Thursday, 31 March 2011

My Psalm of Anger.

After another bad nights sleep last night I felt the urge to write a psalm, I then got up and read the scripture union word for the day all about Jonah, asking whether he had a right to be angry.  That made me even angrier.  I then read this after googling psalms of anger and decided to put fingers to keys.

Where are you God?
What have I done to deserve 
watching those around me
being destroyed?
We have tried to do the right thing.
We have tried to make the right choices.
We have not put ourselves first.
And yet all that we do seems in total vain.

I feel I am waiting in the depths 
for your hand to come and reach me.
But it does not come.
I am paralysed by the weight 
of the troubles around me.
I can see no way forward.
I am sitting here waiting for you.
Are you going to come?
or am I to sit here and watch
the destruction of those I love.

The moments of lightness are getting fewer.
The sighs of those around me are getting louder.
Are you here in this pit with me?
Your Word says that you will be.
If so why can I not see you or feel your presence?
We have held onto the promises of help from the
professionals, again we are still waiting.
Are we not surrendering enough to you?

There is nothing I can do but wait
with sorrow and heavy and wounded heart.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011


Psychiatrists, social workers, therapists, more puzzle peices to try and fit in the picture, personality disorders, manipulation, depression, tears, anger, frustration, despair, sleepless nights, friends holding us up, people praying, days rolling on.

Monday, 28 March 2011

When life turns grey.

I have had to look back to see when I last wrote a blog post.  Life seems to have gone into a different time zone.  I couldn't beleive it was only 10 days ago, though with hindsight it is very interesting to see that the last two posts were both about my neice for whom we kinship care.

Nothing could have prepared me for what happened to us all last week.  I still am really struggling to process it and so am not going to be able to write very much.  I am however very keen to get some thoughts down in my blog as I have always found that when I see my words written down it helps me to feel them.

Last Tuesday night my neice took an overdose.  She didn't really take enough to kill herself (there were plenty more available for her), but she took enough to ensure that her health should be permenantly damaged.  She sneaked downstairs after we were all asleep and raided my medication, we knew nothing about it until she started to throw up at 5am.

God has been amazing - within 30 hours of having a blood test showing dangerous levels of drugs in her system, after being on an antidote the doctors were amazed that her third lot of blood results were completely clear - they said that should not have happened.

As you can probably imagine, that is not the end of the problems, for two days I did not want to see her again never mind consider having her back living with us.  Today was her 14th birthday along with my daughter who has turned 10 years.  It has taken every ounce of energy left in me to get through it.  If you pray we would very much appreciate as much prayer as possible.  This isn't just about one life, it is a whole families.

I normally try and add to my list of 1000 gifts on a Monday with the Gratitude Community over at Ann Voskamps Holy Experience Blog.  Today there is only one that I can say and mean

530.  Life.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Conspiracy Theories

My eldest for whom we kinship care, has been in and out of sorts today.  She has had an inset day from school so was with me without my other two, that does not happen very often.  There have been times when she has been really really helpful, making my lunch, letting me instruct her as she made a spaghetti bolognaise for tea and  making a lasagna.  She has spent some time playing music and just chilling watching tv in the same room where I have been crafting.  The dog also got bathed my her when I mentioned that I was going to have to do that.  Then there have been the moments when she has looked totally miserable.   I finally mustered up the courage to have a quiet moment with her to see if I could find out what was going on.

She had come to me saying she wasn't feeling well, I gave her a cuddle and asked whether it was her body or mind that was not feeling good.  Both was the reply.  I stayed quiet for a moment, "I have been having bad dreams.", "What about?"  I responded.  "That mummy is in hell", thump, it was like taking a blow to my gut.  It turns out she has been thinking that her mummy took an overdose and that we have been covering it up because we don't want her to know that.  If she had taken an overdose in her eyes, that meant her mummy had gone to hell.

What awful thoughts to have.  I wonder how long that has been stewing around in her heart and brain.  A conversation about her wanting to go on anti-depressants followed.  That was very tough too, it is harder still because she knows that I am on them and her Grandma too.  I don't know if I said the right things.  I told her that anti-depressants did not work for everyone and that there were always risks that it could make you worse.  I also pointed out that it appears that she only had occasional bad days now, far out weighed by good ones. 

She had no desire to go to her band practise this evening, wanting instead to just go to bed straight after tea and wake up feeling better int the morning.  When I queried this is was because that is how she sees me dealing with my 'bad' days.  We did manage a little giggle that it was only because when you get to my age it is often not practical to go out with your friends to 'play' to distract you when you were feeling low, plus our play is always so much more expensive than hers! I assured her that if I could, I would far rather go and be with friends to get cheered up (now I am questioning whether that is actually true).

We had our tea and by the time it was over she had stepped out of the puddle of despair that she had fallen into and was back to her 'normal' bouncy self again.  There was no more said about bed, instruments were brought downstairs without me asking her to get them.  So off with her new siblings she went to band.  Boy am I praying hard now that she has an enjoyable time there.  Another day in the life of a kinship carer.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


I heard words that I hadn't expected so soon the other night.

"Aunty Jane, I think you were right about my dad".

There has been no reply to her emails for 3 weeks now, she has stopped sending them.  The being 'right' refers to a rude word that I called him to her a couple of months ago now when I lost my temper trying to get her to understand how hurt those I love have been by her father.  She has been holding onto the fantasy that he will come and take her away from all the sadness and upset caused by her mum dying.  We have tried to be as neutral as possible though remaining honest for two years now.  I really didn't think this realisation was going to come for a good time yet.  My heart aches for her.  How can a child stop loving the father who made her?  It shows the bond that we were created to have with our creator.  However I should not be surprised that human fraility can mess it up so badly.

I know there is a good chance that contact will be made again and she may go back to the idolisation of her father again, it is heartbreaking to know however that realisation will probably come again as well.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Praying for Blessings.

Do you know what this is?  It is an origami crane.  I was told the other week about a Japanese tradition of giving people who have been in your thoughts origami cranes to show them that you have been thinking of them.  You would go and see the person you have been thinking about and making for, with a handful of these origami cranes and they would know the precious moments that you have been thinking about them.  The cranes themselves are worthless and not particularly precious but the knowledge of you being in a persons thoughts for the duration that one is made is treasure from Heaven.

I could not believe it when I heard all about this.  In the first year of writing this blog I wrote a post about 'blessings' bracelets , these were bracelets that I had started making with a needle, thread and seed beads.  I started to call them this when I realised that while I was making them I could think and pray about the people I was making them for them.  With every bead I picked up on my needle I was praying blessings (most unknown) for that person.  Then just the other week I made a cushion for a friend who is sick.  This time I knew I was not going to get to see her for at least a week from when I found out she was sick, so I wanted to make something for her that would keep her in my thoughts.  I had the pleasure of giving her that gift today and feel blessed myself by her reaction to it. 

I have been doing a little more crochet this week in a few quiet moments in the evenings. My daughter will be 10 at the end of the month and has quite a passion for all things cupcake, so I have used those moments to think and pray blessings for her and have this to give her on her birthday.

sorry the quality of the photo is not very good - our camera has broken and I had to use my webcam!

I am going to be doing a talk on 'Prayer' to the young people doing confirmation classes with me at work tomorrow and it has made me think about encouraging them to see counting their blessings as an essential part of their prayer life, and the blessings they can ask for on those who linger in their thoughts.

520. Time to make and pray
521. Lunch in the garden with the sun on my face.
522. Energy to get through a busy day with lots of children.
523. Quiet time with my husband.
524. Attending my first 'ashing' service.
525. The opportunity to offer emotional support to a friend.
526. The gorgeous long brown curls on my sons head.
527. My parents having a good holiday and getting home safely.
528. Eating rhubarb from the garden (frozen from last year), just as the first sprouts of this years is coming through.
529. Hubby winning another magazine competition getting us £100.00!

Join the gratitude community over here

href="" target="_blank"><img src="" >

Monday, 7 March 2011

A missed day.

I was not well last week and missed writing down my blessings.  Why is it when you have to stop because you are unwell the world does not stop with you?  I think it is very unfair that I ended up spending the rest of the week trying to recover and do all the things that I wasn't able to do while in bed on Monday!

I am pleased to say that I did find some space to just be and thanks to the practise of writing down my blessings, I do find that in my 'just being' moments thanksgivings are never far from my thoughts.

This week is going to be another busy one.  I am running another children's activity day next Saturday for work if you are interested in what I do as a children and youth pastor you could always go and visit my work blog over here.

On with the blessings:

505. Lots of beautiful sunny days with blue skies.
506. A cold that has quickly blown away.
507. Youtube videos that have taught me how to crochet a hat!
508. A weekend with only my two biological children - a rare treat, enjoyed by all.
509. A happy teen going away with her church youth group.
510. A happy teen coming home with lots of enthusiasm about her doing 'things' better.
511. Contact from my parents to reassure me they are having a good holiday.
512. Photographs are my children charting bits of their whole lives.
513. New double glazing fitted super quick.
514. The strength to just get a curtain rail fixed up.
515. A bag of hand me down clothes for my youngest from a friend.
516. Narcissus opening in the garden.
517. Children playing outside.
518. Husband being asked to be part of a new leadership team for an exciting new venture at work.
519. Volunteers galore!

Lots more people are counting their blessings over here with the gratitude community:

Friday, 4 March 2011

What a Week.

This week has just been so unpredictable, I really don't know whether I am coming or going.  Last weekend was busy. Monday I felt terrible and ended up in bed all day with a low grade migraine.  As my husband was at work, I got up to unlock the doors so that the children could come in from school.  After telling them I needed to go back to bed, they were really supportive.  My son agreed to cook pasta for the 3 of them to have tea, the oldest two agreed to walk the youngest to her gym lesson, 10 minutes walk from home.  I agreed to get up in order to take the older two to their club and to pick up the youngest.  On returning home it was straight back to bed and husband was home to do the final collection of children.

Tuesday saw the arrival of new double glazing!  We have had two houses of our own since getting married, in both we had one or two windows replaced, but never the whole lot.  My husband was left some money which we decided would be best used to get the double glazing done.  I still didn't feel great and so didn't want to go into the office to work as it is very small and stuffy and there are usually at least two others trying to work in there who I didn't want to pass my germs onto.  So I wrapped up warm and worked from the living room, the only room not being touched on that day while the workman drilled and bashed around the rest of the house.

I was very impressed with how quickly they worked, they came back on Wednesday to do the patio doors, back door and bay window.  By 3pm on Wednesday they were all done!  My wonderful hubby did all the cleaning up after they had been and today I have managed with his help to get a new curtain rail up in the bay window and the curtains re hung.  On top of this I have managed to clock in about 26 hours of  'work' including two evening meetings.  I am now sat on the sofa, contemplating the fact that another weekend has come to be - how did that happen?  Fortunately other than the normal chores and running a service at church on Sunday morning, there is not much else that needs to be done - maybe I might be able to craft and rest a little?

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A Cushion to comfort.

I have been a little busy making a cushion.  I was prompted to start making by discovering a lovely friend who I have not had any contact with recently has breast cancer and has been suffering terribly with her chemotherapy and still has radiotherapy to go yet.  I didn't want to get her flowers as I wanted to make something, and then the idea struck, if she is resting a lot maybe a cushion would be good!  I sketched a design after browsing through some crafty blogs.  I started by cutting felt pieces and embroidering on them.  I already had the felt and thread in my cupboards and I also found a lovely baby pink coloured piece of Aida which I then bonded the doors to before stitching them on.
I then went on a little shopping trip with my youngest to find the material that would make the main cushion cover.  I also managed to find a lovely soft cushion pad.

These are the fabrics that we chose and a lovely bit of ribbon.

 It was the first time for I don't know how long that I made a gathered ribbon to put around the edge, I had quite forgotten how fiddly this could be!
 I decided to bond the Aida to the cotton cover and then stitched around the ribbon leaving a frayed Aida edge.

 I finished the envelope back of the cushion with a couple of ribbon ties which keeps everything nice and secure.
What do you think?  I am rather pleased with it, I can't wait to go and visit my friend and give it to her, this week I have had an awful cold which I would not be thanked for taking round so I am hoping next week a healthier me can go and make us cups of tea.