Joyfully Blessed

Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the Word and in the world. (John Piper)

I love this definition of joy.  What a beautiful thing.

Most days I try to see the beauty in my every day life. God has always used little things to remind me of his love for me and the Joy he brings to my life.  It could merely be the sound of a bird singing outside, the laughter of my little daughter Esther, the way my plants bloom and grow after I lovingly tend to them.  The list is endless and in all of these things, I see Jesus.  I am one blessed person.

Blessed means to be happy and in the position to receive favour and benefits from God.

I would like to encourage anyone reading this to look for joy in everything, in everyday.

 

turn to him

In the midst of pain and suffering I will turn to my father who gives me peace and comforts me.  How else will I get through these days of endless discomfort.  

It is so very easy to forget to turn to God at the first signs of worsening circumstances.  It is easy to just wallow in my sadness.  

It is even easier to lie in his arms and rest in his word.

Thankfulness is infectious

I have had a pretty hard time since having my gorgeous daughter 6 months ago. My health in a number of areas has been awful and it has really taken it’s toll on me. Each day is a struggle and I know some mornings I sit and cry in despair not knowing how I will get through that hour let alone that day.

God is good though because I ALWAYS get through. I always feel his love surround me and in the midst of it all I try my hardest to remain thankful for the things I do have. I don’t always succeed and some days I spend in the depth of depression but even in these dark moments I know that I am ok and that I am not alone.

I have decided this year to create a wall hanging and each day leading up to christmas I am going to write something I am thankful for on a little card. It is a way for me to purposefully remind myself of the good things and while I’m at it I say a prayer for whatever and whoever I put on the wall.

Thank you God for loving me no matter how low or how high I feel. Although my life and health are up and down your love for me remains constant and what a comfort that is.

Goodbye but not goodbye

Our family (the in laws) seem to be in a constant state of leaving and coming home. I guess it is a part of any family life but for me it is one part that I truly hate. People leaving always gives you the opportunity to reflect on what you could have done more or could have done better but i do try to be grateful for the reality of our relationship and the time that we did have together.

My brother in law Mark and his wife Christine are moving to Darwin this week. Whilst I have comfort in the knowledge that God has called them there I still feel immensely sad.

I sort of feel the word proud is the wrong word to use when talking about someone who is following Gods will for their lives however I really am proud of them. It is quite the sacrifice to move away for obvious reasons and I know how easy it is to just live a comfortable life.

To my beautiful brother and sister thank you for always bringing joy. It truly does shine out of your eyes and out of every pore, the love you have for us. Thank you for loving Esther so much. Although she won’t see you all that often now I know she is going to grow up knowing you love her fiercely. Thank you for always loving me through my darkest times for always having faith that I would be well even when I couldn’t hope any longer. Thank you for being such a great example of Gods love to everyone you meet. I know that whatever may happen in Darwin, you will be the biggest blessing in a lot of people’s lives.

So for now it is goodbye but not goodbye for long

The healer

When I was 37 weeks pregnant I noticed that my back pain had gone. You might think this is no big deal but let me tell you… It is!

I hurt my back whilst nursing over five years ago and had not had any relief from horrible pain in all of that time. That’s not quite true actually, I had some pain injections (RF neurotomy) done prior to being pregnant and it had decreased my pain by half. I had started to be sure that my life would always be shadowed by horrible pain.

Then at 37 weeks pregnant BAM! I had all of the normal pregnancy discomfort but the area where my pain had been from the injury was good! Once again, like my depression , the only answer is God healing me. Seriously! I know this because the pain had gotten worse and worse with pregnancy so it can’t have been a result of the relaxin that people often associate with relieving pre existing back pain.

For the first time in five years I sat on the ground in the park at my mothers group this week. I didn’t even think about it… I just did it! That might not seem like a big deal but I can’t remember the last time I could do this without thinking about it first, without knowing I would get more pain later. I sat there completely injury related pain free! I say it that way because now that I have rheumatoid arthritis I have other pain but I just say I am a work in progress in that department!

God is a good and faithful God! I had given up all hope of seeing my back healed but my family hadn’t. Thank you beautiful family for never losing hopes for me and always praying anyway.

boy oh boy

I first started feeling ‘funny’ when Esther was 5 weeks old. Joe was heading over to Thailand for a week, my mum was coming to stay and although I was sad about Joe going away I was excited about spending a week with mum. The Thursday started out ok but as the day progressed I started feeling really anxious. Joe had to go shopping for wedding stuff so I decided Esther and I should go along. I hadn’t left the house much since Esther had been born except to go to hospital and my GP which was fine at the time but I was pretty excited to get out. It was a nightmare, I still have no idea what set it all off but I found the lights and music suffocating, Esther started crying (which she really never did), the shop attendants were driving me crazy and all I wanted to do was run home. I can be a very stubborn person so I stuck the nightmare out and promptly sobbed all the way home.

What the heck was wrong with me?

I now know it was the beginning of some lovely post natal depression. I was lucky because it freaked me out so much I actually told me GP the next week. She classes me as an under reporter so although I thought I spun a pretty convincing ‘I’m fine now but please keep an eye on me’ she referred me straight on to a psychologist.

I really struggled with all of it. I couldn’t understand why I was having post natal depression. Esther was such a chilled baby, I had been such a chilled mum, I thought PND only happened when your baby never stopped crying, when you were up all night and couldn’t put bub down. Don’t worry, I’m not saying Esther was perfect but she was exactly as I expected… A normal baby.

Depression doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t really matter or help to find a reason why you feel the way you do. Sometimes there isn’t a reason. All I knew was that I felt AWFUL.

My psychologist is awesome. She made me realise that I really was putting a lot of pressure on myself. Without even knowing it I was expecting myself to be like other mums, to be able to do more than I used to do. I was annoyed at myself on the days that I couldn’t keep up with the housework, dinner or look after Esther. I was angry that Joe had to take more time off work when I had continuously been sick after Esther was born. I just had to STOP.

RULES FOR ANY NEW MUMMY (by me)
1: no matter how tempted you are, don’t compare yourself to other mums. Whether it is good or bad stuff… Just don’t do it

2: be kind to yourself, your body has just been through a crazy 9 months topped off with a massive trauma at the end. Don’t expect yourself to function ‘normally’ for a very long time. If you are one of the fortunate ones that can function normally… Than lucky you!!!!

3. Who cares about housework!! For goodness sake, as long you and your baby are clean, fed and alive I think all is ok

4. Communicate with your partner/ husband. Although I like to believe Joe can do everything, he hasn’t quite mastered mind reading yet. I have had to work really hard at letting him in. This is especially difficult on the days when my head is telling me I suck! But it sure does help to share!

5. Get help! If you are feeling any different to how you thought you would, or how you we’re go and see your GP. You don’t have to go through it alone.

6. You are NOT alone!! Once I started opening up about having PND I found a heap of my mummy friends had also suffered it to varying degrees. In some ways people are sort of open about it, but when I was going through it I still felt very alone. Don’t feel ashamed if you are struggling, talk to your family, your friends, a professional…. Doesn’t matter who, just let someone in. Life is so much better when you do it together!

After Joe praying for me and God lifting my depression (yes yes I know that sound stupid but it is totally true) I feel a whole lot better. I still have moments every day when I start to feel ‘funny’ but I find I am better at talking myself around now. Some days it still feels like it is all to much and on those days I sometimes have a ‘poor me day’. I think that’s ok.

This mummy business is hard work but I really wouldn’t change any of it for anything!!!