One Pink Toothbrush

Welcome to One Pink Toothbrush, where I will be posting moments from my days as a mum and as a wife. Funny moments, messy moments, thoughtful moments, teary moments.... and hopefully using each moment to see what God might be saying.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Practically Perfect in Every Way

I recently wrote a talk to give at our church's Women's morning. I chose to preach from Proverbs 31; good ol' Lady Wisdom. I knew this was a bit of a gamble, as although some women love her, I'd say a fair number of women can't stand the poor girl. She is practically perfect in every way, and that annoys us, because we cannot reach the standard set before us. 

She causes us to compare our lives with her own, and we tend to fall short. She literally has the capacity of a Merchant ship, whereas we might not even want to get out of bed. She manages her household with precision and flair, whereas we might be swamped by laundry and be out of bread, again. She's looking out for the poor, whereas we might not even have enough for our own. She's making her own garments out of flax and wool, whereas we might be wearing a two day old stained jumper. 

(Woolen art work by Susanna Theron)

She's one of those High Bar Bible verses, and I mentioned in my talk that only Jesus can reach the standard of perfection that God requires, and He did. He was and is, literally and practically perfect in every way. His love is perfect. His humility is perfect. His purity is perfect. His peace is perfect. His joy is perfect. His forgiveness is perfect. His strength is perfect. His timing and capacity are perfect, and if we're Christians, we get to live in His perfectness, His righteousness, even though we know we don't measure up. If we're not Christians, then it is available to us, by admitting our lack, saying sorry to God for it, and asking Him to exchange it all for what Jesus has to offer us. 

The frustrating thing about writing a talk, and studying scripture about it, is that you start to feel a bit uncomfortable in some areas. This can be the Holy Spirit bringing some truth and challenge to your own life, not just the lives of those you're writing the talk for. That's not what I signed up for, I'm bringing my wisdom to others, not God bringing His wisdom to me! (Folded arms, stamped feet, pouty cross face).

At one point, I had set up my littlest with her favourite programme, and a wealth of snacks so I could be upstairs and write about managing a household. And all of a sudden she was back with me. I reminded her about her snacks and the TV programme, but she said she wanted to be with me instead. I was really frustrated by this, as this was my 'window' to prepare and I let my annoyance be known to her. I text a buddy about it, half joking and half reaching out to share my Grrrrr. She sent a prayer text back, which wasn't what I wanted either. I wanted empathy, and 'poor you'. Grrrrr. 

After a while I took my notes downstairs, set it all up on the sofa, near to my little one, and started writing a prayer of frustration instead of my notes. I felt a softening in my heart, as God reminded me that He is always available to me when I want to spend time with Him. And He loves it when spending time with Him is my heart's desire rather than anything else. My littlest was just showing me that in the simplest of ways. 
As I finished my prayer, the childminding babies woke up, so my window of prep was over. I hadn't worked on my talk at all, but God had worked on my heart, and I had managed my household a little better and spent time in the Father's perfect love.

Throughout the preparation for this talk, God really spoke to me about who is in my household, and whether I'm running it well. I felt definite challenge in some areas, and encouragement in others. As a result I have even decided to lessen the hours I childmind. 
I literally need more time spent on my household, and have found a way for me personally to do so. I'm not practically perfect in every way, (especially practically to be honest - I forgot to pick up my own child from nursery last week). And I don't claim to be, but I do know someone who is, and it's only in Him that I can do anything He sets my hands to anyway.

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God". 2 Corinthians 5v21

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Let Them Eat Cake

I have been going through the trusted Jesus Story Book Bible and making meals for each story. Some have required a fair bit of effort, some have required me just buying something easy, and some have required extra creativity (which usually means enlisting help from the Draw Close Blog folk.

Whilst in Asda yesterday, I saw a reduced party cake; the ones that cost far too much to actually ever buy, but this one was going out of date, and the box was broken. Result! So the next edible Jesus Story Book idea came into being.... 

When each child got in from school, I asked them to write or draw things the Bible tells them to do which they don't do, and things the Bible tells them not to do, which they do do. (Two of the boys couldn't get past the fact that I said do do...hilarious toilet reference). I told them no one would see what they had written so they could be as honest as they wanted to, and then asked them to put it in a pot. 

I also did the same, which was quite a revealing activity; just taking the time to look at the things I do and those that I don't, and the motive behind those things. Probably something I should do more regularly, to be honest.

At dinner-time, we read the next story; 'Get Ready'. It's all about Ezra reading the book of rules out to the people of God, and the people of God getting sadder and sadder as they realise that they have indeed fallen short of God's perfect standards. They had offended God with their choices. 

I reminded my kids of the things they had written down, the things which have been against God's best for us. (And asked for the posed photo of them all feeling downcast, like the illustration suggests). 

The people of God expected God to be angry with them and to punish them for what they had done wrong. But Ezra knew that God's people weren't meant to be sad, and downcast. They were meant to be the most joyful people around. Even sorrow for sin must not hinder our joy in God, but rather lead us to it and prepare us for it.*

After encouraging the kids to at some point, say sorry to God for the things they had written down. I reminded them that we are to live in the celebration and Joy of what God has done for them. I reminded myself about it too. (Sometimes it's easier to teach the kids, than myself). I reminded them that Jesus is the only one who has kept to God's standards and we are in Him. Whoop whoop! This should lead us to celebration! Bring out the cake!!

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”

Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them. Nehemiah 8v10-12

Some of my kids were unhelpful during this Bible teaching activity. After the fun photo op, they then joked around, distracted the others, and chatted over me. I told them that it made me feel like throwing the cake away, because their behaviour didn't deserve the nice treat. 

But unfortunately that whole thing just consolidated the whole point I was trying to make. Grrrr!

*Matthew Henry Commentary

Monday, 29 October 2018

Terrible Twos vs Terrific Teens (hopefully)

We have moved into the world of teens over the last couple of years, and are trying to navigate this world well. Like with all parenting, you pick your battles. Some are worth fighting and some you can leave until next time. If it's a heart issue, it will simply come up again; maybe they can deal with it better, or maybe we can parent it better on the second or third time round, or even the one hundredth time.... (Of course, it may be our heart issue that needs dealing with, because parenting brings out all sorts in us). We've told them that we don't want the teen years to be years of dread for them or for us. We're only at the early stages, with two young teens and a pre-teen, so we know we have much to learn, much to experience and much to experiment with. 

So far we've avoided the perils of Snapchat (never going to happen) Facebook (now outdated) and Instagram (possibly one day) due to them having Nokias instead of Smart phones. This means of course, we've also avoided the cost of breakages. (Teens are droppers, as is the husband, to be fair). We all know you can drop, kick and bounce a little Nokia, and just put the three bits back together. Unfortunately though, not even a Nokia can live through a washing machine cycle! Here there has to be compromise, so I sometimes find myself having swapped my iPhone for a Nokia, because you can't play Fortnite on a Nokia, and apparently the Nokia snake game, isn't such a big deal as it was back in the day?! And I've heard me having a Social Media break isn't a bad thing either...?!

For now, some aspects of the teen years feel a lot easier than that of the younger years; there is less poo to deal with, but possibly more smells to comment on. There are less mind-numbingly repetitive questions, but possibly more of a need to push for any verbal answer.  There is less arguing about the disgusting dinners I serve them, but possibly more discussions on who consumed all the cheese, bread and milk. There are less early wake ups, but possibly more later nights to sit through. There are less changes of clothes in a day, but possibly more money needed for the right clothes to be purchased. (Cool cousin hand-me-downs are still acceptable). There is less complete and utter dependence (at times) and possibly more gradual independence given. (One went to London on a train yesterday). There is less screaming, but possibly more banter.

The banter is an interesting one. Obviously my kids are growing up with a mother of sheer hilarity and a 'not so low-key' father, so finding the right level of banter is a tricky one. It's hard not to be sarcastic with them. It's hard not to find their inappropriate burns of each other amusing. And it's hard not bantering back in such a way that destroys them. They're sensitive souls. I have quite a bantery relationship with one of them, one of them doesn't quite know the line, so it doesn't serve him for me to model it, and one of them is sensitive to too much banter. The husband has to remind the four of us quite regularly that in this household, we try to speak with honour.

A couple of nights ago, I wanted one of my teens to go to bed. He had already stayed up late to watch a film with us, but was now finding new topics and questions and ways of stretching out his already questionable bedtime. We are trying to take on the Number One piece of advice from the parenting sages gone before us; to spend time with the teens if they want to spend time with us. (Number Two being, feed them and their friends good snacks). But his banter was wearing thin, and I wanted a little time at the end of the day, without an offspring nearby. 

So I threatened him with more opportunities to teach into his life if he stayed around, and even threw in that it literally says in the Bible that his life will go better for him if he listens to his mother's teaching. Possibly not my most positive of threats but it worked. He retaliated with, 'not everything has to be a teaching point mum'. Silly boy. Proverbs in the Bible gives me all the ammunition I need to speak into his life. I mean teaching, not ammunition. Bants. (A tricky balance here; not to force feed them the Bible, not to be disrespectful to the word of God, some light-hearted banter whilst also being serious... a fine line indeed, sometimes achieved and sometimes not so much). 

The more I study Proverbs though, the more practical wisdom I see for running my own life. And running my own life has to of course come first, before it spills out to the kids. Does everything really have to be a teaching point God? This blog is about parenting, not for my own learning! (It's as if my Heavenly Father insists on a bit of parenting banter too....) 

"My son (daughter), do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 
for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. 

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

r the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 
then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. 

My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke,
 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in."
Proverbs 3v1-12

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Cogs Turning

My kids are well accustomed to me stopping them doing whatever they're doing, to vaguely or completely relate it to something Biblical. They sometimes take it in, and sometimes roll their eyes at my sheer audacity to try and bring a teaching point into it. It is one of my parenting roles, to 'bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord'.

For example, if they're fighting over Lego or Minecraft, I remind them that both those activities are for building up, not tearing down. (Technically not true in Minecraft if TNT is being used, but still...) So, a good verse to tell them might be, 'So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. And a favourite which can be thrown in daily is, 'Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!'. Even if it's a little 'tongue in cheek', it draws them back to God's word, without me barking law at them. 

And the more I teach them, the more likely they are to bring truth to me, "Mum, doesn't it say in the Bible 'it's better not to nag', and to 'let your gentleness be evident to everyone'. I then of course, can choose to take it in by 'setting the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity', or I can indeed roll my eyes at the audacity of my kids bringing Biblical truth to me! (Oh how much easier it is to give, than to recieve).

So yesterday morning's little grabbed moment, involved my son showing me yet another Lego creation. He had made a Gumball machine earlier the summer, which he conveniently now requires 40p for, for Gumballs, every time he gets the opportunity to show somebody new! Clever. He's also been making Lego safes with cogs and levers to keep the safe locked. The Parable of the talents comes to mind, 'You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much'. (Paraphrased; you've learnt to fleece your mum/store your money away).

My son showed me the cogs he'd been working on; you move the lever at the back, and it turns the first cog, which in turn, turns the next cog etc. All the cogs are then working together. I genuinely thought it was very cool, and told him so. I then told him that it reminded me of a bit of scripture; 'There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ.' 
1 Corinthians 12v12-27

I love this piece of scripture, because it has so many layers to it, for family life, work life, for church life... there's the 'everyone playing their part' layer, there's 'everyone needing each other for the good of the whole', there's 'you can't think your part is more or less important than another part', there's the 'do what your part is made to do', there's 'letting others do what their part is', there's the 'honoring of the hidden parts, rather than just glorifying the more obvious parts'. (Someone once told me I was like the mouth, and she was the spleen. Both as important as each other, and both needed, just one was more 'out there' and one was quietly doing its thing. Haha spot on me thinks). 

We talked about what would happen if he removed one of the cogs; a portion of it would still work, but the whole thing wouldn't work as it should. We looked at the importance of that one cog. I reminded him that in this family and in church, he had a part to play, we all do, in order for the whole 'body' to not only work well, doing what it was created to do, but to glorify Christ. A good truth for all of us to hear.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Rules for Living

We went on holiday with another big family, making it 4 adults to 11 children. And as the week went on, more 'rules for living' had to be put in place. 
I'm not convinced that every family would...
a) be able to holiday with us or
b) need these same rules
But for us, these rules helped us to have fun, not die, honour God and protect the building we were holidaying in. Like a modern day book of Proverbs; instilling wisdom, that kind of thing!

Do not wear shoes in the house

Do not wear socks outside the house
Do volunteer to wash up
Do say yes, when a mum volunteers you for the washing up
Do not climb out of the windows
Do secretly bless people
Do not lick sticks
Do help people, especially those younger than you
Do not walk behind a horse
Do not go under the bridge
Do jump over the river
Do not poo in the woods
Do choose your empire wisely
Do close the gate after you
Do not light fires without permission
Do jump over fires
Do be hardcore; use flint & steel
(And matches and fire-starters, and loo roll)
Do give parenting advice
Do not have alone screen time
Do watch movies together
Do not set the fire alarm door off
Do know the difference between a dead mouse 
and an old poo
Do not touch an old poo
Or a dead mouse
Do be kind
Do cook generously for 15
Do not put your head in the oven
Do not eat all the Blackberries
Do put dark chocolate and Brie together
Do not lose your temper

Do say sorry when you do
Do know grace
Do show grace
Do talk it out

Do chose your animal noise carefully
Do not be the amoeba
Do show forgiveness quickly
Do lean in
Do not hold a grudge
Do gather firewood
Do not be lazy

Do be responsible for the kindling
Do teach as you go

Do not nag
Do find a different tone
Do rest
Do read the Bible

Do read novels
Do use a tea pot
Do throw pooh sticks
Do not throw poo
Do climb
Do not run out of tonic
Do get muddy

Do wear clean pants
Do not flood the kitchen
Do feed apples to horses and children

Do always have plasters available
Do take a thorn out of a mum's leg
Do carry Piriton and Calpol
Do not respond to every scream
Do not scream, unless necessary
Do not lose the dummy
Do encourage one another
Do play spoons
And Uno, And Catan, And Picky Picky
Do not experiment with sandwiches

Do not hog the whole path/bridge
Do not leave your shoes behind
Or a child
Do hide behind trees
Do whittle sticks
Do not wear slippers near a fire
Do laugh
Do shower
Do not bring dead or live rodents into the house

Do use sweets as Denarius
Do talk
Do listen

Do ask good questions
Do give space

Do not use unkind words
Do hoover up bean bag contents
Do not spray a fire with deodorant
Do play Grandma’s footsteps
Do play 40:40/44 Save All/Pom Pom 123
Do not Hose-line your friend
Do roll down hills

Do not drink instant coffee
Do challenge
Do not dare
Do trust each other
Do walk
Do not grumble
Do slow down

Do eat squirty cream straight out of the can
Do marinate meat

Do recycle
Do not stuff the bin that full
Do not run out of milk or bread
Do use biscuits as bribes
Do squirrel away instant noodles
Do slide down the stairs in a sleeping bag
Do not put little people at the bottom of sleeping bags
Do thank God often
Do pray for one another

"Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips." Proverbs 22v17-18

Sunday, 29 July 2018

One man's Rubbish is Another Man's Treasure

Last night I was looking for my son's iPod, because he would really appreciate it for a long journey this week. I decided to venture down the side of the sofa, and pulled out a whole heap of rubbish. I stuck it all in a Tupperware, and was going to throw the contents away, but I left it on the side to have a little sieve through this morning. 

I've just had a sticky sieve through. My hands needed quite a wash after, especially to get rid of the hair that was stuck to them. Heave. 

I found;
a fidget spinner,
5 hair clips,
Lego legs,
Lego hair,
more Lego,
a tiny brush,
a Downfall key,
a pen,
a Spiderman badge,
a tiny car,
a Ballet slipper,
2 Playmobile plates,
a tiny gun,
2 unidentified objects
and a Harmonica.

I was struck by a couple of things. Firstly, that I was continuing to look for the iPod, after my son had gone to bed. I was reminded of God's fathering of me; how He goes out looking for the one, even though He knows the 99 are safe. Someone reminded me this week that I
was the 1 that God goes looking for. I always thought I was in the 99 in that Bible illustration...I've been a Christian since I was 6, baptised at 12, I'm the wife of an elder, I help lead a church site...pretty sure I'm in the 99. But my friend pointed out to me that the story isn't about me, and where I am, what I'm doing. It's about the Father, it's about the Shepherd. And He is always out searching for me, calling my name, reminding me of His voice. And to be fair, I had even been feeling quite lost, so it was a great encouragement.

Secondly, I was amused at what was salvaged out of the box. To be honest, I reckon I could have chucked the contents and it wouldn't have mattered much at all. A certain husband of mine, would have done just so.The harmonica lost forever, surely could only be a good thing! You know what would happen if I'd indeed chucked it all? In about 3 weeks someone would no doubt be crying because a tiny pink hair brush was lost. Apart from that, I'm not really sure anything else would have been noticed.

As I sieved through the dirt and wrappers, and sticky hair, I thought about parenting. My mother in law told me that some of mothering is just being a bin; our kids can off load their rubbish, so they don't have to carry it around with them. Totally makes sense, but feels a bit naf, a bit grimy, and a bit rubbish to be honest. (Excuse the intentional pun). Who wants that job?! 

The amusing thing is that my littlest girl loves our three burly bin men. She waves at them frantically on a Monday morning, and last week they even gave her a brand new pair of Bin Lorry gloves. She was over the moon, and took them in to show at nursery. They literally take our rubbish away, week after week. They do it with precision. They do it because it needs to be done. And they do it with joy. They are three smiley, waving men, making my little girl feel important to them! What a lesson to learn from the bin men.

And somewhere in what can at times feel like the rubbish of parenting, there are indeed treasures to be found. The tiny gun and the tiny plates will make two different people happy they've been found. The Lego will just go back into the boxes, so no-one will even know they were lost and now found, but I will know. Sometimes I do question what God is doing with me...some of it comes to be known, understood, appreciated even, and some of it only He knows the purpose of. It's the same with parenting... some of my choices for them, may one day be recognised, maybe even appreciated. Hahahahah.... Maybe they will wake up one day and call me 'Blessed', like the Proverbs suggest. But a lot of it, they may not even see, they may not ever realise the 'why' of what I've been doing, but I know the value of the things I've put in them, the Biblical principles I've aimed for. I also get that they learn from my muck ups, and my rubbish that there is only one perfect parent; their Heavenly Father. That's reassuring! 

I'm so thankful to Him that He doesn't just chuck me away. He knows there's treasure, gems to go after. He knows the value of things. He knows He had to get His hands dirty in the process of saving me from my muck. He sent His son to die for me, to get rid of the rubbish, the muck and declare all the treasure He sees in me. Parenting is sometimes just hard, and it feels a bit rubbish. Sometimes its an unbelievable joy, and makes me laugh out loud, and feel incredibly blessed, even if they don't call me it. But this morning I'm reminded to just go after a tiny plate, a hair clip, a thing at a time, not everything in one go, and to celebrate what gets found along the way.

"I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
    enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
    what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
    along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
    and making their treasuries full." Proverbs 8v17-21

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Little Girl

“Heavenly Father…”
Oh wait a minute, I’m being called. She calls me because she needs a wee. I ask her if she needs my help. She says no. I leave the bathroom. She asks me to stay. She asks me if I need a wee. I say I don’t. She says I could try. We could wee together. I do a wee. We sing the weewee song. I wonder if other people know our song. Mums must know it. She says her wee was yellow. She asks about mine. I say yellow too. We wash our hands. She wants to stay and wash her’s for longer.
I leave the bathroom.

“Heavenly Father...”
Oh wait a minute, I’m being called. She needs me to turn the tap off. She asks me where the water comes from. I explain pipes. She asks where the pipes go next. I say they’re underground. I realise there’s stuff I don’t really know, or ask. She heads off to her room.
I put the kettle on.

“Heavenly Father...”
Oh wait a minute, I’m being called. She can’t make the microphone work. I show her the wire and the switch. The one I showed her yesterday. She asks me to sit on the bed and listen to her song. I don’t really want to. I listen to her song. Not sure what the lyrics are. I don’t think she minds. She says it is my turn. I really don’t want to. The microphone is wet.
I sing a song into the microphone. She likes my song.

“Heavenly Father, thank you for today...”
Oh wait a minute, I’m being called. She says she needs a plaster. I ask her why. I know it doesn’t matter. This will only end in her getting a plaster. She says her knee is bleeding. It’s not. She fell over. It was four months ago. I go get a plaster. She calls down the stairs. You’re not getting my plaster. I don’t call back. Sometimes it’s easier that way. I give her a plaster. I’m sorry about her sore knee. She gives her head-tilt. She’s thankful for the care. I suggest she plays with ponies. She plays with Barbies. I go down seven steps. She calls me.
I breathe. Or was it a sigh? She wants to know the pony’s name. I suggest a name. It’s the wrong name. She suggests a different name. It’s the right name.

I gather the washing from room to room. But not her room. I don’t want to disturb her. I head downstairs. Wet washing transferred to the dryer. Dry washing into the machine. I put the kettle on. I clear away the cereal boxes. I clear away the breakfast bowls. Someone has left their lunch behind. I unload the dishwasher. I re-load the dishwasher.

“Heavenly Father, thank you for today...”
She asks me what I’m doing. I said I’m talking to God and I’m cleaning the kitchen. She says she is so hungry. I ask her if she wants an orange. She doesn’t. I ask her if she wants toast. She doesn’t. I ask her what she wants. She doesn’t know. She suggests crisps. I say no. She says she’s so hungry. I say it’s not lunchtime. I suggest an orange. She says toast. I say please. She says please. She offers to help me. I breathe. Or was it a sigh? When she helps, it takes longer. I say of course. She drags the chair across the floor. She’s done this before. I hand her the bread. She pops it in the hole. We press the lever down. I put the kettle on. We wait for it to pop. Up it pops.

I put it on her plate. I reach for the butter. She says her can do it myself. She moves the knife over the toast. But not the butter. It doesn’t spread. She says my can’t do it. I say we’ll do it together.

She says I don’t love you mummy. I know what she means. She wants my shocked face with a follow-up tickle. I do my shocked face and the follow-up tickle. She leaves the kitchen with her plate. I make a cup of tea. I wonder if re-boiling does change the taste. I sweep the kitchen floor. I dustpan and brush the kitchen floor. I pick out a hair bobble. A Lego man. A marble. I put them on the side. I empty the black bag into the outside bin. I put out the recycling. The recycling bin needs squashing down. I wonder which days it gets picked up. I see a missed call from the school. One of them has left his lunch. One of them has bumped his head. I say I’ll bring the lunch. I spray the sugary kitchen table. I wonder about the solidity of Weetabix. I grab the bleach. I bleach the loo. I put the loo rolls in the bin. There’s no black bag. They’ve all gone. I put a make-shift carrier bag in the bin. The kids will all miss the bag. I make a mental shopping list. We need toothpaste. I should write it down. I breath.
Or was it a sigh?

“Heavenly Father, thank you for today…”
Silence. She doesn’t call me. Where is she? Why is it so quiet? I should check on her. No she will be fine. But it is quiet. I have a look in the lounge. She’s found her dummy. She’s hiding behind the curtain. She’s found the iPad. She’s locked out of it for seven minutes. I say she needs to ask to use the iPad. I remind her about her toast. She doesn’t want toast. She wants crisps. I wonder when the dummy will go. I tell myself I’ll make the call soon. I laugh at myself. No I won’t. It brings me peace. I mean her. It brings her peace. I don’t know where all the other dummies are. I’ll add two to the list. I need wipes too. I should do an on-line shop. What else am I getting? Black bags. I ask if she wants her bin lorry. She does want her bin lorry. I get her bin lorry. I gather washing from her room. I should have added it to that wash. I’ll stick it in the washing basket. What is that smell? It’s coming from the washing basket. I’ll do another wash later.

“Heavenly Father, thank you for today…”
Silence. She doesn’t call me. I grab my tea. It’s cold. I put it in the microwave.

“Heavenly Father, I’m sorry. I don’t think I remember how to pray”.
“That’s okay, precious daughter. I never sigh when you call my name. I love when you call my name. Even if you only get round to just calling my name. I also know your real name, not the name you’re called by. By the way, I made wee yellow. I know all the names of the ponies, real and plastic. I know where the water comes from, every-day water and living water. I always want to hear you sing. I sing over you. I delight in you. I know where you’re hurting. I care.
I’m with you in the every-day. In the mundane. I’m with you, even when you think you’re capable of doing life without me. Even when you can do it all by yourself. I’m just waiting for you to ask me. You can even ask me for crisps. I’m patient with you. I can soften hardened elements which need purifying in you. I can clear up the mess. I can feed you. Even when you don’t love me. Even when you’re silent towards me. I’m still here. I know where you’re hiding. Sometimes you lock me out. I know the code. I can wait. I know what you need. I am your peace.

One last thing, I made tea!”

Photo Credit: Her