misdirected emotions

I am a great example of how to display an emotion completely separate from what I m actually feeling. I have written before that I can be an ostrich when it comes to emotions and feelings but I also have a knack for completely dwelling on something minor as a way to distract myself from what I’m really feeling.

Case in point: about 2 hours ago I said goodbye to my wonderful American friends. I just about held the tears back as the kids all got emotional and as they prayed for me and told me their favourite things about my visit. I felt so sad to be leaving that I wanted to tell Rachel to turn the car around and I would just stay forever!

(But of course I didn’t and I said goodbye at the bus stop with a huge knot in my tummy and a lump in my throat from trying so hard not to lose it)

So then I spent an hour on the bus trying not to cry, reading my Bible and praying and looking at pictures. By the time I got to the airport I still felt sad but I was thankful for my time with the Libbys.

Then I checked in and my bag was too heavy and I had to pay the excess fee and instead of being my usual practical self and rearranging items between my carry-ons to make my check-in lighter I just went ahead and paid the whole charge! Which left me kicking myself all through Security for not making a wise decision.

Of course, I got so frustrated with myself over it because I didn’t want to think about what I was missing with Rachel and the kids.

I really had to fight to let go of that frustration and not let it take away from the joyful time I’ve had. Seriously, I’ve just had 2 wonderful weeks with some of my favourite people and I’m going to dwell on an insignificant thing like paying a baggage charge?!

How could my heart and head be so ungrateful so suddenly. It honestly took a lot of prayer and thanking God for all blessings of the last two weeks to make me see that while yes, maybe I made a silly split second decision, but it was even sillier to let it spoil my heart.

In the end I was thanking God that he provided me with enough spending money in my purse that I could pay the charge in cash and still have enough for a Starbucks while I wait for my boarding time. He didn’t have to provide that, but He did, because He loves me.

One thing I am taking away from this experience is to always have a thankful heart even when you feel silly or frustrated with your situation, because there are too many blessings to count if you look for them.

The other thing I am taking away from this is to be more wware of what I am feeling and why. This has always been a thing for me, and I have to constantly examine myself: what am I feeling, why am I feeling that way? But now I also need to challenge myself to change my attitude if it is not right and focused on God.

Such deep thoughts whilst sat at Gate D11. I have another hour or so until my flight starts boarding so I think I will head around the concourse in search of that Starbucks!

-x-

Flying away

Today I’m leaving to go back home to the UK. In total I’m travelling for about 28 hours…on three planes.

Flight one: Portland to Phoenix, arriving at 10.30pm
Flight two: Phoenix to Charlotte, leaving at 630am (yes I will be in Phoenix airport overnight) arriving at 130pm
Flight three: Charlotte to London, leaving at 630pm and arriving at 620am on SATURDAY morning.

I am going to be so tired and jetlagged and its worse because I just don’t want to leave. I feel like it takes me a week to settle in and then the next week goes too quickly ūüė¶ this is the hardest it has been to leave. It makes me so sad to think about not hearing the kids when I wake up in the morning, not having late night talks with Rachel…it all just makes me super sad and miserable.

I know I have people who love me back home in Canterbury and when I’m there it will be great but for now, I’m just sad to leave. Sad.

-x-

Do you have a favourite “spot” to sit in? I remember fierce arguments with my siblings when I was younger if one of us dared to sit in a seat that someone else had vacated. I love it in the Big Bang Theory when someone sits in Sheldon’s seat…because it is so true to my life.

Wherever I go I like to have a “spot” to settle in. For example, at my house I like to sit in the right side corner of the sofa…at a family’s house that I babysit there is a red armchair that is the perfect size for me to curl up in.

Here, at David & Rachel’s in Salem, “my spot” is a green rocker chair. I love it. It’s the perfect size for curling up to read, snuggling with the kids/dog, and just generally chilling out. I feel cosy and peaceful sitting in this chair, even if I do look a little bit silly rocking myself back and forth!!

Where is your comfy spot?

-x-

Learning from Deuteronomy

Yesterday we went to church. My friend David is one of the Pastors at Morningstar church in Salem. One of the lead pastors gave the sermon from Deuteronomy chapter 8. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sermon which contextualised Deuteronomy so well before. Pastor Ken explained that Moses is reminding the Israelites of the covenant that God made with them and of his continued faithfulness to keep his promises by blessing them and taking care of them, even though the Israelites have complained and gone against him many times.

And there I thought Deuteronomy was boring! Turns out all I needed was the context. Moses knew he would die before the Israelites got to enter the promised land but he needed to remind them of what God had done, because they had a tendency to forget.

I have a tendency to forget. Yesterday afternoon during the kids’ rest time I sat and read through the first half of Deuteronomy and was amazed at what I read. It was like reading it for the first time.

While the sermon yesterday was mainly about giving thanks to God for financial provision (the church is working through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University right now) it really made me think about all the ways that God has provided for me in my life…things that I too easily forget because I let life get in the way.

I want to cultivate a thankful attitude, and acacknowledge ALL that God does, and has done.

Practical ways I’ll be doing this to follow in another post

-x-

Spring time in Salem

Day 2 of my American trip…it is 53¬ļF today and the sun is SHINING! Yesterday we went to the grocery store and I didn’t even need a jacket, and this morning we spent a few hours at Riverfront park, playing in the sunshine. It’s so warm…hard to believe that the UK has snow forecast for next week. Off I go to enjoy the sun some more…Elijah and Hope are super into basketball right now and we’re doing lots of practice in the driveway. I suck but they don’t seem to mind!!

10…

keep-calm-10-days-left-300x300

Only 10 days to go until my (what seems now to be annual…) trip to Oregon, USA! I am unbelievably, beyond words excited – and right now I can’t work out if it’s more because I cannot wait to see some of the superest, most lovely people I know, or because I will be escaping from work for 17 whole days.

Escaping may feel a bit of an exaggeration, and at 9.50pm on a Sunday night it probably is. However, since returning to work in January after almost two weeks off, I have to say that work has felt – at times – like we are trying to push water up a hill. And in case y’all don’t know, that can’t be done.

On top of which, this week it became clear that at the end of April I will be moving to my thirteenth house. Our contract here runs out and for reasons that aren’t mine to post on here, my housemate won’t be staying with me. I can’t stay on my own for financial reasons so I have three options:
1) find a new housemate (which is a complete gamble; I’ve taken it before with my house before this one and it was such a mistake. I almost went mad – I’m not willing to do that again)
2) join a new house-share (reluctant to do this for the same reasons as point one
3) branch out and get my own place

Option 3 now seems like the way to go, and I feel pretty ok about it. It’s obviously not my choice to leave here but I can’t do anything about the situation so I have to count it as joy and deal with it. Except, I can’t afford to live by myself – which is why I haven’t done it before.

I know that God has a plan for me in this, and I have a few ideas that would make living by myself a viable option…if they don’t work out I trust that God has something better. I do wish I didn’t have to have this upheaval, again, though.

Someday soon I’ll do a blog about all my houses and moves. I am an excellent house-mover, having done it so many times (11 times since I was 9…level: Expert)

Back to the holiday though. I fly out on the 7th March and am back early on Saturday 23rd. I have two days of travelling to get back, which will be tough but it is worth it. I love my US friends so much and visiting them always feels a bit like coming home. I think God has timed this right for me – a few weeks respite, albeit with 4 crazy kids (and a crazy dog) – but it is the kind of madness that I absolutely enjoy and that does me a whole lot of good.

I can’t wait – 10 days and counting!!

-x-

Sad / Glad

Sad:

feeling like I am banging my head against a brick wall with some work stuff, and being left wondering where all the common sense has gone.

Glad:

I booked my flights to the US – March 7-21 I am going to be in Salem, Oregon with some of the best people I know!

Sad:

earlier this month it was 3 years since my Nana died, and remembering it was made worse because of the hideousness that surrounded her funeral. I miss her so much and I hate that when I think of her, I think of that awful day.

Glad:

I have joined the smartphone revolution, finally. I now have a Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini (blue) – yes, somehow I have managed to get one of the newest phones on the market, for a super-awesome tariff. My phone is pretty and I love it. The best thing is that it has a camera so I can take more photos in the States. (Yes, my old phone was so old it didn’t have a camera!)

Sad:

I don’t get to see my Dad until the summer

Glad:

My dad and I had a little Facebook message chat today, for the first time in over a year. Small steps accomplish big journeys

Sad:

I lost the pretty part “S” of one of the drop earrings my brother got me for Christmas. It broke in in Morrisons (so it is long-gone) and haven’t been able to find a replacement

Glad:

Sunday morning at church was AMAZING and we began a new sermon series on James, which I think is my favourite book of the Bible now. I’m very excited to be studying further into James and learn more about being ‘steadfast’ in the Lord

Sad:

my sister is very poorly and might have glandular fever ūüė¶

Glad: I have a long weekend booked next week (Thursday and Friday off!) so am going home to see the family, and my brother is probably coming home for the weekend too! 3/4 siblings will be together for the first time since June ’12.

Altogether, there are some UPs and DOWNs in my life at the moment. The UPs are nice, the DOWNs are dismal, but through it all God is faithful ūüôā

Psalm 89:1
“I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.”

Photos

After a long and exhausting week at work, whilst recovering from jetlag and fighting to overcome Salem-sickness (like homesickness but for Salem) I have finally managed to find time to sit down and go through the 600+ photos I took on holiday. About 250 are random images that Hope and Lily took, when I let them take turns with my camera. Some of the shots are actually pretty good, so I uploaded them to my facebook page and made an album just for them.

I haven’t posted my photos to Facebook yet, because a)¬†for some reason my computer doesn’t really like looking at/editing photos and almost crashed multiple times when I was uploading the girls’ pictures, and b) since Facebook went to Timeline, uploading photos is really complicated and I don’t really have 2 1/2 hours to sit around and process each of them.

In the meantime I have satisfied myself with a mini-photo blog, 10/600 or so photos.

This is Hope, aged 6 1/2, touching some disgustingly wiggly sea creature at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. This was our first day and Hope was my “partner”, since we had equal adults to children ratio. I was so jetlagged that she had to look after me more than the other way around!

Sunday, 18 months, watching the sea lions and seals doing their display. Even though it’s not a head-on shot, you can tell how into it she was by how she’s holding onto the rope

Elijah (8 1/2) was our tour guide for the day. This was taken in the shark tunnel – I’ve never been to an aquarium with a tunnel before so it was a little weird having sharks swimming above your head, but the kids loved it, especially¬†since we were there for feeding time.

Sweet Lily is almost 5 and loved this thing!! We tried to get a shot with all three girls smiling, but one of them would duck back or close their eyes so it didn’t work out. Maybe next time.

This is me with my dear friend Rachel…and Lily joined in too.

Saturday morning, hanging out and watching “H20” (a show about mermaids that Hope and Lily adore) on NetFlix.

Titus! This is my friends’ dog, he’s a Schauzer and absolutely adorable. He is a very cuddly dog and doesn’t mind when the kids play a little rough with him, in fact I think he enjoys it!

This was taken on my last day in Salem – Rachel spent about 10 minutes trying to get a really good one where everyone was smiling AT the camera, but with four kids it was a little tricky. I had to fight not to cry all morning, I just didn’t want to leave. I love those kiddos and their amazing parents and feel like such a part of their family. They are so precious.

Maybe I’ll upload some more photos in a week or so, but I think I might keep most of them for myself! Selfish? Maybe ūüėõ

-x-

 

The countdown…

This time next week I will be crossing the Atlantic, heading on holidayyyyyyy!!! Hooray!

I’m heading to Salem, Oregon to see¬†some amazing friends and their four kids. I haven’t seen them in almost two years, and¬†that was also my last¬†non-family holiday. I’ve had time off in the last couple of months, but due to circumstances outside of my control it hasn’t exactly been restful.

The past few weeks have been ridiculously exhausting. Since I got sick after Debbie and Aaron’s wedding I feel like I’ve been wading through mud – I’ve been going to bed early, sleeping in as late as possible, not going out unless I have to and most days I feel like I could cry really easily.

Add to that a horrendous day at work on Monday, where I was told off for being too efficient (seriously) and the usual *hormone* delights…let’s just say I’m counting down the days.

I’ve made it through, but just barely. I think if I didn’t have my holiday to look forward to I might have crumbled. I think this is great timing. Maybe it’s God’s timing, maybe he’s using my friends’ schedule to my benefit.

Either way, I’m grateful and I’m excited. I’m off on holiday, where there are no pressures, no responsibilities – I can just join in whatever my friends are doing and have a great time doing it!

p.s. Yes, I have noticed that many of my photos include cats. I’m not a crazy cat lady, but it turns out that the internet is full of photos of cats from people who I can only presume are crazy cat people and I have no qualms about appropriating their captioned kitties. Hope that’s ok!

-x-

April, already?!

I can’t quite believe it’s April already. March literally whizzed past me whilst I wasn’t paying attention, and all of a sudden it’s sunny and (almost) warm, and¬†3 weeks until I fly to the States for my holiday!

As I typed “sunny”, it started to rain. Typical.

I can’t wait, I booked my flights on Wednesday night and I’ve been buzzing with excitement since. 2 1/2 weeks off, 16 days/nights with the Libbys in Oregon. Hooray!!

A lot of stuff seems to have happened in just this past week, it’s hard to process it all. Rosie has found a house and is moving out earlier than planned (May 5th) but my lovely friend Tasha (she of the great DIY skills) is moving in immediately, which is a tremendous blessing. Tasha was going to stay with friends until Rosie moved out in August, before the wedding, but now it’s all working out 4 months ahead of schedule!

Also this week my lovely friends Debs and Aaron got married. I know I’ve shown you pics already but here’s another:

Debs and Aaron are in the same church small group as me, and some of us from the group were the *food people* at the wedding, preparing it all and serving it etc. I was on my feet for almost 8 hours but it was so much fun.

And then I got sick ūüė¶ I woke up on Friday, and felt a little yucky so I decided to stay in bed a bit longer – I had no plans because I switched my day off last week, so I could stay late at the wedding. By 1.30 I was still in bed! I got up and put some laundry on, and had a shower, then sat down on the sofa “for a minute” and woke up at 3.30pm! By this point I felt like death, so I went back to bed and stayed there til Rosie got home.

I managed to get up for a few hours in the evening, then had an early night, but I didn’t sleep well and woke up feeling horrendous. But of course, I had work…yes, even though it was Saturday. I managed my morning contact but changed my afternoon one, and came home to sleep.

We had guests this weekend – Rosie and Dave’s friends – and I feel like such an awful hostess for being in bed the whole time! Sorry Ruth, Sarah and Joe!! Sunday I felt well enough for church, but I was on standby for creche and they needed me so I exhausted myself again…back to bed for most of the afternoon!!

Hooray for Monday though, I felt much better and only needed a lie-in to feel almost human again. In all my (nearly) 23 years, I can’t remember being sick enough to willingly spending so much time in bed. But the only time I felt well was when I was lying down…so lying down I stayed, with my laptop, tissues, blackcurrant squash,¬†hot water bottle and four big, squishy pillows to make me comfy!

What exciting things have happened in your week?

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