Midwife calling….

My daughter will be one in March and I have been reflecting on the birth experience, and how my life has changed since she arrived. Her birth was quite dramatic as she arrived very quickly but it was all natural, and quite a relief after having quite a tramautic time when my son arrived 2 months early in 2008. Since she arrived I feel like my life has been turned upside down and is much better but much more challenging, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also don’t feel the need to have any more children to go through that experience again. I will stick with watching midwife programmes for now!

I came across this passage about “being born again” recently and thought how different the two experiences are really, surely one cannot compare the pain and trauma of a real birth to the spirtual enlightenement that comes from knowing God? As Nicodemus puts it in Luk“Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

However, there are some similarities! Firstly God changes us when we get to know him, and like having a baby our lives are turned upside down and what we previously valued is challenged. Before a baby is born there is no concept of that new person existing and each new life is a kind of miracle. Equally when you come into relationship with God you get glimpses for the first time of how he sees you, and how wonderful you are and what special gifts you can share with the world.

Secondly, unless you have let God’s spirit into your life you cannot show others what that looks like. 

Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8 

If you are technically interested in faith, it is not the same as knowing and owning that experience. Robots might have the technical knowledge but being a mum is more than just reading text books about parenting as it’s such a human and social experience. The way you are with your kids is made up of generations of experience through your own childhood, and being a christian is not an individual experience but one of community with other people. I personally rely alot on friends and family for advice and support to keep me sane and on the right track.

Thirdly, the longer you have been a mum, the less likely you are to try and second guess what will happen next. Children develop in such different ways and are a blessing because of that, life is more likely to be full of suprises with little people around. (Some less pleasant than others of course!) In the same way Jesus said The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]

My experiences of the Holy Spirit have always been overwhelmingly positive, and life affirming, and I guess this is why I am writing this blog, as I want to share my faith in a “Born again” style…

Wise time managers

We’ve had a lovely rest over christmas and new year and I feel like I’ve caught up with my family and got to know my baby daughter again, and it was hard going back to work in the New Year, but I felt much better for the break. Like most working mums, it’s a struggle to know how to manage my time, and to get the balance right, I wish I had more hours in the day, and more patience, and mostly more sleep to be honest! I hope this year to catch up with old friends more, than last year.

At work I feel like I am getting to grips with being a manager a bit more, I am not used to being able to ask for help and since my role changed last year I’ve not made the most of the support available. I am quite good at thinking about how my manager ought to behave, and how they could improve their style, but when it comes to me and my behaviour I am probably less critical! 

I came across this passage which I thought was interesting in Luke Chapter 12, v 43

Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

   47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

So basically if we are asked to do alot, juggle and manage alot of different issues,we should know it is only because someone thinks we are capable, and therefore entrusted with these tasks, wether it’s raising a family or looking after friends, caring for a family member or supporting a family business, or managing in the sense of “the office”, most people have multiple hats they have to wear. Managing our time well is important and it is only when God has asked us to do something specifically and we’ve ignored him or done the opposite that he gets angry. Often he keeps giving us more to manage, including things we don’t want to manage,  because we are his trusted right hand “man”!