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…



{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!!!



{July 26, 2012}   Summer is here…

Guard your thoughts and words.

It’s hot, finally the rain has been ‘shooooed’ away and we have some sunny weather.

School term is finished and I’m cracking on trying to get an assignment towards my Education MA done.  If I pass I’ll hopefully be moving on to dissertation next academic year.  I’m about halfway through the 6,000 word slog – and today actually feel like I’ve made some progress.  I love doing the reading, and trying out new things in my practice in the classroom, generally seeing how I can engage these children better and encourage them to explore this world around us… but it’s rather heavy going to pull all the thoughts, notes and highlighted ideas together and turn it into some sort of coherent piece of writing.  Blogging is a safer space for me, my writing style tends to be a conversational one – great in emails, letters, postcards, blogs… just about EVERYTHING other than academic writing (which is what I’ve set before me as my personal task).  I can meander through topics that grab my attention in a blog, muse over them and spit out my thoughts in any fashion – although I do try to see that they make some sense (dear reader).

So it’s hot, I’ve been plodding my way through piecing together this assignment and then I go to pick up DD from nursery.  Her sunhat went missing (although named) at nursery and still hasn’t been found… now I somewhat object to providing things (as we are asked to do), naming them (which so many parents seem not to… why is it the children who habitually lose stuff whose parents don’t name things???) and then they go missing.  Well I was hot, and a bit anxious (DD has had bad virus thing and is still rather snuffly) and I had a rant at the nursery worker…

I got home and realised it was so not the appropriate thing to do; a) not a good example of how to treat others before DD and her friends, b) it wasn’t an uplifting kind thing to say and c) ranting wasn’t going to make the sunhat magically reappear… so I went to bed that night feeling rather ‘heavy’ and vowed to myself to apologise.

I find saying sorry hard, anyone in my family would attest to this fact – in my head (however ridiculous this may sound) it feels like backing in or giving up.  But I did it, I picked up DD today (who’d had a wonderful day having water fights – lucky thing!) and immediately found the worker and apologised… do you know what – it felt good.  It felt good to accept that I’d done something silly, I’d recognised that fact and I’d considered the effect it may have had on another…

This may seem like “Apology 101” class – but for me this is a big step!

I’m suddenly reminded of that bit from the end of “Mean Girls” Look from 7.14 of this video – essentially she’s talking about how putting someone else down doesn’t raise you up, making another person feel bad doesn’t make you feel good and acting in that way doesn’t help you in the situation.

In this heat particularly, it can be easy to let tempers fray, words get said which are thoughtless… so think about them all a bit harder… think about encouraging someone, complimenting them or simply being someone to listen.

Can you be like balm for someone in this heat?

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.
In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.
O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!
With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess

The beauty of Thy peace.



{July 2, 2012}   Everyday God

a poem / a prayer … I felt inspired this evening…

 

God…

I want to praise you for the everyday.

I believe and know that you can offer me awesome signs and wonders, but today I am content to stretch out my arms and call you “daddy”.

There are days when I feel broken by my past, and there are moments I want to weep or rage over the sadnesses I see in the world around me.

But I see angry tears on your face too… so I know you understand.

Today, I praise you for getting up in the morning, praise you for cuddles with my daughter, praise you while I get on with the laundry.

Thank you for bouncy tunes on the radio, I think I see you smile as I try to sing along!

I can hold back tears of happiness as I wash my child’s hair, uttering tacit blessings all over her – thank you for bathtimes.

Thank you God for those funny pictures, uplifting quotes or happy news shared by my friends on Facebook… Daddy, do you hear me when I ask that their hearts will come to know you?

God, thank you for clean pj’s, something good to read and a comfy place to sit.

Thank you for being there in the everyday, thank you for hearing my chatter alongside my petitions and rants, thank you for the signs and wonders… but thank you for the quiet peace and contentment.

Thank you for not being my Sunday best, but for being my working week.

AMEN

 



{January 31, 2012}   Blind Ambition

Matthew 20: 17-34

I confess as a parent I want the absolute best for my child; I want her to grow up and continue to have the joy for life and learning that she currently has.  I hope that she will make good choices.  I pray she will come to be in a relationship with Jesus.  I want her to be full of kindness and compassion, and to have good survival skills when she faces disappointments and set backs in life.  I hope that I, and the rest of our family & friends have provided strong roots for her, which will allow her to grow into an amazing woman.

I want all of this so badly that I can picture it in my mind.  I can see all the possibilities opening up before her… I don’t want to miss a thing!

These are my ambitions for her and I don’t see anything wrong or harmful in holding wishes for the future for our children, and our friends’ children.  But this reading from Matthew (when I read it again using the Life Application Bible) looks at exactly this area… parental ambition…

Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom. (Matthew 20:21b)

I have mixed feelings about this request; 1st feeling is she displayed absolute faith – the kingdom belongs to Jesus, she faithfully accepted Jesus’ position.  The notes in my Bible encourage me to look further at this though – what were her motivations?  Perhaps she sought glory for her sons, perhaps (though on the surface demonstrative of faith) this mother had missed the point of Jesus’ ministry.  She was blinded by her human ambition.

Jesus modelled a different kind of leadership; Jesus demonstrated servant leadership – washing the feet of his disciples (John 13:11-13), submitting to God’s will first through his baptism (Matthew 3.13) and finally ultimate submission on the cross (Matthew 26.39 and John 19) – this was leadership without seeking glory.  Jesus represents here an amazing example to us all – How best to lead people.  The example of sevant leadership can be useful to us in any field; I particularly it’s role in parenthood, in teaching, in family life – what other areas might it be useful in?

At the completion of the section; the theme of ‘blindness’ is tackled again…

Jesus stopped and called to them.  “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.  “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”(Matthew 20:32-33)

The LAB (Life Application Bible) comments on this passage…

These blind beggars could see that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, while the religious leaders who witnesses Jesus’ miracle were blind to his identity, refusing to open their eyes to the truth.  Seeing with your eyes doesn’t guarantee you seeing with the heart.

I quoted because this section really hit me…

  • what do I / you allow get in the way of believing?  (What’s your blind spot?)
  • do I / you ever in your actions get in the way of people seeing Christ?
  • who / what do I / you submit to in life?
  • when we / I lead do I present a servant model of leadership… or an authoritarian one?

[on a side note]

I am loving getting more into the Bible and really unpacking it, and thinking as I write – this is the way I find it easiest to operate.  Sometimes I just jot ideas / thoughts and pictures down on paper and in notebooks, other times I blog it.

I blog because I had a bit of a deep think about whether or not to continue to be on social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook (on twitter I am @prodigalmomma ) as there’s some truly negative and ‘not uplifting’ stuff out there… and to be honest I find it all-too-easy to be drawn into the sillyness etc.  but I wanted to continue putting positivity out there.

I am not an authority, or a theologian – just a follower of Christ who’s trying to navigate her way through life… and life, I’ve found through bitter experience, really does go downhill when I’m not stuck into the Word regularly.



et cetera