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mumofallthings

"she is clothed in strength and dignity"

Broccoli

grace becomes tangible when love is optional.

What do I mean by that?

Well. Its easy to extend grace to my children – they are my children; my heart and mind are designed to forgive them.

to see past their faults,

to see beyond their emotions and makes me hard wired – to see their truth.

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Sometimes its not ‘just broccoli’ (bear with me here and ill explain that!)

Grace is expected.

grace can be demanded

grace is an ever filling cup…

 

But what happens when love is optional?

Grace can become invisible.

When someone doesnt hold the elevator door for you – pfft

that person that slowly steals your place in the queue – runs to the open checkout …then takes forever to load up the conveyor belt sloooowly… aargh

The person who took the last space at Tesco car park – man, they could be rotisseried for all you care.

Suddenly I am the black eyed peas asking ‘where is the love’ !

Love is a powerful thing. In many ways love is an easy thing – when people are kind and helpful, when people are considerate and thoughtful, love flows. Simply; it is easily given – our dna generally wants to love and be loved (how many song lyrics is that now!?)

So when people are mean, rude, inconsiderate and down right mean, love wants to hide. It’s kicked to the curb by our anger, frustration, embarrassment and shame.

And that, dear friends, is when grace can show up…

 

grace is love with her big pants on.

Its what moves us to love again.

Grace is love in armour.

It’s powerful for changing the atmosphere of pain.

 

Now then. Back to broccoli.

I recently had an…. experience. Middle child (typical) had a melt down about broccoli, specifically, the fact that I had put two pieces on his plate rather than the usual ‘haggled down’ one piece of greenery … the middle child erupted. Exploded. Imploded and shook my house in a whole knew way…

Quick detour in my brain here – eldest had recently been acting out because of bullying going on at school…

Back to broccoli… a friend sits me down once the dust has settled (literal dust here, he was throwing cushions from the sofa that I haven’t plumped recently – judge me later ) and asks a fair question ‘do you think something else is going on?’ As in ‘is it more than broccoli’-

Which made me giggle. Mostly because it shined a light into the mind of my child, that I can honestly say, it really was just about broccoli (enter eye roll emoji here!)

However, since then I have been juggling it around my head. When something kicks off, goes wrong, I now think ‘but is it just broccoli’ …also translated as – is this just surface stuff?

So. Back to grace.

Grace is the broccoli question.

Put your big girl love pants on, and ask, is there more to this than meets the eye?

That snappy mum at the school gate – battling anxiety.

The moody man in the queue – didnt sleep because the kids are ill.

The person who didnt hold the door for you – dealing with a family loss and their mind is somewhere else.

The child screaming in your face – hurting from cruel words at school.

The old lady complaining loudly at the bus stop – lonely and missing her husband.

 

….

 

Grace is tangible when love isnt easy.

Think broccoli. Think twice.

 

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Featured post

manger

55D6C50B-17BB-46F2-812D-CDF156A06C4AChrist’s birth, a time and season we all long to share.

The story, the meaning, all easy to bare.

But how often do we visit that small stable and manger,

Has the reality of the trinity made you a stranger?

 

Once in a royal city, he was robed and adored,

Wise men rode to see him and shepherds on board,

We know that they loved you, a babe in a crib,

But did they really know how you’d live…

 

I bet Mary blinked, and there was her Son,

Strung up like a slave – how far He had come.

Was this what He meant when He said He’s Gods son?

A wondrous gift – given so freely, angels sang their

Alleluia and prayed we’d love Him dearly…

 

But man is fickle and foolish; afraid –

Takes until it challenges heart

Then into the lions den you are traded…

Battered and beaten, cut open for you.

Was this what He meant when He said “life anew”

 

Oh Holy night – the raw beauty of life,

Mary and Joseph, with all of their strife;

Birthed the True King, in meek and mild glory,

stepping into a part of the everlasting story.

 

But joy became pain as they watched it unfold,

No power or sway did they want to hold,

Was this what it feels like to do as God foretold ?

Come all ye faithful, let us gather around.

Don’t forget how they beat Him to the ground.

 

He became sin to save you and me,

The manger more powerful when it fulfils its destiny.

The truth sometimes hurts – this one most of all,

When the King of the world, takes the biggest fall.

The curtain was ripped, death had one,

Chance to hold Him. But it was Done.

Nothing could hold Him, bright Heavens Son!

 

So this christmas search through the muck and the straw,

Youll find all the power, the might and the awe,

wrapped up and brand new, nothing diminished

a fragile vessel that is heaven kissed.

Its just the beginning, we know the full story

before the man, give the baby some glory.

 

Frankly my dear …

Sharing is caring .

Unless it’s an attitude, an illness, a poison in the soul .

Life is full of surprises.

Unless the house is a fortress; solidarity of solitude unwanted.

The best things in life are free.

Unless love is on condition; help based on reciprocation.

Walking round in circles.

The world is flattened: out into basics –

Who cares about the price tag when,

Money grows on trees and we don’t need them to;

Breathe.

Life is full of mysteries; a pile of —

Unwittingly forfeiting grace.

Lab coats and chefs alike,

concoctions and potions trying to find the meaning behind

me. Creation and satisfaction. Hope and pleasure.

We dare not argue to the point of surrender,

But better to grab arms and love until it hurts, us.

Set in our ways but free as a bird; the mind lies,

Get behind the lines! A noose, a cage …that swing.

Our younger days and daisy chains – reaping,

Sewing wounds and repairing old habits…

Gowns and robes, a beautiful meaningful moment,

Can be but a lasting memory to carry us through.

We’ve become the pestle and mortar, a grind of

Life; the fact of growth is but, an inconvenience.

Nothing is everything we need with opened eyes,

And the thankful chamber that beats …

Hard as Nails.

Individual , you have your own hopes and dreams.

You dress how you want, or how your body dictates.

You do what you want, without reason.

Job choices and cooking and shopping are all at your finger tips.

It’s what you have strived for, for what feels like most of your life.

Teachers and parents, have poured into you

The world is your oyster,

You can be whatever you want if you put your mind to it.

We can be world changers. Power grabbers. Money makers. Love givers?

Or perhaps. Perhaps it’s the opposite.

Teachers and parents tell you that you are the problem.

You’ll amount to nothing.

They speak stupid and it breeds a pain in you.

They breathe useless and shame births deep within.

We are nothing, nobody.

You push boundaries, step out and wear your armour, daring people to ask you why.

You don’t care what you do, you are living breathing raw emotion,

Everyone else just deal with it, ok?

You seek out comfort in all sorts of things. In all sorts of people.

You are the broken, the unkempt chained. You can become small.

Or nothing at all…

Or perhaps. Perhaps it’s a little bit of everything.

A mish mash of life.

The broken raising the innocent with hope and fears clouding.

We were all children once. We all had make or break in us.

Chandelier or diamond.

All can come down and smashing crashing, awaken us to our self doubt.

All will come down.

Are we the grit ? The potential, in shell.

Are we the bud ? Waiting for a sun kiss.

Are we the dew ? The fresh hope fallen.

Change happens in all shapes and sizes.

Skin and bone beneath it all, remind us, please, we are all the same.

Naught else we have but a forward brace, to seize the day in blind faith.

Individual; we are the weaker for it, if we cannot handle all the changes.

Together we can stand. Bags of flesh and soul. A united mould against the hate.

Our pain our strife, the love that raised can be so powerful if we just engage.

Something’s are bigger, and harder to face.

Hair styles and eyebrow shapes. Likes and tags and insta-love, Face-

Books that talk about someone’s life story. But everything is Fake-

News that is all about famine and war, children dead but How-

Can we change. ?

All is but fragile and sand through a glass.

Will we make a different, chance. To better it all ?

Driving miss daisy.

Ahh, it’s that time of year again.

January.

Fresh start, fresh blog.

So much has changed, and yet so much is the same.

I still have a husband and children.

I am still watching ‘Hey Duggee’ in the mornings, with a huge cup of tea I pray gets me to lunch time.

I am still pregnant; it feels like a permanent state of being ….for the last 8 years !

I still struggle to ‘adult’. Anxiety and depression playing a smaller role now, but I have since discovered I am a special breed of unorganised chaos and madness that is contained in a very slow body …

There has been some growth too.

I have learned that you can shove vegetables into most things and the kids will eat them. (Profound huh !?)

I have learnt to stop, and look and enjoy nature. My daughters love of nature challenges everything in me that loves bug sprays and traps . Time for her crawls along, enough to walk along walls and jump in puddles and find painted stones …

I have learnt that different isn’t bad, sometimes it can be better, or sometimes it just clarifies in you, what you really believe, or want.

I have learnt I actually trust God more than I believed I did; we haven’t had the best pregnancy, plenty of scares and worries. I am sure we are not alone with that.

But when you find yourself driving to hospital completely alone in the middle of the night, believing every hope had been flushed away, there was only one person I wanted to know was with me. There was only one person who could hold me together while it all fell apart.

I didn’t plead or beg. I didn’t fall back into the habit of “if you can get me through this I will…” or bargain “well I know you healed ‘so and so’ so you fix this” …

I found myself in a place of realisation. Epiphany perhaps. Either way, a light came on.

If we had lost all, it was never in my hands anyway.

If we had lost all, it didn’t stop Him being Good.

If we had lost all, it was going to be ok eventually, because He has us.

It can sound trite. But in my solitude and fear I realised how big and good God is – no matter what changes in my life. Feeling small never felt so good.

It may sound overly pious, but I am the queen of anxiety, I live with a cloud of doubt and a bucket full of “well, I just knew it was too good to be true”.

Most things are my fault and if they aren’t, well then it probably would have been had I not been so rubbish in the first place…

And yet…

And yet…

I had peace. I had hope. Good news or bad news. I lived, breathed, walked out and trusted that no matter what, it was out of my hands and it was well with me.

Don’t get me wrong, it was hard to think of it all going wrong. No one wants to think about that. But I knew we’d get through it … through no strength of my own!

2018. I have no New Years resolutions. I have no high expectations for the change in my waist line, or for the pile of washing moving from the kitchen counter.

I would like to think a change has already happened to me, back in 2017 and I’m carrying it into this new year…

With three children and one soon arriving it may just be the best thing I can grab and hold onto 😃

Bite Me

So, here’s something one doesn’t admit openly. We have fleas. No, had, fleas, had. To be honest I hope it’s “had” but I am still living in fear of one jumping on face. 

It would seem that I am the tastiest person in my family. My ankles look like I have been in piranha infested waters (which of course would bring on a comment from my husband about being baptised in piranha infested waters… and not being bit) it becomes a bit of a game. If I can’t see them, they are not there (the bites not the fleas!) it’s like a mind over body process “I am not itchy” has been my biggest thought recently, I swear I almost shouted it in the middle of wilkinsons when something brushed my ankle (my daughter probably trying to shoplift-but that is another story!) 

I’d like to think I am a positive person, most of the time anyway. I flap, a lot, but generally, I can talk myself through something. 

So these fleas set upon my house like a plague, and it was war. I don’t want to tell you how much I have spent on flea killer, but I can tell you it was worth it … I hope!! 

I have boiled, blitzed and sucked up the little blighters to the best of my ability. But there comes a moment when you have spent hours and countless pennies (pounds, lots of paper money !) on something and then you sit there having a cup of tea about to breathe out and a loud voice shouts from the bathroom “What do fleas look like?!” The conversation went something like this:

L-what do fleas look like? 

H-black – don’t tell me there is one in there! 

L -it’s on my leg….  It just jumped ! 

H- yes that’s what they do – catch it 

L-what do I do when Iv caught it? I don’t want to get bitten! Hannah? Hannah?!

I’ll admit it I left him to it … He still hasn’t been bitten… What can I say, I am made of honey! 

Anyway, I have learnt a few things about myself in my crusade against these springers. I am more organised than I thought – I managed to get a whole lot of stuff done quickly and still done well, while working at plotting to kill the colony. I could totally go to drama school and teach – a toddler, flea killer and stripped sofas – I am the entertainer extraordinaire, I am the queen of quacky faces and funky voices. Lastly I have more self control than I knew possible, with over twenty bites I am amazed I didn’t karate chop something ! 

I am going to do that annoying thing and end in a “lesson”, but I am always amazed at the capacity to learn. Fleas taught me something. 

 Whatever you are going through, infestation or illness, debt or distrust, if you are willing and open, you can learn something- 

even a bit of self awareness can go a long way. 

Bridge

So, most of you will know, my husband, our three children and I have moved house. Not only that but we have moved town,  village, city – everything !

What an interesting time it has been.

Anyone with kids will know that often you put on a brave face with scary things to encourage them to be brave too.

I know in our house my two year old needs encouraging putting on her coat, she needs to see us do it first just to make sure there isn’t some monster about to come out and grab her. Only last week I had got the children new gloves hats and scarves – our house move seems to to eaten our others! Anyway, I got her hat out, fabulous, everyone said wow and clapped. Next the gloves, what a faff! (Should have got some mittens, but this is what happens when you let the child choose!!) on and wow, her little hands were stuck in the star fish position, bless her. Lastly the scarf, oh my days!! We had hyperventilating, we had snot, we had screams that I swear the neighbours must believe I was cutting her fingers off! Soon everything was off and she was like a plank of wood on the floor. What to do. As a school morning we all carried on and I showed the boys how to do their gloves (in the background my daughter had sat up) then I did their scarves. Then mine and we were ready …. Next thing I know Libby is handing me everything and saying “up” – everything goes on and she is fine, wet, but fine.
It’s how we learn isn’t it. “Watch and learn” is often what fathers say before disaster and A&E happens. It’s part of our makeup to take in how other people do it and make a decision, can I do it better, or not at all?

So with this move, I was prepared, I had my excitement at the ready. Then I remembered who I was. I am the queen of worrying, seriously, I have a crown, I shine it regularly. My mum has two sayings that I love and I now repeat, “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” – this is when I have a melt down about the children, one of them has come home sad because a boy said something mean and my brain goes “hewillneverhavefriendshowwillhecopeiamtheworstmotherandhewillhatemeforever”. The other phrase is “well we’ll see then won’t we” … This is when I have a cough, I google it and call the family to tell them my goodbyes as the search engine has diagnosed me with throat cancer.

We all need that person who speaks into our fears and strife. So my question to myself was, do I say to them it’s all gunna be fandabbydooby? Or do I share some of my fears? When your children go for injections you don’t tell them it tickles like a feather (at least I hope not) you tell them it hurts it stings, and they are allowed to cry and you’ll be there with chocolate and a cuddle with them (most probably crying more than they are! – I did!) I told my eldest, being brave isn’t about holding in the tears, or not feeling anything. Being brave is knowing how it could be and doing it anyway – that “feel the fear and do it anyway” is so important! Crying, feeling strong emotions is very brave.

So every day before moving, we would chat about what we were excited about, and what we are worried about. Now, since moving, I can remind them. Sam, remember how worried you were about not making friends – look at you go! Three best friends and a classroom full of people who like you! Zach, remember how worried you were about there not being a KFC near us – there is one on the highstreet and it’s got the same seats (yes, this really did happen, he doesn’t really like KFC!) he is a nutcase.

If we can harness our fears, or even just express them. We can help our children be more aware of their emotions. In this society, where so many people don’t feel listened to and anger is so quick to get the surface. We need to breed ears that actually hear and voices that are self aware. It’s nice to know I don’t have to act brave all the time. Sometimes children need a bit of reality ☺️<<
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Sharing is caring 

This last month has been tough. I am not one to walk away from a cryable situation, if there is a reason to blub, I’m there, tissues at the ready. But this hard month, hasn’t been sad, as such, more an uncomfortable uncertainty. Like an awkward kiss at the end of the second date, or that time someone waves and you wave back just as you realise the smile is for someone else. Right now that’s how I feel. Limbo. Not up, high giddy and happy, but not low in my favourite nest of fear…. Just dangling, adjusting to this new norm. Wondering how it’s all going to work out. 
I think everyone goes through limbo fairly regularly – it’s a part of life, a part of growing up. But one thing iv noticed, is I like doing limbo with friends. No one wants to be alone, glued to a screen, or sat in silence. At least, I don’t. I don’t want to say I’m an extrovert, because I don’t want you to picture me suddenly as this loud vivacious confidant woman, because I’m afraid you’d be terribly disappointed. I am, what you could call a closet extrovert; kids, husband and life’s knocks, have taught me to hide away and need space, but the bubbly me comes out when there is a party I’m  invited to – and we’re back to friends! 

Certain people I am out and proud with. 

Certain people enjoy my company. 

Certain people can handle the limbo. 

Today I cried, not because I’m low, or particularly sad. In fact I’m not exactly sure why. Sometimes you just don’t know why.
 It could be my heavy heart for my middle son and his pain. It could be my angst for my eldest son and his changing attitude. It could be my proud heart watching my daughter growing too quickly. It could be my anxiety for how my husband is going to come home- happy or stressed. It could be my tummy churning thinking about Christmas and all of my babies dreams not coming true. It could be our church, where is it going, how can we facilitate it, how can I best be me. 

The truth is its all of it and none of it. Emotions come and go. Limbo is fleeting. It’s who you have with you that matters. Someone who is gentle, kind, who listens and hears between the words. Who doesn’t speak but exudes love, with a tough or a look or a plan. Who sees the need behind the mess, who sees the pain behind the smile and who looks past their own reaction to what you really need. 
These are my best years… All too soon, I will be old and set in my ways… These are my most changeable years, I want to be molded into something beautiful that will last longer than my face. The limbo, sadness, pain will all pass eventually. But who will be holding my hand? 

Making Space for Grace

When I was a little girl I remember my Dad singing this rhyme to me, ‘Patience is a virtue, Virtue is a grace. Grace is a little girl who would not wash her face!’ Recently I’ve f…

Source: Making Space for Grace

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