prodigalmomma











{August 28, 2012}   A photo a day… #2

Seems I have ‘beginning-of-term-itus’ and following the cleansing of the boudoir / office / child’s play area we tackled the washing of my car today.  It’s been overdue a wash – prior to going on holiday there was never quite the moment (bucketing down with rain does not exactly inspire me the get out there with the car shampoo!)

The scrub aftermath

It’s one of those moments where I begin to think “I get where my mother was coming from” when I realise the satisfaction I get out of an orderly (not spotless – my family doesn’t do minimalist), every thing / paper / book has a place and it’s actually in it.  The car looks shiny, and looks loved.

I think perhaps it was also the activity of doing the cleaning & clearing out which I enjoyed, some strange catharsis in clearing out old papers (some from when I was in the process of applying for teacher training) and a feeling of “I’m beyond that stage now”.  Those things that sent me round the bend (tackling the minefield that is moving from benefits to student funding) are now just a memory… somewhat serves as an aide memoir regarding things that I consider currently trying (DD is in the ‘why’ phase!!!) one day I’ll be past them also.

There’s other things that I find harder to step away from, a song, a thought, a time of year can all throw you back into the midst of things, so I’m going to try and remember the moving-on feeling from clearing my room, and thoughts of preparing for new adventures (as in washing my car).

The joyful thing about car washing when you have a child is that it is not a solo activity – we had great fun with the hose, bubbles and sponges (seeing who could do the loudest squeak on the bodywork of the car today!)  Things that seem too mucky to deal with alone can be lightened with the help of other people.  Again, the big divine dig-in-the-ribs where I’m reminded that I’ve/we’ve not been asked to do this alone… we’re made to live in community with others, and involve the divine in those relationships.

Do you need to ask a friend or a relative to ‘grab a sponge’ and help you with the muddy bits?

What do you see?

2 men looked through prison bars… one saw mud – the other saw stars…

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{August 27, 2012}   A picture a day… #1

New term is fast approaching – as for me I’m investigating the teaching of phonics this year as a move of key stage means that will play a bigger part in the daily routine.  Also DD is beginning her school career… so it’s a time of new beginnings.

Inspired by a wordpress blog I’m seeking to stimulate my blogging activities with a photo-a-day; some I’ll snap myself, others I imagine I’ll find in papers and other media which catches my attention.

An urban photo…

I’m organising my room to get myself ready for the new term; it always seems to look worse before it looks better.  I’ve also gone through my wardrobe (rather ruthlessly I might add) ditching (to go to the charity shop) those things that I pick up … look at… then place back in there.  Why do I do that?  Am I the only one?  Anyway, I’m sure most of it will find happy homes where it gets worn again and a charity will gain in the process – win win.  There’s something rather sad about a piece of clothing, or a pair of shoes / handbag which doesn’t get used… I somewhat feel it’s depriving it of a purpose.

Having seen some photographs of ‘urban life’ in the weekly photo challenge I was inspired to snap this, I love the way all the hangers appear to be3 spilling out of the room; you can also see work folders, cuddly toys, cds and (though I gave up alcohol at Easter and haven’t returned) aging bottles… kinda seems to be a reasonable expression of a young working urban mummy…

Enjoy the pic, I’m diving back into the heap to sort it out a bit more!

Hanger escape!!!



{August 26, 2012}   Stand up, Stand out

[Please be aware this blog post discusses allegations of rape and sexual assault]

It seems that interesting things occur in the news while I’m on holiday and away from blogging facilities – last summer I sat in a cottage in the middle of the Sussex countryside watching parts of London be ravaged and burnt in summer riots.  Open-mouthed we watched scenes which seemed best placed in a blockbuster movie, or at least in another country viewed on the news. 

This summer in another rental cottage and watching the bizarre Mr Assange popping out of the window of the Ecuadorian embassy (described by one paper commentator as looking like the John Inman character from “Are you being Served?”

Image

Julian Assange is described (courtesy of Wikipedia) as is an Australian editor, activist, publisher and journalist. He is best known as the editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks, a media website which has published information from whistleblowers. The site acts as a conduit for worldwide news leaks, with a stated purpose of creating open governance.

While I support a person’s right to peaceful protest, I am somewhat bemused by those supporters who gathered outside the embassy to hear Mr Assange… he is accused of sexual assault and rape… sexual assault and rape… it needs to be said twice as it seems that many have forgotten this in light of charges he may face in the states relating to his Wikileaks site.  Yes, I realise his claim of asylum is related to his fears of extradition from Sweden (where he faces charges of sexual violence) to the USA.  I imagine that his fears are not without substance on this account, however the fact remains that these are very serious crimes he is accused of. 

Regardless of what may happen in the future, surely this man ought to stand trial for the things he is accused of?  If he is not tried on these accounts what does it say of the modern world’s attitude towards sexual crime?  We have heard what Galloway’s repugnant thoughts are, rape is poor sexual etiquette – after all the woman (allegedly) said yes the once, so that (according to Galloway) covers all subsequent times… so that would mean that rape within marriage is okay… but wait a minute  it isn’t, it’s illegal Mr Galloway.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/aug/20/george-galloway-julian-assange-rape?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

Since the initial comments, George Galloway has sought to ‘clarify’ his initial comments… but they seem to me to smell of the original intent, doubting the women’s accusations on the grounds that they had apparently previously had consensual sex with Assange… so that returns to the original argument about ‘yes’ the 1st time not meaning ‘yes’ for everytime.

These are accusations and allegations, they have not been proved and I I’m not declaring Assange either guilty of the crimes, or the women guilty as liars… but these are serious matters which require looking into.

As for the other allegations against him, they need answering too – for if he believes so much in what he has done through Wikileaks then surely he would want a chance to make his argument? 

That reminds me a little of those who lovingly counselled against my studying Theology at university as through doing so I would “lose my faith”… my argument at the time (as it continues to be) is that if something is right, and is the truth then it stands up against any amount of argument, criticism and opposing ideas.

What do you need to stand up for?  What arguments and ideas are you willing to put to the test?

Are you ready to challenge yourself and those around you?



{August 9, 2012}   Not a tame lion…

Jesus Walks on the Water [John 6.16-21]

When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them.  A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.”  Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

The second part of the passage discussed at church last Sunday.  The idea of Jesus walking on walking and calming the storm – we’re not on strange territory here, the story is well known… but possibly poorly understood…

These two ‘stories’ combined are ones I know well – I knew about them from Church as a child.  Though as we broke away and discussed and shared ideas I don’t think I’ve ever really examined it as I did then.

Facing a storm… the thought hit me personally.  I remembered the sudden cold sickly feeling.  I tapped out a couple of texts asking for urgent prayer as I made myself a cup of ginger tea and attempted to pray myself.  Horrible strangling feeling of emotion from just a letter.

I took the request to the church family book also; looking back on it all I feel so lucky to have the sort of church family around me that I can share these moments, and requests with them.  THAT is what Church ought to be – come as you are.  Church isn’t church when it issues dictates like ‘not if you’re homosexual’ ‘not if you’re a female leader’ (or someone tainted by a woman… oh yes, that’s the language that’s been offered up within the continuing struggle towards female bishops in the C of E!)

For me it comes back to Psalm 139… God knows you, sees you, loves you…

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good [Genesis 1.31]

It didn’t happen immediately, but God calmed me, then the situation.  That shaking, twitching feeling of anxiety creeping about in my insides and all around was removed… it felt as if I could breathe again.  And the situation itself has calmed.

Looking back on it I can almost audibly hear – look, that was me, I was there, I was always there, I’m right here, I will always be there…

I know I’m not promised an easy route… but I will be prepared.

A friend mentioned to me during our discussions about “not telling God how big your problems are… but tell your problems how big your God is”  we all agreed a little cheesy BUT it hits home, we’re not sent into this world alone and without help, we have it in bucket loads…

HOWEVER, we need to ask – He won’t charge in guns blazing to ‘fix’ life, we have free choice… I wouldn’t want to be a puppet controlled by something (been there… done that…) He waits to be asked, and invited – sometimes not doing exactly as expected…

Not a tame lion

[Mr Tumnus] After all, he is not a tame lion.

[Lucy] No… but he is good

 



{August 4, 2012}   Personalised learning…

For my MA assignment (just on the proofing stage – whoo hoo!) I have been looking at the area of providing more personalised learning.  An interesting discussion to investigate, if you have the inclination – all about how to navigate a national curriculum aimed at giving all a general range of skills & understanding  – yet getting to know each o0f the students in order to ensure that they have equal opportunity to access the curriculum.  I have not just been discussing children identified with SEN, but taking the broader view that each child has particular needs, they’re all individuals (fearfully & wonderfully made)

Psalm 139:14

The Message (MSG)

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;

      you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
Last Sunday at Church (whilst I was still waging war on this 6,000 word piece) we were thinking about God being everything you need, you need nothing else.  God knows what we need and is fully capable of providing.
wow… Wow… WOW… Does that fill you with ‘wow’ as it did me?  I was sitting listening with tingles running up and down my spine as the message from John 6 v 1-24 was unpacked and explored.  This is the story of the feeding of the 5,000 – which is one of those rather well-known passages that I (sadly) do not feel I gave enough time or thought to previously.  This story echoes events that happened in the time of Exodus, when God’s people were wandering about in the desert … there was food from heaven provided.  When we are sent on a mission, God doesn’t forget to pack the bags with what we need (I was reminded of this thought as I prepared the marmite sandwiches for DD & myself for a day out).
The story of the feeding of the 5,000 is told in all 4 Gospels… it’s a key bit of text.  The boy provided barley bread and fish – this for the day was fairly bargain basement stuff.  But look at what God did with it!  All those people fed AND baskets of leftovers… God doesn’t provide us just with what we need – but provides an over-abundance of it!  God can take the poorest gifts to do amazing things… just think of that the next time you start believing lies “you can’t do that!!! what have you got to offer??? That Mrs Moops would do a much better job of it!”
(hmm that’s something I need to think on…)
God can do wonderful things in the people you least expect  – the world could be denied a miracle by what we don’t bring.
We sang this; and again I am thinking of the complexity of leading a group of people.  And this is the picture of God all along, Christ the shepherd, Jesus as Rabbi, God as Father – these are leadership roles, ones that require intimate knowledge of that/those whom they lead…
…it’s really really hard to know a large group of people that intimately, to know how best to talk to them, or to know when they don’t need words, to know when someone needs a smile or a “well done” message – but God does this, he provides completely personalised learning / leading because he knows us so well.  
The story in John continues to discuss Jesus walking on water and calming the storm… but that I feel needs an entry of its own and more prayer reflection from myself – as the theme kinda touched a raw nerve… so more in our next!
(by the way – loving all the comments and interaction, do carry on sharing blogs and bits that may be of interest to others!)


et cetera