Tag Archives: prayer

The cost of parenthood

Who knew that when we welcomed Jason and then Philip into our home as newborns what the journey would look like. Apart from the good Lord, we certainly had no idea. From diaper rash, cut lips, bruised legs, hurt feelings and the occasional rash of anger or upset, there have been lots of challenges. Once the boys met wonderful young ladies in Susan and Amanda, it seemed like their launch into adulthood was coming full circle and they would head out to be families on their own and we would observe from the edges and be glad we were dealing with some of those issues over again.

The truth of the matter is, however, that new worries and concerns replace the old ones. Parenthood seems is not for the faint of heart. In fact with two boys becoming four young adults and then two families with children growing quickly, there are additional demands on the heart of the loving parent.

Don’t mistake my comment to imply that parenthood is a burden – it is far from that. There is so much joy on the journey – so much love to be celebrated that it could never be called a burden. But there are dynamics in life that mean we worry about our kids and grandkids, which is natural – isn’t it?

So below are a few pictures that remind us how things change over time and represent the growing nature of our family. We love Jason and Susan, Phil and Amanda and all the grandchildren – Rachel, Ted, Beth, Carlyle and Fitz! And we look forward to what God will do in their lives in the years to come.

Advertisements

Walter Brueggemann

I’m not sure why I did not come across the writings of Walter Brueggemann as a younger man. His gift to me, and I suspect the church, is a way of phrasing things that connect not only with my head causing me to nod in agreement even as I am reading, but he causes my heart to agree. Not what on earth do we mean by referring to the heart as agreeing?

It’s a strange phrase, and yet I suspect that some of you will know exactly what I mean. It is as if our spirit finds agreement with the spirit of the writer. We sense that it is not just our minds that agree but something deeper within us is in agreement. As my heart I agrees I find myself thinking there is a great truth here.

I suppose that’s why I’ve been a reader of CS Lewis such a long time. He reflects the Gospel story clearly in the Narnia tales. He leaves me with no argument against God’s love and grace in Mere Christianity. So it is with Brueggemann.

Here’s one of his prayers for your head and heart.

The Other Side of The Street

Just when we imagined that we have you figured out
you show up working the other side of the street
in your frightening freedom.
You meet us behind and before
as promise and as threat,
and we are overmatched whenever we sit to deal with you.
So we bid you to pay less vigorous attention to us
and we bid you give us the freedom and courage
that we may withstand you
in ways that are proper to you and to us.
We pray in the name of the utterly humble One
whom you therefore exalted.
Give us wisdom and freedom
that we may sense the ways in which we may best live in this world
where the last become first and the first become last. Amen.

Wisdom in 2016

Each morning I receive into my inbox an email that highlights one small piece of CS Lewis’ writings. Sometimes it is an exerpt from his Narnia series, sometimes from another book he has written and other times from letters that he wrote to others at the end of his life.

They are always interesting and give insight in to the day to day thinking of this intellectual and spiritual giant, at other times it is an open door to the emotions he displays in his own struggles.

I find it to be reassuring that someone like CS Lewis had real struggles, that he wrestled with feelings and thoughts as we do, well I do. He does not like growing old, yet he clearly understands that he is on his way to a better time (I hesitate around the word place) which he compares to a river struggling to make its way to the open sea.

His writings always point to God, always point to faith as a way of life, but never excuse or dismiss the struggles of life, and in his letters he always affirms the expressed problems or worries that the received letter has generated. I like that. I like that he is quick to acknowledge that this life is filled with struggle.

Jesus said, in this world you will have trouble. Yes indeed.

As long as we have family ot worry about. As long as sin abounds. As long as people choose poorly. As long as we continue to live beyond our means, to serve ourselves, we will have trouble.

So how we do I choose to live? Well I’ve learned long ago that faith needs to be at the centre of life. It might not give me all the answers, but it does give me perspective. I would like all my family to choose the same, for it brings less pain in to life, but I know they will not all choose so.

So I pray that God will influence their thinking, their choosing.

It’s so easy to drift.

It’s also so easy to choose.

Jesus told those who listened – choose life.

So for 2016 I desire to choose wisdom.