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.

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We’re all nuts!

I actually felt sad when I saw these discounted nuts on the shelves of my local store!  

Holland and Barrett may devalue their broken nuts but the truth is those bashed almonds and cashews make just a rich a butter as their ‘seemingly perfect’ counterparts and I buy them in a heartbeat, knowing just that! Those nuts make an amazing cake, mouth melting nutty nuggets and as they’re already broken that’s half the job done. Result!  

 

I think we can all identify with those nuts! We’ve all experienced being discounted. People in our lives thoughtlessly throw us to the side when we are what they deem to be ‘less than perfect’.  

Not the ideal size or shape? Below ‘average’ intellectual ability? Not suited to the job?  

Whose standards do we measure ourselves against anyway? Holland and Barretts? Or maybe Willy Wonka’s?!  If we aren’t a good nut in the eyes of the discerning squirrels then we must be bad.   And therefore discarded.  

 

Discounted.  And sold off cheaply.   

Alas, those of us who believe that we are broken and bashed, live out of that place.  We allow our self esteem to be dictated by the squirrels of this world.  We feel cheap. Worthless. Used. 

 

Plenty of judgemental squirrels run riot in my head on a daily basis but what IF I chose to listen to my Papa. What does he say about my brokenness?  

Psalm 51 says he doesn’t despise a broken heart, he is in fact close to it. (Psalm 34)  

 

My brokenness isn’t repelling to him…it is appealing.  His finished work on the cross makes my brokenness exquisite.   

My ashes beautiful. (Isaiah 61)  My life priceless.  I have within me the sweet smelling fragrance that came out of the broken alabaster jar in Mark 14. Wow!

 
 

My brokenness is beautiful.  And so is yours. 

Holland and Barrett have got it all wrong. They should be charging more for their ‘broken’ priceless, beautiful nuts.  

  

Happy New Year?

A message from a friend reminds me that not everyone is experiencing a Happy New Year. Spare a thought for those suffering and for all those being brave. 
 

Here is how she feels….

‘In case you don’t feel like a Happy New Year, know you’re not alone and that I am here. 

For me a new digit just brings me distress,

To know another year of anxiety and mess,

Another month to mark the memorable time,

when I feel like I lost all that is mine.

When my depression made itself so comfy at home,

And surrounded by people I am constantly alone. 

When the struggle continues, another year looms, 

To limp through, to stumble, to open new wounds.  

The hope of New Year means nothing to me, the promise of peace is only a dream. 

And so goodbye old year, to you I do wave, here’s to another year of #beingbrave ‘

  

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 7

It’s day No7 and when mini-me and I prised open the aptly named door and RED nail varnish leapt out, both of us squealed in delight!  We’ll be fighting over this treat, for sure!
I LOVE the No7 nails varnishes and am not ashamed to admit I have more than a few of them.  At least 20 but in my defense, the Boots vouchers that are periodically released are solely to blame for my collection!!!  With £3 off, these varnishes can be snapped up at an irresistible price of just £4!  It would be a sin NOT to buy them, I’m sure you’d agree?!

 Apart from cost, there is a vast array of fashionable colours (Vivid Violet and Persian Blue being my most recent purchases).  There truly is a colour for every phase and season you are going through. This morning’s treat has been named RED and it’s an ever so slightly pinkier based version of Devil’s Delight.  A timely Christmas colour which I may just try out tomorrow night at an event I’m singing at! (Soooo excited!!)
The brushes in these bottles are soft, spreadable and of good quality; three steady strokes (middle, right and left) and one nail is coated. I usually apply 2 coats for the desired shade but 1 will do if you’re in a hurry! If you want to factor in a base and top coat then you will need all evening to let the 3 or 4 layers dry! I’m certainly not a ‘sit all day and let my nails dry’ type of girl.  It’s more like, ‘let’s paint and go’ and hope that 5 minutes later it’s chip proof!

Why do I love nail varnish?  There’s just something invigorating about glancing down at my hands and feeling brightened by the colour on my nails!  I feel ‘finished’, my outfit complete and my personality expressed through the colour I’ve chosen that day.   Don’t judge me! Everyone has something that brings them life!

As I drove to see a friend this morning I mused Deuteronomy 30 verse 19 over in my head yet again. Father God urges us to CHOOSE life and daily we have opportunity to do this…or to do the very opposite.

It’s only recently as I’ve started to untangle a few of the religious rules binding me, that I’m identifying what fills me with joy and brings me life.  Outside of my family, I thrive on music and singing, dancing, colours and creative writing.  My Father God has given me these gifts to make me smile and to draw me closer into him. 

They are part of his heart, they are him, his creativity, which lives in me and magnifies his presence all around me!  His longing for me, is to know him loving me in every minute of every day.  Here.  Right now…as the trinity live in relationship with each other.
Today through a sharp and striking RED I thank him for colour which expresses his vigour, vividness and depth of love for me. I ask him to enable me to choose life and to live loved.

Deuteronomy 30 verse 19:  

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live