An Entitlement to Life

Happy 2023! Do you have plans? Goals? Dreams? I hope so! I hope you have come into a new year with new dreams and goals and a new energy to see this year as a year of endless possibilities.

I could write about how to pursue your dreams, or what this year might bring, but not today. Today I’m going to the other side. The dark side. You see… 2022 was incredibly good to me. I bought my own house, got divorced, had my first grandbaby, have another one due, I loved life and embraced the new me I have found along the way. I had the absolute best year I have probably had in my entire life. Not because there was an absence of problems, but because there was an underlying development of peace, joy and contentment in my life.

That’s great right! But then, there were my friends. So many of them seemed to struggle last year. I had one who lost her 31 year old brother to cancer, another friend who found out on his 59th birthday he had stage 4 bladder and stomach cancer, and another who after multiple mini strokes found out as he turned 60 that he had stage 3 lung cancer (never smoked in his life!). This was not ok. Nor was the fact these all happened within a week. My friend who turned 60 was the healthiest human I have known. He rode his bike regularly, watched his diet, had big plans for his looming retirement, and has so much to give. But short of a miracle, he probably won’t live to be a Grandad, or to travel the world in his retirement, or live a life of no work, and have time to enjoy the fruit of his labor over the years.

It seems so wrong. So unfair. My heart rages in battle against a life where we will lose people too soon, where hearts are ripped open because someone has to go through treatment with no ’cause’. Its easier when someone has say smoked all their life… we accept these things as consequences of their actions. But when you have been intentionally healthy? It reeks of injustice. It reeks with a stench that could invade the tiniest pore of our body.

It has also had me thinking. What are we entitled to? Are we entitled to a life of 70 years? Of 80? Are we entitled to die if we don’t abide by the unwritten laws of life and morality? Should our sins be punished by an early death? What about those who live a life completely devoid of morality and goodness, and seem to live till they are 100? Why do they get to live so long? What makes them deserve to live, and the good ones deserve to die? Where is God – and why doesn’t He give us all what we deserve? Kind of like karma really isn’t it. Live well… live long. Live selfishly… die young. Makes total sense.

Sadly, so often we see the opposite, and we don’t understand why. I’m not sure we will ever understand it this side of heaven. How we live, and how long we live is only somewhat under our control. There is an enemy out there. He seeks to steal, kill and destroy us. Sometimes this is emotionally, and sometimes physically. The world we live in is a fallen world. Since the sins of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden we have lived in a world that wages war against our soul.

The truth is that neither sickness nor death are usually a result of our sin. We will all die at some stage. All our days are numbered. So, do we get to number them? Or does God? If he has numbered them, can we change them? For example, if someone commits suicide then technically they don’t live out their days – but God knows what will happen beforehand, so are they still living to the number of days allotted to them? There is so much we don’t know. Trying to understand it can destroy our faith. And faith is exactly what it is. Trusting that God is there with us through all of life’s circumstances. Trusting he is there when we survive something we ‘shouldn’t’, or that he is there when someone is taken too soon.

There is never enough time. Not if we have 20 years, not if we have 80 years. But our humanity does make us feel entitled to live a life. A life marked by growing up, marrying, raising children, seeing our grandchildren grow. That is the ‘average’ way of thinking. Perhaps it is our thinking that needs to change? Perhaps we have to understand that we aren’t entitled to anything. Not to a long life, not to a perfect life, but that each day we live and breathe it is a gift to us from God. Daniel tells us that ‘He holds our breath in his hands’. Each day we get to live is a day we can live for Him. It’s a day we can find Him. It’s a day we can form a relationship with Him. It’s a day we can show Him to others.

The truth is that we have done nothing to be entitled to our days, but whether we receive a short amount of a long amount of days, they will all be like a vapor when it comes to eternity. The length of our days on earth will no longer matter, but the choices we make, the way we live out those days, and if we choose to accept the reality of God will definitely matter.

So, I wish us all a great 2023. For some of us it will be our last year. For some it will be the year their days start. For others it is going to be a tough one, and for some it will be a year filled with amazing things. Let’s not live life with an entitlement to the next day, but rather be fully present in THIS day, and live a life of legacy for those who walk after us.

Bless ❤

Pink Steel Cap Butt Kicking Boots

This is something I wrote three years ago. Before I decided to leave my husband. I was excited for 2020, but near the end of 2019 my world changed. Maybe I changed. The interesting this is that this is what I wrote. I am going to highlight all the things have have come true over the past three years for me. Ironic that I could write something and look back and see that perhaps those pink steel cap butt kicking boots actually booted my own backside – but so many things I was excited for came true in a way I never thought of, dreamed of, or imagined. Take a look:

What would you think of if someone told you they bought pink boots? Cute? Sexy? Powerful?
Pink represents so many things – friendship, affection, harmony, inner peace, approachability.
Pink can be soft, but also vibrant. It can be tender, playful and strong. But these boots? My pink
steel cap butt kicking boots? I am so excited to own them because they represent a new story, a
new life.

The last 15 years or so, I have loved my jobs. Some have been more challenging than others.
There have been ones that ended well, and some I was pleased to escape from, but overall I have
met beautiful people. I have learnt as much about myself as I have work cultures and
management styles. Today is the end of full time work in the normal sense for me. It is the end of
bosses, the end of imposed time restrictions, deadlines and priorities. It is the end of being
confined to windowless offices, sitting at a desk working all day and again at night at home. It is
the end of being pulled in two directions, the end of being present for both, yet not ‘all in’ at either.
It is also the beginning. It is the beginning of a certain amount of freedom. Freedom to work
around family. Freedom to embrace a new career. Freedom to try new things, to bring change, to
work with people, and to create.
It is the opportunity to build the dream life alongside my husband,
and to change the future for our children.
The boots aren’t about swapping heels for a trade site. They are about breakthrough. Change.
Challenge. Growth. Strength. Confidence. Faith. Hard work. Sweat. Tears. They are power over
doubt, they are belief for the future. Those pink steel cap butt kicking boots are victory in the face
of past defeats. Unafraid, they support when the ground is shaky and remain steady when life is
wobbly.

They say I’m ready! I am all in. I am planted. Firm. Solid. They will walk into places others fear to
tread. They are no longer hiding in the shadows. They say BRING IT ON!

With 2020 around the corner, my boots are poised to jump into the unknown. They will take back
ground, they will proclaim the goodness of God, and you can be sure, they will need to kick butt!
Joys of life often co-exist alongside the struggles.
The biggest difference is the attitude we take to
it.
I don’t know what 2020 holds for anyone else, but I’m bringing my butt kicking boots! “

I have just written a new mantra for my next three years. As I look back to this, I get excited. Clearly when I wrote this, I wasn’t intending on leaving my marriage. I was excited for what life could bring. But life worked out differently than I expected. As I have written a mantra for my next season – again a three year season, I know that what I now ‘see’ will be vastly different to what eventuates. The fact we can’t see the future is a gift. Yet, how wonderful to look back over the years and see your dreams come through, and God working through our life if we allow. I feel that there isn’t a lot of room for life to get much better, but I know there is much to learn, places to go, people to meet, and God will be there.

Divorce – The other side of the ordeal

Covid. That is what most people think about when they think of 2020 to 2022. Not me. I think divorce. When I left my husband at the start of 2020, I could never have imagined the depths of what I was to walk through. In all fairness to him, he has really been pretty decent with the whole process. In fact, I’m not even sure he knows the divorce was finalised 5 months ago. I assume he does. My care factor is not high.

Almost three years since I first decided I would leave and I have been through so much. I walked through burn out, exhaustion, the inability to find a job with Covid having hit, potential homelessness, finding work, being hopeful for reconciliation, defeat in that, reconciling my faith with the reality of divorce, selling homes, buying a townhouse, lots of counselling, reconciling the parts of me that that needed healed, reconciling my flaws, finding myself on different ends of the spectrum and allowing myself time to find the trajectory for my life that is most authentic to me. Finally…. the other side…. and JOY. So much joy.

It isn’t that life is necessarily easy. There is always things going on and ups and downs. But I carry a joy, a peace, a contentment that I haven’t carried all my life. I know who I am. I know what I will accept in both a partner, and from myself. I know who I want to be. I know that God is faithful. I fail, but keep on moving forward.

If anyone had told me that life could be this wonderful, I would never have been able to grasp it, or even believe it. I’m so thankful for friends, for family, for God, for a great work environment. I would walk through the last three years again if the change was guaranteed to bring this much satisfaction with life. I laugh every day, I am lighter in spirit, I have no fear of the future – just possibilities – endless possibilities. I’m not waiting for anyone, I’m just living life to the fullest, and loving every second of it.

I know some people have awful battles over houses, money, children, and I’m so thankful I didn’t have that. There was definitely hard times in there to get to the divorce, but it grew my strength, it made me more courageous, and it increased my resilience. I learnt to let go of what I wished for. I gave space to grieve what I had longed for and never was, I gave space to heal the wounds, and allow Gods love to fill my heart, and I gave space for loneliness and despair when it was needed. God took all the hurts, and all the tears, and he has replaced them with a deep seated joy.

Just yesterday I was saying to a friend that my vase at home never seems to be empty of flowers these days. This year, they have come from all different places, but there is barely a week I don’t have a vase filled with fragrance and beauty. She said that maybe it was God lavishing his love upon me, reminding me that I am worthy of his gifts, and worthy of love, and kindness. I hadn’t thought about that, but how precious, and special to think that could be true.

The other side of the divorce – for me, it is like walking out of a dark tunnel into the most brilliant sunshine, where the sun shines brighter, and the raindrops fall softer. So, my friend, if you are about to leave your marriage, if you are in the midst of heartache, or despair – remember that joy will come in the morning. Don’t give up. It might take time, but one day, you will wake up and realise that you deserve to LIVE, not just exist, or survive, but truly live each day, with a smile on your face, and a deep joy in your heart. I can promise that if you do the work on your own heart, you will heal and come through as a new creation.

Bless ❤

An Orchestra of Sound

The roar of cheers in a stadium, to the shrill scream of fear, the deep manly husk, to the carefree belly laugh.  We are surrounded by noise, and stunned by silence.  An orchestra of sound clangs in our waking ears and whispers in our sleeping moments.

We are always searching for more.  Something new.  Something better.  Something to replace the old with louder, more intense beats.  We are never satisfied with silence, never content to stop, to be still.  We are always reaching, clambering, fighting, begging for more.  More money, more fulfilment, more love, more sex, more career advancement, more, more, more…  We get caught up in the world, in the season of children, sports, taxi driving, bills, church, community events.  We fill our lives with ‘us’, with others.  We pressure ourselves, and put unrealistic expectations on others.  We stuff our feelings away with the busy, the hectic, the noise, and somehow take pride in it.  We live for tomorrow, instead of enjoying today’s moments.  We are never satisfied because tomorrow never arrives.  So we continue the clang.  We strive to be heard above the roar of the city streets, and noticed amongst the rush of the subway.

Have we all forgotten the sound of silence?  Have we forgotten the sound of the soul?  So many of us are searching for ourselves amongst the noise, but if we stop would we find ourselves in the melody of silence?

Perhaps it’s time we hushed the noise.  Perhaps its time we took minutes to listen to the sound of our heart.  To listen to the tiny whispers inside us instead of the continued gongs that dominate our lives.

What if we found release?  What if we found we all had a happy spot deep down inside of us that we have forgotten?  What if we found the cause of the emptiness we feel? What if we found answers?  What if we found purpose?  Motivation?  Understanding? Joy?

What if we found peace?

What if we found our hands lovingly dancing over the piano of our lives?  What if we see dark notes interspersed with the light ones, and realize they create a beauty, a melody, a fragrance.  What if we realized beauty is not found in flash cars, and nice houses, but beauty is found in friendships and love?  What if we watched fingers caress the darkness, and break out into sunshine?  What if we allowed ourselves to be swept up in the magic of melody and drenched in the sound of silence?

What if we all took a moment and changed the repeating clang in our head to a tune that captivates our soul?

This world is an orchestra of sound, and largely we get choose the melody we dance to. What tune are you going to dance to today?

A Love Like No Other

Take me away with you,

Take me away on a journey,

Just the two of us. Forget the world, forget our lives,

Just for a short time of freedom.

I want three nights, three nights of love,

Three nights to feel your arms around me

To touch you, to feel your kisses on my lips,

Three nights of freedom from this world,

To run down the beach,

The wind in our hair,

The sand between our toes, like lovers between the sheets,

Like the stars that never end.

I ache to hold you in my arms,

To listen to your voice as you talk with me,

Like the breeze awakens the leaves,

So your voice stirs my soul.

As the sun shines in the day, I can feel the warmth of your touch,

The feel of your strong soft hands,

As the storm breaks through the clouds, I feel you breaking through the walls of my heart,

Gently, softly, one brick at a time being chipped away,

Somewhere inside is a heart that wants to beat again

That wants to feel,

That wants to be treasured.

The ache that I feel, can be satisfied with nothing – but your touch.

But as reality sets in, I know those three days would end, and only half a heart would ever walk away.

For memories can never hold two hearts together forever.

To say goodbye would hurt more than to not touch you at all.

So it will never be.

My heart will always long for that which it cannot have,

That longing feels as though it is going to crush the life out of me. My goodness, I want to talk to you.

I want to see you. But it can never be.

It can never be!!

And so, the bricks go up,

One at a time, and slowly

My heart is closed again,

An empty hollow shell

Trapped in chains, bolted and locked.

The dark, hidden space where the ache becomes the beat of my heart…

Goodbye my friend. You own part of my soul, and my soul will always long for you.

Goodbye Mary Street.

The autumn leaves fall gently to the ground… The beauty gone, the branches raw and bare. Stripped back, empty, forlorn. To the naked eye it holds little appeal, & just the same…….

The rooms are barren and bare. The door shuts. One final time. The walls that hold 44 yrs of memories, now silent and still. The house that holds a thousand secrets, now barren, now bare… Stripped of the life it once held… Empty, forlorn…..

A home is not merely a structure, but thousands of memories in every way. The foundation of truth, the cornerstone to a child’s heart. A home is not merely a house, but where love meets anger, and kindness meets toughness, where tears find joy, where a family grows together and a place when all else is gone – the memories linger, the lessons are cherished, and those that remain are carried by the love that was shared.

So as the door is closed, one final time…..The walls are silent, the rooms are bare. There remains just two certainties – a house, just like the barren branches, will bloom again come spring…….And family will always be carried in the heart, long after the final curtain is drawn.

The Silent Scream

Her eyes looked straight ahead

Dark, hard, unseeing

The thought of breathing… a threat

To her secret dam of pain

She blinks as she feels it

The darkness within

Rising like a captive seeking light

Moving up her body til its cutting off her air

Like a gag in her throat

Desperate for release from a thousand emotions

The demands unrelenting,

Threatening to choke and destroy

For loved ones who are no more,

For the crushing blackness of pain that lurks

Haunting memories unknown, yet known in her very soul,

For love, absolute, lost in the confusion of life, destroying her,

Breaking her

For the thousand why’s, when’s, what’s, where’s and how’s

That never end….

The expectations unceasing, the constant cry that requires more,

Yet gives nothing in return

Like an enraged beast, the scream

Inside her rises

Wanting, needing, to be free

But – She keeps looking straight ahead

Dark eyes hard, unseeing

Too scared to give in to the forces that rage within

For if she screams, she may not stop

She may succumb to the darkness that lurks

The fragile girl within, lost to the depths

And so she swallows and keeps it all inside

The questions thick in the air–

Is true strength in holding on, or in letting go?

And does

Pain trapped, destroy more than pain released?

Today… today is not the day to risk it,

For she fears she may not survive

And so she fights it, pushing the scream

Back down…

Stares straight ahead

Dark eyes hard, unseeing

It’s just another day. Her scream will wait….

Garden of Promises – For My B.

Come back with me,

back to our garden of promise..

Close your eyes a moment

Are you there?

Walk with me, admire the twinkling stream,

The falling leaves

the warm sunshine on your back

Can you hear my whisper in the breeze

My breath upon your face?

Do you feel my hands intertwined in yours,

My heart beating to the rhythm of ‘us’?

I am still there

Always, in our sacred spot

Close your eyes,

Remember,

You will always find me

silently holding you, loving you,

My whisper is in not in your ear,

but in your heart

My kiss, is not on your lips,

but on your soul

My body is not enveloped by yours,

but you are enveloped by my love,

In our garden, you will always find me

our place where time stands still

and nothing else matters,

nothing else compares.

I will always be there

When things are hard – search for me,

Remember our peace, our serenity,

Our perfection

And know that in all you face in this world,

You will be ok…. for ….

Love is on its way.

Post Dump

So much of the work I have done on myself and for myself over the past three years has been about bringing who I am together. After years of compartmentalising my life, fracturing myself to live up to expectations of those around me, I have been pulling my life together. One life, one me.

As part of that, I want to bring things I have written together. So excuse the post dump…. its all me… just me in one place. The messy, the passionate, the loss, the parts of me over the years that have been silent. It’s a coming together.

The Pendulum of Time

I just came across this. I wrote it in Sept 2020. Its good advice. I took my time. I didn’t hurry the process. I’m pleased I didn’t. Disentanglement takes time. The answers did come. My life today is much more than I could have dreamed of or imagined. There is nothing magical about it, yet everything is magical. If you find yourself in here somewhere, don’t be afraid to give yourself the gift of time:

So much has happened since I last posted and I hope to catch up soon. I’m currently in a weird place where the pendulum is swinging both ways.

It can be confusing. Unsettling. Where will I be in a years time? Is this too hard? Will I be single forever? Can my husband and I work things out? If we do, can I ever truly be happy with him?

As one thing falls into place, it seems another changes. Tick. Tick. Tick. The pendulum swings. We get on, we are friends. Tick. Tick. Tick. I can’t do this. I don’t like him. Tick. Tick. This is too hard. Tick. I want what we can do together. Tick. Tick. What does God require of me? Tick. Tick… and on it goes.

I have come to a place that tomorrow doesn’t matter. I only need to have today sorted out, next week sorted. Not next month, or next year. It will sort itself and no amount of worrying about it will change it.

I get to choose. I don’t have to stay with my husband. Is it good for me to stay and better for me to leave? Or is it good for me to leave and better for me to stay?

I don’t have the answers. There is no crystal ball. There is good, there is God and there is also choice. But there is no hurry. I’m not looking for a replacement. I’m not looking for a fling, or some love. I’m taking care of me. Looking after my relationship with God. And the answers will come.

With hubby stuck behind closed borders we can’t see each other. This is a good thing. Space is a good thing. Time to change is a good thing. Time to talk with no expectations is a good thing. There is no rush. If we decide we have nothing to pursue then that is ok. We will be ok. If we go down the road of reconciliation that is also ok. But right now the most precious thing we have is time.

Time to become the best versions of ourselves. Time to explore life alone. Time to reflect and recharge. Time to dig deep and heal hurts.

Nothing will be wasted. The pendulum is swinging, but one day it will be still. We will have our answers. And we will both be ok whatever our future looks like.

Sometimes others want answers of us. But we need to quieten their voices. If we can spend 25 years fighting for a marriage together, then a year or two years apart to decide if we can do another 25 years doesn’t matter.

We have time. Don’t let anyone hurry you. You won’t miss out on anything. You will be pleased for the investment into yourself. You will be pleased you took as long as you needed. Your future will be better for it.

So breathe. Slow down. Take time. Inhale. Exhale. Become at peace within yourself and your joy come. One step at a time is all that is required. So give yourself the gift of time. For you. For your heart. For your soul. For your future.

Go with the pendulum swings until the day your future becomes clear. Don’t be afraid. The answers will come.

Bless.. ❤️