"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds . . ." Wm Shakespeare

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Only In Him

She lives a life of quiet desperation
Always searching but never finding
The significance her heart seeks after
Years spent looking, long wasted years
New experiences, always new experiences
But still wandering, still wondering
When will it be her time, her turn to realize
The satisfaction, the fulfillment, the peace of knowing
This is what she was created for
This is what her heart has longed for and
This will quiet the desperate search for significance
To reach the potential she knows she carries in her heart and mind
But now, she sees only a pattern oft repeated
Of the relentless pushing, prodding of the Seeker of her heart
Never leaving, O never
But never giving in to her cries,
For He knows
Giving her what she wants, will not
Quiet the desperation, will not
Cause her to reach her potential, will not
Give her the significance she longs for, nor will it
Give her the beauty of all she was created for, but
Only in stripping away the dross, the hopeless
Wandering, the fruitless seeking and
The futility of finding her significance in
What she does or what she can do 
Will she find
She is significant simply
She exists
Only in bringing her to the end
Of the journey of her own desires
Will she find what she is truly made for
That, of being loved, wholly loved and cherished
Wholly loved and provided for
By the King of Kings, the Lord of creation,
The only true 
Lover of her soul
The only One who is the Answer to all her desires
Only then will she find the meaning of her life
Her satisfaction, Her fulfillment
Her peace and
Her irrefutable significance
Is, always has been and always will be
Found . . . in Him

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Who has Title to the Deed?

I’ve been thinking about how God is now the Owner of my ‘house/property’, in other words, of me, of my life.

I was thinking how I have often tried to make a bargain with Him, in essence saying, Well . . . ‘I’ll give you my life if you help me get  . . . .
  • The car of my choice, a boat, a cottage etc.
  • A good steady job
  • Financial security
  • A good husband to look after me
  • My own home
  • Lots of friends

But in truth, I am to give the deed of my life to God without expecting to receive anything back from Him. To say or think any variation of the above is to tell God, ‘thanks for your death but it's not enough!' 

Are you horrified by this as I am? But isn't it what we do without even thinking about it? We rationalize any number of ways to get what we want and think we should have, right?? Why else do we have those melt-downs when things don't go our way?? Were we not expecting something from Him we thought we should have?? If I'm completely honest, I have.

He gave up everything for me, should I not give everything to Him??

When Jesus stands at the door of our hearts (Rev 3:20), or our ‘house’ and knocks, ultimately, though he wants to come in and be in relationship with us, by the Light of His Truth, He shows us just how poorly we have managed our ‘house’ thus far. He wants us to hand it ALL over to Him; lock, stock and barrel and let Him direct the management from there on.

When we hand over the deed and relinquish control, and manage it under His direction and control, we find ourselves at rest, at peace, not needing to strive any more over all the intricate details of ownership. Any time we are not at rest or in peace, if we do a quick check, we often find we have taken back control and perhaps are doubting He even has a plan to handle it at all. We start messing about in our Father’s property and eventually find it all a mess again! Upon realization, we must simply  give the ownership back to Him as the ‘house’ is no longer ours to worry about!!

Each day he gives us new mercies and a fresh start, but each day we must ask him for direction, asking so-to-speak, for the ‘chores’ He wants us to work on. We don’t have to think of what today may encompass, He has a plan!

Things He may ask of us are:
  • Love our neighbour as ourselves – Gal 5:14
  • Forgive our enemies – Matt 6:14
  • Pray for those who persecute us – Matt 5:44
  • Turn the other cheek  - Matt 5:39
  • As much as is up to us, be at peace with all – Rom 12:18
  • Put off striving – Ps 46:10
  • Put on love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness – Gal 5:22
  • Feed the poor, look after widows and care for orphans – James 1:27, Isa 58:7, 10

 So, that’s my plan. As much as possible, to leave the details of each day to the One who has the Master Plan, the One who paid with His life for the ‘deed’ and Who now has the rights to look after His property according to His plan, not mine!

When I can remember this, the ‘house’ will be looked after so much better and I can quit striving about this, that and every other thing!

Here's hoping you can join this Girl on a Journey of relinquishing control and walking with God in Faith.
God bless 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Morning: Rambling Thoughts

I've been struck by this statement since I first heard it a few weeks ago: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience here on earth. We are spiritual beings spending a bit of time on earth". 

This brings 2 Cr 4:17 into much better understanding for me; "for momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison" and 1 Peter 1:6, "in this you greatly rejoice, even though for now a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials"

Once again I am encouraged by the fact that this IS temporary and the trials are for my spiritual growth and maturity and are not for nothing IF I embrace the process. God has the master plan for my life. I am not here to settle in and get comfortable or to fit in. How many times have I looked back at my life and declared with some despondency that "I have never fit in" be it with friends, co-workers or even in my own family. I take heart knowing eventually, when my time here is finished, I get to go to my spiritual home, there to reside in God's presence forever, no more heartache, physical boundaries and in the presence of perfect love.

I am a unique individual created for God's purposes and while that sometimes galls, when I get my thinking straightened around, I find much peace that Someone actually does have a master plan, one that is for my good, a plan for my future, otherwise what would hope would I have?

However, having said that, I can see that my journey has consisted of lapses of obedience where I struggled with God my Creator or even times of running from Him.

It has, and will continue to be frought with times of inconsistencies when I blatantly sin, when I ignore God and when I go my own way.

I will not have a perfect faith. I will have times of arguing with God, challenging Him, having testy debates with him, complaining about Him and to Him. Times when I let others down, when I behave less than I should.

But God, the Author and Finisher of my faith has me on this journey going from glory to glory and though the 'to' phase seems long and onerous, I know I am growing and maturing so those times become less and less and my faith, shown in how I live my life, is becoming stronger and more sure, and best of all I am becoming more like Jesus in the process.

My righteousness does not mean moral perfection but in being "in the right" before God because of my faith in Jesus Christ and His righteousness.

I need only to finish the race set before me, NOT having a perfect run, one without injuries or failures, only to finish the race.

A little poem on Process for you

LMNO. . . . Q??

It’s true you know, I did it,
My friends all laughed at me.
I loved them all, I used them too,
But oh, did I hate that “P”!

The Alphabet is such a gift,
They’re life to the words I write,
But that one small letter,
Near the end of the list,
Came at me with a bite!

I took it out, I kid you not,
Oh, not from words you see.
Just the Alphabet, it was quite a sight,
It was LMNO . . . Q?!?!!

OK, OK, it’s foolishness,
And maybe childish too.
But before you judge me for this act
Wait till Process comes to you!

So, now you know the “P” word,
That put me in such a state.
And every time I heard it,
Each jangled nerve would quake.

Process, still more process
Is part of every life.
It matters not if you’re a child,
A husband or a wife.

I’m good now, thanks for asking.
My life is quite changed too.
It’s altered my perceptions,
My opinions and my views.

I see it’s now a gift from God,
That makes us like His Son.
And if we choose His way, not ours,
We’ll hear Him say “Well done.”

The Alphabet looks good now too,
I’ve restored that little “P”
But guess what I discovered?
Transition begins with a “T”!!
 By Brenda © 2003

God bless you on your own Journey while you spend a brief bit of time here, running the race with me till we get to go 'home'.

Journey Girl

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Downside of Community Work

Working in the community is going into peoples homes to give them the care they need to stay living in their own home as long as possible. It has a lot of advantages over working in a Seniors Home and it suits me and my personality very well. However, it has it's downsides also, one of which is working on our own in a bit of isolation.

Tonight, as a PSW, I had my first taste ever of being threatened on the job. It quite shook me up.

After tending to this man's Mother, doing her care, the anger which had been building since yesterday hit boiling point. At lunchtime when I went in I could see it more clearly than first thing this morning, but tonight as soon as I went in he was derisive, confrontational and extremely passive aggressive and it was a bit scary. He is emotionally unstable, is almost 6 feet tall and weights over 250 pounds. Not someone I want tackling me, not even verbally!

It was when he asked me to wash his Mom's hair and I had to say she told me she was too tired and would rather we did it in the morning that he blew up. As I said good night to his Mom, my client, and walked to the door, he began swearing saying I had a f****n attitude and it had better be G*d D**ned gone when I got there in the morning or else, that's when I realized I needed to get out of there rather quickly.

I called in to my nursing supervisor and she will write up an abuse incident and call it in. She said they would remove all care at this point and the Access Center would look into it and deal with it.

After telling me I had handled it correctly, she encouraged me to "take a deep breath" and blow it out and go have a cup of tea. I like that kind of advise, down to earth and normal, gives one a sense of being OK.

It is sad for me to have to leave my client without care, but as my supervisor said, it's out of my hands now and is not for me to worry about, but I can pray that God will provide for her and keep her safe.

So while being a PSW is very rewarding work and a job which I love very much, this is the kind of incident we are always cautioned to watch out for but never quite believe will happen until it does. I always wondered, sort of, how would I handle such a situation. Now I know. I didn't fall apart till I got out of there, which, as I remember back, was how I handled difficult situations when my children were small. Handle things with clear thinking and good decisions, but when all were safe and looked after, completely fall apart!

Time for that much needed cup of tea and a good night sleep.

Blessings to you on your journey and hope you never have such an encounter
Girl on a Journey of Firsts 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Gorta Mór ~ The Great Hunger

Saint Patrick's Day usually evokes thoughts of the land of green, of finding good luck in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, green beer and jolly times in pubs across the land. 

For some reason I found my thoughts taking a more somber turn and decided to write along those lines.

Although it began years before, the worst of the famine happened between the years 1845 and 1852 and Ireland was grieving.

Lives, millions of lives, were lost during the Great Famine, either through death or immigration to the Western world.
I cannot imagine how it felt to watch your children go to bed hungry day upon day and in great agony, finally dying of starvation. 

I imagine countless fathers scouring the land for work, desperately searching out whatever food they could for their families, discouraged to the point of death.  

. . . Pale mothers, wherefore weeping?
'Would to God that we were dead -
Our children swoon before us, and we cannot give them bread.
Miss Jane Francesca Elgee (later Lady Wilde)

I think of a multitude of mothers, clutching to their breasts, their sons and daughters now booked for travel by train to the coast, there to embark on a journey across the great sea knowing they would never see them again.

What was it like for whole young families to take the risk, with hope daring to grow in their hearts, for a land of plenty, hope their children would make it and not die as thousands have already died, hope they would find land that would be as kind to them as this land had been harsh. This land, their Ireland, was dying and this journey was their hope. Grieving parents and grandparents watch as their loved ones left them behind, with both hope for their future and dread in their hearts dwelling side by side, wondering ‘will we ever see them again?’ 

How did it feel for the ones leaving everything they knew, everyone they loved as the train left the station, watching their family grow smaller and smaller as the train chugged into the distance, taking them away. As the ship left the dock, leaving the only land, the only country they had ever known, how did they bear the heavy burden knowing for certain they would never set foot in their beloved Ireland again, and never again see the faces of their beloved parents, grandparents and friends.

As she stood at the ships rail, she felt her heart break as a deep sadness enveloped her. Watching her beloved land fade in the distance, not knowing what lay ahead, only days and days of water, she mourned with a depth no words could describe. She clung desperately to Iain's hand and took what comfort she could from him standing so solidly beside her. She knew he understood, she hoped she could give him the same strength he was giving her. She knew they were not the only ones who embarked on this great adventure and as she looked around at the others watching their land recede, she recognized some she knew and this too gave her great comfort. Hope, she felt hope for the first time in many months. It had been a very long time coming.

Here it was, this, the biggest gamble of all time, that life would be better, that this new life which came at such a great cost, would pay off in a life of freedom and plenty for all who dared.

As Ireland lay bleeding out it's sons and daughters as they died or sailed away, there was the faintest of hope that Ireland would live on, if not in the land of their birth, it would live on in their hearts.

I have never lived through such loss and heartache and though I have a good imagination, I don’t think my little thoughts can do justice to all that Ireland's sons and daughters went through during those years of famine and death. That they have stayed strong and proud through it all is tribute to the wonder and beauty not only of the land, but of the people of the land.

Journey Girl, a Friend of Ireland
*all pictures taken from the Irish Famine Museum and Timeline*

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Adventures as a PSW

I knock on the door and hear a shuffling of feet and I know a gracious lady of a bygone era is coming to let me in.

As the door opens I see a face well-lined with advanced age. Her makeup consists of soft powdery foundation and blush, her eye makeup is perfectly applied. She is the epitome of grace and southern charm.

She is fully dressed as every self-respecting woman of her time is. Earrings, necklace, rings and watch are all in place, they are a matched set. She’s wearing a matching pantsuit and everything is well chosen and well-fitted. Her white hair is beautifully coiffed and she looks ready to go out on the town. 

As she greets me with a gracious smile and opens the door to allow me access, I know I’m in for the gentlest of fights to assist her in getting ready for bed. 

“Hello Irene, how are you tonight?” I ask as I enter her room.

“I’m fine dear, what can I do for you?” She asks me that same question every evening and I wonder if she truly does forget my purpose or if it’s just her endless politeness, perhaps hoping to hear a different answer. I know I will give the same answer I do every evening, “I’m here to help you put on your night clothes so when you’re ready to go to bed you will be all ready”.

“Oh thank you dear, but I don’t need any help tonight”, she says as she sweetly refuses me, but I’m not put off.

“Well, how about if you do it all and I just wait till you are finished, that way if you need any help I’ll be right here.”
Once again she smiles and refuses me, “well, I think I can do it on my own”. Her smile is the same, it never wavers a bit. It must have taken her years to develop the ability of disagreeing in this, the politest of refusals.

“Oh, I’m sure you can”, I agree, “but they just want me here to assist if you should need any help while you’re changing”.

She starts to refuse me for the third time, but then, still smiling, she suddenly gives in and I’m surprised she gave in so quickly this night.

We go through the process of removing one earring after another, the necklace, her watch and one by one the various articles of clothing. 

I go to her dresser and pull out her pajamas, one pair after another, holding them up as she considers and refuses one by one till she finally makes her choice. 

I help her put them on, do up the buttons for her as most of the elderly have difficulty with buttons and she is no exception, even thought she insists she can do it all herself.

I am a bit surprised when her husband comes out of the bathroom and says, “Are you ready to go down to watch the movie?” Well, why didn't she tell me they were ‘going out’???

She says she’s not sure she can go out ‘looking like this’, but I assure her if she puts on her sweater it will look like a pair of lounging pants and quite acceptable. She agrees and I help her put on the sweater and say my goodbyes. As I close the door behind me I hear her softly say to her husband, “do you think she will notice if I change back into my clothes?”

I chuckle to myself and walk on to my next client. I never gave it another thought.

At the end of my shift, after all my senior clients are all washed up and changed ready for bed, I’m sitting in the lounge doing my report in my phone and the elevator opens up. Out comes the little lady and her husband. She has on her earrings, necklace, rings and watch and is fully dressed in the suit I had helped her out of just a couple of hours ago. 

I never said a word and they never let on if they knew me, and very sweetly she wished me a good night as she smilingly walks by on the way down the hall to their room.

I know she will begin the process of removing her clothes one by one, taking off her earrings, necklace, rings and watch. She will set them on the same bedside table I set them on just a couple of hours ago. 

Putting her on pajamas once again, she will be ready for bed and I wonder . . . . does she even remember doing this the first time?

And this is what makes my life as a PSW such an adventure.