Sunday, 22 November 2015

We Found Out Who Our Friends Are

Well that's a strange blog title.... 

Most will see it as negative (Which sadly brings more blog readers) but I actually meant it as a positive title.

Over the past few months, we’ve discovered who our friends are….. and there were more than we could imagine.

We have been loved and supported well through what has been a difficult season.

On our ministry blog, I posted a plea for prayer as lots of things started to hit us - actually, more than I put there or here.

It’s been tough - some of it for very good reasons: Our house was in chaos due to major building work to make the house more Kay friendly - a lovely downstairs loo and shower room (That Hubby keeps calling my boudoir!) and a more accessible kitchen that is a dream to use. 

But the 
Kitchen Now In Use
building work has meant no freezer for 8 weeks (no ice-packs for pain relief) and no washing machine for 6 weeks, and having to work in the caravan because it was more accessible than the house during the day. 

Another view of the kitchen!

All this building work was made possible by Steve cashing in a pension fund, some saved inheritance, and a gift from a charity that was closing down.

Another reason was not so good: A letter from the DWP arrived, asking me to apply to change from DLA to PIP (despite being given an indefinite DLA award 4 years ago). The process you have to go through is not easy - a long form - hand written (Which I can’t do!) followed by a home assessment. It’s a demeaning and dehumanising process I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. We still haven’t heard if we have it or not, but to lose it would be a massive blow for us, not just financially but for my independence too. We would cope - just, but it will make life a lot harder and mean I can’t afford the accessibility gadgets that help me everyday. We would also lose my biggest lifeline - my car. The decision is currently in the hands of the DWP who make their decision not only on your level of disability, but on whether you have used the right words in your application….. (Cynical I know, but that is how it appears).

I also had numerous deadlines to meet that I missed, because the time I had set aside to write I had to use to fill out forms, gather supporting evidence, see the doctor, fit in physio appointments, and chase around trying to find an agency willing to help me refine what I’d put in the forms. It was a total miracle that we managed to get appropriate help in time (The DWP give you 4 weeks to return the forms…. and they take a week of that time to arrive)

I still haven’t met my deadlines, I’m exhausted, and my body is protesting wildly. I need to sleep, but pain is keeping me awake.  I need to read stuff, but my eyes won’t let me.

But, we’ve found out who our friends are, and we are blessed with many. They have given us meals, lent us their homes, let us do washing and stood with us in prayer.

I have bored my Facebook friends witless with photos and updates on the building work - but bless them, they have liked each posting and made encouraging comments without any complaint of “enough already!”
My New Favourite Place
My twitter friends haven’t had to endure this to same same degree - be thankful!

But the building work is now complete - we had a great builder who project managed to whole process, and all the different people who had to come in to do all sorts of things. They did their best to make it as painless as possible. All that remains is a lot of painting for hubby to do(!)

So, to all who have been with us in prayer, supported us, fed us, and lent us their homes - Thankyou. We love you and appreciate you.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Thankyou To Some Wonderful People

We have just come back from our second week of camp - I was grateful to have a week in between the two weeks of camp to recover a little!

I have been impressed by the wonderful leaders we had on the camps. The last camp was for the youngest campers - so more tiring, especially when many of the leaders had done the previous camp. 

The tent leaders worked hard…. very hard! They made themselves available to the children, and they didn’t complain when doing extra chores such as cleaning toilets, washing the huge cooking pans, laying tables for breakfast late at night etc.

I was blessed by them, and so were the campers.

They  knew how to have fun - and pulled the campers into that fun. They made me laugh out loud every day.

They also loved Jesus so much - they wanted the kids to know about him too…. the seeds of an evangelistic heart.

As I looked at these leaders, many of them quite young, I thought - “the future of kids work at our church is in safe hands”.

It was good to see a range of gifts coming to the fore - not just the up front ones, but gifts that keep the essential background stuff going and the camps running safely.

As an ageing children’s worker living in a world where it feels as though everyone wants to be a worship leader rather than a children’s worker - that did my heart good!

But on a more personal note - I was blessed by how the leaders related to me. Even as an older, disabled leader, I felt accepted.

I often feel guilty because I can’t do the extra stuff and end up sitting down whilst all the extra work goes on around me. On a site where I can’t use a wheelchair, my energy gets used up quickly. If I have £5 worth of energy, £3 is used up just getting to the showers, getting ready and then across to the 7.30 leader’s meeting. That leaves me with £2 worth of energy for the rest of the day….

I didn’t have to explain any of that to these lovely leaders - they just accepted my limitations, no questions asked, and that tells me another important thing…
The gift of a servant heart - so vital in children’s work - is alive and well in the leaders of Activate camp.

Thankyou all - you blessed my socks off!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

It's Fibromyalgia awareness day.

As my lovely hubby said: "I think you're aware of it every day!"

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Just Call Me Kay

I have come across folk with disabilities who have scared me witless.

This is not because of their disability, but their attitude to those around them.

When I’m doing disability consultancy I fear being summoned by them. It’s terrifying waiting for them to access what I have put in place because I know I will get a tirade if I have got something wrong - even a small thing. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Talk to me... Sensibly

Having said yesterday about the ‘arm strokers’, there are some folk who are the exact opposite.

Some people won’t come near me, or my other disabled friends. They will give a wide berth, look away quickly and avoid any eye contact.

Some will stare from a distance

Monday, 13 April 2015

Arm Stroking Christians

I tend to view my body as my own.

I don't think I'm unusual in that.

Only those with permission or those who I count as friends and trust are allowed to touch, even if it’s only a hand on my shoulder.

This is for many reasons….. 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

“People In Wheelchairs are Weird”

“People In Wheelchairs are Weird”

Yes, somebody actually said this. Horrendous isn’t it?

Let me add some context to the comment.

A young friend of mine uses a wheelchair. He’s a bright kid with a wicked sense of humour and was attending one of the children’s programmes last week. In his team was a little girl who asked a few questions about him and then announced, in surprised fashion, that he was actually quite ‘normal’. One of the leaders in the team gently asked why she was surprised by this. Her answer was worrying: “My mum says people in wheelchairs are weird. But he isn’t”.