Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Race for Life

I ran this race in 2011.  My running was stopped whilst I waited for Surgery and then as I recovered from it.  Unfortunately, I have not run much this year as I have just fallen out of the habit of training.  Today I have entered into this race which I will walk/jog/run on the 28th May of this year.  I have started training, by that I mean I am going for long walks.  I will do this for a few weeks and then start gently jogging.  I am not sure whether I will run much of this 5k but it is a positive thing for me to take part.  I am taking part with my daughters and one of their friends.  If you want to sponsor us please click on the button to the left of this post.  Thanks.

Monday, 24 February 2014

What is my sacred scared?

I came across this blogging series this week.  It was good to read the stories of ladies who are doing things despite or maybe because of their imperfections.  It is a lesson that I am learning a lot recently.  I went to a Conference and had a great talk with someone whilst I was there.  During the course of my conversation I came to realise that a lot of my fears are based on my dread of being lonely or alone.  I am a people person; I love being with people and that energizes me.  However, I have spent a lot of my life struggling with thoughts of not being good enough to be accepted by people which inevitably has led to feelings of loneliness.  And then it has become a vicious circle.  One which I have fought for years to get out of, but that has made it worse and I became more entangled.

How on earth did this happen?  I was brought up in a busy family of four children, been part of a couple since the age of 17 and have been a mum for over 10 years.  But loneliness and the fear of people not liking me has hounded me for years.  It has crippled me from doing things in case I fail and cause people to laugh.

I thank God, for I believe those feelings are going, if not quite gone.  I can trace them to a time when I moved schools, was verbally bullied and made to feel very stupid.  I can also realise that I was never alone, not really anyway.  As a Christian, Jesus was always with me.  He guarded, kept and guided throughout the bleak times then and since.   It was a real release to sit in the Conference with lots of people around me and for that time not need others to affirm my worthiness.  I know that in Christ I am worthy and He has many a work for me to do.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Happy Heartaversary

To borrow a phrase left on my facebook status.  A year ago last week I had Open Heart Surgery to replace my leaky aortic valve.  I am doing well; having been discharged from the Surgical team and Cardiologist back in June and July.  I pop to the GP Surgery on a regular basis to get my Warfarin levels checked.  Once a year I will need a blood test to check the state of my kidneys due to the blood pressure tablets I am on.  Apart from that I no longer need any medical intervention.  Yippee.  (Although, I have found out I am more expensive to insure.  :) )

When the weather is better I am going to get training again as I am hoping to run a 5k in May.  If I cannot run it I will certainly walk/jog it.  I have not exercised much since the Autumn as I have been searching for a house to buy with my family.  We think we have found the right one so watch this space.

I have learnt an awful lot since having surgery.  On the day of the surgery I was amazed to wake up and find that I have slept the previous night.  It was wonderful to know that God gave the grace I needed for that day; a lesson that I am trying to put into practice.  I can only take one day at a time; this is coming useful in the house buying game.

I am also learning to try and step back from things which I cannot control.  I need to do the things my skills suit and leave others to do what they are gifted at.  Ultimately, God is in control of all.

I went to a Stress Busters Course; learnt some great things on it and have added them to some of the things I was already doing.  Each day my intention is to write down 3 positives things that happened to me.  I find it really helps put all of life into perspective.  I am planning on writing more things in my quotes book that I kept up in the lead up to Surgery, it has been neglected over the past 6 months or maybe more.  The trouble is I sing a hymn or come across something that is positive or encouraging and then forget to make a note of it.

My Surgery has definitely changed me for the better and I do thank God for His hand upon me all through that time.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Modern day miracles.

A funny example of the strange prayers we pray as Christians.  We were on a long journey the other day and my husband needed a comfort break.  He prayed for a lay-by to become available.  We drove past lots of them but they were hidden until we went past.  On the particular road we are on is a famous shopping place, which has an abundance of facilities.  My husband drove past.  And then prayed again for a lay-by.  I was not sympathetic as I felt God had already given him a good answer to that rather flippant prayer.

This is just a silly example of how Christians sometimes pray.  I believe that we must pray (although my prayer life is ropey to say the least) BUT sometimes, we pray and the answer is already staring us in the face. Occasionally, it seems like we use prayer as a magic talisman.

When people are ill I pray for healing and I believe in miracles.  I really do.  However, I have not seen any like the ones Jesus performed in the Bible.  All the miracles I have seen involved modern medicine.  I really believe that God uses it an awful lot to make people better.  I often hear Christians pray, "Lord, bring a miracle.  Heal this person." or "We believe that God can heal this person."  Yes, and so do I so please visit the Doctor, take the medication and go for the tests that are called for.  (I know of Christians who have talked about giving up medicines because they feel like they are lacking trust in God.)  By doing this you are not being a faithless Christian or distrusting the divine healing that can come.  You are using the amazing brain that God gave you.  He may heal you dramatically but then again the answer to your prayers may be more long term.

I thank God for the miracle of modern medicine because many of my family would not be here without it.  I thank God for the answers to prayers which look like Doctors, Nurses, Scientists and other workers in the Medical Field. I will continue to pray for miracles but I will also use the ones that God has already provided; the ones that reside in the GP surgeries or hospital etc etc. 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

FYI - Another topic to mess with my head?

This week a blog post went viral.  I read it on a friend's facebook page. Some commentators found the original photos (now replaced) unhelpful to the message of the post.  I  found it uncomfortable that the girls did not get a second chance if they posted photos that were deemed unsuitable for the boys by their mum.  They were deleted from her sons' facebook accounts.  Is that the message I am giving my daughters?  You make a mistake and that is it?   

My children do not as yet have a Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking account; they are too young.  I believe wholeheartedly in modest dressing.  However, I am someone who has never worn a bikini and am completely uncomfortable with how I look.  I have a BMI within the normal limits for my height but still do not like my body.  I have curly hair and have worn glasses since I was 13.  Not your classical beauty.  :)  I DO NOT want my girls growing up being scornful of themselves as a person or their bodies.  I really hope that they live Godly lives and respect themselves holistically.  My question is:  How on earth do I teach them to not flaunt themselves in any way (because you can wear the most modest clothes and still flaunt yourself) AND to be confident in whom God has created them.  With all due respects if they carry on the way they are going they will turn into very attractive young women.

(Aside:  I have no idea why I am so caught up about myself.  In all honesty I know that I am not in bad shape for my age but I dislike wearing things that are too tight, too low, too short etc etc; and because of this I can have a tendency to overdo things.  In the past few years I have made myself wear clothes that aren't huge and baggy as this always looked ridiculous.  I discovered that dressing oddly can also make you stand out.) 

I believe that it is my job as a parent to monitor my children.  Parents have always done that, but nowadays the job is harder because of the Internet.  Girls posting inappropriate photos of themselves is very easy because of the access our young people have to computers.  I long to teach my girls to have respect for themselves without leaving them with hang-ups that will take a life time to sort out.  I also long to hide them from the world so that they are not harmed, but real-life isn't like that.  They will make mistakes but surely it is my role as a parent to show love and discipline in the right balance.  One without the other will only lead to hurt and harm. 

This post came at a good time as it gives me time to work out how to deal with this issue with my girls.  I want them to be Christians, to be confident in the skills and gifts that they have, to know that they are beautiful on the outside, to develop a beauty from within, to love and learn about God and others, to be kind and gentle and a whole myriad of other things.  I do not want them to see themselves as being whole only if they have a boyfriend.  To my girls go out and discover; there is a wonderful world out there.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Just wonderful.

I have many half-written blog posts which need deleting or editing so they are coherent enough to post.  Until I have done that, let me share this wonderful video I came across a few times on facebook and other blogs.  It does not need any explanation.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Bucket list revisited.

My bucket list from 2008. It is long and I have added comments.

Teach myself to Quilt.   I have taken up sewing again instead.  I have sewn a few garments, some bags and have lots of projects in mind that I intend to get to.  I am finding I see a pattern I like and try to adapt my patterns to fit the dress rather than buying new patterns all the time.

Visit a Amish Community to see their Quilting.

Get over my fear of flying.   I still need to do this.

Fly in a helicopter with my husband around our county.   Did I really write this?

Visit Canada, American, Italy.

Do some mission work in Eastern Europe.

Study for and pass a degree.

Learn to surf. I did a summer of body-boarding and am in the process of finding out if I am allowed in the sea again. Paddling is my limit at the moment.  However, I can still enjoy the beach environment.

Learn to drive. Yeah, I passed my test. Working on the driving confidence after my heart surgery.

Own a VW Beetle Car.  If this ever happens, I reckon it will be after the children have flown the nest.

I would love to go skiing again. The last time I tried I wasn't very good at it but it was such great fun.  I would be going on my own but this may not be the best idea with a 'fixed' sternum.

Get to a point in my life where I am happy being me. And not care what others think. Heart surgery puts your life in perspective.

Ride a Harley Davidson.

Climb Ben Nevis. When I get my old ticker back to full strength ....

Be able to play the piano proficiently. I play the piano on a regular basis now.

Teach my girls the basics of reading music.

Train my girls in the way of the Lord. 

Watch my girls become normal functioning adults who contribute to the world.

Meet up with on-line friends.

See my church become a beacon in our town.

Read some CS Lewis.

Write a poem or two.

To become a godly woman.

Spend some time in a really expensive hotel.  Stayed in a lovely place for our 20th wedding anniversary.

Develop a really fun relationship with my siblings.  Still working on this.  I am coming to the conclusion that I have different levels of relationship with each sibling.

Learn to pray in a Christ-like way. Work in progress.

I would love to go on a top-quality Cookery Course with my girls, in fact my husband could come along as well if he liked.

If I had my way (and the money!) I would make a spa/pamper day an annual feature of my life. And when my girls are old enough bring them along as well. I am not allowed to do the Sauna part but the other stuff is fine.