My Rucksack 


I have a new fabric rucksack.  The big block patterns are dark blue and green It's small light and comfortable to carry. 

It holds  the essentials; tissues, bottle of water, a purse and a mobile phone thus enabling my hands to be free. 

I carry other loads mentally. I carry grief, aloneness, disappointment and the struggles of overthinking!!

I journey this year reading bible in a year. Just today I'm reminded how to rise above my head stuff! 

I love the Psalms, penned from his experience, songs of David that resonate within me, 

‘I will be with you in trouble,

I will deliver you and honour you’ (Psalm 91:15b)

The words whispered something deep into my disappointments. When the dreams fade and the hopes you had are not realised, everything looks different. I feel the crazy maze of  grief  the girl  inside you cries because the feeling aches some more. The words that inspire hope,  honouring work, right into the tears of your soul. Honour. 

Honour. Like a rainbow over the grey sky the honour given is a lift up a stony crag. Its a coffee on a long day. Its a morning sunrise, lifting the eyes to the sky. It is a hand held securely that says I'm with you forever. 

The journey with the eternal one is not plain sailing! 

Grit. We need grit! Endurance. Perseverance. Vision when the way looks lonely. A new dream when the road bends. Ability to carry the rucksack along the road of life. To keep going. To strive on. To know the burden is light yet the way can get tough. 

My aunt and uncle reach their diamond wedding Anniversary . I observe the great teacher and baker tiring, yet the grit of endurance is clear. They still love. Its the most powerful thing. Metaphorically they have stopped carrying some stuff but their rucksack is still on their backs. The greatest is Love. Love beyond everything. 

So what shall we say then. 

Keep carrying your rucksack for the kingdom. Bring a lot of heaven to earth by loving one another. 

I'm reading a great book Surprised By Oxford by Carolyn Weber, she writes with such art and delight in a discovery of Gods kingdom . 

Quote - the reason I wrote this book reports Carolyn is this;

To take away from the book that we are absolutely beloved of God and each have a meaning in His story.

I carry my rucksack , the grit conveying strength of character with determination and endurance. Knowing I'm beloved, part of  Gods story and honoured. 

Keep on Keeping on. Rucksack on. Beloved. 

The verse says , take my yoke, it's a light one.

The daily reminder into your heart and mine, to know whose we are,  the purpose we exist and carry our own rucksack in this world.

To be love and share the beauty and ongoingness. Keep doing the next right thing.

Remember- 

… your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit’ 

1 Corinthians 6:19 The Message. 

Let's keep sharing in our journey.
Keep on keeping on, carrying our rucksacks .
Love Rach x

Lead me to You 

 Psalm 61:2Lead me to the rock

    that is higher than I


She took a stroll in the early morning dark. The sun was slowly bringing something of a misty glow into the first day of December.

She took a deep inhale a breath that sometimes felt so hard to do. She felt the loss nip her heart like the cool bite of the morning air. Christmas songs and decorations once more took her by surprise. 

How quickly that year rolled round. 

She quickened her steps gazing along the road to work noticed the berries and the birds.

She knew she had to push through hard moments like these. 

She knew she could. 

It doesn’t stop the missing and the memory but diversions are good and work will give her that. 

It cannot be rushed through or designed . 

It’s just simply Grief. 

It’s the cost of loving and sharing many moons together.

It came to me the words scribed long ago in holy writ that in my moments of overwhelming emotions I’m led to the rock that is higher than I . 


What is so beautiful that the season of anguish is the season of great joy too. She feels it as the shepherds gather and the angels chorus rock the world. She deeply knowing that He loves her immeasurably and aware how Jesus is bringing joy to the hurting heart of this world that needs hope and the relationship that can be all that. Surely He comes small into our world because he comes in pursuit of us. 

Joy unspeakable full of glory 

Unexplainable 

Love that fills all voids 

One perfect love 

For me

 for you 

rachnotes_ 

My grief observed 

I’m not sure you can observe when you’re the one grieving but this is a post about my grief journey after losing my mother almost a year ago. 

I asked my cousin if there were books she had read. My cousin sent me a book list she had worked through having done her own journey and still on a journey of grief. 

The loss of a mother looks different than any thus far. To me anyway . 

My friend whose observed me has said she can see how I have travelled through the mist of loss and seen me cope in varying stages. 

It’s something one does in small baby steps. 

I make small decisions knowing how I’m overwhelmed. One simple thing I chose to do was simplify daily decisions and activities. Rather extend something than take on something that was too much. 

I keep my routine . I read . I pray. Some things are a necessity . Coffee!

The list of books looks like this: –
A grief observed by CSLewis 

The courage to grieve by Judy Tatelbaum 

All in the end is harvest An anthology for those who grieve by  Agnes Whittaker 

[most books I bought were second hand from Amazon]

What do books bring. I think reassurance that someone understands and that its okay because they feel the same. Some books give a little phrase that help. I dipped in and out of reading, not concentrating for long. Best to use books in the way that fits you or indeed not at all is right too. 
The most helpful quotes to me are : 

Just do today


Work through your grief don’t avoid it 

 

Breathe. In…… and ………. Out . 

Best helps : 

Friends who sit awhile with you sharing conversation and a mug of coffee! 

Being kind to yourself 


Art work by Jennifer @studiojru 

Issues –

For me it was that emotional surge of overwhelming emotion that caused physical discomfort.

 The solution to this is not a quick answer or even a pill, but doing the day at a time thing and not resisting feelings but noting them. It is valuing the times when the sensation was not present. 

Headspace talks about the fact there are clouds present, but the sun still shines in the sky. 

This horrible overwhelming feeling has reduced but not gone. I know that just living daily has helped and that if I felt it was too much to talk about it I focus on just doing the next thing . 
To quote a counsellor friend, “in grief experience it in the body not in the head.”

No one thing is right, we take our own journey without prescription and to me the important thing is to work through your grief, feel it and don’t avoid it as this can have consequences in moving forward or  completion.

THE INVITATION

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.


I am reading a book by Dallas Willard called Hearing God. He writes, we treat God like a celestial aspirin. When we need to be in the work of listening patiently and being close to Him. Willard describes this as shoulder to shoulder with your Lord. This is the Shepherd who is with you always who is present in the green and the dark of life . 


This shoulder to shoulder image captures my imagination of withness. 

It’s keep walking. But your not alone. If we were carried all the time we would never get strong. 

Assurance is how I see it. I need a lot of that. Alongside the comforting presence there is the words of scripture that encourage me to – keep running the race, perseverance, be strong, be courageous. I’m holding you with my right hand. Such wonderful motivation. 

Finally let me share a wonderful children’s book that  captures a phrase I found myself recounting often  . Going on a bear hunt.


The words that I’ve shared and read many times to my boys when they were young. 

You can’t go over it. You can’t go under it. You’ve got to go through it. 

Love it!  The story goes on sharing in a fun way the route to a cave, mud, grass, rivers and hills. 

The words echo a truth that we need, to go through life’s stuff and not avoid the emotional journey, though painful, for we will be stronger for it. 

Daily I embrace Gods peace which transcends the feelings that stop me functioning and I am, moment by moment, learning to live that holy belonging. Uniquely me. Uniquely be you. 


Daily gratitude is my focus. A life lived well is filled with thankfulness. There is always something precious  in the midst of the mundane or indeed in the misty greys of sorrow. 

Embracing our community. Taking Baby Steps. Shoulder to shoulder with the shepherd.  

And 

Remember in the words of Ecclesiasties 3:2

There is a time to be born and a time to die. 

Love Rach 

It is well with me 

The waves and wind know your name 

Music notes dance the words in my mind 

hope is harmony of my heart. 

I jump in time to the rhythm of grace 


How is it well with me? 

This girl woman who skips and writes

It is well with me. 

Are you journeying with me ~ it’s well with you too. 

Perspective. 

Live life well 

Soul keeping 

His kingdom come in me 

I can dance under the stars 

I can grieve and die inside a little

It’s well with me 

Storm of life and daisy field 

It’s still well with me 

Because 

He

Knows 

The waves and wind 

Knows me . 

Knows you . 

Walk the wild waves of this world knowing it’s well. 

Come . 

Keep going . 

It is well

Photo : Saint Andrews Scotland 

by rachnotes_

Rise

Rise my child 

Rise my daughter 

Rise to walk 

Rise to laugh 

Rise to display whose you are 

Rise because it’s okay 

Rise for you never walk alone 

Rise in love for that’s who I am 

Rise to lose those rags of disappointment that bear you down 

Rise to hold my hand 

Rise for the singing of the birds has come 

Rise to Joy 

Rise do not be afraid. 

Rise you are beautiful because I made you 

Rise to Dance 

Rise in faith 

Rise though you fall 

Rise 

Rise

Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi”, which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise. Mark 5:41 ESV 

Our story is important. In both sharing it and understanding its power. To ourselves and to others. 

As a young mum I gathered together with other women at a bible study. During that time I had a ‘picture’  which told me a story,  this has continued to speak to me of this very aspect of rising. At that time the words were different but held the same meaning which simply implied the truth to keep pressing on, to keep rising. I will share my picture with you another time but for now the message which is clear now as it was then is to lean in to Jesus and to keep going. 

We know the truth of His faithfulness. By faith we acknowledge His attributes . 

It’s our not giving up. Seeing what is around us but not giving up. In worship on Sunday I heard a whisper , you rise by faith not your feelings. 

It’s an anchor . It’s not about me. The rising is because of where I hold my heart. 

We sing of waves and borders and lions dens and waiting. 

Waiting . It’s faith held in hope. 

Rising.  It’s choosing.


Choosing that as the sun sets and rises again I too will embrace my journey in faith. Rising to share my story.  With you.  With myself. 

Rising with faith. 

Proverbs 24:16   For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again. 

Psalm 84:5   Blessed are those who make You their strength, for they treasure every step of the journey [to Zion]

Let’s keep rising together. 

Love Rach x