Monday, June 30, 2014

Gratitude day #1

During the course of the day #2 and I sat and chose photos to put into the photo album. It's been such a long time since we have done this, that we had to go back to 2012! Going through 2.5 years' worth of photos there were a lot of laughs, and 'I remember that!', and 'do you remember when...?' moments. 

Reflecting on 2.5 years' growth in my children I became aware of just how much they have grown, and yet, how little they still are. The best moment of the day, though, had to be listening to my son's laughter as he reminisced. The fact that he is alive is owed to the fact that his sister died, and we discovered my blood disorder. Thus, when I was pregnant with him, I was able to take medication that saved his life.

Every time I look at him, I am reminded of the long, painful journey we walked to his birth. I am so grateful that he is in my life. If his sister had not died I would never have known him. I'm not saying that I am glad his sister died, don't get me wrong. I am just overwhelmed at the thought that, had she lived, this incredible little boy would never have been born and I would never have known him, or the joy of hope renewed.

I am grateful to God for the gift of this little person, and for the relationship we have. He brings such joy into my life and is a daily reminder to me of God's grace towards his people.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

30 days of gratitude

At various points in time in I have followed bloggers who have had a gratitude meme. Memes are useful for helping when you're stuck in a rut, or when you have writer's block. Looking back over the past while I haven't blogged nearly as much as I would like. Partly that's through lack of time, and partly it's from lack of inspiration. 

Of late, every time I sit down to write something I find myself thinking that, really, no-one cares about whatever it is I was thinking about. Although this blog has replaced my journal (& so I usually write for myself, to keep track of what is going on in my life), I don't want to go back and read how mundane my life has been. I don't just want this to be a 'here's a photo of what I had for lunch' kind of thing.

What to do? I've been pondering whether to take on a meme, and if so, which one. For the past fortnight or so I've pondered a gratitude meme, mostly because I've been finding myself feeling so grateful for so many things. A blogger I follow is currently finishing up a 100 day gratitude meme. Couple that with a conversation I had with my hubbie after church today, I've decided that, if nothing else, a gratitude meme will get me blogging daily again - without feeling the need to write an essay each time.

Starting tomorrow (Mondays are such good days to start new projects, especially during holidays!) I will be on a 30 Day gratitude meme. Yes, only 30 days. I am conscious of not committing myself to something I might not be able to sustain. Feel free to join me on your own gratitude journey if you want.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

On the other side...

Last week I heard a fuller version of the story of a woman I was connected with when I was at school. I haven't had much contact with her since then. Although we both married the men we were with at the time, her husband died subsequently, through cancer, leaving her with two small children.

In the telling of her story, she spoke about how she was furious with everyone for looking at her with pity in their eyes, and how she left her church as a result - to try to forge a new identity elsewhere that didn't involved her deceased husband. I was hurt by that, not that she would want to forge a new identity - that's essential. Rather, I was hurt by her anger.

I had heard her story briefly when she joined my church, and putting myself in her shoes, and having lost deeply, I sympathised with how hard life must have been with her. My eyes were filled with pity, I know. At the time, I thought she brushed me off because it was too painful to talk about. Now I realise that she brushed me off because she was furious at my pity. But I don't think she understood that my pity was born out of my own losses, at my own struggles, out of my sincere desire to help in some way.

And yet, I understand her perspective. It was so difficult having to talk to people about the loss of my children, to have to explain over and over, to see the pity or the lack of comprehension in their eyes. I hated the stupid things people said to me... I could do a whole blog post just on that!... so I do understand how overwhelming it can become, and how you avoid places where people know you because you just want them to stop.

It is odd being on the other side this time around, being the one who is causing the anger and frustration. It hurts because I thought that I was sensitive to grief, but I guess there is always more to learn.