Monday, 29 July 2013

Do you find that the weather affects your mood??  It does mine.  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were overcast and gloomy days and my mood was the same.  Tears came easily and I missed Roy terribly.  Thursday the sun was shining and I felt much, much better and the rest of the week went reasonably well.

On Sat I had an afternoon out with my youngest son and his girlfriend which was really nice.

I have been wondering this past week - who am I now????  I know I am still a daughter, a mother, and an oma but I am no longer a wife.   I did not die when Roy did, I am still very much alive and I am a valuable person.  The way of life I had with Roy is gone and I have to begin again.  I am a single women looking to 'reinvent' herself.   Many of the things that were true about me when I was married are still true now - I am still a daughter of the King, I still have the same gifts, interests, abilities, and passions that I have always had.  Roy's death has not changed who I essentially am and yet it has, for now I am single and must learn new skills including living life on my own.  I sometimes wonder if I can cope with life alone and then I remember that I can because the Lord will supply all my needs.  Lord's Day 1 comes to mind - "What is your only comfort in life and death?" - "That I belong, body and soul to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ"  I don't belong to a husband, I don't belong to my parents and I don't belong to my children - I belong to my faithful Saviour.  What a comfort.

In Psalm 23 the psalmist talks about travelling through a valley and that is what I am presently doing.  The Lord is my shepherd and He is with me and one day I will come through this valley to the other side and I will be a new and stronger me, happy, fulfilled, content and maybe even, Lord willing, I will be able to love again.

Today during my walk I heard the following song by MercyMe on my iphone and the words are just beautiful.

Bring the Rain – by MercyMe

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

Here is the YouTube link if you want to have a listen

My evening devotion on Wed was entitled Never Forsaken - which is pretty apt for 2 reasons - the 1st being that even though I may be lonely I am not alone as I feel the Lord's presence daily and  2nd those are the words on the plaque on my front door - I made it as a gift for Roy when we first heard that the cancer had returned and he needed to have his bladder removed.  I found the text when reading Psalm 9 - "Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you."

Wow this has become a bit of a deep blog this time.  The book I recently got from my niece talked about the importance of journaling as a way of working through grief and I guess this blog is my way of sorting my thoughts and feeling out.  If anyone out there is travelling a similar path as I am I can recommend  the book "Getting to the Other Side of Grief - Overcoming the Loss of a Spouse" by  The authors, a clinical psychologist and a pastor and professor, offer comfort and guidance to those mourning their spouse's death. Both suffered the loss of a spouse at a relatively young age, and their empathy, combined with psychological insights, biblical observations, and male and female perspectives, help readers experience grief in the healthiest, most complete way.

Well that's it for tonight.  I'm off on a wee holiday and I'll tell you all about it when I get back.

Till next time.

Love and blessings

Monday, 22 July 2013

I am emotionally fragile today.  That saying 3 steps forward 2 steps back is how I'm feeling at the moment.  I felt like I had scaled a mountain this week and was feeling great, but since the weekend I feel like I have slipped back down.  A friend reminded me that  I was at least still 1 step ahead which is true.

So why am I feeling a bit low today when I seemed to be doing so well you might be wondering.  Well this weekend was a family weekend with family coming to stay and family celebrations and although it was nice and I did enjoy most of it,  it also made me miss Roy very much.  I am also very tired from too many late nights and when I'm tired I am also much more emotional.  So I think I'll be having an early night tonight to catch up on some much needed sleep.

The past week has been a good week really.  I have managed to get lots done and most days I have been out to take Jack for a walk at the dog park.  He loves it.  As soon as he sees me putting my coat on he is sitting by the front door waiting.  This caused a bit of a problem on Wednesday night when I had to go out after dinner to a Church meeting - another first.  I had my coat on and Jack was ready and waiting.  He hadn't been for a walk that day due to bad weather and even though it was dark he obviously thought better late and never.  Poor chap was very disappointed that he had to stay home on guard duty.

He actually has nothing to complain about as I have been very good with the walks.  As a result I have now had to retire my favourite pair of jeans due to them no longer fitting ......... because they're to big!!  I am so proud of myself and I must say I feel great.  I have a goal but that's a secret. ;0)  The down side is that eventually I'll have to buy new pants which I hate doing as I can never find pairs that are long enough for my long legs (hence the slight sadness at retiring my favourite pair).  For now I'll just continue to tighten my belt and hopefully I won't have to buy anything till summer.

On Tuesday the weather was stunning and I took the following photos while on my walk at the dog park with Jack.

The Tararua Ranges covered in a good coating of snow.
My very snazzy dog walking gumboots
Jack at full run - action shot.

We really are very blessed to live in this beautiful country and to have such a lovely place to be able to go and let your dog run free.  When the weather gets a bit better and warmer I hope to take Jack down to the beach for some long walks.  I love walking along the beach, esp when the sea is a bit wild.

While cleaning up a cupboard this week I came across a box which Roy had called his nostalgia box.  Inside were all sorts of bits and pieces, some things I have kept and other stuff I haven't  - included in the keep pile are all Roy's old bank books including his very first Squirrel school banking book.   The other thing Roy had in the box was all the letters I had written to him when we were going out.  He had numbered them all.  I read through them all and boy was I young!!!!!!  My daughter thought she might like to read them but that is never going to happen, they will never again see the light of day - enough said ;0)

This last week I also managed to get some sewing done which was a great feeling, 3 skirts all done and now I just have 3 dresses to make.  I'm hoping to get them done tomorrow all things going well.

On Sunday night just after 5pm things got very rocky for a short time when a rather large earthquake struck.  It was quite something to be standing in the doorway and feel the house sway from side to side. I came off fine with no damage but other areas where not so fortunate. To all my family and friends in Wellington - my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Well that's it for another week.  I have made good progress mentally and emotionally even if today has seen a small slide backwards.  Sometimes I just have no 'brave' left, but Lord willing with a good nights sleep tomorrow I'll have it back again and I'll be able to once again look forward rather than back.

God bless.

Much love

Monday, 15 July 2013

Dinner is in the oven (I've got visitors coming for tea tonight) so I have some time to blog and let you know how my week went last week.

After the initial not so great start to the week due to the Winz visit on Monday the rest of my week has been really, really great and very productive.

On Tuesday I sent out emails to all the people who had asked to be informed when the Rawleigh's Medicated Ointment was back in stock.  Medicated Ointment has been out of stock since before Christmas which meant we didn't have any to sell when we did all the markets over Jan, Feb and March so we collected their email addresses.  It's now back and the response so far to my email has been fantastic with the orders rolling in.  If any of you out there want to order a tin or any other Rawleigh products then please email me ;0) - nothing like a bit of free marketing.

On Wednesday and Thursday my sister came to visit and we had an awesome time together catching up, chatting, sharing, laughing and crying and just re connecting.  We went out for dinner and a movie - saw the Lone Ranger and it was great.  The next day we had a walk through town, did some shopping, had lunch out and then it was time for Carolyn to head home to her family.  Thanks sis for coming to visit, for encouraging me and for being a listening ear.  Love you lots.

One of the things Carolyn and I talked about was what I wanted to do further down the track - I've been thinking I might do some study towards becoming a Librarian - specialising in children's literature.  It really, really appeals so with a lot of encouragement from my sis I am looking into it.  I'll keep you posted.

On Thursday I received the letter from IRD that I had been waiting for so I could go and open a business account at Kiwibank.  Unfortunately it didn't contain any of the info I had asked them for so I was back at square one.  I rang IRD again on Friday morning and was told that yes they could organise what I wanted but it would take 15 days for the referral to go through and another 5 - 10 working days to receive the letter - grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!  To say I was fed up would be putting it mildly.

What to do? What to do?  I couldn't be without the eftpos machine for another month so I rang my bank.  I was transferred to the local branch and an appointment was made for that very morning to see one of the consultants. She was brilliant - within half an hour of walking through the door I had a business account set up and ready to go, the eftpos machine forms where also filled in and faxed off. I was all systems go and I was over the moon.  It would seem that the lady at the other bank had it all wrong - although a new anti money-laundering legislation/regulation is now in place it doesn't apply to sole trader accounts. Phew!!

Saturday saw another 'job' done and that was to fill in the tax returns for the business for the 2012/13 financial year - my brother Ron came and gave me a hand cause I've never done them before. The things I'm learning!!  We got them all sorted and they were sent off today.  Once these have been processed by IRD the partnership can be dissolved.  I'm prob looking at a big tax bill for Roy and I'm pretty sure that IRD will not be really generous and writing it off.  They may well do that for any tax Roy might have to pay for this financial year seeing as he only lived for 2 months of it.  Oh well time will tell, I'm not going to stew about it.  At least it's done.

While Ron was here he also fixed my garage door for me so I can get the car into the garage.  It'll be so good to be able to use it again and is just a bit more secure for me.

I've had a few people ask if I feel safe living alone and actually I do.  Having Jack the dog definitely helps.  He has a great big bark and uses it as soon as anyone sets foot on the property.  I sleep well at night knowing that he'll let me know if there's a problem.  He is a brilliant guard dog.  At the moment he is a very happy dog too as I have been taking him for a walk down at the dog park nearly every day - it has been very cold the last few days as the park tends to catch the southerly wind.  Sure blows away the cobwebs and I am enjoying the exercise.    You get a great view of the Tararua ranges from the park and there is a heap of snow on them at the moment.  No wonder it so cold.

Well that was a quick rundown of my week.  I continue to take things one day at a time and I think Roy would be proud of what I have achieved over the last few weeks.  I am coping ok, I am relatively content and definitely at peace.  I have lots of people who care about me and love me, but best of all I have the Lord on my side - what more could you ask for.

Till next time.  Have a great week.  Stay warm and safe.

Love and blessings

Monday, 8 July 2013

Time is a funny thing really!  Today is a month since Roy went home to be with the Lord and when I look back it feels like it was longer ago than that and yet it has flown by very quickly - strange really.

Last week I had a pretty good week when I compare it to the week before.  I am starting to get a routine of sorts. Well actually some days I have a routine and other days I don't - but that's ok.  On Tuesday I had a day out and was pampered by my sister in law,  she gave me a facial, eye lashes tinted, eyebrows done and a neck and shoulder massage - I felt like a million bucks when she was done. I also had cuddles with little Noah which always brightens my day.

I am learning a lot about running a business, somethings by trial and error, well more error really - like you shouldn't close the bank account that the eftpos machine funds go into - that was definitely not my brightest moment!!  I am now in the process of setting up a new business account, but that is taking time since the rules changed this year - on the 1st of July :0(   The ball is now rolling and I am hopeful to have that all up and running again by the beginning of next week.  Customers have been very understanding and most come with cash so I am still making sales which is nice.

Although I had a good week last week I didn't have good nights - often waking because of things churning around and around in my head - I even tried the make a list thing, but that didn't help - sleep tea does help a bit and a glass of red wine helps even better ;0)

Ryan and Inge came for the weekend and that was a nice distraction,  nothing like a busy 2 year old to keep you occupied -  it was pretty quiet when they left though which was a bit hard.

I know I've written it before but being alone sucks. It really, really, really sucks and I don't like it at all.  Although there are some things I am finding easier to do like going to bed alone and getting up in the morning, there are so many things that I miss, some of them things that over the years I've probably taken for granted.  Some of them silly everyday things.  I miss having someone to cook for and do washing for and generally care for.  I miss folding washing that doesn't belong to just me.  I miss having someone to bounce ideas off, someone who appreciates my sense of humour and quick retorts.  I miss the cup of tea I'd get in the morning and the kiss I'd get when I got home,  I miss the hand I held when going for a walk and the arms that would hold me when I needed a cuddle or in those just because moments.  I miss intimacy and passion.  I miss my other half.

I have never been on my own before - a free agent so to speak and I take my hat off to those who for whatever reasons have been alone all their lives and to those men and women who have traveled similar paths as I do now and have come out the other side and are 'comfortable' in their lonesomeness.  I feel great sympathy and sadness for those who although married are still very much alone and have learnt to cope with it.

Marriage and life has it's up and downs and isn't always easy.  Sometimes we get frustrated with those nearest and dearest to us and we wish, even if just for a second, that we were 'free',  but I assure you that that 'freedom' is not all it's cracked up to be.  Appreciate and love those close to you in your life because when they're gone I can tell you that you'll miss even those irritating little habits they had that used to drive you nuts.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog today was one month since Roy's death - probably not the best day to have an appointment with Winz re organising the widows benefit, but it had to be done.  It was a really hard meeting - not because the case manager wasn't unsympathetic, but I was just a bit more emotional today.  I was also pleased that my appointment was today rather than next week because that is when the 'changes to the system' take effect.  At present I am 'allowed' 3 months before I need to start looking for a job, I can get an extension if I get a Doc's certificate.  As from next week  the time will be cut to 4 week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   How can they expect a person who has lost their partner to be ready to actively start looking for employment after 4 weeks - unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!  I feel a letter to the minister of social development (or whatever she is) coming on ;0) 
We finally got everything sorted out and I am now waiting for the official letter letting me know how much I am entitled to receive.  I know that eventually I will have to find a job, should the business not be enough to live from, so I am very pleased to at least have another 2 months, but also feel that I shouldn't be pressured into this and I'll know when I am ready to face this next chapter in my life.

My prayer is that God will show me what His will is for my life and that He will open and close the doors so that His plan may be fulfilled.

It is hard to think that good will come out of this time of suffering and loss when my heart knows only sorrow and tear.  It is hard to see that one day my sorrow will be replaced with happiness and joy.  With the Lord's help I will find my new 'self' and I will discover that I have become not only wiser and stronger but also the person God has called me to be. 

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Helen Keller

Love and blessings