I thought it would be different…

I thought this would be different. Feel different. Loosing my mum.

Like I had envisioned one version of the plan, but in reality what we are facing is very different. I thought even my grief could be beautiful. Like the joy of mum’s life would perfectly balance with the sorrow of her absence.

I thought my faith would help buffer the pain of missing my mum. In a way, it does. I couldn’t fathom doing this season of loss without God. But in many other ways, the grief is just that: grief.

I thought I would feel relieved. Relieved that my mum is no longer suffering. That she is in Heaven with God now. I thought I would feel prepared to say goodbye to mum, because we were grieving already seeing her so unwell.

I don’t feel anything like I expected. I definitely don’t feel relieved, even though she is in Heaven. I’m sure she is relieved though!! No more pain. No more disease. No more sorrow. Just pure joy. Even so…I’m not feeling relief.

I thought I’d feel different. Yet, I don’t feel like myself at all. I feel sad and lost. I feel grief. Especially now that mum has passed away, the weight of the grief of the past few months is beginning to sink in. It’s just….sad. And numb. Sad and numb and strangely enough- in shock! Yes, despite months of preparation I feel shocked she actually died! How can that be?

Maybe it’s ok to just feel sad? To not have to dress up the grief and try and make it look beautiful? Maybe, for today…I can actually just allow myself to miss my mum.

My mum only lived in Alice Springs with us for 9 days. Yet, because of her time in our home everything reminds me of her. The clothes that belonged to her, now feel misplaced as they are left in the draws unworn.

Her room now is lonely, without my mum in there.

Even the calendar she insisted we buy her, brings both joy and sadness. I say joy because mum was planning her future well into 2020. She was so determined that she would have an incredible adventure in Alice Springs. I’m so proud of her determination to never give up! But followed by my admiration for my mum’s courage, is a sadness that she never made it to see in the New year!

My mum passed away early hours of the morning on December 28th.

After living with mum for 3 months, it feels odd not having her here. For 3 months, she was my focus….And now, life is meant to return to normal. But this journey is etched in my heart forever. I’m different. Like the geography of my heart has changed.

Some days feel normal. Some moments are normal. And life will eventually settle into a new normal. But then the moments will come where I feel another level of loss.

Like my first birthday that mum won’t call.

Like the next time I find out that I’m pregnant, and she’s not here to call her to let her know.

Then her birthday. The anniversary of her dying. The next time someone serves me pavlova- and I remember that no one makes pavlova like my mum!!

There are so many moments that haven’t been what I pictured. Some are little and insignificant in the large scheme of things. Other moments and situations will take time to process and grieve.

But ultimately, life rarely is what we pictured it to be. Isn’t that true?

Even with the many things that fill our heart with joy and love, life is not a movie scene. It is real and raw.

Life is full of unpredictable moments, so why am I so surprised that grief is any different?

Look at that woman! So beautiful.

As we prepare to celebrate her life at her funeral, I guess I can acknowledge the value of this messy grief. It’s real. People grieve all the time. For many reasons. Right now, it’s our families turn. We can grieve. Then one day…we can comfort others who are grieving.

Love always Kelly xx

Full of Hope, yet feeling hopeless.

I was grumpy today.

Ever had a day where you felt grumpy, and it takes you longer than it should to stop being grumpy? 😂 Well, that was me.

I think that my emotions are struggling to cope with the tension building in my heart. That’s why Will has to put up with grumpy Kelly. “Sorry husband!”

I’m struggling to cope with my mum’s disease: the cancer that takes more than just your lifespan.

I’m finding it hard witnessing what the cancer is stealing from her. Like a thief that comes back repeatedly to take more. The cancer cannot resist taking “one more thing” from my mum.

It has taken her energy. Her appetite. It has taken her independence: her ability to cook, clean and even to make a cup of coffee.

Actually, she can’t even drink coffee now! My mum can no longer hold a cup without spilling it. Her hands are jerky and release their grip on whatever she’s holding. Anything hot would spill all over her, and scold her frail body.

Like I say to mum as a joke: “Not on my watch!” I’m content with my track record of keeping mum safe! 😉😆😂😘

I’m finding it hard to cope with the frustration I feel, because now mum is loosing more to cancer.

I think I feel particularly devastated as my hope seems to have fled the scene too.

You see, for the past 2 weeks mum has felt pretty well. Like she was reclaiming some of the things that have been taken from her by cancer.

She regained her appetite for food, and her appetite for life. She felt strong. She felt less tired. She felt like God was giving her a “time extension”, a miracle in the making. I believed it was possible, too.

And while I am forever grateful for these past 2 weeks, now I feel drained. Like our miracle has evaporated before we could actually take hold of it.

At first, we assumed that mum’s decline in health was due to her feeling tired after her flight to move to Alice Springs.

Then we thought that perhaps the heat was sapping mum of her strength.

Maybe a little extra rest would make her feel better?

But then the symptoms began to add up….

You see, mum isn’t just tired. The shaking and jerky hands have kicked back in. Mum’s appetite has disintegrated again. She struggles to get up out of chairs. She’s afraid of falling. Her legs are horrifically swollen with fluid. Her legs weigh so much, and they stubbornly refuse to lift up without assistance.

And now I have to watch as my mum begins to struggle processing things.

Like how my mum struggled to play Uno tonight.

I got excited to play Uno as a whole family. Mum was excited to join in. It was a nice family activity, but her mind betrayed her. She couldn’t do it. Nothing made sense. She wanted to put a red card on top of a blue, without being the same number. She couldn’t focus on whose turn it was to draw 2, once the card was put down.

I felt so sad for her. My mum is very clever, but her mind is struggling to focus.

All of these things make me feel helpless, and hopeless. How much more can we loose?

All that remains is one thing: our faith in God. Knowing that mum and I are on the same team: Team Jesus! 😀😀😀😀😀

I guess what I’m saying is that: I feel hopeless. Yet, I have Hope that pulls me out of the pit of despair. His name is Jesus.

“Lord please help me. I’m so sad. I’m confused. But I know that this story isn’t going to end here. Thank you that cancer can’t change who You are. But please help my mum cope with this next part of the journey. Please comfort both of us. Please be with everyone who loves my mum and is dealing with their own sadness. Please let all those who mourn, see You for who you are: the God who conforts. Please let the hope that my mum has in you be contagious. Please fill us with your peace. Give us hope for a future with you in Heaven.”

Love always Kelly xx

Holy Spirit, have no limits in my life.

You know, I’m not very confident when it comes to explaining the things of God.

How can I capture the message of the Bible and explain it to others?

I know it in my heart, but when I try to share the good news about what God has done for us- I seem to fail with my words.

But my life testimony cannot ever fail!!! My words may seem silly and clumsy at times, but my heart is on fire and full of Praise for what God has done in my life.

My life story will be that God is real. No matter what we go through: God will never leave us or forsake us.

He saved me from living a life of despair and emptiness. That may sound dramatic or offensive, but I feel it in my spirit.

Firstly, God gave me the gift of an exceptionally incredible husband: William Knott.

The gift of his love was one of the ways God changed my future. Because my highest dreams as a 12 year old girl was to have a baby. I never dreamt a man could ever love me: so I assumed I would have to be a single mum.

My biggest dream was to be a single mum, because I believed my child would love me. Do you see the potential for problems here??😂

Children rarely demonstrate the kind of love a mother needs. Children do love their parents, but if that’s the only source of your love…at some point you will feel completely unloved.

I know that my life had so many opportunities to be a train wreck. The level of my brokenness without God is something I know very well. My self esteem has been minimal since I can remember.

I also come from a background of people who turned to alcohol for comfort. I know that as a single mum, with all of my brokenness and self-esteem issues, I could have easily turned to alcohol for comfort on a daily basis.

But God knew. He knew my weaknesses and brokenness, and gave me a husband that encourages me. God gave me a husband who would hold my hand and lead me back to Jesus, when I was a young girl.

I am still broken in many ways, but God is slowly mending me. Putting back together the pieces of my heart that were fractrured. I still need comfort, but not from a bottle. God invites me to turn to Him for comfort.❤❤❤

I know that I am incredibly blessed to be married to Will. I don’t deserve a good husband or a happy marriage, but I’m so grateful for it. The gift of a Christian husband has anchored me and saved me from my own broken dreams.

God has given me a hope and a joy that cannot be stolen from me. Especially the promise of salvation and forgiveness from my sins. The guilt and shame I’ve experienced in my life would have threatened to crush me without Jesus! I acknowledge that I’m a hopeless sinner without God.

You may not see it from a distance, but I know my own heart. I know my mistakes and sin. My choices that were selfish or caused harm to others. I know my history….But none of that matters in the face of Jesus! That is why I thank Him!

God has changed my life and my future! Any version of God’s plan for my life is better than my version of the plan!

When my explanations fail or my theology is unpolished: my life will have to be a act of Praise to my heavenly Father.

But I need more.

Even after everything I’ve said above: I need more of God in my life. At any moment, my sinful nature could rise up: and it often does.

Then I come back to God and admit that I’m sorry. I need God’s help to change me. I need to ask for forgiveness. The forgiveness that Jesus gave to the world.

That’s the cry of my heart this morning: “Please Holy Spirit, give me more of you!” “Please produce a spiritual life in me that is only created by You. Help me to put You first. Help me to want to spend time with You. Change me”.

John 3:5 (New living Translation) Jesus replied: “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can only reproduce human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life”.

John 3:34 (NLT)

For he (Jesus) is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. The Father (God) loves his Son (Jesus) and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life”.

“Lord, please take my life and create something new. Holy Spirit please give me a life full of you! You gave Jesus your Spirit, without limit. And I want to be more like Jesus: full of the Holy Spirit!! Please make me a woman of relentless faith. Joyful faith. Contagious faith.”

It’s not too late for anyone.

Maybe today you could tell God that you need Him in your life, just like me.

Ask God to take away your guilt and your shame. Forgive you from your sins.

Ask God to come into your heart. Change you. Ask God to wash you clean. Make you new.

Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins. But the story didn’t end there….

Jesus rose from the grave and came alive again. His gift of forgiveness is a never ending story of love and hope.

Who knows how much joy you could experience, through Jesus?

Not only joy in this life, but the joy that comes from a future in Heaven. Where God will take away all of the pain we experience on Earth. He promises that He will wipe away every year from our eyes. There will be no more sorrow.

God is the God of impossible things, being made possible through Him.

Love always Kelly xx

We are loved.

Today we arrived back home to Alice Springs. It took is 2 days to travel home from Adelaide to Alice Springs, with an overnight stay in Coober Pedy.

One of my close friends called Mikaela offered to come over tonight to bring us dinner. She was so thoughtful, thinking about how we would be exhausted after travelling with our 4 girls.

We were looking forward to it all day, especially after eating junk food and no vegetables for 2 days on the road. A home cooked meal sounded wonderful!❤❤❤

Mikaela briefly texted me to say she was also picking up some “breakfast essentials” for us, to save us from an emergency shopping trip. Again, we were so touched that Mikaela would even think about such things. I definitely wouldn’t have before today!

But I have to tell you…We were blessed beyond measure by her generosity and kindness. To the point of holding back tears these past few hours…

Who could have fathomed how much we would be blessed tonight? Dinner was delicious- and it was a healthy (& child approved) meal.

4 smiles!

Mikaela also supplied us with milk, breakfast items and other fridge essentials. Mikaela and her husband Nate held back no love from us!

We have done nothing to deserve it, and yet they thought of us.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of such love and kindness? When your heart goes all gooey and you can’t help but praise God for bringing you such incredible friends?

It’s happened many times to us, from more people than I can list. In the middle of such heartache and changes, God is good.

Our friends are good!!!

On Sunday, two different friends brought us “love hampers”. With snacks and treats for our family. Both times were totally unexpected and wonderful.

I think it’s the unexpected love that moves me the most. When you are blissfully unaware of the suprise about to arrive.

But I want to say “Thank you!”

“Thank you” to so many people. “Thank you” to the friends that love “The Knott Tribe” unconditionally and have blessed us countless times.

“Thank you” to our families. Both blood related and also adopted through life.

My heart is bursting with gratitude. You have all done so much good.

“Thank you” to friends that have cleared their schedule to make time for our family to visit. This past week alone, I felt so loved. I felt valued. My friends are the most precious gifts.

And “Thank you” to those of you who have patiently listened to my heart. When I just talk about my fears about my future. My fears about my mum’s health. “Thank you” for giving me the gift of being heard. That alone is so valuable.

And “Thank you” to the dear friends who have cheered me on while writing my blogs. There have been many times when someone I love or admire have said they read my blog (or blogs). Each time I am struck with astonishment and joy!

I am also in awe of how the Lord can use my blogs to touch a person’s heart or encourage them in some small way. I laugh at the goodness of God- and how God has allowed my blog to encourage people who inspire me on a daily basis!

That God would use something I’ve written to touch someone’s heart, is so incredibly wonderful and humbling at the same time!!!!

“Thank you” to the many people who have encouraged me that one day God will help me write the books He has placed on my heart. Without the love and support of so many of you, I may have given up on “the dream” growing inside of me!

And “Thank you” to my husband. Who reads each of my posts and always picks his favourite part to encourage me. My husband who hears my heart.

My husband who loves me faithfully and relentlessly. My husband who is so kind to me and supports me when he has done more than he needs to.

“I love You, Babee”.

Love always Kelly xx

Surrendered does not mean defeated.

As Christians, there are deep truths etched into our hearts and hidden deep in our spirit. These truths we learn from the Bible, or from solid Christian teachers or role models. Sometimes the knowledge of these things also come from the Holy Spirit, and from experiencing them personally.

For example: I know that although I may plan my future, it is God who guides my steps. My future is in God’s hands. I cling to the knowledge that God is good, even when things are hard.

Recently, my mum decided that after Christmas she would come live with my family in Alice Springs.

I have been blessed with the role of her carer as she lives with terminal cancer. I say blessed, yet it is hard. I say blessed, although her illness and disease is not a blessing in itself.

The blessing is that I have witnessed my mum’s faith growing. I have sat with my mum for 11 weeks and seen every trial, and every victory! I have learnt things that are only taught by the firey trials that life sometimes throws at you! I have been blessed by the compassion and love of many people who have uplifted us during this time.

I’ve been living with my mum for a few months now in Adelaide, but soon my children must go back to commense school in the new year. My husband has to return to work, too.

We had a rough plan. After Christmas, we would all travel to Alice Springs. We would enjoy Christmas in Adelaide, and have a few weeks to get organised for the journey home. It was a good plan.

All of that changed today.

Mum’s palliative care team advised us to speed up our plans. They are concerned that mum’s feelings of wellbeing may be short-lived.

We are praising God that mum has felt much stronger this past week! My mum believes that God is extending her time. I agree. It is a miracle that mum is still alive today, especially when Christmas seemed impossible!

Unfortunately, the palliative care team credit mum’s new strength to the steroids working, and masking the battle within her body.

Either way, we are grateful for each day that my mum feels well and in good spirits.

Either way, we are grateful for the medication helping to relieve some of the symptoms of the disease.

Either way, we thank God for the wonderful palliative care team who have loved my mum so well during the past few months. In particular, our palliative care nurse Practitioner called Wendy. She has been such an incredible gift to our family.

Even though our hearts are still hopeful for our miracle, we have decided to follow the recommendations of the palliative care team.

Our plans have changed so quickly! We must now book a flight for my mum to travel to Alice Springs. Meanwhile, my family will pack our car and drive home with our 4 daughters. We have 3 days to prepare.

With all of the uncertainties of the past few months, I’ve dealt with mixed emotions: hope and faith mixed with hopelessness and fear.

This is when the deep truths of God kick in! This is when my spirit cries out within me: “God isn’t finished!”.

You see, the Bible reminds me that God is in control. That He is a miracle-working God. That His plans are to prosper me, and not to harm me! His plans are to give me a hope and a future!

This is when the deep truths of my heart flow back through my mind: a life surrendered to God can never be defeated!

In the past, every season that I have willingly surrendered my life and future to God- I have felt the most peaceful.

You see, I believe that a life surrendered to God is not a passive or weak life! It is an empowered life! A life of faith and trust! It takes a determination to continue to say to the Lord, “I trust that your version of my life is the best version”.

In human terms, surrender is a weak sign. Surrender equals defeat.

Spiritual surrender is the opposite: it fills us with joy! I’ve experienced it.

I need to decide again to surrender my plans to God. To declare “God, I trust you are in control!”

And most relevant in my current circumstances: “God, please give me the grace to do the things you have planned for me to do!”

“Lord, give me courage to face the unknowns. Give me comfort when all hope seems lost. Give me the capacity to encourage my mum when she is sad. Please, help me!!!!”

Love always Kelly xx

Thank you.

Psalm 57:7 The passion translation (TPT).

My heart, O God, is quiet and confident. Now I can sing with passion your wonderful praises!

Awake, O my soul, with the music of his splendor song!

Arise, my soul, and sing his praises!

My worship will awaken the dawn, greeting the daybreak with songs of light!

Wherever I go I will Thank you, my God. Among all the nation’s they will hear my praise songs to you.

Your love is so extravagant it reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness so astonishing it stretches to the sky!

Lord God, be exalted as you soar throughout the heavens.

May your shining glory be shown in the skies! Let it be seen high above all the earth.

Love always Kelly xx

Switchy switchy

Have you ever felt like you were constantly switching gears? Or have you walked through a season where you changed your normal role, for something slightly different?

I was chatting with my bestie Katt, yesterday who can relate! She’s a mum. Partner. She works and studies. She runs a household and cares for her friends! Sometimes we feel like we are switching our roles a lot! Sometimes we do it automatically…sometimes we feel pulled in a million directions!

Since September 28th, my life entered a new season. I have been living with my champion of a mum, instead of my amazing husband. I’ve been looking after mum and my 2 youngest girls. So, a taste of solo parenting…except that I’m happily married.

Maybe this is what some families do when the husband works away? It’s like switching gears. You have to learn to make decisions alone and parent as best as you can. You learn to plan your day or week without any other input, and even little choices are made alone.

But once you reunite, you have to learn to co-parent again. You have to make choices as a family again. You have to communicate what you’re thinking and discuss plans. Negotiate to include each person’s priorities Hehe It’s been such an eye opener!!!

So yesterday my husband Will laughed at me. I picked him up from the Adelaide airport, with my oldest girls. I asked Will If he wanted to use “my card” to pay for parking. “Your card?” He teased. “Like your pocket money card?” He was enjoying this moment.

“Like my money, that you get to spend? I put the money on there and you get to keep it?” “That card, you mean?” He was actually saying it in a pretty amusing and adorable way. The kind of joking that you get to do when you’ve been together so long. When you love each other, not accusing each other. Just in case you were worried 😉

I laughed. We have the same joint accounts. Our money is “our money”. But for almost 9 weeks now, the grocery money card has been “My Adelaide card”. So, my card 😉 I guess now we are back as a complete family…it will be our card again. It just takes some adjusting.

I’ve switched roles from wife and mum of 4 girls. From a Christian woman who is part of a wonderful church family in Alice springs, to a woman living back in my childhood home. It’s a mixed bag of blessings and sadness.

Who would have thought my roles would have changed so much in 8 weeks?

Yesterday was another one of those odd kind of days. Mum had to go to hospital. They are trying to relieve some of the pressure her body is fighting against. Like fluid on her lungs, legs and tummy. Then, hopefully in a few days she will return home.

I thought I’d enjoy a little rest. Especially when it was just yesterday that I reunited with my husband and kids again. Perfect timing, huh? Night with the Knott family Mob. Mum is being cared for in hospital. Winner winner chicken dinner!

Except that my heart was with mum still. Was she ok? Was she lonely? Did the nurses know her routine? Is she being woken up for repeat obs at night? Do they know she needs to rest? Is she scared that she may not return home? Are they giving her too much medicine?

A fierce protectiveness came upon me. I look after mum. I know mum. I know that each morning She wants her banana milkshake and 2 tablets. One for pain. One for appetite. I know that I have sit next to her to make sure she doesn’t drop the cup- a result of medication and weakened arm strength. I know that she likes her slippers on. She likes to get ready for the day, but then needs to nap again. I know that she likes a cup of tea, but you can’t have it too hot anymore, because if it spills…she will be burnt.

I’ve been in “training” for 8 weeks. Learnt her routine. So now, for 2-3 days it’s hard to surrender that. To trust others to fill in my role.

I’m sure many others would have already felt the same. You become a carer, and then you have to eventually stop. Or maybe you raise your children, but then have to let them begin to make wise choices on their own. It’s harder than I imagined!

Actually, a few weeks ago I was texting a dear friend Nadia, from Alice Spring. reminded me that I sensed God had been preparing me for something new. Growing my capacity in some way.

I had totally forgotten this conversation! But Nadia reminded me. I did tell her I felt like God was preparing me for something. Nadia’ s text comforted me. God had already begun to prepare me…Even though it was just a subtle sense in my spirit.

Isaiah 54:2-3 talks about “stretching your tent pegs” and lengthening your cords. I’m not sure specifically what it means…but in my heart, in this time in my life I feel like God is preparing to stretch my capacity. Maybe my capacity to empathise with others? Maybe my capacity to care for the sick or broken or grieving? Maybe something entirely different. lol

Love always Kelly xx