When things are hard

My favorite verse is Isaiah 40:31   But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

It’s a verse I go to when I feel stress or anxiety in my life. I’m having a tough time emotionally again. It seems like as soon as I settle down from one thing then another thing comes up that causes me anxiety. I know that’s life but it’s getting tiresome for me. Writing always helps me process things I’m feeling. Grieving is hard. It takes a lot of energy to grieve. I thought my grieving was over but I guess it’s normal to grieve something that will no longer be in your life. I’ve never had to grieve so much as I have lately. The old Sarah would have just used addiction as a crutch so I guess feeling is good.

I don’t like feeling painful feelings. It hurts. Lately I’m feeling but wanting to numb out those feelings as well. I’ve used food a bit but like it used to be. I’ve tried avoiding and ignoring but that only hurts me more. None of those options work, so tonight I’m listening to my favorite music and praying and reading my favorite verse. I’m also counting my blessing because there are many great and awesome things in my life. That’s what I need to remember when things get tough or things I can’t control. God’s for all of this in His hands. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is my comforter and my rock in times of trouble. Thank you God for this reminder.

So when things are tough for you reach out to the one who comforts us the most. This to shall pass and for me I will grieve more but it won’t be forever.

My new job

I’ve been in my new job three weeks now and I feel like I’ve been there forever. I’m working as an Early childhood educator in a kindergarten program. I’ve been hired in to do early Intervention for children. I will work with the Kindergarteners as well as two Grade 1 classes. I love that I can use my education. Before I came to the school system I worked in Early Childhood Education for 30 years. I loved working with young children but I wanted to work with children who needed extra help. I did a contract with a boy who had a brain injury for two and a half years but got no sick time, only 4% holiday pay, no benefits. I worked harder than Anyone and got paid a low wage. I left to become an Educational assistant last year. That’s a job that does not get the Recognition it should. It’s a very eye opening job and can be really tough on you physically.

This is one of the few places in my career as an ECE that I’m reconized for the work I’m doing. In my job I help young children with literacy, numeracy and social emotional. With the experience in my education I get to see things in the children that otherwise could get missed. I’m a very observant Person so when issues have arised I discussed them with the teacher I work with. Then together we work on solutions for each child.

One of the things I often see in the children is if they are hungry or if food is really important to them. Like I’ve said before if your hungry how are you supposed to be able to concentrate on anything let alone be expected to listen to what the teacher is asking you. Hunger is often missed by adults but there are signs that tip me off that they are hungry. One of the children says they are hungry lots but even if they have had breakfast food is very important to them. So for that child they eat when they come to school we both noticed the child settles in better, becomes calmer and is able to listen to what is asked of them. The teacher I worked me told me she would never have thought about food as an issue. I told her as a child who came to school hungry I know full well what hunger is like and learning is impossible.

I also see the signs of children with stress and anxiety in their lives. One of the children goes to the bathroom everytime we have a transition. They got checked out medically to make sure it was not a medical issue. I talked to the teacher about when it happens. It’s not just transitions, it’s also if the child feels they can’t control a situation. I also observed how easily they got frustrated and angry again when things seemed out of their control. I knew early on it was a child who has stress and anxiety. Both of these issues I’ve had lots of experience with as being a child who grew up hungry and I had piles of stress in my life. My life experiences have helped me so much in helping these children.

I spend lots of time with all the children and I love doing the small groups I get to do with them twice a week. It’s called talking tables and it’s helping children with literacy skills. I get to work on topics with them with songs, games and helping them recognize objects with words. I work with two kindergarten classes both in my cohort and I love helping each class learn. I love that when they are upset or sad or just need help with something I can sit down with them and help them work through their emotions. I finally found the right job for me. I have an amazing kindergarten teacher who I’ve learned so much from already. We have become a good team. By the time the school year is over this year I will have worked with four kindie classes, one kindie /grade 1 split class and another grade 1 class.

Humility

Our church has been choosing words to talk about the next three services. Last week was Thanksgiving and Gratitude. This week we are talking about Humility. For me I’ve learned to be humble in many areas of my life. For a long time caught in addiction all you can see is yourself. I didn’t care about who I hurt to get what I wanted in life. Pride was huge for me and I’ve learned that in sobriety you become way more humble.

” Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility and patience.” Colossians 3:12

” Humble yourselves therefore under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6

” Be completely humble and gentle, be patient bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2

I have so much in my life that I’m humble and in awe at everyday. For a long time I could not figure out why I ever survived my childhood. So many times I should have been dead or not being able to cope with all the trauma, but God being there every step of the way. His mercy and grace on my life and His Strength for me through very painful times. So many times I say that what I endured in my life made me into the woman I am today. God’s grace washed over me. To me the most humble thing in this world is Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. He shed His blood for each and everyone of us. How could we not be humble after that?

Today a lady I met in Washington I knew her children well. I went to church with her and her husband. Today she went home to be with the Lord as her daughter wrote she now is walking up in the streets of gold and no longer has to suffer. What I remember about Patti was she was a really humble woman who loved everyone she met. Her heart and soul loved the Lord so much. She’s been suffering the last few months when her cancer came back. She was a pillar in the little church she used to attend. Not only would she help everyone she met, she had a great sense of humor. Patti you will be so missed by all your family and friends. It’s people like this who we can learn true humility from. ❤️

What kinds of things do you feel humble about in your life today?

Saying goodbye is never easy

Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things I have to do. I hate it. How do you let go of a 6 year old relationship where you poured out your heart to this person every couple of weeks or month. They knew your darkest fears, your pain, your joy and the things you accomplished. They stood my you in your addiction and they stood in your corner every step of the way. They encouraged you when you wanted to give up and when you couldn’t do it anymore. They cared for you in every way. They prayed for you and laughed with you.

This relationship I’m talking about is with a counselor. Six years is a long time but I know the woman I am today is because of this person. It’s a relationship like no other because the only time you see them is in their office. This person helped me in my marriage, when my marriage ended and so much more. I could reach out her in an email if I needed Anything. She was always there for me. I’m so Thankful for her I can’t put into words what she’s done for me. Thank you so much.

I won’t forget what you taught me and now I’m ready to go out into this world and be the woman God created me to be. I have lots of tools in my tool box. They say it takes a community to raise a child. I believe it’s the same for adults. Community is everything especially to me. Not only do I have fantastic friends I have have an Amazing church family as well.

In this past 6 years I’ve learned how to put my past behind me, forgiven those I never imagined I would ever forgive. Gone through addiction and come out of that with so many healthy ways to cope. I’ve fought for my marriage in counseling and watched my marriage end. That was painful and so hard. Learned how to cry and really grieve things instead of stuffing them under the carpet. I learned how to stand up for things I really believed in. To speak out against things that needed a voice.

Through my hurt and pain I realized that I could make a difference in this world. God has given me a huge heart for people and children and animals. I understand when someone comes to me with an issue or is battling addiction. I understand, I know what’s it’s like to feel that Shame, that not wanting to do it again and falling right back into it. I know what’s like trapped in addiction but I also know what true freedom is all about.

It’s going to be a transition for me because I’m used to running things by this person. I will miss them a lot. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you’ve taught me. I will make you proud. You may not ever find a quirky client like me but keep laughing and caring and teaching more clients how to live life in freedom. ❤️

Thankfulness

For those of you who don’t live in Canada this weekend is our Thanksgiving holiday. I have so much gratitude in my heart. So many blessings I have in my life. When things are rough or I’m feeling sad the best way to move forward from that for me is to count my blessings. I’ve come through a year of being on my own and even though it was hard at times I wouldn’t change what God had shown me through my grief and pain. I’ve become a much Stronger woman and I finally am able to look in the mirror and not grimise at what I see. I’m learning to love myself and I’m so thankful for that. My self esteem is the best it has even been. That’s huge for me. I’m thankful for who God has made me to be.

I’m so thankful for my family it’s been a tough year for my mom as my step dad has dementia. Our family has grown closer because of it. It’s so hard on my mom to watch her husband decline. I’m thankful that I get to hang out with him while my mom has a much needed break. I just make our time we have together the best I can.

I’m so thankful for all my friends. I have the best ones. I love being able to have coffee and hang out and laugh and have fun. One of my core friends has breast cancer and I’m thankful to be able to help her and encourage her through her journey. Our prayers are working for her. I’m so thankful for new friends I’ve found and who God puts in my life for a time. Friendship is the best.

I’m so Thankful for me new job. So thankful for all the kindergarten children I get to be with each day. To laugh with them, to comfort them when they fall or are frustrated or sad. I get to sit with them on a bench and help them feel safe. My new job is so much better than being an Educational Assistant. My role in the children’s life is a nurturing role and I’m able to do early intervention. I get to work with an amazing teacher who has taught me a lot of things already. I love my role at the school I can use all my skills and experience. Children are such a precious gift. I’m thankful to be part of it. ❤️

I have so many blessings in my life I’m thankful for them all even the ones that are ending. Through out all my experiences God is always there and for that I’m eternally grateful. You should try it if your feeling down or sad make a short list of all the things your grateful for.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL MY CANADIAN FRIENDS 🦃😊

Feelings of rejection

Ugh not felt these feelings in a long time. I had forgotten what it felt like. When it came my first reaction was to run away and not deal with it, but that only hurts myself. I can’t believe how much pain I felt in my heart like losing your best friend even though we are not friends. I understand in my head why it can’t be, but my heart is filled with huge emotions that I can’t shut off. I think there must be underlining things going on to have this HUGE reaction of emotion.

Rejection used to be an emotion that crippled me and made me act out in addiction. Today it hurts yes but that all. This reaction makes me realize how much it hurt when my husband left. The old Sarah would have blamed herself but today this is not on me. He chose to leave on his own I did Everything I could to work on our Marriage. He’s been gone a year it’s been hard I won’t fluff that up but I also have learned a lot of things about myself and where yes I failed in my Marriage most of it through my own brokenness.

With the guidence of the Lord I can work through these things and come out better on the other side. There will be more times of me feeing rejection from others because we can’t put all our stock in humans. I will let people down things like this will happen it will trigger rejection but it no longer consumes my life and I can now deal with it in Healthy ways. Today I will be extra kind to myself as I feel fragile but that will pass. God is my comforter and my rock. He helps soothe my pain and as we grow in things that maybe really uncomfortable we know we are never alone no matter what is happening.

Freedom in love

This morning I was reading the newsletter for the ranch in Oregon and how a horse had been rescued from abuse and how this horse changed so many lives and how this horse brought healing to those who came to see it. Ele was one of the first horses rescued by now what is called Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch. For 25 years she became a pillar of hope to so many. Recently she died quickly and left a void in many that loved her. It’s often very painful to let go of something you love so much.

Kim Meeder one of the founders of the ranch, I loved what she said. Years ago God gave her a picture that every horse that dies turns snowy white as they approach the King of Kings. She says that in Revelation 19:11-16 speaks of Jesus returning on a white horse with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords written on His thigh. He is followed by countless armies of heaven who are all riding white horses. That makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. That’s such a humbling account that God gave her.

For me for a long time it was so hard to trust people because they hurt me so much. It’s so hard to open up your life to love when all it brings is hurt and pain. For a long time people would try to get close to me and I would push them away, because then it would hurt less but it often only hurt me. I vowed never to let anyone else in and kept up huge walls. We all get hurt my people somewhere along the way. The only person who doesn’t hurt us is Christ. He loves us just the way we are. Even though love can hurt there is much freedom in love ❤️

We all want to know someone loves us for who we are. Love can be so beautiful but it also can be so painful. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to fall in love and even though my marriage is over and it hurt a lot and I still grieve sometimes, I do know God has me right in the palm of His hands. I also know there are a lot of people in my life who love me.

I didn’t know Ele super well but I do know she touched many many lives. Some of the horses I connected with at the ranch are Hero. He has an Amazing story read his story here. I also love Phoenix. https://www.crystalpeaksyouthranch.org/who-we-are/our-herd/?p=2

I can blog more about these two horses next time how I related to each of them. Love is such a powerful thing. Reach out to someone today and love on them and take a risk because love can be such a wonderful thing. ❤️


1 Corinthians 13:4-8 

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Gaelic camp ( taken from my memoirs )

Peter and I went to Gaelic camp in Donegal which is in the West of Ireland. It is very picturesque and very rugged on the coast of Ireland. Maddie and Russ sent us there to learn more Gaelic. It was a summer camp but I was too young to go, but because Peter my brother was there they made an exception for me. He was supposed to keep an eye on me. The kids at the camp were so much older than I was and I was bullied lots. The older girls made me do things I didn’t want to do but if I didn’t they threatened to beat me up. I already was a sacred nervous child so I just did what they wanted. I was pushed off a ledge outside into a bed of nettles and I was covered in welts. I had to sit with Calame lotion it made your skin white when you put it on. It felt better in the welts. I didn’t dare tell anyone what had really happened.

I did tell Peter but he was busy with the people he had met. He didnt have time for me and did not want me hanging around him. Besides that happening I loved being there and the girls stopped bugging me after the nettle incident. Maybe it was a test who knows. We were expected to speak Gaelic whenever we ate our meals. If you wanted someone to pass you something you had to speak it in Gaelic. I can remember asking for butter which is im. Ara’n is bread and Stobhach is stew.

Whenever we went in the local shops a lot of the locals still just speak Gaelic we had to speak the language. The locals would not speak to us in English that’s tough when your a small timid kid. Also hard when they told you the price in Gaelic so you would just give them money.

Donegal is known for its surfing, fishing, rock climbing and hiking. There are huge cliffs that are breathtaking. It’s nicknamed the forgotten county because of its isolation. The cliffs of Mohor are the largest sea cliffs in Europe. Donegal is the home to Star Wars it was filmed in Ireland. Also its famous for its tweed. Hand weaved.

First week of school

This week was my first week of school since the end of January this year. I’ve been out of school for 8 months. I was nervous about going back because I had not been in so long. I was put in the same school for 3 weeks which is nice. My job because I don’t have a permanent job is on call and that can mean a different school each day. Was not sure how that would work with Covid. I got put in a school right near my home. It’s also a school where I know a bunch of the students because where I worked before. A lot of them where in my preschool.

I had a busy job this week I was in two 4/5 split classes and then for 45 minutes a day I helped a child with autism. I got chosen to work with him because of my resume. It’s a child not just anyone works with him. I loved working with him so much and he’s such a happy child. I’d never worked with a child that had this much autism. Even though he was in his own world a lot, I quickly realized he heard what I asked him. One of my favorite times was after his lunch playtime his class read books. I read him a Dr. Susse book. It’s funny one day I started where I had left off the day before and he quickly put me back at the beginning. He’d sit and I’d read to him for 15 minutes. At first I was really nervous about working with him but he quickly responded to me and I Could tell he liked and trusted me.

The other children were really sad today that it was my last day. In a week I got to know them. A great group of children and I had an amazing teacher that made my days so much better. I loved how she made each child feel really special and how she included each of them. She told me that why I connected so easily with the children is because I have compassion from my heart and so I connect with each of them. I told her that’s how you teach. At the end of school today she told me how much she’d miss me and the children were all sad. I did tell them that in the Spring I will come back and do a baby bunny project with them. I hope on one of my Fridays I can go back and sub there.

As I’ve written before I love working with the children so much. I realized why I work as an EA. Everyone of those children are someone special and unique no matter who they are. God has given me huge compassion for them. The boy with autism I just treated him like everyone else. Next week I start a new job working as an Early childhood educator in a Kindergarten. Early intervention is key to helping children. That is my new role, I look forward to getting to know two classes. I will miss my big kids but looking forward to being with the young ones again.

I remember…..

https://www.cheknews.ca/voices-in-motion-unveils-fundraising-childrens-book-written-about-memory-loss-695245/

This young girl wrote this book about dementia for a school project at a local school at 15. This is the same choir where my mom and dad attend. The choir is made up of young and old together singing. I read this book today and wow it’s very powerful. This young girl wrote from her experiences in the choir. She knew nothing about dementia before she came. Her book has touched many in our community and many can relate to what she wrote. She also illustrated the book as well. I’m definitely going to buy a copy.

Today I went back to hang out with my dad again today. My mom was getting her hair cut so I picked him up and took him back to his home. One of my favorite things to do now is to listen to his records. All the old stuff and things that just don’t sound the same on a cd. As I’ve written before music is incredible for people with dementia. One of the records we played today was called Classical Cats and it was such a fun record. The first time we listened to it my dad was like a kid he was so excited about and loved it so much. He even knew what some of the songs were.

We took a break and had lunch and after lunch he decided to go back to his music. Interestingly he decided to listen to Classical Cats and he was unsettled about it and it was not fun like last time but he found it loud and half way through took it off and put it away. Hard to believe he loved it an hour before. My favorite time is hanging out listening to music with him. Everytime he tells the same story to him it’s a new story and he’s super excited about it. As I wrote last time we go on what he’s thinking and feeling right at that moment.

This book is such a great resource and I’m looking forward to owning my own copy. For people out there who know people with dementia this is such a wonderful book.