Accepting God’s adventures

In the run up to the school summer holidays our daughter was able to take part in the special celebrations the Guides were having due to their 100th anniversary. She has been part of Brownies for almost three years now. Her first weekend away with them happened to coincide with my 40th birthday so I endured a weekend of worrying and wondering how she was!

My daughter is so much like me it can be quite scary. Confident, chatty and sociable within circles of people she feels secure with, she becomes a totally different person out of her comfort zone; shy, fearful and so, so quiet. She won’t take risks, drawing back into herself to keep safe.

So when it came time for this year’s adventure weekend she wasn’t sure she wanted to go. I really encouraged her to because it was a special celebration and I didn’t want her to miss out (and we had paid a fair amount of money for it!). Well, she totally blew us away with the vigour in which she grabbed hold of every element of the weekend.

Her leader captured her mood brilliantly in a picture that shows her dangling from a harness having just stacked and climbed crates – her face is beaming with a huge smile and she looks like she’s full-belly laughing. It was a joy to see – and even better when she said that that was what she had been like all weekend. She commented, “I now know the real girl, the one you’ve been telling me about all this time.”

A few weeks later, the Brownie pack spent a day in Windsor, bungee trampolining and zorbing. Again, I wasn’t sure how much she would join in, but apparently it was all brilliant fun and “zorbing was the best”!

Knowing that our daughter grabbed all the opportunities set before her and enjoyed them so much gave us such pleasure. And that’s how God responds when we really enjoy something He’s invited us to partake in.

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The wisdom of the ages

Life has been hectic to say the least – hence my lack of posts recently. But something occurred that has drawn me back to writing here again. Since school went back my eldest – my daughter – has been having great fun, and doing brilliantly, but her attitude at home has been really difficult for me to deal with. Her homework is harder – she is doing so well with her reading her books are really long now – and now she is over the initial excitement of getting more grown up books she seems to lose interest quickly because she is tired. It doesn’t help that her brother is either crawling all over both of us or crying at reading time! But this morning she totally lost it. Her world seemed to fall apart because she looked in her lunch box and told me I had given her too much to eat. I couldn’t believe it – I thought I’d made her a lovely lunch. So, feeling a little hurt already, I asked her what the problem was. I was met by a torrent of tears. Eventually I was told she only has 14 seconds to eat lunch – to which I snapped back she was now being silly. Apparently one of her friends talks to her all the time and demands answers so she feels like she doesn’t have enough time to eat, and she has a lot left when they are told to eat up because it is almost time to leave. It seems like such a simple, ridiculous situation – but to her, a six year old, it is a disaster that she is struggling to cope with. There is the social element – they are still working out friendship dynamics and all of them seem to be lacking the understanding that they need to wait for each other to speak and listen nicely (and they crowd one another) – but it also made me realise however confident she now seems she is still a shy little girl.

It is worship practise tonight – and last time we finished early so I asked everyone to pray with each other. What followed was a wonderful time mainly focusing on my family – praying for our protection as we are one of the pastors’ family plus I was leading worship that week. Someone spoke wisdom and grace over us – particularly over the difficulties we’d been facing with our daughter – and it suddenly struck me that Grace is her middle name. And yet I’d been forgetting to speak and pray that over her. That is what the situation needed – God’s grace! And it still does. She left for school this morning and I crumpled and cried out to God that I didn’t know how to deal with her anymore. But I know who does. And I’m going to keep calling on the wisdom of the ages, and asking Him to impart some of that to me so I know how to do my daughter good, and encourage her to be loving, open and honest when at home, as well as at school. I know it won’t be easy, but recognising I can’t do it in my own strength and asking for His help is a big step forward. So, whatever difficulty you are facing today the wisdom of the ages is what you need too – don’t forget to call on Him.