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.

Monday, 26 December 2011

You're Not Invited

I asked my eldest to imagine it was his birthday already, rather than wait the six weeks he has to. I told him to imagine coming downstairs, to all the family having a party and giving each other presents and eating all the party food. I told him to imagine that we hadn't bothered inviting him to his birthday party because we wanted to celebrate it without him, and we didn't really think he was important enough to be invited. He said it was quite a sad thing to imagine. 
(I had to remind him that we were just imagining this scene, and that we wouldn't do this to him in six weeks time!)

I explained to him that this was how Christmas had been for lots of people. They will have eaten their Christmas dinner, and opened presents from each other. They may have even played a game of Charades too, but they won't have invited Jesus to the party. They will have celebrated His birthday, without Him. My son understood my point as we drove to Asda on Christmas Eve. And as I started to pray in the car, I think my son understood my tears too. He knew I was grateful that actually Jesus has invited us all to His birthday party. He has invited all to come and share with Him. And he has such fantastic gifts for us; gifts of salvation, forgiveness, and eternity in Heaven with Him, to name just a few.

Not everything related specifically to Jesus yesterday. The yellow and blue baby aliens that were thrown at my ceiling, didn't really point me to Jesus. Neither did the pigs in blankets, or Kung Fu Panda 2, and I'm not convinced that the Baileys or Pepsi made me think of Jesus either. But the giving of gifts and as Her Majesty put it, the essence of family and community, did point to Jesus. He gave the best present, Himself. And He did so to save us and bring us into God's family, adopted as His children.

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."
                                                                                                       John 3v16

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Lost It

I seem to have misplaced my patience this week. Can't find it anywhere. A combination of 'end of term-itis'; everyone in the house is worn out and tired. Mix this with four boys at home for the Christmas holidays and lots of last minute things to do. Mix this with the 'too busy to pray' syndrome, and the husband busy at work. And finally throw in a carol service and preparation for family arriving, and it's the perfect recipe to test my patience. In all honesty, if it were a test, I would have failed! I have lost my patience. I have been snappy at the four little people in my life. I have used the 'you are putting me out, I've got stuff to do' tone with them. I have raised my voice, which is the nicer version of saying I have shouted. I have phoned the husband in one of those 'moments' to plead for help. I have not had a lot of fun with the boys. I have done things they've asked with a huff, some actual out loud huffs, like I did in my teenage years, and quite a few huffs inside my heart.

In short, I have sinned. I have sinned against my boys and against God, by this distinct lack of patience. I know it's not down to circumstances, although circumstances can alter the pressure gauge. It's not down to tiredness either, although this can cause the pressure gauge to tip slightly into the danger zone. But it's how I've dealt with the pressure, not the pressure itself which has shown my heart in it's honest state. It's all about my heart, my selfishness, my sin. The classic error, was of course allowing busyness and tiredness to tip the scales, rather than prayer and praise. I have not been walking in the good of the Holy Spirit's strength and help, and therefore I have not known the joy or the fruit of living in Him. I have not learned to be content in this situation. I have not cast my burden onto the Lord and I have not sung a new song unto the Lord. So seeing as I haven't been living in the truth of God's word, I decided to open the bible and look at 'patience'.

And straight away, what am I faced with? What is it that softens my heart and brings it back to a place of worship?

"but God was merciful to me in order that Christ Jesus might show his full patience in dealing with me, the worst of sinners, as an example for all those who would later believe in him and receive eternal life." 1 Timothy 1v16

God, my Heavenly Father shows me mercy through Jesus. Jesus shows His full patience in dealing with me. As a sinner, God's wrath was heading straight for me. But because of what Jesus did on the cross; because He stepped in and took that wrath instead of me, I now live in God's glorious mercy. If Jesus showed His full patience in dealing with me, enough to bring me salvation instead of wrath, then it is the same full patience He shows me today. It is the same full patience He shows me when I am impatient, when I am angry, when I am selfish, when I am sinful.

Oh what wonderful truth to dwell on. What a joyous revelation again of my Heavenly Father's long suffering with me. The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. How this causes me to say sorry to the boys and ask for God's help today as I remember He doesn't lose it with me. How this causes me to sing a new song, to worship and thank Him; to repent and receive His beautiful mercy.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Mary, Joseph and the Fire Breathing Dragon

So Christmas is nearly here. The Advent calendar is nearly empty and the freezer is nearly full. I've been to a couple of nativity performances to watch a shepherd, a king and a dancing Roman at war! But last night I watched the best nativity performance I have seen this year.

The setting was a castle in my four year old's bedroom. The cast was wonderfully inventive; Mary was played by a king. Joseph was played by a wizard. The shepherd was played by a knight on horseback, and like all good shepherds, he had a pet dragon. Baby Jesus was inside a Treasure Chest. Sully from Monsters Inc, was trying to get the baby Jesus. Mary, the king was worried about her baby. But Joseph, (or Jophes as referred to by my son) reassured her that the shepherd would protect the baby, and sure enough the shepherd's dragon breathed fire at Sully and the baby Jesus was safe! Sully unfortunately didn't make it to the end of the nativity story.

So it wasn't quite how Luke or Matthew had recorded it, but it was quite a passionate adaption. I asked my son why Jesus was in the Treasure Chest, hoping for something profound to come from his mouth. I wanted him to say that it's because Jesus is a wonderful treasure to be searched for and found: a treasure so valuable that you would give everything else up for it. A treasure which shouldn't be hidden: a treasure which is rich and glorious and generous, a treasure which can only be found by searching for a cross. But he's a four year old boy who hasn't yet got to grips with his theology. His response was that Jesus was in the treasure box because that's where his baby toys were, of course! I did try to tell him the above; about Jesus being a treasure for us to find, but he was back to rescuing Baby Jesus from the blue monster.

"The Kingdom of heaven is like this.
A man happens to find a treasure hidden in a field.
He covers it up again, and is so happy that he goes and sells everything he has,
 and then goes back and buys that field." Matthew 13v44-46

Thursday, 1 December 2011

And Behind Door Number One......

The wait is over!! A tiny little cardboard door will be opened, to reveal a tiny piece of cheap chocolate, in the tiny shape of something Christmassy! Yippee. Hurrah! And this will continue for the next 23 days. It may well be used as a bribe. It may well be used as a threat.

It may well be gobbled up by a naughty mummy in search of chocolate and replaced the next morning. But the countdown to Christmas is here. Good Morning to the First Day of Advent!!

I remember the day when you used to open a tiny door and it just revealed a tiny picture, and you were content with that  because you didn't realise other Advent calendars had chocolate inside. And I remember when our calendar at home progressed to 24 pockets...filled with bubble gums and chocolates and new rubbers and 20p pieces and Treasure Hunts. Mother dearest, I salute you!

Advent comes from the Latin word 'Adventus' meaning "coming". We celebrate the coming of the Messiah, as Baby Jesus. And we look forward to the second-coming of Jesus, when He will return to this Earth and judge every one of us, and those who have trusted in His name will go to be in Glory with Him. 

And to represent all of this,  we open tiny little doors and eat tiny chocolate reindeers and tiny chocolate holly. Well, actually the two don't quite add up do they? But a wise friend of mine has put together 24 verses which take us through the whole story, so we can share it with our children each day as they open their doors. We obviously want to open the doors of their hearts and their understanding, to give them knowledge, and the truth so they know what it is we celebrate and why. The verses start with some old testament prophecies, move through the christmas story, explain why Jesus came, and finish with His promised return. I asked her if she wanted me to credit her with it, but she pointed out that, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living" (2Timothy3v16) so she didn't think she could take the credit!!

1. John1 v 1-13
2. John 1 v14-17
3. Isaiah 7:14
4. Isaiah 40
5. Isiah 9 v 6-7
6. Micha 5v2
7. Luke 1v5-25
8. Luke 1:26-38
9. Luke 1:39-45
10. Luke 1:46-55
11. Luke 1 v57-66
12. Luke 1:67-79 
13. Matthew 1:18-25
14. Luke 2:1-7
15. Luke 2:15-20
16. Luke 2v25-40
17. Matthew 2:1-12
18. Matthew 2v13-23
19. John 3:16 -21
20.  1 Timothy 1:14-16 
21. 1 John 5v11-14
22.  Romans 8v28-39
23.  Romans 5v1-11
24.  Revelation 21v1-7