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, 25 October 2012

Another Pink Toothbrush

I spent yesterday morning panicking and giggling with the husband. With one week to go 'til our due date, we sorted out the new baby's nursery. We went through the clothes that we have been given for the new arrival. According to the scan, this little bundle will be a pink one, which is slightly different to the numerous blue bundles we have brought home from the hospital over the years!

We sat and went through many pink, and fluffy, and floral, and pretty and frilly items of clothing. And we realised just how out of our comfort zone we are. With baby boys, you put a nappy on them, a vest, a top and trousers. Job done! But with girls, there seems to be a variety of options; You put a nappy on them, a vest (maybe one with frills on the shoulder, depending on what else they will wear), then you have to decide on tights or leggings or socks, before deciding on a dress or a top or a long top which could double as a dress, and then at this point you may put frilly knickers on the baby, which no one can see, but they match the vest, or the socks depending on what you previously decided. Then you put a cardigan on them, and the buttons match the unseen frills of the knickers, along with the button on the cute shoes! Simple, I guess an hour or so later she's dressed, until she throws up, and then you start the whole pretty process again?!

The husband has realised that he wont know what's going on with a little girl, whereas he looks at the boys and totally gets them (most of the time). He knows when they're being warriors, being egotistic, dealing with pride, being the clown, being a leader, taking a risk, rising to the challenge, stretching themselves, manning up etc. I look at them and see danger. I see bundles and wrestling and toilet humour. In our house, we do Lego, and weapons, and Nerf wars. We collect spiders and snails. We tie stuff up with string. We laugh at willies. We imagine what super hero powers we could have. We jump out at each other. We slide down hills on our muddy bottoms. We climb crazy high trees in the wind and we don't change our socks until mummy is gagging on the smell of them.

What a whole new world we are about to enter. A world of the unknown. A world of pink. A world of leggings and frills. A world of Barbies and My Little Ponies. A world of Flower Fairies and Ballet. A world of drama and emotion. But it won't be a world where we will just have to go for it and hope it all works out for the best, no not at all. It will continue to be a world where we will have to trust God with our parenting, like we always have done. We will not panic, we will trust that God knew exactly what He was doing when He sent us on this pink adventure. We will continue to thank Him for the arrows He has given us to send out and we will embrace the addition of another pink toothbrush in the house. Here we go.....

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4v6

 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3v5

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Keep Calm and Text Me

Last week, I was feeling just a bit fed up. I text the word "Poo" to a friend. She asked for an explanation, and for once it wasn't about poo in the literal sense. So I text her the following moans and groans.... "Because being pregnant and a mum, is all too hard and I can't do it and I feel like poo and my husband is tired and he's probably fed up serving me and dealing with me and I'm hosting small group tonight and a new lady is coming who needs to be welcomed, and I'm fed up and sad and angry and pathetic! Hence the poo..."

Like all good 'iron sharpening' friends, she asked me what I was planning to do about it all. I told her I had text her; that was my plan. So she sent me a link to a worship song. So annoying, I wanted a bit more 'poor you, life is hard for you' type stuff....But I clicked on the link and listened to the first verse (with a slightly stubborn heart); "God I look to you, I wont be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like you do. God I look to you, You're where my help comes from. Give me wisdom; you know just what to do".

And then I text the following to God....

"Oh God my Father. I am sorry for not looking to you, not coming to you. Please forgive me. And please 'Give me Vision, to see things like you do'. It is hard, I know I don't have to pretend it's not but it's not impossible. I know I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me All things, well that must mean parenting, because your word also says that You will tend your flock like a shepherd; You will gather the lambs in your arms.You will carry them in your bosom,and gently lead those that are with young. And I have young so you are gently leading me and carrying me close. What safer place is there?

And I know you're carrying this pregnancy, because you yourself are knitting her together in my womb, in the secret place. Seeing things the way you do is so much better than seeing things the way I do.

And to be honest, today I have felt a bit like poo but I seem to remember that it's not about how I feel, but who I am. (I may have even written a post on it recently - 'Who are Ya?')
I am righteous because of what Jesus has done and the righteous can draw near to you. And I am loved and accepted and an heir to your kingdom and an adopted child. And it is much better for me to dwell on this than dwell on how I feel. Help me to take my thoughts captive.

And my husband is genuinely tired. He may not actually be tired of serving me, I expect that's just my filter reading it that way. But even if he is, you're not tired of me. You're not even physically tired; you don't rest or sleep. You're a constant in my life. And you served me to the point of dying for me. Your love for me, and your patience never weakens. You are consistent. You will always have more for me than he will.

And yes I'm hosting small group, but you love hospitality! And yes there's a new lady coming, so I need to welcome her. But what a great opportunity to welcome her into the church family and feed her. You love when people feel welcomed in and taken care of. You even say in your word that when we do it for the least of people, we are doing it for you.
And after all, you welcomed me into your family when my life was a mess!

And so I may still feel a bit fed up with it all, even angry and sad and pathetic, but having the vision to see things as you do has lifted my soul and I thank you and praise you for that. Thank you for gathering me in the midst of my tantrum and for loving me and lifting me. Thank you that even when I make it all about me, your grace says that it's really not. It's all about you and you do reign even when it's poo. I love you Lord love Emma"


Friday, 12 October 2012

Muddy Bottoms

I was a little worn out and emotional as I left church last week. We go to church at Brighton Racecourse, which is on the top of a big hill, and the boys were asking me if we could go down the hill, rather than walk around it.

At eight months pregnant, and worn out, I could definitely see the benefit of going round the steep hill. But I also knew that the walk would be much longer and more tiring, so I was quite torn and didn't quite know what answer to give the boys. Eventually they convinced me that they would help me and help the younger two, and with a few more "please mums", I gave in.
We got to the top of the hill and I explained the deal. I said that the oldest had to go first, followed by and helping the five year old. And that the second oldest had to go next, helping the three year old, and I would somehow bring up the rear. The boys were very reassuring and said they would take it slow for me and help me.

So I followed my little clan down the hill, a bit nervously and trying to convince myself that it was a better option than going the long way round. We got to a very steep part of the hill and my son explained to me that it was better if I slid down on my bottom for this bit. I said that I thought it was better for me to walk. Again he encouraged me to follow his lead in sitting and sliding. He said it would be easier and a lot more fun. I firmly stated that walking was easier for me. I took a couple of slippery steps, and then watched my four little men sliding their way down the hill.

I got down on my bottom and slid, and it was so much easier and a lot more fun than teetering down that hill.

When we got to the end of our descent, all giggles and muddy bottoms, I explained to my son that I had been reluctant to listen to his advice, and thought I knew better because I was older and he was just a boy. I explained that actually he did know what was best for me and that I definitely had more fun his way. I told him that there was a verse in the bible which explained that just because he was young, didn't mean people shouldn't listen to what he has to say. And that he can be an example, even to his mum.

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."
1 Timothy 4:12

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Today one of my sons made some good choices and some bad choices, which is a pretty regular occurrence for all of us really. In our house, we like to talk about these choices, especially with the husband. So I called my son into the kitchen, as it was a good time to talk to his daddy about his day.

My son was reluctant to come into the kitchen. He knew from earlier in the day that we were going to talk to daddy about it all. Sometimes I tell them in a wonderful controlled motherly manner that we need to talk to dad about it, and sometimes I may as well be saying, "I'm gonna tell dad on you". We try to develop an atmosphere where the boys feel comfortable to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly, or even the weird, the wonderful and the embarrassing?!

In my boy walked with his head low, fingers awkwardly in his mouth and his tail between his legs. He said he didn't want to talk about it, and I knew how he felt. Who wants to chat about their day when they've made mistakes? (In fact, the husband does have to do the same with his reluctant wife at times). The husband scooped him onto his lap and said to him, "do you know what, we're going to talk about the bad choices first and then the good choices, and for both of them, I still love you".

My boy explained his day to his dad; he had mean with his words and silly in the kids work at church. The husband told him how both these things were indeed bad choices. My son then told his dad how he had taken himself to a calm area during kids work, and how he had then listened well to the team. The husband told him how both these things were good choices and how he was proud of him. He then tipped his son upside down and kissed him. My boy asked if he was getting a smack, and his dad said no, unless he wanted one of course, which he found funny! He then ran off back into the lounge.

As I watched this interaction, I knew a God prompting was going on. I felt encouraged that my Heavenly Father always welcomes me to come and talk to Him, whether its something good, bad or ugly, (or even weird, wonderful or embarrassing). And I recognised little old me in that reluctant, ashamed boy, who didn't really want to chat. But the reassurance before he even began talking, that His daddy loved him no matter what He said or what he had done, was of course a reflection on how God loves me. And my Heavenly Father is always like that, He is consistent with His love and acceptance of me, whereas the husband can't say that to be true all the time. It was also interesting to see my son ask if there was discipline involved. I know I often think God is going to tell me off, forgetting that actually Jesus died on the cross for all the bad choices I have made and therefore He'd rather tip me upside down and kiss me.

"In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." Ephesians 3v12

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Who Are Ya?

A friend of mine recently encouraged me with some verses from her study bible. I decided to send them on to a friend of mine, who could also do with the encouragement that these verses had brought me.

In the subject part of the email, I had written 'Who are ya?', but she had read it as 'How are ya?' and in her head she had answered 'I feel terrible'. It was only when she read the email and the verses included that she realised what I had actually written.

The verses were all about who she is in Christ. And i thought it was actually quite interesting and revealing that she thought I was asking how she was feeling rather than asking her who she is. How often do we 'do life' according to how we feel, or according to our circumstances? Rather than doing life according to who we are in Christ and what the Bible says about us; what our Heavenly Father says about us.

How often do we parent according to how we feel, rather than who we are in Christ, and who our kids are in Christ? How often do we respond with a tone or look because of how we feel, rather than the truth of who we are? How often do we judge others according to how we feel about them, rather than who they actually are in Christ? How often do we dwell on and mull over how we feel; our fears and worries, what is going on around us and what people think of us, rather than the wonderful biblical blessings, truths and promises from God? It changes perspective quite a bit. So today I ask, 'Who are ya?' not 'How are ya?'

Romans 3:24 - I am justified (declared "not guilty" of sin)
Romans 8:1 - No condemnation awaits me
Romans 8:2 - I am set free from the law of sin and death
1 Corinthians 1:2 - I am sanctified and made acceptable in Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 1:30 - I am righteous and holy in Christ
1 Corinthians 15:22 - I will be made alive at the resurrection
2 Corinthians 5: 17 - I am a new creation
2 Corinthians 5:21 I receive God's righteousness
Galatians 3:28 - I am one in Christ with all other believers
Ephesians 1:3  I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ
Ephesians 1:4 - I am holy, blameless and covered with God's love
Ephesians 1:5,6 I am adopted as God's child
Ephesians 1:7 - My sins are taken away and I am forgiven
Ephesians 1:10-11 I will be brought under Christ's headship
Ephesians 1:13 - I am marked as belonging to God by the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 2:6  I have been raised up to sit with Christ in glory
Ephesians 2:10 - I am God's work of art
Ephesians 2: 13  I have been brought near to God
Ephesians 3:6 - I share in the promise in Christ
Ephesians 3:12 - I can come with freedom and confidence into God's presence
Ephesians 5:29, 30 - I am a member of Christ's body, the church
Colossians 2:10 I have been given fullness in Christ
Colossians 2:11 - I am set free from my sinful nature
2 Timothy 2:10 I will have eternal glory