Tag Archives: Daughter

My Little Piece Of Heaven

My Little Piece Of Heaven

She’s my little piece of heaven
Smiling back at me
She’s my little piece of heaven
For all the world to see

I watched her come into this world
And I saw her take her first breath
I watched her open her beautiful eyes
And I saw her clench her tiny fist

I marvelled at her first walk
And test the world with a fingers touch
I stood in amazement at her first words
Said with a smile upon her tiny face

Now she growing up
Ten years passes so, so quickly
And I was there in the water
As You my Lord washed her clean
That was the gift You bestowed upon me
Wherever this walk of mine may take me
Through the years still to come
I’ll love her so everyday
And I thank you Lord for her life

She’ll always be my little piece of heaven
Smiling back at me
She’ll always be my little piece of heaven
For all the world to see

My Awesome Day

I have to say that so far this has been the most awesome Easter Day ever, for me it feels like a day of total redemption.

This coming Tuesday I will be celebrating 4 years sober, which in its self is a massive achievement, that I am both proud of and thankful for the strength of God to make it through this far.

But it was the events that led up to that in the preceding weeks, that are first and foremost in my thoughts following the events of today. Eleven days before that last drink, I found myself wanting to end my own life, to give up on everything, I felt so worthless and was convinced that my family and Victoria would be better off without me. I stood facing the mirror with a knife against my wrist, going through all these thoughts of worthlessness.

Then out of nowhere I heard a voice that said “It’s better that your kids live with who you are now, than what they are going to find!”

I remember seeing a vision of myself dead in a bath of blood and knowing that my six year old daughter would have been the one to come looking and find me. After that I put down the knife.

That started the process of seeking help, praying and discovering God, becoming sober and starting to attend Church.

So today just over four years on from that day I had the amazing experience of Baptising my now 10 year old daughter. Eve asked to be baptised so Victoria asked if I could be in the pool and do the actual baptism, which I am thankful I was able to do.

It was an amazing experience and very emotional, afterwards so many people came up to say that they had shed a tear whilst watching. I am so thankful I got that chance to do this for my daughter, it was an amazing experience for her too. She recorded a testimony video which was shown on the screen, she stated she wanted to be baptised because she wanted to do something that Jesus had done!

Eve - waiting

Eve – waiting

Eve - baptised

Eve – baptised

For me this feels like I put aside some of my guilt, my torment of what I did and became, the pain of that day four years ago now seems so distant, as I say, it feels like total redemption. To be able to do this and on Easter Sunday, celebrating Christ’s sacrifice and rising from the dead, is so special.

To top it off, my Mum and Dad attended Church. My Dad is now recovering well from his heart bypass operation, he’s still not able to drive for a few weeks, so my friends from my Connect Group chipped in to collect them and take them home. My Dad stated that he usually only goes to Church for weddings, funerals etc, but I have a feeling that he actually enjoyed it, although I’m not sure he was quite ready for the way we do church, neither of them have ever been to a Church like ours before. Although I’ve got a feeling they will be back, they brought my niece too, who went into Kids Church, she absolutely loved it, so I’ve got a feeling she will want to come back too.

So roll on now Tuesday evening, I have arranged for a number of the guys from Church, who have been amazing supporters on my four year journey to join me for a meal in town to celebrate, it’s going to be a great evening, I can’t wait.

My life may not be perfect, but at the moment it feels amazing.

All because of the sacrifice of the one, the one who conquered death.

MERCY TREE by LACEY STURM
On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broke and weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole

Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation brought the mercy tree

In the sky, between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Bruised and battered, scarred and scorned
Sacred Hands pierced by our thorns

It is finished was his cry
The perfect Lamb was crucified
The sacrifice, our victory.
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth ‘quaked at love’s display
Three days silence in the ground
This body born for Heaven’s crown

On that bright and glorious day
Heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed
Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

One day soon we’ll see His face
And every tear, He’ll wipe a way
No more pain or suffering
Oh, praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

Crossing Roads Like A Child

As you know I rarely travel without my iPod and if I’m alone, I almost always have it on.  As I don’t drive, I get plenty of walking time to and from work, church, etc.  My playlist is compiled of mainly Christian music and a number of other songs that I find uplifting or inspiring, even if they are not by Christian artist or have a Christian theme.

So I’m not actually sure when I started doing this, but it’s something that I noticed myself doing a few weeks back.  That is, when I hear a song which provokes a strong feeling or message to me, I find myself walking with my left arm outstretched to my side and my hand firmly clenched.

As I say, I don’t actually know when I started doing it or even why, I just realised one morning that I was doing it and that it wasn’t actually the first time.  I knew it felt as though I was reaching out to hold the hand of the Lord, I knew that is what I was doing, I just didn’t really know why I was doing it.

Then yesterday I took my daughter into town to pick up a few things and meet a friend and his daughters for a coffee.  When my daughter was younger she would hold my hand all the time, when we were walking together, now she is eight she’s happy to walk alongside me, or should I say run alongside me, due to my habit of walking fast.  Yet I am content for her to cross the road without holding my hand, as long as I know she is by my side and it is safe to do so.

But yesterday, after crossing many roads within the town, we came to a slightly busier road, she was by my side and when it was clear I looked across to her and said okay let’s cross and we set off.

It was at that point that I felt her reach out with her left hand and tightly grasp my wrist as we crossed the road.

There was no danger, we had already crossed many roads, it was safe to cross, I wouldn’t cross with her if it wasn’t, if I felt she was worried I would have reached out myself and taken her hand.

I guess she reached out for security, to feel safe, though she had crossed many roads with me there, this time she needed the comfort of holding on to me, to make sure she made it across safely.

It was then that I realised she did exactly what I had been doing, reaching out for the security of the Father to get through when I felt insecure.

A few weeks ago I came off the anti-depressants, since then I have suffered from dizzy spells, although these are becoming less frequent, there are times where I guess I still need to feel that security, that I although I may have already crossed many roads, I still need to know that I can reach out and grab the hand of the Father to feel safe when crossing the busier roads.

It’s funny how we learn things, yesterday I learnt from the actions of a child, that even now I am still a child that needs the comfort of the Father.

WALK WITH ME by JESUS CULTURE
Author of the world walk with me
Ruler of the earth walk with me
Calmer of the storm walk with me
Healer of my heart walk with me

How I need You, how I need You
Oh Jesus, walk with me

Light for every step walk with me
Giver of each breath walk with me

How I need You, how I need You
Oh Jesus, walk with me

How I love You, how I love You
Oh Jesus, walk with me

In Your presence Lord, there is peace, there is rest
In Your presence Lord, there is light that never ends

In Your presence Lord, there is joy, there is joy
In Your presence Lord, there is light that never ends

New Student, New Spark

I’ve been teaching karate now for the past 25 years, with no more than a few weeks break in that time.  I took over the club, along with a colleague back in 1989, I was a mere 15 years old and my club mate just 17, he was the main instructor and I was the assistant, but that still meant that I had more teaching duties than training opportunities.   By the mid nineties, I had taken over the majority of the teaching, before eventually taking over the club on my own almost 10 years ago.

I’ve had good times and bad during those years, it’s not been plain sailing, it’s been hard work and a lot of time, indeed a lot of my life has been given over to it, at one point I was teaching everyday of the week, at the club, at schools and at a University, but on average it’s been five times a week that I’ve been out of the house teaching classes.

Many times, I considered why do I do it, many times I questioned do I want to keep doing it.  I spent many years doubting myself and my credibility, I was such a young instructor, I never saw myself as being taken seriously or whether I would get the respect I deserved, but over the years my reputation in competition and the results of my students, proved what I was about and I got beyond that doubt.

There have been times when I’ve been worn out and just needed a spark to reignite the fire inside, usually something happens to breathe new life into the club and into me.  For a long while karate was the only place I felt the good side of me came out, when I went through my real dark years of drinking and hardly working, karate was the only thing I had my head on straight for and only time I would never drink was before teaching, it was simply the only place I felt normal and of some worth, somewhere I still had something to give.

Over the last year I have scaled down my involvement, I have an able assistant who is more than capable of handling classes without me.  Back in November I took a step back when I was struggling, Steve took over teaching for a few months and gave me some time to get my head straight.  Since the New Year I have been back teaching, but I’ve not had a real fire for it for some time, I enjoy it still, but I can’t say I’ve been giving my all, it needed a spark to reignite the fire.

So last night, when I got home from work, out of the blue my daughter came to me and asked if she could come to karate!  She did a few class a few years ago, but only because her friend tried it, but since then she’s not really been interested.  My son trained for a few years, but after a while decided he didn’t want to do it any more, I was disappointed, but I would never force him to do it if he didn’t want to.

So Eve shocked me when she asked out the blue and tonight she was so excited.  It was her first class this evening, we walked there together (well I walked, she jogged along side), she joined in the class, the class was split between me and Steve, she was in Steve’s class, but she was okay with that.  When we walked home, I got a full run down of her class, what she did, what she got wrong and also everyone else got wrong too.

And when we got home she was quick to show me what she had learnt, she’s ready for the next class on Saturday now.

Maybe, this is the spark I need, I don’t want to go back to the five times a week I was doing before, I don’t need to, but I do want to get back a little of the old hunger, I guess retiring from competition last year hasn’t helped, but just maybe, I’ve got a second wind.

SET A FIRE by JESUS CULTURE
Set a fire down in my soul
That I can’t contain and I can’t control
I want more of You God, I want more of You God.

There’s no place I’d rather be
There’s no place I’d rather be
There’s no place I’d rather be
Than here in your love, here in your love

Set a fire down in my soul
That I can’t contain and I can’t control
I want more of You God, I want more of You God.

Love of God overflow
Permeate all my soul

School Plays

Tonight I have attended my first school play as a parent, most have taken place when I’ve been at work or simply when I was hiding from the world, behind the curtains of my alcoholism.

My daughter had a small part in the play, with a couple of well delivered lines and as she says, the best part in the play, what she meant was she got to spray water in the face of the main character!

I have to say for a group of seven, eight and nine year olds, it was an excellent production of Aladdin, even if it was a little late for a pantomime!  Nevertheless every one involved must have put in an enormous effort to pull off such a great performance.

My daughter is singing and dancing mad, I’m sure this won’t be her last play and hopefully not the last one I get to see, now I’m alive again I intend to see many more and experience the proud parent feeling once agin.

SHOW ME WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR by CAROLINA LIAR
Wait, I’m wrong
Should’ve done better than this
Please, I’ll be strong
I’m finding it hard to resist
So show me what Im looking for

Save me, I’m lost
Oh lord, I’ve been waiting for you
I’ll pay any cost
Save me from being confused

Show me what I’m looking for
Show me what I’m looking for
Oh lord

Don’t let go
I’ve wanted this far too long
Mistakes become regrets
I’ve learned to love abuse
Please show me what I’m looking for

Save me, I’m lost
Oh lord, I’ve been waiting for you
I’ll pay any cost
Save me from being confused

Show me what I’m looking for
Show me what I’m looking for
Oh lord

Show me what I’m looking for
Show me what I’m looking for
Show me what I’m looking for

Save me, I’m lost
Oh lord, I’ve been waiting for you
I’ll pay any cost
Just save me from being confused

Wait, I’m wrong
I can’t do better than this
I’ll pay any cost
Save me from being confused

Show me what I’m looking for
Show me what I’m looking for
Show me what I’m looking for
Show me what I’m looking for
Oh lord

An Eight Year Old’s One Direction Birthday!

It would seem my daughter’s eighth birthday turned out to be a One Direction themed birthday, to say she has a One Direction obsession is an understatement.  Almost half the cards were One Direction, some of the clothes were One Direction and the pièce de résistance, a singing One Direction tooth brush, really who came up with that idea?

More One Direction

More One Direction

A Singing Toothbrush!

A Singing Toothbrush!

This is my favourite photo of my daughter, together with our old dog “Wylie Burp”, he would lay there and let her just sit on his back for ages, she would only have been around two years old at the time.

Best Of Friends

Best Of Friends

BEAUTIFUL by MERCYME
Days will come when you don’t have the strength
When all you hear is you’re not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart
They’d see too much

You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You’re beautiful

and Praying that you have the heart to fight
Cuz you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you’ve held inside so long
and they are nothing in the shadow of the cross

You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You’re beautiful

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You’re the one He madly loves
Enough to die

You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
In His eyes

You’re beautiful
You were meant for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You were meant for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are treasured
You are sacred
You are His

Sorry Duck!!!

Okay, so I guess most of you are wondering where I’m going with this post title!  Is he really going to post about a dishevelled looking duck?

Well no, I’m not, if you’ve ever had the misfortune to spend a small amount of time in my tiny corner of Nottinghamshire, you may be familiar with the term.

For some reason native Nottinghamshire folk, use the word DUCK as a term of endearment, not just a male to female thing, but even men call other men duck.  I know this may seem strange, but I grew up with it, I must add I never use it to another man, but I have used the term Duck to women.

It’s quite common to receive your change in a shop and either hear from the shop assistant or to actually say “Ta Duck”.  Just our local saying, I guess equivalent to thanks love or thanks dear!

I did actually use the phrase “Ta Duck” to an old woman on a bus in Sydney, Australia, she looked at me as if I was an escaped lunatic.  My England Team mates, who were all from London, thought it was highly hilarious!

The younger generation around here don’t really use it these days, but the older generation, the native Nottinghamshire folk still use it.

A couple of weeks ago I took my daughter to the shop one evening, she’s only seven (although she turns eight on Sunday), as we walked back and came up to the corner of our street, a young lad ran around the corner and startled my daughter!  He immediately apologized by saying “Sorry Duck!”

We carried on and crossed the road.  As we walked my daughter turned to me with her serious thinking face and stated “Dad, he just called me a duck, I’m not a duck I’m a GIRL!”

Well I couldn’t help but laugh, she had never heard the phrase before, she was deadly serious, I tried explaining it, but she wasn’t having it, she categorically stated she wasn’t a duck, but a girl!

When she got home, she went straight to her mum and as young kids do, told her the story at one hundred miles an hour without pausing for breath, I knew what she meant, yet I couldn’t keep up with her story.  Victoria tried to explain, but there really was no point, she wouldn’t have it!

“I’M NOT A DUCK, I’M A GIRL!”

So if you ever manage to make it to Nottinghamshire, please do not be offended if someone calls you “Duck”, we mean no offence, it’s just the way some of us speak.

I guess Hollywood left that out of all those Robin Hood films, I can’t recall Kevin Costner calling Morgan Freeman duck at any point in Prince of Thieves, it just goes to prove that you can’t believe everything Hollywood tells you.

In honour of my daughter, I’ve selected God’s Great Dance Floor, the last time I played this at home, she promptly broke out into the “Carlton Dance” (you know the one from Fresh Prince of Bel Air), wished I’d videoed that one!

GOD’S GREAT DANCE FLOOR by CHRIS TOMLIN
I’m coming back to the start
Where You found me
I’m coming back to Your heart
Now I surrender

Take me
This is all I can bring

I’m coming back to the start
Our God is freedom
And here we feel Your heart
Your heartbeat for us

Take me
This is all I can bring

You’ll never stop loving us
No matter how far we run
You’ll never give up on us
All of heaven shouts
Let the future begin

Let the future begin

Take me
This is all I can bring

You’ll never stop loving us
No matter how far we run
You’ll never give up on us
All of heaven shouts
Let the future begin

I feel alive
I come alive
I am alive
On God’s great dance floor

I feel alive
I come alive
I am alive
On God’s great dance floor

I feel alive
I come alive
I am alive
On God’s great dance floor

I feel alive
I come alive
I am alive
On God’s great dance floor

I feel alive
I come alive
I am alive
On God’s great dance floor

And Now!

For those who are interested, this is how my daughter looks now.

Eve Now

Eve Now

This was taken back in March, on the day she was off school sick and we went into town then to Church to help with the setting up of a conference, that was the same day I found out about my first Nanna’s passing,  she kept we sane for a while!

Look around, look around
Tell me can you see
All the wonder in the world
Is reason to believe
That there is something more
A love we can’t ignore
Behind the beauty
(Behind The Beauty by Josh Wilson)

Just A Baby, Growing Up To Quickly

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

Last week my daughter ran into the room brandishing a photo in her hand, when she calmed down from her hysterical laughter we found she had this picture of herself when she was just a few months old, she couldn’t actually believe it was her and that she may of actually looked like that once.

Eve

Eve

This was taken almost seven years ago, doesn’t time fly, now she’s seven going on seventeen, a real madame at times and at others the most loving little girl you could ever wish for.

There one thing she is expert at and that is giving her Dad a hug when he needs one and just lately he’s needed quite a few.

Days will come when you don’t have the strength
And all you hear is you’re not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart
They’d see too much
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You’re beautiful
(Beautiful by MercyMe)

Say Hello Our Beautiful Daughter

Say Hello Our Beautiful Daughter

So four and half years have passed
Now I’m feeling that nudge a second time
It’s time to get ready once again
For another journey under blue lights
It’s going to be an extremely long night

But I’m hoping it won’t last too long
With none of the stress as the time before
But however long that we have to wait
It’ won’t matter to us, not at all
We’re just eager to say our hellos

The minutes and hours they drag
As the sun slowly rises outside
There’s no panic this time, it’s quite calm
But my heart’s still beating just as frantic
And once again I’m struggling with her pain

But suddenly it all starts to happen
And the midwives all spring into action
It’s getting ever closer and closer
And we’ll be saying hello to new life
To a little baby sister for our Ben

Once again that special moment is here
We rejoice in the miracle once more
For a second time we’re saying our greetings
Wrapped tightly, we hold you so tenderly
Smiling at all the beautiful faces you make
Nice to meet you Eve, our beautiful Daughter

For my daugher Eve, born 9th March 2006.