Saturday, 26 February 2011

Love your neighbour as you love yourself

When I woke this morning I smelt brioche cooking in the kitchen, I was bought a cup of tea in bed and got to thinking how blessed I am. While we may be struggling in this country with the present economic state there seems to be an awful of worse things going on around the world. I am not belittling what is happening as I have many friends who have lost their jobs and are finding it really hard to find another. However, we should to take a look at the world situation and count our blessings.

God tells us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves, this shouldn’t extend to just our immediate locality, but the whole world. There is not a lot we can do for the world in a physical sense but we can pray for them.

So please join with me today in praying for the people of Egypt and Libya, especially the families with small people. Father we pray that the political situations in those countries will become less volatile, that any new leaders will be full of integrity and interested in the good of the people they lead.

Let’s also pray for the people of New Zealand whose homes and lives have been destroyed by the recent earthquake and lift up to God the families of the people who have died.
Remember the people of Australia, Brazil, Bolivia and Sri Lanka, whose family lives have been destroyed by floods. Lord help them to rebuilt their homes and their lives. Be their rock Lord!

Let’s also keep in mind the people of Haiti, particularly all the children who lost their parents a year ago and are now being placed with families all over the world. Father bless them, give them peace as they learn how to love and be loved by new parents, brothers and sisters.
Lord we lift up all the children and families in the world to you. Lord bless them and keep them.

And finally let’s pray for this country, for the economic and political situation. Lord we ask that you give your peace to all those who have lost their jobs and livelihoods. We pray for all the families struggling to survive, pay the bills and feed their children. Lord surround them with generous family, friends and neighbours who can help them through this time. Lord please show them the way forward. Give them the hope they need for the future.

Amen x x x x

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Letting go........

Let me describe to you the home of parents of a small person. There is a stair gate at the top of the stairs to stop them falling down, and another at the bottom of the stairs to stop them climbing up perchance they should fall down that way also. Every cupboard in the kitchen has one of those annoying kiddie safety catches that we, as adults, cannot open without scraping our knuckles, but the kids can get open in a trice. All items that could be vaguely dangerous to a small person have been elevated to a suitable height, all sharp corners covered and every door in house has one of those foam whatsits that stops the door from shutting and squashing precious fingers. Each plug socket has one of those annoying covers on it to stop small people poking their fingers in or Mum from hoovering because she can’t get the flaming things out again without using a kitchen knife! Equally so the car is full of safety seats and the childlock is on the windows and the doors. There are even more electronic sophisticated systems in place inside the home, watching the small person as it sleeps, in the next room!

Outside of the home the parents of a small person are employing every tactic they can to ensure the safety of their precious bundle, strapping them into their buggies and car seats and when they learn to walk insisting that hands are held (or if not employing the use of a kiddie lead). Teaching the small person how to cross the road safely, stressing how they should never stray from the sight of their grown up, tactically explaining to them how they shouldn’t talk to strangers.

And then comes that fateful day, when kiddie locks won’t hold them anymore, life seems to be continually bumping into them, your car seat is what they are looking forward to sitting in as they learn to drive the car themselves and they are more than capable of taking the cover off the plug, but not doing the hoovering!

This is the day when you hit your knees and with your heart in your mouth you pray -

“Lord, I have done all these things to protect my child, there is nothing more I can do, she 16 now, a young woman, and the kiddie lead is being strained so badly it’s going to snap any minute. Lord PLEASE look after her for me. I place her firmly in your hands. I pray I have done enough. I pray that all you asked me to do for her, all you asked me to teach her and show her, everything good that I have planted in her will now grow and help her mature into the beautiful person you planned her to be. Father I pray that she too one day will be praying this prayer, after protecting and loving her own small person and that she will remember the loving protection and guidance that I too remember from my own wonderful mum. Thank you for blessing us with such a beautiful child, I’m going to be brave and take a step back now, trusting that you Lord will take a step forward and guide her now. I love You. Amen”

Parents of small people, no matter how small they are, look after them, enjoy every moment, treasure them and teach them well. 16 years ago, whilst holding my brand new small person, I never dreamt that this day would come. Look out world, here comes our beautiful daughter Molly Dryden! May God bless you in all that you do my precious small person. We love you and will always be there for you.

“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of your house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” Colossian 3:15-17 The Message

Saturday, 12 February 2011

God's multiplying principle!

Yesterday in TLC (Toddler Lunch Club) we were learning about God’s multiplying principle. Basically, whatever you give to God, your time, your money, your love, He likes to multiply it for His glory. This morning as I woke up I found myself thinking about this principle, and how clever God is.

On 14th January 2003 my Mum died, suddenly and unexpectedly. She was 58, my dad had just retired, they had just bought their dream house in the country after living in London all their lives, they were looking forward to a lovely retirement, hanging out with their children and grandchildren. And then she died.

It was a very traumatic time for us, she was a wonderful mum and even more amazing nanny, I just kept thinking about our beautiful girls and how much they were going to miss not having her in their lives. I had no idea how I was going to raise our girls without her wise counsel; my girls were 8 and 6 at the time.

On 15th March 2003, whilst attending an Alpha course at St B’s I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and became a Christian. Coincidentally, in December 2002, I had agreed to go on the course with a friend, which started the week before mum died. God knew exactly what I would need at that time.

In joining St B’s I got involved with Barney’s and a few other bits and pieces and in doing so started to make friends. All in all so many wonderful friends I have lost count! So many dear friends, many of whom no longer come to Barney’s, their children are at school now some in year 3 or 4. I went to the pub last night with four of them, one of whom moved away from London 4 years ago, but came back yesterday for a visit – and is now running her own toddler group!.

Through being a member of St B’s I have found lots of friends, amazing people who love me in a way I have never been loved before. They support me through the ups and downs of my life and I am so grateful. And what gives me great pleasure is being able to do the same for them. It’s almost like in losing my mum my world shrank to half its size, but in finding God He has multiplied my world beyond my belief. Of course no one could replace mum, but I and my family now have so many wonderful friends, each of whom restore a little bit of her to us.
Through meeting Jesus and then having the privilege to lead Barney’s and being able to invest my time in helping new mums and dads, my heart especially being for families with young children, God has multiplied what I have given Him a million times over. I lost my mum, but gained, through all my new friendships, lots of honorary mums, dads, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, sons, daughters, grandchildren!!!!! And buckets full of love!

“God gives, God takes. God's name be ever blessed.” Job 1:21 The Message

TLC (Toddler Lunch Club) is a group for Barney’s Toddler Groups parents and carers, which meets on a Friday between 12 noon and 2pm in the Parish Hall at St Bs. We share lunch together, chat, learn, support and strengthen each other in our daily lives. Simply bring your toddler and your lunch. The children have fun with toys, craft and dvd’s and we have time to spend with God and each other.

A time to learn how to take life as it comes and experience God’s tender loving care for us.
Please come along one Friday and try it out – it’s mad, but fun!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Dirty dishes?

What’s more important, a tidy house or a happy child?
Last night my husband came in from work, went into the kitchen and started banging around at the dirty dishes lying in the kitchen muttering to my daughter, who was also in the kitchen, “I don’t know what your mother does all day”. I was upstairs when this was happening; I heard what he said and was deeply saddened.

What did I do today? Today I left some dishes dirty, the reason for that being that when I got home from work, I went upstairs to take my shoes off and put down my bag. As I sat on my bed doing so both of my beautiful daughters joined me. And there we sat for two hours, they both wanted to talk about the ups and downs of their week at school. They needed my love, my time and my prayers. The needed their mum, the one they can trust to tell anything to, the one that will never judge them and always love them. So we lay on the bed for ages, laughing, crying and celebrating – it was the most wonderful use of two hours of my life.
No the dishes didn’t get done, in fact we then went downstairs made dinner together, ate together and made even more dirty dishes. Then we left the dishes deliberately and went back to my bed to watch TV together – to share more intimate time together.

The dishes can wait, your children can’t and shouldn’t have to. I am sure there are many parents who feel sad that they cannot justify their day at home because there is no visual or physical evidence of what they have done. In fact one lady said to me in the MiniGAP cafe last night that she works part time because she loves the sense of achievement she gets from seeing something finished at work, because she feels she never gets anything finished at home, as she has three children under the age of 7. I can fully appreciate her frustrations, but thinking about it, the feeling I got from leaving something unfinished last night far outweigh those frustrations. When I became a parent, this is what I signed up for, making time to listen to my girls, giving them space to air their joys and frustrations, helping them to gain the tools they need to approach the next part of their life journey – it’s a huge, scary world that we send them out into, even us grown up’s don’t understand it most of the time! I love you intensely my wonderful husband, but I am afraid on this occasion the dishes can wait!
What did I do this whole day through?
not much that shows, I guess that's true.
Unless you think that what I've done,
might just be important to someone.
Two beautiful girls with gorgeous red hair,
if that is true...then I've done my share x x x x