As I launch my blog, I’m wondering just how much I ought to say about who I am, where I come from, and what some of my hopes going forward are. And so, keeping it reasonably short, as the song says,” let’s start at the very beginning, that’s a very good place to start.”
I am the only daughter and the youngest child in a family of four, with my eldest brother now dead, after a battle with cancer got the better of him. Since his death, 9 years ago this year, both my parents, whom I loved well and by whom I was most definitely tenderly and well-loved back, have since died so that I and my remaining two brothers have had to learn how to walk in different shaped spaces, including an on-going learning, and re-learning of expectations one of another.
Because my dad was a bank official at a time when staff never stayed longer than five years in any one place, and because my nursing training and subsequent work life took me to many different places, I am a deeply “uprooted” person, with few emotional ties to any one space. Some might say that’s an advantage; I would contend its left me often feeling as if I’m being an outsider, and of not quite belonging or fitting in.
I imagine and hope that, as I continue with these blogs, you will learn more of who I am, and of what some of my hopes and dreams are but meantime suffice it to say that I am, for the first time in a long time, starting to feel “rooted,” as I learn in ways, some of which are entirely new to me, to be “Present Over Perfect,” as per the title Shauna Niequist’s excellent and reflective book.
I am the wife of an extremely tolerant, gentle, patient man, who can often be heard saying in our home, “Al, you think too much!” (Maybe this is a reason for this blog!?) I am also blessed to be mum to a wonderful son who has had to fight his own un-rootedness and doubts at times, and for whom his own certain faith, has been an anchoring mainstay of “hope in his midst.”
And where am I now?
Now, I am starting to come out from a time and a place of deep shadows and even darkness, a period of time which was just too much. Too much illness, and too many deaths, with their accompanying grief journeys, all of which have had their own individual taste and flavour, and some of which I suspect will still be upending me by surprise, until the day I too arrive “home safe.”
Now I am starting to move beyond the too much illness, which I, and some close to me have known, and which have weighed upon my heart, which meant that I often simply had no energy left for, as it says in Deuteronomy 30:19 “choosing life.”
Now, with thanks to some friends who have sat by me, walked by me, and prayed for me for when I could not pray for myself when I needed company more than words, now I am able to once more to start exploring just what Jesus might want of me as I live life in the “here,” while I wait for the “then.”
And as I get beyond the many illnesses, and pre-conceived expectations of myself and others, whether real and not, and as my grief starts to lie a bit less heavy on my heart ,I can but thank God for His faithfulness which has been, and is, a certain constant in my often inconstant world…
So why blog? What might I have to say which you the reader might like need to read? Truthfully, I’m not sure. I am aware that there is already a lot of “stuff” out there. I only know that for me not to sit and “ponder,” not to bring others to Him, not to sit and “journal” in the Father’s presence and with His company, would be so foreign for me. And so if, by my sharing some of what I write, you are able to take just one line from a page of many lines, one thought from some of my “pondering thoughts” and are then are prompted to fix your eyes afresh on Him who is the author and finisher of our faith, (Hebrews 12:2), then that for me will be a job well done. (Hence, by the way, the naming of my blog in the first place as a quirky take on “sun flower seed;” one thought taken by you from many offered and used as your thought for that day.)
So then, I pray that you will indeed be encouraged by something I have written, to pause, and to allow Him to nudge you in whatever way He knows is perfectly right for you today, and all days.
And so here goes…Lift off…with my first of what I hope will be many encouraging, challenging, comforting blogs.
Yours in Him,