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.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Haters Gonna Hate

My son: "I hate Chuggington".
Me: "You can't hate Chuggington".
My son: "Why not??
Me: "Because it has no worth to it, and therefore isn't worth hating".
My son: "But I do hate it".
Me: "You may dislike it, or it may not be your preference, but you cannot hate it. Hate is a really strong word for really strong things".
My son: "Like what?"

Me: "Like Oppression. You can hate oppression. Like Racism. You can hate Racism. Like Sin. You can hate sin. But you can't hate Chuggington. Not because you have to like Chuggington, but because it doesn't have the worth connected to it, to hate it".
My son: "What is oppression?" 
Me (pressing sons face into sofa, making him giggle): Oppression is pressing someone down. Keeping them down. Imagine my hand is the weight of these words being pressed down on you. 'You're worthless. You're rubbish. You're no good. You'll never do any better'. That is oppression, with a lot less giggling. With no giggling at all. You can hate oppression.

My son: "What is Racism?"
Me: "Racism is preferring someone because of the colour of their skin. Or rejecting someone because of the colour of their skin. Usually it means you pick the person most like you, and you reject the person not like you. You can hate racism".

My son: "Sin is everything we do wrong. So you hate everything we do wrong?"
Me: "Sin is not choosing God's way. God doesn't hate you, He loves you. But He doesn't like the naughty things you do. He hates sin. Because sin separates us from Him, and He doesn't want that. He loves you, and he loves me, but not what we do. And as your mum, my view is the same.

My son: Does God love the devil?"
Me: "No".
My son: Does God hate the devil?"
Me: "Yes. He is the opposite of what God is".
My son: "What if the devil says sorry?"
Me: "No he's different to us. We can say sorry and be forgiven. the devil can't".
My son: "And the devil hates us even when we do what he wants us to do?"
Me: Yes, he hates us when we're good, he hates us when we're bad".
My son: "But God loves us when we're good and He loves us when we're bad".
Me: Yes exactly".

My son: "So, I cant hate Chuggington, because it's just a cartoon?"
Me: "Yep, it's not big enough to hate. Hate isn't good for us. But some things are to be hated".
My son: "Why isn't hate good for us?" 
Me: "Roll yourself up into a ball, and hold onto yourself as hard as you can".
My son: (Muffled grunting noises, and more giggling, as he holds on tightly to himself).
Me: "You're all tied up, holding on. You can't breathe properly. You can't do anything. Hate does that, it ties you up, takes your breath away, stops you from living and being and doing. If you hate the wrong things, you get into this state. It makes you very bitter."

My son: "What is bitter?"
Me: "Bitter is when you can't let go of something and you can't forgive or move on, like how you are physically now. Now release yourself and relax".
My son: "Ahhhhh...." (as he unfolds himself and stretches out).
Me: "Now you're free to breathe, not holding on to anything, free to be you, free to do stuff and it feels much nicer. You've let go. That's what happens when we 'Let It Go' as Elsa would say. When you forgive someone, You are free".
My son: "Okay. Chuggington is a bit boring, but it's okay.
My daughter: "Boring is a rude word".
Me: "I think we've done enough for today".

"Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good".
Romans 12v9

Friday, 9 September 2016

Digging for Gems

One blog a month seems to be the rate at which we are going this year. Good job I've got some loyal followers, and my mum always ready to read the next one. So what's my excuse this time? Last time it was finding out that I wasn't Wonder Woman. Well, this time, August felt a bit hard wearing to be honest, but there is always stuff to learn and stuff to reflect on. Hindsight is a wonderful, humbling, slightly annoying thing.  

One of the little people in my life was poorly for the whole of August, and my role of course, was to look after her, to comfort her, to check on her, to sit with her, to be concerned for her, to feed her, to play with her and to Calpol her. This was quite tiring in the midst of parenting a few others, a youth camp, a family wedding, a family holiday, the six weeks summer holidays and a hospital trip. But it was also a bit lonely. I'm known for having a few strong urges towards being an extrovert, as does the one who was poorly. So we went for it wholeheartedly anytime lovely people visited us. I was very grateful for those visits, especially through a caravan window. 

Nearing the end of the summer, and when said poorly one was on the mend, I got a bit low for a few days. As well as the extrovert thing, I tend to fall in the 'glass half full' bunch of people too. (Especially if it's a wine glass). So it was a bit unusual for me. As I sat in hospital, and had a mini break from the hundredth episode of Peppa Pig, I read some of Andrew and Rachel Wilson's book, 'The Life you've never expected', and I was greatly encouraged and challenged. Comparison is never healthy, but their struggles are far greater than what I was going through. 

Having said that, Struggles are indeed struggles. And thankfully God is indeed God! The Wilson challenge was to find joy in it all. Actually to find 'Joy in God', in it all. Our number one priority in life, is to 'Be Happy in God'. And not some weird, fake, 'smiling like you're constipated' happy, but real happy. We can find Joy in God's word, the Bible. We can find it in people, in celebrating, and by being and speaking positively. We find joy when we remember the goodness of God, and in the discipline of doing these things regularly. I personally find Joy in taking photos and capturing moments. I'm sure the rest of the Wilson's book is wonderful, but I'm stuck reading this chapter for a while. It's good for the soul. And I'm capturing the moment. 

Funnily enough, while I was reading it, a friend who is having a really tough time at the moment, text me and said, "you've just got to look for the positives, in among the sh**", and I thought that was a fairly honest snapshot of what the Wilsons were trying to convey. It reminded me of my little one who was in hospital. She had found an old, dried piece of dirty play dough, but she was so excited because there was a gem in it. She dug at it until she got to that gem, and she was so pleased about it. 

We drew a picture of what was hard about being poorly in hospital; not seeing daddy, the cannula which made her arm sore, feeling hot and sad, and being sick. And then we drew the good things; the free play dough (brand new not just the skanky bit I mentioned), painting in bed, nice nurses, sleepover with mummy, Peppa Pig on repeat (I would have maybe put that in the other column), medicine to go in the cannula, the sick bowls which we could draw on, getting a new doll for being brave, friends visiting, the giant animal puzzle, the man who bought the Custard Creams, and God's love being wherever we go. (I added the Chinese Takeaway that was delivered by a friend, the coffee, Dairy Milk, the McDonald's dinner and the NHS...all definite Joy givers). 

It was important to teach my little one to find joy, to be thankful, and to stop and look for the gems even when they seem out of reach. Or maybe she taught me that one...

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice". Philippians 4v4