faith · life · Uncategorized

I did it (with one day to go!)

I finally wrote my Christmas letter today. I really wasn’t sure if it was going to happen. It won’t be to the usual scale, I’ll email a few and post to those from whom we received. I commented on a great post about Christmas Cards by Helen Hayward on Christmas Eve that I felt sad I hadn’t written yet as it is a special tradition I treasure but moreso I felt that trying to squeeze it in (instead of reading blogs :p) was not my priority.

Christmas has been a bit funny for me this year. I managed to get through the stress of shopping (condensing most of it into one day with hubby) and be quite satisfied with our choices. I really enjoyed our celebrations with church, friends and family (although I was kinda rude at yesterdays in-law gathering – when I get tired I’m hopeless at hiding it and trying to be social, tips anyone?). The kids seemed enthralled in both the magic and meaning of the day which makes it all worthwhile but mostly I’ve just been waiting for bedtime.

My family had a good year but I’ve seen so many posts on FB of people who can’t wait to be rid of 2016. It’s made me sad that my good year (following a truly crappy one) has been one so full of pain for others. Last year I lost a dear friend and it annoys me how people have despaired of the celebrity losses in 2016 when any loss of life is tragic. Although I did read another great post which helped change my perspective a bit (When your childhood dies). I’ve had friends and family unexpectedly lose mothers, husbands (brothers, uncles) and babies. It really does make you wonder what Gods plan is. Indeed I find myself questioning this on almost a daily basis, but I also know without a doubt that without His grace, we would be truly lost. I continue to pray that all my friends and family also come to know the peace and steadfastness found in faith, in Christ Jesus. As shared in A Lutheran Ministry Hour devotion …

‘If the shepherds were anything like most people, they felt no danger sitting out in the fields that Christmas night. Then in an instant the angel appeared, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. In that horrifying moment they saw the darkness of their sinful lives in the holy light of God, and they were gripped with the terror of His wrath.Each of us will experience that moment someday — either at our death or at Christ’s return.

Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).

Lord Jesus, thank You for taking my place and suffering for my sins. Guide me to show others why they need Your salvation too. Amen.’

I feel a calling to help people see a need for forgiveness, to see the evil in the world and condemn it. I also feel a calling to give as I know I am one of the lucky ones in a privileged position. Some resolutions for next year?

To firstly though finish off 2016 – My Family’s Highlight Reel:

  • My husband won a footy grand final and worked too hard.
  • I worked a full year without time off for mental illness (!) – and also studied, wrote a blog, book club-ed, got involved at school and even kept relatively on top of the dishes and washing.
  • My daughter thrived in reception, was involved in chapels,  assemblies, school and ballet concerts. She also lost lots of teeth!
  • My son enjoyed many bike, ute, truck, tractor, telehandler and header rides! He also attended child care making good friends to join at kindy next year.
  • We were joined by a pup and a boarder. We holidayed and renovated.

 

 

 

 

mental health · Uncategorized

Struggling in December

Subtitled: Flat, tired, sore and harvest-time

Tagline: Be prepared to get inspired LOL, PMSL, ROFL

I’m a bit down guys. I hurt my ankle about a month back, and then my back a fortnight ago and now I have a cold. Even longer ago I finished study for the year and was super excited to have a chance to catch up on things but then life happened. I now finally have a few home days in a row but energy and motivation are-a hard find.

I still believe its achievable or else unimportant both possibilities which leave no comeuppance for the right now.

I think I’m grieving. I miss my son. And the way I best deal with his death is knowing he’s better off never having had to live in this world. Cos this world sux plus I’m a bad Mum. So then I feel guilty for my still living son and daughter who still have to put with me. Even my husband.

Except it’s harvest so husband is non-existent anyways

 

**Edit 3 days later

I had a bad day. Preceded by some not great days. It happens, and while I wasn’t remotely happy with this post I clicked publish anyway cos I just needed to get it out there – and it helped – a lot. My goal at the start of the bad day was to spend 5 mins cleaning in each room and connect with friends on Facebook. I had the same goal the next day and achieved it by lunch time. On the bad day everything was too hard and it took til just before bedtime to connect. Thank goodness I did though cos suddenly I had hope for the next day. Amazingly spending time getting organised for work also helped. I think I’m learning resilience.

I really want to write to people struggling about the two things that I believe help me the most.

  1. Allowing yourself a bad day. At the time it’s scary because you don’t know if you’ll have the ability to keep it to one day, but I watched Dvds, got bored and actually acknowledged that what I was experiencing was grief. I think that’s the first time I’ve actually been able to say that, normally I put it down to general depression. And probably it doesn’t even matter what it is the cause, if there is a cause, but to have a bad day to grieve my son, I needed that.
  2. Connection. I knew right off the bat I needed it, but it wasn’t easy. My mum and sister both called but I wasn’t in the right space to talk to them. I wanted to put something on Facebook but it was hard. Eventually I put my negative post on twitter (which I barely use) and then put a positive spin on it for FB. And the miracle that turned my day was an old uni friend commenting. That’s my connection story, yours can be completely different but even when it feels impossible my best advice is connect

If you can’t tell, my week has completely turned around, even to the point of believing getting ready for Christmas is achievable! I know I am incredibly blessed and I know my experience of depression is minor compared to others who suffer, for those in the black hole please reach out, you’re experience may be different but anyone can get to the point of more good days than bad.

 

parenting · social issues · Uncategorized

Reflecting on our boarder experience

I was planning on doing a post on this topic after watching a Four Corners (ABC) episode* on “Broken Homes’ about Australia’s child protection crisis, in particular ‘resi’ residential care, but this morning my motives have changed somewhat. Our 18 year old boarders mother passed away this week and I feel my strongest first reaction is not so much sadness for her loss (although there is that along with care and worry) but moreso ‘did I do everything right?’

My mother and I received a message from her saying something had come up and she wouldn’t be back from visiting home as expected, when I replied asking if everything was ok she texted back- talk later. I sent another message that night about random local news and then last night when I saw something on facebook stalked and texted asking was she ok, she replied with details of her plan to return.

I don’t feel hurt that she hasn’t told me herself (found out via a facebook post this morning with some of my friends offering condolences before I even knew), well actually yes I guess I do feel hurt and wondering what could/should I have done differently? How can I be there for her now? I think I’m overly sensitive about these things. I havn’t called as I feel maybe she’s kept me at a distance for a reason, but rather sent texts and fb msgs.

I think I’m scared. I know I havn’t been the most supportive person to her. That’s my biggest concern regarding this experience. I entered into it thinking it could be a stepping stone for our family towards fostering and while it has gone well, there have been times when I know I should be doing more, checking in more, talking more but I was tired, I was selfish and it wasn’t my responsibility. After all she was just a boarder paying rent for a room and feed. Yes I wanted to be a friend, family even – but there were times when I placated myself with, I didn’t have to, it wasn’t my responsibility, she wasn’t my child.

After watching the tv show and seeing the horror that is Australia’s care system I am even more pulled towards fostering. That along with all the posters and ads I’ve been seeing this year have been making me consider God’s call. In fact the morning after the show I was going to call our local service and start the ball rolling, even without hubby’s agreement (although being honest about it.) But this would be different to having a boarder. It WOULD be my responsibility. If we took this on, I wouldn’t be able to laze on the couch after a long day and placate myself. I would need to get up and deal with their issues. And as children in the foster system the issues would likely need a lot of time and effort. I’m a far from perfect carer but at the same time I feel confident my imperfections are better than other alternatives for foster children, arn’t they? Could I and my family be helpers to children in need? Or would the business of our lives (our selfishness) leave too little time and effort to give them the love and care they need? I didn’t get to making that call, life got crazy again, but the idea/seed is not going away. If you are the praying type ask God to give me direction and to help me act on His call in his perfect timing.

 

*http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2016/11/14/4572365.htm

 

Post script – it’s been over a week since I first found out and I’ve been blessed with the honour of supporting our boarder and attending her Mum’s funeral. She is ok.

 

 

pps So I literally just pressed publish on this post and this quote came up on my FB feed ‘There is no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a great one’ …

faith · Uncategorized

My faith dilemna

Read a lovely poem today on Watch this Space by rwoz2. I hope he (she?) doesn’t mind if I quote a section of it here

He sees

Through our disguises
To where we are hiding
He hears
The cry of our hearts
Of our inmost deep sighing
He knows
Through and through
Inside we are dying

He cares, so…He seeks

He seeks
And will not stop
Having counted the cost
He sweeps
High and low
For the coin that was lost
He braves
The dark, tooth and claw
For the sheep tempest-tossed

He cares…”

RWOz2 https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/12320983/posts/985441430

But he doesn’t always succeed – THIS is the idea I am struggling with at the moment. I know God gave us free choice, but I can’t understand if the Holy Spirit is working on a person and God seeks all people and gives His Holy Spirit, then how do people choose to turn away from His grace?

I don’t understand how this can happen when he is all powerful and all merciful?!?

I have received eternal undeserved grace and boundless blessings. I feel compelled to share this but I know majority in today’s society arn’t seeking and certainly don’t like an out spoken evangelist. So I am a quiet christian, praying that people can see God at work in my life.

 My Friend who passed away last year knew about Jesus but as far as I know had not chosen to follow him.

I studied a few subjects at Australian Lutheran College while I was at university and discovered the concept of universal salvation, I love it but unfortunately Lutherans don’t believe it and while I havn’t got my head around it all, I guess I agree. Still I struggle.

Another blogger (whom unfortunately I’ve forgotten) wrote ‘God chooses us for the same reason he chooses anyone – because of his grace’

‘called,chosen and faithful followers’ Rev 17:4 – but why are we not all called?

 

Does anyone else struggle with this? Has anyone resolved this in their mind – please share!

 

P.s. I missed a week of blogging whilst on holidays – apologies. But in exciting news I did get my 50th follower in that time 🙂

P.P.S Was going to write about my holidays if you’re lucky you might get a taste of it next week, or something completely different, who knows!

 

 

 

faith · Uncategorized

I don’t want to believe in Hell

I’ve found myself feeling very emotionally drained the last few days.

I met up with my lovely widow friend again (previous blog post God at Work). She asked me lots of questions about my life and shared about her husbands funeral and family (he had ELEVEN brothers!!). I had a good eye cleanse.

But I left feeling drained and head-achey. My week started nicely with lots of time set aside to work on an assignment, but then I was left with only two days for work and errands.

I was also sad – this lady and her husband are truly beautiful people but they are not believers (as far as I know). I know far too many beautiful people, caring and generous who according to my christian beliefs are destined for hell. I find this very hard to deal with. I guess it should move me to sharing my faith and I do try to do this, mostly by facebook.

But I’m tired, in fact I don’t even have the energy to finish this post other to say today I need to complete my uni readings and quizzes, pack, clean and go out for lunch with friends. THEN however I will be on holidays!! And I hope I will have time to rest, relax and refresh (blog!)-but with two kids who knows?! (especially with everyone seeming to come down with sniffles…)

 

Blessed Easter to You. I believe this weekend we celebrate the death and resurrection of God the Creator’s Son. Who was sent to earth and died for our sins, so that we may be forgiven and rest assured in the promise of eternal life.

 

 

life · Uncategorized

Those Moments

I want to write about two things today – both are moments that make you stop and take stock, one more positive than the other, and we’ll start with that.

I’ve been extra in love with my kids this week – do you ever have times like that where they just seem extra cute and you have the energy to really appreciate them? Could quite likely be a little boys birthday coming up making me especially sentimental but I’ve found myself this week just wishing at numerous times to stop and take a photo, find some way to capture and remember their joy for life, their love for me and each other and their uniqueness. I love these moments!

Unfortunately I’ve experienced other moments which I have no fear of forgetting – they will always remain, the experience of answering those dreaded phone calls

There was a funeral last week of a fun and cheerful man, a loving husband and a fantastic father. He was my cousins husband. I was doing work at Mum and Dads when my uncle rang – I chatted to him easily, giving him his sisters mobile number and then he told me the reason for his call – this man had died whilst on a bucks show…utter devastation.

 

And it took me back to 2011 when in the early hours of the morning I received  a phone call from my husbands brother’s father in law. I was standing at our phone with speaker on, unable to find the cordless when he asked me to sit down. I thought immediately of the baby that had just been born, but no this man’s daughter had died, was gone – how could this be…

Two things in life nothing can every prepare you for – the love you feel for your children and the overwhelming sadness of loss.

‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.’

Alfred Lord Tennyson

related post – https://wordpress.com/read/post/feed/22410977/933132246

Uncategorized · work

God at work

I had one of those experiences today when you see God at work in your day to day life.

Noticed in last weeks local paper that one of my clients who was palliative care had passed away. Had a chance between client’s today to call his widow – she sounded better than I expected but had to end the call when overcome with tears. It was her second attempt to say good-bye to me so I guess I wondered if I’d overstepped. I made a note to myself to send a sympathy card.

Finished my last client with plenty of time spare to pick up my daughter from school, was planning to park in the car park there to finish off some notes but as I was getting close to the widow’s road I wondered if I should call in. I decided to pull over on her road to do my notes, to see if my urge was God-driven or maybe self-indulgent, would it be for me (to make sure I hadn’t offended) or for her benefit.

I was a bit slow to listen to God’s answer as I tried catching up on my work – there was both an email and text message relevant to the widow, with 15 minutes left to pick up I rang and asked if I could pop in, ‘that would be lovely’ was the reply.

Next I experienced the best hug of the day. With tears in our eyes she told me about how his pain relief in the last two weeks had not been adequate, her regrets at not being strong enough to stand up for him, her sadness at not being there when he passed away despite having asked to sleep in a spare bed in the room. And then I had to go. She told me I was the first she shared these regrets with – Thank you Lord that I could be there. Sorry Lord I didn’t have more time. I will go back.

I was late to pick up my daughter…..but at the start of the day her teacher had checked if I was available to chat after school, so I knew as I was driving, that I would be expected (she sometimes takes the bus) and that she would be cared for. God had prepared us that morning so I could be there for my client’s wife.

 

*    a few side notes, follow up care is soo important, however in my work we are not paid to follow up with the families of our clients. But who better to support people in their grief than those who knew their loved ones health issues? (actually not saying we are the best to do it, but I think it would be wonderful if we were given the opportunity to find out if we can help)

** Secondly how important is palliative care?? Proper palliative care would have seen my client’s pain needs better attended to and his family better supported, without his daughter having to advocate so strongly on their behalf. Confronting death is hard enough without extra regrets to feel guilty about.

***Read this article recently on the need for better palliative care funding in Australia https://theconversation.com/a-good-death-australians-need-support-to-die-at-home-32203