I wrote a massive long blog post, and then it became a victim of my delete button.
Suffice to say, this week has been challenging. I feel like my mental and emotional state has been under attack and it has just made life a struggle mixed with a weird amount of guilt.
Now behind on my college work, with an increasing to-do list (with decreasing time to complete it).
A few friends have been in accidents of varying sorts over the last few days too. One Thursday, one Friday, one today. I’d really appreciate if you could pray for them, God knows each situation and that’s all I’ll say here.
For me, I’m giving myself some mental health first aid – to-do list or not!
They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Today I travelled down the coast to spend the day with my friends who I haven’t seen since February. Their sons told me they were taking me to the beach to find rockpools and CARTWHEEL! We found rockpools, but before we got to cartwheeling we were caught in a few heavy downpours of rain (reminding us we live in Scotland…!) so we had to take shelter.
What do you do when the rain stops your beach cartwheeling? Pretend you’re Gene Kelly and dance in the rain…
…and let your friend post on facebook this picture with the status that I was encouraging his kids to ‘pole dance’. :O It was only because there were no lampposts available! Another stellar godmothering moment from me then… ha ha!
This photo sums up how me and the elmos are feeling at work today.
Every year, I organise a conference for all the pregnancy centre teams across Scotland. I love doing it but the fortnight leading up to it is stressFUL. This year, we have a team from our head office coming (usually only two of them come, this year four are visiting) and they are staying for 2 days longer than usual so we can visit some of the centres on Friday and Monday.
This year, it just so happens that the week leading up to the conference I’m helping with another Guide Unit on Wednesday (one adult leader left and another broke her ankle a few weeks ago) in addition to my usual unit which meets on Mondays. It’s the week of the monthly Common Good Edinburgh meal and one of the groups I visited have applied for funding so I may need to present their application. And my colleague is away on holiday next week. Plus it’s another week, and assignments for my online college course.
However, suffice to say this wasn’t how I had carefully planned my diary months ago (yes, I plan things term by term).
Apparently that wasn’t enough to be going on with next week so we added my mother going to visit best friend in tornado devastated city (though the silver lining is that I no longer have to hire a car for next weekend) and last night my paternal grandfather died. So I may have to squeeze in a trip to Inverness for a funeral into next week’s madness.
I do always say that God never gives us more than we can handle without His help, and of course I have a fabulous bunch of people who encourage me and understand that me going on random rants and being a little bit loopy is par for the course during crazy times such as these. Maybe a few dramatic tweets of despair.
Prayers appreciated, and hoping that anyone coming into contact with me over the next week or so will have lots of grace and patience with me.
…while I was writing my assignments tonight, I noticed my feed on twitter starting to pour out the same words all over again. Tornado and Oklahoma.
More astute LFS readers may know that Oklahoma is where my Mum’s best friend lives – my ‘Auntie’. She lives in the area where the tornados have been storming through, and though she had some scary moments yesterday as tornados came through her suburb, it is nothing compared to the one in the southern suburb of Moore today.
We are thankful to have heard from my Auntie tonight, we are thankful they have a tornado shelter to help with keeping them safe when tornadoes come through.
However, for a lot of people tonight – they have lost their homes, family members or have friend and family who have been crticially injured. There are all the rescue workers who are working hard, health professionals that may be lacking in sleep as they are called in for emergency needs.
Oklahoma, I am thinking of you. I’m praying for your safety. I’m praying for comfort in all that may have been lost in the last 48 hours. I wish that words could do more.
If you live in the USA, Red Cross are doing what they do best in these kinds of emergencies. I know they have an emergency appeal right now to help the folks affected by the tornadoes that have devastated the Oklahoma City suburbs today.
Update 13/3/13 at 23:48 GMT from Caroline:
“He watched me take my first breath, I watched him breathe his last. My Dad is with Jesus. It is well with my soul.”
Please be thinking of Caroline and her family as they mourn the loss of their Dad. There are no words.
An update from Caroline…
Thanks everyone who has left a comment or tweeted their support.
Some of you may know my friend Caroline – a lovely North Carolina girl I met when I first moved back to Edinburgh. I’ve guest posted on her blog a few times, and she’s guest posted on mine. A couple of nights ago, her Dad had an MI (heart attack) and is currently in Intensive Care – his condition is critical, and there are a lot of uncertainties. Caroline posted on facebook last night that ‘we need a miracle‘, asking for friends to pray. I’ve never met Caroline’s Dad, but I know from Caroline’s stories and photos of him he is a wonderful Dad and loving G-pa to his grandkids.
…wisdom, knowledge and skill for her Dad’s medical team.
…encouragement, strength and comfort for her Dad and Caroline’s family.
…for healing and the treatments they are giving her Dad to have the outcome hoped for.
…for people to help out with childcare (Caroline has 3 wonderful kids – 2 of which I’ve met and cuddled as babies, I haven’t had the chance to meet the newborn baby Belle yet).
It’s times like this I want that Atlantic Ocean to get out the way so I can be there in a more practical way for one of my friends. But I know Caroline is a woman who believes in God and the power of prayer. I know that she’ll appreciate your thinking of her Dad, and appreciate your prayers.
Thanks everyone x
This one goes out especially to everyone – my amazing twitter and blog friends – who supported me so, so much when I went out to South Africa 3 years ago.
Those of you who did, may remember how I was somewhat freakishly changed into a different team a few weeks before I headed out, and ended up in the same church as woman who had invited me to come out to visit pregnancy crisis centres in South Africa a year before.
I was finally able to meet Gail during my last hours in Durban. We have kept in touch through facebook and e-mail since.
I found out this week, that they’ve found a tumour on Gail’s brain. It’s been causing a number of problems for her, and doctors will be performing surgery in attempt to remove this tumour on 8th Jan.
Her daughter is writing a blog to keep everyone updated here.
For those of you who do pray – please would you join me in praying for Gail?
-for peace for her and for her family
-for protection from complications
-for wisdom and skill from the medical team performing surgery and treating her
-for complete healing
Thanks everyone xx
Tricia was well enough to have a treatment – a pretty scary one by the sounds of it – on Friday that they hope will reverse the rejection.
Update on Nathan’s blog here.
Many of my long-time readers are familiar with the amazing story of the Lawrensons – Tricia has Cystic Fibrosis and in 2007 found out she was pregnant the day before she was about to be put on the transplant list. She gave birth to a baby girl (Gwyneth, now 4!) in January 2008 at 24 weeks gestation, and miraculously both of them survived their ordeal. She went on to get a transplant 3 months later, and even fought a battle with PTLD (post-transplant lymphoma).
Earlier this year Tricia became ill with some infections including RSV and pneumonia, which caused some rejection. The last report I’d heard was in April that the rejection had stopped.
Yesterday Tricia was rushed back to hospital with acute rejection. It means her body is attacking at her transplanted lungs.
If you could pray for her, her family and her medical team at Duke University Medical Center that would be fabulous. I know that she and her family always value the prayers and positive thoughts of others.
Prayers right now would be really appreciated. There is A LOT going on over the next few weeks. Tomorrow, Guides starts back, and we’ll be starting the Amelia’s Campaign Challenge Badge. On Tuesday, I head down to London for a few days, where I’ll be meeting with the rest of the National Partners Team, and hopefully catching up with some friends – including someone whose centre ended up having to closedown (made even sadder as it was in located in a part of London where the unplanned pregnancy and social deprivation rates are high). This weekend I’ll be doing a pretty intensive relationships counselling course day. Then it’ll be all about getting everything sorted for our annual Scottish conference on 12th May.
The main prayer request stems from this post. I recently found out that two of the Scottish centres are being affected by cancer AGAIN. One of our managers – her husband has been diagnosed with Kidney Cancer, and last week had his kidney removed. Another staff member from another centre has been diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma (lymph node has been removed, waiting to hear if cancer has spread anywhere). If you could pray for these people, their families, friends and medical teams – and the staff at the centres where they work, we would very much appreciate it.
Thanks LFS readers!
I get asked to pray for people quite a bit. I think because my friends and my family know that it’s what I do. I pray. I pray in my car, I pray on the bus, I pray in the shower, I pray as I push the trolley around the supermarket.
It was quite a few years ago that one of my best friends asked me to pray for friends of hers that I’d only met once. Their baby son had been diagnosed with cancer. They would send e-mails updating all of us prayer warriors about how treatment was going, how we could be praying for them.
It was a joyous day when I got the e-mail to say that his cancer was in remission. Yes!
On Saturday, I was round at my friend’s house. It was her husband’s birthday a few weeks ago, and we also wanted to celebrate that he will be graduating from university this week. I was asking them about their upcoming holidays and how they were going to get to catch up with this family I had prayed for.
And then my friend told me as I was about to leave: Pray. Get others to pray too. They’ve just found out the cancer is back, has spread and it’s not treatable. Now they are setting up this boy for Palliative Care when he should be getting excited about school after the summer.
He’s only 5 years old.
But I’m thankful that just a couple of weeks after this news, my friends will be down visiting their friends and will hopefully be able to get alongside them at such a time as this.
I can only imagine.
Pray for the chance of a miracle. Pray for peace. Pray for every single moment to be lived. Pray for strength. Pray for the best people to be around this family – loving them, supporting them.
Would you join me in praying?