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 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

 



{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

 



Today’s Bible Reflection for women from BibleGateway landed in my inbox (you can read it here).  It really struck me, firstly because it once again burst that bubble that I sometimes find myself in the I’m the only one who thinks like this bubble (it’s not far away from the teenage bubble I had of It’s all about me!)

I have made poor decisions in the past.  I have experienced situations that I wish I had not.  But, I don’t generally have regrets… everything I have done / experienced has affected the person who I am today.  As I read about being a ‘reflective practitioner’ as part of my M Ed. I become more aware of possible causes/factors in the person I am today.

But I think I’ve become sometimes too stuck in the negative thought cycle of “I am what others have made me” at times without truly considering either …

  • my active role in who I am (the past, present and for the future)
  • whose image I am created in (and whose likeness I aspire to imitate)
  • what has been done for me (and what the appropriate response to that event may be)

I identify at ties with the woman in this reflection, the contradiction between wanting to just curl up with your child and be in love with them, and not quite at times feeling worthy of such a precious gift…

But who declares me ‘unworthy’?

What does God say about me?  I just found these Bible Affirmations and I think I may well have to find out some way to put them up in my room so that I can think about a different one every day, or a different one every week.  Actually the GP recommends that I devise a form of ‘positive mental toolbox’ to help myself in low moments, perhaps these affirmations would / could be a good part of that?

Back before Easter this year I had a tattoo done.  Not my 1st, and I know that Christian opinion is split on them, but I think God is love and gave humanity a gift for creativity… but that’s my opinion.  The tattoo is ancient Greek, tetelestai meaning “it is finished” or “paid in full”… the final words of Jesus on the cross.  Perhaps this is something I need to absorb deeper than skin deep when I doubt and accuse myself, I need to remember that things are no longer hanging over my head…

…but that’s not a 1-way process, the next big thought is how do I honestly respond to such a gift?  I guess it’s something I’ll spend the rest of my life doing.

But biblical mantras / affirmations … are they a good & useful thing to get into?  Or do we risk inventing another ritual without much meaning or heart?  Because from the gospels I think Jesus wasn’t a great fan of that whole thing.  Hmmm something to think about!

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