when it’s time to say goodbye

Wrapping up a present for my son’s friend, I found myself gently sobbing in the quietness.

Sandwiched in between leaving parties and goodbyes, those tears caught me off guard. This particular friend of my son – his best friend – is really more like a brother than a friend. He’s been an incredible gift to my son, and his whole family a precious blessing to us all. It’s a particularly hard relationship to say goodbye to, even though skype, emails, texts and visits will continue to keep us connected.

I’ve been surprised at when my tears have come. And when they haven’t.  They haven’t come in the big ‘goodbye’ events. Not because I’ve been holding them back: they’ve just not been the emotional times for me. They’ve come in the quiet times, the unexpected times; the times when I’ve had space to reflect on the depth of relationship with various individuals.

When we first knew that we were leaving Sheffield I remember feeling like God wanted us to fully invest in our relationships right until the day we left. There’s a temptation in a transition period to start to withdraw in relationships. It feels easier that way – less painful and less vulnerable. But it’s also less meaningful.

It’s right that we feel pain and loss in relationships as we leave. We can only feel loss when something has value. If we lose an item we don’t care about, we shrug our shoulders and move on. But if we lose an item that is precious to us, we feel sadness in its loss. Infinitely more when it comes to relationships.

To fully give means at times we experience loss too.

It’s a heavy price. But it’s a price I’m willing to pay. To hold back emotionally, and merely maintain shallow relationships feels like a greater price. Yes, I would never feel hurt or loss in the same way, but neither would I feel the joy that I have come to know in precious relationships.

So as we say goodbye to those we love in Sheffield we know it’s not the end: just the next leg of the journey. And as we enter our new season we’ll be looking again to give ourselves fully in the relationships placed around us.

It’s the only way we know how.


the source

I remember the precise moment when it clicked. The penny dropped. The scales fell from my eyes.

We’d argued. Not one of those slightly- raised- voice type of disagreements.  But one of those red-raw, swollen eyed, puffy cheeked, soul-wrenching arguments.
There was no quick-fix, no easy answers, no forgiveness. And we were stuck.

Today I’m guest posting on Anna Burgess’s blog. For the whole of February she’s featuring posts written by a variety of writers all focussing on the subject of marriage. Click here to check out my post and have a look at some great posts on marriage.

who’s it for anyhow?

In my ideal-parenting fantasy world, a “proper” mum makes a really great cake for their kids. 3 times a year I try to live up to this mum-ideal by attempting to make a “proper” birthday cake for my kids. I remember my mum spending hours on a variety of outstanding cakes for us. She’s an amazingly talented cake decorator, and she loved making them. I, on the other hand, am not particularly talented in this regard, nor do I enjoy the task.

Just recently I attempted to make an Angry Birds cake for my son’s birthday. Compared to some of my other cake-making endeavours  this one was looking pretty good. A few hours before the party I Continue reading

NEW family photos……

We’ve been having fun as a family over the summer and have just uploaded lots of new family photos from all our adventures.

They include ice cream, scree running, tractors, owls, adventure playgrounds, camping, hide & seek, fishing, smiling – all round enjoyment of life!!

There’s a selection above, all of the rest of them can be found by clicking here   – you have to scroll through down the page to the bottom (past the older ones) to find them but they are worth getting to – come check them out……….

How to kill your community

For many years, Christians have been talking about “community”, “missional community” and more recently “oikos” (a Greek word which refers to a “household” including extended family.) I love all of this.

But sometimes I think we can get in a bit of a tangle about it all.  Continue reading