Liquid Prayers

I am going to sing, in the middle of the storm.

I went to the doctor this week for a belated follow-up appointment to plan the way forward for my continued recovery journey. After being so sick last year, and reminded once again by yet another medical professional how lucky I am to have pulled through, I wept. I have done a lot of that during the last year and God has seen it all. He values our tears so much, He even keeps them in a bottle (Psalm 56:8).

Every day is a gift. This has become so real to me and I am determined not to waste time in self-pity (but I have my moments!) The road ahead is still a long one but I choose to celebrate the small improvements and am grateful that I am not where I used to be, despite being a long way from where I need to be. It is hard to stay motivated at times, when it feels nobody understands what I am going through, and instead judge only by what they see. But I am not alone. God is aware of it all and this comforts me.    

God cares more than anyone else does.

When you are feeling overwhelmed and tears are pouring down your face, when you are anxious, when you feel alone and abandoned, there is someone who is always available. God. He has been with you since the beginning and will be with you until you enter eternity. He will never leave you.

He doesn’t always answer prayers the way we think He should and I know how hard this is to understand, but it doesn’t mean God doesn’t care. Please don’t stop trusting Him, praying and believing that He loves you very much.

Cry out to God. He hears you. There is not a tear that has fallen from your eyes that God has not seen. Ever. Let this reminder have you crying tears of joy! You are not alone.

Your tears may fall but your strength can continue to rise.

Cracked Eggs

This weekend we celebrated our first Easter, in our new home province, Gauteng.

Autumn is here, with the falling leaves and brown trees symbolizing not only letting things go but also renewal and rebirth. One of the many lessons I have learnt during this transition season is it is possible to be scared, brave, strong and frail all in one and more importantly, things don’t have to be completely fixed for us to be completely fine.

Another lesson I have learnt is that when we struggle and hurt, it is easy to doubt God’s love and become guarded with others. We also judge ourselves and believe the lies the enemy tells us. Swop those negative thoughts for what you know to be true about God. He loves you. He is good. He died for you. You are forgiven.

Hold on to hope that whatever is hurting you in this moment will not last forever.

Whatever is breaking your heart right now, know that the ache is proof of a beautiful remaking in progress.

Don’t give up.

Instead, look up. Believe God is at work behind the scenes, even when it doesn’t feel like it. God is good at being God. Trust Him. Trust Him with it ALL.

Telelestai – “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

Paper Plates

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we are all in this together.” – Brene Brown

An unexpected conversation with a friend yesterday, left me reflecting once again on how none of us can know for certain what happens ‘behind closed doors’, and we need to always be slow to judge and give others the benefit of the doubt if they appear to be acting out.

“Today you could be talking to someone who is trying their best not to fall apart. So whatever you do today, do it with kindness in your heart.” We have heard this several times before but it is worth mentioning again.

Everyone struggles with trauma differently and may not experience it in the same way as the next person.

You may think someone does not have a lot on their plate compared to you but maybe their plate is flimsy and cannot hold as much as your sturdy one. They are using paper plates, you have ceramic. Perhaps their plate is smaller than yours, so they cannot hold a lot to begin with.

Life is hard for everyone.

We all carry pain to greater and lesser extents. And it is all valid.

The journey is about embracing it, learning from it and healing.  

So I guess this short #thursdaythought is to remind you to: BE KIND and keep this in mind.

Patience

The only ‘running’ I have done in the last 5 months, is running out of patience. Not being well and being disciplined to rest has been hard.

Things often go in a different order to what we had in mind for our lives. I know this well as it has happened to me several times. I am still learning to be patient and wait on God, even if it seems He is taking me on a roundabout way to get to my destination yet again.

“Lord, grant me patience, but please hurry!”

Patience is not your ability to wait, but your ability to keep a good attitude while you wait. Often trials bring out the other traits first like anger, self-pity and complaining before patience can come forth. What happens within us while we wait is as important as what it is we are waiting for.

Let’s do our best to wait well.

“God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for them to wait.” C.S. Lewis

Living Joy

During my “Inspirational Interviews” podcast interview last month, I was encouraged to keep embracing my story, but also remember it is okay to keep choosing joy, love and fun, while still feeling the pain. I have always done my best to do this, however it was good to be nudged in that direction again and reminded to think a little less, live a little more.

The struggle is part of the story.
Infertility. Suicide. Hope. Distraction. Goals. New Beginnings.

Jen came up with “LIVING JOY” to be the theme I carry forward this year. “Pain to Purpose” will always be there, but I am embracing change as best I can, and feel God is reminding me that joy comes when I let Him hold me, not when I try hold it all together. You can love, help and pray for someone without knowing their full story. Details don’t make prayers any more effective. God knows.

Although I share a lot, and this interview was more raw and real than I have ever gone before, there will often be pain I am processing that you know nothing about. Most of us are fighting private battles, so with this in mind, let us remember to be slow to judge and instead be gentle and kind towards one another always.

I am also sharing this short, messy, random post, between the chaos of another crazy day of unpacking boxes in our new home, to remind myself that “doing my best” may look different every day. And that is okay!

In the words of Brene Brown: “Sometimes it helps me to wake up in the morning and tell myself, ‘Today, I’m going to believe that showing up is enough.’

December Doodles

A few snippets of thoughts from the past two weeks. #gratitudeattitude

Don’t take any day, anything or any one for granted.

Packing boxes and sorting stuff for our move, reminds me to find contentment in the things I have and makes me realize there is no joy in scanning the lives of others and comparing them to my own. From material possessions to physical abilities, never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.

Countdown until husband and wife are back together again. This tough season is almost behind us.
My precious mongoose made it into our local paper this week.
Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

Growing old is a privilege. I had a quiet birthday, reflecting on the past year. On my 40th I never would have imagined what lay ahead for 2020: Covid, a severe health diagnosis, retrenchment and now moving … But we are still here, with hearts full of gratitude, doing our best to make each day a celebration of life, as we navigate this crazy journey.

I have enjoyed being a temporary dog-mom to this adorable Scottie. Going to miss him. We will have to arrange play dates and keep in touch.

All things bright and beautiful. It is starting to feel like Christmas.

‘Life happens. Chocolate helps.’

My husband would agree with this quote. We do our best to always see the good in every trial we face. But you don’t have to be positive all the time and it is okay to feel anxious, annoyed, sad or scared. This doesn’t mean you are a ‘negative’ person. When things get rather chaotic, especially at this time of year, take it day by day, be kind to yourself and remember that finding the courage to be grateful, especially during the hard times, is a powerful weapon against your daily battles.

Kindness Matters

Keep going. Don’t give up. Your story doesn’t end here.

Let your mess be your message.

Like this hair in the wind, sometimes we think we have it all under control (or at least half way there!) but truly at times, you have to let go, let it get really messy and simply laugh, get back up, and try again.

Having an ulcer for company is no fun and the last week has been a true test, causing a horrible setback in my journey and making me question everything. So much is changing but perhaps, when our lives are shaken up, it relocates us to the place we are meant to be.

When everything is uncertain, anything is possible!

Replace judgement with curiosity. I think this applies to ourselves (we are often our worst critics) and how we treat others. Don’t doubt your worth or the beauty of your truth, no matter what others say. We are all evolving. Let’s help each other heal, not add to the hurt.

People have a lot to say about lives they have never lived. Let’s treat everyone with more love, patience, tolerance and care.

A little more kindness. A little less judgement.