Wednesday 29 February 2012

living and learning as a Christian.

The last few weeks have been interesting for us. Shane is finishing up his current job, a miserable place to work that was making him sick with stress and worry and misery, a place where he was treated, to say the least, poorly. So this is a good thing. What is scary is that there is no new job lined up, yet. This has caused me stress and worry, even knowing this was the right decision, the uncertainty of it all is at times overwhelming for me. I have ALWAYS known where my money was coming from, always had a plan of action. This time we don't really have one and it is scary.

I have a job, a job I have loved and at times, miss. I am currently on maternity leave until next year, but have the option of returning sooner, if they accept my request. So one would assume, that is the right thing to do, go back to work until Shane finds permanent work or until his photography business takes off. Problem is this....
a) I don't really want to, I love my job as a SAHM, raising my girls, supporting Shane, taking care of my Dad, running our household and in my spare time (HA!!) sewing. 
b) I'm not entirely sure I would cope. Some days I barely cope with getting out of bed. I move through the day doing all but the bare minimum to provide for those I love, the thought of moving beyond that, on those days, is just not possible. That is the PND, or maybe just full blown Depression. Either way, the idea of HAVING to go to work when I fell like that is terrifying. All it would take on those days is a customer to questions something, say something negative to me, and I would fall apart completely....I think. I'm not sure, maybe I wouldn't be that bad. 

So I have been battling with this issue for a few weeks. Battling alone, occasionally talking to Shane, yelling at Shane, crying to Shane, but mostly I have been waging this battle alone. Then I went to church on Sunday. The sermon spoke to me, resonated like it hasn't in a long time. Then I remembered, hey I'm a Christian, I don't have to work this out alone. I don't have to battle. I truly want to follow God's path for me. When I realised that, I realised that God had been speaking to me all along. I realised that I hadn't been battling with myself, I had, once again, been battling with God. He had been right there, all along, telling what the right thing to do was. I just didn't want to hear it. Once I realised this, it felt like God was almost yelling at me, not in an angry way, but in a louder voice, so I could hear more clearly. He truly is an awesome God, so patient, just waiting, knowing I would eventually wake up and remember Him, remember to turn to Him, and then He would give me the answers. He may not always have the answers I want, but then it isn't about ME or what I want, its about His plan for My life.

So, I'm off to request to come back to work earlier than anticipated. Am I sure I will cope. No, but its what God wants me to do. If I go back and don't cope, maybe its a sign from Him that my old job is no longer for me, and He knows me well enough to know I won't be able to let go until I try. Maybe going back will make me stronger, and I will get better.

The other thing that has caused me stress this week is Shane's ex. She insists on meddling in our lives and trying to upset him, or cause us to break up...I don't know what her motive is to be honest. But she pokes around on facebook, sending Shane PM's from time to time, using her status updates to have a dig at our relationship, she has even used our girls, our children, to have a dig at us, at Shane. Then when she was blocked, she created an Alias so she could continue her pestering, going on Shane's photography page and saying some seriously nasty things about his work. At first all this made me incredibly angry. How dare she do this. How dare she have the nerve to try and destroy our lives, just because she is clearly so unhappy. She should have moved on, she is married to someone else, why continue to dig through the past, when you should have your whole future to look forward to with the man of your dreams. You should be happy it didn't work out for you and Shane, otherwise you would never have met your now husband. I wanted to hurt her like she has hurt us. I wanted revenge, I want to cause her pain, enough pain that she would learn not to mess with us. I am passionate about my family and protecting those I love. I now have her phone number and address, I was that serious about my plans to hurt her, not physically, but emotionally as she had done us.

Then, once again, God, realising I wasn't listening to Him, shouted at me. In the midst of all this uncontrollable rage and anger against this woman, I felt pity. I felt sorrow. This poor girl is so miserable and bitter and twisted that she cannot allow others to be happy when she is not. I had my petty revenge, and I didn't feel better, I felt sad. So sad I could not get this girl out of my head. I don't want her in my head, I don't want to think about her. I despise her, I despise her actions and behaviour, so once again I battled, not so long this time, over what the right thing to do was. 

I prayed for her. Now, I don't pray well, or all that often, certainly not as often as I should. And when I do pray, its for loved ones, for friends, for friends of friends going through hardship, certainly not people I don't care for at all. I even have trouble praying for myself! It was hard, painful almost, to pray to God to help her, to help her find peace and contentment in her life, but I did it. I prayed that she find the same happiness with her husband that Shane and I have found with each other. I prayed that she find the strength to move forward and leave the past behind, that one day she might be able to look back, not with bitterness and sorrow, but with the knowledge that, good or bad, her relationship with Shane helped shaped who she is. I prayed that she could be someone she is proud of, that she could find God and be able to live her life freely in God's love. It was not easy. At first part of me still just wanted to cause her heartache and pain, but as I prayed (while I cleaned our kitchen like a crazy woman no less, no sitting still and praying for me, my mind tends to wander to easily!) it got easier, I trusted that God asked me to, so praying for her was the right thing to do. 

Our God is awesome! He is amazing. And He is there for us all, if we just accept Him into our lives, He will do amazing things. Not always the things you expect or want, but guaranteed they will be amazing and you will be a better person for it, because in following His path, His plan for your life, you cannot possibly go wrong.

Friday 3 February 2012

My first baby

Today I am very nostalgic and travelling down memory lane. 

This week my first baby, the one who for the longest time I thought was going to be my only baby, started Year 6. She is growing up. Over the summer holidays, I saw just how much she has grown up, and everyday lately, she does something to surprise and amaze me, and make me proud. 

Last year, in fact the last 18 months, have been incredibly hard for her, so for Maddi to come out on the other side stronger, more confident, and still happy is a miracle. She went from being an only child of a single mum her whole life, to allowing Shane to come into our lives. She embraced him, and today proudly calls him Dad. That still makes me cry. We didn't get there without bumps along the way, but we got there. Then, she became a big sister, and rather than just her & I, we are a family. She is part of something bigger, and as such, her role in life has changed. Again, not the smoothest road, but we got here. She relishes her new role as a family member, not just my daughter. 

She has over the past few months, developed her own style, her hair, her clothes, even her deodorant are all of her own choosing and her style says a lot about her personality. Its all bright, colourful, smells like cotton candy and flowers. She is a young lady now, and she is happy with who she is. She has also developed a passion for looking after herself. Everything from exercise to cleaning her face, she does it everyday so she can look and more importantly feel her best.

Despite a very rough year at school last year, with a teacher who didnt understand her and made her feel useless and stupid, she went back to school excited about the new year. She loves her new teacher, is excitedly coming home talking about all the new things they are learning. She volunteers for the schools Youth Environmental Council, and was accepted into the year 6 buddy program to help the Kindy kids settle in as a mentor. She does choir, and this year her grade is performing a modified version of guys and dolls which she is closely involved with, and plans on auditioning naturally. Her passion for music continues to astound me. She can play the keyboard so well, writes her own songs & music and can play almost anything just by listening to it a few times.

She has taken on chores, something she has never really been interested in before, then again, what kid is really?! She now has the responsibility of a mobile phone, and knows if she wants credit, she has to pay for half of it out of her pocket money. No chores = no pocket money = no credit. She isnt silly! But rather than moan and groan, she looks for chores to do, knowing she wont get paid extra, but just wanting to help her family.

The fun thing....we had THE talk. She already knew where babies came from, obviously, and how they get out, she knew that sex makes babies, so it wasnt the longest of talks, but to explain the, um, mechanics of it all, was no where near as bad as I thought! She listened, asked a few questions and that was it. She was ok with it. I remember being traumatised by it! I had no warning, I was completely naive to where babies even came from, so the shock of it all, how it happens, was awful! I often wondered if answering her questions honestly was the right thing to do....I now know it was!

She loves Scouts, and is constantly looking at ways to gain her badges, and is so excited about the upcoming Jamboree next January. It will be the longest she has ever been away from home, and it scares me. All the things and experiences she will have will change her, she will grow up even more, become more independent, and while it makes me so proud, it also makes me a little sad. Knowing she wont, cant be my baby forever is a hard lesson to learn.

But, watching her grow into a beautiful, confident young lady fills me with pride. We have had a rough ride, and for her to come out of it all, being so happy and confident says I must have been doing something right. I often think Im failing my girls, that my parenting skills are lacking and that they will end up in therapy telling their therapist how its all my fault. But maybe, just maybe, that constant fear ensures I do the right thing by my girls, make the right choices for them, and help and guide them into adulthood equipped with what they need to make it in the "real" world. I sure do hope so anyhow!

I love you Maddi and Im so proud of you, each and every day and I always will be...whether you become a Vet, a teacher, a garbage doesnt matter. As long as you are happy and following your heart, I will be proud of you!