For the audience of…

I am aware that I have not posted anything for over a week and I think that has been unintentionally intentional 😀

If I’m honest I have struggled with what to write about and I realised that I have been trying to ‘blog’ out of my own strength and not through God’s. What I think God wants me to write rather than actually listening to him and asking what he wants me to write about.


I have been so caught up in wondering what people will think of Lindsay Smith and her blog that I forgot that at its heart I desired for it to point people to God and that I might be unseen.

I realised today (on my dog walk) that I am driven by performance; how well will I do at something and if I’m unlikely to do well (whatever that means) then I’m unlikely to even try. 

I have just started running again and am frustrated that I can’t run as far as I’d like – I’m still in the ‘I hate running’ phase! 


I want things to happen immediately. I’ve started eating healthily and I want to loose a stone overnight. 


I’m reading my Bible (for the first time in AGES) and I want to hear God as soon as I open the pages. 

I’ve realised I don’t like having to put effort in, I want results but don’t want to put the discipline in to get those results. 

Entering the world of blogging has heightened all of this as I can see every comment, every’share’, ‘like’, ‘hit’, ‘follow’ and I take all of those as a measure of how accepted I am by others when really I should be looking to a God for his acceptance and love of me and not a number on a computer screen.


Along the way I have skewed my thinking of God and I have turned Him into a god that sits on a throne waiting for me to come and show him what I have done/achieved for him “look God, look at what good writing I did, see how many people liked it”. My relationship with God has become about earning his love and approval rather than accepting that he loves me. Not because of anything I can do but because of who he is.

I have stopped looking to God for my identity and self worth and have instead looked to other people to tell me how good I am.

So today I decided to blog only when I feel prompted by God and look to him rather than the stats page.

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“For I know the Plans I have for you”

I am so excited to share my first guest post. I have some understanding of what it takes to look within yourself and share your pain with others. It is no easy thing but the blessing that comes from sharing has far greater power. I believe that faith and expectation are increased when we share our story of how God has brought us through hard times. And he truly does, maybe not in the way we would like, want or pray but he will always work things for good.

The devil can take the day off, he doesn’t need to do anything. Why? Because I do it to myself. I have been told so many times that I have failed and that I am useless, that I have come to believe it. I don’t see myself as God created me. I don’t love myself – that’s vain right? Look after myself – oh no, there is no time for that by the time I have been a mum, worker, housekeeper…… I got lost. Me, I disappeared. I lost track of who I am. I became empty inside. Don’t give me a mirror, I can already see the sorrow and shame looking back at me. My heart broke. I began to exist. I don’t matter. Why? Because I believed the lies.

Don’t pay me a complement, it is wasted! I will just add a caveat. My daughter recently told me that I am the best mum in the world….. because I gave her some spending money for her holiday. I sing in the worship group at Church and my friend recently told me that I sounded lovely…. She was being polite, I had a cold and sound all husky. What am I good at? Overthinking! I can play a conversation over and over in my head until it drives me mad!

I have been having counselling, seeing the ministry team at Church, I’ve been on Christian healing weekends. But the “still small voice” of God is over shadowed by a booming voice that says I am not good enough. One day I hope that will change. One day I hope I will be able to forgive.

What I have learnt is that I am holding myself back from God’s plan for my life. God made me in his image, He knew my name before the world began, and He has big plans for me.

Lauren 1

There is no one else like me, I am unique! There is no one else who can do the things that God wants me to do. That is really hard to believe when you have low self-esteem! It is even harder when someone is constantly reinforcing the idea that you are a bad person. I am not perfect, I don’t claim to be. I am hurt.

I believe that God has been with me on my journey – even through the really horrible times when it is hard to see Him and you cry out to Him because life is unbearable and you can’t see a way out! I believe that my loving Father was with me every time I cried, and I believe He loves me and I believe He wants more for me and my family. I believe He has already forgiven me for the very difficult decision that I had to make, the decision to split up our family. People say that God does not give you more than you can handle – clearly He has more faith in my strength and resilience that I do!!!

I don’t want anyone to feel like I did. I don’t want anyone to feel lonely or trapped in their circumstances. I want women to come together and support one another. So that is what I believe God is calling me to do, to provide a place for women to come together to do craft activities, chat, eat, and just be there to encourage each other. We have held several womens craft evenings at Church over the last 2 years, and it has been amazing to see the groups of women come together – women that would not normally speak to each other on a Sunday at Church. I have learnt that is it not about the number of women that come along, it is about WHO God called to be there. And I have grown as a person, I am finding myself again, I am rekindling my gifts of compassion and encouragement. This lost, broken, hurt woman is on the path to great things….. she just needs to believe in herself (and know that God will give her the gifts she needs to succeed).

Words can hurt, so choose yours wisely. Use them to encourage, support, apologise, and forgive. Pay a compliment – it will help someone on their journey, and one day they may be able to accept it unconditionally.

lauren 2.jpg

Lx

I don’t think I should have had kids

I know it’s a bit of a brutal opener but nobody warned me having kids would be as hard as it is. Maybe if they did warn you no one would have more than one child.

Almost 9 years ago we brought a tiny little Phoebe home from the hospital, and I remember thinking ‘where is the manual for this little human being’ because the ‘natural mummy instinct’ I thought would kick in…didn’t!  It escaped me.

As a mum I had read and heard countless accounts about how you can differentiate between every cry your baby makes; hungry, tired, in need of comfort, a clean nappy or wind. But to me, as a new mum with no idea what I was doing, they all sounded the same. A heart breaking cry I could do nothing about.

So it’s probably not hard to see that as I felt so ill-equipped, I was susceptible to post natal depression. I have such clarity of the memories of head butting our bedroom wall because my baby wouldn’t sleep and being so angry with Carl for being able to sleep whilst also not wanting to wake him to get him to help me. I can also remember with such guilt and shame the feeling of wanting to smother my baby just for there to be a moment of quiet, just to get some sleep. And admitting that is like one of those things you want to admit to others whilst also feeling like those words are sticking in your throat so badly that it makes you wretch. There is something about not saying those words outloud that makes the experience seem less horrific.

Sometimes, actually quite a lot, I think that maybe I wasn’t cut out to have kids. It makes you question every area of your being and the world you are bringing them up in.We all know how much of a broken world that currently is. Having children has brought me worry, fear and anxiety. I doubt every choice I make that concerns them and am convinced I am doing more damage than good. After we started having children I began raising the bar of expectation on myself to a point that I had unachievable standards for myself; to be the perfect pintrest mummy and wife. The problem with impossible standards is that it leaves you feeling like a failure and you miss out on so many wonderful things.

Kids, my kids anyway, seem to have some inbuilt skill to shine a flashlight on my insecurities, one of my darling children is exceptionally good at this and is able to speak angrily the doubts I have deep down “you’re being so cruel, you’re so strict, you’re the worst mum…”

It doesn’t help that we live in the glittery age of Facebook where we all, me included, post images of happy mess free lives and homes,



where our children don’t bicker


and there are always freshly baked goods on offer.


(Sadly this is not us!)

The reality hasn’t quite matched up. I wonder if it’s ok to scrape back the shiny veneer and reveal the truth below the surface?

It probably sounds silly but I find my daily dog walks to be one of the times I am most at peace.


I am able to breath more deeply, not in a meditating kind of way but a slowing myself and taking a moment kind of way. I feel calmer, more complete and closer to God and I feel a bit more like I’m open to listening to God rather than coming at him with my list of wants. Outside I am more likely to look up and out. My walks are the place I can feel the sun light on my face and its life giving warmth.

Because in the daily and the mundane I so often get bogged down and for me that means I look down.

While looking down on my dog walk I noticed the roots of the trees

and I had a little moment of realisation, roots have to be bedded deep down before a tree can withstand a storm.


I wonder if that’s why I’ve been blown over so many times, because my roots haven’t been bedded deep down in the truth of who I am.


(print by IzzyandPop at etsy.com)

If I don’t take hold of that then I get blown over. If my roots are not deeply embedded then I get uprooted, Dorothy style from the Wizard of Oz, and come down with a crash.


I was so desperate to be the perfect mum, with my perfect baby, doing perfect things but you can’t be this perfect human being because unfortunately for me, or maybe that’s extremely fortunately for me, there is only one truly perfect person and he died on a cross for me.

You can only try and keep up the facade of perfection for a very short amount of time before something has to give and the cracks begin to show.

I’m pretty sure that despite growing up in a Christian home my faith is quite immature.

At the moment my roots are more like this, weak and needing support


Than the roots I would love to have


A few weeks ago I spoke (can’t say preached it’s too grown up) on the book of Job. He is a guy who lost everything and still he trusted in God’s goodness. My life has been nowhere near as tough and yet when things have been hard I have lost my footing.

Its pretty easy to trust that God is good when life is also good but past experience has shown me that when things are hard I haven’t been able to hold steadfast to the truth that God is still good and he is still at work.

A dear friend said she couldn’t imagine what it cost me to lay myself so open, I quote Ann Voskamp as a beautiful response “your broken will break you unless you release it; speak it out. Instead of trying to put all the broken pieces of your life together again – maybe there is a deeper peace in reaching out and giving those broken pieces away”.

Amen