It's been so long since I last wrote a blog, I don't know where to start. Especially since the world has been upside down for the past year or so. I have had so many emotions throughout this whole Covid 19 pandemic and have wanted to sit down and write a blog about all of it many times. But, as I think it has been for most through all of this, I've mainly been living in survival mode and collecting my thoughts enough to write some kind of coherent ramblings has obviously proved too much thus far.
One of the biggest themes for me has been about a sense of disconnection. The lack of physical contact, being shut off from everyone through all the lockdowns and this constant fear of catching/spreading the virus which turns into the biggest anxiety when just being around other people. It's all been too much. It really struck me when our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, revealed the recent 'roadmap' out of restrictions here in the UK. (It even feels weird stating my country knowing the fact this has affected people globally!). The last part of unlocking for 21st June that stated 'no legal restrictions on social contact'. It struck me as such madness that we have been living in a world where it has actually been illegal to simply socialise with other human beings!!
On pondering how to gain more followers and 'up my likes' on Facebook it got my brain ticking into a poem.
I know it's early days yet and of course I don't expect to be an overnight success. From my experience in running the wedding and event planning business, I know now these things take time. And I'm talking years of course. For those with business knowledge, it is a well known fact a new business or venture can take a good 2 to 3 years before it really gets established.
A year and a half down the line, 50+ likes on my Facebook page, not too bad so far. Thank you to those who have supported me in this. And for those who haven't yet 'liked' my Facebook page, here is a little poem by way of persuading you to this 'call for action' as they say!
Those of you following my journey will know it is one of endurance. Over the last few days, something had been niggling me. At first I thought I was hearing from God and it was a revelation. Yesterday, I had a breakthrough and realised that God doesn't tease and niggle, whose job is that? That pesky devil, the enemy of course!
Mental health can be such a taboo subject but the more we talk about it, the more people can understand it. I've suffered from bi-polar disorder in the past and I believe I am now healed from it. Have been off medication since 2005 and in the last three or four years I have been learning with God how best to control it and maintain an even level. That was a long journey in itself, I found I was claiming my identity in the disorder, using phrases such as 'I am bi-polar'. I had to accept that that wasn't what made me who I am, yes I can be eccentric and yes I can be equally depressive. But actually, my identity is in God. I'm not bi-polar, I am a princess of God, His precious daughter, of which His love covers all.
So the niggles I mentioned were about balance. And my past affliction was being challenged. I've had about three, four days of being on a buzz then crash cycle, every other day and it took until yesterday for God to break through and cut through the lies. And as God is great at turning things to good, a poem came out of it. Afterwards I did a simple Google image search with the words 'Jesus is my balance' to check and confirm what I felt God was saying. This image with the scales is what came up and a great article that confirmed other things I've been hearing from God lately. Link to this article is at the bottom of the page.
Those of you following my Facebook page, I put a post up about my prayerful 'motto' for 2015 and I felt God say it was 'intimacy'. To attend to my relationship with Him and allow all the things I want to change to flow from there. The Jesus balance article makes reference to Matthew 6:33 about 'seek first the Kingdom and the rest shall be given to you'. If anyone has heard of Heidi Baker, I also read her prophetic vision for the UK yesterday, after I'd written the poem. We are about to come into the biggest revival in the history of Church! The biggest wave of His radical love for centuries. It is such an exciting time.
But equally, I feel, it is an intense time for spiritual attacks. If the Church is getting stronger, and those steadfast Christians out there are intent on holding onto God, no matter what the cost, then think how the devil is going to like that! He will try everything to tear us away from our loving Father God. My fellows brothers and sisters in Christ, be wise to the works of the enemy. We are in a time of patient endurance. Enduring any spiritual battles, waiting patiently for the return of Jesus. And I'm not afraid to say, I think it will happen in something like 100 years, we are that close! The significance of this revival is that God is preparing us to live fully in His presence.
So, to encourage you in your walk with Him, here is the poem.
Floating around in sin,
Feeling like I'll never win,
Doing the wrong thing.
Instead, I need to sing!
Sing of all my Father God has done.
After all, victory is won.
Bring it back to the cross,
Then I won't be at a loss.
Balance is what I need,
But only with Jesus will I succeed.
Only with God's vision
Will I find precision.
On His promises I will stand,
For I trust in His plan.
On the path of endurance I must stay,
If I give up, I will stray.
Shekinah glory feels hard to achieve,
By my faith I must believe.
He never lets go of me,
But I must not let go of Him.
Helpful Links, Photo Credits and Final Thoughts
'People of the Presence' photo - http://www.bible-reflections.net/resource/what-does-the-bible-say-about-heaven/3095/
Talking of revival, this article gives a great reference to Revelation 21:3 talking about God dwelling with us. This gives a good connection to explaining what 'Shekinah glory' means. It is simply the fullness of God's presence, living our day to day lives from that place of dwelling with Jesus. And ties in with the Matthew scripture about focusing first on the Kingdom and allowing all to flow from there.
'Following Jesus and the Myth of Balance' photo and article about being effective in our walk with God - http://blog.yanceyarrington.com/2014/07/19/following-jesus-and-the-myth-of-balance/
'Technology eye vision' photo - http://cs.brown.edu/courses/cs143/
Article and transcript of Heidi Baker's prophetic word over the UK, given in November 2014 -
Ok, so this is going to be a real quickie as a friend from Church has kindly taken Eli out for a little walk, and I mean little... I have about half an hour to write this, so here goes!
I really wanted to share a poem I wrote about 4 years ago on my travels to Uganda. A Church mission that really is 'another story'! But with hearing of other friends' battles, not just my own with Eli, I was reminded of it this morning during a little prayer. So it will be a bit Christian heavy I'm afraid but please don't let that put you off. The main message to take from this is to not give up whatever hardship you are currently going through.
Now here's the real spiritual, crazy, out there, weird stuff that if you don't follow Jesus, you may not understand or care to. So skip this bit if that's you! I just feel, in these 'end times' that the enemy is going to do everything it takes to lead us away from God. It is a real test of faith when life throws some crap at you. I know I've had crises of faith in the past because, as Joyce Meyer says, being a Christian is not for the faint hearted!
I needed to keep this short so I don't want to do my usual and waffle on without really making a point. The point is, God is love and whatever He puts us through or allows the enemy to work in our lives, He always turns it for good. He is a Father, that disciplines us for a reason. I know, when tough times come, there is always something to learn! My journey is about enduring. Not just persevering until the end, but actually enduring it for as long as it may continue without even knowing when it will end! And the end result is strength! And not our own but learning to 'let go, and let God' and trusting Him that His hand is on our lives and we are safe, secure and loved by Him. Remember, all things can be done in His strength. And our weakness is made perfect in His strength.
So this poem basically sums up the need to keep fighting, to keep making the right choices, to keep going with the flow, no matter how hard that is sometimes! As with a wave of water, it's much harder to stand against it, you just get washed away. Whereas, if you stand with your back in line with the flow of the water, you can't see the waves coming but you can hear them. You can feel their rhythm. And when the wave comes, it carries you. Think about it. Here's the poem:
The battle we will fight,
With Your strength and might,
Come what may,
Nothing can stand in our way.
Everyday we have a choice,
To leave our troubles at the door,
Submit to You and rejoice!
To lay everything down,
Let You take away our frowns.
To let You lead us,
To let You feed us,
We bite into Your word,
And apply the good news we have heard.
The battle we will fight,
With Your strength and might,
Come what may,
Nothing can stand in our way.
Well, I hope that has encouraged you. Just keep going, whatever you're going through, you are stronger than you think. Keep it up!
Photo credit: whatgodsaidtonight.blogspot.com
As a prelude to the crafty makes, I thought I'd also add some poems I wrote in honour of my Mum. I submitted them to a small publishing house called Red Paint Hill but they weren't their cup of tea! So why not post on here instead! If you didn't know already, Mother's Day is this coming Sunday, 30th March.
I hope my Mum doesn't mind me putting a picture of us on here but I love this one. It was taken on New Year's Eve '13 when we visited my brother Phil and his family in London. They were staying over on a little trip from Tampa Bay, Florida where they live. (Sorry to the others I cropped out of this picture but this one is all about Mum!) I was bit self-conscious myself as I had no make-up on but you can see a nice little bump showing of my baby boy to come! Can't wait!
So, onto the poetry! And in my usual need to elaborate, I just want to give a brief introduction to each poem as to where the ideas came from. Just skip this bit if you get bored with waffle!
1. 'Communication'. My relationship with my Mum as a teenager was often quite fractious. Hormones raging, I just didn't care, I was angry at the world and my Mum unfortunately got the brunt of it. It took me years to understand that I needed to give her respect, no matter what I felt! And I think it took her a while to really understand I didn't do it deliberately to hurt her - not that that justified my behaviour, of course I know it wasn't acceptable. But she did get very upset by it and I don't blame her! So I hope this one gives an insight for both Mums and teenagers alike of how to move forward in this situation if you're going through the same.
2. 'Recovery'. This one is a little sad as it paints the picture of a time in my life leading up to a point culminating in my Mum having severe kidney failure. She was rushed to hospital on the brink of death. As referred to in the poem, she did actually die and came back to life! It wasn't pleasant being in the hospital hearing my Mum's distress, but hey, we all got through it. I don't think I was particularly 'walking with God' in my faith at the time, but I still managed to have strong faith she'd pull through. And she did! Praise God!
3. 'Genes'. A nice one to finish on, this is simply an ode to the gifts and talents handed down to me through my mix of genes and DNA from my Mum and hers. Namely, this creative talent of mine, woop woop! Thanks Mum :) And of course a nod to well taught behaviours such as honesty, generosity and compassion/empathy for others.
Poem 1 - communication
"Hello darling! How was your day?" She said.
"Humph", I said, "go away!" I said.
"But darling..." I cut her off.
"Shut up! I'm going to my room".
Why does she always bother me?
I could not describe the anger I felt,
All I wanted was to come in and relax,
But no, she had to bug me, didn't she.
My Mother stood there, stunned.
Stung with my words.
The slamming of the door in her face,
Wondering what she had done wrong.
She had been thinking about me all day.
She had only wanted to know how my day had gone.
And what had I done?
Thrown it back in her face, trampled all over it.
Yet I did not feel guilty,
I just felt angry.
Angry at the world.
Not at her, why would she not understand that?
I could hear her crying,
I calmed myself down.
I sheepishly approached her door,
I gently pushed it open.
"Mum", I said, "I'm sorry".
I gave her my explanations,
I knew it did not justify my behaviour.
And I told her I loved her.
She allowed me to hug her,
She said she still did not understand.
I could see she was still upset.
I left her to it.
The next day, when I came home, I still felt angry at the world.
Yet somehow I managed to say the right words,
"Give me ten minutes, Mum.
To get my head together.
I promise I will come and talk to you after that".
Understanding finally dawned on her,
And I had learnt a step forward in communication.
Poem 2 - Recovery
There was a time in my life,
When my Mother was not really there.
Physically, she was.
But her mind was elsewhere.
It was lonely without her,
She was not well.
Sometimes it was distressing, I felt for her.
I remember her screams at the hospital,
She did not know what was going on.
But I was old enough to.
In a way, I still carry the scars today.
I had to stay there all day,
The only member of my family
Without commitments, keeping me away.
I had to sit there,
Wondering, hoping, praying
That she would be ok.
Somehow I felt a peace
That her life would not cease.
Although, actually, it did.
I only found that out after,
When people asked how she had lost weight,
Well, just die a few times
And be revived back to life!
It was the wake up call she needed,
She recovered fully,
And I got my Mum back.
Poem 3 - Genes
Blame it on the parents, people say.
I could not say that for mine,
There comes a time
To take responsibility, for me.
Instead of blame,
I like to name,
The gifts and skills given,
My talent I do not resent.
I honour my Mother
For the unique combination,
Of genes and DNA,
That gave me a solid foundation.
Her creative gifts that I share,
I would not change for anything.
They make me want to sing!
To the world I will lay them bare.
Her Mother before her I celebrate,
To show it is never too late.
Over a generation, it skipped
So that, with writing skills, I am equipped.
Kind, compassionate and generous,
These character traits I possess,
Because I was shown the best
I am truly blessed.
As the cycle continues,
My son is on his way,
I was made to see
How a Mother should be.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed those and were able to take something from them. Don't forget to check in again tomorrow for part 1 of my 'Mother's Day Craft Makes'. Which will be the decorated mugs using Sharpie pens. Throughout this week I will post the rest as follows: part 2 will be the gingerbread man shaped short bread biscuit and handmade packaging; and part 3 will be the handmade card to finish off. If you have a go yourself, when you present it to your Mum, you can offer to make her a hot drink in her new mug to go with her biscuit! Perfect!
As is the usual, please do get in touch with your comments. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Photo credits (for 'Communication' and 'Genes' these were adapted to add the titles):
Communication - from Ipsc.usu.edu/global.aspx.
Recovery - from crossfitthames.com.
And Genes - from firstfrcr.com/tag/genes.
I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My main sections are: creativity including crafting, poetry and interior design; well being including mental health, recipes and my faith in God; personal including parenting and my general introvert deep thoughts. You can also have a browse in my shop and Etsy shop.