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The Blessing of “Normal” When Life is Hard...

Advent means starting our day reading Ann Voskamp’s book “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift” in it we were encouraged to think of a family going through a really hard time, a family needing encouragement. They couldn’t think of one. I could think of a couple of families, but they are not on the children’s radar. But I think a survey of the people in our circle of acquaintances would place us at the top of the Family-In-Need-of-Encouragement list. We have our second terminally ill child in as many years, life is sad. Yet they don’t see themselves in a place of need. This made me smile, but also made me think how we’ve managed to do this. I think one of the reasons is we try to keep things “normal”. We keep on with life. I love the verse in Thessalonians 4:11 ” aspire to lead a quiet life”. There is so much wisdom in this simple verse. The quiet, simplicity, of doing normal life, with it’s regular rhythms brings a reassurance to the lives of children and adults. I also think one of the reasons the children do not see themselves as suffering is that we try not to wallow in self-pity, or surround them with voices that tell them things are hard. Of course there are sad times, and stressful times but that is not the prevailing spirit in the home. And this brings nicely to the final point I think is important when life is tough- to laugh. We are silly together. We do silly things. There is a lot of laughter in our home. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22 We have to find a way of laughing, it provides a protection against despair. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

These Autumn Days

Walking through the autumn woods, the glorious blaze of colour and the air filled with autumnal smells, no wonder L.M. Montgomery wrote in Anne of Green Gables “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” But Autumn is bitter-sweet, this audacious display of beauty is a display of death. The leaves are dying, and the beautiful days of autumn will soon give way to the icy chill of winter. In many ways my days are like autumn, as I hold my beautiful baby John who brings so much joy into our lives, his days on this earth will be short. Being with him is a sheer delight, but the time will come when it will be like winter to my soul and he will leave us. But in this time, as nature fills the season before winter with glory and beauty, so I want to fill my sons life with wonder. I want his short life to be one of joy, so when he looks down from heaven he can be glad to have lived out his days with us. I want him to experience the autumn air, the feel of the sun on his face, and to be surrounded by love. I want his siblings to treasure up these months with memories of their brother, so they can always carry him in their hearts. So that when the season changes we hope and pray we will be ready for it, that we can endure it. We trust in God’s goodness and love, that he who controls the seasons in our life will bring the Spring once more. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Perinatal Care: Pregnancy with a Terminally Ill Child...

When I was carrying little Lucy I did not know of her diagnosis. I clung onto hope that she would be a healthy child. But one of the marks of that pregnancy- more than any of my other pregnancies- was the bond I felt with her throughout the pregnancy. During those 9 months I experienced some wonderful times- important to me personally, but the sense that she too was experiencing them with me was profound. I “took” her hill climbing, to the ballet, on holiday…. and although she was in the womb, I felt she had experienced these moments with me. I felt she experienced the wonder of Swan Lake, and the beauty of the Isle of Skye- that she lived them through me, and in me. Since then I have discovered the concept of perinatal hospice. The idea that the womb is a hospice for the terminally ill baby. And you intentionally create memories with the unborn child- doing things with the child, that the child will never live to experience themselves. Intentional care and support through the prenatal period in which parents know their baby will not live long, has been shown to greatly help the healing process, and reduce the number of women who terminate such pregnancies- studies have shown an increase from 20% to 75% continuing such pregnancies to term. Although this concept was unknown to me, and Lucy’s diagnosis not known until the end of the pregnancy; the experience of her pregnancy was one of God’s grace. No matter how short a life is- every life counts. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...
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