to stay your course and not succumb to fear and have faith in a future you cannot see. The choice is yours. Choose what is right, over what is easy or fun. Stand up for yourself and your beliefs over choosing to fit in. All your mistakes can serve a purpose and your story can make a positive difference in someone’s life.

Even when you fall, you can rise again.

Gone To Pieces – a poem I wrote in 2010, which is published in my book:

“Anything you don’t feed, surely must die.

So I’ll starve my bad habits and let myself cry.

Must stop being so brave and show how I feel.

Remove the bandages that bind and let myself heal.

The smile through the scars is simply a lie.

Want to give my wounds wings, allow them to fly.”

debbie@ivins.co.za