Friday, 30 January 2009
Thursday, 29 January 2009
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
I honestly do not know whether it is anyone of these things or none of them. But I do feel very gratefuly that I have the time to do it. My sister was never one for looking back, I now realise that this is probably because living took so much effort there really was no time for reflection (or not much anyway). I have had times in my life when there really has felt like having 'no time' and there have been other moments when there has seemed to be so much time that I can't settle to do anything.
I do not want my 'trying to find me' to be a search for something that isn't there, my hope is that by writing my thoughts and sharing them I might be able to order them and rediscover the things that make me, me. I am also hoping that by seeing how people react to my thoughts I might be able to learn some more about me and see how others might be seeing me. I trust in my God to use those around me to help to mould and shape me to be the person that he made me to be. What I find most mind blowing is the thought that, God already see's me as he made me to be because of what Jesus did!
Sunday, 25 January 2009
This morning, the three kids decided they wanted to make thumb wrestlers - here are the results:
Hopefully my parental enjoyment might just last all day!
Thursday, 22 January 2009
You may think I am going to roll out yet more stuff about how bleak parts of my life have been. However, since finding Jesus my life has been far outweighed with some of the most amazing God Incidences, times when there is just no logical explanation for why 'good' things have happened.
The most recent of these happened after my sister died in November. She had become a Christian around 3 years ago. In the last 18months or so she had been doing an afterschool group to bring Sunday school to school children at the junior school her daughter attended. The group was organised by a local minister and one of her junior church leaders and Sally was the creative input to the team. I often had conversations with Sally when she was a bit stuck for ideas or wanted to share some of the stuff they were doing, but we never really talked about the team. I didn't even know there was a minister involved in it.
After Sally died, her daughter told me that her mum would have wanted the lady minister who ran the group to do her funeral. I had absolutely no idea who this person was or where she was from, just that her name was Alicia. Several days later while still at my mums there was a phone call which I answered and it turned out to be Alicia!
Now after I became a Christian I told my mum who made it very clear that she did not approve and never wanted me to be bringing it into her home (I was back living with them at the time). Mum had a very good relationship with her mother-in-law, my grandma, so this helped somewhat, that she was involved in the church.
Discussions about Sallys funeral were very very difficult, I suppose no parent ever expects to have to be burying their 36 year old daughter. Mum was adamant that there would be no funeral in a church, but was happy to respect her grand-daughters wishes that this minister was allowed to do the cremation service.
My first big discussion with Alicia, before she spoke with my mum and dad, revealed that she had been sent into ministry from St Alkmunds in Derby - not only that but she knew Grandma!!
(even though she had passed away 13 years ago!!).
This amazing God-incidence meant that I was able to give this information to my mum and dad which gave them a confidence in this minister that I do not beleive they would ever have had with a stranger. My continuing prayer is that this minister will stay in touch with my parents and my neice as I beleive without a shadow of doubt that He is waiting to say Hi to them just as he did with me.
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
I understood Communion was something that happened in a service which anyone could do - little did I know how religious organizations had managed to put such a structure around it to try and keep people like me out! Thankfully St Alkmunds in Derby were not bound up in this structure and therefore did not make me feel unwelcome.
So..... I would take Grandma up to the communion rail and receive bread and wine myself - it would have been rude not to! Then the Sunday came when I knelt down at the rail, received communion and felt Grandma's nudge for me to help her get up - then she nudged me again - but I was going nowhere. In that space on my knees, eyes closed, I felt Jesus say Hello.
I can't say for certain there was a voice, but there was a presence that could not be mistaken for anyone but Jesus (remembering that I really had no idea who this Jesus bloke was). I do not know how long I stayed there on my knees, I do remember becoming aware that the rest of the congregation were singing. When I opened my eyes there were two lovely Christians with me praying around me, they said very little out loud. My confusion about what had just happened obviously showed in my face and they suggested I go through to the quiet chapel with them to talk about it. There they sort of made some formal introductions to this new Man in my life. I closed my eyes and started a conversation with this Man, who just repeated over and over to me how pleased he was to meet me properly.
I was brought back to earth with a bit of a bump - I'd totally abandoned poor Grandma in the main church and she was waiting to go home - someone came and found me for her in the end. I'll never forget the time when she turned around to me and said that I didn't need to tell her what happened because she knew - she had been praying for me for 22 years and she knew that Jesus was answering those prayers.
My faith seemed to grow by the hour - I was very gently nurtured by one of those lovely Christians who was with me at the beginning of this journey. I often think about her and what a faithful servant to Christ she was for me. I must remember to contact her again (having not done so for many years now!). I could not read enough of the bible, she was able to lend me just the right books (most of them very old publications - I remember Hinds Feet on High Places being one of them).
So, Jesus called me and gave me the support and the faith to follow him, life has been a continuing journey since then but I feel so very very grateful to have had Him by my side for almost 1/2 of my life now.
Saturday, 17 January 2009
Thursday, 15 January 2009
1. Go to your fourth photo file
2. Go to your fourth photo in this file
3. Publish it and tell everyone something about it.
4. Pass this on to four folks.
This photo is of my daughter nearly 2 years ago I think - with her decorate your own easter egg given to her by her Aunty! Both my children really enjoyed doing this!! Looks like there may be a sweetie hiding in her mouth here too!
I see in the background is my sons amazing Knex building that he spent a week constructing! Funny - both my childrens passions in one photo - one loves creating, one loves to follow instructions! Boy I love them!!!!
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
I never really fitted in and when a tall, strong, stranger started to make it apparant he was taking a shine to me, I lapped it all up. He was very popular and bore a very strong resemblance to the guy I had been living with. This time however, he adored me, he would do absolutely anything for me. Suddenly the tables had turned, I always knew I was taking advantage of him, that I did not feel like he did, but it didn't stop me. This wasn't the first time I had been in this position but some how it was different - before I had been younger and inexperienced, not doing anything with intention. This time I knew right from the beginning, how mean was that - I really knew how much I was hurting him but still continued, self gratification most certainly had it's grip on me.
I would love to say that I came to my senses and took the brave decision to end the relationship before too much harm was done, but I didn't - it continued for about 6 months and then it took The Big One upstairs to bring me to my senses.
Monday, 12 January 2009
Is it a case of our amazing God really and truly being able to 'work all things for good' (Romans 8:28) for those who love him. I cannot presume that my ancestors did not love Him anymore or less than me, that is not a judgement I have to make (Thank God!!).
I am in no way saying that the war was good or from God! nor am I saying that being born into such terrible abuse is good or from God. But surely I do need to cling onto this verse to have faith and trust that there must be something more to my life than just what is happening to me now. Is this just me (or my ego) wanting to be important! Or can I really believe that I am dearly loved and part of Gods amazing plan of relationship with humanity! Oh that's heavy for me on a Monday afternoon!!!!
Sunday, 11 January 2009
Up until the point that I left home I had always shared a room with my little sister - 3 and a bit years my junior. In my teenage years my Dad made us some units so that we could effectively have a wall down the middle of our room to make our own bit of space. Sal and I had never really got on that well, the only thing we had in common really was our love of horses. Interesting once the units went up, I have very few memories of much communication with my sis at all. A wall obviously went up in more than one way.
Saturday, 10 January 2009
My brother was 2 school years ahead of me and he left school at 16 with a few CSE's and started an apprenticeship with a garage belonging to one of my parents friends. My mum had been made to leave school without any qualifications to work in an office where she gained shorthand and typing skills. My dad had left school as soon as he could and did an apprenticeship with British Rail working with wood in train carriages (back in the days when they were wooden).
I had no pressure put on me with regard to school by my parents and exceeded my teachers expectations by getting 7 good graded 'O' levels. Without any real guidance I stayed on in the sixth form taking Art, Economics and English Literature. I hated the sixth form, without any of the boundaries in normal school I would often go home and watch TV instead of attending classes (both my parents worked). If not at home I would hang around in the common room with the crowd, especially if there were boys about.
By this time in school I had a best friend and she decided to stop her 6th form studies after about a month to go to work in a house rental department. I very quickly followed and left after the first term to work as an office junior in a plastic bag making company in Derby. My parents had no objections (I always felt as though they were rather releived!), as long as I started to pay my way at home.
My brother left home when he was about 17 to live in a flat near my parents with his girlfriend of several years.
After a year as an office junior, having been to night school and learnt how to type very quickly (I lied at my interview for my job and they didn't give me a typing test!). Despite the job not being great, I loved earning money and having my independence. I learnt to drive, though didn't have a car for some years to come, I had a boyfriend who was really cute though it was very on off and my parents didn't approve. The relationship finished, I started to go out with my best friend once again and got introduced to the Nottingham 'Garage' scene. I used to spend a lot of time dress making when I was at home and shopping. A typical Saturday would involve me going into Nottingham to the market, picking up some fabric, going home and making a grovy new outfit and then going out in it at 11pm into Nottingham to finish off the day in a club.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
I might have a good old moan about my childhood, but being a facts and figures sort of person I am well aware that the statistics were stacked towards me being an abused child because of having an abused mother. I was not an abused child!!!!!!!!! Thank you mum x.
She is now facing even more, her youngest child, the only one of the three of us that had to be born in hospital has died. She not only has to face this grief, she is now along with my dad fully responsible for an 11 year old grand-daughter. On top of this she is also solely responsible for her mum who has recently had to go into a nursing home and has age onset dementia. Along with this she is has had to clear my sisters belongings from her council flat and is having to sell my grandmothers house to pay for her nursing home. How does she do it? How can I possibly not be in awe of her?
I am not her, I am Me, whoever that person is. I certainly know some of the things that I am not. So maybe I have found some thing that I am:
A 40 year old who has a wealth of childhood and family experiences that help me to empathise and see situations in a very broad context.
Monday, 5 January 2009
- The constant 'stop showing off' which my mum would say constantly in front of everyone and anyone.
- Stealing money from my mums purse to go down to the shops to buy sweets.
- Having to always have my little sister with me if friends came to play with me.
- Loving anytime away from the house and my family.
- Having my mouth washed out with soap.
- The lies that constantly streamed out of my mouth, lies about nothing.
- Loving falling over in the school playground so that I would have a scab on my knee to pick - urgh!
- Being bullied by the girl next door, who spread stories about me round a new school.
- Getting involved with boys wayyyyy to early.
- Being asked by my parents if I wanted to go and live in a childrens home.
It might have all been miserable but I do know now that none of the things that happened to me were done with any malice in mind. I do so wish that I had known some of my mums background in those early days, maybe I would of understood more how much I was hurting her. Thank God that I grew up!!!!!
Sunday, 4 January 2009
Saturday, 3 January 2009
current roles I hold:
Roles I have had in the past:
house group leader
book group member
I am sure that I have probably left out many, I will add to it if I think of any!! Some of the roles are ones that I really enjoy some I would very much like to get rid of. I am going to start going through them in more detail in the days to come and am actually quite looking forward to doing it!
Friday, 2 January 2009
A conversation with a friend recently was the final prod to get me blogging. We were talking with her husband when it transpired that as we have both just turned 40 and have children of similar ages we were also both struggling with the question of Who am I?
Somewhere in the last 10 years I seem to have lost all sense of who I am, what I like, what I want and where I want to go. So I have decided to ramble through my head and explore the different roles that I have (or have had) and try and see if I can find myself.