Sometimes in life we see and admire people who just seem to have a certain something extra, a kind of leadership that is humble but powerful and with a way of dealing with situations that is both wise and discerning. It can be hard to put your finger on what exactly makes that person so commanding and inspiring.
What causes us to want to flee when things get too difficult, or too painful? What makes us seek out unhelpful distractions, entertainment, or risky behaviour as a way to relieve tension but not actually face what is going on? Rather then deal with the reality of the difficult issues in our lives, we sometimes attempt to escape them.
Having a baby shakes up your world, on a practical level but also on a deeply emotional level. I found that not just my daily life and relationships were changed, but my very identity came into question.
Before I had my first baby, I thought I knew myself reasonably well, my faults and failures and where I excelled. I thought I knew my good and bad points but these are now all suddenly magnified and tested as you are pushed to your very limit and a just bit further.
This Christmas time many of us will have to take journeys.
Recently I preached at church about our journey with Jesus and about our Christian life being a journey. To help me with the preach I researched what it would have been like for Mary on her long journey to Bethlehem, which would have been Jesus’ first journey here on earth!
I thought I knew the story, but I didn’t, not all of it.
I am upstairs with my baby boy, rocking and singing and swaying and patting. I’m hoping he will fall asleep soon, my arm is starting to go dead and I just so badly want to put him down so I can go downstairs and read one of my parenting blogs I save especially for nap time.
It was in this moment God spoke to me and reminded me just to stop and listen to His guidance.
If someone were to ask you for a picture to describe your life, what would you think of?
Your answer to this question can help reveal how you feel about yourself, how you feel about others and how you feel about God. It can help you to understand the values which underpin your thoughts and your actions.
Just before I set off on one of our many walks to the shops with my 2 year old daughter Sophia, I knelt down and looked her in the eye and gently held onto her arm so that she can hear me. I say ‘You must stay near me today Sophia, don’t run off or hang back, I need to keep you safe’.
My daughter is wonderfully engaging, lively and
defiant courageous, and so she needs this warning before we leave.
After months of dealing with an escapee toddler, she hears my warning and decides to try something different.
We were very excited to embark on the journey of becoming parents; a decision made after much thought and after Matt had done all his budgeting spreadsheets and ticked off all the boxes (house, car, happy relationship). We then decided, ‘we are ready… now for the fun bit!’
We were I guess a little naïve about the minefield of trying for a baby and potential pain that was ahead.
Discipleship is important and is key in our growing and changing to becoming more like Him. Discipleship is primarily following Jesus, but it is also following people who are ahead of us on their journey and who God has put in our path for us to learn from. It is also about bringing along and encouraging people who are behind you.