1) Thankful for lots of new folk at church this morning.
2) Thankful for being able to do some gardening and get it tidied up at the front.
3) Thankful for Mark who has patience beyond measure.
4) Thankful for youngest’s love of books about sealife – fun reading this evening.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We would like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet, it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—and that it may take a very long time. Above all, trust in the slow work of God, our loving vine-dresser.”
A Regent friend shared this recently on facebook and it struck a chord deep within in regard to where we are standing right now. Instability describes so much of our journey right now. We stand on the cusp of a new week each Sunday with hopes that this week normality will return, normal routine and plans will fall into place, food budget will be balanced once more as meals are planned and cooked rather than quick easy buys and take aways, and that there will be order. But for the last while God’s plans and ours have veered in radically different directions it seems. As I read on another blog this week I was reminded of the contrast between the esteemed hopes and aspirations found on pinterest and what God has pinned on our days. And just to ensure that while I may feel my days might be veering off on a different path the Spirit’s nudges led me to another article written by a friend on learning the art of extending kindness and tenderness to oneself when the days were not forming as one had hoped and allowing healing to come and tend one’s wounds.
The slow work of God. Maybe the slow cooker that I have spent the past few days researching and pondering is not simply a whimsical kitchen dream but a nudging of the Spirit. Meals are not to be rushed in the preparation or the eating. And in allowing the meat and the vegetables and the spices to fill our home with aroma God hopes to remind me of His slow work. His slow work in my life, in the life of my boys, in the life of those around me. We all know short cuts, recipes for meals in 20 minutes, news before it has happened, my own two boys whose brains, bodies and mouths tumble rapidly toward the open sea. There are few gentle streams of still waters for me to lie beside and yet God is leading me to them. To let healing guide the days, to the thought of slow cooking, to praise Him for He is unchanging. He is the rock to which I cling as the waters tumble round and over and past me. He is the rock I can lean against and let me legs dangle in the stream of slow and tender healing.
And this is so true in parenting as well. With two small boys there are days when I long for them to know and use their manners, remember their indoor voices, to stop whinging. In other words to be sinless. Yet God is one who works slowly and carefully. He does not expect me to be perfect this side of eternity. Yes He calls me to follow Him, to be holy as He is Holy but He also knows He has not finished His work with me and therefore this side of eternity there will still be days, hours and weeks when I am far from being holy as He is Holy. So why do I parent with such impatience? Why do I who is far from the parent God is with me expect greater results in my 4 and 1 year old boys? Why am I not willing to let the raising of our children be a slow work of trust, patience, love and mercy?
Lord I ask for grace to trust Your slow work both in myself and in the lives of my boys. To steep myself in the aroma of life lived in community with a hope set before us.
1 Peter 5:10 sums up 1 Peter 1:3-9 which I would encourage you to read and rejoice in this day. Trails and circumstances are a reality. While some of those trials may take us unawares others we can see looming. The trials are real, and not to be diminished but they are not the full story. God has an eternal inhereitance for us at the right time which these trials cannot damage or steal from us.
Trials and the bigger story of God can often feel in tension with each other. They are not though and neither God nor His word want us to hold them in tension. He does not ask us to rejoice in the actual trial itself. He knows it is hard, raw and sometimes death, but at the same time there is bigger story into which our story fits and belongs and that is unchanged by our day to day lives. It is that we can rejoice and hold onto.
The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1) Thankful that Mark and the boys had a great National Trust day out with family.
2) Thankful for being able to get lots of sorting and organising done today.
3) Thankful for the bright colours of flowers in gardens and those pushing their way through rocky cracky edges.
4) Thankful for the reasoning of our eldest who in light of a song about God not changing but people changing responded ‘ well God does not need to change as He hasn’t done anything bad.’
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it…Marriage should be honoured by all and the marriage bed kept pure.
They are not often words that are spoken of at the same time but they are only a few lines away in the letter to the Hebrews and readers would not have forgotten the first part by the time they heard the second part. And this morning I could not seperate them and together they hold together two things that often to seem to be in tension in the world.
We are to show hospitality to all, even those we do not know. There is no better way then to spend time with others over a meal to begin to know their stories, to know the layers that make them who they are. There is beauty in the meal and the stories shared and we need not be afraid of those stories and with whom we share our lives with.
Marriage is a gift, given by God, not a right. We are not the givers of marriage. God is and He asks all, married or single to honour it and keep it pure.
Hospitality is a gift we can extend to all, marriage is a gift God gives. And in extending hospitality to all we are embracing God’s pronouncment that it is not good for us to be alone.
1) Thankful for our new shower. A necessary wake up for me in the mornings.
2) Thankful for being up and about and eating properly again.
3) Thankful for Friday Family Fun night with pizza thanks to Mark and eldest.
4) Thankful for a post bedtime conversation, prayer time and story time with eldest son this evening.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will no grow weary and lose heart.
It struck me this morning that too often I read these words quickly and walk away from them assuming I will not grow weary because he has faced the opposition. But then I do grow weary and the day mounts with what can feel like opposition. And all seens futile and given up for a lost cause.
This morning though I sat long enough to be aware of the nudging of the Spirit to attend to the word ‘consider’. It is in setting my heart and mind on all that Christ has done as I journey through the day that I will not grow weary and lose heart. The ups and downs that come through the day will simply be steps along the way, invitations to draw closer to God for mercy and offer up praise of thanksgiving. And in so doing I will not grow weary or lose heart.