HOPE OVERFLOWING

stories of grace, hope and life beyond cancer


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How pausing changed my life

Yesterday, the morning dawned bright and early with a little boy who did not want to go to school anymore and a baby who was cross for no discernible reason. My big boy had decided that he only wanted to attend school on the first and last day of each term and my little boy had just decided that he would be cross and so cross he was! The house was a total disaster area and as I woke up still tired after a full on few days the day loomed long and hot and sticky before me. Joel was due to be working late and I was only expecting him home at about 10pm and so as the day began I felt the misery levels rise at the prospect of a day filled with housework and crying children. Especially the crying children! They are hard to deal with for a whole day.

As I said goodbye to Joel I very ungraciously bemoaned to him what I expected my day to look like. I was angling for some sympathy and did receive some but not the bucket loads I felt I deserved! I begrudgingly waved him off at the tube station and trudged home muttering to myself about how lucky he was to be leaving the mess and the crying for a whole day.

As I got home from the school run I realised that I needed to make a choice about how this day was going to go down. I knew that I wouldn’t get through the day in any manner of which I would be proud without a reality check and an attitude adjustment. I seriously needed some perspective.

There is only one way that I know that consistently helps me find perspective and so I parked all the chores and stopped, sat and let my heart be still.

For me what that looks like is turning on some music (United Pursuit is my choice of the moment – I have put a link to my favourite of their songs below), reading some scripture and pouring my heart out in my journal or just sitting quietly and praying or letting the music wash over me.

So this is what I did. I sat on the floor, in amongst the baby biscuit crumbs and Happyland people with a small little guy crawling around and using my legs and a climbing frame and I paused. I rested and poured my heart out and let beautiful music wash over me and I read some truth and it began to restore my soul and melt my hardened heart. As I wrote and thought and prayed my perspective began to be realigned.

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I was able to give thanks for the mess in the house as it was mostly generated preparing for the funeral of Joel’s lovely Nan who passed away last week at the age of 95. Her funeral and celebration of her life had been the day before and as part of the celebration we all baked the food that she had been renowned for. The mess was as a result of honouring the life of a wonderful woman and I think that is a mess worth having!

As I paused I had some really special time with my little guy, playing next to me on the floor. And I was more able to enjoy his clinginess as it meant extra cuddles (which I don’t get as many of anymore now that he can crawl).

As I rested and stilled my heart I was able to give thanks for our lovely home and that it is filled with love and laughter.  

My perspective was truly realigned. What a sweet gift!

These times of pause are always sweet but it they are never perfect and are frequently interrupted. Most often, at this point in my life, these times happen on the floor. Sometimes they are cut short with a knock at the door or a baby that cries. Sometimes they are very short and sometimes I get the luxury of a longer pause.

But in spite of their imperfections these times are sweet and sacred and vital and they are without a doubt a completely key part of my day

I have learnt to embrace the mess and the imperfection of these times and not to worry about them. In the past I would only have “quiet time” if I felt that I had enough time, could go somewhere quiet, had the correct pens for my journal etc etc. The list of restrictions I put on myself were extensive and as a result the times I had were limited and I felt frustrated if they weren’t quite right.

These days if I imposed any of these sorts of restrictions it would mean that these times would literally never happen. I now snatch them on my own or with my little ones at my feet. The housework can wait 10 minutes. It will still be there, believe me!!!

Yesterday, more than ever I was reminded of the huge value of coming away from the frenetic pace of life and pausing for a few minutes with God. It is a beautiful, humbling and perspective altering choice and it can truly transform the shape and trajectory of each day.

What a beautiful thing to begin the day with a thankful heart and a peaceful soul and it is my prayer that even in the chaos and mess of life that we all make moments to be still, to allow our souls to be restored and to rest with Him each day.

 

 


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The slowest race ever!

Last week we attended an under 5s event in a local park, called the Teddy Bear’s picnic. Jonty was excited to go and took his much loved (read much chewed) Pooh Bear along with him. There were lots of crafts, puppet shows and a story time, but the highlight for me were the teddy races. The children were divided into their age groups, given a toy buggy to put their teddy in and lined up on the starting blocks (or in this case hula hoops).

As Jonty lined up with the other 2 year olds Joel gave him a man-to-man pep talk. He explained the route and encouraged him to run as fast as his little legs would take him. Jonty’s Nanna was standing at the finish line cheering him on and I was on photo duty…

Soon he was under starters orders… Ready, steady, go! All the other children charged towards the finish line, but not Jonty. He was having none of it! He first observed what was going on around him and when he was good and ready he took a leisurely stroll to the end of the race.

Of course he came stone last, but that didn’t phase him at all! He wasn’t worried about where anyone else was. He was too busy enjoying the novelty of pushing Pooh Bear in that buggy and he strolled across that course with the biggest smile on his face!

On reflection, I think there is a great lesson for me in Jonty’s leisurely stroll… I think that sometimes (ok often) I am so busy trying to achieve something, to cross the finish line, to juggle a whole lot of things, to keep up with those around me that I completely forget to enjoy the moment, to just be who I was made to be and to cherish what I have in my hands now (even if that is just a toy buggy with a teddy strapped in).

I hope that Jonty’s slowest race ever reminds you of this too! (now if I can just keep this perspective in school sports days! 😉 ) Here are some pictures of the pep talk and the race!

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