Friday, 14 December 2018


I'm discovering more and more that days do not often go as planned. Not necessarily that bad things happen, it's just that things happen which were not part of the plan - or should I say my plan?

I get up, do my best to get sorted and ready for the day ahead. The children get up, this is currently not a very smooth ride with the dark mornings and tired eyes! Encouragement is needed to get them organised and in the end we head off, out the door, mostly ready for what we are expecting the day to bring.

Sometimes, though, there is an interruption. As I said, this interruption may not be negative. Rather, it is something which requires me to stop and consider the best or the right thing to do. If, I am honest, I may not make the best or the right response. This might be because I have somewhere to be and I would prefer not to be inconvenienced. Or I might struggle to find the grace that is needed. Maybe, I might only want to consider how I am feeling and disregard anyone else's needs.

Whatever the interruption, it can, if I choose to let it, serve a purpose. It reminds me that however much I plan my day, ultimately I am not in control. The only thing I am able to control is my response.

These interruptions, could, if I let them, steal my peace. They could bring chaos and even derail my day. However, I believe that I am journeying to a place where I will no longer allow these interruptions to define who I am or what sort of day I will have.

Instead, I choose to breathe deep, lift my gaze and simply trust. I know that I am held by God.

“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
    “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
    if you’ll only get to know and trust me.

Psalm 91:14 (The Message)

Then I find it possible to allow these interruptions to become part of the plan. To consider a better and right response. To find the strength to make the better and right response. In that breath, I am reminded to whom I belong and that I am no better than anyone else.

So, maybe I should stop calling them interruptions and instead see them as opportunities.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Upside Down Or The Right Way Up?

For the last few years things have happened in my life that I never wanted to happen. Things that were simply not in my plan for my life.
One day life just turned upside down and I feel it has never really turned the right way up again.

However, alongside this, the last few years have very much had the stamp of ‘with every sun comes a new day’. Even though there have been times, particularly recently, that I have struggled to believe this.

I find, it is often the way that I hear someone say something and think, that’s good and those words stay with me, in the back of my mind. Then, all of a sudden there is this realisation and I see how completely those words were meant for my situation.

How I feel about my life, my plans depend on how I view my life, my plans.

Maybe I feel my life is upside down, yet actually it is the right way up and how it is meant to be.
The new days happen and are good, often they are more than good. Yet, I will not see that goodness unless I look for it.

My youngest daughter, when she prays at night, always begins with a thank you. A wonderful perspective and I know I should be more like her.

For me, the days are harder when I allow the rubbish stuff to consume me. When I stop believing that life can be good. When I give too much head space to the negative

I realise that I am best when I let go of my plans and actually live in this new day. To live, believing in the goodness of God. To embrace each new day, knowing this is where I am meant to be. To say, let’s go girl, thankful to God, that we’ve got this and together, we can do this.
Today will be a better day.

Monday, 24 September 2018

It Is OK To Fall.

Last week, more than once, I have completely and utterly got it wrong. I have let everything overwhelm me and reacted in a way that was completely unacceptable. My reaction was a demonstration of how not to behave.

My faith tells me that I am not able to do things in my own strength, so I know that it is best when I pause and shoot up a silent 'help me!' prayer. However, on one occasion last week, it seemed that even praying out loud was not even helping. The thing was, I wanted things to change in an instant. In that moment, I wanted to be all calm and peaceful. Instead I seemed to be falling apart even more! I had found myself at a place where I just did not know what to do.

Help did come and I think I needed to be reminded that I do not have to do everything on my own. I had wanted to be able to pull myself together and get on with what I was supposed to be doing. That didn't happen and perhaps it didn't happen because I needed to fall, and then admit, in that moment, I had failed. I needed to hear the good big sisterly advice I was given and accept the practical, loving support I was shown.

I know that I fall on a daily basis and I am grateful for each new day to begin again. However what I seemed to have convinced myself, is that when I fail, when I fall, I must get up without asking for help.

It is OK to fall. It really is. What is not OK is to allow myself to think that I am a failure. Yes, in that moment, I've messed up. However, that should not determine how I think of myself for the day, week, month, and so on.

By acknowledging I fall, by being honest and real and admitting that, in this moment, I haven't got it all together, I allow those around me to see the reality of my life. I see the wonder of those people around me, being willing to get involved in the mess too. They help me get back up, dust myself off and try again. Also, I must consider whether I need to say sorry. It's OK to fall. It really is. What is not OK it to knock others down as I fall. If my reaction as I fell, hurts others, then I must say sorry and I must look to the One who holds me, to find the strength, so next time I fall more thoughtfully, trying not to knock anyone else down.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Here And Now

This time last week, we were travelling home from our holiday in North Wales. A week and a day before that I was feeling overwhelmed by our holiday in North Wales. So many why's and worries.
Would we cope with a car journey that was nearly 300 miles? Would I remember everything? Would we all get on? Were the children going to enjoy themselves?
And, so on.

All these thoughts were running through my mind, when, instead, I should have been reading. I gazed at the words on the page, not even taking them in and let my mind race along with all these worries. Then I looked up and, because I was sat outside, I saw it. A cross in the clouds.

In that moment, it was where I needed it to be. Not a coincidence. Clouds move, I am usually looking down and reading. Yet in that one moment, I look up and I see - really see. I am letting these thoughts and concerns of things that may never happen steal my peace.
As I looked up and fixed my gaze on the cross in the clouds, my mind was flooded with much brighter thoughts. I have the strength to do this because God has placed that within me. Worrying about the week would get me nowhere. I could plan and have things in place to help me through the week, however, really, I had no idea what the week would bring. The picture that was in front of me reminded me that life should be about the here and now. Instead of worrying about what might come, I should make the most of each new day, for it truly is new and with a change of mindset I am able to see that.

So, I made the choice to leave the worries in God's hands, for there is no better place. I turned my thinking around - we were off on an adventure, we would get there OK for we were covered in prayer (thank you) and our satnav lady was always very helpful! I reminded myself that it is a privilege and a blessing to be able to go on holiday. We would journey through each new day, seeing it as an opportunity to make memories or to just simply enjoy being together.

In that moment, with that perfect picture in front of me, I determined that the next time my thoughts overwhelmed me, as they surely would, I would pause, look up and appreciate all that was in the here and now.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

...And That Is Enough

Every morning just lately, I have taken the time to sit outside at the very beginning of my day. I read my Bible, write a few words, read other people's helpful words, pray, think and sometimes get distracted by the things I need to add to my to-do list. Perhaps I need to take my to-do list outside too, then I can write these things down and be less distracted!

A very lovely friend of mine suggested starting the day outside and what a great suggestion it was. Fortunately, the weather has obliged by being dry, although I often need to wrap a blanket around me, which somehow adds something.
Being outside is just so peaceful, with nature so near as the birds flit about the garden. I've noticed a pair of pigeons that often have an early morning squabble!
I'm finding it is a time to pause and refill.

Today, I did the same, yet it was different. I knew I needed something more to get me through the day, and WOW! that something more was given. In that moment, all the pieces, the words, the thoughts, simply fell into place and all I needed was there.

In the newness of the day, I knew I could approach the day with strength because I know God will make things right. I know all I have to do is trust. It is not for me to work out the how and the why because all that is in God's hands.

I am held, I am loved and that is enough.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Ebb And Flow

Over the last couple of weeks, I've spent quite a lot of time at the seaside. The majority of the time it was very grey and little of the seaside could be seen. Although on my last visit, the sky was blue and bright. Being there just made everything OK.

Why is it so easy to let the ebb and flow of the tide, soothe everything OK? I find it quite freeing, just sitting there, almost mesmerised by the constant, rhythmical movement of the waves. 

Perhaps it is just that. It's easy to fix on the waves as they move forth and back, forth and back. It is almost as though I get lost in them, everything else just pales into insignificance and, in that moment, everything is OK. The steady, continual flow of something so capricious, somehow brings security. 

So which is it? Freedom or security?! For me, watching the waves flow brings to my mind constancy, faithfulness, strength and might. It reminds me of the Hands that hold me. Hands that are constant, faithful, full of strength and might. From that comes freedom. As I journey on, taking each new step into what is unknown, I can choose...
...freedom to try, even though I might fail
...freedom to love, even though I might lose
...freedom to achieve, even though the climb is tough
...freedom to hope, even though it might hurt. 

The stakes seem high and surely it would make sense just to choose the easy path and maybe what might be seen as the safer path. Yet, if I chose not to try, love, achieve, hope and all the other things that come with brave steps, then how will I grow? If I dare not fly, then how will I discover that when I fall, there is always One there to catch me? God's unfailing love is my security. His grace is my safety net, that bounces me back up on to my feet, ready to try again. 

Just as the ebb and flow of the waves continues on, so too can I. As the movement of the sea remains constant, so do the Hands that hold me. I may be changeable, just as the power of the sea is changeable. However, there is One who is not changeable, One who is faithful and for that I am so thankful. The One in whom I find security and also the strength to fly. The One who makes me brave. 

Psalm 18:16, 18-19
‘He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
…the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.’

Friday, 9 March 2018

You Rock My World

I'm fortunate to be someone who has (mostly) good memories of school and now, I love the fact that I am still learning. I believe there is always something new to be learned. This happens in such a variety of ways and through a multitude of things - people, books, TV, circumstances, the world wide web and so on.

At the moment, I am discovering that, as each new day comes, I do not have to be defined by the days that have gone before. My thoughts should not be held captive by my past.

How am I discovering this? By the fact that there are so many people who have and continue to 'rock my world'.

I'm awake now and I would rather be asleep! However as I have laid here, thoughts of the previous day run through my mind. As I go through the day I am almost overwhelmed by the way in which people have taken the time to 'rock my world'.
- words that have been spoken which encourage and uplift
- people putting their trust in me to do a particular job
- someone asking to print my words and thoughts in a local newspaper
- a stranger who stopped to look after me
- a school mum who helped me out and showed such care
- a lovely friend who blesses me almost daily and is love in action
- my family who go over and above to help support me
- each of my children praying for me - WOW
- another wonderful friend, who encourages and is always by my side even when she is miles away

All that in one day, how amazing and how very blessed I am. Maybe that is why I am awake because I needed to be reminded that people are good and kind and thoughtful and loving. Also to realise that people are willing to take time out of their world in order to rock mine - in a great way! If I was to look back over today, the truth I see, and was reminded of time and time again, is that people are wonderful and compassionate. So, that is the truth I will take forward with me into the new day.

Hopefully, I can now fall back to sleep for a couple of hours. I also hope that when I wake, I will remember these thoughts and as I go through the day, look for opportunities to rock someone else's world.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

He Knows My Name

This morning, as I was getting ready for the day, I opened up Spotify and because of the music I had been listening to yesterday, I was given a few choices of things I might like to listen to. 
So I had a look through and decided on a female singer who I like, her name is Francesca Battistelli. Then, I had one of those moments where I just knew I was meant to see her name and then listen to the particular song I chose. 

It was so great to stand in the middle of the kitchen, singing the words of the song and to feel absolutely covered in love. I am so thankful that this is the truth I can stand on, 'He knows my name.' 

Sitting here at the end of the day, I can say, 'It's been a great day!' Perhaps that is because of the wonderful truth I was able to listen to as I began the day...

He Knows My Name by Francesca Battistelli
Spent today in a conversation 

In the mirror face to face with

Somebody less than perfect

I wouldn't choose me first if

I was looking for a champion
In fact I'd understand if
You picked everyone before me
But that's just not my story
True to who You are
You saw my heart
And made
Something out of nothing
I don't need my name in lights

I'm famous in my Father's eyes

Make no mistake

He knows my name

I'm not living for applause
I'm already so adored
It's all His stage
He knows my name 
I'm not meant to just stay quiet

I'm meant to be a lion

I'll roar beyond a song

With every moment that I've got

True to who You are
You saw my heart
And made
Something out of nothing

He calls me chosen, free forgiven, wanted, child of the King
His forever, held in treasure
I am loved

Sunday, 25 February 2018


So, as I am determining to get my head filled with better and brighter things, all of a sudden, I find myself really struggling with the anger I am feeling. It has surprised me and with this anger, there are thoughts that are not particularly kind.
The struggle intensifies as I don't wish to feel this way. My journey has not been easy and at times it feels like this anger could destroy all the positive steps I have made.
It may be that the day has started well, then all of a sudden something happens and it feels like all the effort I have been putting in to getting myself to a better place seems worthless. It all comes crashing down around me and I feel like I am back to where I started. Without realising it, I am gritting my teeth and I have had enough!

I find myself in a place of turmoil and I no longer wish to be feeling like this.

What do I do? I know I do not want to give into the anger that I am feeling because being consumed by angry feelings is not a place a wish to be in. However, if I am honest, sometimes I feel scared it will get the better of me and that I will become bitter and resentful.

By admitting, out loud, that angry is something I no longer wish to be, maybe I have taken a step in the right direction. Also, by acknowledging that, I realise I must replace that anger with something better, I have taken another good step.

What then should I be magnifying? What would take me in the opposite direction to anger? Calm and peace seem to be much more helpful paths to tread.
It is not easy as it means letting go of the hurt that accompanies the anger.  However, if I am trusting that God is bigger than any situation I face, then surely it makes sense to give the anger and the hurt to Him. His hands are far more capable.

I am also grateful for the people by my side who hold me accountable. They remind me of what is true and good. As they do this, they enable me to make a better choice which I will not regret and will keep me on the path which brings peace.

When things happen and there is that split second where there is the pause - the smallest opportunity to right my thinking and to resist the pull of reacting to my feelings - I hope the thing I choose to magnify is strength. Strength to turn away. Strength to trust. Strength to change.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Head Space!

This year, for Lent, I have chosen to give up TV and screen time, that for me is unnecessary. Which means I am not able to play Suduko instead of watching TV!

I felt challenged to do this because I would like my head space to be filled with better things. I am learning that the only way my head will be filled with better things is if I make a change. It is necessary for me to find the time and put in the effort to shift my thinking.

Lent has only been happening for five days so nothing major has happened yet and also with a busy half term, I have not yet really noticed that TV or screen time is not an option. However, as I write this, I realise that I do not wish to get to the end of Lent having made lots of excuses as to why I didn't make the effort of filling my head with better and brighter things.

I have also been challenged this Lent to think about what I give, rather than just thinking about what I give up. It seems to make sense to fill the time I would have spent watching TV with something useful. By giving up, I then give opportunity to pursue something valuable. If I am willing to invest in making a necessary and positive change to what I give head space to, then surely that will be of benefit to those closest to me.

I'm choosing to take time out to discover how to focus my thoughts so that when they become anxious or unhelpful, I can change the direction of those thoughts to a place that is more peaceful or positive. When I find myself fixing on lies, I hope to be so secure in the truth that I can trample out the lies. I'm choosing to give effort and determination because I would like to find myself in a better space.

There is a verse in the Bible that talks of being rescued and brought into a spacious place. A place that is safe and where there is delight and there is joy. This is what I hope for my head space! That I will be resolute as I journey to the place of safety and truth. I will be bold as I take each step to filling my head with brighter things and that eventually I will be running into that spacious place to grasp hold of that truth...that is where I hope my head will be at!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

It's Not About Me!

Walking into the supermarket, I straight away noticed the vast array of Valentine’s Cards. I turned away not wanting to see them. In my head, I’m telling myself that it’s only for a couple of weeks and then they will be gone.

I obviously spend far too much time in supermarkets, as it was when I was in another supermarket, again the first thing I took notice of was the stand of Valentine’s Cards, yet this time it did not feel so bad.

Surely it is good that people want to celebrate their love for each other or secretly declare their love for a special someone. So, I told myself off! It’s not about me! Why shouldn’t people be able to take the time to show someone else that they are loved.

In giving myself a talking to, I began to see things a bit differently - instead of wanting Valentine’s Day to quickly come and go, I could take the time to show someone that they are loved.
Then, I realised something really quite wonderful! If Valentine’s Day is about celebrating the people I love, actually, I could send quite a few Valentine’s cards! How great was that feeling?! How very blessed am I to have more than one person to whom I could send a card.

However, I’ve settled on sending just 3! By putting the grumpiness that I initially felt to one side, I give myself the opportunity to pour some love into someone else’s life.

I know how amazing I feel when someone shows me that I am loved and this Valentine’s Day, I am determined to pass that feeling on.

Often I am overwhelmed by the love that others show me, through their words or through their deeds. Although the greatest love I am shown is by the One who holds me. The safety and security I find in this Love that never lets go, never gives up and is given to me without condition enables me to love others. To know that I am loved so much that my name is written on God’s hands. I am significant enough to find my name engraved on the palm of His hands.

That blows me away! Why me? Why not me! As I stand covered by that love, I choose to share that love. As I send my 3 cards tomorrow I hope that I can use my words to convey how very much my precious 3 are loved. They too are significant enough to have their names written on the palm of His hands.

 I am choosing to put the grumpiness to one side and to make the day about love. A generous, crazy, extravagant, you first, kind of love. It’s not about me – it is about them and I hope that by the end of the day I will have trod better steps which have demonstrated that.
And that I will continue to do the same as each new day comes.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018


Another beautiful sunrise. 

Is it just a coincidence that for three days in the space of less than a week, I have been outside at just the right time to see a glorious, coloured sky? I do not think that it is. 

Is it just a coincidence that I felt that I should title my blog as I have? No, I do not think that it was.

God knew that I would need to hold on to the truth which is that with every sun, comes a new day. 

The rest of the quote talks of being hopeful for that better day and I am so grateful that I rarely find myself hoping for that better day. Instead most days, I am thankful for the day that I find myself treading. 

However this past week I have very much needed the reminder that each day is brand new. 

"...and remembering, I keep a grip on hope, God's loyal love...created new every morning."
Lamentations 3:21-23(The Message)

I found myself at a place where as I looked ahead to the coming days, I felt completely overwhelmed and unsure of how I would cope. 

Then came a reminder of the simple truth - one day at a time, that is all I need to do. All I need to concern myself with is the day ahead. I do not need to let my thoughts run ahead because when I do I worry and become anxious and I can crumble. 

So I set my thoughts on a different path and reminded myself that it was not about 'days'. When I started to feel overwhelmed, I chose to pause and reset my thoughts to the 'day'. 

What a wonderful difference it made. Taking each new day as it came and not rushing ahead to tomorrow or the day after or even the day after that, enabled me to focus on the moment I found myself in. Enjoying the day for what it was rather than what it was not. 
I began the day being grateful for a new day and at the end of the day I could then be thankful for all that was done. 

So, tomorrow will come, bringing with it a new day. I think the rain clouds might replace a bright, brilliant sunrise, however the truth will still be there...
                                                                                   ...just today.