Shadow Of Victory

Saturday, 29 June 2013


I am coming to the end of my Granny Gap Year....I hadn't realised it was only three more has flown by but its not because of the cliché " How time flies when you are enjoying yourself "
For me this time has flown by in a haze of confusion with all that has been happening in our family. And within myself...way too much to explain it all but suffice to say that from the end of the Easter Holidays till now I have had a GAP in the GAP year. Inasmuch as I haven't been able to serve within my commitments to K Krew...nor get to church and no Academy Thursdays . I am sad and disappointed in myself. I thought I was made of sterner stuff but like a Tsunami... events overwhelmed me and I have felt as if I have been drowning in more ways than one.
After trying out 3 different meds my doctor (who is amazing ) came to the conclusion I didn't have depression as such but a deep anxiety caused by the events in family life...
Most of you who know me well probably know a bit about what's been happening in last 3 months but one of the main causes of my anxiety has been our new grandchild Orlaith....her mummy and daddy are amazing and if you want to know more about why my Gap in the Granny Gap Year has happened then read the blog Limara has written...
I have made a firm commitment that I will finish this Granny Gap Year with renewed and refreshed spirit filled watch out..." IF YOU ARE NOT DEAD YOU ARE NOT DONE " is still my life motto at the moment.
If you want to follow Orlaiths progress here is the link..

Congenital Hyperinsulinism (CHI) is a disorder where insulin is excessively secreted in the body, not being regulated by glucose appropriately - this causes hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia (hypo) episodes where insulin levels are high and ketone bodies aren't being made - this is extremely dangerous for the brain and the protection of brain damage; as it means it isn't getting the fuel (glucose) or ketone bodies (which generate different fuels) it needs. A safe blood sugar level for CHI is 3.5 and above - a hypo is anything below 3.5. There are two types - focal, where a certain area of the pancreas (a lesion) is producing too much insulin, or Diffuse, where the entire pancreas is affected.

On Saturday 13th April @ 17.25pm; Orlaith Rae was born. ♡
I could go on and on about the feeling you come across after just having a baby but it really is the cliche feeling of feeling complete and unconditional love. All of sudden, nothing else in the world mattered except her existence.  I never thought I'd be a mother at 23, I had so much more I wanted to do in life but there I was, holding a beautiful baby girl and nothing will ever come close to it.

Orlaith was an extremely shaky and jittery baby. I assumed these were traits of hers, but it continued into her first night at the hospital, only to get worse. Orlaith would go through episodes of being floppy and in a daze to being vocal and screaming the place down, reluctant to feed. In the morning, she had routine OBs and it become clear Orlaith wasn't going home. Doctors kept coming in and observing her before telling us she needed to go to SCBU (special care baby unit) - she was admitted on a 0.9 blood sugar level - it should be above 2.6 for normal newborns. This didn't mean anything at the time but we were made aware the feeding and jittering was being caused by low blood sugar levels and she needed medical assistance - at first I was just confused, I couldn't understand a word the Doctor was saying, all I heard was him say 'antibiotics' over and over again.
Orlaith was taken to SCBU and was instantly put onto a 10% dextrose IV drip - this didn't do much and she went upto 12.5% then 15% .. She still lingered in the 0.'s, even dropping to as low as 0.2.
Due to Orlaith's veins being fragile - as with any new born - she had a IV line put into her belly button, as the dextrose percentage was too high for regular veins. Numerous canulars failed but Orlaith luckily remained stable. A few days after birth, one of the staff nurses told us they will be taking blood to check for "Hyperinsulinism" and briefly described what is was, but we didn't know the severity then. The results came back and she was on the fence, neither positive and negative. Our hospital stayed in daily contact with Great Ormond Street hospital, one of the only TWO centres in the UK which deal with CHI, to indicate what steps need to be made. Orlaith also developed severe reflux and would struggle to hold a feed down - resulting in the NG tube you see in her nose, this has been used since birth to help feed her. She's more than capable to take a bottle but with the reflux was extremely difficult (majority of CHI babies suffer with reflux and aren't keen on feeding, exactly like the day she was born).

As the weeks went on, SCBU tried numerous medicines and kept her on the IV drip constantly, as she'd only hypo without it. All together, it was THREE times we titrated the IV fluids with feed and she was able to come off the drip. However, Orlaith would only last a couple of days and she'd be back on the drip and meds were being increased. How Orlaith didn't slip into seizures, comas, or developed brain damage is beyond us. Drs indicated to us we were awaiting a transferral to Gt. Ormond Street but it could be some time until the bed was available. It got to the point where Orlaith kept dipping dangerously low and she needed a higher dextrose percentage, but she would need surgery to fit a central line as the glucose is too strong for veins and would damage them.

 Within a space of a day, I wasn't only told about surgery to fit the line- I was told she may have brain damage and a tumour on the pancreas. The next day we were transferred to Southampton hospital for surgery to fit a central line for the weekend, thankfully all was a success. We arrived back to our local hospital all fine - Orlaith was stable and the plan was to keep it that way until we could be transferred to GOSH to see the specialist team and top notch consultant. . Early hours the next morning after returning back from Southampton, Orlaith started having cardiac episodes and stopped breathing - I am forever grateful and thankful to the nurses who were on shift that night, without them we wouldn't have our daughter today. During all what was happening, bloods were taken which indicated low levels (of what, I'm not too sure!) and Orlaith had a blood transfusion which helped her remain stable. Orlaith had also had a brain scan which showed there was NO damage on the brain, overjoyed is an understatement.

By this point, Oralith was nearly 7 weeks old and we were finally being transferred to GOSH as a bed had become available. We've been here nearly 4 weeks and the team are simply amazing - coming from somewhere which had never heard of the condition, here it is like second nature. Orlaith remains on a 30% dextrose and occasionally hypo's, but here we have the ability to control it. After routine blood, her hyperinsulinism was confirmed and it indicated the CHI may be focal... This could be the best news, as hopefully it would mean surgery, recovery then home. Diffuse is more difficult to control and get rid of, but there is still a possibility of it so we're open to the outcome - Orlaith will need a PET scan to confirm the current findings. Fingers crossed it's focal and HI may well be cured!


Monday, 24 June 2013


The only positive thing about Insomnia is that you get to catch up on your lists and your Facebook , read other peoples blogs and write blog entries of my own that have been brewing for a few days..!!

I have been thinking so much about friendships recently...firstly because of an assignment I wrote for Academy a few weeks ago ..then used it as a base to blog The Fellowship of the Mat.....and that led to an evening to chat to others about enduring friendships because I think one of the themes for our conference REAL this year will be including stories about Friendships.

I have blogged about this before so if you want to read more then search through the archives...I have blogged about the positives and negatives and about grace and forgiveness that we all need to extend at all times. Penny Lander who is one of my heroines in the faith  says to me.." Always think well of others " and I try but sometimes fail...I have hurt people I am sure in the dark and distant past when I knew nothing about grace and the old cliché of "hurting people will hurt people" must ring true with others as well as me....and I know from listening to others that the whole area of true friendship can be a pain filled story.

For me in this last season of life .(January to right now ) I have learnt some things about friendships that have almost been worth the stress and hurt and pain just to have the experience of deep and holy moments of God filled friendship...I am still raw and hurting...I often joke that last time I had surgery they must have re-jigged my "wee " bits to my tear ducts,,!! ...I also wrote a blog recently called "Tears for Souvenirs"...again have a quick rummage for that one too...but these tears have come about in a weird way and are not carrying pain all the time..some of these tears are tears of relief that I can just be me and not have to hide behind a mask saying "I am fine" to those who ask "how are you doing"
Some of the tears have been tears of anguish at friends who I perceived to have been insensitive ( I know Penny.... I should think well of others and I am trying )...some have been tears FOR my friends whose burdens are heavier than mine and I haven't been able to help them at all...

I will very briefly list some of the life happenings that have caused me to lean very heavily on friends so much....I wont go into huge details because I am hoping the meds kick in before 3am and I actually get some sleep..!

*House move.....packing up two houses...oh you def need friends for that...
*Supporting family through painful situations...( Cat and Nick). yes I needed  friends for that
*Living with a two year old for 6 weeks with a broken leg.!!yep..friends needed for that
*Sensing all isn't well with another family development which should have been one of huge celebration as Orlaith was born but has morphed into a ten week far ...journey with our third grandchild who as yet is still in hospital....oh yes a real need for friends at this time.
*Realising that the feelings inside my head and thoughts weren't normal and needed medical intervention...huge thanks to the friends who pushed me into going and at times actually came and got me and drove me there!
*A further realisation that I cant "fix" things....many years ago an Elder of our church went abroad for a conference and he shared that in the quiet of his room one night he said to God..."if you only have one blessing left God then please give it to my wife "    I have said this to God so many times recently..."if you have only one left...give it to Cat and Nick and as I know God never runs out of blessings...I blatantly ask...give to Andrew and Limara for baby Orlaiths healing.
*My Dorset buddy who has the word cancer hanging over her I regularly ask God...."don't run out of blessing before you heal her "
*Having to try out 3 different meds to try and get my anxiety under control and one of which had an awful side effect called oral dystonia which basically meant I couldn't string two words together as my jaw clicked and my tongue did weird things...the family all said I was speaking Klingon...which got worse under stress
*Three separate prangs on my lovely car one of which ended up like an episode of the keystone cops as the police who saw me have a disagreement with a bollard at entrance to car park followed me in and as mentioned above I became a Klingon who was trying to explain what had happened...Mr Police Jobsworth asked if I had been drinking....hahahahahaha ....said the Klingon woman (where are your friends then when you need an interpreter )...long story short.he insisted I blow into  this weird thing ..and apparently its best of there I was 9.45 am in car park blowing away...he then asked me when was the last time I had drunk alcohol as he was about to say I needed to go to station and give a blood test because I was obviously unable to speak...I answered quite truthfully...last Christmas...I truly am not a drinker and I thought best not to mention the meds!!...The Klingon had humanised itself by then and so off they went having totally ruined my morning.
*I made myself go to Academy where a couple of the students were doing their preaching class and as always the tears drip...I have learnt though that Academy friends are a safe bunch and I don't need to run and hide from them..friends who just accept me and love me in Academy are so very precious and they ALWAYS keep my seat for me...
*Following that we went to vets with our old pooch...and we knew what was coming  and l knew it was time to let him go the the kennel in the sky...we haven't yet made the date as need a wee bit more time with him and also let family know...Oskar has been just the best,,I am not sentimental...he is a dog..he doesn't sleep on my bed nor does he sit on our furniture but he is still a huge part of all our lives so at some point in next few days our lovely vet will come to the house and do the necessary with us saying our goodbyes and I know I will need friends then too...strangely enough the vet herself is a friend and was so tenderly kind to us.

These points are only a very small picture of what life has been like for me...I still cant fix or be fixed...I still cant make commitments cos I know I may break them and this includes haircuts !! I still maybe hurt my friends but I have to finish by telling you about an avalanche of friendship on Friday evening.

I had decided to have a "soiree" and ask friends who have loved me through the last 5 months...way too many to name but due to random circumstances I knew I would have the house to myself and it was an ideal time to have a girly night.....and in a moment of madness I invited any of them to sleepover if they wanted to..! Bear in mind the average age was possibly 50...!!! but what the heck...I needed some friendship and altho when we got home from vets on Thursday every part of my being was saying NOOOOOOOOOO cancel it ..I decided I really couldn't do this and I had to go ahead with it....

If you are familiar with the phrase "dirty stop outs "..(maybe a Scottish  phrase) then this pretty much described the 19 (at last count ) friends who descended on me..bringing the gifts of of all colours and tastes...and the crowning jewel was the chocolate fountain....oh my...I could just live with this object and do without friends (!) one point a few hours into the evening they were like vultures round a dead body scrabbling for the last marshmallow and I swear I saw one friend actually dip her face in but I cant be sure. We topped it up and another friend mixed the choc with Baileys Irish was sublime...everyone needs a friend like that. Fortunately the evening was relatively warm and we all had wraps and cardis outside our bodies and alcohol inside and the chiminea was blasting out warmth to this time most of my sensible and driving friends were leaving,,,but the dirty stop outs were still here at 1am in the garden just laughing and crying and telling stories...we all need friends who know our stories. But more important than the pressies..the gifts ..the flowers...more important that anything else was their presence in my life....they ranged from a friend who I hadn't seen in 15 years who crocheted a beautiful blanket for the friend who first introduced me to church and then led me to Jesus...there were friends whose children I had cared for...friends who perhaps we had only walked the same journey over the years...friends from Academy who we all told them naughty stories discussing  the many different words in different languages for farting!!....we happen to also have three cockerels living next door who regularly joined in with us as we got louder and louder ....all in all an avalanche of friendship with the theme of reality running through it....we weren't pretending we were being one point in the evening..the chiminea set off all the smoke alarms...I went up and closed all the windows and as I looked out at my friends I just began to weep and sat on my bed mopping up the waterproof (yeah right ) mascara whist I waited to get myself together enough to go back precious friend who noticed I was missing came to find me and another gift was handed over freely...a hug...costs nothing but worth its weight in gold..

I am on the last bit as it is almost 3,30 am and I am sure my meds MUST kick in soon (please God)..the dirty stop outs all headed to bed...about 1.30 am but unbeknown to three of them I had planned a secret meeting in my bedroom with a friend who I have shared more Tena Lady pads with over the last 25 years than with anyone else...she had brought maltesers and we planned to have an hour to catch up sharing the bed and cup of tea... glass of baileys and our maltesers...well would you believe it another dirty stop out saw and heard us sneaking in she came too...I think 3am came and went before we all went to our own beds...

So what am I saying through this blog entry....I am trying to be really spiritual and Godly and cant for the life of me think of a scripture that I could leave you with...(blame the meds )...but apart from saying a hugely understated THANK YOU to all those who came and all those who were unable to come and all those too far away for me to actually invite...I just know that some deep healing work was done through every person who touched my life Friday evening/night/morning.....I think I managed to have a decent conversation with nearly everyone but even just sitting watching and listening to them all catching up with each other...some that they hadn't seen each other in years or who were going through painful times themselves was medicine to my I say often at the moment I haven't cried so much ever..I can honestly say I haven't laughed so much for a very long time...the gift of friendship is way more precious than I had ever realised until this year...its Gods gift to a broken world and its sometimes the only way through the broken-ness...None of my circumstances have changed at all but some of the pain involved has been shared out amongst my friends who willingly carry some of it for me and this is the most precious thing of all..People often say that happiness is dependant on circumstances but that JOY is dependant on God...let me tell you this is true....

I could go on and on....In the last ten weeks I have felt that all I had done was let my friends and family down..failing to be the fixer of past years...unable to help them ...making commitments to meet and then cancelling...causing pain to them....isolating myself...and in the Academy just unable to actually be there. I felt especially bad for my friend and line manager that I was totally unable to be a friend to her as she and her hubby hit the wall in shock and surprise at a totally unexpected diagnosis of cancer..I was nowhere to be seen and especially for my Sunday Academy commitments  I just lost momentum and I let the team down ( and starve )...hopefully pastries and goodies coming your way over last month of Academy in July

In all of this..... friends from all seasons and eras of my life propped me up....God gave us the gift of friendship...we all of us need friends who we can be real with and I am daily thanking God that the phrase " yeah I am fine" doesn't have to be one I trot out on a regular basis.

May you all know the blessings of friendship today and forever.....

Monday, 17 June 2013

The Local Church Is the Hope of the World.

 One of my heroes is Bill Hybels who leads Willow Creek Church in Chicago ...Our church here in Bracknell hosts the DVD Global Leadership Conference every year and I get to serve and absorb some amazing truths from  world class leaders both Christian and secular leaders ... BUT somehow or other I still keep hearing in my mind heart..and my spirit....Bills Mantra...The Local Church Is the Hope of the World. Several years ago Chris and I had the immense privilege in flying to Chicago to attend the GLS live and again heard Bill Hybels say over and over again The Local Church is the Hope of the World. I am sold out on this in every fibre of my being and never more so than by my experience today at my church.

If you haven't been following my blog or known how tough life has been for not just me but my family....I wont go into too much detail but suffice to say our daughter and husbands third IVF ended in miscarriage again and my son and his partner had the gorgeous Orlaith Rae 9 weeks ago....sadly Orlaith has been in SCBU at local hospital for 7 weeks  then was taken to Southampton for  surgery to put in central lines....we were hoping and praying for a bed to be made available at Great Ormond Street ( GOSH ) as they are only 1 of the 2 hospitals in UK to have specialist units to deal with condition. We heard two weeks ago she was going to be moved to the other specialist Manchester and our hearts could we support them  and how could Andrew get to work in just seemed such a let down...we prayed and asked others to pray and in the early hours of the morning they had a call from GOSH to say they had prioritised Orlaith and would take at 5am she was off to GOSH

In the midst of all this I have been having what I thought was depression....and began to seek help through my doctor..who is another of my heroes...he has been my doctor for 29 years and he is just I have felt respected and treated with dignity despite the fact I cry and snot all over him each week....we have had several changes of medication and the strongest sleeping tablets he can prescribe.All meds have various side effects and 1 in 500 can develop oral/facial dystonia...this meant  I couldnt  string two words together and Chris reckons I was speaking Klingon...this was extremely upsetting and I felt isolated....Doctor took me off the meds that day and prescribed plain diazepam,,,which he hoped would settle my speech and it has done so and I rarely speak Klingon at all. I am having blood tests and a couple of other investigations before he changes medication again.

To make matters worse I have had several disagreements with road bollards and entrances to car parks and the pillars out side our home resulting in probably  1000 .00 of damage to my car and now not able to drive at all till doctor sorts me out...hey ho...and the final horrid thing happened over a Facebook Folly (see previous blog) after tonight I am shutting down my Facebook account as it has been and a techie friend is going to reset it for  with a suberb amount of security so that hopefully what happened a week ago will never happen  again.

Bringing it all back to my title about the The Local Church being the Hope of the World...for about 10 weeks I have been so poorly and unable to get to Academy nor serve in my usual role and haven't been to Sunday meetings for such a long time and it was with huge anxiety I was kinda persuaded by my daughter that I was going !!!...I was very anxious all the way there but let me tell you what happened when we arrived at the car park....I wont name any names but you know who you are....

One friend said hello and asked me how I was..she could see I was slightly wobbly and she linked arms and walked all the way to the church just chatting and ensuring I was okay....I had a text from another friend to say she was keeping me seats.....I then settled in front of great friends who I realised were having the thanksgiving mtg for the cute little Georgia....I went over to K2 with Cat cos I really felt I needed to show my face but didn't want to stay or go over on my own...several friends hugged me and said how much they missed me.....I then had  ten mins chat with some one who is only just pregnant and she just loved on me big time....on way back over to main building I saw another friend who had had some problems with anxiety a couple of years ago and and we had a hug,..several hugs.....then I was crept up on by my amazing great buddy who sat me down and just talked about Academy and what may happen and how was I feeling and  coping....of course by this time I had missed most of the meeting and gone through loads of tissues and we walked in together and she was making sure in the nicest possible way that I was actually going back in .
Then on way out the rest of the family were by this time wondering if they should just have left me of my oldest and dearest friends jumped out of her car and we made an arrangement to meet between all of this at least 4 or so more friends just gently asked how I was and hugged me and of course the legendary RV gave me one of the best hugs as per usual.

So how does this tie up with my title....The Local Church is the Hope of the World...well all I can say is that the world is full of hurting people who need to experience all that I experienced local church today filled me with hope that I was doing okay...I was loved and missed by so many precious people and I came home knowing that God uses the local church to bring hope and healing to a hurt and broken person at a was my turn.

Finally I am closing Facebook wont be able to access my blog unless you go to link and sign up for email or let me know and I can do what is easiest for you by emailing it straight into your inbox but try the subscribe button first...I will be back on Fbook in a couple of weeks and it will probably be by friends request only...If you wish to send me a request please do so and I will pop you back on.....and finally finally love and thanks to all of you not just for today but for years of love and caring and support and encouragement

Love to all Irene M

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Facebook Folly

Today I made a decision to shut down my Facebook account. I announced that I had "culled" some 30 or so "friends" on my list for the reasons listed here;

People I never see
People who I don't actually know apart from their names
People who are decades younger than me and to be honest I reckon they sent me friend requests in a bid to get the highest number of friends
People who I rarely read their status nor they mine
People above who I rarely comment on nor they mine.
People who use consistently bad language or blasphemy
People who inadvertently get hacked and then pass on a virus to my laptop ( three times in last 4 months )

I notified some of them as I had contact details and explained why..most of them were fine and one or two thought they may even do the same...and I wont even begin to bore you with the awful things some people feel the need to express for something as unimportant as a social media tool.

Now....of course if I actually knew how to shut the jolly thing down I would have but so far I cant do more than log out..!! I perhaps should have found out exactly how to do it before announcing it to the world....Techie daughter will sort me out when I next see her I am sure.. I plan to post this link on Facebook anyway to maybe explain a few things and let my family and friends know what is happening.

As an Academy student for one of my written essays I wrote about social media...I was more than delighted to get a "distinction" mark for it...if anyone wants to read it then email me and I will happily send a copy..I am truly proud of the essay ...sorry if that sounds boastful but at 58 to go back into a learning environment and get top mark was so rewarding.

Let me give you some background re my techie skills. I first had a mobile phone ten years was the size of a small text book...I had a "pay as you go " and 25.00 per year saw me with change every time. I never switched it on as I couldn't hear it had no vibrate as an alternative and I only used it because I cared for children with disability and childminding so needed it for emergencies only.My family and friends laughed at me and in an effort to rejoin the human race I purchased a Nokia clam.....oh this was was tiny and wowzer.. it had a photo thingy.!! I still went 25.00 a year and got change and it was 2 years before I took a photo and another year before I learnt to text.

I joined the family of laptop owners 4 years ago and began with..emailing...blogging...and then facebooking...I had absolutely no interest in twittering tweeting myspace-ing and all the other "things" but when Elisha my grandson came along I really wanted to let the whole world know about him....some of you may remember those "did I tell you I was a granny "days with status galore about this gorgeous child who rocked our world.

For me....Facebook is my way of blessing and being blessed...I have found friends from all over the world and from all eras of my life...Caroline in Amsterdam who I have known for 53 years....Sandra and Janie in Scotland who I have known for 44 years and 40 years....respectively . I have shared life with my sister in Canada and all the distant relatives over there...I have shared in the lives of my brother and all his family and almost weekly see pics of my grand niece and nephew and most of our family at some time of other will post or PM me. I love being a part of the community that live locally and are part of my work or my church...again joining in with their celebrations...or their mourning..or their ups and downs of daily life. Hopefully anyone reading my status or looking at my pics mostly feel the same.

For the last 3 months we have had a fair bit of distress in our little family down here in darkest Sandhurst...Cat and Nick had a third IVF cycle which resulted in a miscarriage...then my son and his partner had our grand daughter and sadly all is not well with this precious little one....most of my posts at that time reflected some of the anguish we were all feeling....most people responded with love and empathy and prayers. It is with a huge amount of distress and trauma to let you know that I has several PMs and emails which after reading I wanted to vomit the ugliness and horror out of my mind.Then to add to that I began to feel unwell...I am not going to go into details with that ...suffice to say I have been attending my doctor and have been using medication to try and ease the emotional trauma and pain...I am NOT blaming Fbook for the way I am now I know that anxiety and depression have a chemical base but is made worse by stress and distress.

A few weeks ago I blocked an old and good friend mainly because she worded her response to me in a way that I perceived to be hurtful ...I blocked it immediately because two of my other friends leaped into the thread and began to say horrid things about her...remember these were people who don't actually know each other ...they only know through me..I hope that my friend didn't get to read what they said but I also know I hurt the friend by blocking her. That event sent me into a real spiral and for at least 6 weeks now I haven't been on any kind of top form. I have functioned quite cheerfully within the family and a very small handful of close friends. Even with that I haven't wanted to actually leave the house only seeming to be okay with emails or texts. I have ventured out several times and its been " okay " for very short times and with a couple of friends who I am so at ease with well as my family. I was so anxious about going to see Orlaith last week was a train and two tube changes but meds and Catriona saved the day and we spent a gorgeous afternoon with both Andrew and Limara and Orlaith...imagine my joy when I got to hold her ...being careful of all her IVs and tubes and central lines...My heart ache as eased  as I sang..."you canny shove yer granny aff a bus " and I swear she joined in....then Auntie Cat got to feed lovely and normal and together with Andrew and Limara having a meal with them..oh so lovely.!

The decision today to "pull the plug".(.at least when I actually find out how to do it ) was mainly about our new grand daughter Orlaith...she has been in SCBU in Frimley since she was born and last week after 7 weeks trying to stabilise her condition she was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) which is only one of the two centres in UK which can deal with her condition. She is now 8 weeks old and is the light of her mummy and daddy's world and you will of course now know I am a granny again!!.. it has only been recently that Orlaiths mummy and daddy have said it was okay to post pics of the wee girly onto Fbook  One of my " friends " last night must have searched through loads of internet "funnies" and saw one which she said looked like Orlaith....I hope and pray that neither of Orlaiths mummy or daddy saw the pics side by side on this friends thread as I superhumanly deleted at the speed of light and sadly a whole bunch of stuff including some of the precious ones we were able to take of Elisha and Orlaith together...I had a PM from the "friend" who said it was meant to be funny (!).... I haven't yet replied to her yet ...probably wont until the words in my heart can be filtered through the spirit of God first..

So my Fbook friends and family ...all those I dearly love and care for ...I am going to have a rest...I need to heal...I need to support my family...I need to find joy again....I have had lots of comments and emails and texts etc and will be in touch in some way apart from Fbook at the moment. Please feel free to text or email me too. I am hoping to continue and blog..and desperately hoping I will get back to Academy after missing so much .I will post this link on Fbook over the next couple of days BUT after that you will have to sign up to follow by email...its easy to do on the blog itself and I may also send round a contact email so you can opt in or out....I personally always follow the persons blogs I like so getting them into my email inbox means I don't miss them...

In my assignment I quoted a fair bit from scripture and ended with this one..."Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way and may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you " (2Thess Ch 3 )

Sunday, 2 June 2013

GRANNYS GAP YEAR (13)The Fellowship of the Mat

I have just come home from a church conference for women . Its my 6th year at this conference and I really love being away from home for 3 days and enjoy the leisure time of no cooking housework or child care. I tend to go with the same friend (s) and we book our own rooms so we can have "me " time and space and privacy. The worship and teaching whilst amazing and life changing isn't what I most enjoy.

What keeps me going every year is the time given over to friendship.....Everyone knows that to get the best out of  anything is to spend TIME...whether it be your work...your marriage ..your hobby...everything in life requires us to make time to gain the very best out of it.

I am sure I have blogged many times about friendship ....its such an important part of our lives together and even more so for me in the last 3 months as I have had several "hiccups" in my daily life. I thought for  a short time that I had depression but after several sessions with my amazing doctor and trying a couple of different medications we both have concluded that its not depression but anxiety !!....

For all of my life I have been a "fixer"...if its broke I want to fix it..or at least give it my very best shot at trying to fix it.. I am not referring to a laptop that has stopped working or a car that needs a new alternator....I am a fixer of people...I want everyone I know to be okay...I want my husband to be happy and satisfied with his life..his work and our relationship...I want my home to be clean and tidy...I want my work with Matt to give him a great experience when he is with us....I want Elisha to have an amazing granny day with so much love and kisses. ..I want our time spent with our eldest son and partner and my oldest grand daughter to be filled with laughter when we visit them.... I want Cat and Nick to have as many babies as God grants them...and I want to hold my newest grand daughter Orlaith  and smother her gorgeous little face with granny kisses whilst her mummy and daddy sit and sup beer and eat burgers in the garden. I want my Dorset buddy who has cancer to know a sovereign healing from God and live till she is 90 years old.!!...I could list many more "wants" and write about other people and other desires as I am sure most people have similar feelings too.

I want each of my friends to have all that their hearts desire....and if I hear any whisper from them that I can possibly fulfil then I will happily aim to fix it  for them. If they want a lift...I can do that..if they need some company..yep I can do that...if they need to pour out their burdens then I will carry them ...if they have a prayer request..yep call on me...I am a fixer by nature and a fixer by desire too. I never have felt it a heavy load it comes naturally to me to try...

BUT ...this last three months I have realised in a heart stopping head on collision kind of way that I CANT be a fixer all the time....This is what my doctor and I discussed last time we met. I cant fix everyone...all the time...of everything....and after years and years of trying and more often that not succeeding in fixing whatever has been needed there are still many things I may never fix. This is what has been the underlying cause of the "hiccup" I am experiencing. The anxiety is buried way down deep in my spirit that I cant fix certain things...I cant wave magic wands and make  things better for everyone and I have found that quite hard to cope with..

In the last three months in particular...with Cat and Nick going through their 3rd IVF cycle...moving house....and then the excitement with baby Orlaith arriving .... .I was having trouble sleeping...not being able to concentrate..not wanting to leave the house ..sleeping during the day...crying for no real reason.....and a handful of other "hiccups" manifested itself and forced me to the visit the doctor.

As I have been away this last few days I have had time to find a spacious place just to hear God and feel his peace fill me....I know I am on a journey. I am reminded of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings and I think the first film was called "the fellowship of the ring?" it brought to mind the assignment I wrote for Academy. We were asked to write about a character in scripture that we identified with and relate what was written to our own lives. I chose the character who was crippled that had four friends who carried him to Jesus on a mat and lowered him through the roof so that Jesus could heal him. I didn't actually write about him but wrote about the four friends.I like to think of these four as "the fellowship of the mat "  Frodo would never have won through without the help of his friends.....I am 100% convinced that no one can get by in life without friends and friends who are able and willing to be mat carriers. Its a two way times we need to be carried and other times we carry their mats..its a journey...a fellowship...that is God centred and unconditional.

This man would never have been able to get his healing...wouldn't have been able to get near to Jesus if his friends hadn't carried him . I wrote about the friends who over the years had carried me (figuratively ) on my mat into the presence of Jesus...whether for healing or prayer or company or whatever I needed they carried my mat.  In these last three months when I have had to lay myself back down onto my "mat" I haven't been able to get near to Jesus myself...BUT my friends have picked up a corner of my mat and broke through the crowds and pressed into Jesus and taken me with them...I have had funnies..hugs..hand holding..shoulders to lean and cry mat is getting carried ever closer to my saviour my healer and I can actually breathe again without the anxiety that had begun to cripple me .

I am not going to suddenly leap of the mat and start fixing again because I know this season for me is to rest and let God take me ever closer to him where I can leave my anxiety and leave all the things and people I want to fix for him .My daughter and hubby were unsuccessful with their IVF cycle so I need to lay that anxiety down at the foot of the cross..and wait for God to heal the ache in my heart ...My new grand daughter Orlaith is 7 weeks old and hasn't been out of SCBU and is now at Great Ormond Street and I need to lay that anxiety down at the foot of the cross and wait for God to heal her and bring her home and soothe the ache I feel in my heart for Orlaith and her mummy and daddy....I need to lay the anxiety I carry about my Dorset buddy at the foot of the cross and ask again and again for God to heal her and to dry the tears I have shed for her and to enjoy the times I have with her as a gift.

Yesterday at the conference as we all sat on the terrace having tea and biscuits after an amazing worship session and teaching..I had a text from Orlaiths mummy and daddy with a wee picture of her all wrapped in a blanket in a cot in Great Ormond Street....I knew under the blanket that she had IV lines and NG tubes and all sorts of medical stuff but she looked just beautiful with her gorgeous black hair and squidgy cheeks....and as I sat there in the sunshine listening to the chatter of my friends I could feel the anxiety taking root would have been so easy to just sit there and ignore the feelings and hide and let everyone think I was fine...but  the eyes began to leak and the breathing became harder as I felt my heart beating faster....I reached out to the friend on my left and whispered "I need a hug"....she wrapped me in her other friend leaned over and held my hand...another friend tucked a tissue to wipe the snot away whilst the others I guess carried a little of my ache as I talked to them.....its tough being on the mat....but how much tougher would it be without mat carriers .....My final whisper ....are you on a mat.?? do you need to lay down for a season and let others carry your mat??....or are you in a season of bravery ..strength and confidence that you could carry someone else on their mat??