Saturday, 25 September 2010

Precious Moments

I truly believe that each day you are a parent contains at least three or more precious moments, some that are worthy of a photograph, others that are more mundane, everyday moments yet still very precious. I know that it is at least three because there are two that happen every day without fail. The first is that moment when you see them in the morning, that first smile, kiss or hug good morning; and last of the day is the tucking into bed ritual, goodnight kiss and telling them how much you love them - both of these being truly precious moments in any parents’ day.

I figure if those are the more ‘mundane’ of precious moments then the rest of the day we should be wandering around with our camera never out of our hand to capture the more moving and exciting moments that are bound to happen. The first smile, the first word, the first lost tooth, the success or failure in a spelling test, learning how to ride a bike – the list is endless.

I have been a parent now for 5,702 days with my eldest daughter, and running concurrently, 4,973 days with my youngest, which means by my calculation I have had at least 17,106 precious moments for the eldest and 14,919 for the youngest! (Those of you who know me well know that I love photographs and do have most of those Kodak moments recorded!)

Precious parenting moment no: 17,107 happened last night. It was so unbelievably precious, my eldest who is nearly 16 fell asleep in my arms. She had had a tough day, we were lying in bed together chatting through it all, putting her life back in perspective, giving her the affirmation she needed to move on from a challenging life experience. After a while she went quiet and I lie there listening to her breathing change as she snuggled into my hug and felt so loved that she slipped off to sleep, such a precious moment that I wanted to cry. I lay there for a long time thanking God for his gift to me of such a beautiful child – and for being able to experience such love. When I thought it couldn’t get any better precious moment no: 17,108 happened this morning as I woke to find her still sleeping next to me, looking so beautiful and peaceful – truly adorable, her hair all tousled and panda eyes from party makeup.

Parenting is tough, in near rips your heart out sometimes. It’s both confusing and challenging no matter what age your children are – 5 or 45! But when rewarded with such precious moments, would any of us say we would rather not be doing it? Watch out for your three precious moments today – savour them all!

Lord, thank you so much for our children. Thank you for all those precious moments, help us to notice them all and truly appreciate them. Guide us in this minefield that is parenting and help us to raise your children and love them as much as You do. Amen.

Friday, 17 September 2010


Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. Victor Hugo

Don’t you just love giggles? I had the wonderful pleasure of looking after a little one this week who when I blew raspberries on his cheek he giggled the most amazing giggle and his little face lit up. His giggles made me giggle too which not only made him happy but me also. Child laughter is definitely one of world´s greatest joys.

Giggling starts with a ripple and often expands into a belly laugh. It’s really therapeutic, relaxing and calming. With a little laughter you are free to enjoy the absurd. Kids are quick to laugh, and you don’t have to be a comedian to entertain them. Little kids, especially, will laugh at just about anything – just give them an excuse. A silly face or an absurd comment can elicit shrieks of delight. They have the best giggles. Do you still remember those wonderful days with your best friend when you could start laughing with no reason and laugh so long you could barely breathe? Oh - to have such laughter again!

Did you ever play the game when you were a kid travelling in a car or waving to the people travelling behind you; we made it into a competition to see how many people waved back. We used to scream with laughter at the results we got playing this game. Some grouches used to ignore us, some smiled, some waved back and once one driver honked his horn. It was a really easy way to spread happiness and we shared lots of giggles.

Never push away a giggle. If you have forgotten how to giggle rediscover tickles and talking gibberish, singing daft songs or playing boo! Life is at times far too serious – vote today for a life full of the ridiculous! Giggle ‘til it hurts – it’s amazing.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Pay It Foward - Love others as I have loved you

I have just been to one of those house parties that sells ‘stuff’, plastic food storage boxes, greetings cards, cookware etc. Part of the sales talk was telling us punters how we too could make lots of money in one of these pyramid selling schemes. In these schemes the sales person searches out and enlists another five people to sell the same goods, taking a commission from their sales; in turn these new five people search out and enlist another five people each; each of them earning commission from their five people and the original person now earning commission from 25 people – and so it grows.

As I sat there I was reminded of a film recommended to me recently, I haven’t seen it yet but I am going to order a copy this weekend. It is called Pay It Forward and stars Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. In the story an 11 year old child, Trevor, is given an assignment at school to devise a plan that will change the world for the world for the better. Trevor's plan is a charitable pyramid scheme, based on good deeds rather than profit. He calls his plan "Pay It Forward", which means the recipient of a favour does a favour for a third party rather than paying the favour back. Trevor does a favour for three people, asking each of them to "pay the favour forward" by doing favours for three other people, and so on, along a branching tree of good deeds. His first good deed is to let a homeless man named Jerry live in his garage, and Jerry pays the favour forward by doing car repairs for Trevor's mother.

How wonderful is that, a ‘not for profit’ pyramid scheme with absolutely no money involved: radical but truly beautiful. I love telling people how amazing they are, doing good things for people, loving people above and beyond their expectations. Not for my profit, but theirs; there is nothing nicer that passing on a smile or good word.

What kind of a world would we live in if everyone ‘paid it forward’ all the time?

I think it’s quite sad that today’s overly PC society tends dissuade people from doing good things for others. I don’t want to live in a world like that and as a follower of Jesus I have learnt that I don’t have to. Jesus teaches us to “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you” and ”Love your neighbor as yourself”. And then I encourage you all to “Pay It Forward”.

Better to be poor in pocket but rich in love x x x x x YOU ARE ALL AMAZING AND I LOVE YOU!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all!
Remember the days when the New Year started on 1st January, those heady days before you had children? Now New Years Day is the 1st September (or there about) and your whole life now revolves around school terms, academic years -no longer calendar years.

Remember how the run up to New Years Day was planning whose party you were going to, what you were going to wear and which night bus you were going to get home? Now the run up to New Year is school uniform shopping, waiting in line in Clarks shoe shop and the hour long decision in WH Smith on this year’s pencil case!

Remember how New Years Eve was spent getting dolled up, getting to the party at the right time-fashionably late; and then having a great night with your mates? Now New Years Eve is packing PE kits and school bags, labelling school uniform, bath, hair wash and an early night all round!

And remember how New Years day was spent walking home in the small hours of the morning, singing at the top of your voice and then crashing into bed and sleeping all day. Now New Years day is up early, packed lunches, school jumpers, shoes on, in the car, in the playground, tears all round, then home or rush off to work and a well earned cup of tea!

Remember........................ Happy New Year to you all!

You wouldn’t have it any other way now would you?

Lord Jesus, thank you for the changes that come into our lives with the gift of children. In this busy time in the year help us to fully engage with and enjoy every moment. Amen