Wednesday, 8 May 2013

"Do You like my Shrims"

A funny thing happened the other weekend. I was really hungry (which is not unusual for me, I love to eat!!) Anyway, I was looking for something yummy to have for lunch. I saw we had mushrooms in the fridge and decided mushrooms on toast would be delicious. Being married for only a few months, I didn't know if my husband Thane liked mushrooms too; if he did, I’d make him some.

So I went up to him and said with all the enthusiasm of a hungry woman about to make something delicious and asked: “Do you like mushrooms?” He looked at me a little puzzled and seemed very hesitant to answer. So I replied, “I’ll take that as a no.” Still a little hesitantly, he replied; “Well, I would if I knew what they were.” In amazement I said; “Mushrooms! You don’t know what mushrooms are?”

He then burst into laughter and could hardly speak to tell me what he was thinking. Through his laughter I managed to find out that he had misunderstood what I asked him. He thought I came bouncing up to him and said “Do you like my shrims?”  His immediate thought was that he loved everything about me, but he wasn't sure what my shrims were. He stood there feeling puzzled at which part of my body my shrims would be!!!

We both fell into fits of laughter and still get a giggle from that memory.

How easy is it to get muddled up sometimes in our communications with others? It so easily happens that we misunderstand what the other person says or does. Have you ever caught yourself stewing about something in a relationship you have with someone you care about?

If you were to believe that it’s possible you may have misunderstood….

What could be different?

Warm regards
Helen French

An Unexpected Gift

An unexpected gift

My heart is aching and I don’t know why,
Seems that the past will sometimes tie,
My hands behind my back and pull,
Haunting my mind with emotions full.

I search inside me for the cause,
And try from my busyness to pause
And so I write and attempt to reveal
Why this ache my happiness did steal

I write my feelings and let them flow
Hoping that the deepest source will show
And help me know what next to do
With the cause of my uneasiness full in view

Why when my life is filled with joy
Does this ache creep in and my peace destroy,
I want to fight it away and push it back
But something inside me says; “give yourself some slack”

So I allow myself to feel and write
Letting thoughts flow, bringing my heart’s desires to light,
As I find them my mind calms; peace does flow,
It’s then I realise that this ache is not my foe

Rather it is a friend, a loving gift,
A time where my heart and soul can lift,
I go on now, and keep smiling a whole lot longer,
Knowing that my ache brought a message that made me stronger.

by Helen French

If you were to believe that the emotions you may be feeling have a message for you that will help you......

what could be different?

warm wishes
Helen French

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Don't get down, get determined!

Today I watched my 10 year old son play his first soccer game of the season. Despite his team losing, for most of the first half they played really well. As the other team got more goals, I watched as the team started to get discouraged; especially the goalie. His whole body language changed, his shoulders drooped and he lost enthusiasm to try as hard to stop the ball entering the goal. This of course meant the other team scored more goals. The more discouraged my sons team got, the more goals the other team scored.

At half time, the coaches gathered the team around them and tried to cheer them up, urging them not to lose heart. One of the children on the team told the coach that the other team were laughing and teasing them because they were losing. The coach told the team to get determined and show them their talent. He told them if they wanted to annoy the other team, get out there and score goals and show them what they are made of.
Isn't that a bit like life?

We either get down or get determined!

Life will always have its moments when we feel like we are losing, running uphill or not being appreciated for who we are. We either let it get us down and we stop and retreat into the shadows of our best selves or we take a deep breath and figure out how we can get determined to find resolution.

I saw the perfect example of getting determined today, as I got the chance to know a beautiful lady with Multiple Sclerosis. She has plenty of reasons to get down and to feel like giving up but she has chosen the opposite attitude. She embraces all opportunities to find ways to carry on with life, regardless of her MS. She is in a wheelchair and she was excited to show her new car that has recently been fitted out with a lift for her chair and special handle bars to help her maneuver in and out of the car. It also has hand controls so that she can accelerate and brake with her hands.

She told me of the many things she had to do that afternoon. As she told me I realised how many times she would get in and out of the car and lift her wheel chair in and out. I was so inspired. I find it hard when I am tired to find the energy to get all my 'to do' things done and I have the full use of my body!! I took a moment to reflect on how much I take my freedom for granted. When I choose to be determined to overcome what I find difficult, I feel a whole lot better about myself and a whole lot more confident in what I can achieve!

If you were to believe that there was a way to find determination….
What could be different?

Warmest wishes
Helen French

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Dancing in the Rain

I love all kinds of music. I was driving to pick up my children today and I listened to a song called "Dancing in the Rain" by Hilary Weeks. This is a new CD I have purchased so that's why I have put her songs in two of my posts now!:) I am enjoying them!! You can listen to it on this link 

..Anyway "Dancing in the Rain" is an upbeat song that made me smile and it brought back for me a beautiful memory that I want to share with you.

About 20 years ago, my little family lived in Sydney. At that time, my husband and I had two little boys, Aden 3 yrs and Jesse 1 year old. We were absolutely broke and life was extremely hard. One rainy day while my husband went out to look for work, I was home with my two beautiful boys. It was raining and we had no money. I found 50 cents while cleaning up. I was anxious to get out of the house and try to find some reason to be happy and have hope that things would get better. I looked out at the rain and decided that the rain was exactly what we needed to have some fun!

I said to Aden "Let's go for a walk to the shop and buy a bag of lollies with this 50 cents". He said " But Mummy it's raining!" to which I excitedly replied . "Yes it is, that's exactly why we have to go now. There are so many puddles waiting for us to jump in them, let's go and have some fun!" His face lit up with excitement, he ran to get his little brother Jesse and told him that we were going to jump in puddles. Jesse just grinned!

So we found Aden's raincoat and what looked like a little snow suit for Jesse. They looked gorgeous. Off we went on our adventure. It was a boring old suburb, and a dumpy old shop we were heading to....but to us it was the adventure of a life time. We found every puddle and jumped until we were very wet and extremely happy!

I wouldn't trade that day for anything. No money could replace that memory and our laughter that day. It was the rain, the financial hardship and living far away from family that made me seek out something so simple to help put sunshine into our day. 

                                 Aden and Jesse Playing after our adventure to the shop

Having a bath to get clean again!

I am so glad that day I believed there was something to smile about.

If you were to believe there is always something to smile about....
what would be different?

warmest wishes

Helen French

Monday, 15 April 2013

Beautiful Heartbreak -

I have a strong belief that it is through our deepest challenges that we grow the most and find the best within ourselves. This song "Beautiful Heartbreak" by Hilary Weeks ( from her album Every Step), beautifully expresses my own experience. 


In the deepest moments of my own heartache, I used to pray for my Heavenly Father to take me home.
 He knew me better than I knew myself. Day by day, step by tiny step, as I asked him to help me; I grew stronger and wiser and eventually happier than I ever knew was possible. 

As depicted in Hilary Weeks song and film clip, all of us have some kind of struggle we go through. 
I am inspired by the stories of others who overcome their trials with dignity and patience. It is the real life stories such as this one below from Stephanie Neilson that have inspired me to never give up and to be thankful for all that I have.


If you were to believe that your life has purpose....
What could be different for you?

warmest wishes

Welcome to my blog!

My name is Helen French. About 3 years ago I read a book called "Change Your Questions Change Your Life" by Wendy Watson Nelson
( Deseret Books) In this book the author talks of how asking yourself the question "If I were to believe...." can open up new possibilities for anyone who tries it. Asking myself this question has changed my life!

Four and a half years ago, my husband left me after 21 years of marriage. We had six beautiful children, five of whom were still at home. My world seemed to crumble around me with the many consequences of his actions during and after our marriage. For some time, I struggled in my own pain and loneliness with the added heartache I had for my children. I was anxious as to how I could possibly be all that my children needed and I struggled to fight off feelings of worthlessness. There are many things I have learnt over the past years to help me heal and leave behind the heartache of the past. 

This question "If I were to believe....” was one powerful thing that helped me turn my thinking around. It helped me begin to believe I was deserving of good things. 

When I found myself feeling discouraged, lonely or drained, I would ask myself:

 "If I were to believe....that I am a good mother and I am doing all I can for my children right now; what would I be able to do differently?" As I pondered an answer I would decide; "Well, I would stop sitting here feeling they are helpless and wounded and I would get up and go have fun with them." Then, I would do just that, despite our heartache, we have laughed a heck of a lot since then. This has helped us all move on.

When I found myself feeling alone and wondering if I would ever have someone I love to share my life with, I would ask myself: "If I were to believe that I will one day meet a man that I love and who loves me with all his heart and treats me with respect and kindness, what would I do differently today?" My answer to myself would be; "Well if I really believed that, I'd get up and be happy. How exciting! If good things are coming I would want to be ready for them?" I decided that I needed to be the kind of person that I was looking for, so that I could give my whole heart too and not come to a new relationship wounded and downhearted. 

Thinking like this made me smile, it gave me energy to get up and be positive. I didn't think about looking for a man, I thought about what I could do to be the best version of me. I knew also that if I never did meet someone, then the worst that could happen by  asking myself "If I were to believe..." was that I would become a better person each day with a stronger way of thinking. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Has "If I were to believe...."made a difference in my life? Well my children and I are still laughing and ever moving forward and on December 8th, 2012; I married a man I love with all my heart. He treats me with gentleness, love, kindness and respect. He knows and loves me deeply and we laugh a lot together! My children love him too and with his 13 year old son added to my family, we now have 7 children and we are still smiling!

What could be different for you if you asked....

If I were to believe....

Warmest wishes

Helen French