7 quick takes #15 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my suitcase, sadly ...

Friday, 29 August 2014

This week I have a special edition for you (aka, I ran out of time to write) - 7 statuses this app has randomly generated for me, based on my previous statuses on Facebook. Apparently we get stuck outside our flat a lot. Point number 5 is particularly worrying ...
1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


6.


7.


 Bonus one:


I think I ache for a great weekend for everybody!

Thank you to what-would-i-say.com for providing me with entertainment today.

journalling. it's like therapy. but geekier. and cheaper.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

I'm about to start a new journal!



Hello to first-blank-page anxiety. Must make it look beautiful. Or profound. Or both. Preferably both.

I've been keeping journals on and off since I was a kid, but I had the good sense to destroy them no longer have them. Most recently, I've been writing in pretty notebooks since ... November 2010. Coming up for four years now. I have filled seven notebooks/journals. That sounds like I've been constantly writing, but some of it is just great big quotes I've photocopied and stuck in. Or big red letters saying I CAN'T COPE WITH THIS RIGHT NOW. Or, you know, pictures 'n stuff.

Also there's a few almost blank pages that just have times of appointments on. And little shopping lists. And cryptic notes.



But what could it MEAN?!

It started because my (beautiful, amazing, wonderful) friend Sam came over and showed me hers (yes, yes, oo-err). We were talking about the Bible, and she showed me this gorgeous journal filled with beautiful scriptures in lovely colours and I just thought: wow, this is what's missing from my life. It occurred to me that I hadn't written in some sort of journal since before we got married, when I kept an extremely extensive account about wedding preparation (obviously), and that maybe now would be a good time to start again. Sam being Sam, all it took was me mildly expressing my interest for her to rush off to the shop to buy me one, writing a heartfelt prayer on the front page before giving it to me.

And so it began.

Back when I had time in the day to do relaxing activities (or any activity really) I would spend ages painting and prettifying my journals because it seemed, to me, to be such a nice way to just calm down, get all my thoughts out, and then be quiet.








Here are a few reasons why journalling has improved my life and is, therefore, a groovy wicked-cool activity:

  1. Journalling keeps track of important life events in a more descriptive way.
    So by now you may have realised how much of a recording-life person I am. I take photographs of everything and I start to panic when I realise the baby has been doing something for a while and I haven't captured it in some way. For me, having tangible memories to look back on is important. In reality, I rarely look back at my journals, but it's nice to know that I have written down how I felt during different stages of my life, and that there might be little details in there that I forgot. When I do look back on them, it's a nice trip down memory lane. This is obviously extra important now I have a baby, and a lot of my most recent journal is just hurried scribbles along the lines of 'Baby now pulling herself up to stand. So cute.'
  2. Journalling helps me to see how much I've grown.
    I am brutally honest in my journals, much moreso than I am on my blog, which is all lies and exaggeration (joke, obvs). My journals bear the brunt of me: the ugliest, most horrible bits, so you don't have to see it. That makes it sound like I have some weird dark side. But you know what I mean? All those things that everyone struggles with. The journal gets it. And then when I look back, I can see that God has brought me out of a particular struggle, or that I have become much more mature in a certain area.
  3. Journalling is a nice way to be arty without having to actually be able to draw.
    See above pictures for evidence of this.
  4. Journalling is a way to capture how scripture has spoken to me.
    Often I have just pages full of prettily drawn scripture. I don't remember them. I'm not good at memorizing scripture, or indeed, anything (I'd struggle to even remember my husband's phone number if prompted. I do love him though. I promise!). But sometimes those important scriptures take root in my heart and when I look at them, I feel this rush of familiarity, and I realise that they've been there in my heart somewhere.
  5. Journalling makes me stop and think.
    Sometimes life gets so busy that you barely have time to sit down; journalling is a way of forcing me to pause, reflect, and then, if necessary (which is often) realign my priorities. It makes me consider what I've actually been doing over the past few weeks and if anything can be cut out to make more time to be spent with people I love. It helps me to see when I've been lazy, or when I've been working too hard and not allowing myself to do things I enjoy.
  6. Journalling helps me to see how I'm falling short. 
    This sounds harsh, but sometimes I need pulling up on certain things, and writing it down helps me to remember. Sometimes I make the same mistakes again and again and again, and over time I can see a pattern emerging, which I can then pray about and deal with.
  7. Journalling helps me to see the good in people. 
    Sometimes I just write stuff I like about other people. Not just people I feel particularly loving towards, either. If I'm writing about a good friend, I can think of a million ways in which they are lovely. If I'm writing about someone that's hurt me, well, that's different. Also, if I'm writing a prayer (more of that below), sometimes God turns me around, and I go from really hating that person to being able to ask for them to be blessed, and then I have that as a reminder of how God loves everyone, not just the people I like, and I am much nicer if I try to see it His way.
  8. Journalling is a nice way to pray.
    Sometimes I find prayer really hard (more of that another time). I waffle on, or I just lapse into silence. I find the balance between reverence and using fake religious language really difficult. I want to be real, but I also want to be respectful. Sometimes when I'm worrying too much about this, I write prayers instead, and I find that helps.
  9. Journalling is a way of dealing with wounds.
    This is when the 'journalling is like therapy' part comes in. I sometimes find it hard to say to people what I actually feel. Even if I'm asked outright 'have I upset you?' I can't just say yes and be done with it, because I am socially awkward and I hate confrontation. Plus, when I'm angry I can't speak properly. I just cry. And then people feel sorry for me. And then I get even angrier because I hate it when people feel sorry for me. So I cry some more. Not so with journalling. Hurt and anguish and pain and fear come spilling out, and it's like sucking poison from a wound, and then I am clear. Usually shuddering and snorting like a pig because I've been crying, but clearer, at least, to think properly. And being clear-headed is usually a good place to start to find a resolution.
  10. Journalling shows healing and redemption.
    There has been a few times in my life now when I've thought: I don't get it. I don't get why this is happening. I don't get why I'm going through this. This hurt seems pointless. And when I look back on it, I think 'Aha! That's why.' Sometimes problems and pain make you stronger and more capable, and usually I can't see that when I'm in the midst of it. Having a record helps me to see.

    Also, I'm pretty sure I've talked about this a lot, but I believe that God can use any situation for good. He can turn scars into a thing of beauty. Redemption is a theme that runs heavily through my journals, and that's because I am walking a blessed, if somewhat wobbly, walk with God. I can see the beauty that has come from pain. The deliverance that comes out of darkness. And the reassuring present-ness of Him, even when at the time I couldn't see.
***

I hope that helps someone! Obviously I realise that journalling isn't for everyone, and for some people the thought of writing for hours on end would be like a form of torture. I'd like to hear other people's ideas of creative expression. I have a friend, for example, who expresses herself beautifully through dance, in a way that is amazing and completely beyond me, as the only emotion my dancing will ever prompt is embarrassment.

I'd be interested to hear from you too if you do journal, or if you have done in the past, or maybe you're thinking about starting. Leave me a comment here, or on Facebook. I have opened up my comments on my blog now, so you don't have to have a fancy-schmancy Google account to leave messages. You can now leave messages with abandon. Yay!


(Also if you're interested in art journalling at all, I'd recommend this book, 1000 Artist Journal Pages, for inspiration. Chris bought me this a few years ago and some of the pages are breathtakingly beautiful. It did have the unfortunate side effect of making some of my efforts look like a child's collage, but still, I am more inspired by it than I am humiliated. I'm not selling it, am I? Just go look at the book, it's good. Forget the bit I said before.)

7 quick takes #14 - phone of steel

Friday, 22 August 2014

1.
So my garden's looking a little overgrown.



I kind of like it. It's like looking out into a fantasy forest or something.

Probably should cut it back now though. Before the spiders start appearing in the thick vines that used to be our washing line.

2.

On the phone to the doctor last week. He called, I answered, said hello. He shouted 'HELLO? HELLO? I CAN'T HEAR YOU.'

This should give you a sense of how every conversation started from then on.

He shouted 'I CAN'T HEAR YOU AT ALL, I'M GOING TO TRY ANOTHER LINE.' and hung up. He called again.

Me: 'Hello?'

Doctor: 'NO. I STILL CAN'T HEAR YOU. LET'S TRY AND TALK AS BEST WE CAN.'

Me: 'OKAY.'

Doctor: 'WHAT?!'

Me: 'I SAID, OKAY!'

Doctor: 'OH. OKAY.'

Me: 'OKAY! I NEED SOME MORE (insert gobbledegook-ish name of medication to help with my TN here)'

Doctor: 'YOU'VE BEEN TO SEE WHO?'

Me: *Bangs head against wall*

I managed to get my message across in the end. Cue phone call from my Mum:

Me: 'Hello!'

Mum: (Yelling at a previous unheard decibel that made my ear shrivel up in fear) 'MEGAN? I CAN'T HEAR YOU. YOU'RE REALLY QUIET. WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOUR PHONE?'

All day my phone did this muffly, quiet thing and I thought: YES. Finally my ancient brick phone, lent to me by my Dad ages ago as a temporary, in-between-phones phone, the phone that has survived being dropped from a great height (multiple times), being briefly dipped into a sink full of water, being dribbled on, bashed about and generally abused by my surprisingly strong baby, is FINALLY biting the dust. Finally. Finally, I can join the rest of the world and get a smartphone!

I started to daydream about what I could do on my new phone. I pictured myself taking photographs and filming stuff and flicking through apps with wild abandon.

I explained the sorry tale of my breaking-down mobile to Chris when he got through the door. The truth is, we could have signed me up for a phone contract ages ago, and gotten a nice pretty new phone for free ... but it's one of those things that we just put off again and again. It's more expensive than my little old phone, which I barely top up, and it never seems like enough of a priority to do it, because you know, it works fine. The sensible part of me says no. I don't need it.

But if the phone breaks? It no longer becomes unnecessary. It's NECESSARY.

The next day, I made a phone call. It worked fine.

The phone will never, ever die. When all the fancy smartphones in the world have long stopped working, my phone will shine among them, playing its tinny, annoying ringtones. Forever.

3.

The good thing about having a baby that is growing up way too fast is that you have to buy clothes all the time.

Cute, cute clothes.


One of the lovely perks of having a baby girl is the dresses ;) That stripy one with the birds on the skirt? I would wear a big version of that. Although then we would be matching. And as cheesy as I am, I don't think I could cope with that.

4.

The healthy eating thing is going ... er ... okay.

On the negative side:

  • We made two batches of fairy cakes and ate them all
  • I became grumpy at the lack of crisps in my life
  • I ate quite a lot of cheese to make up for said crisps
On the plus side:
  • Chris and I ate a ridiculous amount of fruit
  • I am making better choices (sometimes) and I have avoided temptation to buy loads of crisps in secret
  • I am finding myself actually savouring vegetables
  • We both started exercising again this week

I think that's a pretty good start, right?

I realised today that the baby hadn't watched me cook in a while. When she first went in her high chair, she used to watch me cooking, gazing around in fascination. I had the vision of popping her in the high chair tonight, giving her a little wooden spoon and a pan to play with while I showed her how I wash kale and chop up sweet potato.

This was the result:


Five minutes of pretend cooking on the baby's part (by pretend cooking, I mean violently slamming the spoon into the pan) and then everything I gave her was discarded.

Then this happened:




Baby Jake to the rescue, I guess.

On a side note, I will never ever complain about how annoying Peppa Pig or In the Night Garden are again. Baby Jake has to the be the most creepily annoying kids program I have seen since the Boohbahs. And if you haven't seen the Boohbahs, you need to click here and revel in the weirdness.



5.


My parents bought me this orchid as a congratulations gift when the baby was born (or maybe a here's-a-plant-to-make-up-for-the-hours-of-hideous-burning-pain-you-just-went-through-gift) and it's been looking pretty awful all summer. Suddenly it bloomed last week. It literally went from brown twigs to beautiful flowers. Like a little reminder of time going by. A countdown.

It is less than two weeks until my girls' first birthday. This time last year I was having my last stress-free weekend before heading into hospital and finding out she wasn't growing properly, and starting the whole induction process. This time last year, I was probably cleaning every surface and packing and then re-packing my hospital bags. With tiny little nappies. And tiny little white vests ...

Before I sit in a corner and cry get carried away with nostalgia, I should say I love this age. I love my almost-one-year-old. Every time she does something new, even though I am a former nursery nurse and should be used to milestones by now, it's as though she's just made a massive scientific discovery or something. I love cheering her on and encouraging her into independence.

And the fact that she has followed me around all morning saying 'Mama! Mama!' does help.

6.


The weather is driving me crazy.

We went to feed the ducks this week and it's a bit of a walk there (about 20-25 minutes) so I considered my options carefully. At the front of my house was black clouds. At the back was bright sunshine. I decided to pack our rain jackets just in case. When we got there and were ready for lunch, it was boilingly hot, and we settled under a tree to have a picnic.

Then I noticed the black clouds rolling towards us. I leapt up, shoved the baby and all her equipment back in the buggy and started running. Just made it to a shelter when the hailstones started.

Got to love British summers.

7.

I've got loads of blog post ideas in my head and I've actually started to write them down now (thanks mostly to some really cute print out blog planning sheets I found) so I am going to actually get off my bum (or rather, sit on my bum) and write them. Soon. Very soon.

I've also got a few new ideas for the blog which I'm toying with at the moment. I need to think about it a while longer.

And on that mysterious note, have a good weekend!

7 quick takes #13 - once again I am surprised it's Friday

Friday, 15 August 2014

1.

I just can't keep track of dates anymore. When I was working, I wrote or looked at the date quite often. Now I don't necessarily need to know as much, I always have a mind blank at crucial moments (like booking appointments ... or signing for something).

In fact, since I've had the baby, I have repeatedly got the week wrong. As in, I've thought that I've had an appointment or something the next day, and it turned out that it was actually the week after. My brain just likes to skip weeks. My husband thought it was funny the first couple of times. Not so much the fifth time.

Not exaggerating. I firmly believe that Mummy Brain is a real condition. I await scientific proof.

2.

It feels like autumn, right? I don't want autumn yet! It's actually my favourite season, but I really wanted to squeeze the life out of the rest of the summer before we move into turn-on-the-heating time.

Plus my boiler makes really scary groaning noises when I switch on the heating and I think it might be coming to life. Not in a good way. In a end-of-the-world machine uprising way.

Anyway, go away cold weather! I'm not ready yet!

3.

My husband doesn't know yet, but I am going to put us all on a healthy eating and exercise mission. (Well. The baby is already healthy. She eats better than us). I've been collecting recipes all morning and I am totally ready to throw out the sugary cereal and start eating more 'real' food. 

The thing is, I cook us pretty healthy dinners. We always have a good balance in our dinners, and I am pretty good at sneaking extra vegetables in. The problem is breakfast (sugary and rubbish), lunch (neither of us usually eat it, although obviously the baby does) and snacks (it's usually biscuits or nothing).

So I'm hoping to put a bit more effort into our breakfast/lunch situation.

Also I plan to hand my husband trainers and shove him out of the door at regular times throughout the week.

;)

4.

My baby is growing up! In just over two weeks, she will officially be one. One! I have mixed emotions about this. Mostly excited. A little bit sad and overwhelmed at how quickly she changed from a tiny little red wriggly thing into a boisterous, mischievous, tantrum-throwing girl.

So I'm doing present shopping this morning. My mind is all cakes and presents and balloons. My perfect girl. One year old.

*Makes mental note to buy tissues, and perhaps wine*

5.

Oh, the tantrums I mentioned? They are now a thing, apparently. A regular occurence. In fact, I caught it on camera earlier. The strop was about the camera. I wanted to take photos of her perfect chubby little toes poking out of her skirt (for the blog. And you know, for me to look at and cry over when she's a teenager and wanting piercings and driving me crazy). She wanted to grab the camera and bang it on the floor. I said no. The result was leg banging, arm-waving, red-facing tantrum.

It's kind of adorable. I have to turn away to hide my smiles as she expresses her outrage.

6.

Here are the toes:


Fuzzy picture caused by baby grabbing the camera.

Totally worth the tantrum!

7.

My medication seems to be working at the moment, which is great. I had a full nights' sleep last night for the first time in ... I don't know. A long time. The baby slept through, I wasn't in pain ... it's all good. And it's amazing the difference a good nights' sleep can make.

At the moment I'm waiting for an appointment with my doctor to get a referral to a specialist. Hoping that happens very soon. Sometimes you have to wait months for these appointments. Also, from what I hear on the trigeminal neuralgia Facebook group I've joined, not all doctors have a real understanding of the condition, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case with my GP - he seems to be pretty understanding, professional, and kind. Which is why it's flipping impossible to get an appointment with him!

Have a good weekend everyone! :)

a long-awaited diagnosis, and a weird week.

Monday, 11 August 2014

So, there are certain things I don't like to talk about on my blog. I love blogging, but I also like some privacy; I feel that some things shouldn't be shared. I ummed and ahhed about whether or not to write about this, but in the end I decided I would. Partly to help me get my head around it, but partly because I want to add to the voices of people suffering from neuralgic pain - so difficult to treat, invisible to everyone else, but life-altering.

Hope you don't mind the waffle. Here we go:

I've had pain in my upper row of teeth, spreading up to my temple, on the left side for around eight months now. Assuming teeth problems, I booked an appointment for the dentist, and was given the all-clear - nothing wrong with any of my teeth. She suggested it might be a sinus infection, and to go to the doctors and maybe get some antibiotics.

Surprised (because it really felt like a toothache), I did that. And it didn't go away. I was prescribed more antibiotics. It went away for about a week, then came back again. The doctor suggested I go to the dentist again. Dentist re-confirmed that there was definitely nothing wrong with my teeth.

Basically this has been going on for about eight months. I saw about five different doctors (or spoke to them on the phone) about the same issue. I had all sorts of differing opinions from these doctors, about the usefulness of antibiotics, about the use of nasal spray. One doctor ordered me an x-ray at the hospital to check my sinuses. The hospital said no because apparently they no longer do that. I've had painkillers in increasing strengths, which don't actually take away the pain, they just make me feel spaced out.

In the last week or so, the pain worsened, to the point where I couldn't sleep, eat, or speak properly. I was completely overwhelmed by the pain. On Sunday, I decided I'd plonk myself in the A&E waiting room and see if someone could help me. (At that point, a heavy dose of morphine to knock me out sounded really tempting). As I got ready to go, though, I felt really anxious and slightly wrong about going to A&E.

In the end, I decided to give the 111 service a try again (I had called this number before about the pain, and they suggested I 'take paracetamol' and 'avoid smoking' which wasn't really much use at all, especially to a non smoker). However, bursting into tears on the phone may have convinced the lady on the other end that I might actually need to see someone this time, and my lovely parents came round to take me to the out of hours surgery.

Before I left, I messaged a couple of friends and Chris spoke to his parents. We asked them to pray. My main concern was that I'd go there, be fobbed off by another doctor and be sent away with more antibiotics. I really wanted to know what was wrong with me, and I couldn't bear the thought of another sleepless night due to the pain, and I wasn't sure I had the strength to fight my case. I had lovely messages of support and promises of prayer.

Went to see the doctor. An older man, with graying hair, with a very serious and sombre air about him. He listened carefully to my explanations, and I stammered tearfully into the silence. (I made sure to repeat 'I can't take this pain anymore' a few times). Eventually I tailed off awkwardly as he tapped away on the keyboard.

Then, the doctor reached out for a briefcase behind him and pulled out a book called something along the lines of 'The pocket book of headaches.' He asked me lots of questions, flicking between the pages as we spoke. Then he pulled out a little instrument from the briefcase. It looked like a tiny hammer with a nail on the end. Then he poked me (pretty hard) on the right side of my face and said 'Could you feel that?'

I said, 'Er, yep.' (whilst thinking, 'Duh, you just stabbed my face with a nail.') He proceeded to poke the other side of my face with it.

'Could you feel that?' the answer was no. I couldn't feel anything. My face was completely numb.

'That's your diagnosis.' The doctor had an air of triumph about him, like a scientist who had made a new discovery. 'You have trigeminal neuralgia.'

He went on to explain it and I tried desperately to take it in. It's not easily diagnosed because it's often mistaken for toothache and sinus infections. It comes and goes, which explains my brief relapses from the pain. The hammer-and-nail-thingy test is a sure way to get a diagnosis. I have a damaged nerve, the trigeminal nerve, causing me intense pain. Normal painkillers don't work. Antibiotics don't work. There isn't really a cure for it. It's more about pain management. Some people have it forever, other people find it will tail off eventually, some people have relapses that last years ... etc, etc.

He suggested I dispose of any antibiotics and painkillers I might have left, because they are completely useless, and prescribed me some different tablets instead. Then he smiled and said, 'I happen to have a special interest in head and facial pain, which is why I carry these around with me.' He gestured to his book and the little hammer thing, and I just stared at him.

After thanking him profusely, I practically skipped to the car with my parents as I explained it all. Finally! A diagnosis! After months of going back and forth to my GP surgery and not getting anywhere. And an appointment with a doctor who just happened to know about facial pain! I was praising God for that, big time.

My Dad suggested I write down his name so I could write a letter of thanks or something. He had an unusual name. Let's say its Dr Hill-Smith (it turns out I'm rubbish at making up double-barrelled surnames). I took down his name on my phone so I would remember.

When I climbed into bed that night, my elation turned into worry. A bit of Googling told me a lot of interesting things. For example, TN is known as the 'suicide disease' because of a high rate of suicide amongst its sufferers. Also, it is known as 'one of the most painful conditions known to humankind.'

You can imagine how I felt when I read that.

Two days later I was on the phone to my GP surgery. The tablets he had given me were not working. I was tired to the point of mild hysteria, because every night for three nights, I couldn't sleep because of the pain. I'd drift off, then jerk awake again ten minutes later because I had a sudden spasm of pain. Desperate, I tried to get an appointment with my GP.

The receptionist apologized and said that my normal doctor wasn't in that day. 'We do have a locum available for a telephone consultation,' she said, 'Dr Hill-Smith?'

Seriously? The doctor I saw on Sunday who happened to be good at, you know, facial-pain-related stuff, happened to be at my surgery on the day that I needed a doctor? Awesome.

So now I'm trying to adjust to life with TN. It's not been easy so far. This past week, I've either felt completely spaced out due to the tablets I've been prescribed, or in immense pain. As in, panic-attack-in-the-Matalan-carpark levels of pain. I've been talking to some other TN sufferers online, which helps. I've been learning about the trigeminal nerve and the possibility of having surgery in the future. Tonight, I had such an awful bout of pain that I thought I was going to go mad from it; then, a couple of hours later, it had calmed down to the point of being able to read my baby bedtime stories. Some mornings it's so bad that I can't put on make-up, or brush my teeth; other mornings I feel fine. It's strange, and I feel very wary. I'm always on the alert for when the next attack will arrive. And it's frustrating, because it's not something I can easily explain to people. I am becoming good at hiding how weird and spaced out I feel after taking tablets (I think).

My emotions are all over the place. I'm upset at missing big chunks of time with my loved ones, and I'm upset that I can't do things at my normal pace. I feel that life is a bit chaotic. Some evenings I'm so dazed by the medication that I have to go to bed and leave Chris to sort out the baby. On one particular evening, I slept through Chris getting up with her five times.

Still. I'm praising God for His goodness in providing me with just the right doctor (twice!) Any other doctor might have prescribed me some morphine or something and sent me home. Seeing this doctor has finally given me the peace I needed in understanding what is wrong with me, and set the ball rolling for me to see specialists and get some advice in managing the pain.

I'm also praising God for family and friends, who rally around me with practical support and prayer; I haven't felt alone or afraid, because I'm totally hemmed in with people who care for me. I've been relying heavily on Chris, too, and he has picked up the challenge of work, a demanding baby and a poorly and spaced out wife with ease. As soon as he gets in the door, he takes over without me having to say a word. And I'm thanking God for that every day.

Sorry this is so long. I understand that people around me are suffering with far worse conditions than trigeminal neuralgia. I don't want to come across as selfish or whiny. I also don't want to be defined by it, either. I'm hoping that eventually, when I get used to life with this pain, it will become a background thing about me instead.

I guess I'm just trying to get my head around it. Also, I've found great comfort in reading about people's journeys with neuralgic pain; I hope that maybe my new found companions-with-TN might find the same comfort in reading mine.

I will be back to normal, blog-wise, soon. I've had a few posts going round in my head but they are on the back-burner at the moment. But soon I will be back to normal (I pray!). :)

7 quick takes #12 - 7 scriptures that get me through weeks like this

Friday, 8 August 2014

It's been a rough week. I will probably blog about it at some point. Haven't had time to blog properly, so thought I'd post a few scriptures that help me in times of stress, anxiety, and worry. Please excuse the fuzzy pictures, my wrinkly and coloured-in Bible, and my terrible nails! :)

1.


My life verse. 'So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.' - Isaiah 41:10

2.


Song of Songs 2:10-13. I wrote about this verse before. 'Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.'

3.


This is the verse I used to pray over the baby when I put her down to sleep. (And still do!) Psalm 121. 'The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.'

4.


Matthew 6:25-34. My favourite bit is 'Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.' 

5.


Psalm 91:14-16. 

6.


Romans 8:31-37. A stunning passage.

7.


James 1:2 is really challenging me this week. Easy to say, harder to do!


7 quick takes #11 - a pic-heavy post of things I am thankful for

Friday, 1 August 2014

1.

Eleven months of joy so far. I am loving the age our baby is right now; she is clever, sweet, and has a verging-on-the-slightly-mad sense of humour (like her parents). Every day it seems she accomplishes something new, and the more she communicates, the more I can see the person she's going to become.

This time next month, I'll probably be in the kitchen making her a birthday cake.

What a crazy year. What a blessed, incredible year.

But more on that in a few weeks.

2.

Messy play.



We love messy play!


Also I am massively thankful for this bit of oilcloth I got from Amazon. It works as a messy play mat, an under-the-highchair-food-catcher, a tablecloth ... love it.

3.

Big cousin time.



I've had my niece a couple of times while she's been on her summer holidays, and I've loved it. So has the baby. All she wants to do is follow my niece around and get involved with what she's doing.

Also, baby spent a good ten minutes staring at her and laughing - not quite sure what's going on in her brain.

4.

Beautiful places in beautiful weather.







We went for a day out with Chris's parents to Bishop's Palace in Wells, and it is so beautiful there.



5. 

Parents who come to the rescue.

So I've been having this ongoing health thing for eight months now and I have hit a wall as far as doctors are concerned. I'm now facing the mildly headachey prospect of switching surgeries in the hope that I will find one doctor who will actually investigate what is wrong with me properly, after thinking I was finally getting somewhere with my current GP, only for him to prescribe me antibiotics again and send me on my way.

However he also prescribed me some pretty strong painkillers which sent me into a mad haze of dizzyness, weird blurry vision, nausea, sleepiness (as in literally couldn't stay awake) and general heart-racing wrong feelings. As I lay on the sofa looking after my niece and my daughter, I thanked God for my parents, who turned up, fixed up some lunch for my niece, took the girls out to the park while I got some rest, waited for Chris to come home so I wouldn't be on my own, and then took my niece back with them so she could spend the afternoon at their house.

I seriously love them. Thank God for parents, who are always there being parent-ey, even after you're all grown up.

6. 

Making the most of the summer. This time last year I was heavily pregnant, too hot, and miserable. Despite my moaning last week that it is too hot, I'm actually kind of enjoying it. This year I am trying to get outside as much as possible. I'm trying to wring every last drop of fun out of the summer months.

So much nicer than sitting in my underwear in a darkened room in front of a fan having constant heat-triggered false contractions. ;)

PS. Just after I wrote this post, I went out for a walk with the baby and got caught in a sudden and unexpected hailstorm. Baby was snuggled up under her raincover while I half laughed, half screamed, running back to the house pushing the buggy in one hand and wrestling with an umbrella in the other. Thereby proving to me that you can jinx the weather.

7.

I'm typing this from our spare bedroom! Finally I have managed to get rid of all the junk, rearrange the furniture, etc, so that we have a little desk area. This means I can come in here and get on with things while my baby explores the space behind me.


Here she is calmly playing with my nail varnishes educational toys next to the Washing Basket of Shame while I type. Yay!

Happy Friday everyone :)





CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan