Saturday, October 15, 2011

The moment after..

Hiya, I know it's been a while since my last post and sooo much has happened new house, new church, new school for one of the tribe and most excitedly a new baby boy for my very best friend Meegs. I was honoured and blessed to be asked in to be support for Megan has she birthed her 4th son, a huge privilege to be a witness to baby Eli's entrance into the world... now you may think this is what I am blogging about but you would be wrong! OOohhh don't worry there will be a blog post about Eli's birth but what I wanted to write about was the moments that took place after he was born, things that I experienced that caused me to wonder and question a few thoughts and mind sets I have as a women and in my friendships.

After Eli was birthed and had been snuggled and cuddled by his Mummy and Daddy and received his first breastfeed, Megan requested a shower... and who can blame her, birthing is hard work and we all work up a sweat. I assisted her into the shower and helped her remove what little clothing she had left on. Her body was tired,she had worked hard and thankfully there was a chair in the shower stall.. yay for that says Meegs. We fiddle with the temperature adjusting til a suitable amount of warmth is shooting through the shower head, I help my friend sit in the chair I hitch up the legs on my jeans and wet a washer and stand in front of this amazing women... a woman who has just birthed her 4th child but for the very first time everything was on her terms. No interventions no inductions, just the power of her body doing what it was created to do. I tell her she can lean into me if she likes so she can rest some under the water.. as she does I am filled will a new sense of wonder at the power of friendship. My beautiful friend sitting naked in front of me, resting her head on my breast as I wash her back and do my best to work with the water and soothe her pains, it hits me what a primitive thing it is we are doing, thousands of women have gone before us doing this very same thing supporting each other in birth and after as well. Such an intimate moment between us, a moment that breaks through the simple word of friendship and brings us into sisterhood, Megan laughs and says "well there is no turning back now, you've seen it all" I giggle along with her but then say "there is no way I would want to turn back".. and I mean it. Yes watching Eli's birth was an incredible breath taking experience, as was holding my dear friend as she breathed through her contractions and worked with her body as she did her thing, but for me, the moments after, the moments in the shower where I felt the spirit of so many other women.. so many mothers before us in one of the most natural and raw emotional experiences I have had as a women, that's what I will remember most about that day.

Which begs the question... why oh why are we so fueled by hate for each other? Gossip, jealousy, rivalry, backstabbing and just plain meanness... why do we do this and feel this towards each other? I have asked myself this a lot this past week, when reflecting on the day Eli was born. Why do we feel it necessary to question what other mum's are doing? We don't have to agree with another woman's choice on how she cares for her child, does she breastfeed or not, home school or not, and how could she possibly wear those clothes, no we don't have to agree with those things but how about little respect and understanding, we are all different we are going to do things differently... not wrong just different.

I say this not just to you but ME too.. I do my very best to not gossip because I hate being gossiped about it's hurtful and damaging and 99% of the time gossip gets back to the person anyways so my thoughts are you may as well just tell that person... but I am human and I mess up on this a lot and fall into the gossip trap, I have been guilty of envy and jealousy "why is that person better at that then I am .. I work harder at it I should be the best"... yep its an ugly side of me but it does exists.. but after my experience with Meegs and my emotions getting a workout I want to change the way I view other women, not as rivals but as women, who come with their own set of "stuff" insecurities, issues with their kids or husbands differing views on religious choices parenting etc the list goes on.

If I can have such an intimate fulfilling amazing experience with a friend simply in the act of washing her back, then why can't I have those amazing moments with others.. NOW STOP FREAKING OUT!!! I am not about to go round stalking you in your shower offering to wash you BUT I can simply ask you how your day is and listen with intent and interest as you answer, I can cook you a meal or invite you out for one with me... I can do so many things to enrich the life of many women in my circle of friends and beyond and so can YOU!!.. Next time you feel jealousy towards another women ask yourself whats behind it, why do you feel that way, go and talk to the person be honest about what your feeling, it will be far more rewarding and enriching for you then sitting around bitching about the person. Nope it won't be easy and may be uncomfortable and embarrassing... but for me, I guess I would rather risk some embarrassment and have the blessings that come in the moments after as my relationships grow into a deep level of understanding then just surface level has to be worth it... right?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sleep... my children stole it.

Sleep, oh how I miss thee ever so much.

My children have stolen from me. Robbed me of a joy I am having trouble remembering.. a little thing called sleep. Gone are the carefree days of sleeping in till 10am on a weekend... now days I consider 6am a sleep in.
My children just wont sleep., which in turn given their ages means I don't get to sleep either. I have 4 children the oldest being 12 has a bed time most nights round 8:30pm she will eventually be asleep by around 11pm and wake at 7am on a school day and attempt to sleep later on the weekends however most of the time her brothers and sister have different plans.

Last week one of our nights was as follows Mini (12) awake until 11pm, Olivia woke at 2am and stayed awake all night, Peter (6) and Mikey (3) woke at 4am and were awake all day. Giving me a grand total of 3 hours sleep. On Tuesday Mini broke her arm and was awake until 2am unable to get comfortable,.. I can deal with that I totally get pain can keep you awake... however her brothers woke at 4:20am and decided to play and make noise all morning eventually waking Olivia at 6am with all their carry on. Saturay night Peter woke at 11pm, Mikey at 11:15 and Olivia at 11:30, they have radar I swear all waking at the same time, Olivia finally re settled at about 2am Mikey and Peter were up till about 4am and then again at 6:30am I rag myself through the day thinking I am soooooooooooooo tired. They on the other hand are all sunshine and roses.

why do these little sleep thief's not settle... why do they wake up at 11pm an party on all night .. on any given night these are some of the things we hear. ( I will number order them by child child 1= mini child 2 = peter etc etc)

1 I need a drink of water
3 I need drink too
2 I need to go to the toilet
1 my bums sore
3 I poo'ed my nappy
2 I just can't sleep
1 my arm is hurting
1 I'm too hot
2 I m too cold
3 I need milk
2 I can't find my teddy
2 Malina is talking in her room
1 Peter is talking in his room
1 I feel funny
2 I heard a noise outside
3 I want to play
2 Why is Mikey up
1 why are the boys up

This takes place for about an hour an then finally they are all asleep... until anywhere between 11pm and 2am then the wake ups start... if it was a wake up and go back to sleep that would be cool but NO they wont re settle.... co-sleeping, music, warm milk, cuddles with either parent, bribery, threatening, begging and bargaining NOTHING wins them over to the sleep side of the night,all the while number 4 is carrying on calling out from her cot all her demands and frustrations as well.

Now if this was a once a week occurrence I would not complain, I get it kids have bad nights and bad days just like us but it's EVERY fricken night. I hear mum's complain about having to get up at 6am and I want to punch them in the face... repeatedly... 6am ohhh that would be so much nicer then 2am, 3am or 4am. Now you would think that given the total lack of sleep my children have that they would be exhausted during the day, calm and sleepy by 11am well you're TOTALLY wrong!! They are delightful, happy full of energy normal playing toddlers and kids. By around 6pm they are hitting the wall and bed time is round 6:30pm.. I would keep them up later in the hopes of a longer sleep over night but experience has told me that this just doesn't work an makes for a more difficult evening, we have a nice bed time routine they know when it's coming and whats expected, we sit together and have warm milk and a cookie o toileting rounds prayers and tuck In's... which last about 10 mins on a great night 5 on an average night and 3 on a bad night.

I miss sleep so much. How can I function and be a good mum when I average about 4-5 hours sleep a night, I think at least I can bum around the house poor hubby has to go to work and deal with complex computing systems on not much more sleep then I get. People say it's just a stage it wont last but I just cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.... They will be teens before I know it,one of them will be a teen next year, along with that comes even more reasons for me to not be asleep. Even as I write this my 2 yr old beauty climbs on me and I tell her it's almost bedtime, she has just told me No, no bedtime not yet, soon... all this is said as she whines and grounds her eyes with her tiny fists she is soo very tired awake since 5:45am no day nap, yet she resists the wonderfulness that is a good nights sleep, again I ask WHY???!!!!

There is a book that is being released here soon with a rather crude title,most of you who read this will know the one I'm talking about, some parents and groups are against it, but as a exhausted totally sleep deprived mum of 4 I look at my kids and think my darlings please just go the f**k to sleep.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I am now a mum to a young woman, Happy Birthday Malinda Rose.

Today I become a mum to a young woman, no longer a "little girl" my daughter Malinda Rose has turned 12. I sit and ponder how on earth did that happen? How did my little cherubic baby girl with the big brown eyes and mass of black hair turn into the exotic looking beauty that she has transformed into over the past 12 years. Not a girl but a young woman. Gone is the chubby dimpled hands and round baby face and in their place stands a tall, slender, beautiful young woman.

Previously I have (like many of my blogger Friends) liked to share about our children's birth and early baby/toddlerhood as the time to celebrate their birth approaches however I have decided that I wont go into to much detail in this post about Malinda's conception, birth and early childhood for a few reasons, one of them being that it was a difficult time for me, a child myself the cliche pregnant teen, dumped by the child's father, it was a time of pain and very quick road to maturity. The other is I want to honor my daughter and believe that I should sit and share these memories and the path I journeyed on with her another time, as she grows from a young woman and matures into the amazing adult I know she will become I think there are things that will need to be said just between her and I.

However I DO want to recognise and celebrate her birth with a blog post! What an unexpected treasure she was to me, at 19 terrified about being a first time mother (a single one at that) we learnt together, my girl and I, from her first tooth to her first period we continue to learn together. Malinda has taught me so very much, In our early weeks and months together she taught me patience, perseverance and how to love with every part of my heart and soul. Her hurts were and are my hurts, we grew together, Malinda from a baby to a toddler, me from a girl to a women stepping into the role I had been called into, that of a mum.

Malinda is an absolute superstar of a person. Funny, strong, outgoing and very determined, at 5 and a half she was struggling in her class at school and development. Testing, lots of doctor appointments and outside help would reveal a learning disability, auditory processing delay and speech and developmental issues... as her stepfather and I would sit together devastated she would soldier on, I watched my determined girl push through, hours, months and years of speech therapy, occupational therapy and changing of schools from a mainstream public school to a school where she would receive the specialised help she needed. She worked hard, stubborn and would not be held back by her learning issues she has continued to grow and achieve, she gives her best and pours her huge heart into all she does. She has blessed and enriched my life beyond anything I could of imagined.

12 years together, mother and daughter, we sometimes switch between the roles of teacher and student,but that's okay we experience the new together with love and for the most part mutual respect. Don't get me wrong it's not all sunshine and roses the pre-teen attitude is a challege as is the moods and hormonal swings all women deal with but as her mum it's my job and pleasure to guide her through these as gently and with as little eye rolling as possible.

Pimples, boy friends and peer groups have replaced teething, nappy's and teddy bears, how did this happen? When did this happen? I know it sounds so cliche but really time it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye... first bra's, heartbreak, crushes on Justin Beieber and that boy from school, it's all happening so fast. I remember bringing her home from hospital, holding her tiny body thinking how perfect she was.. nothing has changed in 12 years, I still gaze at her amazed and think you are wonderful my daughter, my first born beauty, you're perfect.

Malinda, today 12 years ago at 1:20pm is the day that my life changed in a million ways and every one of them for the better, because you were born. You have grown into an amazing young woman, I admire and love you so very much. Your laugh is infectious, your courage inspiring, your determination amazing, your heart beautiful, your smile dazzling, your compassion admirable. Happy Birthday my darling.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Am I a man or a mouse?

This blogger has been in need of some time out,and my in laws who are house sitting in New South Wales offered myself and the kids some time away with them in the country. Eager for a break in routine and two extra pairs of hands to help with the tot's I jumped at the chance to head off for a week. A few days before I set off on our country adventure I caught the end of a current affairs shows which to my horror was a segment on the terrible mouse plague happening at the moment in country N.S.W.... EEEeekkkkkk!!! I watched in terror and nausea as I saw farmers separating bales of hay to have 100's of mice scurry out. I watched whimpering as what appeared to be thousands of mice ran across fields,roads and farm houses.

Mice are more than an annoyance and plagues can cause significant damage to our agricultural sector. Mice also cause considerable damage to farm infrastructure—including sheds and machinery and unprotected fodder and stored grain, mice can also cause considerable damage to my holiday! I HATE MICE!!! They are horrible little furry things that freak me out with their quick scurry and filthy little poo pellets. I quickly decided that I was NOT going to be going on the wonderful country adventure after all. Hubby however manage to convince me that I would be fine he assured me that the mice plague was not actually near where the kids and I would be staying so there was no need for me to stress..... he was WRONG!!!!

OH MY GOSH! On the drive into Junee (country N.S.W) I counted 21 mice scurrying across the road in about 6 minutes slowly I began to freak out! Turning to David I say "I don't think I can do this", again came his naive "you'll be fine babe".
I ran from the car to the house greeted by my beautiful in laws I began babbling about the mice I had seen and how worried I was... my father in law... who now holds the title of THE GREAT MICE WARRIOR of New South Wales, proudly boasted to me how in 8 weeks he had trapped and killed 500 mice,(yes he does keep a record of his carnage and yes it creeps me out) my heart sank right down towards me knees and I felt bile rise up into my throat. Oh crap, how am I going to cope with these pests for 8 days.

I have however managed to cope rather well,... yes.... me! I have been astounded at myself and my ability to not totally loose my shit when I see them running about the farm. The Great Mice Warrior has 6 traps baited with peanut butter and a small dog biscuit set up to lure and trap these pests before they get a chance to invade the house... a thing I am very grateful for. I have been receiving quite an education on the destruction and devastation mice can actually cause and I have a new appreciation for our framers who are already doing it so tough with the weather conditions who also have to deal with these pests on such a massive scale. Having to re-sew crop after crop as the mice nibble away at the freshly sewn seed it comes at a huge cost to the farmer. Interestingly while here I visited a local church and the minister gave a sermon with several mouse related analogies... this did NOT impress me, however it also bought home the huge affect these pests are having.

I have also learnt some creative (and gross) ways to catch mice outside the home, The Great Mouse Warrior has an interesting contraption/ torture device rigged up for any mice venturing into the garage with a plank of wood,a drinking can smeared with peanut butter and a bucket of water... you get the picture??? Also learnt they are attracted to dog biscuits... yes dog biscuits which The mouse warrior,(also known as Norm) adds to the peanut butter in the traps, to help give them weight and set the trap off as a mice nibbles at the biscuit, also dish washing liquid helps to add to the drowning of the mouse... yes it does sound barbaric and at first I was truly horrified but today as my Mum in law and I drove through the country and I saw fields of crops in various stages of sewing, re sewing and growth I have come to realise it is a necessary part of farming life at the moment if our farmers are to make any kind of head way in dealing with them before more of their lively hood is ruined.

Now while I have grown in my strength to be able to stomach the thought of a mouse on the veranda you will not find me emptying traps or disposing of a mouse corpse, however I will admit to a small feeling of satisfaction as I hear the loud SNAP of the plastic trap going off enclosing a mouse within and grin as I watch Norm react with satisfaction as he say's "I got another one"!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Submission in marriage.. it's actually what I choose.

Often the question of submission comes up in my circle of friends. As a christian women in a Christan marriage, I submit,(sometimes with a grumble) to my husbands authority as head of our house, knowing that he has been charged with the responsibility of taking care of our family's needs emotional, practical and financial, a huge responsibility and one that he takes very seriously.

Submission is a word which can be described/defined as “willing conciliation.” That means that the wife should be “willing,” not coerced. Wives respect their husbands. Husbands are to be considerate of their wives. BOTH partners should be willing to “put the other’s interests above his/her own” as Philippians 2 describes. The woman should be willing to submit to her husband not be unwilling and NEVER forced. The man should be a loving, servant leader – accountable and responsible to God and his family. A loving leader leads – doesn't manipulate or pressure. I am grateful and blessed to be part of a loving covenant marriage, I am proud to submit to my husband, it doesn't make me weak or stupid, but instead gives me the confidence to know I can express myself how I choose and know I will always be valued and respected by the most amazing man, my husband.

I know that people who don't follow this biblical Principal can have a misunderstood perception of what submission really is and why we as women do it. The bible Say's "wives submit to your husband" Ephesians 5:22... now I know many people who misuse this verse and only focus on the first part about wives submitting to their husbands, but the verse continues and says "and husbands love you wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" Ephesians 5:25. This I see is a huge honour and also a huge responsibility, I mean Christ loved the church passionately, Christ died for the church, he gave his EVERYTHING for the church, and knowing that my husband has been called as a Christian man to love me the same way blows my mind. Knowing and being completely secure that my husband loves me passionately that he would give his everything for me, that he would die for me, means so much more to me than not having the final say over buying a new piece of furniture or DVD...

A good friend of mine describes submitting to her husband as "equal partners with different roles in the marriage". I love this definition, I think some people have the impression that submitting to your husband means you give away your brain.. your right to say no or have an opinion in your own life. I can categorically say this is not true, I still have (and always have had) very strong opinions and I am free to express them and know I am heard when I do so, sometimes my husband may agree with them sometimes he may disagree, but ALWAYS I am heard, loved and above all respected! These again are the things I value most for my man, rather then having an argument over a new purchase or dinner out I understand that my husband has his reasons for saying no to certain things and that he does it because he has a responsibility to look after our family unit as a whole and may see the bigger picture for us, one that I might not see at the time,... My husband ( a beautiful man) expresses his opinions or disagreements with me in a respectful tone and manner which lets me know that he loves me and has heard my voice and values my opinion and input.

I see my husband loving me as Christ loves the church everyday, I see it as he gives up time with his friends to ensure that I get to spend time with my friends having nights out at craft group or going to dinner, I see it as he goes to work an puts in a full day working hard to financially provide for us, and then comes home to a house full of people and doesn't complain because he knows it make me happy to entertain, I see it as he works through out family budget and always makes sure that there is some extra cash on hand so I can do an unplanned shop at spotlight or take my bestie to a movie. I see him sacrifice over and over for me and our children and I am astounded at how much he gives of himself to me and I know that submitting to him is so worth it as I am loved and cherished as Christ loved and cherished his church, passionately completely with his everything.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sometimes I .....

Sometimes I am a completely awesome mum, on the top of my game, kids are clean, happy, well fed, occupied without the television being on and I am full of love for them...

Sometimes I give the kids cereal for dinner

Sometimes I think OMG if these children don't stop talking at me my head is literally going to explode!!!

Sometimes all I want to do is hug my kids

sometimes I can't stand to be touched by them

Sometimes my house is so tidy I marvel at my ability to have it all organised and sparkly

Sometimes my house is so untidy I wonder what wild animals may surface or if child protective services will remove my children for unsafe/untidy living conditions

Sometimes I am so full of love for my saviour it wells up and takes over my body I literally feel love and gratitude coming off me in a physical sense

Sometimes I am so dry as a christian I question where are you God..

Sometimes I am so excited by life, the possibilities are endless and I am filled with hope

Sometimes I think I can't be bothered today, turn over and sleep some more

Sometimes (most times)I think I have married the most amazing man in the world, I think he is brilliant, caring, insightful and the best person I know

Sometimes (not often) I think my husband has no clue about anything

Sometimes I cannot contain my creative flow, I can sew, scrapbook and crosstitch for hours on end, forming beautiful creations that look amazing

Sometimes I cannot draw a straight line... even with a ruler

Sometimes I love myself, I think I am well on the way to being the beautiful strong confident woman I have been created to be

Sometimes I cannot stand to look at myself in the mirror, I feel weak and out of control of my own life

Sometimes I feel so full of contradictions I have to write them own in a blog post.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dear Gateway person,

So this is not something I would normally do, however for the past 18 months I have had so much gossip speculation and plain ol' hurt thrown my way I decided to set the record straight!

Dear Gateway person, specifically the two woman who looked me in the eye today snubbed their noses and walked away from me for no reason I can think of other then that I no longer attend your church, here are a few facts, Number one I did not leave Gateway to attend another church because my best friend did, this topic I KNOW has been the hot issue of many gossip sessions by some people.... people whom I thought were my friends.Number two I left Gateway because of service time changes, because I did not agree with decisions being made by leadership, because it no longer felt like my church home any more, but mostly I left because I was being led to by God, and in the end I answer to him, not YOU!!! Number Three NO I did not just pick up and leave, I had many conversations with leadership, both on my own and with my husband, much prayer soul searching and discussion was had before David and I made the decision TOGETHER that the children and I would no longer attend services at Gateway.

Number 4 I am so sick and so hurt with continued gossip and nasty things being said about me at the time I left your church and my husband decided to stay things like, I was an unfair wife that I was putting pressure on David to leave, that I was mean to stress our marriage that way were all things that got said about me. Again things being said by people whom I thought my friends... my family....things confirmed to me by other people when I directly asked them. I NEVER told my husband to leave or gave him an ultimatum in any way shape or form. I NEVER pressured him in anyway, he has his own mind, and his own heart and made his own decision for himself.

Things being said like I was a traitor or that I jumped ship when things were going bad etc etc, again I should not have to defend myself but it seems the only way things will be right from my point of view is if I do because just today I was again subjected to unfair hurt and snobbery for the simple act of following where God led.I didn't "jump ship" when things got bad. I resent this being said about me especially after I served in your church even when things were difficult for me personally and for our family. I had two babies at the time, a 4 year old and a 10 year old who needed to be my priority, following where led and listening to my heart also a priority. Being heard also a priority this is why I left, not because things were a bit rough within the church, there is far more to my character then that.

It pains me deeply that after almost 8 years of service, love and commitment to your church that it has to come to this. Yes We have left your church but really do I deserve this treatment.... I don't think I did anything wrong here, I tried to finish well, I have not bitched, put down or disrespected Gateway church, it's leaders or the decisions it makes since leaving and whilst I did not agree with things while attending I as a member of the Gateway family had the right to have my voice heard.... but when you speak up and get put down for it, it becomes intimidating to do so after a while.

I know I did the right thing in leaving, no it was not an easy decision to make it was fraught with heartache and lots of tears, nights of me sitting on the floor crying to my husband and to God what do I do?? but subsequent treatment has been a confirmation, when people whom were like your family, your mentors, your friends, no longer speak to you, do not return your phone calls, snub you and gossip about you for no reason other then making a choice that is right for you and your family, it confirms that choice over and over. Gateway you were once a place of happiness, love and Christ's acceptance for me, I met my husband walking through your doors, I found Christ in your Alpha course and in people, my darling children were dedicated to the Lord in your presence I learnt to love and trust in God, in people and in myself during my 8 years in your house, I wish I was able to leave and live my life with these fond and beautiful memories at the forefront of my mind, but instead I have to continue to be treated unfairly and unjustly.

I really hope this sets the record straight, and that the talk can stop, please realise you're hurting my feelings and those of my children when you deliberately snub us. No you do not have to fall all over us or be fake if you no longer want to speak to me that's fine, but please leave it at that, don't speak about me behind my back, unfortunately gossip always finds it's way back to the party it's being spoken about. It's hurtful and not required.... if you have a question re my motives, my heart or my choices pick up the phone and lets chat I would of been very happy to answer your questions or concerns, instead of having to go to the lengths of a public forum to be heard.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The F word ... Forgivness

Forgiveness, lets face it we all struggle with it! Why? Because forgiveness is a tricky thing, something I refer to as the other F word,.. why.... because it's so damn hard to do...most of the time. I find forgiving things I see as smaller injustices or offences so much easier to forgive then ones that I see as bigger.

The act of forgiveness has gotten so messed up though. Most people think forgiveness is about excusing the behaviour of the person who wronged you, letting them off the hook for the hurt they have caused... that's how I viewed forgiveness for a long time anyway. I refused to forgive people..why should they be able to get away with the horrible things they have said and done? Why should I forgive them and let them feel better when I feel so much pain? Forgiveness and my lack of being able to do so really messed me up for a long time. I harboured vengeful thoughts towards those who had wronged me and was often consumed with anger, hurt and even hate towards people. Unforgiveness created a darkness in I realise that may sound strange but that is the only way I can describe it. When I thought of a particular person or event that had caused considerable pain or damage to me I felt all these negative emotions welling up inside of me, taking over any good or positive feeling I was having at the time. My heart grew hard and I wished that who ever had hurt or offended me would experience the same pain... justice I would defend these thoughts with!

It wasn't until a couple of years ago I really grasped just how freeing forgiveness can be. I knew that as a Christian it (The F word) was something I was expected to do,something God does everyday and something I should be willing to offer to others the same way he does. However I am NOT God and I lack his compassion and understanding so forgiveness even though I was and am a Christian continued to be a struggle. It wasn't until talking some of these emotions out with a trusted advisor and really feeling the need to get rid of these dark and revenge filled thoughts that the forgiveness picture began to become clearer.

Forgiveness isn't about the other person, letting them off the hook, forgiveness is about ME!!! Letting myself off the hook. Being able to let go of all the anger, hurt and mis-trust I was holding against people for offences that had happened so long ago. Offences that they have probably not even given a second thought to. Those actions were eating ME up not them and so I had to let go. Letting go and forgiving was not an easy thing to do and sometimes the process of forgiveness had to be done over and over till I really began to feel a change in my heart. It took a long time to work through lots of pain that I had been carrying around. And even now forgiveness is not something that comes naturally to me, however I know how much better I feel when I have forgiven someone so it is something I continue to work on, wanting to get better at it.

I have learnt that it is not my place to deal out the justice ( a very long and difficult journey to get to that point mind you) Forgiveness for me has become so freeing, I no longer have to carry the weight of pain and anger towards people, I am free. Forgiving doesn't always mean forgetting, or allowing the same person to continue to hurt me, boundaries have been put in place in certain circumstances and some people although forgiven are no longer part of my life. Forgiving doesn't mean excusing what the person/s did wrong but it is allowing myself to acknowledge the hurt and hand it on to God to deal with (I believe he will do a far better job with the dealing of justice then I could ever do) Sometimes I don't want to forgive I want to feel angry and annoyed about a situation or person and every now and then I do find myself plotting scenarios in my head on things that could happen in return for my pain, (muwhahahaha Dr Evil laugh) but in the end I know that this is wrong. It's really not the type of woman I want to be. I want to be free of anger and hate as much as I possibly can be, I don't want to be weighed down by the burden of unforgiveness. No this does not give people permission to treat me like a door mat and whilst I will forgive you for your actions if they continue I will not allow you to be a part of my life, because I deserve better. However I know that I can walk away from the relationship without holding onto pain and hate because I choose to hand these over.

So big shocker I am not perfect, yes I still struggle to forgive, even more of a struggle is asking to be forgiven when I know I have stuffed up (but that's a whole different post) The forgiveness process is sometimes a daily process for me, but it is something I want to continue to work on, so I can continue to grow and be the woman I was meant to be, free of hate and anger a strong woman with a soft heart!

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