Monday, 28 May 2012

My last Monday at work.

Today I went into work and started with morning prayer with the clergy as we always do on a Monday morning.  The difference today being this will be the last time.  I have been really surprised at how difficult finally letting go of my job has been.  I officially do not finish until Thursday, however I have only a couple of things left to do which I shall be doing on Wednesday.  I have had to go through every file on my PC making sure that I have everything in the right place and also that I am not transferring anything onto the memory stick that I should not!  Today I cam across this lovely poem, I do not know where I got it from but I am so glad that I saved it!


I was regretting the past
and fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
"My name is I AM"
He paused.
I waited. He continued,
"When you live in the past
with its mistakes and regrets,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WAS.
When you live in the future,
with its problems and fears,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WILL BE.
When you live in this moment
it is not hard. I am here,
My name is I AM."

Helen Mallicoat
And God said unto Moses,
and He said, Thus shalt
thou say unto the children
of Israel, I AM hath sent
me unto you.
Exodus 3:14

It has been a great reminder of where I should be directing my thoughts.  On that note I will continue counting my blessings with Ann over at Holy Experience this fine Monday evening.

760. Squeaky bath noises from above accompanied by beautiful 11 year old singing.

761. An amazing night away with my hubby, to celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary.

762. Cream tea at eleven o'clock in the morning!

763.  Inspiration from a market stall.

764.  Rested fingers allowing me to do some more crochet.

765.  My step mother in law coming and doing LOTS of weeding in my garden and planting up some new treasures that we found.

766.  The beautiful sunny week we had last week.

767.  Lovely hubby putting our spare bed out in the garden under the gazebo so I could rest without having to hide away in my room.

768.  My daughter coming home with muddy feet.

769.  My son bringing a new friend home to visit.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

SATS week.

A couple of weeks ago my 11 year old daughter had to endure a week of statutory testing at school.  I have been praying that they would have been abolished in the format they are in by the time she got to them, but it was not to be.  My son thrived doing them last year - he is a very academically able young man.  My daughter on the other hand, is still getting to grips with her dyslexia in my opinion because of the impact of the school not listening to me for too long.

To try and give her something to smile about everyday and to enable me to have something to keep my prayers on her all day I came up with a cunning little plan.  I had started some weeks ago to make a little dolly following this pattern that I found on a lovely blog.  I altered the pattern slightly (I never can stick to instructions!) so that I could make clothing separately for it.  When I started it I was just playing, I had no idea who I was making it for.  Then the weekend before the SATS started, I suddenly had THE idea.

I finished the dolly (she had seen it but I didn't tell her it would be hers), she took it on her self to ask me if she could have it for her SATS week!  I just kept her waiting all weekend saying I hadn't decided what I was going to do with her.

Just in time for Monday morning I had her ready with her first outfit made.  I suppose I really ought to put some photo's in now, here you go:

Here she is in her underwear and necklace!  All the pictures were taken by my daughter in our garden yesterday.

 The first day it was a simple summer outfit, shorts, top and head band.

 This is her little french outfit, dress, shoes, shrug, handbag and beret

The next day she wore a little hippy outfit, head band, top, trousers and long jacket.

The final day was party time and so I went to town, dress, shoes, cap and coat.

I got the ideas for many of the clothes from this web site, I think I am going to have a go at making one of this ladies dolls next!  The cap in the final outfit came from here, it is an adult pattern but as I am using fine crochet cotton and a 1.5mm needle it came out just right for my dolly!  I have to say a big thank you to Pinterest at this point, it is only because of this site that I first found any of these little dolly type patterns which stirred my creative, if you would like to find my pins you can do here.

By the way we have named this little star - she is Pixie Less (as opposed to the pop start Pixie Lot!).
My daughter has now come up with the idea of making some of these for teachers gifts for the end of term - I am going to see if I can make some teeny tiny ones.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

All Change.

So I mentioned in my last post that I had made a big decision.  It is something that has been rumbling away for a few months now.  As my regular readers may know I have a condition called rheumatoid arthritis.  It is a condition that is always just there.  I'm fortunate enough to have great medication which has kept it reasonably stable for about 3 years now.  However, as well as aching joints always just there and preventing me from doing anything too active, the biggest effect it has on me is fatigue.

I will have had this condition for 16 years come this autumn.  It arrived 6 months after I got married (it's our 16th wedding anniversary tomorrow).  I don't very often think about what life was like before hand, that is one thing that can really bring me down.  Suffice it to say, I was very active, I used to run several times a week, go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week, walk and swim, just to name just a few acitivies.  In fact just weeks before I first became unwell my husband and I brought our first ever mountain bikes.

As well as having this condition I have also had 4 years of enormous stress.  This started with my sister suddenly dying, then becoming a kinship carer for her only almost teenage daughter.  After two years of constant anxiety while we tried to care for an extremely damaged child along with our two younger children we had to make the decision to hand her over to local authority care.  Then my father died, then my mother had a mental breakdown and spent 3 months in hospital, then my grandmother died in January this year.

Amazingly my arthritis has not got much worse during this time however the fatigue has.  For the last 4 and a quarter years I have been working my 20 hours a week as a children and youth Pastor for our local parish (2 churches).  I did take some time out to have knee operations 3 years ago and also 6 months unpaid leave to help with my recovery and the changes to home life with my niece living with us.  The parish I work for has been amazingly supportive, through much of the times of great stress (eg, my mum in hospital) work has been my escape.  It is something I felt called to do almost 10 years ago.  It started in a voluntary capacity for the parish where we live and after a short period of working for the local council when I decided to go back into paid employment I was offered the current parish in a neighbouring parish.

It has not been all plain sailing in the post, it has had plenty of challenges, however it has always felt like a Gift from God and I have always tried to treat it as such.  For the last few months however I have been having to come home from work and go to bed for several hours every day as my fatigue has increased.  Whether it is pain that increases and causes the fatigue or the fatigue that makes me more aware of the joint pain I have I don't know, but my joints are presently very very sore.  My breathing has become poor as my fitness levels are falling.

Being away on holiday in Orlando, Florida was great, what was not so great was the fact that I had to use a wheelchair for all the days out that we did because of the pain and fatigue my body has.  God has been speaking to me.  I finished 8 months of counselling last month, during that time I have been learning how to listen to myself without the critical voices that roam around me head interfering.  This has also enabled me to listen more carefully to God.

I am currently on sick leave from work and last week I finally realised it was time to stop working.  I know that if I don't have a go at getting fitter and loosing some weight now as I amble towards my mid forties, it is only going to get harder.  I might manage to loose weight and get fitter and still be in as much pain and suffering the same fatigue, but if I don't try then I will never know.  The way things are heading at the moment I feel I am going to end up spending more and more time using a wheelchair, if there is anything I can do to prevent this I have to give it a go.

So last week I had my resignation accepted, they have very kindly wavered my 3 month leave period due to my current health issues and so I will finish at the end of May.

The only problem I am now left with is how we are going to manage financially.  My work did not pay all that well, but it did pay for all the little extras we have come to enjoy.  The occasional spontaneous meals out, spending money on our holidays, buying extra things for the home, garden and the children without having to save up - all these things and probably a lot more are where my wage was spent.  Giving these up, and learning how to live on our reduced income is going to be a challenge, thankfully I do feel that God is with us.

So it's all change, on the whole I feel quite excited to see where God is going to take us and this new journey.  Hopefully it will include keeping on blogging :o).

Monday, 14 May 2012

Still Resting.

I have had a week of big decisions finally made, I am still quite unwell but the rest is definitely doing me good.  We have had some lovely sunshine this weekend and as hubby had the weekend off we have managed to get my veg patch sorted with new extra high raised beds that I can now reach easily.  My mum came and helped to replant all the strawberries that she had lifted from my old patch, as well as planting some of the seedlings that she had grown for me, peas, pumkins, broccoli and lettuce.  I have some carrot seeds to plant which I might try and do this morning as we are expecting rain this afternoon.  I will post again later this week when I will be able to tell you about those big decisions.

750.  Grace and peace lavished on me from my Father in Heaven.

751.  Freshly mown grass fragrance.

752.  My husbands healthy body!

753.  Another lovely film night last Friday.

754.  Taking my niece to church for the first time in a year.

755.  Finishing a little crochet doll to go with my daughter to school this morning as a mascot to help her get through a week of SATS exams.

756.  Lost photographs found.

757.  Finding a new on-line yarn retailer providing great value and excellent service.

758.  Kindly neighbours picking my daughter up and bringing her back home when she fell off her bike.

759. Watching my neighbours two grandsons (aged 1 and 3 yrs) washing their family cars.