Lesson From A Blackbird

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It’s been raining heavily the past few days, which has suited my mood.  I’m in a place of confusion and wondering when there will be a break through in certain situations I find in my life.  I see no way out, no way of improving things.

The children both went for a rest earlier this morning, and I came down to the kitchen with a heavy heart to make a hot drink.  I looked out of the window while waiting for the kettle to boil, and there on my lawn (I say lawn loosely as it is more a churned up section of mud with tufts of grass in patches after having two dogs and children trekking around on it) was a blackbird.  He was out there in the pelting rain and wind gathering his meal for the day.  He looked unaffected by the adverse conditions around him; more like he was rather enjoying it as there was food aplenty for him.  After he had his fill, he hopped up onto the fence and lifted his little head into the rain seemingly soaking it in and rejoicing.

I heard a little voice inside reminding me, that even though things may look bleak and unchangeable, and even if it doesn’t feel like it, there is opportunity in every season of life.  And much like the blackbird needs the not so nice weather conditions to bring more worms to the surface, so we also need storms in our life so they can shape our character and teach us valuable lessons.

Nothing has changed about my situation since seeing the blackbird, but my heart feels a little lighter and more encouraged knowing that even if I don’t see it yet, there is some good, some opportunity to come out of it.

Our Citizenship

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Today is election day here in the UK.  After voting closes this evening and all votes have been counted, we will find out what direction and shape our government is going to take for the next 5 years.  It is easy to fret and worry over which party will win.  Will the right party get it?  Will they make the right decisions for the country?  This morning I was reminded of the verse in Philippians chapter 3 that states: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Things today may not go the way you or I hope they will, but we must also remember that our true citizenship is not of this world, and there is One greater who knows and understands and is in control of the outcome.  And in the wise words of John Newton:  “People do their country more service by pleading for it in prayer than by finding fault with things they have no power to alter.”  Be encouraged today.

Nine Months With a Rainbow

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So, it’s been 9 months since our rainbow baby made her entry into the world.

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I think we have all now adjusted to life with Rainbow Baby and being a family of 4.  Miss E took to her baby sister much better than I ever dreamed she would.  She absolutely adores Rainbow Baby who adores her in return.  There is so much laughter from them both when they are together.

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Rainbow Baby is an absolute delight.  She is full of smiles and giggles, and she knows how to use her voice.  She isn’t shy in getting her thoughts and opinions known especially when it comes to meal times.  :)  Needless to say we have all enjoyed getting to know Rainbow Baby and she has brought so much to our family already.  We are looking forward to many more months and years with her.  Happy 9 months, baby girl!

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Our Rainbow Came To Join Us

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So, our rainbow baby has arrived, and she’s now almost 3 months old, but better late than never to record the birth story :)  From the beginning my envisaged birth was a water birth at home with just my husband and eldest daughter present.  I awoke at 4am on the morning of her birth with a knowing feeling that it would be the day.  Once again, it was a weekend, so Mr P was at home.   We went about our day.  Miss E was rather tired, so she went for a nap and we stayed home from church.  I lay in bed most of the morning.  Around 10:30 am I got the odd surge but they averaged about 2-3 an hour from then.  At 11:30 am, I came downstairs to tell Mr P it was time to fill the pool as we would be having the baby that day.  He was rather dubious due to the fact I was extremely calm and didn’t seem to be in labour, but he did as instructed.  By lunchtime I decided it was the right time to call my reflexologist for a treatment.  She arrived around 1:45pm and gave me a treatment.  Things were still very chilled out at this point.  She left again about 3pm saying to go lie down and rest and she felt by 10pm the baby would be here.  After she left, I told Mr P that I didn’t think it was going to take that long and I thought by 7pm baby would be here and Miss E would still be up.  I went to lie down as I felt quite tired.  Through this time Mr P and Miss E had gone to the shops for something we were out of, sorted our dinner which was cooking and smelling delicious and picked blackberries from the garden.  By 4pm, I couldn’t lie down anymore as my body was telling me to stay upright, so I paced around the upstairs listening to some music, swaying back and forth while Miss E and Mr P played in the garden.  Mr P came in around 4:40pm to get the rest of dinner ready.  I told him I was  heading to the shower for some heat therapy as my back was a little painful then.  By now the surges had been coming quickly for an hour, so I knew we had hit active labour stage, but everything was still very calm.  I came downstairs at 5pm in time for dinner, and Miss E had hurt herself, so I gave her a cuddle.  When I set her down again and stood up, I had one very sharp intense pain, and I said to Mr P that it was time for me to get in the pool and to bring me dinner after he and Miss E were finished.  So while they ate, I breathed in my essential oils and listened to my music.  He brought me my dinner and I was so looking forward to eating that lamb curry, but as soon as I had the plate in my hand the intensity of the contractions increased and they came one on top of another, so i never got to eat more than 3 bites, as every time I tried to eat a mouthful, I’d have to hand everything back to Mr P so I could sway in the water.  I gave up in the end and asked him to start the cd again, get more oils in my burner, and also to remain by the pool.  Miss E was also there.  About 6pm, I had 5 intense surges that made me cry a little and think I couldn’t do anymore without relying on some gas and air and only one person could get me that; and my dreams of my unassisted birth seemed to be slipping away, so, feeling rather defeated, I asked Mr P to call for the midwife.  I now know those 5 surges and little cry was my transition phase.  While Mr P was on the phone I knew the baby was coming and would be born as I had always envisaged.  At 6:16pm, surrounded by the love of her closest family and born into an environment of peace, calm, safety, and familiarity, Miss K entered the world easily weighing a healthy 10 lb 1, and I delivered her and lifted her from the water myself.  Nothing can describe the feeling of birthing your child alone and being the first to lay hands on them.  It was the most natural experience and just as nature intended.  I also gave my firstborn the gift I so wanted to bestow upon her; the gift of seeing firsthand that birth is a natural and normal occurrence, not a medical procedure, and when you focus on the right things, surges are not painful, your body relaxes and births can be an enjoyable and empowering experience.  I have thoroughly enjoyed both my births, and I am so thankful to God to have been in much better health this time round and to have learned so much from both births.  Hopefully, I can put what I have learned to good use in future.  I praise God for the safe arrival of Miss K to our family, and for the wonderful gifts she will bring to our family as she grows and reveals more of who she is.

 

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It’s Been a Long Time Coming!

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Well, I have waited nearly 4 years for this day to arrive, and it is finally here.  Our house is on the market!!  I am so excited that we have arrived at that point, and also slightly nervous.  Will we get any viewings?Will our house sell?  When will it sell?  So many unknowns!  Praise God, he knows the answers to them all.

This isn’t the way we had planned this.  Our deadline had always been to have the house on the market by April and not be spending another summer here, but we didn’t factor in that I would be pregnant and sick again for a lot of the time we have had to get the house ready for selling.  Nor did we think we would have to be finding a new home and moving in the third trimester of a pregnancy, but a simple life would be a boring life, right?!  :)  So, here we are, with a few short weeks left to sell a house, find a house, buy a house, move house, aaaaaaaaaaaaaand relax before this baby makes an entry to the world :)

I am really looking forward to our new start wherever that may take us and our new family life as this rainbow baby comes to join us.

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Messy

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One thing I am learning and becoming all too aware of as my daughter grows is that motherhood is messy.  It’s messy in a literal, physical sense where there are always sticky hand prints around, or toys in the wrong places, or mud trekked in through the house via the soles of little shoes.  I am ok with that side of messy.  Yeah, I have to clean up the same thing a gazillion times, but still, I can cope with that.

There’s the other side of motherhood that’s messy though and not so easily cleaned up-the emotional side.  Ever get those days when everyone just falls apart?  Voices rise, tears fall, harsh words come gushing out, doors slam.  The mess is nasty, and hard to sort through.  It puts cracks in relationships, builds barriers and everything is stressful.

We have had so many of these messy days lately.  Developmental changes have brought new challenges for both of us as we try and figure out how to live harmoniously with each other, with our needs and our personalities.  Miss E has been fashioned by God’s good hand into a very independent and strong character.  All the qualities that are such a difficulty for me right now as her mother, will, one day, stand her in good stead as she ventures off into the world alone.  But it’s getting from here to that point that is proving difficult.  It’s a fine balancing act and a skilled dance as we figure this whole thing out together, and often we get it all wrong.  We fail to understand each other.  We fail to communicate with each other in loving ways.  We fail to choose loving reactions.  Yesterday was one such messy day.

On these messy days, I am thankful for two gifts:  GRACE.  Grace to try again.  Grace to start anew.  Grace to change.   Rich, abundant grace.  Where would we be without it?  NATURE.  Our happy place.  A therapy for the soul.  A place we can go together to ease the stresses and rediscover our way on this journey.  There is colour therapy given via the flowers and the greenery, music therapy from bird song, the wind, water passing by, raindrops falling.  There is peace, time to reflect, time to reconnect.  Grace and nature: our balm to soothe away the strife.  How do you cope with the messy days of parenting?  How do you reconnect with your child?IMAG0604

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I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where are but does not leave us where it found us.

~Anne Lamott~

Thoughtful Thursdays