Eight Years

Eight Years

1997 ~ 2014

Eight years since we last hugged, laughed, chatted, prayed and listened to music together. Missing Leah continues to hurt so very much, but the sharp edges of my grief have softened and the pain has become more bearable. Some days are harder than others, especially when there’s family get togethers or significant events, where Leah’s absence feels so real and so painful.

A few days ago I opened an email from author Sarah Geringer, where she describes creating her Vision Board for 2022. I hadn’t really heard of such a thing before, so I did a bit more reading on the topic. I came across this definition here:

A vision board is a visual reminder of the goals, plans, and purposes that you have prayerfully been given from God. I like to think of it as a creative prayer journal. Writing the vision out by creating a vision board helps us to maintain focus and clarity of mind. It also keeps us intentional in our actions.

https://undoubtedgrace.com/creating-a-christian-vision-board/

I liked the sound of this and thought it would be fun to make one. I also reckoned it might help me to keep my focus on what matters. I used the free version of Canva for my creation. This is the “digital” end result. I’m planning on printing off a copy and placing it where I can see it, as an ongoing reminder of what really matters:

Obviously, there are other things in my life that matter too, but I think that if we put first things first, the remainder will fall into place. On a somewhat related note, I really like this quote from “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy:

Thank you to all who have journeyed with us over the years, especially during those times when we couldn’t see a way through. We could not have done this on our own – your loving care for us has been tangible evidence of the goodness of God.

I recently came across this song by Tasha Layton and it really comforted me, I had it playing on repeat on Leah’s 24th birthday two weeks ago:

Into the Sea (It’s Gonna Be OK)

My heart is breaking
In a way I never thought it could
My mind is racing
With the question, “Are you still good?”
Can you make something
From the wreckage?
Would you take this heart
And make it whole again?

Though the mountains may be moved into the sea
Though the ground beneath might crumble and give way
I can hear my Father singing over me
“It’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok”I’ve blamed myself
And if I’m honest, maybe I’ve blamed You too
But You would not forsake me
‘Cause only good things come from You

Though the mountains may be moved into the sea
Though the ground beneath might crumble and give way
I can hear my Father singing over me
“It’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok”

From beginning to the end
You’re so close
You have never let me down and You won’t
In the valleys, in the shadows I know
You’re so close
You’re so close

Though the mountains may be moved into the sea
Though the ground beneath might crumble and give way
I can hear my Father singing over me
“It’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok”
It’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok
I’m gonna be ok, I’m gonna be ok

Welcome To My New Look

Welcome To My New Look

I don’t really like change, but sometimes change can be a good thing.

When I started this WordPress blog in February 2014, it was because some of you were telling me that you were signing up to Facebook for the sole purpose of gaining access to my writings. I felt embarrassed about this, as I didn’t really want to be recruiting for Facebook.

I had never imagined myself as a blogger, I barely knew what a blog was and I certainly didn’t know how to go about setting up one.

Thankfully with the help of Mr Google and a few YouTube tutorials, I was soon well on my way. It’s been quite a learning curve, but I’ve learned on the job. I am constantly tweaking my old blog posts, as I gradually learn my way around the blogosphere in general, and wordpress in particular and figure out better ways to do things.

Thankfully, almost all of the tools and materials come free – except for my time and inspiration, of course. WordPress has proved an excellent host. The pretty theme that I had been using up until now, was one where much of the customisation was pre-set for me. This arrangement suited me very well when I was starting up, as I would have been totally out of my depth trying to create my own customisation.

However, now that I am gradually regaining the use of my brain, I am keen to personalise this site a little more. I’m enjoying being able to experiment with free tools such as canva and picmonkey, although it is of course quite time consuming trying to teach myself all of these new tricks. I’ve also installed GIMP on my laptop but I haven’t tried it out as yet.

Since I started blogging eighteen months ago, I’ve greatly benefitted from reading a variety of other people’s blogs. I regularly read several blogs, which include My Journey Through Grief Into Grace (kathleenbduncan)Mama’s Haven ~ Grief, Joy, Grace, Mundane FaithfulnessIn One Of The Stars I Shall Be LivingGrief Is A ClicheThe Accidental MissionaryWriting On The Sly and many others. When I’m very busy I fall behind on my blog reading and then I do a mega catch up whenever I get a bit of free time.

As I read other people’s blogs, I’m struck by the diversity of layouts and styles that people use. Obviously some styles are only available to premium (fee paying) users, however I gradually became aware that by changing to a different (but still free) WordPress theme, I would acquire a little bit more versatility and freedom.

The photograph used in the header at the top of this page, is one that I took at the top of our road, with my iPhone 5c. It’s a road that I travelled with Leah on many occasions as we headed to her hospital appointments, so it literally does represent a part of our journey. Now, I often travel that way to work or even to the cemetery and of course to many other places as well.

I’ve learned so much since I started blogging, like this:

One small positive thought blog post in the morning can change your whole day.

Or this by Andrew Sullivan:

Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.

Last, but not least – and with this I will finish – I have only recently discovered an author called Anne Lamott. I am currently reading her book Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life.

Here is an extract (I used Canva to create the image) –

Writing and reading decrease our sense of