Sunday, 10 October 2010

‘Oh great God be small enough to hear me now’.

I have just heard some incredibly sad news, the kind of news that makes your heart break. This kind of news makes you ask the question "where are you God"?

‘Oh Great God be small enough to hear me now’.
The kind of tragedy that when they happen it feels like there has been a seismic shift in the earth beneath your feet, what you once built your life on cannot be relied on anymore.

‘Oh Great God be small enough to hear me now’.
I have experienced personally this kind of news three times in my life; the death of my mum and elder sister and the day my lovely life imploded and all I once based my happiness on seemed to have disappeared.

‘Oh Great God be small enough to hear me now’.

This kind of pain comes in like waves of anguish that gnaw at the pit of your stomach. You think of the situation and you feel the wave wash over you afresh and for me I found that I cried in a way that felt primeval a wail that was wrenched from deep within myself.

‘Oh Great God be small enough to hear me now’.

I listened to this sad news and I thought of the loss and anguish I knew that this family were now experiencing. I was only acquainted with them but I could imagine this woman wailing from the pit of her stomach. It may not for her have been audible but her pain could not be eased with a few kind words or a cup of tea.

‘Oh Great God be small enough to hear me now’.

This pain cannot be rushed through or plastered over it has to be lived through, and oh how long do the days feel and lets not even mention the nights, the nights are unbearable and so very long.

‘Oh Great God be small enough to hear me now’.

I do not want to bring any flippant answers here but I found that when I read the Bible God found a way to break through and speak to this aching pain.

He is small enough because I want to say that my Great God is exactly that in these times.

Lamentations 3 v 20 – 26
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Growing up!

A recent quote I heard says that, “Life is like a toilet roll the nearer you get to the end the quicker it goes”. How true this is! Having celebrated my special birthday I have taken each day following it to process my new status as officially middle aged (to some younger folks I am sure they would say positively elderly). In fact only this week Alan, my lovely husband who has his special birthday in 2wks whilst shopping, had a young teen refer to him as ‘that old man’! He was a little bit taken aback and was even a little sheepish when telling me. We did laugh at this; most people who are aging will tell you that although outside you look one age, inside you still feel young, at least we do.

Alan and I have four beautiful grown daughters, 2 of whom are now married. When they were growing up we were fortunate to have a video camera available and we definitely used it. We have hours of footage that we are now putting onto DVD. Watching these home movies has elicited every kind of emotion from sheer pride and joy, to the most poignant moments (footage of my beautiful mum and sister, both have died and left a very large hole in the lives of our family)

My girls have changed: This is of course what a healthy sign of growth is. My beautiful eldest girl Jen was a typical awkward and argumentative teen, she is married to a most lovely husband but I think I can guarantee if he had met Jen then he would have ran very quickly in the other direction. Thankfully Jen learnt all the skills required to ‘grow up’ and become a beautiful wife and full time leader in a church.

This growing process can at times be very painful as seen in the angst of the teenage years or during times of heartbreak and loss. ‘Grow up’ is something we say to our children when their behaviour is less than helpful or even destructive. We pray that our advice will be heeded and that at the right moment all our advice and teaching will fall into place. The Bible teaches us that in the same way we should be those who are ‘growing up’ ‘maturing’, learning from the experiences we go through. This never ends this journey of growing up. I am aging, my birth certificate tells me that, but I am also still growing and maturing in my faith and this is what excites me the most this journey of discovery where I am still a ‘beloved child’ a ‘daughter of the King’.

1 Peter 2
So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretence, envy and hurtful talk. You've had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God's pure kindness. Then you'll grow up mature and whole in God.
(The Message)

1 Peter 2:1-3
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
(New International Version)

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Freshly baked scone

I walked into the kitchen at work today to the lovely smell of freshly baked scones. This is not a usual occurrence but was a treat provided by a colleague for all the staff.
It is interesting how memories can be evoked with something as simple as the smell of these scones

I am a mum of four beautiful girls and throughout their growing years I often came up against feelings of inadequacy in the area of creativity.

I tried very hard in my late teens and early married life to do all things thought to be attributes of a woman. I knitted, very badly, a jumper for my new husband but because he loved me he did wear it, even though it was only to keep warm whilst fixing the car.

Fancy dress costumes for the girls were always a cat, made easy with a leotard, tail sown on, and whiskers painted on their faces.

My eldest daughter Jen still cannot bear to look at the photo's showing the basin shaped fringe I gave everyone of them in their younger days.

I love flowers but when it comes to arranging them, I can’t even describe how bad I am at this. It was with amazement only recently that I stood talking to a male friend who was arranging some flowers his wife had been given. I kid you not he was chatting away without any thought he cut and arranged the flowers in a display to rival any florist.

The thought that the scones evoked in the end reminded me of many pleasant and funny memories. I was reminded how different we are all are, I have had friends over the years that have helped me by sewing clothes, cutting the girls hair, and baking cakes for their birthdays. In return I have baby sat for them, cared for them when sick with the knowledge I have as a nurse. I have also counselled and taught them as a church leader and hopefully brought some wisdom to difficult situations.

I still have days when the lack of practical skills is a frustration but I also love that we are different. I would love to think that we can learn to complete one another that we can do more together than we ever could apart.

Thanksgiving and Prayer
Philippians 1 v 3-6
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

It's my birthday

It’s my birthday this week I will be 50 years old, according to most people it’s the big 50! I remember my mum telling me that inside she was only 25 and it was often a shock when she looked in the mirror to see this old lady looking back at her.

I have had a good almost 50 years, some lows and lots and lots of amazing highs and I am very happy with where my life is today, but 50. It seems so old and just like my mum I feel so much younger inside. I am not fishing for compliments because as I say to those who kindly say nice things, a classic being ‘you only look 40’ I have to point out I don’t even want to look 40, I really want to only be 25 (not too old, not too young).

I have been counting down my age each evening this last week on my Facebook page and the reason for this is that it will be the last times I can write a 40 something number in my age, and to be honest I have sort of missed this year. In fact this year as not been ‘I am 49’ but 'I’m 50 next', how sad am I, missing out on being 49 worrying about this next birthday for the whole year.

As I write this I am 49 years 11mths and 25 days old, my lovely husband Alan as just pointed out to me that I should not worry too much about numbers as in fact I have just coming to the end of my 50th year and I am now fast approaching my 51st year of life. Oh dear I just have to hope that my moisturising routine will have worked to keep the lines around my eyes at bay for at least a little while longer!


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Swords into Ploughshares

A visit to the Royal armoury today in Leeds was definitely an experience. I have seen the signs for this tourist attraction for many years and never real gave it much thought as somewhere I would go. Today it all changed when our daughter Jo and husband Simon suggested Al and I go with them.
I expected it to be exhibitions in an old building possibly even a castle; it was neither. The building was a beautiful modern structure sitting next to the Leeds Liverpool canal set over 5 floors. The entrance was impressive as you could look up to walkways making it a beautiful airy light space. The atrium where the stairs were was filled with swords and suits of armour which was breathtaking. It struck me that it was a display of beauty out of weapons of destruction. A verse came to mind from the Bible as I looked around the displays and looked at the thousands of years of our history where weapons and battles played so a major part in all parts of our world. The earliest documented history of fighting was 10,000 years ago, 10,000 years of war! It made me feel so sad that man’s ingenuity was put into designing armour, swords, guns and weapons of destruction. The beauty of the design on some of the armour was again a work of art, but these things were never meant to be worn and admired on a cat walk but to be a protection for the wearer who would be set on defeating and killing their enemies.
There is one area given over to the problem of guns and knives and shows the very sad story of Danny Regan a known drug dealer from Leeds who was shot in 2002. His mother Pat started an organisation ‘mothers against violence’ and worked bringing the display together in the museum. They even have the scene of his death displayed as a ‘scene of crime’. The biggest sadness is then the death of Pat herself killed very sadly by her own grandson. I prayed as we came to the end of our tour this verse that had been playing on my mind whilst walking round the impressive display.

Micah 4 v 3
He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

Beverley Molineaux