prodigalmomma











{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.

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{October 19, 2011}   Role Model

Over the last week there’s been a reasonable amount in the press about Dr Fox MP –  I can agree with some of the sentiments expressed by him about the “hounding” of members of his family (the elderly and children allegedly) and I’m not entirely sure that the collected media has a right to sit in judgement over individuals (particularly since the phone hacking scandal) an interesting point is raised.  Those in the public eye ought to be seen as role models.

I don’t hold to the sentiment that those in politics or other ‘professionals’ are a different sort of people (it seems easy to lapse into a ‘them and us’ scenario), but precisely because they are no different to you or I they should demonstrate a kind of role model to which others might aspire.  I can’t (and I won’t) get into the details of the Dr. Fox situation, I don’t really know them, or him.  In a way though, despite being found to have broken ministerial code there is something redeemable in the character Dr Fox presents… he did something wrong, he ‘fessed up, he apologised and he took on board the consequences of his actions.

It’s hard to take the punishment or come to understand the consequences of our actions – harder still to see that sometimes those consequences stretch further than ourselves.

As part of my on-going study and training I’m undertaking an M Ed. the current module is all about becoming a ‘reflective practitioner’ (which is partly the inspiration for trying to get myself into some form of discipline over keeping a journal).  The module, from my initial readings, seems to be about personally examining events within your classroom to ask ‘why’ things happened as they did, and to discover differing possibilities of how things might roll in the future.  It also requires a degree of self-examination, asking of yourself why you responded in a certain way.  The readings (so far) suggest that we all bring our own values/attitudes/experiences/perspectives to the table when we enter the professional arena (and that’s not limited to just teaching) but just as we do the pupils/children/clients/customers/colleagues also do… some situations can result in ‘clashes’ just because we’re coming from differing perspectives.

So I’m trying to think (as part of all this) how I can learn to be a better role model in the way I express myself, explain things and respond to people (children and adults) in the workplace.

There’s been some interesting discussions of late where I work; surrounding behaviour of children and those attitudes / sentiments we unconsciously condone or support by tacitly accepting them as “well that’s real life”… I wonder if it’s ‘ok’ to use that line, to argue that point?  Hand on heart, I don’t feel that just because something ‘is’ we can always successfully argue that it ‘should be’ that way… the tough but is navigating those two frontiers – drawing from what we know, and what we are given and progressing / improving / challenging / extending into what things could be.  But all the while that striving needs to be tempered with what God says should be…  As Robbie Williams sings “I sit and talk to God, but he just laughs at my plans…”

But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.

[1 John 3.2]

Me, being me, I did a quick search for what the Bible may have to say about being a role model; there’s bits about being ‘models of goodness’ (Titus 2.1), we were made for ‘God-modeled love’ (1 Corinthians 6.16) and not trading God in for the latest model (2 Chronicles 13.10) but I thought 1 John just hit the nail on the head.  Again, as I read it can be challenging – we become like those we hang around with… you can sometimes see it in people who’ve been married a long time, or close friends, or even characteristics between parent and child which are not always genetics.  Makes me think, who do I choose to spend time with?  And, how much time do I make to actually ‘be’ with God?  If he’s what I say I am aiming at and for, then do I walk the talk?  The words of Steve Chalke from a Faithworks talk years ago when I was a teenager ring in my head at times like this “The words are easy… but the actions are hard.” 

I’m challenged as I read this and work on writing this, and understanding my thoughts on these matters… I need to make sure that I don’t allow these thoughts to be lost, I don’t want to run the risk of shooting these ideas into the vast emptiness of cyberspace and fail to let them fill me, fill my life and my actions.  But everything now is like a heavy beat, urging me on – and you may not believe it, but it’s a heavier beat than any I heard in my raving days…

But that, the raving days, is another story… and I should shower before The Fades comes on BBC3!



et cetera