Gazing at the view. 

I think I’ve lost the art of blog writing. Somewhere in the fog of surviving each day I’ve lost the art of processing my rambling thoughts. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I do like storing my thoughts here for future reference. We sit on a Sunday morning at the edge of the summer ‘holidays’ (nothing should really be called a holiday in the preschool years). It’s been a pretty difficult year so far. Husbandface has been depressed for the most part of it, drugs are helping but he’s been signed off work and is end of term exhausted times a million right now. As noted previously our church community which has been our safe place for 8 or so years has been scattered. 

Holding things together around here is hard work. I find myself very close to anger and frustration and sad at how often they spill out on my beautiful boys. I long for what I think will give me rest, for long days in bed and for time away from these circumstances. A friend gave me a morning off the boys the other week and it was blissful to lie in bed and cry at a trashy novel. The benefits that afternoon were clear, the boys had a Mum who was engaged with them and not just wiling the time away until bedtime.

It’s easy to crave more of such times, easy to think I can’t cope without them and resent the small ones for daring to exist. It’s easy to ignore the One who authors this life and stick my head in a sand of weariness. Frankly there doesn’t seem to be much noise from heaven around here anyway. A parched desert is a good description of faith right now.

Yesterday though a shaft of light came through. A cup of water was found in the sand. An umbrella of shade as I found myself, surprisingly, believing in the reality that my rest and strength don’t come from changes in circumstances (I know more sleep will help but in the meantime…).  Ultimately strength to carry on comes from the one who made me, loves me, breathes lion breath into my hard weary heart and whispers strength into my ears so I can carry on loving, being patient and putting one foot in front of the other. I don’t often believe in that. I often throw my toys around and give my Maker the silent treatment but this weekend I’ve somehow been given ability to believe and access the beauty of being held and loved.

I am glad. I am grateful. We head off on holiday on Friday to the wonderful world of Ireland, my soul will have access to all the things that make it sing. From the look of where we are going I may explode with wonder as I gaze around. Despite no sleep, exhausting days, crazy boys and weariness there will be rest for my soul. My Maker who watches over me, who does not slumber or sleep, who will protect me will be there. I am glad.

Rend Collective are good for my soul right now. There is something about the loud stampy music, the shouty: life is broken and hard but I’m going to flipping rejoice because there is hope underneath the crap. There is reality to cling to. There is more than I can see. There is a hope that won’t be crushed. There is a light that never goes out (oh wait. That’s another band right?…) But the message is clear. Life is stinky hard but there is One who stands with us. I don’t believe that much of the time but right now I do and I am glad of the clarity as fog lifts for a moment. 

These verses from Jeremiah and Isaiah keep ringing around my head.

“This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭6:16‬ ‭NIV‬

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift!

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:15-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I long to embrace them, walk in them and enjoy what they offer this summer. I want to heed the warning that follows, the Israelites would have none of these things. I really want them. I am glad we have a deeper reality that holds us in these ways, I am glad we have a Spirit who guides us back and a Shepherd who seeks out his sheep.

Like Rend Collective I want to sing with gusto and joy the reality of faith. I need my cold hard heart warmed, I want to gaze at my lighthouse in the storms of this life and I want to find hope and refuge in the pain and sorrow. 

View noted. We walk on. We walk on. 

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2 Responses to Gazing at the view. 

  1. I hope Ireland is fantastically restorative. and yes, Rend collective are just right for acknowledging the desert but praising God anyway. love to you and yours

  2. louisemabbs says:

    Hi Kath

    I can really commiserate with you on all this having been through a few bouts of depression myself & watched my husband through a lot of serious illnesses and a breakdown (pressures of ministry).

    You will get through it even if the end seems a long way off.
    Lots of people will be praying for you all.

    A few things that helped: (I’d bullet this but can’t find out how to)
    • First don’t be too hard on yourself.
    • Get out and get fresh air & sun everyday, no matter how hard it is to get out (or how wet!!)
    • Make sure you have some adult contact each day too.
    • Cut out the caffeine – choose decaff coffee or herbal teas (great range these days) – it’s made a massive effect on my mood.
    • Also keep chocolate at bay – in the long run it doesn’t help with the sugar highs, caffeine content and ending in lows emotionally, so don’t use it when you’re low anyway.
    • Get sleep, read yourself to sleep if you need to (biggest cause of stress in my experience).
    • If you really can’t settle get up and write down your thoughts in a private journal. It just helps to get them out of your conscious.
    • Do creative things with the kids, adults need to play too!
    • Take time to enjoy nature, slow down & watch the insects, remember God who made them made us too

    Hope this helps, you’re doing great by just talking about what you’re going through. Too many people just clam up. Hope your husband is getting some counselling too, bottling up things makes the depression worse, and a good counsellor can help you work through underlying issues.

    Does the school have opportunities to facilitate this or help fund going to a private counsellor?

    We’ve had part paid counselling at various times which mostly helped (one of my series involved a non directive counsellor, so I felt I was going round in circles with no sense of progress and I had no sense of whether my thoughts & feelings were justified or out of order)

    I hope to see you on Tuesday but if not will try to drop you an email

    Enjoy the holiday. Hope it’s dry, fun & healing

    Louise M

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