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.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

From One Princess to Another

A year ago today I blogged about a letter I sent to my second favourite Royal - Princess Catherine. I asked her if she wanted to be interviewed for the ol' Pink Toothbrush, and I think as much as she wanted to, protocol caused her to decline my offer. Apparently, "it would be unfair to single out a few (replies)". Personally, I don't think it would be unfair, (for me anyway) and in our house we don't even do fair! But as much as The Duchess of Cambridge probably wants to be my BFF, she has to be seen to love everyone equally. And I respect her for that, nearly as much as I respect her immaculate hair and outfit choices.

In my letter I asked her what colour her toothbrush was, as well as what it's like to raise a Royal, because not many of my other friends are having that kind of experience. We may be raising many things, but an heir to the throne isn't one of them. Can you imagine the pressure? It's hard enough getting them to sit still, fully clothed, in a restaurant, let alone meet diplomats from another country. There was a recent picture of dear old Kate, giving little George what looked like 'one of those chats'. Oh, how I felt for the woman. I've given that look, the 'gritted teeth, make everything look totally under control look'. And it just made me love her a little bit more. We are with you Katherine. Cue dramatic music and Katniss Evergreen salute!

The thing with us mums, is that in some way or another we're all the same. Maybe completely different stories, backgrounds, views, parenting styles etc, but there's a certain something that unites us on our mothering journey. And I don't just mean that completely knackered look we have, or the wine we may consume, or the dried-on, unknown substance we wear on our sleeve. I mean something of depth and significance. 
We are raising, nurturing, training the next generation. How they deal with life, and what it throws their way, how they deal with each other is largely down to what we put in. That's an intimidating thought, but also one of excitement and challenge. Some days, I'm happy if mine are just fed and the majority of them are clothed, but there are other days where I want to input so much more. Where I know I have truth to stand them in, mercy to show them and unconditional love for them to relish in.

I actually disagree with my own earlier point. I said I didn't know of anyone raising a Royal. You see, If I am loved by the King of Kings, if He says I can called Him 'Father', then that makes me His daughter, and that makes not only myself an heir to the throne, but my kids must be too. 

Romans 8v14-17 spells it out for us..."For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons (and daughters) of God.  For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him."

Not everything in that verse is easy to understand, but the gist says that we are not slaves, living a life of fear, but we are God's kids. That's how He loves me, and it's also how He loves my children too, and that love is also available to my mum friends who don't even know of God and His abounding love. I don't always feel like an heir to God's throne. Some days I feel like I'm not even worthy to clean the throne, let alone be the one who gets to approach it. But those are the days where I need to fall on the truth that I am indeed a daughter of the King, rather than wait for my feelings to catch up. 
So unfortunately no,  I haven't got Princess Catherine's inside view on raising an heir to the throne. But I have got my own view, the Bible's view on raising an heir to a throne that will last forever. And it's not easy. But thankfully my Heavenly Father never has to grit His teeth with me, and He is actually completely in control. 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

I Want It Now!

The smallest member of our house was a bit on the poorly side, and threw up in her cot, which meant there was sick on her beloved duvet, her panda and of course, in her hair. So poorly baby had to have a distressing bath-shower in order to rinse the lumps away, and make her smell a little less offensive. And the beloved duvet and panda had to have their own bath-shower on a quick rinse cycle. 

My sad little baby stood at the washing machine pleading with me in her non verbal, but very vocal way. She needed the comfort of that duvet. She knew I knew that, and yet I wouldn't give it to her. My explanation that it smelt and was dirty was not easily understood by the little being whose understanding currently sits with one syllable words, signs and animal noises.

She tapped me on the leg, cried and signed 'please' but it was still a no. That's where it got a little more intense. With the lack of comfort she could get from her duvet and panda, she signed 'milk' to me. Now there's certain rules in life; you can't go out to play if you've been off school, and you can't have milk if you've been sick. So again I said no to her desperate request. This resulted in her volume button being pushed up, and dramatic rolling on the floor. I tried to explain why she couldn't have all her comforts. But she was beyond reason at this point. 

The husband picked her up and tried to cuddle her, but she fought him off and even threw her dummy on the floor. If she couldn't have the comfort she wanted, she didn't accept any comfort. This carried on for some time, until a big brother stepped in. He suggested a cuddle and a few episodes of Peppa Pig. She got up from her carpet moment, grabbed her dummy and put her arms up to her big bro. Peace resumed in the house, and the duvet was able to be transferred into the dryer without anyone seeing. 

I was very aware of God's prompting throughout this. And I got to wondering what my duvet, panda and milk are;  my 'go to comforts' so to speak. Food, friends and Facebook are mine! All good things in their own place. But can easily be things that I go to when I'm sad or when I have sick in my hair. 

I know I have a Heavenly Father who wants to be my comfort and bring peace to me, pick me up and cuddle me. But I sometimes go to those other things first. 
And they may help for a bit, but they can't love me, help me and guide me. They just fill a gap for a while. And of course, sometimes The One who wants to be my comfort is also The One who has said no to me in the first place, and it's hard to know what to do with that. That's where trust has to kick in. And 'bigger picture' perspective. But it's hard to see the bigger picture when your duvet is covered in sick!

Because my little Peppa Pig fan can't yet verbalise how she's feeling, it comes out in an emotional outburst. Whereas we're trying to teach the others to say, "I feel disappointed about...", "I felt cross when you...".

The thing is God accepts both; when we come to Him in a measured way and tell Him how we're feeling and when we have a tantrum on the floor and demand He gives us what we want. He knows what we need. He has endless episodes of Peppa Pig for us, (stick with the metaphor, rather than how annoying that would actually be) a cleansing bath, and a warm clean duvet in the form of His love. We just need to give in and put our arms up, so we can get to His lap.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
2 Corinthians 1v3-5