21/12/2012

A Change at Christmas*

Posted in Encouragement, Family, General, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:17 am by The Water Bearer

He came

In a panicked tone I say to my 7yr old daughter. “Put that down, don’t touch, you will break something!” I’m holding up a canvas with a painted flower on it, rocking the pram cradling my sleeping baby, with my other hand. My head is spinning, my chest is tight, and my heart racing as I hurriedly try to finish off my Christmas shopping. All the requirements to survive Christmas in an acceptable manner hang heavily over my head, but I’m not paying enough attention to notice how heavy they are. I am completely lost in the whirlwind of meeting everyone’s expectations and the ticking clock. I believe I am capable, I know if I push myself really hard I can outrun any possible guilt of failing to impress.

A million questions buzz around the racetrack in my mind, it’s anybody’s guess which one I will ponder long enough to be satisfied with the answer… if at all. ‘What do people really want for Christmas?’ ‘How can the gift appear worth something without blowing the budget?’ ‘What haven’t they already got?’ ‘Maybe I could make something?’ What if I run out of time and don’t finish it?’, ‘What if it’s not good enough?’, ‘What if I’m not good enough?’ ‘What if I ruin the meal and everyone will be left unsatisfied?’  ‘What if it falls apart and my facade drops and the quivering failure inside is revealed for all to see?’ ….

“I will just keep going, I have no choice, I will push harder, I won’t fail”… I will just smile and make it feel like a Merry Christmas!

That was me before my car accident…. There were moments I let myself enjoy the company of family and friends, of gifts and carols. There were times of joy, only they were tainted with deep insecurity that creeped it’s way into so many areas of my life.

After my accident I spent the next few Christmases, trying to stay sane inside a mind that didn’t want to play fair, trying desperately to resist the list of unmet expectations. I spent those years numb and defensive against the world with it’s mountain of pressure, which I could no longer push myself to climb. I clung frantically to my faith, begging the Lord to drag me out of bed and into the Christmas spirit. I was crumbling under constant migraines, anxiety, exhaustion, shoulder pain and self-condemnation, drowning in a sea of judgement and depression. Eventually I withdrew, I folded into the smallest version of myself, hoping I could fly under the radar so that no one would notice how useless I was. I took Valium and I slept….a lot.

To add insult to injury, smack bang in the middle of a grueling compensation law suit, and right before Christmas, my Dad lost his battle with cancer. He hadn’t been sick long enough for us to be truly prepared. We knew it would be quick, but even though we thought we were ready, we were kidding ourselves. So many chapters of the book left open and only half read. It sent shock waves through the family and I drowned my sorrows at a wake that lasted for weeks. The weight of his passing distracted me from finding true Christmas joy, so I fed it Vodka and sang carols loudly to the Lord, and I took photos of children opening gifts, like any good Mummy does. Each year has gotten a little easier, yet still carries a sense of dread.

And so here we are…. Has a change really come?…

This is the first Christmas since I began blogging, and the therapeutic evidence it has had over me is overflowing into my life. I have had a number of breakthroughs and a strange sense of peace surrounds me this year. I don’t feel as burdened with the grief of Dad’s passing because I feel him with me so much more since I began sharing our history with others online. I arranged all the extended family’s presents and sent them off early this month. I have taken some extra time off work so I can just relax with my girls and am looking forward to their company of cuddles and conversation. I don’t feel overwhelmed by the back-to-back gatherings and actually feel present rather than distracted, which is becoming a more regular, blessed experience for me.

Christmas has developed a reputation of chaos and anguish, at a time of year when a light might shine on forgiveness, love, acceptance and peace. There are going to be times when these things are overlooked, yet it is possible to discover a change at Christmas, the closer we get to our true selves and learn to put the expectations aside, to strip back the hoopla and reflect on the birth of our King.

I send up prayers for all to experience some peace on earth this Christmas, to focus on being present rather than getting presents, and to feel truly grateful and blessed for the gift of Christ to us, a gift of salvation to a world in desperate need of saving.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful  Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Peace of Christmas

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14/05/2012

A Grieving Heart**

Posted in Encouragement, Family, Finding Faith, Musings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:42 pm by The Water Bearer

Until the passing of my Dad from cancer a couple of years ago I had not previously suffered the loss of anyone who was extremely close to my heart. It was such a shock to my inner spirit, even though I consciously knew it was coming, I had no idea how I would handle the grief of such a loss.

He was the most spiritually-powerful person in my life who would fervently pray for me when I was too deep in my own weakness to pray for myself, which of course was when I needed it the most. He was my mentor, my confidant and my friend and the hole he left in my life is proving to be extremely hard to fill.

I guess I am lucky in the sense that he helped me to build such intensely strong beliefs, and somewhat of an understanding of the spiritual realm, I truly believe to my core that I will be with him for eternity when I too leave this physical realm. He has left reverberations throughout my spirit so that I can hear his voice from time to time, sometimes I dream vivid dreams where I am spending time with him, it’s almost like I get a nights holiday to visit him in that place where time and gravity does not exist. Sometimes I get a sign specifically relating to him and a memory which I believe he wants me to remember and to apply to a current situation, a bit like advice from beyond.

Yet I miss him dearly, it is strange that life just goes on without someone. I remember that first day when I woke up without feeling the weight of his death on my chest, when it wasn’t the first thing to float into my conscious mind from the distant sleep I was emerging from, it was scary, like I was forgetting that he was gone, and thinking he was just at his house waiting for me to visit. Then something would happen, I would hear a song, or see a picture, perhaps find a piece of paper with his unique handwriting on it, and it would hit me all over again like a punch to my stomach and a tear to my eye. He is really gone!

Recently I had a friend share with me her pain and confusion at the loss of her own father, quite simply the anger she feels at how unfair it was for him to be taken from her and in a way she could not fathom he deserved. It is so hard for our carnal human minds to comprehend all that is going on in the universe. I have had many experiences and interactions with the spiritual realm and yet my mind still has trouble grasping for the tangible reality of it. I feel a sense of duty to try and bring my friend some comfort and perhaps perspective in the midst of her pain. I am praying about it as I write this, asking for the Lord to give me the words to explain why these things are part of a plan we cannot yet see the final design of.

I believe this place is merely a stage for us to perform a role upon; a place to act out all mannerisms of human nature to develop our character and qualify for the position we will take up permanently in the next place. A temporary stepping stone in the midst of a more permanent yet spiritual world. If you can imagine a sphere similar to earth’s atmosphere, and picture it as a parallel universe where all the mysteries of life are no longer hidden from our human sight or understanding. Then take a paper thin layer and place it around the sphere, this layer represents the physical realm. It is connected to, but also separate from the spiritual realm. The physical realm is only a tiny element of the universe in its entirety, full of limitations yet vital to our personal journey. If you lay eternity out in a timeline form with no beginning and no end, imagine how tiny the blip of a human lifetime would be! A mere 70-80 years more or less is nothing compared to the infinite existence of the spiritual platform. So why does it feel like it goes on forever and then ends abruptly and somewhat finitely? As we grow older, we usually grow more distant and cynical in connection to the spiritual realm. This place is all we can see and touch,it can harden our minds and can prevent openness to unknown things. There are a chosen few who have a heightened sensitivity to all things spiritual, a bit like having a few extra radio stations than is widely available. (I believe this metaphor gives a basic way to shed some light on people such as psychics, mediums, paranormal investigators etc.) It is just as common as someone with an extra special gift for mathematical equations, science, or perhaps medicine, an extra level of awareness in a particular field is all.

We are not meant to stay here, this life is hard, full of aging disabilities, poor health, worries, disappointments, heartaches and unmet expectations. The sooner we are taken to the next place the sooner we must be needed in our next and permanent role. The butterfly effect from any life-force here is evident to some more than others; that those touched by a life, no matter how long or short that life may be, are caught up the universes unfolding design. The feelings and experiences brought about by connection to a life or the loss of it are essential to the development of the people they connected with.

Of course there are many, many wonderful and joyful things to experience here as well, I am not a pessimist by any means, I believe there are elements of both heaven and hell on earth to help us discern the path we choose and give us a taste of what is to come. We are not meant to understand everything yet, that is why it is called faith. Faith – meaning trust, confidence, and reliance.

WOW! Praise the LORD! As I sit editing this, I’m hoping it will be easy to follow and comprehend, hoping it will help, suddenly a Christian lady whom I work with walks in and hands me a book. She has no idea of what I am writing about, yet I sense the spirit world using her to give me the nudge I need to trust my words.

The book is a true story titled – “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent …… Here is a link to see an interview with Colton Burpo now 11years old –   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhT36Dizo2s&feature=related  

The back cover reads:
“Do you remember the hospital Colton?” Sonja said. “Yes, Mommy, I remember,” He said “That’s where the angels sang to me.”
When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed – a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.
Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery – and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.
With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how ‘really, really big‘ God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton’s uniquely simple words, Heaven is for Real offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”
Heaven is for real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.
“A beautifully written glimpse into heaven that will encourage those who doubt and thrill those who believe.” – Ron Hall, co-author of Same kind of difference as me.

I have not yet read this book, however what I have shared here gave me chills over my entire body as I read it. I thanked my work friend with a hug and a tear in my eye, I’m not sure if she knows how much I appreciate that she was used by angels to confirm to me all that I have written here. I feel I had no choice but to tack it onto the bottom of this blog, and I can’t wait to get reading this book!

24/04/2012

Somedays*

Posted in Family, Finding Faith, General, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , at 12:07 pm by The Water Bearer

I have been tossing a few blogs around trying feel the compulsion to post one of them, I have a few in the pipeline but didn’t feel any of them set the scene quite right.

While folding some washing, listening to my favourite Aussie folk band The Waifs, their fabulous new album aptly named – Temptation, I was pulled into the lyrics of the song titled “Somedays”. I believe that it sums up the feeling of Inner Angels & Enemies perfectly. And while I have not personally entered into an actual 12 step program so far in my life, I can relate to addiction and therapy. The lyrics struck chords in my heart so immensely that I felt I needed to share them. I dedicate this song and blog to my Daddy, who I still miss everyday.

Some days, are just like this

Some days I can’t get my arse out of bed

Some days just drag on and on and on

And one day can feel like a whole lifetime;

Some days I feel like God himself is smiling down upon me

Some days I swear to God the devils got my soul

Some days I fall to that darkness

Some days I crawl from that hole;

Some days I just want to ditch my responsibilities

Leave behind dirty dishes, dirty floors

I got friends and family who love me well, still

Some days I gotta ask what the hell’s it all for;

Some days I just want to walk into the wilderness

The solitude puts my mind at ease

I figure God lives out there somewhere

Some days I need something to believe;

Some days I’m leaning on my twelve step program

Meetings and testimony get me through

Most days I’ve got a drink in my hand, because

Most days I can’t stop thinking about you;

Some days are like this

I’m dragging my feet on the ground

Some days feel like lost time

These are the days

I wish you were still around;

Click below to listen to a live version 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UriP4_wOMXs&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLF9609C929DC11AF8

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