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.

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 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 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.  

25 days of Beauty Wonder. Advent Calendar Day 13

A chocolate eye pencil.  Oh how delicious!  I didn’t get much of a chance to savour it though as mini-me immediately ran off clutching it tightly!  I glanced back at her in the car half an hour later and her eye make up made her look so much older than I wanted her to. (‘Stay a child – forever!  Stop growing up!’)

But time moves on.  A line is drawn under her pre-teen years.  She will continue to flourish and grow and eventually take off with the wings that we’ve given her but that’s another blog for another day!

  

As for the product, it’s smooth, creamy, a GORGEOUS colour and produces a long lasting line – just what it says on the pencil. Highly recommended and a wonderful little treat for day 13.  

 
‘Underline your beauty’ it says on the nifty little door.  I needed this reminder.  There are some areas of our lives we just need to draw a big, fat, chocolate line under! 

Move on. 

Forgive ourselves.  Oh, that’s so difficult!  

  

But the message is clear cut and simple straight from the heart of our Father.
  

I struggle so much to draw a line under my ‘stuff’.  If you came to me for counsel in this area though I’d have no trouble at all advising you!  I can extend grace and kindness in abundance to others but not to me!! 

 

I can imagine if I were talking to me about forgiveness.   I’d sit myself down, cup my face in my hands and look deep into my guilt ridden and hurting eyes.  ‘Forgive yourself dear child.  Jesus paid the ultimate price for all your sins, your mistakes, your failings. You don’t have to punish yourself anymore.  Be kind to yourself.  IT IS FINISHED!’  

  

I can share the truth with others but  I’m very adept at applying an ‘exclusion’ law to me!  

So I’m on a journey.  Father leads me on it and my hand is in his.  Daily I ask him to enable me to receive more and more of his love and daily he delights in giving it to me.  Join me on this journey of forgiveness and FREEDOM and I promise you that your life will never be the same again.

    

25 Days of Beauty Wonders. Advent Calendar Day 12

‘Perfect Pink Pout’ the door declares!  It can take quite a while to achieve the Perfect Pucker but BB lips No7 Beautiful Balm is the ideal kissy companion!   

  

Giving the tube a delicate squeeze, I find ointment that glides on gladly, giving a glossy, ever so subtle pink tint on my lips.  It’s shiny, it’s moisturising and it’s lasting.  Almost perfect.  But not quite!  What puts me off this product, is the taste.  It is distinctly ‘suncreamy’ and my mouth fills with the savour of SPF.  It is very honourable of No7 to consider our lips in the blazing sunshine but it definitely leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. Pun intended!  

  

There are days when nothing seems right.  The lip balm taste is just the tip of the iceberg.  My attitude, my mood, my mothering ‘skill’s, my connection with hubby…I never do it good enough!   Almost perfect but the clipboard is out and the checklist is very long!  Why can’t all the boxes be ticked for once?  Why can’t I just be different, better…

  

Today, as I lay in a dark room, I cried out to Father and he answered me saying, ‘I’m closer than your breath.  I’m loving you here, now, in this moment.’ I heard him clearly and lovingly and I listened. The self-critical voices were drowned out as I meditated on what he had just spoken to me.  The truth in his words gave me the strength I needed, right there and then, to carry on, accepting my imperfections, knowing that he loves as I am. Now.

  

He’s closer than your breath; Come to him.

25 days of Beauty Wonders. Advent Calendar Day 11

Scrub up!  That was the instruction on today’s little door number 11 of the Boots Advent Calendar!  Coming from the medical profession, that term means a whole lot more to me than No7 intends!   

To truly scrub up you have to use several drops of scrub solution, work up a heavy lather and then wash the hands and arms to the elbows.  The fingernails need to be very well scrubbed and a bristled brush must be used to full effect. Do all you can to ensure that the ‘surgical field’ is a sterile area, free from any microorganisms.   

 

Now thankfully No7 don’t want us to go to that extreme with their little product!  Unlike medical scrub solution, the Beautiful Skin Perfecting Body Polish smells subtlely flowery and delicate.  Once tried and tested, the fragrance lingers, enticing me to apply the matching Beautiful Body Butter mentioned on the back of the polish.  (Oh I hope it’s behind one of the doors yet to be opened!).  To remain smelling like a sweet petal through the day one must ALWAYS layer products!   Without a doubt, my skin smells delightful and feels noticeably softer.  Call me weird but to prove a point I’ve only ‘polished’ one side of my body – just so I can continue to notice the difference as the night wears on.  An act of true Beauty Blogger sacrifice don’t you think?!

Talking of sacrifice, it’s quite time consuming scrubbing up for surgery; and if your hands touch anything at any time, the scrub must be restarted!
I thank my Papa God that he doesn’t leave his ‘scrubbing up’ to me.  That’s not to say we don’t try though.  We feebly attempt to cleanse ourselves of our ‘yuckiness’ by ‘working up a lather.’  Perhaps by ticking boxes, like serving communion once a month in church.  Tick.  Running the teenage youth ministry on a night when we could be sitting at home watching TV – how sacrificial!  Tick.  By visiting the sick and elderly in their homes and in hospital – once a month on a rota basis.  Tick.

  

All this effort we put in, the sacrifices we make, the ‘good deeds’ we do, are futile.   Worthless.  OUR righteousness is like filthy rags to Father.   We haven’t produced a sterile environment after all.  None of our activities and works create perfect righetousness.  It is purely and simply a work of amazing GRACE!!  And it comes by faith in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus.
In the midst of fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, self-hatred and other struggles you are facing, simply have faith that Jesus has ‘scrubbed you in’.  
  

You ARE already perfectly polished, beautiful, soft, tender and grace-full, child of God.