Saturday, 26 September 2009

Our new pet ......

Here is Syd and the story behind her.

My youngest daughter is desperate to own a pet. I don't want one. I think we will have one when she is old enough to take more responsibility in looking after it. Also, I am not a pet lover.

Today, she asked for one for her birthday (which isn't for a few months) and I gave her the usual speal about Mummy not having time to look after it. Daddy is also too busy. When you are older we will think about it. etc etc etc. She cried and expressed her upset.

A little while later she went to our Utility Room where we keep all the craft material. I heard her say 'If I can't have a real one then I will make myself a pet.' So that is what she did. My wonderfully imaginative girl made herself a pet mouse along with a cage.

I wish I had her take one life. She didn't let a minor inconvenience get in the way of her desire for a pet. She found a way around the problem. I hope and pray this is how she carries on through life. My 6 year old daughter has a lot to teach me.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Prawns, mangos and margins around your field.

It was our harvest at church this morning. In our church we have all vegetable, fruit and harvested produce; there isn't a tin or packet in sight. Most of the food is home-produced give or take the odd mango or prawn.

We read from Leviticus 19:9-13

9 “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.

11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

13 “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.

We were asked to think what the margins in our lives were? Have I left space for those in need. (In particular, we were asked to think about the charity Compassion who work to get sponsorship for children we need the money for basics such as education and medical treatment.) So, I don't own a field but a decent amount of money comes into our home each month, I have skills that could be used to help others, could I make time to give doing something for people more needy etc, etc? As a Christian God has called me to look after fellow-believers and also those in my community.

I shouldn't do these things to make myself look good but because I serve a big God. I do them to give Him glory. Selfishness will never draw people to Jesus but maybe a kind word in season or a gift of time or money might help. Then I would need to be ready to give a word about why I do these things. I should give because Jesus has first given to me; through Him I have my salvation and a relationship with God.

So I better go and check my margins.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Body image and a timely post

I woke up this morning at my usual time and managed to make sandwiches for my daughters, wash-up dishes and begin the Lasagne for tea before I had my shower and breakfast at 8am. Whilst eating my breakfast I checked my emails and Facebook as normal. I flicked through some pictures of a friend who has just come back from a sunny holiday. She looked great wearing her bikini and had lost a tonne of weight.

I got despondent. What do I have to do to lose the tummy I hate so much? The pounds that creep on very gradually? Why do I have to eat like a Sparrow and exercise hours a day to have a flat tummy? Then I tell myself: You are not big; some of your clothes are a UK size 8 . Pull yourself together woman.

I took the girls to school and on the way home felt sad about the whole thing. I know that I will have to wake up an hour earlier to fit in a decent exercise programme, eat less and keep away from the few suppers a month I have. Blah, Blah, Blah.

Then I came home and finished reading a post on a blog I follow. All I can say is thanks God that it was there today. I needed to read it. I needed to be reminded. I needed to remember the times my girls and husband have told me I am beautiful. The times when my girls have told me that they love their cuddly mummy. In Christ I am a new person and I need to live with that each day. I know that isn't an excuse for over-eating and under-exercising but if I am doing the best I can then I need to let it go.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Family together-time

In our family we are creatures of habit. We have our dinner at 5.30pm and then afterwards we all have jobs to do. The girls take it in turns drying-up the dishes or vacuuming the floor in the living and dining rooms. My husband always washes up and I do whatever job I find to hand. After we have finished we usually sit and read a book or go straight to the bed-time routine.

Tonight, we decided to look up the holiday brochure that came today. I really thought my daughters were going to explode with excitement; they looked at the brochure with their dad as I checked websites on the computer. One of the girls couldn't sit down and was walking around the table saying 'I hope we can book it!' A few were already booked for the week we wanted them. They came upon a cottage that looked lovely; we checked where it was on the map, I looked at the website, the photos of the rooms looked like they would meet our standards and my husband phoned the owner. The week was free. Hurray, the excitement. We have booked a week's holiday.

The girls spent all they wash-time saying 'I chose it.' 'No, I chose it!' But who cares really we did it together and it was lovely for us all to be involved. We just need to sent off the money for our first booked holiday (eg, not going to stay with friends, family or his army!) in a long time. We can't wait and the Linen is provided in the cost which for me was an essential.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

A Country Mansion

So I exaggerate a little, but we spent a delightful afternoon at our friends place in the country sitting in their garden watching their chickens and duck potter around the garden. We were enthralled by the charming little pale fluffy new chick and admired their beautiful new kitten. We then were invited for tea and spent the whole of that time laughing at the cute little things our respective children said.

That is what true friendship is made of; a lovely time was had by all. We enjoyed the break from the daily grind and felt a little fortified to carry on.

Today, is another beautiful September day in England. Church is followed by lunch with all the members.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Prayer of the Nose-picker

I have funny daughters. Tonight during prayer time my youngest started off well; all deep and spiritual praying for a friend of ours who is going on a months Mission trip overseas. She then started on a strange verbal journey which went something like this: 'And God we pray for Mike Parker the Egyptian Meanie and Imogen the Nose-picker.' It was at this point we all erupted into giggles and her prayer was curtailed.

Oh, I don't know where she gets it all from. She is only 6, what on earth is she going to be like as she gets older.

Friday, 4 September 2009

A Piece of History

We have a wonderful family tradition in that we take it in turns to read a special book to our girls mostly on a Saturday night. They are usually special books to us, eg 'Paddington Bear', 'Little House on the Prairie', 'Wind in the Willows' to name a few. We take great delight in choosing which book we will read when it is our turn.

At the moment I am in the reading seat and we are reading 'No Mountain too High' - a biography about the English Missionary Gladys Aylward. It is a children's version but hard details are not left out (for instance: the bombing in her town in the Shansi Province). The girls are really enjoying it and take delight in reading the chapter headings to see what is coming next.

Tonight, we read about a Missionary called David Davies who booked Gladys into a Conference in order for her to have some rest. (Nowadays, some of us choose to go for a spa day but that is a whole other post!) Many years ago when my husband was in Bible College a whole library of books were sent for the students to look through and take what they wanted. He picked up an old battered copy of poems covered in a brown envelope. The book was shelved for quite a number of years before my husband took a good look at the book. All the way through are very finely written notes about someone's incarceration in a variety of different POW camps in China. All though the book comments have been made beside the poems. This book belonged to David Davies; the same Missionary who met Gladys Aylward. Amazing - piece of history in our hands. Fantastic - to think this man suffered but came through WWII and carried on serving God.

We showed our girls the book and their eyes were wide with wonder. Our eldest has asked my husband to make sure she gets it when he dies! I love my girls and hope this tremendous interest in things continues as they grow and the world throws up its temptations.