This morning began with a coffee in one hand, a pen in the other and this beautiful gerbera as my table companion. Not quite a salubrious setting (Sainsbury’s car park), but with the sunshine warming me right through to the middle, this was the best start to my day. I was definitely IN the moment.
This week off work had been eagerly anticipated (extreme understatement!) and has lived up to every expectation. I have found a place of rest, peace, achieving and sharing and I feel all the better for it. Relaxed, revitalised, re-motivated. It’s amazing what a little space in life can do – it frees you to BE and to GROW and to THINK. The rhythm of life doesn’t allow for that too often. Well, not in my experience anyway. How do YOU make space to BE and GROW and THINK? Not just the bleary-eyed, morning, quiet space, but a more prolonged time of escape (a day or two)? I’d love to hear your experiences. And try a few of them.
I think I’m marvelling a bit at this feeling because it’s happened with family in tow and particularly the last two days shared just with Ethan. A boy without medication for 5 days. Non-stop chat, non-stop movie/video dialogues, non-stop moving, spinning, jumping and climbing. Happy and FULL of fun. Without argument he’s sat and done his holiday homework with his assistant (me) by his side, redirecting his deficit attention back to the task in hand. He’s a clever boy. I wish I could work things out like he does.
His week began with a judo masterclass alongside a group of other children with similar conditions/qualities. Hooray! He didn’t feel weird, awkward or different as he does for most of the rest of his life. The adult and youth coaches at this event were amazing (big shout out to Dromore Judo Academy). Their acceptance of and encouragement to every child was a joy to watch (through the tears). Where else could a 10 year old bring down a 13st giant? (Probably even bigger than that but I’m not good at guessing weight and I don’t want to offend!).
Headlining the event were two champions. Commonwealth, Olympic and European: Ashley McKenzie and Danny Williams. And they were much more than JUDO champions. They were ‘drawing the best out of these kids and loving them’ kind of champions. Ashley is a 25 year old with ADHD who as a boy discovered judo as a way to channel his energy (and get his Pokemon card back!) . He has overcome his own challenges and won Commonwealth gold for team GB in 2014. He is now another of Ethan’s heroes. Move over Will.i.am. Make room on the bench!!
So it’s been a champion week in more ways than one. I am still enjoying BEING in the moment and not thinking ahead to Monday morning, relishing every moment of this ‘at home’ solace.
A few weeks back I had an idea for a new blog which was going to be reflective and have a devotional feel to it. You can have a look at it right here if you like! Please do. But, in doing so I began to rethink this blog, which I have pretty much neglected over the last year (a bit like my garden), and let’s be honest, have never really faithfully done anything about it.
The reason for the new blog was to try and ‘get writing’. Well, get writing and get it out there where someone would actually read it – hopefully. And then I started to think about this poor blog, dormantly hoping I’d get back and give it some attention.
I had to have a rethink then about the purpose of this blog. I needed to hone things a bit in my mind. The ‘mud and sparkles’ of life with the Fyfes was its original intention and I guess it still is to a degree, but there are some specifics of our life that I wanted to be able to express.
Just over a year ago we brought home our Lacey from the animal sanctuary – our 13 week old mad puppy. A week later, Tony (hubby) had a stroke. In the weeks following that, late at night in the middle of winter, Lacey and I would wrap up and walk the streets of Belfast. She was probably oblivious to the oceans of tears that I shed on those walks. I was trying my best to look after a recovering stroke patient, a hormonal ‘tween’, a 9 year old son with ADHD and ASD and now a puppy! Mostly the tears were from emotional exhaustion, but I had to try and see the funny side. It’s a good job God was walking the streets with me, because he and I had some very long conversations during that winter.
There were a lot of stories to be told in that year, and if like me you keep a journal, you’ll understand the pages of outpouring. Maybe it was wise that they weren’t all spilled into a blog, maybe it’s time to share some of them and maybe it’s time to talk about the rebuilding of our life together.
So, I’m adjusting the lens a bit on what I want you to see in our ‘mud and sparkles’ , refocussing I suppose, and hoping that our journey will inspire and encourage you in yours.