All posts by lynne

Slow Down And Take Five


If you have children, are you constantly saying the same thing over and over again, but they just don’t listen to you? Do you ever tell them to slow down and take five?

My kids have so much energy and are always rushing around from one thing to the next. I’m constantly telling them instructions that need to be done.

Please pick that up…

Please watch where you are going…

Have you done that yet?…

How many times have I asked you?…

We’re not too dissimilar to our children though when our Heavenly Father is trying to constantly tell us something. We are just too caught up in what we are doing and what is going on around us.

I am always too busy. Sometimes so busy that I don’t notice what is going on around me. I miss the smaller details in life that could, and would, make a whole heap of difference in my life.

This week, I prayed to God and asked Him to show me something…anything! So, I have been intentionally looking out for signs. The one constant theme that has been running through things that I have stumbled across to read, or listened to on the radio, was the word listen. For me to listen clearly though, just like I tell my children, I need to slow down and take five!


You have just read a Five Minute Friday word prompt. This is hosted by Kate Motaung and is where a group of people write about a given word for that week.  This week the word is “slow”.


Who is in control?

When someone offers to help you, what do you do? Do you…

a) Say thank you, but no thank you. I am perfectly capable of doing this all on my own. I mean seriously, do you think I can’t do this or something?

b) Say thank you, but then moan about the support you get because it’s not how you would have done it.

c) Say thank you, but then feel so worthless because you couldn’t do it yourself in the first place.

How would I answer?


Probably all three.

I have to be in control. Why? Because I need to know what happens…how it happens…and when it happens. I need to plan in my mind every eventuality that would take place in every situation. I don’t like not knowing what is going to happen…or not happen as the case may be.

Maybe this stems from my childhood…not knowing when my abuser was going to turn up and what “game” he would play next. Or, not knowing what I was going to face the next day at school with my “friends” in the playground. Or, not knowing if what I had achieved was ever going to be good enough.

For me, there are so many different aspects as to why I have to be in control.

Control is about self worth in one aspect.  I feel weak if I let people help me. And if they do help me, I don’t feel worthy of receiving the help (this is the part where I don’t like myself so much…so why should God love me…and therefore why should I let Him help me). Letting other people help will also show my inadequacies and that actually I’m probably pretty rubbish at what I do.

This is what the Bible says though…


I am trying hard to hold on to this  I’m not perfect though, which leads me on to the next aspect of why I have to be in control…

Control is about doing something well and doing it perfectly. As a perfectionist, giving control over to someone else who does things differently to me is not the idea of being perfect. I have such a hold up about the way people do things. It is not how I would do it. Does this make it wrong though? In reality? No, it doesn’t

Also, if I let someone else take control, they will either get it wrong, let me down or create more stress for me. Or will they?

How someone else does something may not be how I do it, but ultimately we both end up in the same place, but we just took a different route to each other. Does it really matter how we got there?


As for letting God take control, well, that’s a completely different thing altogether. Not knowing what His plans are is the hardest bit, and trusting Him with my life? Well, that’s a whole new ball game altogether! Trust and faith play a key role in letting Him do His stuff, and when you’ve had a past like mine, it’s hard to let go.

But, I think the main thing is that I am trying.


The Gift of Life: A Miracle in God’s Beautiful Timing – The Full Story

This story first appeared as a feature on  Anna Smit and Debbie Barrow Michael’s blog as part of their 31 day write on Miracles.  It featured over two days because it wasn’t just one miracle that took place. A few days ago (4th January) was my daughters birthday and I have chosen to share the whole of my story here.

Being a Christian, I probably should automatically believe in miracles because of the whole “Jesus turning water into wine” thing, etc. Honestly though? These were just like stories to me…until I experienced my own miracles! I pray that whoever reads this will see that miracles, in whatever shape or form, are possible, and only by God’s loving grace.


We sat on the edge of the bed, and me and my husband just looked at each other. We wanted to start a family, but with the way our lifestyle was, we would struggle to make things work.

We lived a distance away from where we worked which meant that we were commuting for around 4 hours a day, and sometimes not coming home until the early hours in the morning. This was no way to bring up a child, so we decided to move. This took place at Christmas time in December 2004. Yeah, it was probably not the best time of the year to move, but we got through it. Soon after, once we had settled, we then started trying for a baby.

We thought that it would be easy. I had age on my side and we were both healthy and fit. We didn’t expect a first time “hit” or anything, but we didn’t expect to have disappointment either. We certainly didn’t expect to have to wait nearly 5 years before I could conceive! The countless times that we were waiting for that positive line to appear. The first year went by, and we were still quite positive that God would help to give us a child. The second year went by and we then started to think that maybe something was wrong. By the time the third year came, we really started to question.

Are we meant to have children?

Did we not deserve to have them?

Could God see that we could make good parents?

Did He think that we wouldn’t live up to the standard?


We then decided to do something about it and we went to our doctor. This freaked me out. I knew that we would need to go through the process of being referred to a fertility clinic to see why I couldn’t conceive. This meant that my body would need to go under some investigations and examinations. This is what freaked me out.

I felt God saying at this point that I had to deal with some deep routed issues that I had. Issues surrounding my past and how I needed to love the child inside me. How could I bring a child into this world when I couldn’t love the little child inside of me? How could I give birth to a child, surrounded by people I didn’t know, when I can’t even undergo a physical examination?

In 2006, I made the brave decision to face my fears head on and I decided that I would need counselling for us to be able to go any further with trying for a child. Little did I know that it was going to be another two years before I was to conceive, but this was how long it took for me to love that little child inside of me. The little child that went through sexual abuse so horrific. I had to learn to care for her and love her as though she was a part of me. She was me.

The first miracle…

Doesn’t God have an amazing way of bringing things together? It’s like when a painter is creating his masterpiece. He starts by working at all the different layers in the picture, starting at the bottom and working up. He doesn’t just concentrate on one area either. He will work on different aspects of the picture. It might not be clear at the time when he is painting what the picture may be. It’s only towards the end, when you stand back, do you realise what he is painting. That’s when the bigger picture becomes clear.


This was my time in counselling. There were aspects of my life that I really could not understand, but God really had His hand on my life and He was painting a beautiful picture. As my counselling was drawing to a close, I fell pregnant! I remember clearly, thinking that God does do amazing things, and in His time. He had answered the countless prayers that we had prayed. This was a two-fold miracle though. Firstly, overcoming the abuse that I had endured as a child and becoming a survivor. And secondly, becoming pregnant.

The second miracle…

My pregnancy was pretty average. No complaints. I had the usual morning sickness, but to be honest, I just ate more. I love my food, so for once I didn’t feel guilty about how much I ate and what I ate. You could say that this was turning out to be a text book pregnancy (if there is such a thing).

Until one day, our whole world changed in 10 minutes! The week prior to this earth shattering moment, I started to feel ill. Not just the usual morning sickness though. I had blurred vision, dizziness, sickness, I couldn’t stop sleeping, really bad headaches and heart burn like I had eaten a vindaloo twice over . . . classic symptoms of pre-eclampsia – but I didn’t know this. I just put it down to feeling tired and I was entering my third trimester. This was normal, wasn’t it?

A week later after the symptoms started, as we came home from church, I sat on the sofa with my hubby discussing what we were going to do about the nursery. We were going to go out that afternoon to get things prepared. I was at 31 weeks and 4 days at this point, so we thought it was time to get ready.

We had only sat down for 10 minutes, and it hit me. Excruciating pain. I ran to the toilet and was bleeding uncontrollably. Fortunately, I live opposite the hospital, (another moment that we are thankful for . . . that we had moved to the right place), so we rushed over. Being a Sunday there was hardly anyone around, but my husband found someone. They took one look at me and rushed me in. 40 minutes later, through an emergency C-section, I had my daughter . . . 8 weeks early! If I had been 10 minutes later, my story would be very different. It probably wouldn’t be me telling the story!

My daughter was seriously ill and was placed in an incubator and given CPAP (this is a machine that continually provides air and oxygen into the lungs to help a baby breathe). She weighed 3lb 8oz when she was born and was so small that you could fit her in the palm of your hand. She was a little fighter though from the moment that she came out and refused CPAP and she was in hospital for just over 5 weeks. This seemed like a life time though, but we were just grateful that she was still alive. She was our little miracle.


A Third Miracle…

The miracle doesn’t stop there though. I was seriously ill, but did not know how bad. The next day after the birth, a doctor came around to have a look at me. He was worried and realised that I had a rare condition called HELLP Syndrome. This is developed from pre-eclampsia and is a rare liver and blood clotting disorder. It effects less than 1% of all pregnancies! Pretty small odds I reckon. The only way to save the mother from this condition though is to deliver the baby, despite how many weeks pregnant you are. Many women have died from this if not detected early.

God was still working His plan out though. The doctor that saved me did not work in the hospital normally. He was only there for the day and was standing in for someone else. No-one else in maternity recognised what I had or knew what my condition was. So, if he hadn’t been there that day I know that I would not be here now! The doctor was an angel from heaven that God sent to me. He was sent to look after me, and to save me.

So, I guess I could say that I am a miracle, as well as my daughter. From surviving my past, to getting pregnant, to giving birth, my daughter being saved, to my own life being saved. Wow!


Looking back, I cannot deny that God was working in our lives.

Before all this took place though, I guess I was just bobbing along on my own merry way and not really taking notice of what was going on around me. During this time, if I’m honest, I don’t think I saw God with me. I was too caught up in everything that was happening. Clearly He was though. How else can I explain that I am still alive? There are just too many coincides. This reminds me of the beautiful poem, “Footprints in the Sand”. I’m sure we have all read it, but it’s the last verse that provides me with the most comfort, and is what I feel God is saying to me about my life:


Why Wait Until the New Year to Change?


We can breath now and let out that big sigh of relief…*SIGH*…All the rushing around before Christmas, getting stressed out and making sure that everything was ready in time, is now all over. The “day” has been and gone.



We are still finding wrapping paper in places we hadn’t opened presents…There is still that brussel sprout somewhere on the floor that pinged off the plate during the Christmas meal (funny how it pings in one direction and it ends up in a completely different place. I’m sure it will come to light some day!) The children are back to arguing over who wants to play with what present (they seem to have more energy now after the event than before, and we are absolutely wiped out!)

Do you know what day is coming up next though? New. Years. Day. We start to prepare ourselves in a different way. Instead of preparing ourselves physically like we did for Christmas…making sure that we had everything in order, we prepare ourselves mentally. We think about the year that we have had and wonder what year we are going to get. Will we have a good year filled with wonderful surprises and blessings, or will it be a year where yet again a loved one is lost, or we face some kind of difficult circumstance that we have to work through.

This is the time of the year where we start to count down the days to when we can start things over again. Let’s forget about the year that we have gone through and look forward to starting afresh. We think about the New Year’s resolutions that we could make and wonder how long we can keep them for this time. We perceive the New Year as a time where we think that things will change. A time where we say we will do things differently.

Instead of thinking that we could actually change right here, right now, we carry on in our own sweet way and justify our current thinking with, “the New Year is coming soon, so I will re-start then. What does it matter?”

Why wait for the New Year though? What is so special about it? I mean, in reality, it really is just another day. If you want to make a difference to your life, why not just start right now? Why wait until the world says it starts on 1st January?

How you change what is happening in your life and the circumstances around you is determined on how you perceive situations and how you learn from them.


How you perceive what is happening in your life is what makes you feel whether you have succeeded in making a change in your life for the better.

Do you see that you have failed as a parent when you lost it for two seconds because the kids were screaming at each other? Or do you see that you are a parent that is so physically tired that you don’t give yourself a break because you always put your kids first?

Do you know what helps me to think that I don’t need to wait until January 1st to start afresh? Why I can start afresh at anytime? I have God’s amazing grace with me. This is why my perspective is different. I know that I can get through any day with God by my side. If I mess up, which often happens, I know that God is there ready and waiting for me with His abundant grace.


When we have a grip of God’s grace, we can then learn to take hold of our messes from the previous day and use them to clean up on our act for the next day.

Why don’t you join me in starting afresh right now and take hold of that amazing Grace that God will give you?

Under The Weather


This was me last week under the covers, with the fire on. I was feeling a bit fed up and sorry for myself with constantly not feeling well. I just wanted to get better. I wanted to be able to get up in the morning and feel like I hadn’t got something else wrong with me.

I apologise right now if I come across a little bit moany or ungrateful. I know that I should be thankful for the health that I do have. I know I’m not dying. I’m just saying how I feel at the moment, which is just a little bit crappy really. I’m just being honest.

I am 95% there now with my back and it’s great to be able to walk properly again. I can now keep up with the kids a bit more, which is kind of important when you are trying to catch them at something…and walking up the stairs doesn’t take me half an hour now!

I was ill last week though with a cold, topped off with an ear infection in both ears.  Dizziness… headaches… sneezing… feeling sick… earache… sore throat… aching… I think I will stop there!

I was trying to work out earlier when the last time was when I actually felt fit and healthy. You know where you can bounce out of bed and feel on top of the world.  I think it’s been a little over a year now to say the least. It feels a bit ridiculous, and frustrating at the same time, that I always have something wrong with me – and it’s been for so long.

Have you ever felt like that?


It’s been one thing after another.  And honestly, when you feel a little bit under the weather, it is hard to feel positive. My friends probably look at me and think, “what’s wrong with her now?” I know I do!

There is something keeping me going through all this though…my faith. My faith gives me perseverance to carry on. I’m not saying it’s easy and that I don’t struggle, coz I do. Oh my word, do I struggle. So much so, that sometimes all I can do is just cry and shout out to God.

Shout out to God? Yeah, I shout at Him…I tell Him EXACTLY how I feel.  Why not? That’s what He’s there for after all.

When you are trying to look after yourself, and you have three little ones around you that are not well either…well, it’s blinkin’ hard! But somehow, I cope. I might not feel like I am at the time, but I do get through it. I can only believe that God is providing me with the grace and strength that I need to get through each day. He will never give me more than what I can cope with. I know that.


If you are going through something right now, and you are finding it hard to cope,  hang in there. You may not feel it right now, but God is there right beside you…and He will not let you fall.