Archive for the ‘Mother’s Day’ Category

Today in the UK it is Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday. It is always celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent, exactly 3 weeks before Easter.

Although these days today is seen as a day for celebrating our mothers and all they do for us. It was traditionally a day when people returned to their ‘mother’ church. The place they were baptised, or the parish where they grew up and were nurtured in faith and where people cared for them as they grew up.

I wonder who those people were for you? A family member, a member of your church, maybe your mother.

For those whose mothers have passed away, Mother’s Day can be a difficult day. While for those who have children, it can be a joyful occasion where their family celebrate all mother does for them.

I must admit, while it’s great to celebrate the life of our mothers, there always seems to me to be little consideration given to those whose mother’s have passed away, those mother’s who have lost a child, and those who would love to be mothers but it either has never happened for them, or other reasons have prevented them from having a family.

However you feel about celebrating Mother’s Day today, I pray that whether it be celebrating with your mother, celebrating with your family, or simply remembering your mother or child who have passed away, that you find some joy from your time with family, or remembering those loved ones who are no longer with us.

In the UK, today is Mother’s Day, so for many today is day to say thank you to our Mum’s for all they have done/do for us, and just generally spoil them for at least today!

For those of us whose mother’s have passed away, the lead up to Mother’s Day with all the adverts on TV can be difficult, nevermind Mother’s Day itself when all around there are people celebrating with their Mums. It can also be a difficult day for those who have wanted children but who for whatever result, have been unable to have children.

A couple of months ago we went to the Liv On concert with Amy Sky, Beth Nielsen Chapman, and Olivia Newton-John. Here’s some of what their website tells us about this project:

The LIV ON Project and CD came to fruition the way many of the best collaborations do…via a series of conversations between friends about what matters most in life: Love, loss, hope and healing.

All three had endured profound, life-altering losses and yet each remained committed to one thing: a desire to transform individual grief into healing via music… for all.

This very special collection of songs will help lift the hearts of others going through their own hardship, whatever the cause.

The songs on the “LIV ON” CD take the listener on a journey of remembrance, toward one of inspiration and hope.

As well, the three mega-stars have created several brand new songs, including the title track, “Live On,” which born of their own exploration into the pain of loss, the growth that follows and eventually, the journey toward renewed joy.

“We found that any time we shared a vulnerable part of us, we felt such an overwhelming feeling of kinship and relief… that we were not alone with our pain. We hope these songs that came from the depths of us, will offer a place of comfort to others.” ~ Olivia Newton-John

I found the words and the music of all the songs presented at the concert very inspiring, so I just wanted to share with you today the title track from the Liv On CD, entitled Live On:

Live On by Amy, Olivia and Beth

I’m waking up this morning
Grateful for the gift of one more day
The light of hope is dawning
It fills my heart and lifts my fears away
Sometimes there’s a miracle just beyond the pain
When you can see the rainbow in the rain

Live on, live on
Brighter skies will come again
Cry the tears you cry and then live on, live on
Love is all we leave when we are gone live on

We’ve shared so much together
Think of all the mountains we have climbed
Sorrow joy and laughter
Woven through the tapestry of time
Even as we’re letting go we will not lose faith
All the precious memories we make

Live on, live on
In the hearts of those we touch
All the dreams inside of us live on, live on
Love is all we leave when we are gone live on

Live on, live on
More than just survive my friend
We learn how to thrive and then live on, live on
Shining like the words inside this song, live on

Love is all we leave when we are gone live on
In every heart of those we touch
In every dream that means so much
Yes I believe that all of us live on

It’s been a very sad day today as we said a final farewell to my Mum

Margaret Jackson Watson Johnson (nee Gilchrist)

27/09/1931 – 06/09/2015

Mum 70th

I had hoped to write a tribute to my Mum today, but I’m afraid it’s just too soon for me to be able to write anything that would do my Mum justice, so I’ll save my thoughts for another day once we get back to some kind of normality (whatever that means!).

So today, I simply want to express my gratitude to everyone who has offered support and love to us during these very difficult days by phoning, visiting in person or by sending us cards or flowers. You will never know just how much your support has meant to us.

To those of you who have helped us get everything sorted out for the funeral today and helped with the funeral itself, a huge thank you.

To the many of you who shared with us today at Rutherglen Salvation Army and then at the cemetery before returning to Rutherglen Salvation Army for refreshments, thank you for taking the time to support us on this most difficult of days, we really did appreciate it.

Mum never liked making a fuss about anything, so I’m sure she would have been embarrassed by the number of people who came to say farewell to her today, as well as by all that was said about her. However, to me it simply shows how well-respected my Mum was and the huge impact and influence she had on many, none more so than on me!

Mum’s family have been a part of Rutherglen Salvation Army since the Salvation Army first started in Rutherglen, and Mum has been a soldier there for many years, so it was fitting we celebrated her life there before we laid her in her final resting place. Mum loved Salvation Army music abd she loved a “good old army march“, but as a member of the songsters (adult singing group) for many years she also loved singing. One of her favourite songs was Jesus Thou Art Everything To Me as it was also her testimony. So for you today Mum, here’s your testimony in song:

Mum you’re now at rest, and I believe you have been reunited with Dad. I miss you and Dad so much, and I will love and remember you both forever.

Rest in peace Mum xxx

Mum 1952

Today in the UK, it is Mother’s Day, so I’d like to wish all mother’s a very happy Mother’s Day!

I’m sure like me, you thank your Mum often for all she has done, and continues to do for you, and have given your Mum an extra special present today to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Tonight thought I’d like you to spare a thought for those for whom this Mother’s Day has not been the joyful occasion it is for so many others…

There are those who would love to have family of their own, however may have found, for a variety of reasons, they cannot have children. For them Mother’s Day can be a sad reminder for them that they cannot have children of their own.

Mother’s Day can also be very tough on those whose mother is no longer with them. It must be particularly hard for them today and the build up to today with all the advertising and commercialism that surrounds today. Obviously though, the toughest part must be the reminder that their mum isn’t with them anymore. It must leave quite a void in their lives, which must make today difficult.

There is of course another person for whom Mother’s Day must be tough in some circumstances, and that the mothers who have had to cope with the death of a child. Mother’s Day is a celebration of mother’s everywhere, however for mum’s who have lost a child it must be a stark and painful reminder of their lose.

Mother’s Day is a celebration of all mother’s, and all they do for their children, but I’d ask you today to please spare a thought for those for whom today will not have been a happy one.

 

Finally, there is one other family that I feel I have to mention today, and that is the family of Fabrice Muamba. For those of you who don’t know Fabrice Muamba is a 23 year old professional footballer who plays for English premiership team Bolton Wanderers. Yesterday during an FA Cup game at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur, Fabrice collapsed with no other players near him. He subsequently received immediate medical attention, and was then rushed to a local hospital where he is now in intensive care in a critical condition having suffered a heart attack.

We were watching the FA Cup game on TV last night when Muamba collapsed and I have to say it was obvious from the reaction of the supporters and players of both teams immediately that Muamba was seriously ill. It is on occasions like that when football pales into insignificance and players and supports alike from all clubs, come together to support and pray for the stricken player.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I am praying for Fabrice Muamba and his family at what must be a very difficult time. I’d ask that you too pray for Fabrice as he is still seriously ill. I’d also ask that we all pray for all those who witnessed the events at White Hart Lane yesterday as it must have been very traumatic for them too. Finally I’d like to ask you to say a pray of thanks for the medics who rushed onto the pitch to help Muamba as from the reports I’ve read, it seems they had to resuscitate him on the park, and obviously managed to get him breathing again.

Please continue to pray for Fabrice Muamba.

Well I don’t know about you, but my week has been rotten!

Between running around after hubby, helping Mum, having a problem person to cope with at work, not feeling to great and in a lot of pain and generally feeling alone and unwanted at times, it really hasn’t been one of my most enjoyable weeks.

So how have these events made me feel this week?

A number of emotions have been very prevalent this week, but here are a few of the main ones: I’ve felt invisible, alone, worthless, useless, frustrated, in pain, annoyed and upset – all of these feelings are not very pleasant ones and therefore may help explain why I describe this one as having been a rotten one for me.

So how have I managed to survive my week? My inner strength and most of all my faith!

As I’ve mentioned several times before, these last few years have been tough ones for me and at the moment life definitely seems to be back on a downward spiral again. However, while I still have my moments of complete despair and inability to cope, I’m still able to reassure myself, because of my experiences over the last few years, that God has not deserted me, but is still very much with me, through it all – I simply have to remember to put my full trust in Him despite what life is still throwing my way.

Just to help add to the particularly bad week, Mum’s not feeling too good now either, and is struggling physically and emotionally to continue to care for Dad, who has vascular dementia. So much so, that this afternoon when I was with Mum, she told me she wasn’t sure how much longer she will be able to care for Dad. Obviously I’m upset by this too, however I must be honest and say I’m surprised Mum has managed to cope for so long. Ultimately the decision that Dad needs to go into care is Mum’s not mine, as she’s the one who spends 24/7 caring for him.

On the plus side, Dad’s booked into a local care home (the same one one of my aunt’s is in), for one week’s respite care at the end of October/beginning of November. I’ve taken that week off so I can spend it with Mum, so she’s not completely on her own. I’m hoping that week will be a huge help for Mum and that Dad will settle in at the care home ok. But ultimately I hope it may help Mum make a decision on the future, and how much longer she continues to care for Dad at home.

So there’s my rotten week in a nutshell. I hope your week has been far more positive and encouraging than mine! Let’s hope we all have a far more positive and helpful week next week!

In conclusion I’d just like to thank all of you who have supported and prayed for me and my family over the last while, I really do appreciate it, and ask that in these coming days for your continued prayers as these coming weeks are likely to be difficult ones for us all.

Thank you.

I love the song Through It All which really sums up my Christian experience over these last few years in particular, so I hope you enjoy this version of the song performed here by The Three Sopranos:

Through It All
Though the future seems uncertain
Though the fear erodes my peace
Though the circumstance seems hopeless
And the doubting will not cease
I will claim what He has promised
For my heart must recognise
Mine is not to question
But keep focused on the prize.
 
Through it all I choose to serve the saviour
Through it all I claim Christ as my friend
Through it all my faith will never waver
Till He calls me home or comes again
 
This path now set before me
Is not my route of choice
Yet I must keep moving forward
Listening to His still small voice
This step along this journey
He reminds me I’m His own
And through the cold dark loneliness
I’m aware I’m not alone
 
Through it all I choose to serve the saviour
Through it all I claim Christ as my friend
Through it all my faith will never waver
Till He calls me home or comes again

Many couples try for a long time to try to have children, but are unsuccessful. Others seem to have no difficulty at all at conceiving.

When you find out you’re expecting a child, do you thank God for the privilege He has bestowed on you, or do you simply get caught up in the news?

1 Samuel 1:28 (NIV)

So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he shall be given over to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.

When we have children, one way we can give thanks to God for the child, is to “give the child back to God” – But what does this actually mean? This is usually done in a dedication or christening service:

  • The child is blessed, to represent what Jesus did when children were brought to Him: “he took the children in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:13-16)
  • The parents make promises to bring the child up in a Christian way, and to teach the child about God

Give thanks to God for the children. Teach the children about God and show them how to live their life for God.

When I was younger, I used to dream about having children. I never really had any great thoughts on how many kids I wanted or whether I’d prefer boys or girls. Now however, I dream of what life might have been like if we’d ever had children…

When you meet new new people or get into conversation with someone you’ve never really spoken to before, what are some of the first few things you ask them about themselves?

My guess is, if they’re married or you know they have a partner, you’ll ask them if they have any kids, or how many kids they have, would I be right?

It’s funny how when you’re married or have a partner, it’s almost expected by most people that you’ll have kids. Sometimes when I’ve been asked if we have kids and I’ve answered no, I seen looks of shock and confusing and it’s almost as if people are trying to compute why having been married for a number of years we’ve not had any children.

Yes, maybe most couples do have children and it isn’t the “norm” not to have children, but have you ever considered that maybe it’s not through choice that some couples are childless? Unfortunately for many, for a variety of reasons it’s not been possible for them to have children. e.g. infertility of male and/or female, concerns over health of childbearer.

I still find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that we’re not going to have kids, and often struggle when asked about whether we have kids or not. I sometimes wonder if I am in fact jealous of those who have kids, and often pray that God will continue to help me totally accept my situation and not feel any jealousy towards others just because they are fortunate to have children.

God decides what happens and doesn’t happens in our lives. He has decided that children are not part of His plan for us. I know He has very good reasons for this and know He has other things in life planned for me.

So in answer to the question, “How many kids do we have”, my answer is “none”, but please please please don’t look all shocked and surprised by my response.

…sadly, this is often how it can feel when you have no children and all those you spend time with, have kids.

Before I go any further with this blog post I just want to clarify a couple of things following my blog post Childless = Alone from Friday night:

  • I really do love children, I’m just sorry we’ve not gt any of our own.
  • I do not dislike others talking about their kids, however if all you want to talk about in my presence is your kids and how much you want another child, and that you can’t wait to have another child, please don’t be surprised if I’m just a tad upset!

I don’t know about you but have you noticed how many leisure activities/events are geared towards families? I have!

I’ve found that no matter where we go or what we’re involved in, many of the events or activities that are organised, are focused on families and/or the children in particular. Again I must stress that children are important and we must ensure we do all we can to make them feel wanted and part of the group, however what are those of us without kids supposed to do, or feel?

If we turn up to family events, there’s little for us, as much is aimed around the children or the parents and their children. If we don’t turn up at all, no-one notices…and then we feel excluded.

Can I tell you the one place when I find I feel excluded most, because we have no children? Sadly I have to tell you that it’s at my church. What makes it even more difficult for me at my church is that I’m the only person in my family who attends that particular church, and therefore whenever there are family events on I really am excluded as I have no family there.

The worst occasions for me are always the meetings when we are told it’s a family service so instead of sitting in our usual place in the band/songsters/congregation, we’re asked to sit with our family – These are the times when I seriously wonder if anyone considers how those of us with no family there, feel. I can honestly say I always avoid attending these meetings, and as far as I’m aware no-one has ever noticed – at least I’ve never been asked why I wasn’t there.

I know no-one will even intentionally have meant to make anyone feel excluded or uncomfortable, because I can assure you it is hard on those of us with no children, and doubly hard on those of us who have no other family at the event.

Please remember we are all God‘s children, and as such we must love everyone equally. Don’t discriminate, either on purpose or by accident, against those of us who have no children or have no other family members around them, as we can feel alone and excluded during family events.

I hope you enjoy this video of Child of God by Kathryn Scott:

…sadly this is how it can often feel just because we have no kids.

I’m sure people don’t mean it but I often find when around others who have families, there’s so much talk about their child did this or tha, or it was nice to go here or there and do such and such with the kids, that’s it can sometimes be very hard to feel at ease.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect other to stop talking about their kids when I’m around, that would be ridiculous, and I’d find that even more uncomfortable. However in saying that, there are definitely some situations, and some people who seem to be oblivious to other people – yes, those I’m talking about know nothing about the reasons why we’ve not had any kids, nor should they have to.

Don’t get me wrong I love kids, and am always delighted when I hear of family and friends when I hear they are expecting a child. I love kids and would have been delighted had we ever been privileged to have any, however for reasons I’m not going to get into, we have never  had any kids.

I just pray that those of you who have children truly appreciate and love them, because you are so lucky, there are many of us who would have loved to have children but have for one reason or another not had any. If you have children and are estranged from them, please, I urge you try and rebuild those bridges and pick up a phone and give them a call today, say a pray for them as God will always listen to your prayers and will answer them in some way at some time.

God loves us all, because we are all His children – Therefore we must appreciate and love our children, just as God loves us.

With every breath with every salt
From what it seem to the deepest part
I offer all that I?ve come to be
To know your love fathering me

Father you’re all I need
My souls sufficiency
My strength when I am weak
The love that carries me
You arms enfold me
Till I am only
A child of God

With every step on this journey’s walk
And wisdom songs
But the soul is sad
I give my self unreservedly
To know your love fathering

Father you’re all I need
My souls sufficiency
My strength when I am weak
The love that carries me
You arms enfold me till I am only
A child of God