Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Playing with Marbles

All good gifts

My lovely blogging friend Miriam has just published a list of gifts: things that she is blessed by in her everyday life, and for which she is thankful... So far she has 400 gifts on there, and she aims to continue to add to her list, with the idea that she will reach the 1000-mark before too long (although I get the feeling that she intends to carry on after that, and turn this exercise into a daily discipline...).

The list makes for delightlful reading in itself, and brought a smile to my face many a time! But more than that, after reading it, it had the effect of making me look at every little detail of my life with fresh, grateful eyes. I found myself saying 'thank you' for milk, flour, butter and my balloon whisk as I was making a white sauce for last night's meal. I found my heart swelling at the thought of the countless things I could put on my own list, and at the realisation that I am truly blessed!

Those who know me intimately know that I have a nasty tendency to dwell on the negative, and to wallow in self-pity. I am not proud of this and feel it is something God wants to deal with; and reading through Miriam's list was the real eye-opener as I could sense my thinking gradually shifting. Maybe this is what Paul meant when he wrote: "...be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."?!

So, inspired and indeed grateful, I shall be starting my list of thanks today.
And one day, I'll maybe share it with you all.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Wordless Wednesday: August in Italy II - Beautiful recycling

Down's Syndrome: it's really not that bad!!

As most of you know by now, our middle son Thomas has Down's Syndrome.
This is one of God's most wonderful gifts to us, and the more we discover who he is, the more he amazes us. We would not be without him, and have never resented God for giving us a child with disabilities, because our lives have been enriched and improved by him.
When we found out Tom had DS (about 2 months after his birth), we were temporarily 'floored'. I cannot deny the shock and grief we felt, and the first 48 hours after the diagnosis were very dark. But very quickly, we knew we had no choice but to embrace this as God's will, and accept that Thomas was a child 'with a difference'!

Today, after 4 1/2 years of having Tom in our lives, I am astonished, sad, and oh so angry, by the number of pregnancies terminated after a diagnosis of (potential or confirmed) Down's Syndrome ...!!

Read this:
Today, Down syndrome is considered grounds for abortion in an increasing number of countries. The number of children born with Down syndrome is decreasing due to the large number of abortions following an early diagnosis of Down syndrome during pregnancy. In a hearing before the German Parliament, doctors stated that 90% of all fetuses prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. This number is consistent with the official statistics, wherein 1500 children with Down Syndrome should, statistically, have been born per year (at a prevalence rate of 1:600), but only 63 per annum were listed in the 1995 birth register.

If only people knew more about what it is like to have a child with this condition!
It has been a significantly life-enhancing experience for me, and I would gladly have another child like him any day.

Last week I came across three blogs whose authors are Mums of little ones with DS, and at Raising Joey, I came across this: "Connie Hutzel writes about her feelings towards the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists new recommendations and being a mother to a son who has Down syndrome. Disabilities mean little in living full life by Connie Hutzel".

The article makes for a very interesting and powerful read... and says a lot of what I feel as Thomas' Mum. Do take some time to have a look.

"I can do ALL things"

This morning I woke up with one of the most excrutiating headaches I've had for a long time.

It's one of those which make you want to hit your head against a brick wall repeatedly, and then fall into bed weeping, wishing you could sleep for a week! It's one of those where you feel sick, drowsy, exhausted, where you feel your head could explode any minute.
... Basically, not the best way to start the day!!

As the morning has progressed, from noisy breakfast time to coaxing the kids into getting ready for school, I have been faced with a choice. The Lord made it very clear to me that I could either give up, wallow, complain and go to bed, ignoring everything that had to be done, and just let Mark and the kids get on with it; or I could fight it, and get on with it, with His help and in His strength, and see what would happen.

On the way back from school I suddenly found myself singing to Him 'a new song'! Yes: my own worship, my own words, my own tune, from my own heart. This has been happening more and more recently, but I never thought that I would get caught up in worship whilst in the grips of a migraine. As I started to worship, my heart began to fill with joy, and peace, and a sense that I can truly 'do all things through Him who strengthens me'.
So. My headache is still there, but it is no longer controlling me.

I wonder: what does that say to you about the power of worship??

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Random blogging thoughts - 6 months on from when it began...

Life is so good at the moment. Yet it is all too busy, and this is reflected in my lack of writing over the last few weeks... I have so much to say, and so little time to say it in!

I am really aware that recently I have relied heavily on Wordless Wednesday to tell the various stories of my daily life and the feelings they induce: my ever-growing delight in my gorgeous family; my joy and renewed hope at the arrival of spring; my longings for peace, space, solitude, warmth, and some time away from it all.

And running through it all the constant reminders of my Saviour's unfailing love and grace! His gentle, intimate, reassuring whispers: "I am with you", "I will NEVER leave you", "you are my beloved", "you are lovely and I delight in you."


I would love to be able to spend more time writing and sharing with you who read, and myself (odd though that may sound) what the Lord is teaching me, how He is growing me, and how I am impacting others with my life, as there is much to tell - although I wish there was way more!! My only niggling anxiety is that my writing isn't really up to scratch and my 'waffle' will give a very poor rendition of what I'm trying to say...

May I ask those of you who write deep and helpful things, whether you spend a lot of time thinking, praying, and writing drafts first of what you would like to share? (Or does it all come out as the 'final edition', warts and all?) And also: how do you who homeschool, find the time, the energy and the wherewithal, to post such amazing, godly and inspiring thoughts? And how do your kids let you get away with it?! How do you manage to get any uninterrupted time during the day when you can just 'ponder'? (These are honest, real questions, which I would love answers to please!! I would greatly value any thoughts and advice as I feel I have so much to learn...)

I would so like to aspire to go deeper in my thinking, and for that to be of some benefit to - well, anyone! But most of the time my brain seems to be on 'autopilot' / 'survival mode' and any great thoughts that come to me, are usually also gone again all too fleetingly!!

But I suppose this is "me", take it or leave it. I want to grow, change, develop, but not become someone I'm not. So, mostly, I am going to continue to do my best here, to be real, and speak truth, and share God's love and hope as I experience them in my life, and observe them in those around me. Anything more/ better than that will be up to Him, ultimately.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Budding Bass Players...

(my 4 boys in various bass-playing poses… Daddy is not ‘budding’, but rather pretty well accomplished when it comes to bass-playing, and is trying to pass on some bass-ic skills to the junior wibbzes - sorry couldn’t resist this awful pun :$)