A legacy of wonder- the ice cubes are dancing!

We have had a beautiful weekend- my amazing son Andrew has become 21 years old. For a mum, you wonder where all the years went- they pass so quickly in a whirl.

It has been a very emotional time. We are so sad that Colin – Andrew’s dad isn’t here to celebrate with us, nor Colin’s parents. So much loss, and a big gaping hole in our lives. Having tried to write a little about Colin’s life too, my soul is full of the things that went wrong, times of illness and irritation.

However I also wrote some personal notes about Andrew’s life as he grew up, just now and again, to remember some of the details of his childhood. And at the weekend, I reread these, and it has been so healing. It reminded me of Andrew’s courage, his complete independence as a small boy, his determination, his quirky sense of humour, his insights, his patience. Andrew has an amazing turn of phrase- like when he was small, and he looked at his orange juice one hot day, and said ‘ the ice cubes are dancing’ Once you hear this, ice cubes are never the same again, they move and clink and dance to an unheard beat. It is seeing the wonder in the ordinary.

And so, even as I look back over the years, and grieve the losses and pain of my husband’s disability, so I have been reminded of the moments of mercy and wonder in every day. I am so privileged to have a son, who has always done his own thing, and who has brought us such joy. Whether it is his love of cars and their engines, or his insights into science fiction, or his infectious enjoyment of waterfights, our lives were always full.

And I think of Jesus saying of his sheep in John chapter 10 verse 10a: ‘I have come that they might have life, and gave it to the full.’ Jesus gives us the gift of life, with its sorrows and splashes of light, to experience the sadneses of life, and moments of connection and inspiration that are so ethereal it makes you cry.

And so today, I am full of a deep gratitude, for the vivid reminder that in the midst of uncertainty and illness, God blessed us as a family with a beautiful life together- however uproarious and chaotic it looked! And Colin’s legacy lives on in Andrew’s hard work, strength, loyalty, insight and humour.

May we value our children, and all our loved ones, and tell them what they mean to us, and savour every moment we have with them. May we always pray and encourage them, so that a legacy of wonder and love, can be passed down. Let us pray

Dear God, Creator of all things, You share with us all that You are, love, mercy, goodness and truth, forgiveness, wonder and joy- as Jesus demonstrates, life in all its fullness. Life can be bittersweet, but may your holy spirit keep our hearts from becoming hard, and enable us always to see the wonder around us, and to share that dance and legacy of love with others, Amen.

Joy in the journey

Surges of activity and then rest.

Dear friends, we are all on a journey from one place to another. For some of us, as lockdown restrictions ease, we have physically travelled. For all of us, we know that we are on a spiritual journey through life, taking us from experiences in the past into whatever lies ahead. There are many stony paths, diversions, hill tops and even dead ends, sometimes we are injured enough route, and we need so much guidance as we travel.

One of the wonderful things about God, is that He has promised to be with us. We want to learn from the past, to rejoice in the good, to learn from our mistakes, to find healing for the saddnesses, so we can continue on our journey. Often we reach a crossroads on the path, and have to work out our next step.

The famous words in Proverbs chapter 3, verses 5 and 6 say:

‘ Trust in the Lord with all your heart,  and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.’

Taking time to listen to God, to pray, to study His Word, to take time to reflect, so we can discerm the way ahead is so vital. And it is only knowing where we have come from, that helps us work out our next steps. Being more open and honest about my life in the past has been exhausting and scary, but hopefully eventually it might be liberating. The Holy Spirit sometimes takes us through the wilderness ( not our first choice of location!) yet the things we learn – our complete dependence on God for all things- couldn’t be experienced any other way.

In a conversation recently, some one said that they were ‘ plodding’ and sometimes there is a heaviness to our lives, we are just putting one foot in front of another.

A song from Michael Card encourages me, and it has the following lyrics:  ‘ There is a joy on the journey,             There’s a light we can love on the way.  There is a wonder and wildness to life,   And freedom for those who obey.’

Sometimes the jouney is uphill, and we are breathless and our muscles are sore. Sometimes we have to stop and rest for a while. Sometimes we have to check our compass, and go a different route. But with our Saviour with us, there is light and wonder and wildness on that journey, and paradoxically freedom from obedience. And a joy, even in the hardest of places.

Whether we are in a dark marsh, a rain soaked walk, or a mountaintop, may we somehow find joy on our journey, a thanksgiving for the process, and hope that our destination might bring better things.

Let us pray, Dear God, your people often set out on journeys, Abraham and Sarah, Moses, David and so many others. We too are travelling through life, and sometimes the road is clear, but other times we are disorientated and in the dark. Be our Guide, Lord Jesus, and may we have courage to follow your Voice. May your Holy spirit help us find that freedom in obedience, that brings us thanksgiving and joy, Amen.