The elderly……

The hardest thing about the pendemic is our elderly that are in care homes. It seems like they have been forgotten. Since the virus they have been shut in their homes and not allowed visitors. The biggest highlights of their days was visiting with their loved ones. My grandpa is one of these people. My Grandpa is an amazing man. He’s almost 104. I feel so sad about what is happening with him. It’s not just him it’s many of our loved ones. I understand the protocols and they are the most vulnerable.

Not having those weekly visits or when they happen they have to be far away from their loved ones. My grandpa has dementia and he doesn’t understand and faces and touch are so important to him. As I write this out it breaks my heart. I love my grandpa so much it’s hard enough I can’t visit but my parents have said it’s so difficult. My dad has dementia but because it’s his dad my mom was not allowed in for a long time. My grandpa only reconizes them both together and now they have to wear masks and it frightens him. He no longer can walk so he is in a wheelchair and he often yells help and gets really agitated and now lately says he just wants to die.

They now have him on zoom but unless someone is with him he just falls asleep. He also does not understand the whole video thing. He gets so overwhelmed. As I sit here this morning reflecting on all of this, I realize there are many out there who are separated from their loved ones.

One of my friends in the US wants to take their mom out of their care home so she can spend time with her family. Like my grandpa we don’t have that choice. I pray often for him. At almost 104 he already has accomplished so much in his life. This is the second pendemic he’s gone through. He also survived the Spanish influenza pandemic.

I also can’t visit my mother in law I’ve not seen her in a long time because I’m not allowed to visit her where she lives. I hope this pendemic is over soon so that we can see our loved ones again and hang out with family we can’t see now. So much isolation, so much despair. As numbers rise here I’m praying that we don’t have to go back under lock down. As always God has this all under his control. I guess we wait and see what happens.

Psalm 18: 1-6,16-19


I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge. My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised. And I am saved from my enemies.

In my distress I called upon the Lord, And I cried to my God for help. He heard my voice out of my temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears. He sent from on high, He took me, He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me, for they were to mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into abroad place, He rescued me because He delighted in me.


I really love this Psalm another really encouraging one when things are tough for us. God is my rock in times of trouble. He’s my rock all the time but especially when I really need Him. I feel safe in the refuge of His arms. His shield and the horn of my salvation. I love the protection we are promised. How many times have we run into trouble and we cried out to the Lord, in our distress and He hears us.
He draws us out of the waters, delivers us from our enemies.


This last verse I love so much He rescued me, because He delighted in me. I love that He’s delighted in us. He loves us so very much no matter where or what you’ve done.
I never had that father figure growing up but my Father was the Lord. He often was delighted in me, and no matter what happened to me He stood by my side. He loved me when I didn’t know how to love myself. When I felt shame and guilt He clung to me and showed me how to love myself. Today I’m still learning how to do that.
Lean on God he’s got you no matter where you are in this life. ❤️

Using the Psalms as an encouragement during these difficult times

I love the Psalms so much. One of the Pastors of our church he reads the Psalms every week with us. Whenever things are tough or I’m having a difficult time I read the Psalms and I pull out of each chapter things that I can relate to. Recently I was given a journal with a tree on it. These verses in Psalms remind me of this tree.

” He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaves so not wither, And in whatever he does he prospers.” Psalms 1:3

I love Psalm 6:2,3 ” Be gracious to me O Lord for I am pining away, heal me O Lord for my bones are dismayed. And my soul is greatly dismayed, But you oh Lord how long?

4 Oh Lord rescue my soul, save me because of your loving kindness. 6 I am weary with my sighing. Every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears, 7 my eyes has wasted away with grief. It has become old because of my adversaries.

8 For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. 9 The Lord has heard my supplication, the Lord Recieves my prayer.

This psalms to me like a prayer for those who are sick and distressed and anxious. It seems like 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, we still don’t know if we will go back in a lock down as cases of covid arise. For many it’s been a time of isolation, depression, worry and just tough not being able to go the places we are used to going. This psalm gives me peace because I know no matter what happens God is with us. I’ve been feeling weary in my time of grief and have shed many tears. Tears are a good healthy way to release those emotions.

No matter what stage your at in your life. God hears our voices, He knows our hearts. I often tell people that when we feel that we can go on no more that He picks us up and carries us. Many, many times He’s done that for me. For the times I was not sure God was there or heard my cries. I’m reminded in the Psalms that indeed He was there and He hears us.

I love that I can pick up my bible and read God’s promises He has for me during difficult times. I’ve had more than enough of them in my life. Even though we hate trials, trials are what make us stronger in our faith. God uses people in our lives and He uses us to help encourage others. Don’t do this tough journey on your own. Reach out to someone you trust. I will pray for you if you reach out to me. 🙏

PTSD

I feel super rough this morning. I hate feeling like this. My whole body is super heightened. I had a lovely evening last night I watched some hallmark movies and hung out. I could hear fireworks out in the park. Not sure why they seemed louder then usual. I also remembered another reason I’m not fond of Halloween is the loud bangs they make me jump. As I was getting ready for bed I could hear fireworks close to my home. I realized the kids who live in the house on the next street over were doing fireworks. As I laid in bed I realized they were really close to my house and really loud bangs . I would jump everytime they came and then my window was really lit up. I got up to see why they seemed so close. The kids were shooting the fireworks over the house they rent and they were landing in the tall trees in my back yard and then continued to come until they crashed in front of my bedroom window. It already was late so I waited to see if it would stop but it continued with loud cheers.

I started to become paralyzed with fear. Hands sweating and now so jumpy. I tried to anticipate the bangs. I remember feeling like this so many times in Ireland growing up paralyzed with fear not knowing what I could do. I started to pray that my house or the trees would not catch on fire. The panic started to settle in. In the summer time I had to call the police on the same kids drinking and making tons of noise and the police had told me that when that happens just to call them. I fished out the number and called the police. I was shaking by the time I called and my voice was quivery. The last person told me it’s ok and they would send someone out to them.

I realized after I talked to the police that now as an adult I have options instead of staying in that place. I was able to reach out and get help. That feeling empowers one and stops the freaking out from coming worse. This morning I feel really rough from all those heightened feelings. Today I will be really kind to myself and it will take a few days for that heightened state to leave. I always feel so vulnerable in that state is a feeling I hate. It’s also less and less as I become healthier in my life. Zeke was great last night he was so calm and so that helped me as well. He’s my therapy dog.

I’m glad Halloween is over now for another year. Today is a nice bright sunny day which I will enjoy. I’m so glad I can reach out for help when I need it. PTSD is an awful thing to have and more and more people have it. It just leaves you so out of control in your emotions. For me I had to find a safe person to reach out to now that I don’t have Larry anymore. I will also reach out to friends today as well.

Halloween in Ireland

I’ve never been a Halloween person even dressing up. I find the whole holiday unsettling. Maybe it’s the way I was brought up. In Ireland for Halloween the Celts celebrated ” All hallow tide – the feast of the dead, when the dead visited the mortal world.” The celebration marked the end of the summer now into the winter. We celebrated some of the Irish traditions. One of my favorites was called Barnbrack Cake. It’s called fruit bread and each family member is given a slice. Inside the bread are items a rag, a coin and a ring. If you got the rag it meant that your financial future was doubtful. The coin meant you looked forward to a prosperous year and the ring was a sure sign of romance and happiness. For dinner the night of Halloween we ate a traditional dinner of boiled potatoes, curly kale and raw onions. Clean coins were wrapped in paper and placed in the potato for kids to find.

We had pumpkins like we do here but we would put them in our windows to keep our out the wandering black smith. It was a symbol of protection. We also dressed up in costumes but for me it was always a holiday hung over my head. My family used it as a punishment for me even if I had not done anything wrong. I would often dress up with my siblings and at the last minute I was not allowed to go. I still remember that feeling today in my heart. After trick a treating we would go to a friend’s home or we would do a big bon-fire at our home. It was always huge. The bigger the better with the fire.

Even though I’ve been in Canada for 31 yrs I still have a hard time with Halloween. We celebrated at school yesterday and the children love it lots of cute costumes and the teachers dressed up. It was fun to see them but Halloween often seems like a blur to me. So tonight I will enjoy the children dressed up and make the most of it. What kid doesn’t like candy and fun. HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE 🍬🦇🎃👻🍭

Young children are funny

The children at school crack me up often they are funny what comes out of their mouths. Last week we were standing in a line to go outside and one of the kids said his eye brows were tired. 🙂 The children are excited because Halloween is on Saturday and so we’ve started doing Halloween fun things. Today we did Halloween math with pumpkin erasers, ghost ones, bat’s and witches. They had to count them. Then they had to create stories with their erasers. One of the boys his story was cute. He said one day there was pumpkin and his friend the ghost came by and oh now there’s a witch. Other stories were it is Halloween👻🦇 out rolled the pumpkin🎃 and it sacred the ghost👻 and then the witch came to put a spell on him.

I love the innocence of young children they find things outside that we would just cast off as nothing and create things. Today the kids were out making soup with chestnuts, grass and plants. Lego can quickly be turned into pumpkin soup. I love the curiosity of the children and how when we read a story they ask what different words mean. I love to hear they laugh at funny things they do. One of the girls made a heart with her Lego pieces and said it was for her teacher and me.

I really love working with these children it’s such a great place to be. I love that I can help them learn and grow and just be there for them when they need me. They have big emotions for being so young. Coming up I get to take a communication course with two of the other kindergarten teachers to build the bridge between me and the teachers on how best to support our children. Young children are the best. Everyday I learn something from them and they keep me laughing. My job is the best. ❤️

Love and pain of leaving

Today was a day I did not look forward to but like so many things in our lives sometimes we must say goodbye. I love the above writing about love and the pain of leaving. I especially love the part about if we avoid the suffering of leaving we will never experience the joy of loving. Love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than dispair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking. If I did not trust this person then I would never have experienced the love, caring and compassion I got out of this relationship. Love does hurt so many times in my life. I believe when someone leaves from our lives that God opens other doors.

I’m now so much stronger then when I first came into counselling. My life was very unmanageable. Addiction was huge in my life and my life was a mess. I bearly could hold it together and totally in denial about needing to give up my addiction. I was bitter, angry and full of hatred. I blamed everyone around me. I was the victim. In six years I turned my life around I took responsibility for my actions, I found accountability which it was always hard to keep consistent in my life. I needed someone to challenge me when I tried to lie or step out in addiction. I fought tooth and nail to keep addiction in my life saying that it was fine and it effected no one. I could get around my accountability app and then continue my behaviour. I was challenged often in those times and my counselor still stood beside me and cheered me on after many times of falling. She helped me see how God sees me. When I stood in shame she encouraged me to love myself.

Whenever I really needed her she was there for me and would call me if I really struggled. So many emails and someone I could just reach out to. She stood by in my sobriety, encouraged me to write my memoirs and helped me in my marriage problems. My relationship with her was really special and she’s an amazing woman. I feel privileged to have been her client and now with three years of sobriety and a whole tool kit of resources and things to help me on this journey. I have friends who I can turn to when things get rough. Again I’m glad I opened my heart to this person even though the pain is hard, my life is changed for the better.

So if your struggling with things in your life I highly recommend finding a counselor that you trust. My life was changed for the best. It took a lot of hard work and sweat but I wanted so much to have freedom. Today I live in Freedom. ❤️

Reconizing trauma in others

I never thought I’d ever say this in my entire life, but I’m glad if I had to experience trauma in my life, that I could recognize it in others. I always knew I was very observant and in tune with people and children. I reconize the signs of stress and anxiety. This insight is helping me so much in my job. This week I learned that if a person has not experienced some sort of trauma in their life, how can they see it in others. It can be missed so easily and if it is then how can we help the people we work with.

My experiences help me pinpoint areas that I can give insight into. I’m glad that I can help others. Trauma effects so much of our lives that can impact one, for the rest of their lives. If it is missed then it’s a crucial part of someone’s life. I don’t usually tell people but I spoke up yesterday and said I have knowledge and experience with trauma. I’ve seen many children struggle with different things in places I’ve worked in my life.

I can tell many things about people and children I meet. I can tell from how they act / behave. Having PTSD I see the fight, flight or freeze methods of coping. I see the avoidance of tasks that seem overwhelming. I see the ones who fight because that’s all they know how to do. Fighting is a survival skill. I see hunger and how hard it is to concentrate on anything let alone sit still and listen. I feel sadness and despair in my heart. That’s why I am so compassionate and have so much empathy. I’m glad God has me just where I need to be. That’s why I’m really good at my job. I understand, where some just don’t. They have not been there all they have is worldly ways of looking at things. That’s why I’m so glad when working with people there is a team of people not just one person. Then something as important as reconizing trauma is not missed.

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.