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, 28 July 2012

An Apple A Day

We have been reading through Matthew with the boys. Just a few verses at a time, over breakfast. Some hugely successful mornings where a seed of truth has landed in their minds and brought challenge or encouragement, and some mornings where it felt as clear as if we had read a Dr Seuss tongue twister with them. We have been reading from the sermon on the mount in Chapter five, and because we've only covered a few verses a day, the boys do feel as if Jesus has been up that mountain for a rather long time explaining how people should live.

One day this week, we looked at 'A Tree and it's Fruit'. The husband asked us all if we could be any fruit-bearing tree, what one would we be. I fancied being a cherry tree. Banana, apple, mango and see-weed trees were also thrown into the mix. The husband read these verses and then chatted about what 'good fruit' might look like.

"So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognise them by their fruits." Matthew 7:17-20

We had written down a Summer Holiday 'To do' and 'To be' list, and the husband focused on the 'To be' part of the list; be kind, be generous, be honouring, be forgiving, be obedient, be loving etc. The husband explainined that these were 'good fruits' and that each one of them pointed to who Jesus is. The husband explained that neither the boys nor us parents could grow this fruit without God's help, so we had to choose one or two to ask God for. These moments can be pretty challenging because the boys hear what you're asking God for; 'patience' and to be a 'good example' in this instance!

When I went to the shop later in the day, one of my boys was too silly, disobedient and generally just hard work. I explained when we got in, that his behaviour was like growing rotten, smelly, gone-off fruit, and reminded him about what we had learnt in the morning. This little chat had a great impact on him. He had prayed at breakfast, for wisdom (making good choices) and God's help to be a good example, and he put these into practise. By the time his dad got home, he had grown some beautiful, fresh, healthy fruit . He led his younger brother well, being an example to him, he obeyed straight away, he didn't tantrum and he made good choices. He was able to share with his dad the different types of fruit he had grown that day.

I thought about this and realised that I am also able to share with my Heavenly Dad, what fruit I grow each day. I'm able to say sorry to Him for when I grow stinky, rotten, gone-off fruit, the ones I find at the bottom of the bowl. Usually I grow this fruit when I've decided I'm going to be an angry or an impatient tree! (I feel like I'm in Drama class now!)

I also know that He sees the good fruit which He has helped me to grow, maybe the kind of fruit that others don't necessarily see. Or maybe they do see, and it causes them to ask about the great gardener I know and how he plants seeds and causes growth and sometimes has to painfully prune the tree too, in order for good fruit to grow. I really don't want to grow rotten fruit, but without God, His word and His help, that is all I'll grow. Might need to go and check what's at the bottom of our fruit bowl.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Help, I Need Somebody

There are those wonderful times as a mum, where you find yourself throwing up in the toilet, and you still have to be mum. This was my experience last Sunday morning. We were all dressed and ready to get the bus to church, when I suddenly felt a bit funny in the tummy. I ended up locking myself in the loo and being sick.

My youngest serenaded me outside the door, with his new guitar which in itself was a joy. I had to try and shout to my eldest that I needed help, and he needed to get my phone off his brother. My other son wouldn't give the phone to his older brother, because he was playing a game on it.

From the bathroom, I had to explain why the phone was needed and why now wasn't a great time to argue. My boy, without a phone to distract him now decided to bug his guitar-playing brother, so there were screams coming from him. I shouted through the door something about being helpful, and the guitar serenade picked up again.

My eldest decided ringing dad was the best option, and usually he'd be right, but not when he's leading church. So through the door, I told him not to ring his dad. He then went for the 'Uncle Paul' option, which again on a normal day would have been a good choice. I was struggling to think straight, but knew that Uncle Paul may well be on church set up, so that wouldn't be great either. I told him to ring one of the ladies from the girl's house. He tried our friend Hannah, but it kept going to answer phone. My son was still convinced that Uncle Paul was his best option, and left slightly confusing messages on Hannah's answer phone saying this. With my tummy hurting and the tears wanting to fall, I said he should try one of the other ladies, Yvonne. I thought we were on the home stretch now, but my son came back to the closed door saying he couldn't spell Yvonne. It was hard to hear him over the guitar, but I managed to spell out her name.

I finally heard my eldest boy say, "My mum is sick and this house needs help". And I was relieved. I knew that help would come, because the ladies in that house, are just those kind of ladies. Five minutes later, the front door was opened to a Hannah and an Yvonne. I finally came out of the loo and burst out crying. A text on my phone came through, it was Psalm 46v1;

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble".

How true this verse is, and how present His help was to me in this moment. I was ushered up to bed, given a sick bowl and a drink, prayed for and the house fell silent as the boys were taken off to church. I was very grateful for God's help in the midst of trouble, and a refuge of sleep.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Please Sir, I Want Some More.

So a few days ago I paddled in the sea, while my youngest had a boat trip with his friends. Okay, so the sea was made of Bubble Wrap, and the boat was a cardboard box, and my son's friends were Octonauts, but still it was a lot of fun, and quite relaxing too! We were enjoying the boxes and the wrapping of post birthday fun; should have just wrapped the box, instead of buy the presents to go inside!

Before the box was a boat, it made it's debut as an oven. My son was mixing me a tasty dinner, and acting out being me. I always find it rather amusing and embarrassing when they say my phrases, in my tone, with my expressions. It can be quite a good reflection of how they see motherhood; usually they say things like "we're going to be late, come on".

Anyway, I was being made a yummy invisible dinner; lots of mixing and noise and I could imagine the mess if he was truly being me in the kitchen! The dinner, along with the plastic bowls, and wooden spoons were put in the oven to cook. We tasted it and it was yummy in our tummies. We drank our imaginary drinks too, and it was a fun activity to pass the morning together.

I snuck into the kitchen and made some real juice and a real cuppa, grabbed some breadsticks and chocolate and put them in the bowls. My son was surprised and excited by the sudden realness of our little picnic. And I honestly believe that after drinking pretend juice out of a plastic beaker, that was the best cuppa I've ever tasted. It made me think of how lavish and good God is. He blesses us out of the ordinary with things which are extraordinary. He surprises us with His provision. He knows what we need and even want, before we ask it of Him. He continues to surprise and excite me as I see evidence of His realness. I love that my boy hadn't even asked for real snacks in our play time, it was just a fun and generous mummy thing to do for him. And my father in Heaven loves to do the same for me. If my boy had asked me, I would have probably still said yes to Him.

This morning over breakfast, we looked at Matthew 7v7-9;
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
‘Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

The husband shared with the boys some recent gifts from God; flight money for our upcoming holiday and a longed-for baby born to friends of ours this week. He asked the boys to pray for specific things that fit in with God's will. It did leave me wondering if I pray specifically enough about my needs and wants, and I was sure that God could and would give me even more than breadsticks, tea and chocolate. I just need to ask Him for more.