Thursday, May 27, 2010

Front and Centre

I have reached a point where I've managed to almost have God where he belongs, and that is front and centre in my life.

I'm not there yet, but the fact that I'm thinking about it has to be a good thing right?

It's been kind of forced on me. We've had some family situations which have forced me to fall on my knees. And on your knees is a pretty awesome place to be, which surprises me. I'm not good at submission. Not good at all.

What's amazing is that the issues aren't resolved - won't be for quite some time but I'm at peace. I know that God will put me where he wants me to be.

That's not to say that I don't have a plan. I have an idea of what I would like to happen, and what I think would be a good way to move forward. But I'm letting go. I didn't say I've completely let go...because I'm pretty stubborn...but I'm at peace with the idea that the future may not be according to my plan.

And that's a pretty big deal for me.

And it feels pretty good.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Future Plans

At the moment Steph is half way through year 12 (or her senior year). She has a plan for next year but I am still worried.

I guess that's my job to worry. Mother's perrogative.

Stephanie is very artistic. She does everything with an artistic flair. Last year she designed her own debutante gown, and this year she is designing and making a ballgown from recycled material for a competition (will post photos when it's complete). Her cupcakes are decorated beautifully and even packaged artistically. She is a natural when it comes to art and music.

And yet the career she has chosen has nothing to do with art or music. She has decided she wants to study a Bachelor or Health Science (Acupuncture). Excuse me? Science?

I worry that she has chosen this career because she doesn't think she is talented enough to pursue a career in the arts. She sees people who major in art and doesn't see herself as one of those "arty types". I worry that a 4 year degree is going to be a pretty tough ask when it's not something that you have a flair or passion for.

I worry about her living so far from home. I worry about supporting her financially and emotionally from afar. I worry about how I will cope with not having her here beside me and not being able to have lunch together on Thursday. I worry that she won't be able to find a job, or she won't like her living arrangements.

I worry that she won't pass, or that she will give up, or that she will hate it.

I worry and I worry and I worry and I worry.

Lord, please help me to stop all this worry. I pray that Stephanie is going where you want her to go, and that you are guiding her decisions, even if she doesn't know it. I pray that I can support her when she needs it, and that we will cope financially and emotionally next year when she leaves home. Please help me to hand her over to you. Help me to let go.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cupcake Anyone?

At the moment my home has been over run with cupcakes.

You wouldn't think that would be a bad thing...

Stephanie is studying small business enterprises this year. In the second term all the students run their own small business. Stephanie chose to make and sell cupcakes, chocolates and biscuits (sorry, that would be cookies to those in the U.S.!). She's a great cook (no idea where that came from) and her business is turning out to be quite profitable.

It's also teaching her to adjust her plans and vary her product according to the market. So far she has learned that chocolates aren't very profitable and are quite fiddly to make, so she has increased their price and decreased their space in the advertising! Cupcakes and cookies however are easy to make in large quantities and have a healthy profit margin, so they feature very prominantly in her advertising!

She has not learned however to not be a perfectionist. Her cupcakes are decorated beautifully. Any cupcake that does not meet her standards is left at home for Mum to eat. Sigh. And even though they aren't as pretty as she wants them to be they still taste great!

This has been a fabulous course for her. It teaches students to manage time, money, customers and advertising and these are all valuable things for their future.

Of course the signature cupcake is her own recipe featuring our own honey. They are just walking out the door.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Leading Worship

I love it when it's my month to worship lead at church.

But so far this month has been a bit of a struggle.

Last week I lead a grieving congregation hours after we had heard of a tragedy that took a young man's life, that we all knew and loved. He was 22. That was pretty hard to do. But the service was already planned before I heard of Daniel's death so I didn't have to think about that. I just had to deliver, which I didn't do all that well, but I did the best I could.

This week I'm still pretty numb. It's Saturday afternoon and I haven't thought of a single song, verse or prayer for tomorrow's service. I wasn't so close to Daniel that I've been consumed with grief, but I know his parents well and I'm filled with a really heavy sense of sadness. It's hard to explain. I feel as though the joy has been sucked out of me.

And that makes leading worship pretty difficult. I am a joyous worship leader. I love singing for the joy of the Lord. *sigh*

So now I'm off to make myself find some songs. I have no plan like I normally do. I think I will just pray and ask the Lord to guide me, because without Him I don't think I'm up to it.

Lets hope that this week I can at least manage to speak in whole sentences.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Depression and Faith

I have suffered from depression in the past. I sought help in the form of medication and counseling and am one of the lucky ones to make a full recovery. I now know my warning signs and my limitations and I take care to monitor myself. If it happens again I hope that I know enough now to not let myself hit rock bottom before I seek help. Thats the plan anyway.

My daughter also suffers from depression. At the moment she is taking medication, which has taken 6 months to get right and she starts counselling next week. I'm very pleased to say that emotionally she is doing pretty well right now.

Yesterday she was told by someone she respects that her depression is pretty much her own fault. That she has the spirit of satan within her and she needs to go "cold turkey" and completely come off her medication and "let God heal you". This person obviously has no clue of the consequences of stopping anti depressants suddenly and without support.

Steph doesn't plan on taking this advice. But she now feels that she is a bad person, that she is being punished, and worst of all that she doesn't want anything to do with a God who punishes her like this. She wants to know what she did wrong.

One positive is that it has opened the lines of communication between us about faith and illness. I've spent a bit of time researching this morning to reassure Steph that God loves her, and that she isn't being punished but if anyone can help me out with some more info to back me up I'd really appreciate it.

Lord please let Steph know that you are with her and that you love her. Remind her to be kind to herself and help her recover from this illness.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Community

The place where I live is small. A town on 1000 people which services the farmers surrounding it.

But last night was testimony to just how big the hearts are around here.

Our football club "A grade" team train twice per week. On Tuesday and Thursday. The rest of us not so committed types and the juniors train only on Thursday.

Last night was no ordinary A grade training. Our club put on a free meal and provided counsellors to help the lads work through the grief of losing one of their own. There were over 100 people there. Not just our A grade, but also our B grade, and many A grade players from other clubs came out to show their support. Daniel's parents were also there, as was his friend who was with him (but survived the accident) and his parents.

We may be rivals on the field but last night showed that we are one amazing community. Last night the healing process began. The boys were all able to get together and support one another and Daniel's family. And they were able to start to talk about it, and realise that it's ok and necessary to talk about it.

Lord, thankyou for this amazing, close and caring community that I live in. I pray that the people can heal and help each other during this time. I pray especially for Daniel's family and close friends as they come to terms with this huge loss. Comfort them Lord. Let them know you are there.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Catch up Time...

Hello there Bloggers.

I'm at a point now where I feel ready to enter Blogland again. Sorry my absence was unannounced! Nothing major had happened. I just needed some time away from the computer.

But now I'm back.

And sadly today I'm back with a heavy heart. Another young person has fallen victim to our road toll. One that I knew well, and have watched grow up from a cheeky young boy to a cheeky young man.

I can't help but think of his parents. What kind of nightmare would see you losing your 22 year old son on the eve of Mothers Day? I can't begin to imagine what they must be going through.

Our community will mourn and recover slowly, but will never forget Daniel.

This is the third fatality on our country roads in 12 months. It fills me with fear at the thought that I have one child driving on those same roads, and one about to start.

Lord, please be with Daniel's family at this difficult time. Let them feel your presence and draw comfort from the knowledge that you are there. Help us all to heal and recover from this tragedy. Please keep our children safe on these roads Lord. Help them to make wise and safe decisions regarding their road safety.