Monday, 26 November 2007

And so I'm off

I'm leaving for France tomorrow morning.
I have to be with my Mum and Dad, my brothers and my family right now.
Amazingly, it has been incredibly straightforward to arrange child care for our three boys and so I'm leaving ALONE!!
I will be driving down to Dover, taking a fast ferry across to Boulogne and driving 2.5 hours to get to my parents who live just north of Paris...
I'm excited but also full of trepidation and also sadness. It's a weird time! I cannot wait to be on my own in the car, to hang out with God, listen to some worship, pray and also just be quiet, or cry a little, maybe?
I haven't cried much - yet. But I know from experience that that is normal and so am expecting...the unexpected! That's grief isn't it?! Anything and everything is OK.
The picture I posted of my grandmother is a particularly beautiful one because you see her exactly as she was. And it is excrutiating to look at: she looks so alive and to think that she is no longer with us is very difficult to grasp, almost impossible right now.
When I come back things will be a little clearer in my head as to how I'm feeling and what grieving for my precious grandmother is going to look like in the slightly longer term.
For now, I'm off. I haven't even packed my bag yet; I think there's a little part of me that really doesn't want to go.

Friday, 23 November 2007

A time to grieve

My wonderful grandmother died last night. I am too sad for words...and am really not sure I am ready for another season of grieving right now.
Will you lift me in prayer, friends?

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Where is your treasure?? (Integrity 1)

Ok Lord... that hurts.
But it's true! You're so right. I'm sorry... Sorry, sorry, sorry.
Where am I?? Where have I been these last few weeks? Months??

Erm... The truth is: anywhere but at your feet Lord.
This is my confession tonight.

I don't even need to tot up the exact number of hours I spend watching TV, reading 'junk-lit', 'surfing' the net, and thinking or worrying about myself - to realise that there is something very wrong in my priorities.

I know I'm really good at giving myself a hard time and don't want to lose sight of what You are trying to say here. But why is it I'm not praying with urgency for my needy neighbours?? Why am I not seeing more power in my life and the lives of those around me? Why am I not seeing Your answers to my prayers? Why am I not hearing You more clearly? Why am I often so unsure of who I am in You and insecure in my relationships with others?

I confess Lord: I have become diluted; lukewarm; I have forsaken You, my first love. And oh too easily replaced You with the things of this world: junk which feeds me for a little while but always leaves me craving something more, and never satisfies...

Oh Lord!! Increase my hunger for reading Your Word! My longing to spend more time with You. Renew my desire to put You above all others! Because You are my treasure... Open the eyes of my heart Lord, so I can really see You!"

Tonight I am so aware how easy it is for me to get caught up in the things of this world, and to get sucked into a way of living my life which is not consistent with what I say I believe. We were discussing what it means to live a life of 'integrity' in our cell group last week. I guess this got me thinking a little more than I was anticipating!! As I confessed a particular sin that I have been struggling with for a while, a way seems to have opened up for the Holy Spirit to do a bit of spring cleaning... And I am feeling the Lord's discipline: in love, with gentle tenderness, He is helping me and allowing me to see, confess and turn away from sin, so I can be free. Isn't He good? Isn't He the most AMAZING Father?!?!?!!!

Friday, 16 November 2007

Ben delights in the simple joys of life

Continuing in the series on 'everyday life with the Wibbzes', this is my delicious Ben enjoying life to the full, with a piece of toast smothered in peanut butter in his hand and no socks on his feet! Being outdoors is his favourite thing and it is where he is at his very best. Can you tell how happy he is?!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Thomas and the soldiers

Although I have been too busy caring for sick children over the past few weeks to write anything of real value, this wouldn't be a blog if I didn't post stuff on everyday life with the Wibbzes. Here is Thomas playing and interacting beautifully with Mummy, chatting about his toy soldiers, and showing off his budding language skills... This was captured today, a 2nd day off school because of a nasty snotty flu bug. My thinking as I switch off tonight, is 'if the boy is well enough to play and bounce around in such a way, he's so going to school tomorrow!!' ... We'll see.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Light in the darkness

November in the UK is a season for fireworks, thanks to this guy.

People like to congregate around a bonfire in somebody's back garden. Alternately there are also big organised bonfire-and-fireworks extravaganzas which are very popular; a caricatured effigy of Guy Fawkes is sometimes burned on the fire while sparklers and fairly average fireworks are randomly lit and admired by all - although less appreciated by small children and pets!! All this is traditionally accompanied by steaming hot mugs of hot cocoa, jacket potatoes, hot dogs and marshmallows grilled on a skewer in the fire... Mmmmmm... Isn't this the stuff memories are made of...??

'Bonfire night' is one of these rare occasions where it is acceptable (and enjoyable) to be outdoors in the dull, cold, damp darkness of early winter; the rest of the time it is definitely better to stay inside, where it is warm and cosy, at least when the night closes in...

So this light in the darkness is a nice change, and a welcome reminder that "even the darkness will not be dark to God; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to Him." (adapted from Psalm 139:11-13)

Friday, 2 November 2007

You never let go - Matt Redman

This is possibly one of my very favourite songs at the moment... What a powerful truth - He never lets go of me! And He is my Lord of Hope and Light. I sang this all day on Halloween.