It’s official, I’m now ready for my free bus pass. Now ancient according to my kids. Last Friday we celebrated my biggest boy, Carter’s, 16th birthday. Joshua, the wee cutie, said on Friday morning, “well mum how are you feeling? fine!” “Why?”, I quizzed. His reply, “just I bet you’re feeling super old, now Carter is sixteen.” (lookout ladies, this one is a charmer).
I say officially because, realistically, Carter has looked much older for a while now as he is already 6ft 2 and still growing. I really look like a little old lady beside him now.
I found myself thinking back over the last sixteen years with Carter. From when I became a mum. I’m so proud of the man he is growing into. Yeah, he tests the boundaries, what teenager doesn’t? However, Carter who is not only ridiculously handsome. He has a beautiful kind heart, as well as keeping us all in wrinkles with his wit. I love his flair for keeping calm and level headed in the most stressful situations. Like the time, he found Ethan unresponsive and in shock on the living room floor with his arm the shape of an S, very obviously broken in at least two places. While I was hyperventilating in the doorway, cool, calm Carter got us together to head to the hospital. He could teach me a thing or two about patience.
I have to say I’m feeling rather proud of myself getting Carter to the ripe old age of sixteen. sadly house plants, pet hamsters, tortoise, fish and cat never meet the same fate. So I think I did pretty good to get him to sixteen. As I thought back over all the amazing happy memories. there are a few… well!! let’s just say I’m not so proud of. some happy, some sad and some rather scary. ( don’t report me I got much better with the next two)
We had a few close calls along the way. the time self-diagnosed his measles as an allergy to washing powder until he started talking to his brother in the living room when he was up in his cot sleeping and alarm bells started. An imaginary friend? No! his temperature was 104. my child was hallucinating. Can you imagine the raised eyebrows I got from the doctors at A&E? (so what time did you notice his temperature? oh just before we came here. oh right! and the rash? when did you notice that? oh yeah, that has been couple days now. doh!) Hold off on that mother of the year award.
Another time I let go of his hand in Primark so I could try on clothes and of course he went missing and the entire shopping centre security team was drafted in to help find him … (where? you say! in the changing room of course) I will never forget Cecil the security man’s twenty-minute lecture after we found him on the importance or child safety. (yeah thanks, Einstien that’s exactly what I needed to soothe my racing heart and tear-drenched cheeks when all I wanted to do was kiss my baby all over). But he was right and I had been careless and he wasn’t lecturing me to make me feel anymore crappy than I already did. He really had both mine and Carters best at heart. and probably his own let’s face it. who wants to deal with a missing kid on their watch.
Days I felt like mother earth herself and others just putting matching socks together could have tipped me over the edge. It has been a journey, full of ups and downs in and outs and a few roundabouts. I didn’t just wake up one morning and have all this great wisdom on parenting. I did read books and magazines and looked online. but mostly I had to look to others with more experience. Other mums who in my opinion seemed to do a good job. I DID NOT seek advice from Aunt Dottie who had no children, spent six months a year in Benidorm and survived on a diet of Gin and olives. No! I went to other mothers, childminders, Grannies,
Similar to seeking guidance and spiritual wisdom as a new Christian
I didn’t start a new life with Christ with all the wisdom. I hadn’t memorised the Bible cover to cover and had the answer to every issue I was ever going to face. It was a process. Like being a mum, I got a lot of things wrong. I had to reach out and get advice and guidance from others with more experience and more wisdom. Just like the Cecil lecture, the advice wasn’t always received with a grateful heart. it’s been a journey I got things wrong and I misjudged situations and people. I got myself a little lost at times. There have been times I turned to the wrong people for advice and acted on it. I’ve had to learn who to trust and I’ve have made some bad decision and had to live with the consequences. Its been tough to navigate the minefield of what’s right, what’s wrong who to listen too and who’s advice to ignore.of course we have the bible and the Holy Spirit to call on, But Everyone has an opinion. I don’t claim by a stretch of the imagination to have it all sussed. I still mess up at times and get it wrong. we all do, even friends that have been doing life with Jesus much longer than me. Nobody is perfect but we keep going on and learn from our mistakes. seek forgiveness and grow from the experience.
As I get to know God better, through reading the word and prayer, I understand Gods’ heart and his will for my life. I can make wiser choices based on what I know God wants for my life. But honestly, even then there are times I will be tempted to twist the meaning of scripture to fit my own selfish motives. At times I guess I’d even try to convince myself because times have changed so much, some parts are now irrelevant to modern day life. But God is a never-changing God. He is the same God that is written about in scripture. He still wants the best life for me and me to be able to live my life to the full. I have great friends around me. Those I trust that have the same heart for God, who firmly but lovingly pull me up on these misconceptions and replace them with Gods truth.
who we choose to have around us in our Christian life is so important. Not everyone has our best intentions at heart. We should be wise about who we take advice from and who we allow to speak into our life. The Bible, tells us we will know them by their fruits. but what does a person fruit look like? ( did ya like the pineapple man?)
I love how the Passion translation helps us understand.
“But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”
Galatians 5:22-23 TPT
Are they close to God? Do they love others well? Do they live a life fully devoted to God?
“You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.”
1 Corinthians 6:12 NLT
Does their lifestyle cause others to hurt or to fall into temptation and sin?
“But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.”
1 Corinthians 8:9 NLT
Do they honour God by how they live, are they a good example of God to others?
“I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.”
1 Corinthians 10:33 NLT
Do their lives glorify God?
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT
I’m not saying this is a fail-safe method to never getting bad advice. Nobody is perfect, even the wisest people I know sometimes get it wrong. But when they do they will most likely admit it a usually seek forgiveness. I want to be wise about the people in my life, because although God is full of love and forgiveness and he absolutely can take away the pain of hurt and hurt of the past. at times we will be left to deal with the consequences of our bad decisions. some of which are not always so pleasant.
Wishing all you Mummies out there the most Fabulous Mothers day.
Have a great week
Love T x