Go Easy On Yourself and Breathe, My Friend.

Go Easy On Yourself and Breathe, My Friend

“Breathe, my friend.
You are not old, you are young.
You are not a mess, you are normal.
Extraordinary, perhaps.
In the blink of an eye your life will change.
And it will continue to change for decades to come.
Enjoy it. Embrace it…Be grateful for the ride.
You are not old, you are young.
And faith will get you everywhere.
Just you wait”.

Hmmmmm these words. So very soothing. 

Like a gentle balm on sunburnt shoulders after a long day in the sun.
That first cup of coffee in the morning when you are woolly-headed and can’t quite wrap your brain around what lies ahead for the day.
Jumping into a cool shower and wetting your hair, immersing yourself in the rush of the water, blocking out the world – just for a moment.

This is how I feel when I read this lovely quote. As though I have been given permission to breathe in the busyness and frantic spaces that is our world.
I am as young as I feel, not middle-aged, as my son politely informed me the other day.
There will be some days that I barely feel as though I have left my teenage years and yet others – I will feel every bit the 44 years I have lived on this earth.
My bones will ache and my movements labour.
And that is ok.

I am not a mess. I am a beautiful creation. One worthy of kindness and love and mercy.
Some days I will feel like I have smashed the day like a boss and excelled every single time, with every single thing. Other times I will fail.
My house will be a mess, my clothes crumpled and I will feel incapable of caring for myself, let alone others.
And that is ok.

There will be times that I feel utterly, extraordinary and precious. I will see my gifting’s and thank the Father for making me a perfect creation in His eyes.
I will create and nurture and show gentleness, compassion and tenderness.
Yet again, I can be scratchy and overtly sensitive and critical. I can be so quick to condemn. Yelling at a slow driver, clicking my tongue when someone is being difficult, quick to judge and even quicker to be unkind.
And I swear a lot in my head. Some days.
And that is ok.


I know that in the blink of an eye – mere seconds even – my life can change direction.
I may move house, move countries, lose friends, make mistakes, regret my actions. Deeply.
My husband may lose his job. I may lose mine.
My beloved family may suffer. Cancer may become our norm. Life will spin on its axis and I will feel like a stranger in my skin.
I will find a new normal again.
And that is ok.

There will be moments of pure joy. When my heart feels so full of happiness that I could burst.
I will look at my life and genuinely feel frightened at the perfectness of it. Afraid it will shatter into a thousand pieces.
I will want to hold on to happiness like a small child holds onto their parent’s hand. But as much as I tighten my grip, that feeling will disappear and I will feel sad at its departure.
But then I will embrace happy and smile at those golden moments.
I will be thankful for the wild ride that is life. And when the cloudy days threaten to spill over and stay awhile, I will know that this too will pass.
And it does. Just as I always knew it would.
And that is ok

I am as young as I choose.
And faith will always be my friend. My constant, my solid ground and measuring stick. I will return again and again and again to the truthful words of the Father.
And I will know that I am loved. Despite everything.
And that makes everything ok.

And I will wait. Because most of life feels like a wait sometimes.
Waiting for something to happen, waiting for something to change, waiting to be loved, waiting for the sunshine, for my children to be grown-ups, independent, happy and settled with a life of their own.
Waiting for my life to be a little easier.
And that, also, is ok.

Because, I am a work in progress. And guess what?
So are you.

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Are you Stuck in the Sand?

Sitting in the Sand.


I found out this week that elephants like to throw sand over themselves after cooling down in the water. The sand protects them from parasites and also keeps the sun from burning their skin. When the little calves are sleeping, the adult elephants stand over their form to shield them from the harsh rays.

I feel a bit like an elephant lately. Not in size, but certainly in the area where I feel stuck in one place.
It’s frustrating, as I want to move forward into a new season but feel there is still growth to be accomplished in the sand.

The thing is, sand is uncomfortable. I can’t imagine how itchy those elephants feel after a soothing, cool wash to then be coated in gritty, scratchy dirt.

Sand is a bit like one of those friends who overstay their welcome at your house. It hangs around a lot and you find it everywhere. Under your toenails, in your armpits, up your nose. And whilst over-stayers don’t become stuck in one’s armpit, they can get up your nose and irritate you!

So here I am. Sitting in the dirt and wondering when the uncomfortable phase will end. It’s my intuition, that I will be here for a while.

The amazing thing about dirt, is that it is literally teaming with life. To look at it, it’s dry and dusty but the fact is that 20,000 pounds of living matter can be found within the top six inches of soil. And one tiny tablespoon has more organisms than there are people on earth.

In case you missed that – there is life in dirt.
Abundantly so.

And whilst I’m not enjoying digging my feet into the dirt, I can appreciate the life beneath me.
The perfect balance of nourishing goodness that naturally feeds and grows so much life in earth we can take for granted.

So – A Few Things I Have Learnt From Sand Sitting:

-1 Don’t be tempted to wash the sand off too soon.
Believe me, I’ve tried and it just means I am sand-free for a whole five or so minutes, and then right back in the middle of that dirty soil.
In other words, whatever is sticking to you in the sand, will stay stuck until you have dealt with it.

-2 Look at your sand-experience as a blessing – of sorts.
This is a hard one and I am by no means, an expert here.
What I do know though, it that there is a reason for being in the space you are in.
Yes, it’s not fair if you are there because of the actions of other people.
If your partner has called time-out or your children don’t want to listen or talk to you anymore, that can feel like a tonne of unjustified bricks have just been thrown your way. It seems really unfair and unwarranted and believe me, I totally understand those emotions.
As much as it may feel outside of your control, there is always, always an element of power that you can own.
Whether it is in time, understanding that you may have contributed to other people’s actions or you want to change how your future is shaped, take this time to deeply look within and discern what can be learnt from this space.
This also might mean admitting you have played a part and contributed to the situation.  I told you it was a difficult one.

-3 Try not to put a time-limit on dirt sitting.
If you are anything like me, I am impatient. I find it hard to sit still without jiggling my legs or wiggling my toes, so sand sitting can be torture!
I also like to plan, so telling myself that this period will last for a certain amount of days or weeks (I don’t even go there for months and years!) – helps me.
It also hinders my healing.
The reason is, because I put too much pressure on myself to recover and move forward and then when I don’t, I feel like a failure and very guilty at not being able to handle it.
Basically, see point one, and don’t try and force yourself to move on.
It just doesn’t work in the long-term.

-4 Don’t be embarrassed about the dirt.
Nobody wants to admit that they aren’t in a good place.
In this age of perfection, particularly within social media circles, we all want to show our sunny, happy sides, like the rest of the world is doing or striving to do.
However, we all know this isn’t real life.
Everybody, no matter who they are and how much money they have or don’t have, will go through dirt experiences.
Being honest and sometimes even vulnerable, can not only help your journey but also assist others who are facing similar trials.

It has often been said, that difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.
My dirt-digging experience has shown me, that although the soil is grey and ugly, it holds hidden treasures of nourishing goodness that I would be very wise to not ignore.

So, I am going to stay here for a while and dig my toes in a little deeper, whilst spending some time with The Gardener who I suspect has a lot to tell me.

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When Your Dreams Don’t Come True!

When Your Dreams Don’t Come True!

A Beautiful Mess.

So I once had a dream.
In it, I was surrounded by many children, a few cats and a Labrador. The lab was laying by the fire. The children were playing contentedly. They didn’t squabble or niggle each other.
The girls had long blonde hair, which fell in curly waves around their angelic faces.
My home was overwhelmingly inviting with lots of soothing whites and grey, and incredibly peaceful.
We lived in the countryside, surrounded by fluffy sheep with black heads and feet, and a bunch of pretty cows.
Our garden was a tangle of pastel coloured climbing roses, meandering over the stone cottage that had aged gracefully over the years.
Little tulips bobbed their heads about in the spring sunshine.
The grass was warm and soft.
My boys were laying on a checked picnic rug, contentedly reading. A gentle breeze blowing their wispy hair.

Dreams are a precious gift in that they give us the incentive to move towards a certain goal.
They are our enablers and the wind beneath our wings.
We, however, are the ones that have to keep the dream moving forwards.
And then we finally arrive at our destination – except it looks different, altered and not really as we perceived it would play out.

In my case, the reality of my dream, looks like this:

My children, of which there are many, are wonderful and unique creations. Only one of my six has blonde hair and it’s dead straight.
We do have a dog – a Labradoodle called Queenie. She does sit by the fire. She also sheds hair and eats her poo. Like I said, not quite the image I had in mind.


I have a smattering of boys and girls and whilst they do play nicely together, there are some sneaky stirrers in the pack, who poke and wind each other up like expert covert agent’s, trained in the art of sabotage and infiltration.

I hope my home is overwhelmingly inviting, but many days, it is messy, the toilet doesn’t flush and the children’s sheets haven’t been washed for a month.
There are occasions I step back and think my house looks so amazing, it could be in a magazine spread. It stays this way for precisely 5 minutes. But I know for sure, it’s happened at least once in my life.

I also have a lot of whites and grey. One being a white cotton sofa. It currently has small black paw prints scattered across the cushions from muddy cat feet. I have covered the sofa with throw rugs and these have acquired weird crispy bits on them. I fear it is either snot or the leftovers of a mouse one of the cats caught last week.

We are surrounded by animals. Lots of horses as well as some cows and sheep in a field nearby. The horses are really sweet from a distance but poo the size of houses.
My kids step in that – often – and walk it through the house. Come to think of it, that may be the mysterious substance on my throw rugs.
Our garden is green. That is all.


And whilst my initial dream, holds all of the wild magic and freedom of a fairytale, it’s not real life.
I would much prefer the scenario where I am in the middle of my beautiful mess because that’s when the real magic happens.
Delightfully chaotic, taking me on a wild adventure daily, with no room for boring or perfection.

It is in those moments of chaotic messiness and the cries of “watch me one more time mummy”, that I truly see the beauty in my everyday.
Right there amongst the dirty washing and the barking dog, the child who wants my attention and the one who is hungry – that I know I am living my dream.

But far, far better than the original version.

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