I’m trying to do everything today. I’ve made a completely unrealistically long to do list and, so far, I’ve been distracted, I’ve procrastinated, I’ve taken one or two coffee breaks (well tea!) and now I’m determined to, at least, get my blog written before lunch. The motivation (or lack of) today is the fact that I’m scheduled to have surgery on my hand on Tuesday, nothing major but it means that I’ll be restricted in how much I can do for a wee while after. I’m not worried about the surgery, not at all, but I’m very worried at the thought of being awake for it, being able to hear the surgeon cutting and poking around in my hand *shiver*. The Junior GGs have a mixed reaction to the whole thing – one boy is worried and anxious (as is his wont) whereas his brother has asked me to get photos of my hand when it’s cut open. One thing is for sure, I’ll be well looked after by them all afterwards.
So, here we are at Day 26 of the Love Dare for Parents. In reality I’m probably at Day 450 or something as I’ve taken so many breaks but slowly I’m making my way through the book. I’ve a whole pile of books to read so I’m hoping that next week I’ll get lots of reading done while I’m “resting” (or learning to delegate!).
Today the focus of the Love Dare turns towards my relationship with God and how I’m displaying it to the boys.
I make no apologies for calling myself a Child of God, I make no apologies for loving God, giving thanks for Jesus and am grateful for the privilege of being part of a loving, vibrant Church family. But, this quote tells how I feel far more eloquently than I ever could. This is what I’m saying when I say I’m a Christian … I don’t have all the answers, I’m not saying I’m perfect (anyone who knows me knows just how laughable that idea is) and I’m not trying to look good. I have moments of doubt and times when I feel incredibly close to God. There are times when I feel I’ve let God down so badly that I’ve blown it and yet I never, ever have.
A few days ago I was driving home with the Junior GGs and, as I sometimes do, I’d taken us on a roundabout route because I wanted to see the hills. There’s something special about hills and mountains … they are never the same from one day to the next … there’s always something new to look at. I can’t help but think of God when I look at the hills. I just can’t stop giving thanks for the Creator who made this amazing world for us to live in … there is so much beauty in creation.
Anyway, as we drove, I asked one of the boys to plug my phone in to charge. For some reason (technology baffles me) music started playing … one of my favourite songs … MercyMe “Flawless”. I love the words of the song … it reminds me of all the God has done for me, every time I hear it and it comforts me.
But what about the example I’m setting to the boys? From the moment I found out I was pregnant with each of the boys I’ve prayed for them. I don’t care if they grow up to be doctors, or astronauts, or cars (that was seriously the ambition of one of them at one point) … I only want them to be happy and, more importantly, to have a real, living relationship with God. As a mother, I find it so hard to be an example to my children. The people that see me out and about see part of me but the Junior GGs and Mr GG … well they see the crabby, grumpy, impatient side of me that I save for them just because I love them. Crazy isn’t it? My relationship with God is something that arises often in conversation with the boys. I talk to them about prayer and remind them often that I pray for them.
I can’t and won’t try to guilt my children into loving God. I can’t force them into a relationship with him. But I pray that they see something of God in Mr GG and I and want that for themselves. I was 18 when I became a Christian. I grew up in a Christian home, in a pastor’s home and I was taught about God and the importance of a relationship with him from ever since I can remember but it was seeing a friend’s relationship with God that really touched me. I’m thankful for the background I have … I’m thankful for my parents’ faithfulness in praying for me and for the teaching of my Dad … for the first 19 years of my life he was my pastor and I count that a gift from God.
One my “things” is practical Christianity. I think most people who know me know that that’s my “thing”. I’ve been given the privilege in my church of organising meals for families who need a bit of extra help … whether it’s because there’s a new baby in the family, or someone is ill, or for whatever reason. The members of GGHQ are all used to us jumping in the car at teatime to deliver food to someone or pick up a meal that someone else has made and deliver it to the family it’s for. There’s one day that stands out in my mind though … I was making a meal for someone and one of the boys came into the kitchen, sniffed longingly and said “What’s for tea?” as he gazed at the pots bubbling on the hob. “Pizza” was my hassled reply. His wee face dropped and it struck me there and then that I’d got it wrong. I’d love to say that I swapped things round and sent pizza to the recipients but I honestly can’t remember … however, I promised myself that day that I wouldn’t neglect my own family when I was looking after others, that I’d show practical Christianity at home as well as outside.
The dare today was to think about my relationship with God and talk with my children about it. I try, everyday I try to be an example to my sons, to show them the love of God … I’ve been given this amazing gift and I know God is helping me as I parent and guide my sons … I’m a work in progress, but I’m thankful to be on this journey.