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.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Are We There Yet?

Me and the husband have very different approaches to a trip out with the boys. I like to enjoy it from the beginning; making the picnic lunch, getting the bags ready, and leisurely heading to wherever we are going for our day's fun, enjoying the journey on the way. The husband however, thinks that all that other stuff is periphery and the fun can only start once we are at the designated place. (The question 'Are we there yet?' from the back of the car, and from me, doesn't really help the husband on these journeys) Many an 'interesting' chat have we had about such different approaches to the journey.

I was amused yesterday at a journey I had with a friend. Our destination was to be a mum's prayer group. Sounds simple enough. But the journey to our destination actually didn't seem that simple. It was delayed by a hospital phone call, after the two school runs to drop off six children. There was a detour due to three fire engines and a house fire. There was an errand to run on the way. There was traffic. There was the beeping of horns and even a man dressed as a pizza who attempted to slow us down as he stepped in front of the car. There was a phone call from my friend's husband, a sleeping baby and time restraints, but also a lot of giggling especially as my friend told the pizza man off!

I was thinking about the journey today, rather than the destination, in regards to our walk with God. The destination is our main focus; a citizen of Heaven we shall be! But there is so much that happens on the journey itself. And that is the stuff that shapes us and causes us to grow. It depends of course, on which route we take, and how much we trust God to lead us. But it is all part of the training. It is what moulds us into who we are, and actually makes us more expectant of our final destination. With these thoughts, I decided to let the youngest two walk at their own pace on the lunchtime school run. It was sunny and I had no plans, and I wanted to see what the journey would look like and what it would teach me. It took thirty minutes instead of ten, which for someone a little on the unorganised side of life was a nice change from the last minute rush! 

The boys ran giggling, they stopped to pick up ants, they stopped to look at a brick, one of them tripped over, one of them needed discipline for disobedience, they climbed up a steep muddy bit while I stuck to the path, they went their own way, the same one tripped up again, they were scared by a dog, they rescued a baby snail, they walked up and rolled down a hill, they looked for woofs, they sat down, they climbed on a fence, they wandered aimlessly, and there was very nearly a dog poo incident!

My role in the walk seemed to be to lead them, to encourage them to keep walking, to ask them about their day, to take an interest in the baby snail and the ant, and to hold their hands near the roads, keeping them safe because I love them and don't want them to be in danger. I guess it made me think about how God keeps me safe, how He encourages me to keep going and how He leads the way for me to follow Him, how He takes an interest in my life and how He loves me dearly, but how He allows me to make my own choices. And sometimes that means I take the wrong path, sometimes I go the more difficult route, sometimes I need discipline, sometimes I get scared, sometimes I get distracted and sometimes I end up in dog poo. But just like I didn't leave my children to go it alone, my Heavenly Father doesn't leave me to go it alone either. And I know it shapes me as I journey on, trusting His ways. I guess I learnt from my two adventure-seeking giggly boys today to slow down a bit and enjoy it, rather than keep asking God if I'm there yet!

"But our citizenship is in heaven,
and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body,
by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself."
Philippians 3v20-21

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Interview With a Legend 2

Time for another interview with a legend. If I refer to her as the Bear Gryls of mums, that might give it away. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the delightful Ashleigh Smyth.

So Ash, you became a Christian....when I was 15 during confirmation classes at a Presbyterian church with an amazing youth pastor called Rory Spence.

And you and Pete got together....when I was 16 & he was 18. We met at a Christian concert the first time I went to that Presby Youth Group after being saved. We were friends for about 18 months (liking each other alternately while the other liked someone else!) We went out for 5 years, all of which was long-distance (boarding school & separate universities).

Has he ever taken you for a Mr Darcy "turn about the room"? No, at our high school dances I loved dancing & he hated it. He rather annoyingly spent more time soul-winning than shaking his chassis! 

Ashleigh friends, my kids, Pete, our dogs, 'The Vicar of Dibley' and '24'.  Food. Cupcakes & ice cream & chocolate & puddings. Holidays by the sea, full body massages at the spa...

Currently you are reading....."Leave it to Psmith" by P.G Wodehouse (a delight) & "The Me I want to be" by John Ortberg.

So your role in life be Pete's wife, to love him, support him, be best friends with him, encourage him. And to raise, mother & train my 3 sons. I'm involved in Godfirst, with the key leaders and their wives. I travel a bit with him to visit other churches or conferences, which I love. I also teach swimming lessons at a nursery school in summer.

And your view of being a mum....I love being a mum. I love being able to be a full-time 'stay at home' mum for my boys. I'm so grateful not to work full-time. It's my best thing. And I'm so grateful for sons. I am one of 3 girls & wished I had a brother, so now love being surrounded by boys! I was a tomboy, so love the noise, activity & energy of boys. My parenting style is "Go outside & play" so I am very grateful not to have to dream up craft activities etc! I love being outside & doing outdoorsy stuff with my boys, anything from water-skiing to swimming the Midmar Mile to sliding down sand dunes. I love laughing with my boys, & cuddling with them (they all still cuddle!) And I'm very competitive & am finding it hard that they're starting to run faster, be fitter & beat me at things!!

How  did you share with the boys about Pete's cancer.....We explained that Dad had a type of cancer, which was bad, but that it was a 'good' kind of cancer in that the doctors were hopeful that chemo would get rid of it. We also said we were trusting God to heal him completely. We kept talking openly with them about their fears & questions, & regularly asked them how they were coping with it all.

And how were they coping with it all...They all did very well. We prayed a lot for them & they coped in different ways. The youngest (7 at the time) didn't fully understand, & would often just sob & say "It's the cancer making me sad". The middle one was a bit more stoic and needed to be asked how he was more than offering his feelings. The oldest talked a lot, he's good at expressing himself, & he took on a lot in a supportive role to me & his brothers.
The boys talked a lot with us, but at school after peoples' initial kindness & sympathy, they preferred people not to keep asking them how dad was as they struggled not to get tearful, & wanted things to be as normal as possible. We kept lines of communication open, but also tried to carry on with life as normally as possible. Whenever Pete could manage it, he went to watch a cricket or soccer match. When it was Jack's birthday party we asked some young guys from church to come, as Pete had no energy to engage, but was present. We were probably more emotionally sensitive to them during that time, but maintained normal behaviour & standards & discipline!

Can you share your first reaction of it all.....I was devastated when we first found out about Pete's cancer. I lost my mum to breast cancer as a child & I've fought my own battle fearing the same would happen to me. So it was a shock. I think the 'cancer' word is powerful & we hear it & think 'death' initially. I didn't want to lose my husband.

Your role must have changed......As Pete became sicker through the chemo, our roles shifted & I became more key in running the family. I was the primary parent, the primary presence, often the only decision-maker, & often the leader. For one who has a husband who is a strong & brilliant leader, this may have been a shock! But it was amazing how God enabled me -I hardly ever thought 'I just can't do this'. It was only when Pete started to get better & our roles slowly started to change back, that we realised how much they'd shifted. We often look at people who are suffering through something difficult & think 'I couldn't cope with that' but God really does come to you in suffering & enable you to do all that is needed.

And your support of Pete through this time......

And at home.....I accommodated myself & the boys & our household to him. He became quite reclusive at times, feeling too sick to even sit through family meals, so I learned when to shield him from people (even the kids). And the kids & I learnt to get on without relying on him being there. Sometimes I needed to encourage him strongly to keep his faith up, sometimes I had to help him sleep. Occasionally I got overwhelmed & he had to comfort & encourage me!

The worst part.....fighting the fear of losing Pete. How would I live without him? Who would father my boys? How would I support our family? My prayers swung between confident claiming of healing for him, & begging God to have mercy on me & my children & give him back to us. Also, it was very hard seeing him constantly feeling terrible, getting sicker, & feeling like he'd never be well again. We had a particularly difficult December (last month of chemo) when Pete was in hospital twice for different things & thought he might well die, & we came under quite severe emotional attack. That period almost finished us both off.

And your faith throughout....I never questioned God or said, "why us?". I was so grateful that God was sovereign, that we had medical aid to pay bills, that we had great support & friends walking alongside us, great oncologist & doctors etc. And we knew God's help, comfort & strength all the time.

You kept going, relationship with Jesus kept me going, & my love for Pete. Keeping the family going as normally as possible and being part of a church kept me going. We had one particular couple who walked very closely with us throughout & I met with her nearly every week & poured out how we all were. They were very wise, understanding & hugely supportive in everything from bringing food to us at chemo, and flying to Durban to bring us all home when Pete went into hospital. Also, I learnt what my limitations were in that period. I had very little emotional buffer, so only did things that didn't require much from me. I didn't do any church ministry, & only met with supportive friends, & I cut my activities down to a minimum, mainly centred around Pete & the boys' school & sports.

Worship encouragement.....Chris Tomlin's albums were wonderful for me, & Pete found Lou Fellingham's album so helpful.

You have learnt along the way.....that God really is God, & is all that he says He is. I've learnt that he helps us to go through what we imagined was impossible to cope with, & that I'm stronger than I thought I was. I've learnt that I love Pete very deeply, in sickness & health, for better or for worse. Our marriage stood up very well through the ordeal & we remained close & very in love. I've learnt that my boys are fantastic & there's more to them than meets the eye. I've learnt how different friends provide different blessings or meet different needs. I have deeper respect & compassion for families who are suffering or living through trials. And I've learnt that there can still be great joy in the midst of great sadness & difficulty.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

It's Not About Me

Today started with me having a prayerful sleepy moment on the sofa. Thanking God that today was all about Him and not all about me. And asking Him to remind me of this fact throughout the day, because I sensed I was going to forget. I then crawled back into bed for five minutes and suggested that the husband prayed for me too. The husband wisely suggested that I didn't do too much today (he can see my crazed tired state a mile off) and thankfully he was able to do the school run with the older two, so the morning's pace was less crazy.

I attempted a shower as the youngest two were happily being babysat by the Zingzillas. My hair was full of soap as the four year old informed me that the two year old had removed his nappy, and he wasnt going to put it in the bin because it was full of poo and that was disgusting. A minute later with the soap out of my hair, I found said nappy with no poo, and I'm hoping still to this point in the day, that the four year old was mistaken by the contents of the nappy!?

The four year old went off to his second day of big school, slightly reluctant as he thought he had "done school yesterday", not quite realising that this was an everyday occurance for the next eleven years of his life. So it was just me and the clean nappied two year old. I put a chicken carcass and some stock on to boil, did a quick hoover, a dishwasher load, a high chair wipe down, a toy tidy, and sat down with a cuppa, in order to 'not do too much today' like the husband had suggested.

I put some worship on and just watched my little boy dance to the music. He clapped out of time, abandoned and free, with skipping, and pointy fingers and sticky out tongue. He smiled, and hopped and rolled on the floor with his legs up high, and threw Smurfs in the air. The perfect way to worship!  (Abandoned and free, rather than the use of Smurfs!)  Every few minutes he said that he wanted to pray. So we paused the song and he copied my prayer, "Dear God, dear god, Thank you, thank you, You love me, love me, Amen, amen." We repeated this about ten times. I sat and listened to the words of songs written to encourage us that its all about God, not all about me. And realised how powerfully true our simple prayer was.

"For God so loved the world
that He gave His one and only son,
 that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3v16

Sunday, 18 September 2011

I'm No Moses

The other book I have been reading lately is “Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God” by Noel Piper. No one is on horseback and Mr Darcy is nowhere to be seen. (See True Romance post). Noel Piper shows us some real life Proverbs 31 women in this book.  Women, whose lives and deeds are set before us, as examples of what it means to be faithful to God's calling on their lives and women who have made a difference.

One of the women in the book is Gladys Aylward. She has amazed me as she set off to China with no qualifications and after being rejected from the Chinese mission board. She knew that a ‘No’ from people sitting on a committee, didn’t necessarily mean a ‘No’ from God. She persevered instead, and remained open to God guiding her. She adapted to the Chinese culture, even realising that she had stopped growing at 4ft 10, in order to fit in perfectly in China! She was considered small and weak in the natural. But with God, she was bold, courageous and determined. She knew that God was her ultimate authority, so she wasn’t afraid to challenge authority which went against God’s will. She went through terrible seasons, illness and the terror of war.

One part in particular made me cry as I was aware of my own thinking. Gladys was in the process of leading about a hundred children through the mountains to safety during the war, as you do, when she reached an impossible river to cross. She was suffering with ill health and understandably a weakness of faith. One of the children simply asked Gladys why God couldn’t just open the waters like He did for Moses, when he had to cross the Red Sea. Her wearied reply was simply, “I am not Moses”.

The child’s wonderful rebuke however, was to answer this mother figure with the amazing truth that “God is always God”. And by God's amazing provision, they did indeed get across the river.

I know what it is to feel weak and not able, and compare myself with another mum or an inspiring bible hero. But I know that inspiring bible heroes are inspiring because of the all powerful God of the bible who uses the weak and lacking, not because of who they are. And I also know that if you teach your children about the wonderful life giving power of God, then their faith may well encourage you like this child’s faith did for Gladys.

I recently had a moment  which wasn't as terrifying as Gladys', but it was me at the end of me. I found myself crying on the lounge floor. A bit of a heap. One by one, the boys stood round me and prayed. How they comforted me in that moment. How their faith stirred me, to run to Jesus and ask Him for His great help. I might not feel as amazing as Gladys Aylward, and she didn't feel as amazing as Moses. But our God is the same God. The great heroes of the bible are only amazing because of the amazing God they serve. Any of my great mum moments, are only great because of God. And on my weakest days, when there is an emotional river to cross or a mountain of washing to climb, I may not be Moses or Gladys but God is always God.  

"Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today." Exodus 14v13

Friday, 16 September 2011

True Romance

I have recently been reading two books, which are quite different in genre. Both books can be pretty much summed up by their titles. One is called ‘Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God’ by Noel piper and the other ‘A weekend with Mr Darcy’ by Victoria Connelly. One is encouraging, thought provoking, challenging and faith stirring and one is about a boy who gets the girl, loses the girl and gets the girl back (Sorry if I’ve spoilt it!).

I enjoyed reading ‘A Weekend with Mr Darcy’. It took two days and it was like watching a movie for a couple of days, a nice bit of escapism and girlie-ness. I was especially amused by a line from a disgruntled boyfriend in the book;
“I know you women-you don’t care who the man is as long as he’s on a horse. Put Jabba the Hutt on a horse and you’d all be swooning over him”.

I enjoyed the book immensely but was very aware of the caricature of men throughout. They were pretty much brandished as losers, cheats and liars, apart from the handsome, funny, sensitive and romantic heroes of course.

 As I read the book, I was reminded of a blog I had read recently, it was interestingly titled “Beware Romantic Pornography”, written by Betsy Hart for The Gospel Coalition. She describes romantic comedies as stories which usually involve a wonderful woman and an idiotic man. The idiotic man does not realise how romantic he is until the wonderful woman shows him and he starts to talk about his feelings and as she quite rightly observes, it usually involves a fountain at some point.

 The title of the article is quite striking, but she is wanting to voice her opinion clearly and dramatically, as she says;
“Sexual pornography twists an understanding for men about real women’s bodies and sexual appetites, so romantic pornography twists the perception for women about real men and how they ‘ought’ to behave toward women, which tends to amount to… behaving like a woman”.

She makes such a valid point, and it was an interesting read. As a mum to my boys, I know I have a duty to teach them how to treat women but also to be secure in their masculinity, and not be feminised by the culture or the girls they meet. As a wife, I need to remember that the husband is made in the image of God. I’m not expecting the husband to arrive home on horseback this evening, however delightful and also amusing that might be, but I may well have let other incorrect expectations of him creep in from one too many romance novels. I need to let him be the man that God has made him to be, as well as keeping my eyes fixed on the ultimate husband Jesus Christ to captivate my heart, care for me and rescue me.

"So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them."
Genesis 1v27

Monday, 12 September 2011

Come As You Are

This morning at church, I was thinking of one of Nirvana's songs, as you do. Maybe I was attempting to stay young, although the song I was thinking of was released in 1992, so I'm not sure how that will make me feel young! And I'm not sure Kurt Cobain would have thought that a mum at church would one day be thinking of his song. I know that his song is actually about people's expectations of others, but all I could think of was the words "Come as you are".

I walked into church this morning, and could see the husband sitting on the front row. I walked to the front, carrying five boy's jumpers, 2 kids work cards, a child's belt, a Play Station cable, a small knight, a pocket full of Lego and a naked Action Man! And that's when I thought of the song, 'Come as you are'. It made me smile, because I knew how true it was. I knew God had seen the morning, the fact that I dressed my youngest in the church lounge, and that I could come to Him just as I was, naked Action Man and jumpers in tow.

How wonderfully encouraging and refreshing, that God let's me come to Him just as I am, a sinner, a mess, a rushed mum, a jumper carrier. I had nothing to bring Him, I came to Him a bit like the Action Man I was carrying; naked, empty handed and not really able to do anything by myself. Whether I'm tired or flustered, I know I can come to Him just as I am. No qualification needed or tick list checked. Just me. Because of what Jesus has done for me, because He has made a way for me, I can come to Him! I sat down to hear the preacher talk about the Samaritan woman who had come to draw water. She came as a woman who actually put all her trust and comfort in men. She came as she was and Jesus approached her and offered her salvation. He didn't offer it to her because she was good or had it all together. He offered her salvation as a gift. I'm always moved by people's stories and as it was a baptismal service, there were testimonies to hear. I love that each person shared about God meeting them just as they were. It's not about getting it all sorted before we come to Him, Jesus let's us come to Him just as we are, offering us so many undeserved blessings.

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." Ephesians 2v8-9 

Sunday, 4 September 2011

It's A Girl's World, But He's In It!

As I wrote recently in "It's a Boy's World, but I'm in it!" , there are things which I do just because I am a mum to boys and I want to be engaged in their physical, adventurous, all guns blazing, tree climbing blue world. I want to be involved in order to be able to relate to them, enjoy time with them and share Jesus with them. But it is time to hear from a dad of girls who wants to be involved in his girl's pink glittery world, for the same reasons. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Adrian Holloway.

I have never understood the need for glitter and 'make and do'. However,our house is often full of small creations made from toilet rolls, old strawberry punnets and fairy liquid bottles. It is very important that the majority of them are created before 8am and they are displayed for at least 2 weeks before they are forgotten about. They can then be transferred to the very, very top cupboard...a half way house that is used in case a) they are requested back b) they are sadly forgotten and make their way slowly but surely to the great recycling bin in the sky.

For me this table of activity is not inspiring, in fact if anything it seems, dare I say pointless. However, it is a time of learning and understanding, nurturing and bonding. If I share the passion for a Pritt Stick and a pink neon feather, I hope they in turn will learn to share my deepest desires.

Teaching our girls about having a true personal relationship with God, is the most important thing that I see I can do as a Father. This takes many forms from, my day to day responses to them, to our one on one God times. Our 'Daddy bible times' could probably be described as being unconventional. Julia, my wife, often expresses concern as to what the neighbours are hearing through the walls of our terraced house. Rather than sit and read bible stories in our house we prefer to go for the role play approach. Therefore Lazarus is often raised from the dead, Jesus is, possibly too graphically crucified and raised from the dead. Demons are cast and miracles are witnessed. Why? Simply because they love it, I love it and God's word is remembered.

I want them to know that I will always listen to them, offer them advice when needed and endeavor to understand their needs when they initially seem alien to me. Ultimately I will love them unconditionally.
Being a Dad of 4 girls isn't necessarily how you might expect. I have spent hours of time sitting next to our older girls cheering on Fulham FC. I have even caught one of them getting up extra early on a Sunday to watch match of the day!

Adrian Holloway

Friday, 2 September 2011

"Come On Lad"

While we were on holiday, we went for a walk to a place called Dancing Ledge. It was a lovely day for a walk; the sun was shining, there was a nice breeze, beautiful scenery, we had a picnic ready and knew it would end in a fun climb. A lovely day for a walk indeed! Unless you were a four year old boy who really wasn't up for a walk, then it was quite an ordeal. If you were four and you were tired and your legs were sore and you didn't care about the scenery or the breeze or the picnic or the climb, then it was not a lovely day for a walk.

Between ignoring the whining and complaining, being told off for the whining and complaining and being distracted from the whining and complaining, the walk turned out to feel a bit longer than it should. The husband was ahead pushing the youngest in the buggy, carrying the picnic and keeping up with the other two, while I was holding hands/dragging the reluctant four year old, attempting to enjoy some one to one time with him on a beautiful day. The husband held back and explained to the four year old that enough was enough, and that he was to enjoy the walk! Point well and truly made, daddy was listened to, the whimpering lessened and we looked for beetles which we were going to name Judy and Alex, but never found any.

That was only the way down! It had been quite a long way down, so I was wondering what the climb up would be like. Same situation as before; older two ran up, fueled by testosterone and a test of their manliness. The husband carried the two year old on his shoulders, as the buggy had been abandoned at the top of the climb. And I followed with a hot and tired four year old, who stood at the bottom and looked up and up and up to the top. It looked a long way up from my perspective, but from a tired four year-old's view, it looked insurmountable. At first he sat down, not defiantly, just defeated before he began! We played 'chase mum's shadow' which got him going, and we ate a few blackberries on the way for 'energy and strength'. But then he got weary of the climb. His head was low and his hands were pretty much dragging along the grass.

That's when we heard the shout come from the top; "ETHAN, YOU ARE DOING REALLY WELL. KEEP GOING. YOU CAN DO IT. YEAH. COME ON LAD". The voice of course was his daddy's voice booming loud and proud from the top. The weary four year old beamed his brightest smile as he looked up at his dad.
And with his eyes fixed on his dad, he ran and ran!

It was a wonderful moment and I could see my Heavenly Father in it all. How He knows me by name, because I am His child. How He loves me and He is so for me, encouraging me, rooting for me when I am weak and feeling defeated, reminding me that I am not defeated, drawing me to Himself, going before me, causing me to fix my eyes on Him, encouraging me to quit complaining and whining and listen to His voice and run. And when my boy ran to his dad, I ran alongside him, encouraging him to go to his dad. How wonderful to remember that once Jesus had ascended to Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to come alongside us, encouraging us, comforting and strengthening us, helping us along the way to fix our eyes on what Jesus has done for us and to run to the Father!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
 let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

 And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

 For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12v1-3

Thursday, 1 September 2011

It's A Boy's World, But I'm In It!

We have just come back from a much needed holiday. We had a few days in a beautiful house, courtesy of an old friend, who let us use her home. We went to see Windsor Castle and Princess Katherine even gave me a signed postcard and novelty pencil (her handwriting is very similar to that of the husband's!!). And we went camping for a few days after. The husband isn't the biggest fan of living in a tent for a week. He says it would be better if it had a sofa, and a non air filled bed and if the walls were firstly not near his face when he slept, and secondly if they were made of brick not canvas.

There were a couple of new things I did. One out of politeness and one because I am a mum of boys. On the Sunday, we went to church and back to the pastor and his wife's house for lunch. We had a lovely time, and they were very hospitable to us. The boys realized that girls can be very cool indeed, especially with a snake, a tarantula, ferrets and dogs as pets. As a non fish lover, I was served home caught fish, with eyes and a tail and everything! I looked at my plate, and politely smiled. The husband correctly assessed the smile as one of slight despair, and asked the wife to give me a little help in cutting the fish which was staring at me. The fish was swiftly decapitated, de skinned and de boned, and it was actually delicious. First new thing!

Secondly, it was my birthday while we were away. I got nice presents which the boys thought were a bit of a let down; smellies, jewellery and a flowery bag. No Lego or Star Wars is seen as a bit of a disappointment in our house. We went to a swimming pool or more of a water world, with rapids and slides. My son asked me to go on the water slides with him which I did about 6 times. But then I went on the really fast one on my own, while the husband had all the boys. I'm not sure I would have gone on it if I wasn't a mum to boys. But I went on it twice, once for them and once for me. I was advised by a mum recently, a Bear Grylls kind of mum who has three older boys. She said that as they continue to get older, I should do more and more active things with them rather than sit out and watch. Not just letting the husband be the only one involved in the fun side of things, but for me to be an active part of it too. It is such a privilege to look after them and care for their needs, knowing that part of this is to get into their world and have fun with them. It's definately a boy's world, but I'm in it! This creates great opportunities to share Jesus with them and it also proves to be jolly good fun along the way!

"And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up."
Deuteronomy 6v6-7