Holding on to me

It was another one of those days.  Relentless stress hammered me from every corner of my life.  My chest felt so tight, my breath so short.  My hands shook uncontrollably and thoughts raced through my mind at a million miles an hour.  What if? Why? When? How? I can’t cope any more.  Not one second can I stand this pressure!  The overwhelming fear and anxiety crippled me.  Again.

I collapsed onto my bed, sobbing, lying on my back and listening to a song that had just come on my ipod.

Pieces.

I felt like my life was in Pieces but this song spoke something different to me.  As I listened, as I lay there in tears, I heard reassuring words telling me how Papa God loves….

‘Your love’s not fractured
It’s not a troubled mind
It isn’t anxious
It’s not the restless kind
Your love’s not passive
It’s never disengaged
It’s always present
It hangs on every word we say
Love keeps its promises
It keep its word
It honors what’s sacred
‘Cause its vows are good
Your love’s not broken
It’s not insecure
Your love’s not selfish
Your love is pure

I meditated.
I repeated those words to my heart and I started to believe that Papa could love me the way He was telling me.

Suddenly, as my painful world continued to spin, I saw a moving picture form in my mind.  I saw myself as Papa’s child being held tightly by his two hands as he spun me around and around lifting me off the ground. I squealed almost in fear but he spoke to me firmly and lovingly saying, ‘Just look into my eyes.  I hold your hands.  Focus on me, look at my face.  Don’t look at the world that spins chaotically around you now.  Just keep looking in my eyes of love.  It’s not your responsibility to strive to hold onto me because I hold YOU.  All you have to do is keep your eyes locked in mine and trust me.  Know that I am loving you right now.  In the middle of your storm, I am strong, reliable and you are secure in my love for you’.

It was only a few minutes of snatched time that I had in my bedroom for it was rudely interrupted by shouts of fighting downstairs.  BUT that precious, moment, that real and life changing encounter with Daddy God impressed on me that He is ALWAYS talking to us.  We just need to stop and listen.

Choose Life

How many times can a heart be broken? 

How many pieces can it be shattered into? 

Even when you mend it with liquid gold it still feels bruised, heavy and blue. 

How many mountains are ahead on the pathway? 

How many valleys loom large and deep? 

Even though you carry my tired, weary body I can’t help but helplessly weep. 

Questions, they plague me. 

Answers elude me. 

Blame tries to find me. 

Guilt sets upon me.  

Love has abandoned me. 

Hope hides its face. 

Trust drowned with dreams in that nightmarish place. 

BUT.  

There has to be a but. 

But God. Father. Daddy. Papa. Abba. 

Your barely audible name slips from my mouth and dares to bring life. I have no choice but to die….or choose life. Enable me to choose Hope. Love. Peace. Calm. Rest. Enable me to choose to do life. With you. Daddy. 

The world stopped spinning…

The world stopped spinning today! It really, actually did.
My world. I was sitting amidst the pandemonium that is ‘after school home works, snacks and chats’ and all of a sudden everything around me seemed quieter and dulled and the words of a song pierced my soul. I’d never ‘heard’ this song before yet I’ve listened to it a hundred times. Father God spoke to me. 

Clearly. 

Succinctly. 

I heard his voice through the words of the song and I immediately penned a response. 

I couldn’t tell you now what song it was and perhaps I’ll never know for it was my unique moment in time when my daddy stopped the world from spinning just for me. Just to tell me, that he is loving me. 

Right now. 

Here. 

In the chaos, in the mystery, in life. 


In this moment the chaos ceases,

My world stops and I go to pieces.

Your voice burns into my heart, 

as you tell me it’s ok to fall apart.

My baby steps are gigantic leaps,

leading into your unending peace. 

You pause my day,  just to tell me

that we’re in love, so deeply.

The creator of life serenades me,

a love song so melodic and sweet,

so strong and piercing I cannot deny

It reaches deep inside my sighs. 

The moment passes, I move on

but the words you spoke are never gone. 



Zephaniah 3:17

For the Lord your God is living among you.

He is a mighty saviour.

He will take delight in you with gladness.

 With his love, he will calm all your fears.

He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

  

25 Days of Beauty Wonder. Advent Calendar Day 21

Luxurious volume from root to tip. 

  

That’s a weighty promise and one that will have to wait to be fulfilled!!  Behind door 21 lay a full sized mascara, ‘Extravagant Volume, waterproof’.  But I’m not going to open it!!  I’m not even tempted.  It would be wasteful as I have a mascara open already and once opened it needs to be used up within 6 months.   I don’t know how it will possibly compete with my current product!  I’m loving Benefit’s ‘They’re Real’.  If you haven’t tried it, TREAT yourself, you won’t be disappointed! 

Christmas is four sleeps away and as I place the mascara in my Christmas tree to be photographed I am filled with a sense of pleasure and horror all at once.  I love my tree decorations.  Each ornament is glass, sparkly, silver and beautiful.  BUT my youngest child was playing too near it this afternoon and the whole thing came tumbling down. Now, it is a mess. Tinsel awry, lights loosely hanging, baubles in a pool on the floor and a missing star.  Nothing where it ‘should’ be…according to me!  I was going out tonight to meet a friend and I suggested to my family that they might want to fix the tree up a little whilst I was gone.  My suggestion was met with blank looks. ‘Nothing much wrong with it’ apparently.  I find this incredibly hard to digest.  And yet as much as it annoys me it reminds me of an amazing part of the story ‘The Shack’.  

 

The main character Mackenzie toils for hours in a garden with lovely Sarayu. They dig, snip, shovel, untangle and clear and when they finish it seems to Mac like there is so much more to be done.  He stands back and declares that although beautiful, the garden really is a mess. Sarayu explains that the garden is his soul and while they have been working relentlessly with each other, there has been a wondreful purpose. His soul is a wild chaos in colour. Confusing, stunning and incredibly beautiful is Mac’s heart. And mine.  And yours too! 

‘To you it seems a mess, but to me, I see a perfect pattern emerging and growing and alive-a living fractal’

My once beautiful tree, with no7 mascara in it, is without doubt a mess but instead of allowing my inherited OCD tendencies to rise up, I choose now to see it as a picture of how father sees me…….an incredibly, delightful, chaotic fractal that he loves to spend time in.  Wild, growing and alive.  Thank god I’m alive!

I go to bed now knowing that I am a mess, but a beautiful one.    

 

25 Days of Beauty Wonder. Advent Calendar Day 20

  

Gold eyelash curlers?!
Wow, No7 really surpassed themselves this morning!
There’s no doubt about it, these bad boys WORK, giving instant product gratification! After using them, my lashes were beautifully curved, appearing lengthened and opening up the eyes.  Mascara was swiftly applied and the fate of the lashes sealed! The shape held throughout the day and I was impressed with No7 once again! I’d forgotten how effective eyelash curlers were and years ago had tossed them aside; but now, these gold tools lie snugly in my daily make up bag!  

The statement on today’s advent door is ‘Ready, Set, Curl‘ and whilst I did that very successfully I couldn’t help thinking about the times I have just wanted to ‘Curl up and die’, maybe because of a deep discouragement or hurt.  Anyone who hasn’t experienced discouragement isn’t human!  At times we can feel like this because we are worn out or struggling with an illness. Sometimes it’s because we are too idealistic and we have expectations that can’t be met.  

Often we plunge ourselves into activities that we think will bring us fulfilment: sports, careers, drugs, adultery are some traps we fall into. Painfully these only compound our discouragement and depression.  

 

Psalm 23 (Passion Translation) never fails to lift me from discouragement. 

‘¹God is my Fierce Protector and my Pastor. I always have more than enough. ²He offers a resting place for me in His luxurious love.  His tracks take me to the quiet brooks of bliss, the oasis of peace.  ³That’s where He restores and revives my life.’

Read the rest here.  

In my discouragement father offers me a resting place in his luxurious love. He promises bliss and peace.

As I meditate on his precious life giving words my discouragement begins to melt. He loves me and he revives my life. Renewed, I declare I don’t want to curl up and die…I want to live. Loved.  

 

25 Days of Beauty Wonder. Advent Calendar Day 19

Day 19!

The countdown to the big day continues!  With only 6 more sleeps to go the excitement is building in our house!!

Behind door 19,  No7 gifts me with a small neutral eye shadow.  Subtly shimmery, this tiny treat lends itself quite nicely to my snatched seconds of preparation before heading out with hubster and friends tonight. Showered and moisturised my naked face awaits, a blank canvas.  First, a creamy base coat on my eyes, followed by an all over light dusting of my new eye colour.  It provides satisfying coverage and that all important Christmas SHIMMER!  Perfect for partying!  

7 hours later (1am and more than a little jaded from the night’s activities!) and lo and behold, I award the product a great 10/10!  Coverage complete and shimmer is still there!  My eyelids look like they did at 6pm when I first transformed them from tired mummy eyes to glittery ‘go get ’em eyes!   I’m well impressed and No7 get the thumbs up before I collapse into bed!  

Nude Eye make up pallets have boomed in popularity this year .  My daughter’s Christmas list certainly reflects that!!   ‘Surely one pallet will do?’ I question her, only to be given ‘the look’ that says ‘DON’T be ridiculous mummy!! You can never have enough pallets!!!’One pallet, with 40 shades of NUDE bewilders me but there again I’m no expert eye artist!  

Nude is a very vulnerable state to be in. Whether it be physically, emotionally or spiritually…being naked involves strength, courage and trust. If you’ve been abused and taken advantage of in the past then being naked can be torture, trusting others too scary to attempt, opening your heart too risky.  

Emotional nakedness…allow yourself to be YOU!  Remove the make up mask and reveal the beauty of your rawness.  Strip back the charade.  Can you?   Would you?  Are you trapped outside of relationship, love and freedom while others inside make merry, eat, drink and share their lives with each other.  Are you ‘yourself’ when out with friends?  Or does your past imprison you?  

 
What stops you being vulnerable, honest and naked?  My nude little eyeshadow prompted many questions in my heart tonight.  At the end of the day, if you can’t be honest with your friends then they’re not truly your friends. (A wise man told me that last week and not one from a nativity play!) 

Choose wisely dear ones, and make Father the keeper of your heart.  Appreciate and trust your genuine friends because they’re few and far between but they’re God given. 💜

There’s a friend that is closer than a brother.  Embrace him today and ask him to enable you to love the person in the mirror and live loved.  

25 Days of Beauty Wonder. Advent Calendar Day 18

Eyes…unique, revealing, mysterious and so much fun to experiment with!  Transformations ARE possible with the delightful Stay Perfect black eyeliner found behind today’s number 18 door.  

This pocket pencil is perfect for lines, smoking smudges and flicks.  It’s soft but when sharpened, it delivers a precise, smooth line.  It glides on easily, no lumps or scratches and not dragging your fragile skin!  More importantly, if you mess up, it is swiftly removed and reapplied with ease. 

 

‘Only 1 week to go’ the No7 door reminds me!!!   One of my plans over the holidays is to sit with my mini-me in front of YouTube tutorials and perfect our wings!  I struggle more than she, (must be age!) but am I the only one who can never get my flicks angled accurately???  I’ve tried every trick that I know, including the dreaded sellotape sweep. Why would I put myself through that?!!  Wings and flicks can be as dramatic or demure as you desire but just make sure they are symmetrical. My motto is, no wings are better than bent wings!  If in doubt grab that cotton wool pad and just get it off!  Go for a smokey eye with some sparkle instead and you’re destined to dazzle!

  

At this time of year there’s SO much for our eyes to drink in!  Sights and sounds of seasonal celebrations surround me and I’m grateful that I can see the real reason for the season.  My Father is the source of my life and he’s where my help comes from as Psalm 121 so gorgeously puts it.   

 

I’m aware of some though, who need a little bit of extra help at this time of year.  For them it’s not all ‘Joy to the world’.   I chatted to a friend today about what it’s like to be depressed, anxious and overwhelmed at Christmas.  I asked her ‘What do you see?’

‘When I gaze at the world it’s as if there’s a filter on.   Not one that airbrushes people so they look their best but one that makes everything grey.  The colour is stolen and my joy robbed
.  When I go out I sense panic and unsurity.  I can’t make simple decisions and I just stand there breathing rapidly and heading into palpitations, my head spinning, longing to be at home but knowing I need to do this for my family.

  

I feel like a little girl holding a beautiful snow globe. I gaze at it, while inside people are laughing, playing and singing.  I hear nothing though.  My face is pressed up against the cool glass and I feel numb (yet full of agony at the same time).  Nothing feels real except the pain inside me, the tightness of my chest and the panic in my mind.  Medication has pushed the suicidal feelings aside for now but I’m waiting for life to be resumed.  I live outside the globe in my silent sorrow.  I function from there and I’m the ultimate Hollywood actress – putting on a front so no one knows the awful reality that is my constant, relentless life.    



I long for Christmas to be over so I don’t have to cope with people needing me, expecting me to smile and wanting me to laugh.’

How my heart aches when I read that, yet so many people suffer!  Let’s pray for our friends.  Let’s look at them with fresh eyes (wings or not!) and have empathy and compassion for those who struggle with mental illnesses. Like Diabetes, it affects them every day and they need a little more warmth and TLC  than some others.
Enable them father to look to you for help. Enable them to reach out to you, to feel your kiss, your love, your joy and peace.  Meet them in their prisons and free them, making your love a reality in their lives.