Wednesday, 29 June 2011

What I love about Facebook (and God)

I have just had a most lovely surprise, but first let me set the scene.  I have been on facebook for around 3 years now.  In all that time I have never done a cull of my accumulated friends.  Part of the reason for that is because I have tried to be very wise with whom I have friended in the first place.  However no matter how hard I tried there were still a few that I did press accept to without thinking very hard about it.  I thought hard about the people who I was going to delete, my criteria was roughly
  • how often do I correspond with them 
  • how often do they correspond with me
  • has facebook enhanced our relationship
  • will either they or me lose anything by deleting them.
The last one was the hardest by far and I have to trust God that I have made the correct decisions on the few that went because of this point. I deleted over 25 people!  A lot of these were people who I had come into contact with through kinship caring pages.  It feels right as I am no longer caring for my niece to put a little distance between myself and those that are.  I have kept a couple who I have made a connection with, one of whom has gone through a similar scenario causing her to no longer care for her nieces and another who lives near by and I would like to be able to continue supporting her (and catching the odd coffee together).  I can still use the kinship care pages and am sure that all those affected will understand my reasons.  It felt very good, like having a good spring clean once I had done it.

So what is the lovely surprise?  This evening I have been 'found' on facebook by a wonderful lady who was my line manager when I last worked as an Occupational Therapist in West London.  The surprise is heightened for me because she is a self confessed technophobe!  It is almost 12 years since I worked with her, computers were only just coming into our offices and she hated them.  Since them we have kept in contact at Christmas, met up occasionally and exchanged the odd e-mail, but facebook would be one of the last places I would have expected her to be using.  She is a fantastic 'quiet' Christian, extolling all the virtues that St Francis of Assisi extolled.  I worked in a lovely little 'dream team' with a Christian physiotherapist and social worker as well as this lovely lady.

It feels like a lovely little gift from my oh so loving Father.  I so need the wisdom, love and prayers of those that love Jesus at the moment.  As previous posts may have indicated I am struggling with depression, which affects all areas of my life at the moment.  Daily decisions like what I should make for tea, can be so difficult and it only takes one small upset to totally floor me.  I am clinging on though.  I was reminded by a fellow twitterer earlier of 2Corinthians  chapter 4 verses16 to 18:

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Praise God!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Hopes and Prayers for my children.

What are the hopes and prayers that I have for the children that my husband and I through God created?

  • For them to know they are loved by both their parents and by God.
  • To care and be there for each other through life's ups and downs.
  • To grow old in each others company joining future families together.
  • To care for the physical world in which they grow up in.
  • To never loose the desire to keep learning through all life's experiences.
  • To stand as a constant witness for God to all those they meet in life.
  • To care for their bodies and minds when we as parents no longer can.
  • To seek and ask us as parents for help and guidance no matter what our ages or the circumstances.
  • To continually give themselves time to search themselves with God to have their hearts desires revealed to them.
  • To know that it is okay for them to say no sometimes (except when I am telling them to do something ;o)).

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Finding what helps.

When my mind is buzzing going over and over all the things that have been said or done or should have been said or done, I really struggle.

I have tried all sorts of ways to hand my 'troubles' to Jesus, however I always seem to manage to take them right back and then feel bad for doing that as well!

I have tried using mental pictures, of lying my troubles at the cross or at Jesus's feet.

I have tried writing the problems down and putting them into a 'Jesus' box, or burning them.

I have prayed - oh how I have prayed.

I have put worship music or songs on and tried to turn my face towards worship, but the troubles are still there as soon as I stop.

I have tried to continue with counting my blessings, even when I really haven't wanted to.

This week however I have found something new.  It all started when I had to take a trip to see someone, I knew it was going to possibly drain me for the rest of the day.  I was scared that I was going to say the wrong thing.  I prayed.  That 'still small voice' then spoke to me - "Shine my light".
I started to repeat over and over "Jesus shine your light".  Every time a thought that would conjure up negative or useless feelings I started again.  I wonder how many times I said it in the following 24 hours.  And I am still saying it now.  It has the most amazing effect.  The thoughts disappear and I am able to concentrate on where and how I can shine with the light of Jesus and where I just need to ask Him to shine in the dark places I cannot reach.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Blessings even when you don't want them.

Today I would normally be posting my blessings as I have tried to do regularly for many many months now.  However today I don't want to.  WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I want to be the child on the floor screaming in the supermarket aisle whose world has fallen apart because she is not allowed the treat she has just seen on the shelves.

I want to slam doors behind me.

I want to tell people that come to my door trying to sell me stuff to GET LOST.

I want to eat rubbish all day.

I want to sit with a huge sulking pout, scowling at anyone who dares look at me.

I want to smash things.

I want shout rude words at the top of my voice.

I want to stamp my foot and say IT'S NOT FAIR!

I want to go out in my car and purposefully annoy other people.

I really would love to do these things, however I suspect I shall take the dog for a walk, make my daughter some tea, watch some tennis and do some crochet - my life is full of blessings even when I don't want them. (#590 - 594!)

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Excited about Church

Although my home life remains in much turmoil since the departure of my niece, as often seems to happen, in my 'church' life is flourishing.  In fact I have just looked back at old posts to see how often I have blogged about Church - there are 18 posts labelled, and almost all of them are quite negative.  One in particular however caught my eye, you can read it here .  I cannot believe it is more than 2 years that I wrote this.  The excited news is that it is all coming to fruition.

Since that post, our then curate has now become our vicar (a very unusual step for the Church of England to allow this!).  The passion for Local Worshipping Church Communities has remained - and in fact the words that God spoke to me in that conversation with our curate are now happening.

After many months of prayer and much support from a vibrant church in a near by city we have now started a new service at one of our churches.  At present it is in the evening,  as a family we all love it, though my youngest (10 years old) tends to take colouring and enjoys having a head massage as she gets sleepy.  My 11 year old son is lapping it all up, on one occasion when I was not able to make it he came home and practical repeated the sermon for me (I did tell my vicar who had done said sermon!).

There is still much to be done, there is great hope that a second morning service is going to be set up in the near future.  At present we have approximately 80 adults attending the evening service, and many of those are still splitting their time between our church and the 'other' one as their children want to continue with their friends.  Much will be needed to be done in order to be able to accommodate a lot of children, at present we have only two very small rooms where junior church and a creche is held during the service that is currently taking place at our church.

The hard work does not faze me at all though, it does nothing but excite me to see God at work, fulfilling hopes and promises that lots of people have been holding out for. 

The other unexpected return that we are having from experience of waiting and now building is the effect on our children's faith.  It has led me to consider the advantages and disadvantages of 'perfect' church, as children might see it.  For our two, I feel we are equipping them by going through this experience with them.  They might be involved in the development of new churches and services in the future and I pray that this experience will positively impact on their journeys. 

They have had to experience a lot of angst during this time.  They have had to attend junior church where the pace of change has been very slow, but have seen it move on. 

They have gone along with our experimentation when we have not wanted to attend 'church' and have done some wacky things like having 'family church up a tree'.

They now know the complexity of how services are made up and the number of people that this can take.

They and we have made some fabulous new friends and I know a lot of those friendships are just at the beginning and are hopefully going to grow and grow.

So hopefully you will see this is a positive and excited post about 'Church', it does help to have positive experiences when it it where you work as well as worship!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Blessings in pictures.

This week we officially requested that my niece for whom we have been kinship caring for the last two years should be taken into local authority care.  We didn't make the decision alone, we were unanimously encouraged to do so by 8 professionals at a multi-disciplinary meeting.  I am left feeling quite bereft, angry and sad.  However there is still so much to be thankful for: