The Winter of My Disconnect

Welcome back!  Apologies for the delay in programming.  I’ve been on an unexpected sabbatical of sorts for the last few months.  Some significant health challenges for our family and some major upheavals in the social justice work I’m involved with resulted in me dropping some balls.  This, sadly,  being one of them.

Ironically, during this season I have become more convinced than ever about the importance of fellowship with sisters-in-Christ and places to find uplifting Christian resources.   Over time, I hope together we can establish this little corner of the interwebs as a positive resource for whoever needs it, reflecting generosity and compassion.

My spirit has taken some pretty heavy hits in the last few months both physically and emotionally and what I can tell you unequivocally  is “Our God is faithful”.
Even when the news is not welcome.
Even when things you have hoped and prayed would change haven’t.
Our God IS faithful.
I have never once felt alone.  Instead, He has lead me to look at my life through a new lens.  One where I am loved, even if I can’t be a work horse.  Who knew??

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If you’re interested, here are some things that I’ve found restorative and life-affirming during my healing break:

Books:

 

Podcasts:

 

Music:

Bible Verses:

 

All of the above has encouraged me to live gently, quietly, contentedly and hopefully showing myself and others more grace.

There is a difference, I have learned, between self-care and self-comfort.  Discerning the difference has been a life-changer.  Binge-watching Netflix is self-comforting but not particularly helpful.  Going for a walk in the fresh air and ignoring the laundry for a morning is mentally restorative and self-caring, especially knowing that the laundry will get done eventually anyway.

My prescription for living has been more family time, less outside commitments.  More prayer, less yelling.  More long bubble baths, less 5 minute rushed showers.  More healthy food, less take away.  More fresh air, less sitting inside.  More reading, less screens.  More worship music, less depressing radio news updates.  More grace, less expectation.  Less talking, more listening. More social justice, less politics.  More love, less judgement.

I have also made small changes like buying myself really nice face cleanser and moisturiser and beautiful pyjamas so that when I get into bed I feel ready to rest.  I hadn’t bothered to “spoil” myself like this in years.  Rearranging my bedroom furniture and putting crisp white linen on the bed with new fluffy pillows was also incredibly refreshing.  I needed a restful cocoon in which to retreat to at the end of the day which had been filled with confronting new realities.

Living brave in this season doesn’t necessarily mean living loud.  There are certainly seasons to be lived loud and bold and unconstrained.  Right now, for me,  living brave means living gently, connected to my people in meaningful ways and this takes time. Investing in them and receiving community in return. Living life around a table, breaking bread together, sharing plates, stories and memories.  This is living. And it takes bravery. Which is the spirit which our God has planted in each of us.

 

Go live your Brave, Sister. xo

I am a mother & so are you

by Cheryl Moses

For all my single girls, marrieds without kids and for your precious sisters whose wombs will forever be empty….

As Mother’s Day approaches I often find myself a bit nostalgic. Everyone is making plans for the day – celebrations, surprises, and family gathering, but not me, and I’m okay with that.

My mother passed away when I was 28. I’m almost a couple of decades past that now, but I still miss her. I don’t despise the plans others are making, nor do I wish the day away. Life and death are part of our experience and we shouldn’t let the latter overshadow the first.

 Yet this Mother’s Day I’ve been thinking about you – your hearts, your longings, your pain and disappointments. Mostly, I’ve been thinking how lonely many of you must feel on Mother’s Day. This is that day when the sting of words, glaring stares, confused looks and inconsiderate words come back to haunt you. You know the ones I’m talking about because they’re etched in your mind and some still prick your heart.

 “Why haven’t you had kids yet? Don’t you want them?” Or in my case, “You’ve NEVER had kids? Wow!”

Here are a few others that I especially abhor, “You wouldn’t understand because you don’t have kids,” and my least favorite, “Well that’s because you don’t have kids.”

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No one sees the tears you cry in secret because of the pain in your heart to bear children. No one understands the choices you’ve made that have lead you to where you are. No one but you know what God has called you to, and sometimes even you wonder about that.

Whether you are single by choice or like me, still waiting, or whether you’re childless by choice or still praying, barren or awaiting the call that will fill your arms with a child, please hear me today. You are significant. Your life matters! THERE IS GREAT VALUE IN YOU TODAY.

 Embrace your own unique journey. You will never have the freedom and opportunities you do now. Enjoy them! Cherish them! Honor the Lord through them. 

Good moms are not born. They’re taught. Whether you were privileged to be raised by one or not, start mothering right where you are. Take a younger woman under your wing. Pour into her. Love on a few babies. Help a young mom out. Do for others what you’d want if you were in their shoes. Use your life to bless them while you wait for your own blessing to arrive. 

Do not lament what you don’t have. Rejoice in God’s goodness to you today! He gives in abundance where gratefulness abides. As you give thanks for what is good in your life, your desire may not fade but your spirit will find peace with you today. God is not punishing you with barrenness or singleness. You are not suffering the plight and stigma of empty arms. You are simply holding out for God’s goodness while your arms find their way around another daughter or son to love. 

 

Do what many busy moms cannot. Give yourself away, mothering the motherless, or whomever the Lord puts in your path. Oh, the power of your voice and the impact of your influence. You don’t have to bear children to be a mother.

Allow your current circumstance to groom you for the person you wish to become. Don’t allow the enemy’s lies to keep your heart filled with sorrow. Step into the innate desire within us all – every woman, to nurture and to care for someone. It’s embedded within you. So it has to spill out somewhere or else your heart will become sick.

 I received a gift this week from an anonymous giver. It was this beautiful purple rose, a real one that had been dipped in 24 kt gold. Whoever sent it knows I love purple, but it was the enclosed note that got me. I’ve reread it multiple times this week because it touched me so deeply.

It simply said, “Cheryl Moses, thank you for being a spiritual Mom to so many. You are loved, greatly!”

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Your words can touch where a mother’s cannot, even though they’ve said the same thing over and over to their children. Your life makes a difference. Your words matter. You are not broken because you’re not a mom. Your life is a beautiful gift waiting to be poured out. Please share it today.

 Love Cheryl.

 

CHERYL MOSES. (1)

A Mother’s Day Reflection for ALL Women

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by Miriam Jessie

A reflection that is for all women as we approach Mother’s Day.

As a mother the idea of Mother’s Day delights me, but in a church context I both love and tremble at bringing this celebration through the doors and into the church.

In every ‘Happy Mother’s Day’, I am reminded of a time I sat with a friend who cried at another period announcing her hope for motherhood was dashed again.

I think of the single friend who has such a great capacity for love, who longs for motherhood and sees no answer to that longing.

I think of the women who fill pews and live silent about abortions they have had because they already feel condemnation and no space to be loved and grieve their loss.

I weep for the women who have been rejected and hurt by the adults they once rose to tend in the midnight hours.

I feel the silent crushing weight of the myriad of women who feel they are failing to mother ‘as they ought to’. Continue reading “A Mother’s Day Reflection for ALL Women”

to love and to feed them

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By EMMA CRAUFORD

It has occurred to me that when it comes to raising children, nothing can actually prepare you for each new season.

I don’t like this.

If at all possible, I would prefer 12 months notice on All Issues That Will Arise with each of my children. Then I could plan, research, study, hold focus groups and interrogate All Those Who Have Gone Before and demand their wisdom and insights. I could search for the people who have experienced the exact same thing that my kids will and ask them “What do I do?” Continue reading “to love and to feed them”

Breaking Busy

by Meredith Donkin

I’m reading this at the moment:

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And by reading, I mean, I’m listening to it on my phone while I do the laundry which has gotten completely out of hand.

I’m not sure if it’s a reflection of where my life is at the moment, or just that it’s so very, very good….but I am LOVING this book.  It’s witty, realistic, encouraging and challenging in all the right measure.  Alli Worthington is the Executive Director of Propel Women, is happily married and has five sons.  This woman knows busy.  But she also understands busy with a purpose, which is the difference.

I’ve found in Christian circles there can be that “you need to increase your capacity/Proverbs 31 woman” thinking which makes me want to hide under the doona.  The opposite of this is what I had one mother say to me “Oh, you’re busy?  You know what busy stands for?  Burdened Under Satan’s Yoke.  Maybe you should not be working outside the home”.  I wanted to do her physical harm….forgive me Jesus.

If you’re struggling with feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty knowing where and how you should be expending your time and energy, I highly recommend you stop what you’re doing and read/listen to this book.  It could just stop that impending panic attack that you can feel coming on.

More than anything, you’ll also feel you have a friend in the trenches.  Alli is self-deprecating, warm and witty.  She is open about her flaws and her struggles, but also acknowledges good decisions and outcomes when they happen.  If you decide to listen to it via audible.com it’s a wonderful experience.  The narrator has a beautifully, mellifluous voice which made me feel calm almost immediately.  Think of it as therapy:)

I’ll leave you with some visuals taken from the book:

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Breaking+Busy+Book.+When+we+stay+focused+on+our+flaws+and+weaknesses,+we+lose+sight+of+the+truth+that+God+is+the+one+who+is+great,+and+he+does+great+things+through+flawed+people..+by+Alli+W

Breaking+Busy+book.+When+you+stay+focused+on+God,+you+will+not+miss+your+destiny.+Alli+Worthington

Breaking+Busy+book.traditions+don't+have+to+be+expectations.+Alli+Worthington

Breaking+Busy+Book.Undercommunication++occurs+when+we+don’t++feel+comfortable++or+courageous+enough+to+say+things+that+people+may+not+like...+by+Alli+Worthington

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Live Brave, Sister!

Meredy xo

 

Seeing beyond today

by Cheryl Moses

This is a situation that occurred sometime back, but in recent weeks, I’ve felt as though I’ve been reliving it.

35IQQRM2ILMy week began rather tumultuously. Monday brought with it enough discouragement to last me the entire week but I’m much too ornery for that, or so I like to think.

As I drove home that night after work, I could think of no better way to spend my evening than wasting away in a heap on the floor trying to figure out what went wrong. I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and fit to be tied! However, God in his gracious wisdom intervened and informed me that all that drama would not be necessary. It was not at all a fitting way for the daughter of a King to spend her evening.

 

 

Continue reading “Seeing beyond today”