Surprise {Five Minute Friday}


It’s in the gentle healing you didn’t know outside could bring.  The hustle of the birds, the breeze disturbing branches, awakened by spring.  It’s realising, though you’ve been lonely, you are truly not alone.

It’s in learning that there’s still a way.  That in this concrete, unchangeable circumstance, there is hope for beauty.  That hope is fragile, fluid even, but waves erode stone.

It’s in the broken moments you can whisper I understand, when God takes your hurt to help another; when all is redeemable and nothing is wasted.
Linking up for Five Minute Friday

Focus {Five Minute Friday}

In December, I had my eyes tested.  For the longest time, I’d had headaches, and a near permanent groove between my brows, from screwing up my face, as if that could enlarge fonts.  As it turned out, I needed glasses.

I sat in the car, taking them off, putting them on.  Amazed by how clear and defined the trees were.  All this time, I’d thought I’d been seeing things how they really were.  How long had my view been slightly out of focus?

It’s amazing how new perspective can open your eyes.

I’d been feeling like a failure.  Tired from work, struggling to find my feet in a new role; no patience with my children and husband, inadequate in all areas.  And I fell into the comparison trap.  The friends with nicer homes, with seemingly mess-free lives.

And all I could see was my mistakes.

Teen pregnancy, debt, endless failing.  This rental house with its worn out floors.

I went for a blood test and got talking to the nurse.  She said I looked too young to have children, I told her I am.  When she found out I’m a nurse too, that I’d trained hard when I was a young, single mum, she seemed genuinely impressed.

When we’re so focused on where others are, we lose focus of how far we’ve come.

We define ourselves by failure, scrawling our narrative, marked by mistakes.

We lose sight of the story being written, forget that it’s still unravelling.  We’re works in progress, ever being made new and Grace means we’re not defined by where we began.



Linking up for Five Minute Friday.



Quiet {Five Minute Friday}

Monday morning.  After working right through the weekend, I crawl out of bed.  Catch the sunrise with sleepy eyes, as I tame my hair.  Smoothing out the evidence of a restless night.  There are kisses in the sky.


Daughter at school and Son at nursery, I run through the list of What To Fit Into These Few Free Hours.  And I’m leaving a supermarket, all oversized handbag and caffeine-to-go.  Struggling to manage the shopping bags in one hand and fumbling with the car keys in the other.  A lady stops me.

Can I trouble you for the time?

She laughs, as I wrestle to find my phone, to find out.

Bewildered, I stare.  And I tell her: 9:50.

I’m running late for my doctor’s appointment.

She’s late 60’s, I’d guess, and she carries on:  We used to value time.  We used to want to keep things simple and we’d value that.  But these days you over-complicate everything.  You’re rushing everywhere and filling up every moment.

I laugh, flush-faced and awkward.  Mumble you’re right.  And I sit in my car and cry.

I’m so desperate for quiet.  Longing for rest.  But between busy shifts on wards, between parenting these children and keeping it all together, my quiet is only in stolen moments.

Snatched, in the twenty minute drive to work.  Grasped as I lay in a hot bath, in the minutes before I’m interrupted.

Am I really over-complicating this?  Are there empty pockets of peace here, that I don’t even open my eyes to?  And I wonder if maybe an angel spoke into my soul, stirred it up.  And I know I must learn how to quiet it.


{Linking up with a wonderful group of writers for Five Minute Friday.  Hosted by the lovely Kate Motuang.}

Time {Five Minute Friday}

FullSizeRender (1)Those last few weeks with my father were a gift.  Those precious stolen hours between working shifts and being home for my children.  And I’d drive to the hospital once or twice a day, often on no sleep.  I’d wrestle his hospital wheelchair and an oxygen canister down to the garden, sip coffee and talk with him.  He’d always loved to be outside.

I’d cry for how I’d been so distant, before I knew he’d gotten sick.  He’d forgive me time and again.

One morning I got in from a twelve hour shift and tried to sleep.  Two hours later, still wide awake, I gave up and went to see him.  Now, with him was the only place I could find peace.  I curled up, uncomfortable, in the chair by his bed and told him lies about all the places we’d go when we got him home.  He smiled before he closed his eyes.  It was the last time he was conscious.

Those weeks and hours beside him broke me and healed me all at the same time.  For every honest moment, for every truthful conversation.  For chance to tell him I forgive you too.  I was content just to sit by his side and grateful for every second.

After years of hurt, it might have been complicated.  But in the end it was simple.


Linking up over at Kate Motaung’s page for for Five Minute Friday.



Release {When Holding On Hurts}


A year ago, I would cry driving to work.  I was so unhappy in my job but I couldn’t see any way out.  I would apply for other roles and go to interviews.  But I’d always end up turning down job offers when I realised yet again that it wouldn’t pay enough or the hours were wrong. That it would upset this balancing act I’d found myself performing, with my night shifts and childcare costs and my husband’s work schedule.  I needed out, but I couldn’t see how.  So I’d cry. And I’d pray, not really believing for an answer.  

In the summer, I was offered a job – in a better role, with better prospects.  I hadn’t even applied for it.  It was entirely undeserved and too good to be true.  When I worried about the hours, they asked me what I needed and wrote it into my contract.  When I handed in my notice, I wasn’t sure if it was right – especially financially -but I leapt.  For me, it turned out to be the right choice.

Many of my colleagues chose to stay and ride out it out.  And sometimes it’s right to hold firm.  To cling tightly, on and on and out the other side.  There are times this has been true for me.  In my marriage, in work; through some of life’s storms.  Weather worn and tired, but anchored.  And when the sun’s broken in, I’ve known the quiet peace that this was worth it.

But sometimes, we hold on too long to things too heavy.  And for all the hurt and energy wasted, all we have to show in our clenched fists is rope burn.

I’ve known this in relationships too.  Countless nights sleepless over unanswered messages and the voices that grew quiet when life got hard.   Friendships become unhealthy and lives find different paths.  Sad as it might be, I’ve realised some were only meant to walk beside us for a season.

It’s daunting to move forward when we’re unsure of what will fill the space that distance creates.

But we need to let go, to free our hands for something new.

And sometimes, in releasing our hold, we’re released.

Linking up today with Holley Gerth for Coffee For Your Heart.



First {Five Minute Friday}


I knew, heading into this year, I was starting it a different person than I was before.

You learn a lot in times like that. That hearts can stop beating while yours pounds on, heavy.  That grief has no expiration date, but the patience of those observing certainly does. You find out compassion grows tired.

Stepping into the year before, I’d given up Faith. Walked away from church, bridges all in flames and entirely disillusioned.

But in all that followed, between hospital rooms and torn family ties, there were scribbled down miracles. Pages full of God moments, captured in tears, because God knows I needed to remember. To never let go.

If nothing else, I’ve re-learned who to turn to first.

The sun’s cool and low in the January sky, early morning pink flung across sleepy blue like a masterpiece. I’m all too aware I’m unfinished.

Maybe we all change, stripped down bare. Incomplete and rough edges.

{But maybe from the outside it looks like restoration.}


Writing for the first time in a very long time and happy to be linking up for Five Minute Friday.