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, 19 April 2012

Have A Little Patience

This afternoon I went off to Asda with my youngest. We walked down each aisle, we found some good deals, we piled the trolley sky high with the weekly needs, we got our standard pack of Prawn Crackers half way round, and we headed to the checkout over an hour later.

That's where we met Janice, the check-out lady. I started to unload the weekly shop onto the conveyor belt, and my youngest delicately threw the items near him onto the belt in his own special helpful way. As usual with my shopping, the items didn't all fit on. I needed Janice to start scanning the items through. My first item was a reduced Star Wars Storm Trooper helmet, and I turned round to see Janice trying it on. She pointed out what a good deal it was. (Reduced from £9.00 to £2.50) She eventually started scanning the items, and I was able to load the rest of the shopping from the trolley. I wrongly had assumed that she would have started packing the items into the bags, but instead both sides of the til were now just filled with all of my food. I started bagging up my shopping. Janice was not the quickest of check-out ladies. She was in a very chilled mood. She had quite a bit to say about my reduced items and the things she liked. She chatted to my little one, and encouraged him to wear the Storm Trooper helmet, all the while smiling away.

I rubbed my forehead, as I looked at my snail like shopping crawling across the line as I asked for more carrier bags than the three I had been given. Then I had a thought, I had a choice to be patient with this lady or impatient. I had a choice to act in a godly way or not. I knew quite clearly that being impatient would not even get my shopping done any quicker, and that choosing the 'patience option' was what God was requiring of me, and He knew what was best for me, and best for Janice.

So I took a deep breath, smiled back and asked her how long she had worked there. Fifteen years! There were so many comments which I could have made, but instead I slowly packed the bags and continued chatting, eventually finding a way of letting her know that there was a church which met at the Racecourse. I asked her if she was the churchy type and this chilled, slow-paced lady, with no higher speed level said that she didn't have time to go to church. Ah Janice, you don't have time not to go to church! I thought about how patient God was being with this older lady who didn't have time to get to know Him. I thought again about how patient God is with me as I make choices to live according to His way or my own. I thought about how choosing to be patient with Janice, had made me have a much less stressful shopping trip as well as helping me see the bigger picture.

As I paid and left, I heard her say to the next customer that she was sorry to have kept them waiting. I smiled and thought I should probably go to Janice's checkout next time I shop, with Take That's 'Have a little patience' lyrics in my head as I spend time listening to her, knowing that God wants her to come to know Him.

  "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:
With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
   The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.
Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish,
   but everyone to come to repentance."  2 Peter 3v8-9

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Before The Chaos

This morning, just before the chaos of life began, my youngest walked into my room and climbed into my bed. He didn't say anything, he just got into a spooning position in front of me and I pulled the duvet over him and held him. We laid there, all warm and quiet for some time, before we eventually started chatting about the day ahead and what kind of sleep he had had.

It dawned on me how tantrummy he had been the day before, wanting his own two year old way about things. But I hadn't thought about that as he had climbed in bed for a snuggly cuddle. It was just one of those lovely, peaceful mummy moments which I treasured. And I was just so pleased to see my son, welcome him into the warm duvet and enjoy a few precious moments with him, no doubt before the odd tantrum or two.

I thought about my Heavenly Father; how He loves it when I just approach Him, simply to spend time with Him, to rest in His presence and feel safe in His arms. I love that as soon as He sees me, He is pleased with me, and not because of anything I have done or achieved, but because of who I am. I love that because of what Jesus has done for me, redeeming me from my sinful state, my Heavenly Father looks at me with sheer delight and joy. He doesn't dwell on the tantrums of yesterday when I tried to get my own thirty-four year old way about things, but instead He shows me new undeserved mercy again each morning. He welcomes me into His peaceful presence; into His tender, loving arms and asks me to enjoy a few precious moments with Him. What a great way to start the day, before the chaos of life begins.

"How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings."
Psalm 36v7

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Let it Rain

So it appears I have been in hiding for a little while. I have for some of the time been in my room, with an inflamed leg up on some cushions, one child with Tonsillitis, the television on as the boys' new best friend, and easy meals pre-cooked from restaurants and shops. We've all been camped out in one room, with many boxes and kitchen utensils, due to the new kitchen being put in downstairs. It did have a certain holiday feel to it at times and it was nice doing nothing, apart from vegging with the boys in my bed. Although Cbeebies did reach it's maximum viewing level and there is only so much time five of us can spend in one room together.

I feel like I have also been hiding in the wilderness for a little while; a camping trip to the valley of dry bones it seems. Not really praying, or reading the word, or even dwelling on the Lord God Almighty for a few minutes to thank Him. The busyness of life in one room, the pain in my leg, the boys, the kitchen, buying pre-cooked meals, remembering Antibiotics and finding places to eat breakfast seemed to claim my focus as I went through the motions of life.

I've been on some interesting camping holidays in my lifetime, but camping out in Ezekiel's valley of dry bones these last few weeks has not been one of my most fun ones. Feeling dried up, lacking in hope and cut off from the land of the living has not been life-giving or joy enhancing at all. I think I'd rather get rained on and flooded out.

So I've started praying little prayers, talking to God in the every day moments and thanking Him again for who He is and all He has done for me, and funnily enough, with my focus back on Him not me, breath is coming back to the dry bones. After all, it is promised in God's word;

I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
Isaiah 41v18
So I'm looking forward to putting my wellies and rain mac on, checking my tent pegs are secure and standing out in the rain.