Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Growing boys, shoelaces, FIFA and Kung Fu Panda

Last night we went to sixth form information evening for our twin boys.

The vast array of options open to them as they plan the next steps of their life, and as they checked different ideas and talked about their plans or lack of, I was struck with how grown up this seemed and yet these were still my small boys.

The same boy who only that weekend had his menu choices at the Chinese restaurant based upon what he'd seen in Kung Fu Panda, was now carefully weighing his abilities and trying to match those to his dreams.

The one who could be reduced to a heaving mass of frustration over a fumbled goal in an online football game, was looking at options, trying to feel his way into a future path.

These mature boys asking responsible questions were the same ones I'd argued with in the morning over shoe laces, yes really shoelaces!   Their annoying lazy habit of taking to shoes off without undoing and a seeming lack of attention paid to the many lessons I have of tying the perfect bow had led to one (identity protected 😜) boy hopping round the house when we were already late to leave.  

Frustration, fingers, unhelpful fraternal intervention and forks (my idea and seemed logical at the time)  together succeeded in finally making the knot completely and utterly watertight and undoable, so the shoe just had to wedged on.  I tried not to wince as the back heel was squished as I remembered the joy, (also spelled trauma) that was involved in buying a pair of durable, school appropriate shoes and reminded myself that they were in the sale ( but In Clarkes everything is relative) and bit my lip on the long (10 min) journey to school. ( to be read as shouted and huffed and puffed and blew it all out of proportion)

The end of day saw the shoe wrenched off, the laces cut and replaced with some from another old pair  that should have been thrown out about three sizes ago but I'm not brave enough to venture too regularly into the bottom of his wardrobe. A solution found and normality restored, apologies and hugs given, cups of tea made and I did not comment when the other "innocent brother" dumped his own undone shoes.

And just a few hours later the same boys who could not tie or would not undo a shoe lace, were making decisions for their future with hope and a smidgen of direction.  

Later when they went to bed I read comments some friends had made about my boys, commending them and encouraging me and whilst you should never parent well to get the praise from others, there are times when that encouragement is just what you need to keep you moving forward, sure of your path. 

Yes they are growing up and I will try each day to give them all they need to do that well, to become well rounded men, but sometimes they will just be my little boys and we will argue and apologise and eat food based on Disney movies.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Hope Deferred.......

Have you ever been in an interview, when you get asked about your strengths and weakness.?  It is a question I have asked and been asked and my answer the last time I was asked was "Hope" as my strength.

Hope is a huge part of my character, my glass is half full (preferably after I've drink the first half!). I hope that difficult situations will work out,  I hope that people will succeed and be the best that they can be. I think Hope is a precious and wonderful thing! For me it's the expectation of a greater day, it's like the preparation time a new day, to a change, it excites me and encourages me.

So here I am as I said a few days ago waiting, and I know that is the place I am to be that God has a plan BUT I am an impatient patient and this morning my knowing and my hoping collided, and my Hope turned from a strength to a weakness.

Small but definate steps in getting better had set my mind a wander, and in spite of a doctors note to say no and an understanding with work that I would not be there, I began to hope that over the weekend I would get 100% better and be back in place to work with the team for one of our major events next week but this morning in the midst of yet another coughing fit I realised that my hope was not going to become a reality -my hope and Gods plan were not arriving at the same destination at the same time.

I had allowed my want to shift my focus and put my hope in my want and not in Gods will.
My high hope dashed turned to disappointment and frustrations and anger and tears.
Oh my!  I tried to be rational and and talk my way through it but my heart kicked in and kicked harder and it hurt.

I knew I had a choice to make I could have sat and sobbed and been entirely miserable and defeated and at the end have been no where forward, but instead I called a couple of  freinds who know me well and whose experience and honesty I value and I shared my disappointment with them. They listened and cared and spoke truth and stopped my pity party whilst I sat and sobbed and felt entirely miserable but as they left I know I was not defeated.

One of them gave me this verse from Proverbs 13:12 it says
" A Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life"

My hope is not gone, it is just deferred, His time is better than my time ( I am a really slow learner in some things and I seem to be revisiting the whole timing/patience/He knows best themes so please bear with me)

To make sure my hope stays a strength I need to make sure I'm clear in where I place my hope, it's alright to hope and pray that I get back to work quickly but I must make sure that I keep my eyes focused on His will, that my hope is not isolated but rooted in truth, and not in my identity but In His,

It's  hard  there is sooooo much more to learn and grow and to suck up...It's hard knowing that my focus had gone off piste (again) , my want drowning out Gods will and that I'm on another turn around, I don't know how many more time I will circle these issues tramping round the walls of my Jericho till I get to make that shout and those walls will crumble, but I'd still rather be going round than standing still.

Maybe you have your own deferred hopes and dreams, your breakthroughs that have not yet come.  It's hard, but if all you can do is put one foot in front of the other you are one step further in the next circle round your Jericho.

Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Ready, Steady.........

Having school aged children September always spells a time of new starts, as they academic year kicks off, the weather changes as we move into Autumn, it's a time for new courses, in my work it's an exciting time of planning and actioning major events, I love it!

BUT this year I've not made it off the starting blocks, an innocuous cough from the summer has mutated into a horrid, wretched, infection/virus that has singlehandedly stopped me in my tracks. Doctors and Antibiotics and tests and more Antibiotics and more antibiotics, and steroids and inhalers and X-rays and even more antibiotics have not been successful in getting me well yet.

So I find myself waiting at the start line , seeing things happen around me, missing events personally and professionally, stepping back and watching others step in, dropping things knowing someone would have to pick them up....it's not easy....it's not me...it's not what I do.

When I run an event, it's a time when I'm often closest to God, because I know I do it all in His strength, I lean in to Him big time, I run into Him and I feel Him, I know my gifts are from Him and I love to see Him glorified as we serve people well. This time of illness has stripped away those events but has not taken away the closeness.

During this time I have come close to Him just as a "me", I've leaned in just to be, for the strength to not do but to just rest. It's been His way of nurturing and strengthening roots I had started to cultivate, His way of ensuring investments I had made into my own identity as a being not a doing, would not be wasted

This feels like His way of protecting the small green shoots that have appeared after major pruning. Great friends have come and watered my soul, with words and flowers and meals, hugs and cards, practical support, tweets and texts and FaceTime providing virtual handsqueezes, each one working along side Him , moving me forward.

My new term is coming and it's just so inviting and exciting, my Indian Summer and a purposeful spring full of blossom then fruit, I cannot wait to be under starters orders, and to hear that starting gun.

Until then, it's Ready, Steady, Wait........

Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.