The heart knowledge 

Have you seen the film frozen? Brace yourself but I haven’t… it’s worse because we own it but haven’t actually watched it! 🤦🏼‍♀️  I do however feeel like I’ve seen it given how many of the songs I know and how much of the storyline I know!

This isn’t a completely random thought it’s linked to the continuance of the topic nagging, maybe I shall call it God nagging?! But I’ll get to that in a second – just thought I should confess my lack of Frozen viewing with you before I continue!

We established I have the head knowledge for a renewing of my mind just not the feeling, the heart knowledge.

It’s something that feels too big for me to find the solution to. In fact I think this is often the point that I get to in the topic when it crops up. Knowing what I need to know but not feeling it and not knowing how to move forward to feel it.

As I ran this afternoon I listened to a talk on love and came back to a statement about really struggle with.

Susie who was speaking said: “The secret to loving people and doing relationships well is being loved my God” She then quoted Tim Keller: “Before love is a behaviour, love is an experience. We have to be captured by that love, shattered by that love and only then can it empower us to love”.

What I struggle with in this statement is that I don’t feel that I know I am loved and worth the effort etc BUT I do feel that I know how to love others. Seriously my brain really struggles because the statement when it comes up time and time again makes me doubt my love for others. Either I am loving wrong or am loving from the wrong place. OR I have felt loved by God at times and that’s enough to enable me to love people well? OR loving people would be easier if I lived loved? You’ll be sensing my confusing on the subject I suspect!!

I don’t know that answer.

I read a Proverbs 31 Ministries devotional this morning that touched on this subject. The writer was communicating on Galations 5:1 and how we are free because of Christ and that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be burdened by things because of that.

THIS is where the Frozen reference will start to make some sense. As I read the devotional it talked about how we slip into habits of pain or frustration and that even once the pain is gone we continue to feel it. God has taken away the ‘issues’ in life by dying on the cross for us but we often limp around as if we are still holding them. We need to let go of the past and walk without the limp.

I’m pretty sure that my past is what puts up all the road blocks to me living loved and knowing and experiencing just how loved I am. I’m pretty that I need to Let It Go as the song would say because that is what the bible calls me to do.

Nothing complicated or anything!!!!! I just need to let go of things and learn to live loved…..

Just don’t know how to get past a life time of past and move forward without the baggage holding on and holding me down.

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Infertility – in the trenches

I thought I’d share an email we sent to family 3 years into trying for a baby. Miraculously just 1 week later we found out we were expecting our little bear. I share this to hopefully encourage others and to share the resources we shared with family.

Hello all

Apologies for the mass email; we wanted to update you with where we’re at in our attempts to start a (or more accurately, to grow our) family, and an email was the easiest way to get everyone up to speed. Obviously, this is not something we wanted to include in the Christmas letter!

We’ve now been trying to conceive without success for over 3 years, and in that time we’ve really valued your prayers and your support. We understand that it’s impossible to know how to support us fully without you having been through the same situation, and we find this with our close friends as well.

Since we started trying, we have been to the doctors twice about the issue: first to have some initial tests, which showed no obvious issues, and the second time they said they wouldn’t be able to treat due to Sarah’s weight. We’ve since spoken to friends who are medical professionals who have assured us that this is a formality (bureaucracy) and not a medical reason. Sarah has obviously been trying to lose weight, and at times has done quite well, but infertility is an emotional roller coaster which doesn’t help the process of weight loss, and so she hasn’t been as successful as she would have liked. She has recently started trying to stick to Slimming World more seriously and with more fervour, and she always appreciates your support in helping her to eat well (Slimming World isn’t always obvious in what ‘eating well’ means as it’s different in different circumstances, so please ask if we’re eating with you and you’re not sure – she/we won’t be offended!)

Since the end of last year we have been thinking about going private for further tests, and have decided to pursue that this year. We still need a referral from the GP for this but the weight loss requirements are less when you go private. Sarah still has a few more pounds to lose before this bar is met, but it is much more achievable, given the circumstances. Obviously there are costs involved in this which start off quite piecemeal, so we will see how it goes and whether it’s something God wants us to pursue all the way. Thankfully, we have been saving for when we have a baby, and after praying, talking with friends, and discussing it between us, we feel this is an appropriate use of the money. (There’s certainly no point in storing up the money without the baby!) Although our savings aren’t much, it’s enough to get started. We have faith that if this is God’s path, he will provide the money when we need it.

We’re grateful that we’re able to talk about this openly with you and that you are all understanding and considerate people. We want to let you know that we do find life hard because of all of the above, and sometimes it can be particularly bad around special occasions where the absence of a child in our family is all-the-more obvious to us, or when we have recently had another negative result. Consequently, sometimes we may withdraw from situations or conversations, or even decline invitations to events that might rub salt in an open wound. We appreciate your sensitivity in these situations. Also, there are some topics of conversation that could provoke an emotional response internally (which may or may not become external!). We don’t expect you to know what these are, as sometimes we don’t even know what they are ourselves, but this is just to give an explanation in advance if we come across as short, withdrawn, or just a bit ‘off’!

All that said, we honestly don’t mind talking about our infertility journey, and if you ever think of questions, we’re more than happy to answer them. It’s rare that you would upset us by bringing it up, as chances are, it’s already on our minds.

We could carry on giving advice on how to support us, but there’s a website that has it pretty well pegged, by the author of a book called ‘Hannah’s Hope’ that we’ve read. (If you’d like to read it to gain a greater insight in to what we’re going through, we can lend it to you, or it’s available on the Kindle at a reasonable price.) 

http://www.hannah.org/?i=5455&mid=7

Look for the section titled ‘HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR INFERTILE OR BEREAVED FRIENDS’ roughly two thirds of the way down. There’s a little bit to read; we’d be very grateful if you were able to spare a few minutes to read it all, as it really is very good advice.

There’s also a video linked from that page: (can be watched without audio)

http://www.tearsandhope.com/emptyarms_video.html

It’s a smidgen cheesy but conveys pretty much where we’re at, although the suggestions for support don’t go into as much useful detail as the hannah.org website.

We’ve seen God do a lot in us in the last 3 years, and we still have hope in Him for what the future holds. We’ve had words, pictures, and Bible verses from God through friends and strangers, so despite wobbles in our faith at times, we still know that God has us in his hands, and that he has his best for us in store.

Anyway, sorry this has been so long; thank you for reading this far (if you skipped to the end, shame on you! ;-D), and thank you for your thoughts, prayers and love, both in the past and the future.

Love

R&S x

1 year one – who was Sue? Grandma

Mum was known as Grandma while she was alive. We recently made the decision to change it Granny or Granny Sue. We found that when we talked about Grandma or Grandma Sue, Zac would still think we talking about Ross’ mum Grandma and we wanted her to be defined because she LOVED being a Grandma.

When Mum died for ages on my mental to do list was to write down for Zac what Granny Sue did for him and with him as he won’t remember it himself. For a long time it was too painful, then it just kept slipping my mind so I never got round to it.

Some words to describe Mum as Grandma. Over bearing, in your face, over eager, over enthusiatic and potential spoilt brat creator OR generous, hands on, willing, loving, excited, caring, interactive, responsive and communicative. It would swing between the two different feelings to be honest but the old Zac got the more I was glad that she was interactive as much as she was with him.

Mum loved Zac. Zac love Mum. Simple as. He didn’t care what she gave him or anything like that he just knew this lovely lady would try up, try and interactive with him too quickly (bless them both!!) and then play with him as much as she possibly could and as much as he could possibly want. He would love to explore with her and hold her hand and she would love to take him anywhere she could go with him.

I loved the gifts she turned up with. The odd tshirt she’d have found in the sale somewhere or that she couldn’t resist. Toys she’d seen that she thought he would love and she was often very right. Tool kits, cars and trucks and all sorts of baby toys.

She created a good excuse for spoiling him with baby toys. In the 5 weeks she looked after him while I went back to work she could take him into Nottingham city centre on one of the three days. We’d come from work and there’d a be a new toys because she ‘forgot’ to take a toy into town with her!! He loved it and now Sully is seeing the benefits too!

On the note of going into town that’s where mum would feed him up on carrot cake, particularly the icing I think. I remember the Health Visitor asking me if Zac was getting a balanced diet and responding that he was from me but I couldn’t guarantee it from Grandma!

She was so keen for Zac to start walking and talking and excited for all the things they were going to do together and I often find my heart is actually heaviest when I mourn my mum as Grandma for all the things she’s missing and all the things that my boys (and me) are missing out of from her.

She was generous with her time and money and love and hugs and was always sorry that she couldn’t give more than she did despite giving so much.

Sue as a Grandma had a HUGE heart and I know for a fact that she would be loving having two Grandsons to play with. In fact I think she’d have been really torn between having little baby hugs and wanting to explore and play with Zac.