Sunday, 20 April 2014

Goodbye my friend

I have this friend Sara, she has the most amazing smile and incredible laugh. She's strong, stubborn and a fabulous wife and mother.

Well, you have to be pretty strong to fight cancer for 10 years.

I last saw Sara about 4 weeks ago, we usually see each other at school pick up and drop off but she hadn't been in the playground since the kids came back from their Christmas break and I knew she must be very Ill if she couldn't make it out to pick up her lovely Sons from nursery and school. So I checked with her Husband and made arrangements to pop round. I was shocked by the change in her appearance, but she was still very much herself to talk to.

We talked about the elephant in the room, the 'Big C' and we talked normal mum stuff. Most fundamentally for me, Sara opened up about her Faith and how She'd had Faith as long as she could remember.  I'm pretty sure she was saying 'it's OK, I know I'm dying to this life on earth but I'm going home to Jesus' and that she'd made her peace with it.

The cancer was in most of her organs, then in the last few months a large tumour had grown on her back. The next blow was, the cancer had spread to her brain.  A week of Radiotherapy was started to tackle the brain tumour and completed 3 weeks ago.

Less than a week later she died.

She was never my closest friend, I think it would be wrong to give you that impression but she was always 'for' me. Trusted me to childmind her youngest Son when that was my job and was a champion of my new  business when I started that. We shared little 'in' jokes, made each other laugh and stood side by side in the world of motherhood.

We hugged the day I left her house (we never usually hugged!) that last time I saw her, she held me tight for a good while. In hindsight this was goodbye.

My first church service since hearing Sara had passed away was very emotional. Singing the lyrics 'you alone are good' about God in one of our worship songs just didn't ring true. I was angry with Him. Then God gave me an image of blue sky, beautiful meadows and Sara running through them. Her amazing laugh ringing out. Ok, she's in heaven and I'm so glad she's out of pain but tell me again why she's not here with her Husband and two young boys?

I know I will find out in the fullness of time why God heals some and not others, right now it seems like a lottery that makes no sense but if Sara found the strength to still have faith with all that was thrown at her,  then who am I to question it?

Until we meet again my friend, I love you.

Esther xx

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Make the right choices

I haven't updated this blog for so, so long but I will just say I've moved on (literally & metaphorically!) so much since my last post.

Anyway, that's not way I've finally put finger to ipad to type this. It came to me during worship today that being a Christian when you're surrounded by Christians is pretty easy. You can comfortably talk about Jesus, things going on at church, worship music and pray without fear of judgement.

Being with those who are not yet followers of Christ is where the challenge lies. They may cause you to doubt your faith, try to lead you to things that would not honour God and that's if you've been 'brave' enough to tell them you're a Christian.

I'm not saying you should only hang around with Christians, that would be pretty hard for me considering my Husband isn't a Christian! But rather learn to be true to yourself whoever you're with. Workplaces and social situations can be tricky but I don't think it's healthy to live in a Christian bubble, only reading Christian books & listening to worship music.

Go and live life to the full, grab it with both hands  but don't forget to pray for God's protection over you. He will always be with you no matter what company you're keeping.

Esther xx

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Sleepless nights cured by blessings

The last couple of months have been busy to say the least.

I gave up my job as a childminder in October and can now concentrate on being a mum & I'm so blessed to have that privilege. I also have my new Stampin' Up! Adventure which has been a dream I had previously been to scared to fulfil. Crafting is my passion & I now get to share that passion with other people & pass on my crafting knowledge, I love it!

My Dad was taken into hospital with yet another angina attack which resulted in a triple bypass after a couple of weeks in hospital. His surgeon said he was lucky to be alive as the blockage in his heart was so large that he could have died at any time. I don't put this down to luck.

After around 2 1/2 months of trying we finally sold out house. It was high risk accepting the offer as our vendor wasn't playing ball & didn't want to accept our offer. We ended up having to offer a little more than we wanted to secure the deal but we knew it was the house for us.

There were some other things going on that I won't bore anyone with but the combination of events in my life left me pretty frazzled & unable to sleep but I clung on tight to my faith & prayed more than I have ever done!  I will be totally honest & say there were moments when I thought God wasn't listening but then I am an extremely impatient person so I guess that was my lesson.

Last night I had the best night sleep, ever! I'm over whelmed by all the ways big & small my family has been blessed lately & I feel grateful, thankful & happy. I know there will be many more trials in this life but I have learnt that God really will be with me.

Esther xx

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Not quite there yet....

We put our house on the market in early September and have lost one house already & found another we love & we're blessed that, for now, the owners are holding out for us. I've lost count of how many viewings we've had & even after dropping the price 3 times we still haven't sold. We've had one, quite frankly, insulting offer which we politely declined.

I've also had a trying time with my job but I finish on 31st October and I can't wait. Keeping a house tidy enough for viewings is a full time job in itself especially when said house has 3 boys in it aged from 6 to 43.

The 3rd stress has been my Dad. He was rushed to hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning with yet another angina attack. The operation that all the medical staff have been trying to avoid is now the only choice they have left. It's pretty risky as it involves getting to the back of the heart but they seem all set to perform a triple bypass on him which will most likely be next week.

These times call for me to be deeply rooted in Faith, the temptation is to blame God for these tough times but I'm determined to stand strong in my Faith and know that God will bring me out the other side and that I can fully trust in Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Esther xx

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

How do we define value?

I've just watched a programme called Antiques Road trip

It's the usual format with antiques experts getting pieces and selling them on for profit at auction. One
of this evenings lots was a Staffordshire piece depicting an elephant with a clock on its back. It had
quite a bit of damage and the shop owner said he had got it for nothing as it had been left, unloved 
at the back of a cupboard for many years. The shop owner put a value of £12 on it and placed it for 
Along came the antiques expert and as he thought it was an unusual piece offered £8 as an 
experiment as much as anything else.
So fast forward to audition day. There was a really flurry of interest in the room but the real drama
happened via telephone bid & Internet bid. The price crept up & up and the £8 elephant sold for £2700

I believe, all too often, we try to put a value on people too. A movie star, pop singer or premiership 
footballer is treated better than that homeless person that gets walked past without a second glance.  If a famous 
person walked into a shop there would be a great deal of excitement and probably a lot of anticipation
for what the shop management could gain from this person. I suspect that if a homeless person walked 
Into the same shop the management would be more concerned with getting him or her out of the shop

God wouldn't shove anyone 'to the back of the cupboard'. He thinks each and everyone one of us is 
a treasure, the most valuable and precious thing in the whole world and worthy of his love without exception.
He doesn't care how much you earn, where you live or how influential your friends are.

He loves you, end of.

Esther xx

Thursday, 13 September 2012

My disability

Sunday at church we were asked to think about what our disability might be. It could be physical, mental, financial or basically anything that might stop you living the way you'd like to.

I praise God for being physically healthy and for being blessed with a husband who is my soul mate and our 2 beautiful boys but I realised that I do have a disability. My disability is a complete lack of confidence. My self esteem is currently flat on her face not wanting to get up. Now I've never been overly confident in my ability, looks or body but these feeling have definitely peaked lately and I'm pretty sure that job hunting hasn't helped in the least. I've been left feeling like I'm basically of no use to society.

What has really struck me over the last few days is how much this stops me from doing things and how many offers I decline (mainly social) as I'll automatically think I'll fail, say something stupid, be rubbish, or have nothing to add. This doesn't make me a very good role model to my children and certainly isn't allowing me to fulfil God's great plans for me.

I'm going to try & take baby steps to rebuilding my self esteem, saying yes a few more times without going into a blind panic.I really don't want to spiral downwards any more but I know God has a very tight hold on me and He wont let me go.

Esther xx

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Stumbling block

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10:35, 36 NIV)

I turned to my bible app this evening as I'm feeling down. Today we found out that we'd lost out on the house we really wanted to buy. I felt really upset but knew deep down God has it all in hand and that, for whatever reason, that house wasn't the one for us.

How interesting that the first verse I should read would speak of perseverance & the rewards that come with it.  If that's not a clear word from God telling me to 'hang on in there' I don't know what is! 

So the search continues......

Esther xx