July

July has been a very busy month, I have been trying to finish my drawing module (only a little more to do now) and also still playing catch up with textiles since my surgery. This has mainly been what I have been doing (as well as journaling) however some other things happened also:

I had a bit of a set back as I tried to take a bus into town which turned out harder than expected, however, I did it and I know that I just need to try smaller journeys when I am ready to try again. There have been some wonderful things happen this month however that I never used to be able to to do.

Been to a lot of shops, I only had to stay in the car a couple of times, I am still just doing small shops but I am spending longer and longer out which is wonderful. I shared this story on my facebook yesterday which explains why this is such a huge thing for us.

I drew outside, I have never done this before! I have recently managed more drawing in the garden but this was actually outside near the woods at the bottom of my street.

I have been trying to get a bit fitter, I started doing some regular low grade exercise.

I have still been visiting family, we have had 2 birthdays and I have been going to my sisters for dog sitting duties. Plus we had another cream tea afternoon.

I have started learning to play the keyboard, I am not sure where this is going but I am having fun.

I went for a walk last week and I ended up being faced with a huge hill that I hadn’t climbed in many years. I shared about it on instagram. The photo is the beginning of the hill, it has three sections, each one steeper than the last. I actually ending up taking a wrong turn because I was trying to avoid a dog running around, if that hadn’t had happened I never would’ve gone to this hill myself. However, The Lord knew I was ready :)

Hubby had a long weekend off last weekend and we invited the family round for a BBQ, this was such a blessing, so relaxing sitting in the sunshine, this time last year I couldn’t even spend 10 mins in my garden without needing to go back in. You can read all about here on my Mums blog :)

So lots of new things this month! At the beginning of the month I was feeling a little dejected after trying the bus ride and if that had happened before I became a Christian it would’ve completly set me back but The Lord renewed my spirit, I will talk about this in the next post I think but for now, lots of things from this month to Praise my Lord for!

God Bless x

 

 

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Art

Right after my operation OCA got in touch with me about my drawing submission asking if I wished to postpone as they had a lot of them for this assessment event. I thought about it and how great the timing was as I wasnt happy with the work I was going to send off and the fact that my operation meant I would’ve had to rush to get it all ready. So I explained about my surgery and that I was happy to do this. I felt it was right and that the Lord wished me to rework my work for it (something the uni encourages but I didn’t want to do as I had such a hard time doing it first time round). As I have worked on it though I feel this even more, I will discuss this later as I do more as I feel there will be more to share.

This has meant though that other creative work has gone a little which I am not too happy about. I still write in a prayer journal and write for my bible studies plus I have just started keepng a little daily journal to write and draw what I do each day to remind me of all my blessings and what the Lord does for me each day. (a page of that I shared on instagram is below)

I am hoping to be able to do more in my scripture/art journal but I do have a couple of pages I did just before my surgery I would like to share.

Just before my surgery I found I wanted to read the Bible a lot, and I was lead to read a few times about the 3 Jews, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who were sent into the fire by King Nebuchadnezzar and they where protected by Jesus in there, (Daniel 3) as I read this I knew I was being prepared for my operation but I didn’t realise that it was going to be so soon!

These are the pages I did during that time.

And this is the song that inspired this page as I heard it everywhere.

It amazes me how he prepares us for what is coming, how He does things that at the time we may not understand but it is all part of his purpose and plan. I have only been following the Lord a little over a year but I can look back and see how my life has been changed and how he was used things for my greater good, even when they dont feel that nice, that isn’t what He promises. Being comfortable doesnt change you or make you a better person and yes the Lord could change us without us doing anything but then that would mean it isnt in our own will and that our love is forced, not willing. My pastor likes to say that the Lord didnt make robots, He made people and well, would we really like it if we were robots?

I really do hope that I can do more pages than I have been again as I really enjoy them but I also know that the Lord will be using what I learn with uni for his glory as well and I know that all the hard work will be worth it as he puts nothing in our lives that He won’t use for His glory. Everything we do is for the Lord when we are His children.

God Bless!

N.b – I wrote this last week and then ended up doing another page :) I will share it very soon!

 

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June

My birthday cake

June has turned out to be a crazy month! There have been birthdays and walks, shopping, hospital visits and hubbies time off work.

It has been a lovely month.

We took my sisters puppy for a walk

I got the all clear from the hospital so I can finally put the years worth of testing etc behind me. Hubby had a week of work and we enjoyed some walks and some time spent together and one of those days I spent the whole afternoon with my sister, we went shopping and saw my nephew do his gymnastics class it was wonderful and the longest I have spent out of the house in many years. It has been mine, my nephews and hubbies birthdays so there has been far too much cake and oh boy my scales know it!

Hubbies birthday cake

I had a lovely cream tea with my sisters and Mum, we hardly get to spend time together as a family and it was such a blessing to just have an hour with them and enjoy some tea and scones.

My feet in the local river, I felt so brave as I struggle to be near water :)

Something else that happened this month was that we set up the back room as a craft/art space again and I have been spending time in there doing uni work and journaling. It has been so long since I could spend anytime anywhere other than the sofa, its such a small thing but it makes a huge difference to my life.

 

Boats at our local river gardens, hubby took this one, I wasnt quite so brave to go near that drop into the water ;)

This week I am very tired and my dizziness has kicked in high gear so I am resting but I have to say it is nice to rest knowing that I have had some good times and spent time with those I love, that was something I missed so much before. The symptoms used to be relentless and hard to deal with I used to just be ill and nothing else but now I get days where it lessens enough to do more and it is wonderful. Chronic illness is a balancing act and since I came to the Lord I seem to be able to balance it a lot better, my worst days are so much easier with him than my best days were without him. Sometimes I still get lost in the what I can’t dos as there is still so much I can’t do but when I look back to how I was to how I am now it amazes me all He has done and I look forward to what else is in store.

Lily in my sisters garden

I hope everyone else has had a lovely June as well.

God Bless

 

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Help for weary hearts

I have it on my heart to share this.

Last week I started to feel tired, I have been doing a lot more and from years of inactivity my body has lost muscle mass and my joints and bones have weakened so I get tired easily. But, more importantly not only did I feel tired in my body I felt tired in my spirit.

I dont know why but I thought there was something wrong with me. Everywhere I looked I saw people being horrible to each other, I saw people acting in a way that made me feel uncomfortable, a few other things happened and I started to question everyone I saw and spoke to (mainly online as I still dont get to talk to many people in the flesh, so to speak.) I became distrustful, then I started to question myself. It was a very quick snowball effect that eventually had me wondering if I was truly saved.

I broke down one night and when I came to pray I didnt know what to say, I found I couldnt pray I just didnt know how to express what was happening with me.

Then, to try and take my mind of of things I looked at my blog reader, I had a lot of blogs to catch up on and this came into my feed.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”
Hebrews 12:3

Then this blog post, telling me to look to Jesus and not to the world, to focus on His life and what He went through.

I knew the Lord was telling me what to do, so I am doing it and even though I still feel very physically tired I know that I am safe, that I am loved and that I am saved and my spirit grows stronger as I grow closer to Jesus.

I thought that I was the only one who felt this way. But I realised that there would be no need for the Lord to say these words in scripture if no one else went though this.

So I just want to say to anyone who is feeling dragged down by the world, by the nastyness, by how we treat each other and by the people who claim to follow Jesus then say things about Him that are so wrong and hurtful it hurts your spirit to hear it. Look to Him, seek Him, learn about Him and all those things will fade away.

 

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Shops

Its been nearly 3 weeks since my surgery, I am healing very well and I was very happy to be able to get back to going out more quite soon afterwards.

When I became ill going into shops became harder and harder and as my illness went on, it eventually got so difficult I stopped altogether. The noise, the lighting, the people were all too much stimulation and made my dizziness/movement and head pressure too bad to deal with. If I did manage to force myself it would take days sometimes weeks for my symtoms to go back down to the baseline.

But since giving my life to Jesus things are changing, some of it been so slow that I hardly noticed it and then one day several weeks ago I asked if we could go to the shops. I started out by going into quiet supermarkets for a few minutes and build up from there. We try not to make a big deal out of it and make it as normal as possible just going to places where and when we actually need something.  And if I find myself becoming overwhelmed when I go in, I stand still and I pray and the Lord helps me. I am still very much at the beginning of this but I am feeling very encouraged by how it has been going.

As I look back I see so many things changing in my life and so many things happening. Some have been so subtle I haven’t even noticed until it has happened and so much has happened without even me trying, that’s the power of God’s grace for us.

Something that I am finding is I can do more and my symptoms don’t get as bad as they did before. Its hard to explain. I am finding I recover quicker from things where as before I would be ill for so long that doing it again just filled me with dread.

Trying on the wares, thats what you do, right?

Also last year I did try to go to shops and it didn’t work as well, I was still very ill and one of the lessons I am learning from this is that I have to be patient as the Lord’s timing is always perfect. Even if we do something that seems right, even something like going to Church and the Lord isn’t ready for us to do it, we shouldnt be discouraged if it doesnt turn out how we expected and just wait for the Lords will for us. Its a hard lesson I have to admit but when I think how I tried to force it before I was ready and before God wanted me to compared to how I am now having waited I know it is a lot better to just trust and know that God doesn’t change things for us until we change for Him.

We have a great sweetie shop on our little town :)

So May was a month of getting into shops more plus facing big issues with my health.  April and March was doing the garden (which is still a working progress but we have a lot of lovely things growing in our garden now, I will share very soon), finding new places to walk out with hubby plus facing fears with scans etc. Also thoughout this year I have been going to see my family more and more. I think I will share that in another post though.

I wonder what June will hold? :) One thing is for sure God has gone before me and will be there no matter what!

God bless x

 

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Surgery

Page done the day after my surgery

So not long after I wrote my last post on going to the hospital I received a phone call from my surgeons receptionist asking if I could go in the next morning for my operation as they had had a cancelation. I am sure you can imagine my reaction. But I still said yes, I knew this was in Gods hands and He was leading this as He had done from the beginning.

It is now a week later and I can say it’s been a life changing week. The surgery was to remove a lump from my temple. I have had a small lump above my eyebrow since childhood but over the past few years it, or I believe it was that I dont know yet, started to grow and change shape. I ignored it at first plus I was so ill I hardly noticed it, I never looked in a mirror I didn’t see the point. Other people noticed it though and family was starting to ask and worry about it.

Before the op

However not long after I gave my life to Jesus in May 2013, I went back to the Drs (which was a shock to everyone as I had decided I would never go back again after the treatment I had had). While there my husband mentioned the lump as I had no intention of doing so and the Dr sent me to hospital. I was sent for an MRI last June but I couldnt do it as I can’t tolarate lieing flat so I thought I was discharged. Months later a letter came though the door asking me to go back. I realised then that The Lord wanted me to get this sorted so I went for an ultrasound and a CT both very hard but the Lord strengthened me each time I went.

They still didn’t know what it was so said the best course of action was surgery to get a proper diagnoses. Hence the phonecall last week.

As I look back I can see the Lords hand in all of this. The CT was a big challenge for me and I felt his presence during that so strongly. Every thing I have had to do He has calmed me and considering I suffer from anxiety I know it’s nothing to do with me. Before my operation I felt so peaceful, I had nerves of course I did but I just knew I was doing something I was supposed to be doing and that He was there and I was safe. I accepted my nerves and saw them for what they were and that feelings can not take me out of my Fathers hands.

The few days after were hard, I didnt take very well to all the meds or anasthetic they gave me and was very sick and couldn’t eat properly for a few days, but once again even though my body was shaking and I was being ill I felt peaceful deep inside. Its hard to explain. I think its something that can only be felt to be understood to be honest. This doesnt mean that I didnt cry and get upset because I did, it was a shock to my system and I was in pain (but not as much as I expected to be honest, Praise the Lord). The Lord continually reminded me of His presence and reassured me of His love, He knows my weakness and He understands. He does for all of us.

- This was taken yesterday after my stitches came out, looking at these pics I can’t believe I didn’t realise how much of a difference it made to me, I wasnt bothered by how I look and I’m still not. This wasn’t done for cosmetic reasons at all but I am surprised by how different I feel in myself now its gone.

I have received so much support and kindness from so many people its been overwhelming, I’ve had messages of’ support and so many people praying for me. I have a lovely friend who has been there for me who has provided emotional and spiritual support, I strongly believe the Lord has bought us both together. And then there’s my husband I can’t even begin with that one, he sat in the hospital for nearly 6 hours just so I didnt have to wait after being discharged, I don’t deserve him. He has looked after me since I became ill and I love him very very much. He encouraged me to keep eating, he worries so much when I can’t. I know he won’t read this I just pray that he knows how much I appreciate him and that I show and tell him enough.

I won’t know any more until the test results are back so I have no idea if this is the end or if there is any more to come. I do have a few things that will take time to get used to, my face looks quite different which I wasnt expecting and I dont know if I will gain movement back in my eyebrow (the surgeon did warn me of this) however I do know The Lord will be there no matter what happens as He doesn’t change. Ever.

I know that as health issues go this isn’t the worst thing that can happen but the Lord is there for us in all our trials, He knows our hearts and strengthens us especially those like me who are a little weaker than others. I don’t mind because I know in my weakness I allow Him to reveal His glory so I am happy to be weak.

 

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

1 Peter 4:12-13 KJV

(I think this part of scripture is about persecution, but the Lord used it to help me through and I am very grateful to Him for it)

God Bless

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Wordless Wednesday

Psalms 31:24

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Hospital

I wrote this two weeks ago and I just logged in to post and saw it I thought I would share it now.

 

I have had a wonderful few days. I had a lovely easter and it was our anniversary too. I got out a lot more than I thought I would I have been going into shops it has been great. I have wanted to pop by and record all this for some time but the downside of doing more is that life gets busier plus and I still need rest. I do enjoy sharing my walk with the Lord though.

I do wish to share something that happened to me today.

Today was a hospital day, the results of the CT scan to be more precise. It turned out to be a fairly stressful event as there was no parking and I was forced to go in alone while hubby carried on looking for a car park with a space. Add to that that they were running late and so my stress levels were fairly high. I sat in the waiting room and cried, I couldn’t stop the tears and got frustrated because of that which made things worse. I was mad at myself as I snapped at hubby about the parking situation and I felt so dizzy I started to panic in the waiting room I had no idea how late they were running but I knew there was a good chance I had to go in alone as hubby hadn’t yet arrived. I looked up, tears streaming, I am one of those people whoses faces go red straightaway and I can’t hide it. Everyone avoided my gaze except one young man, at first I was embarrassed as he was looking at me. Then I noticed the handcuffs on his wrists and the prison officer next to him. I met his gaze and he looked so concerned for me I cried some more, he smiled a reassuring smile then someone sat down between us. I felt so humbled that this man felt compassion towards me. And I felt great compassion towards him also.

It reminded me that no matter how bleak things seem it is always possible to think of someone else. The Lord teaches that we should always be there for others as He is there for us. I have to say that I feel incredibly humbled that the Lord chose that young man to remind me of this.

 

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Update

I have been wanting to pop by and do an update for a few days now but I am unsure of what to say, truth is a lot has happened. Life is changing everyday and it’s all going a little too fast for me to record. I have gone from sitting in the same chair day in and out for years hardly going out to doing at least one thing a day, I still need rest days but even on those days I can still do a small task such make a drink or something. I am finding that I have pushed myself a bit far a couple for times as this is all new to me. I am having to take it slow but its still a faster pace than I am used to.

I thought I would just give you some highlights of the past several weeks (March and April so far)

3 hospital trips, I managed to do a CT scan last week which I am still a little amazed by as I still can not lie down properly. It was definitely an amazing experience one I will probably share in more detail later.

Gardening, I have been helping hubby in the garden mainly cuppa making duties but I have helped paint the poor neglected shed and have helped do a little digging. And yes that’s me painting a shed!! I am aware I look pretty rough (I haven’t looked well in a long time) but I don’t care because, yay, I am painting a shed!!

Last week I painted our upstairs doors, that too I am still a little amazed by though I did need to rest lots afterwards and lots of rest in between. I am finding that I can get up and do things in little spurts then I sit for a bit then do some more. Which is so amazing.

I have been in a few shops, this I am really excited about as I had gotten very afraid of going out as all the stimulation was too much but I have been in a few quiet shops and even bought my nephews a present myself for the first time since they were born! That was such a blessing. I bought them some car shoes.

I have also managed to visit some family. Hubby has been taking taking me out to these places not quite there to go on my own just yet but I am feeling so more hopeful than I ever have that one day I will be able to get out and about properly on my own. However I have been on a little walk out alone recently (today in fact, its so beautiful out there). The picture above is of my sisters little Chihuahua who was very interested in the biscuit I was eating.

Uni work, I have finished my first assignment for this module which was only 2 weeks late! Believe me compared to the last module that is a great improvement. I have a learning log/blog that I write here if anyone is interested in what I am doing.

So, as you can see a lot has happened, some of this is thanks to the fact that I have help cleaning now and that hubby is so willing to take me out to try new places. I have finally admitted I need help and I am very glad I did :)

And of course I couldn’t do anything without Jesus, today for example I stood at the top of a hill I hadn’t walked down in many years, I felt dizzy looking down and started to panic, I breathed and reminded myself of what He has done for me so far, that He has always been there for me and I felt His presence next to me reassuring me that I would be ok so I fought the urge to turn back and guess what, I was ok. (I took the pic once I had calmed down a little) I know a lot of people would think this is all in my head, something I am used to being accused of throughout my illness also. I am ok with that because, like my illness (which is now being proved via tests) I know it’s not and I will continue to look to Him for help and support as I receive it when I do. As will anyone who asks with a heart that wishes to seek Him.

Psalm 18:46 - NIV

God Bless

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Journaling

March has ended up being a fairly quiet month online, I will share what I have been doing soon. I have had this week off as hubby has been off work and I wanted to spend time with him. Things have been slowly getting busier this year and we both needed a break.

image

Today however I would like to share my journaling practice with you. You may have noticed that I have been sharing my pages on my wordless Wednesday series. I have been creating this way for a few years now but when I came to Christ He started to use it as a way to help me in my bible studies and getting to know Him more, help me to remember the lessons He has for me as well as a way to pray and worship.

image

I have never been interested in creating finished pieces of art in this way I have always used it as a way of exploration and now it has an added meaning to me. I dedicate it to the Lord and I am so grateful to Him for the enjoyment I get from creating.

image

When you come to the Lord Jesus He takes you just as you are and He uses whatever situation you are in for His glory. We change  as we learn more about Him and allow the Holy spirit to change us (some changes happen instantly, such as the joy and peace only found in knowing Him). He will always use whatever gifts He has given us to use for His glory and to bring us closer to Him. For me, the enjoyment I get from being creative is one of those gifts. I don’t claim to be any good but that isn’t the goal.

image

I enjoy this form of creativity more now than I ever have, it has more meaning to me now and I get so much more out of it.

I have shared this before I think but before I came to Christ I felt useless, everywhere I looked the media and society seemed to think that those of us who couldn’t work were lazy scroungers. I felt like I wasn’t contributing to anything and useless to the world.

The Lord has changed that, He has given me a purpose and that purpose is to live for Him, the best purpose there is. I used to care what others thought. Even though it was something that made me feel uncomfortable I allowed myself to be taken in by lies that we need to be earning lots of money and qualifications to be happy and for others to respect us. I tied myself up in knots trying to fit in and now I feel free :)  Its wonderful. I don’t have to impress anyone, I don’t have to do anything. Everything I do for the Lord is because I want to and I love it. He doesn’t ask anyone to come to Him or to do anything for Him out of duty. That is not what being a Christian is about at all. Everything we do is a response to His love. My heart sings with joy knowing that everything I love doing that is pleasing to Him He will use. Art and creativity is one of those things.

God Bless

And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. 

1Ch 28:9

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 

 

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