Monday, 24 February 2014

The Reluctant Christian

Hi. My name is Robyn, and it seems I'm a bit of a reluctant Christian.

Most days following Christ's example is challenging. And then there are days when it just feels near, bloody impossible! I've been having that kind of day, for about the last 20-odd days, and  I'd be surprised of there's anything of Jesus to be seen in me amid the annoyance, fatigue and general disdain that's been centre-stage right now. The long and the short of is it: I'm due a spiritual growth spurt.

Imagine if Zac at 8 years old was still biting me out of excitement?! What's cute now would be childish and inappropriate then. In the same way, there are attitudes, behaviours and responses that I  have to shed, and some serious growing up I need to do. You see, God is more concerned with my ultimate maturity than with my present comfort (paraphrasing Joyce Meyer), and no one wants to be Amy Grant's fat baby.

To tell you the truth, given my current circumstances, my name may as well be Jonah. I've been running from the proverbial Nineva-project, and feel as though I've been thrown overboard, swallowed by a whale, and violently spit out onto shore. But the reality is: without testing (and I purposefully say testing, because it's a test - an authentic assessment of progress) we won't know whether we've grown or learnt anything. And yes it's hard - it sucks!~ but it is necessary.

So here's some encouragement, if you're feeling at all like I am:

"Consider it a sheet gift, friends, when tests and challenges come to you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work sot hat you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way" ~ James 1:2 - 4 (The Message)

And in the meantime, while you wait (or endure):

"Don't let this throw you. You trust God, don't you? Trust me ... (This is) my parting gift to you: Peace. I don't leave you the way you're used to being left - feeling abandoned, bereft. So don't be upset. Don't be distraught" ~ John 14:1, 27

I guess the good news is that these tests - even when we fail them - are not for naught. It's a process; a labour of God's love as He changes us, and cultivates the fruit that will become evident as we grow, and as we walk in submission and obedience, we'll be abundantly blessed for it!

ps. Watch this space: I know the lessons I'm having to learn are in preparation for something big, and you'll be sure to hear all about it here soon!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Apologetic Mom

Yesterday I did a shameful, dreadful thing. I think it may be high up, if not top, of the list of cardinal motherhood sins, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it since:

I apologised - apologised?! - for my son.

"Don't let him put you off " I told a nearly four-month-pregnant, first time mom-to-be as my 20-month-old threw himself and my mobile phone on the floor, yelling because I had not given in to his demand to play Jika (a song by local band MiCasa) for the fifth time in succession. As I picked up my bag and my son, and headed for the door, I grimaced as I said, through clenched teeth, "as overwhelming as it seems right now, it'll be worth it".  I must have sounded a bit like I needed convincing because my comment was met with nervous laughter. And all the while our mutual friend's three-month-old daughter looked on contently while sucking on her bottle.

Now this comes in the same week that I've been reading (coincidentally?) a number of articles and blog-posts on mothering boys. I was finally getting it: boys are really different to girls. I was feeling so encouraged, I mean: I love boys. The most important people in my life are boys. And I always knew I was going to be a mama of (at least one) boy/s. And yet, in a moment of frustration and embarrassment, I became one of those moms: the ones who look at mothers of loud, busy, explorer boys and say "shame".

I got into the car (my son, of course, had completely forgotten about his episode inside, and was now sitting in his car seat like an angel, listing to a story on CD), and began to feel ill. Had I really just apologised for my child, as though he was a mistake, sub-standard, or anything other than miraculously perfect?

So this is for Zac (because I hope one day you take the time to read through all the posts on our life) - and instead of apologising for him, let me publicly apologise to him.

Zac, my beautiful boy, there isn't anything about you that isn't divinely and purposefully put together. You are everything from adventurous to zealous, and you add colour and texture to my otherwise rather boring life canvas. 

You are so energetic and fearless, it's both inspiring and humbling. You are more alert and aware of things than I realise, and you regularly surprise me with how smart you are. You're polite and loving, and I'm so proud of the boy that you are. 

I'm so sorry for the times when I've gotten tired or frustrated, and blamed it on you. The truth is, motherhood in general has terrified, stretched and challenged me - in the most amazing ways - and I'm still learning to be the mama you need and deserve. I try a little harder every day.

Don't let anyone tell you, or make you feel, that who and what you are isn't good enough. God has designed you for His glory, and I have no doubt as He refines you into His masterpiece He will reveal all these things to you. 

In the meantime, we live and learn together... Just know that I wouldn't have you any other way.

I love you endlessly, Mommy x