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.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Adaption of a Classic

A wife of noble character who can find? 
She is worth far more than Tiffany & Co.
Her husband has full confidence in her, 
He prizes her higher than the 'Extra Special' range.
She brings him food, and warmth, 
All the days of her life. 
She selects cereals from ASDA,
And works with Fairy soft hands.
She is like a working horse,
Bringing her trolley from afar.
She gets up while it is still night, 
To change a bed and dish out Calpol
She stocks the fridge with cheese strings,
And wishes she had female servants. 
She searches for reduced sticker items,
And sells old toys on EBay.
She sprays the Flash vigorously; 
Her arms are strong for her tasks. 
She tidies, she cleans, she texts a friend, 
She does another school run.
In her hand, she holds one smaller,
Whilst pushing the buggy along.
Her arms are full of carrier bags.
She opens her arms to the poor,
and extends her hands to the needy. 
When it's a snow day, she has no fear for her household; 
For all of them are clothed in Primark.
She makes her own and six other beds, 
She is clothed in creased garments, 
with unknown stains across her top.
Her husband is respected in his office,
Where he takes his seat outside the house.
She makes food for small group,
and supplies the new mum with a meal.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, 
She can laugh at the days to come. 
But not in a manic way.
She speaks with different tones,
And ignored advice is on her tongue. 
She watches over the affairs of her household 
And cuts the crust off the mouldy bread.
Her children arise and call her 'mummy, mummy, mummy, mummy'.
Her husband, he praises her;
There is meat on his plate.
Even with Dove care, beauty is fleeting, 
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 
Thank her for all her hands have done, 
and let her works bring praise to the Lord.

Or read the classic; The Wife of Noble Character

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A Pig And A Frog

'Opposites attract' is how the saying goes, and there are plenty of couples which support this theory; Kermit and Miss Piggy, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam, Homer and Marge, Toula and Ian, Han Solo and Princess Leya, Jack and Rose, Madge and Harold, Belle and the Beast, Chandler and Monica, Gloria and Melman, the list goes on...

Maybe it's their looks which make them different, or their culture,  or their morals even. Maybe its their wealth which causes differences, or quite simply because one is a frog in love with a pig! I'm not sure which couple I'd like to compare myself and the husband with, but there are definite differences we have from one another. The biggest one is probably that God made the husband to be quite a tidy, ordered kind of a man, who likes to arrive places on time and likes everything to have a place. And God blessed that man with me. I'm probably more of the 'not so tidy, slightly late, can't find anything' type, which is why we go together so well.

One of the husband's ways of showing me continual grace, is by not mentioning the kitchen side to me, and by just tidying it himself.  Like I said, he likes there to be a place for everything, and everything to have a place. For me, the kitchen side is that place where I like to keep everything, which isn't quite what he means. So I looked at it this morning, and thought about just making it into one neat-ish pile (which apparently isn't tidying at all). But I knew that that wouldn't actually be me having the right heart to bless the husband, and I could tell that Peppa Pig's rocket wouldn't stack well. I know that it's an act of love to blitz the kitchen side. So I text a picture of it to a friend, who knows about the 'kitchen side' deal in our house, and she replied,

"Oh mate!!! I'd put some praise music on if I were you!!!"

I thought that was a great response. She could have told me to give up before I had even started or she could have empathised! But instead she encouraged me to praise God in the task ahead. I could serve and love the husband, by cleaning and tidying the kitchen side, and do it all for the glory of God. I could worship Him in the midst of such a mundane task. So the praise music went on, the side was cleared in my own non systematic way, Peppa's rocket took off to its rightful place, the bin was filled and the cleaning spray came out. (Now to keep it that way until the husband has returned home from work!)

"So, whether you eat or drink, (or tidy the kitchen side, or change a nappy, or drive the car, or make their lunch or serve the church, or do another load of washing, or clean the loo)
  or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
                                               1 Corinthians 10v31l

Friday, 18 November 2011

Actions > Words

We have attempted to sign with the boys when they've been little, in order to help them with early language frustration. Our second son only learnt the signs he felt he needed in life; 'biscuit', 'milk' and 'please'.  And our littlest one pretty much just found signing and snorting 'pig' hilarious!

With all of them however, we did find it really helpful to teach them to sign 'sorry' from an early age. The sign for 'sorry' is a circular motion with their hand on their chest. Now instead of signing it on their own chest, my boys have tended to sign it on their brother's chest; that is the chest of the brother who is already annoyed by them, which has sometimes added to the annoyance as they are now getting pushed in a circular motion. But we still do it. We encourage the boys to say sorry quickly and to forgive quickly, with the action of a hug which can turn into a bundle, which makes us all laugh. So it's all done and dealt with!

I had to say sorry to someone this week, because I had brought something to them in a rude and blunt way. I apologised to them at church. I didn't sign it on mine or his chest, as I don't think that would have been altogether appropriate! I said sorry to the man and was quite taken back by his response. He forgave me quickly, which I did expect. After all, he is a wise, mature man of God. We did hug but he didn't bundle me, which I was grateful for. But what I didn't expect, was for him to quote the following scripture to me.

        "Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
                reprove a wise man, and he will love you."
                                                             Proverbs 9:8

He said that according to the bible if you bring something to a wise man, like I had done, he will love you. So he said he had gained a friend in what I had done. He didn't focus on the rude and blunt way I had brought something to him, instead he focused on his part in accepting it. He was humble, forgiving and knew what the bible said about such things. It was a blessing for me to say sorry to this man, and be forgiven by him.

We teach our boys to forgive quickly, to hug it out, simply because Jesus has forgiven us for so much. If we have repented, He has forgiven every single sin, wiped clean, start again, fresh mercy every morning. Yet sometimes I feel justified to hold on to some hurt, or I may say "I forgive you" with my words but not show it with my actions. And when people bring correction to me, or point things out to me, am I as humble as my dear friend to receive it like he did, and love them for doing so? Jesus never had to say sorry, He was completely innocent. He could have held onto hurt as He was unjustly punished for the world's sin, for my sin. Jesus didn't just forgive with His words, He died on the cross and rose again! His actions speak very loudly indeed.

Sunday, 6 November 2011


I went to Barcelona.
I went to Barcelona with the husband.
I went to Barcelona with the husband and with no children.

That in itself is a blog post!!

So I went to Barcelona for four days. How did I end up there? The husband took me out for dinner due to a deal on at Pizza Express and he asked me what I would like from our marriage. Thinking I would maybe say that I wanted him to reply to my texts in the middle of the day or to get home earlier, I actually said that I would like to go to European cities without the boys, just for a couple of days, until were old! So he took me to a church planting conference in Belfast last year (not sure that counts but it was with a wonderfully fun couple, and I did get new boots). And then he took me to Barcelona a few weeks ago. Brownie points for the husband.

It was of course amazing. No nappies or night time wees. No Cbeebies or Disney DVDs. No school runs or homework. No Cheddars or Fruit Shoots. No 7am breakfast of Cheerios, but instead an 11am breakfast of croissants, cake and omlette! Just four days in the sun, by the sea, with a Mojito or two and fried Calamari, with only the husband to share it with. Bliss. I think I lost a friend or two with every relaxed, fun photo I uploaded to Facebook, but it was worth it.

When we went to Belfast, the boys found presents under our bed for them. So when we told them we were going to Barcelona, they were already expecting to find presents again. My boys, just like me, love getting gifts. Whether it's the 'thing' itself, or the fun it brings, whether it means we've thought about them, or it's the anticipation, they do love presents. They weren't thinking about missing us because they were far too excited about the gifts. And I was excited about giving them. I had found cheap little things which individually I knew they would love.... play dough, a warrior polar bear, a compass set and a talking Mr Incredible! What's not to love in that list?

As much as I love giving my children gifts, my Heavenly Father loves to give gifts to His children so much more. He picks them out individually. He knows what we love and what we need. He is far more generous than me. And He loves it when we, His children, are expectant to get something from Him. He loves when we're excited to receive what He has for us. He has gifted me with so much; salvation and an eternal destiny for a start! He has also given me the husband and the boys. He has given me endless mercy and forgiveness. He also gave me the trip to Barcelona. He gave me the Sangria and sunshine. The list is endless, and the great thing is that He even encourages us to ask for gifts from Him. I have never asked Him for a warrior polar bear but I do appreciate all the gifts that He has given me, and I'm glad I don't need to look under the bed for them.

"...which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father who is in heaven
 give good things to those who ask him!"
                                                                                     Matthew 7v9-11

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above..."
                                                                       James 1v17

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Mother Knows Best

My littlest boy is going through that wonderful phase of being two. He is trying to see if he knows best or if mother knows best. He is working out if he is in control of his life or if indeed  I am. He is trying to establish whether he is the authority in his life or if I am.

I don't think he has made his final decisions yet, so he is finding new ways to test his the above. I don't understand why he doesn't just look at his three older brothers, who have tried and tested these same theories before him and learn from their findings. But no, he has decided to find out for himself if he is the boss or if I am. I think he is beginning to understand that my 'No' holds more weight than his 'no', but he's not entirely convinced, so he still says it to see what happens. 

He has a lesser version of 'no' which is 'not yet' which is a softer and cuter way of saying it, but it's still disobedience. He has also started down the age old path of 'laying on the floor' to see if that achieves what he was setting out to do. He is working out whether he really does have to say 'sorry' when he is in the wrong or if he can just try the silent approach with me, and he is using his eyebrows a lot more to convey how he's feeling!

My boy doesn't yet understand that his mum and his dad are the God given authority placed in his life. He doesn't want to be told what to do, what not to do and he thinks that he knows what is best for his life. He doesn't want to obey our decisions, but he would like to see if he's got what it takes to go it alone. He wants to be in control and make his own choices. He doesn't yet realise that it is because of my love for him, that I tell him what to do and what not to do. He hasn't realised that it is out of a heart of love that I know what is actually best for him, and out of love that I protect, train and teach him. He doesn't understand that it is because I love him that I want him to obey me and because I love him that I discipline him. His heart is wrapped up in foolishness as the book of Proverbs points out.

As I thought about my boy wanting to be in charge, I was reminded of two things that Joel Virgo said in a recent preach at our church. He said that a lot of people say they don't believe in God because they need more evidence, but actually it is because they don't want Him to have a claim on their life. People don't want someone or something telling them what is best for their life. They may not be rejecting Jesus from a reasonable argument but from a heart that objects to God's will for them.

It seems similar to my son's lack of urgency to have me speak into his life and know what is best for him. My friends who so far have rejected God don't realise that it is out of a heart of love that He wants to be the authority in their life. It is because of His love that He wants to protect them and why He wants them to follow His perfect ways. My Heavenly Father is a loving tender God who wants the best for me, and wants the best for my friends who have rejected Him. He wants to bless us as we follow Him, because he loves us. He sent His son to die for us because He loves us. It is even out of a heart of love that He gives us free will, so we can choose whether to let Him lead us or not.

At the tender, malleable age of two, my boy needs to do what we determine is best for his life. As he grows older, he will have to acknowledge that we were placed in authority over his life, whilst submitting ourselves to God's best for him and for us. My boy will have to choose to let us continue to speak into his life or not, and he will also have to choose whether to let God be the ultimate authority in his life or whether he indeed knows best.

"Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him
                                               Proverbs 22v15

"Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered
                                               Proverbs 28v26