There is only one person who can do it.

Just had a call from a quiet, caring and loving dad and husband, who is doing his level best at supporting his family in every way he can.  Is he perfect?  Of course not.  Will he always get it ‘right’ (whatever that is)?  not a chance – though it depends on your version of Right.SnapnDrag587

There is only one Dad in that family, only one husband, and he is it. I told him on the phone what an amazing man he is, choosing to steer and love his family through a pretty dark time, picking up the pieces that have fallen off in the storm, carrying them until he is able to fit them back together again – and no doubt praying for better days.  Well done, Phil. (his real name.)

Some of you who read this may be familiar with the letters WWJD.  They stand for ‘What Would Jesus Do?” and are quoted to encourage us to go for the best, the highest standards of behaviour and response to the difficulties of life and that’s fine of course –  but in the more challenging moments WWJD can seem trite, idealistic and thin.  When I’m going through the mill I generally have little idea of what Jesus might do, and as I’m not the Son of God I suspect the comparison may be a little odious.   

My guess is that in Phil’s current environment, with crises beginning to layer themselves on top of each other like some sort of crude toxic lasagne, and no easy answers, WWJD doesn’t instantly spring to mind. What I chose to remind him of was that no matter how difficult the road, his current determination to do the best for his family, his determination to be strong, his obvious and willing commitment to love and support each of them in the way they need and are currently able to handle, deserves a massive ‘Well Done’ from those of us on the sidelines who, though able to help them all a little here and there (and of course doing so) are not walking in Phil’s shoes.

Phil, I think you are a living example of what Jesus would do. You are an amazing dad and husband.  How can any of us do other than commend and honour you, and let you know that regardless of what outcomes there may be from this tough road, you have lived as a powerful example of grace and goodness to us all.

Only Phil can be Phil. And only you can be you. You could do worse than follow Phil’s example, let alone Jesus’. Faithful, loving, humble determined commitment to keep walking, though the road may be marked by significant injustice, deliberate misunderstanding, and a handful other other undeserved wrongs.

That’s called Getting It Right.


What I do when I am DESPERATE.

Know the feeling?


From time to time life takes a turn for the more challenging, and I face a situation that I don’t have an obvious answer to.  I am a ‘natural’ at living on the edge and that is when the unexpected makes me either ‘jump’ or tempts me to ‘blind panic’.  The first is OK, but the second can make matters a lot worse.
At these moments, and I’ve had a good few of them, I’ve learnt a simple procedure that definitely makes a difference…

1. PRAY.

This is not about running away, but taking one step back for a few minutes and opening myself to higher things.  Personally I believe that God is, and likes to be, involved in my life, but evidence shows that even if you don’t believe, prayer and meditation (often called ‘mindfulness’) still has a substantial calming effect on you and will reduce the damaging sense of panic that can ensue from difficult situations. Negative trauma damages your brain, pressuring you to basic fight-or-flight ‘limbic’ behaviour.

Prayer and meditation have been shown to have real and measurable benefits in times of stress.  It is handy for me to have some favourite quotes in my memory ready to lean on and recall as I pray. One reason I’ve meditated on verses and stories in the Bible over the years is so that I’m resourced with ancient, proven, calming, wisdom when things go belly up. It’s “in there” and and the bits I have taken onboard come to the surface when needed. It has also provided me with a reliable guide to what I believe to be fundamentally important for us humans, helping me to prioritise action.


Right. Now you’ve prayed, you can smile. You are not your crisis, but the one person who can initiate change within it, so smile – not least at the irony!   Smiling, and even laughter, changes the chemistry of your body for the better, stimulating the release of empowering hormones to help you deal with the difficulty.  A good reason to smile is that as you look back on this situation in the future you will find all sorts of good in it. The biggest threats to us have within them the biggest lessons – of courage, self-control, and humility. People who look back on some of the most difficult times say they would not swap them for an easier life.


Act towards a solution.  In fact ANY action is better than no action. Your sense of panic has been taken out of circulation, and you’re smiling. The next stage involves PHYSICAL ACTION (mental action will not do), for instance, phoning or emailing someone, going to the bank or supermarket, getting your stepladder out of the garage, or going to the hospital, doctor, head teacher or boss. Act towards a solution.  Start the invasion and watch what happens.

If you’re facing a serious situation alone, or simply want to move beyond the irritating or confining status quo, that’s what I’m here for. Call me.  I’ve got space in my diary for you. We can work on it (in confidence) together.


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