Why So Serious?

I have been a bit poorly this week and so have not had a lot of inspiration until this morning when I watched this clip below by Rend Collective. Please click, watch and consider (bear with it, it’s 7 minutes)…….

THE ART OF CELEBRATION

Here are a few of the points that I wanted to highlight for you :

  1. Seriousness is not a fruit of the spirit but Joy is!
  2. Don’t confuse Joy with happiness. They are different things. Joy is a spiritual discipline but happiness is an emotion, fleeting in a moment.
  3. The Joy of the Lord is our strength.
  4. Don’t get caught up in guilt or failure. You are forgiven, You are free, You have a God who loves You more than you can imagine.

Let’s rediscover the art of celebration……Yes, that includes me!

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Quantifiable figures

 

In a world where success is often valued by quantifiable figures. Unfortunately Joel’s job doesn’t really have quantifiable figures to show success. I mean you could argue that he could record the numbers of regular attenders or the amount of monetary donations but there are so many more important aspects to the job than these figures.

Even Sport Relief uses facts and figures to help us understand how many people they had helped, could support with our donation and even why they were fundraising. I was watching it on Friday and Olivia Colman told us that in the UK it is estimated that 1 million elderly people are chronically lonely and 1 in 4 feel they have no one to go to for support.teabreakpattern So here’s my quandary how do you put a value on listening to someone’s worries, having a cuppa with someone who isn’t able to leave their house or simply being able to signpost someone to help them receive appropriate support? (I should point out that its not just the elderly that Joel works with but its a good example and I was watching Sport Relief when typing this).

This can lead to some tough times in our household when he feels like he’s swimming against the tide. When he is not sure whether he has made the right decisions, given the right advice, or whether he has done enough to help someone. After all decisions Joel makes can have an impact on people’s lives and some days that’s just plain hard to deal with.

Its in those times when I of course want to encourage and empower my husband. But how do I do this without understanding what he is struggling with? After all it’s not my place to know what and when others confide in Joel at work but it does make it difficult to support him. I guess this is the part of the role that no one can teach and I shall have to make a few (million) mistakes before finding the right balance of being a supportive wife without over stepping the mark into medalling!

On the flip side there are the good times when I can bask in the happiness of my husband enjoying his job. This isn’t quantifiable either…..

The Dreaded Question!

The Christian faith is well know for having its ideal scenario of marriage before having kids. I acknowledge that everyone has their own ways of living I am not agreeing nor disagreeing with the scenario. However, due to the aforementioned statement, Christians marry with the expectation placed upon them that they will start a family i.e. have babies. It means that married couples without kids are quite regularly asked  “So, when will we hear the pitter patter of tiny feet?” (or something along those lines).

I have two children so thankfully am no longer asked this question but when I was, I wanted so badly to yell back “F**k off! It’s none of your business whether I’m having unprotected sex or not!” I know, no malice was meant in the asking of the dreaded baby question but you can guarantee that it was being asked or implied several times a week by different people. Now, as someone who married in their early twenties, I don’t see a problem for a couple to marry young, it presented it’s own challenges but (and I can’t stress enough) there was absolutely no way I/we were ready to start a family.

I know a couple who got so fed-up of well meaning members of their church asking “So when are you planning on having kids?” that they responded with “We can’t have kids.” Now, I would never have the bottle to say this but for them it did have the desired effect. People stopped asking (however, it lead to a bit of upset and confusion when they did fall pregnant).

Another couple (who are close friends) I spoke to recently  are holidaying several times a year, traveling so see friends and family at weekends, generally happy with how their lives are going. Yet, 9 years into their marriage they are still asked regularly whether or not they are planning on having kids.

Sorry to rant but here I go! This (in my opinion) out-dated, stereotypical and insensitive assumption places extra pressure on couples to procreate before they are ready, if they ever want to, or can. I can’t imagine the pain of being asked the baby question frequently when the couple can’t have kids.

Learning to live with someone is hard enough before adding a baby into the mix. The size of your family unit is not relevant but whether love is present. For love is the key.

"No, sorry, folks ??" you still can't afford to start a family."

 

 

Oh for the Mother of….

So it’s Mothering Sunday or now termed Mother’s Day. In short Wikipedia tells me that on Mothering Sunday in the sixteenth century people returned to their mother church. The church they were baptisted in on Laetare Sunday. People who did this were said to have gone ” a-mothering”. Mothering Sunday then became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother church, usually with their families (a Sunday so as not to interfere with their duties). And has evolved to what we know it as today.

Never in the history of procreation has there been a more emotive subject than that of today (well except for breastfeeding). OK, so I’m been dramatic, but seriously every year when it comes to planning the service for Mother’s Day I watch my husband hold his head in his hands struggling with what to say because he knows that there will be no way of delivering it without upsetting someone.

Think about it there are women who have lost their mothers, women who have been hurt or abandoned by their mothers, women who want nothing more than to be a mother, women who were mothers, women who don’t want to be mothers, and many more women who have experienced different situations. I have some dear friends who have experienced what I mention above and as I type this I feel torn. Torn about how I should feel today because I am so thankful and blessed to a) be a mum and b) to still have my mother around (although she’s just shy of 300 mile away).

To say to everyone women today is the day you should thank your mother or we will thank you for being a mother is well a difficult thing to do because we all have our different experiences. So as I have no conclusion today I would simply like to offer to pray for you and your families (even if you don’t believe in God). If you are thankful, if you feel blessed, if you are angry or sad, or whatever, private message me and throughout the next week I will.

References

Mothering Sunday – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothering_Sunday