The best Christmas

This year our Christmas was the best Christmas yet in spite of all of us being poorly. Each of us was sick in different ways. Now you could have looked at it and said this was the worst Christmas ever because we were all ill. But actually it was the opposite.

I was chatting with Kevin and trying to work out in my mind WHY this wasn’t a terrible day. To all outside observers, being woken by a poorly child partway through the night was not the ideal by any stretch of the imagination.

Now I can look back in my life and see times where I was poorly at Christmas time and it was not a pleasant experience. So what made this one different? Well, first of all and most of all I think, I am in a family where we all actually DO love each other and don’t say that we do but act the opposite.

The film My One Christmas Wish was on Christmas 24 and was one of the many I watched and really enjoyed. Again, this was something you could have looked at and said there was no way the woman could have found a family and lots of other people a family either. But she did. She posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a family and got so many responses she threw a party for them all and they ended up meeting and getting another person or family to share Christmas with.

You might wonder why I mention that story. Well, firstly it is a great story in and of itself, and secondly, it celebrated the love we can find within a family at Christmas time. I’m not saying we definitely will – that would be giving you false hope. But what I am saying is that not only is it possible, but the love you share with others at Christmas time can have a ripple effect – like the dropping of a stone in water.

Now I know we are a small family of 3 that celebrate Christmas together, but it is still wonderful that we can. We all love each other and it is love that makes the difference between having a good time or getting hurt and upset. If you all care for and love each other, there will be a dramatic transformation in your life.

So I guess the question now is – what are you going to do to make it happen, not just at Christmas time but life in general? It doesn’t have to just be for Christmas and possibly the new year and then you stop, it can be for always if you decide to do it.

Life and Lemons

I was thinking about life and lemons last night. As both Kevin and I are disabled people could look at us and possibly think that it must be really hard for both of us to be disabled.

What you have to remember is that everyone has different struggles because of the lemons thrown at them but it is how you deal with those lemons that matter. For Kevin and I, the lovely thing is that in our marriage because we are both disabled, we understand that the other can’t do certain things and work together to sort things out.

For me, visiting the hospital is not a pleasant experience. I have had lots of problems over the years that have kept me in and away from the people and things I love. Now Kevin views going to hospital as a really exciting thing and I want Johnathan to view it that way as well so I encourage him to look forward to any appointments there and that the doctors and nurses are there to help him.

You can’t change the lemons that get tossed your way. That is a fact. BUT you can change how you view them and what you do. I know you hear the saying “When life throws you lemons, make lemonade.” Well personally I don’t see why it has to be lemonade. What about a lovely pudding like lemon meringue pie? I think that would be much nicer. With that you get the pastry AND the meringue. Much better idea in my opinion.

When somebody is short with you or rude and you don’t know why, remember the lemons. You have no idea what they are going through. They may have had some bad news, or maybe it could be as simple as them not having had enough sleep. Personally I think extending grace to others is a good thing to do if you can. I know it can be difficult, but it is possible.

Don’t get me wrong here. If someone has done something really bad (basically illegal) you do NOT have to take them back into your life. You can (if you wish) extend grace to them but you need to protect yourself and your family to keep them safe. You don’t even have to tell them about the grace you extend to them if you don’t want to because it is not for their sake, but for your own and your peace of mind.

So what are you going to do about lemons that get thrown your way? Make lemonade or lemon meringue pie and change things around? Or just sit with the lemons in your lap? Have a down time about these lemons if you need to, but then get up and make something different out of it. I don’t think it matters if it’s lemonade or lemon meringue pie. But determine in yourself that you can make a change.

Differences that make us special

When I moved from the south of England to live near Glasgow in Scotland, I found the way of life and living such a contrast because it was so different. Two things I observed were no manic lifestyle and when people mentioned traffic jams on the M8, it was actually what would have been considered a good day on the M25!

It wasn’t just the contrast of lifestyles but the slower pace of life suited my personality much better. I don’t enjoy being pressurised AT ALL and initially there were none. Or I should say it felt like none because nobody expected me to live or behave a certain way. Some people love constant hustle and bustle, but I don’t.

Have you ever known that every snowflake that falls to the ground is different? In all of the world, there is nobody exactly like you. They may look like you but do not have your character and personality. In fact, how they express themselves will be unique as well.

What makes life so special is the differences. You have been gifted with talents that are not like mine. If you enjoy crafts – like I do, there will still be contrasts between the two of us. I will never be able to make or create something exactly like you because I am not you and never will be.

But you know what? That’s ok. The fact that each person on this planet is unique and there has never been nor ever will be someone like you is amazing, precious and wonderful. You need to find your purpose and passion in life. It is not for anybody to tell you what it is. You are blessed with a mind, body and soul of your own to be used for a particular purpose.

For many years I wondered not only what I was passionate about but how I would fulfil the purpose of my life as well. Now I am beginning to discover the talents and gifts I have been given in ways I never expected. I know the point I am moving towards and am beginning to take the steps to be able to get there.

You can do this, too. Your journey through life will be unique because you are. As we continue in our path, we encounter others that we may or may not become close to. Some are meant to be in our lives for only a short time while others are a more permanent feature.

Have you found your passion yet? Do you know why you are here on this earth right now? I wonder who it is your life is meant to touch. What are your gifts and talents you are blessed with and how are you going to improve them? I would love to hear from you.

So what flavour are you?

What flavour are you? I read a post someone put in a group on Facebook the other day and that talked about flavours of ice cream and that she had tried to be vanilla ice cream because most other ice cream flavours are built on the basis of this one ice cream. What she began to realise is that you can’t be vanilla ice cream to everyone.

Personally, my immediate choice was chocolate because that’s what I love but then I suddenly stopped and thought “Am I really? Is that how I would describe myself?”

As I began to think, I realised I wasn’t chocolate flavour after all. If you were talking about my past life, then yes you might have believed me to be that, but that wasn’t actually me.

Now I would say I am actually honeycomb flavour ice cream. Sweet and a bit crunchy and a little different. I am an intuitive artist and my life has gone a different direction to the way I had imagined.

But you know what? I am happy being a honeycomb flavour ice cream. This may not have been the life I expected, but I have a wonderful husband, a son, 3 cats and 1 dog and 5 babies in heaven. A totally difference experience, but I am not what I was.

Actually, as we grow and develop in life, I wonder if we change flavours of ice cream? No, I think it is the toppings that change as we grow and develop in life. We have our character and personality in us from when we are in the womb. What changes isn’t the stuff that makes us who we are, but the externals can make us appear to be something we are not.

So what flavour of ice cream are you? Chocolate? Honeycomb? Orange? Lemon? At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. What you are makes you unique and nobody in the world is exactly like you. Even if you have identical twins, they are not the same just because they look alike.

You just need to express yourself as you are. Don’t try to be someone else. It won’t fit right on you. If you’re smooth chocolate, don’t try to be chocolate chips flavour. People will feel that you are being false. They won’t know why or how but they will know something is off.

So go on out there and be the flavour you are. Don’t let someone try to convince you otherwise. You won’t be best friends with everyone you meet, and that’s ok. Your character and personality need to stand out. Learn to love and accept exactly who you are.