Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Mummy Shop

FINALLY the school term is over and I have two weeks off work. It's been a busy few months and I've been hanging out for a break. I'm a Teacher Aide. I'm a Mum. I'm a foster caregiver. I'm a Sunday School teacher. It seems that I'm with kids 24/7 and I've been hanging out for a bit of "Me" time.
Last week I turned up at church nice and early (hoping for an escape from a household of kids) for singing practice, did a few songs with the Worship team during the service and since it was a rare week that I actually wasn't taking Sunday School, I headed off to the carpark and had a Nana nap in the car while the service continued. I call that "resting my soul" and I have Scriptural evidence to back it up: I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep Psalms 4:8 (KJV). It would have been disobedient NOT to go to sleep during the service. Do you suppose anyone noticed?
Nobody said this to me after the service so I just might have gotten away with it
 And in case you're wondering who Eutychus was:

During the singing practice (to which children had followed me and clung onto me throughout the entire thing) a friend told me about the "Mummy Shop" I totally got it. I had been running around after a little fostie and not had a lot of sleep over the past couple of days. I just wanted to put up a "Closed" sign in my shop window for an hour or so and have a nap.

I'm a kid too and God's my Dad. I just got to thinking about how Jesus must have felt about the Mummy Shop when He was here with skin on. He was surrounded by all His kids and most of them would have had annoying little ways that could have gotten on His nerves. Maybe He would have liked a little space occasionally but I think it's interesting that Jesus, surrounded by kids who were so needy for attention 24/7, always managed to keep His cool. Even now, when He has me consistently whining in His ear, He still manages to keep His "shop" open for me and every other kid who needs Him, and He somehow never seems to be fed up with us.Thank God :)
Since I'm just one of His little human kids, God's given me a bit of a breather this weekend. School's out, we're between fosties, and my own little one has gone to be spoiled rotten by her favourite honorary aunty and uncle for the weekend. For today at least, this is a kid-free zone. And for some strange reason, I'm looking forward to changing that...right after a little more of Psalm 4:8.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

That's some kind of kindness

I've been hanging out in Sunday School a bit lately, most probably because at 49 years of age I'm still not very mature so kicking back with the kids suits me well. We've been using a pretty cool curriculum called "Agents in Action" which comes with its own CD of songs. That's good, my repertoire needed a bit of upgrading. One of the songs has been stuck in my head this week, kind of like an ear worm. At the risk of stepping on copyright restrictions, I'll just let a few words slip out:
Jesus love me and I love Him
I talk to Him every day
I want to be kind like Him
Jesus show me the way.
I can show the kind of kindness He shows to me...
and at some point there are a few la la las in an octave I can't quite reach without standing on tippy toes.

It's a sweet song with quite a catchy tune.
I can show the kind of love that He gave to me...

Ummm...I can? It's one thing to sing a song because it sounds pretty but the thought hit me:
For me to show kindness, means I have to actually GIVE something out. Isn't it enough to just say please and thank you when I buy my chocolate at the supermarket?  Darn, don't you just love it when God throws a little challenge at you out of the blue. I was quite happy singing my little ditty until the words popped into my head: "Can you? Can you really show the kindness that Jesus has shown you?"
Well, I'm kind to animals...does that count?
I share my bed with a husband and 2 dogs - the cat is no longer allowed following a 1am altercation with the dog
Even being kind to other people doesn't guarantee that it will work out every time:
Okay, technically this is a cartoon about chickens but if your leg was on fire, I would tell you
Still, that song is stuck in my head. When I think of Jesus and His kindness, I wonder how on earth I'd ever be able to come even remotely close to following His example. I guess that's just part of the difference between the perfect Lamb of God and this piddly little human with the eccentric personality and a penchant for fancy dress costumes. His kindness went way beyond the call of duty.
Perhaps God might just be asking me to show a little kindness. What I think I'll do is remember the words: "Jesus, show me the way." It's quite nice that He doesn't expect us to do all the hard stuff on our own.

I knew there was a reason I liked this Glen Campbell clip:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord...or something...

So, as a Jack of all trades and Master of none, I am now a Vocalist at church. In church circles, that means I've made it. Ordinarily I would feel rather self-important about this if it weren't for the fact that I'm strictly a shower-singer. The acoustics are fabulous.  This is me:
 Since I currently own an Elvis costume and haven't had the chance to wear it yet, maybe we can run the Worship a little this way:

When I was first asked to sing up front, I quickly developed a "psychological cold". I like to think that Satan had heard my rendition of "She's a Lady" in the bathroom and he was really worried. Clearly it was nothing more than a spiritual attack. The reality is that I may have been just a little bit nervous and looked very much like turning the Worship part of the service into this:
 Anyone who happens to be over the age of 25 will know that these guys were Milli Vanilli, the most famous lip-synchers since that guy Cyrano de Bergerac tried to help some other guy get the girl.  My back up plan was to hide behind my lovely accomplices, move my lips at the same time as them and pretend that the best voice was actually mine. Of course, I hadn't actually accounted for the Sound Guru who knows how to tweak the microphones in such a way that all voices are equal.

Thankfully, it didn't come to another Milli Vanilli scandal as the music team are just so cool and somehow, something resembling words put to a tune came out of my mouth. I didn't mind it really because the thing about doing stuff for God is that you do stuff...FOR GOD! And if you do stuff for God, well...I guess He kinda makes sure you don't...stuff up...completely (there I go with my overuse of the ellipsis again).

Meanwhile, I'm trying to get a grip on tomorrow's songs. I've been Youtubing for all I'm worth. And, just as I thought I'd really got a handle on some harmonies, one of the fosties walked by and muttered something about bananas and before you know it, I'm belting out "I've Got A Luverly Bunch of Coconuts".  The brain can make some random connections at times. Sometimes worship time can be a little unpredictable. Let's just hope that tomorrow it's not TOO unpredictable.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Running the rompers

I totally sucked at Phys Ed in school. Back in the day, girls were forced to wear rompers. These contraptions were probably designed by uptight nuns who wanted to punish tweenage girls for even entering puberty in the first place and to ensure that no boy would ever find them remotely cute. This was especially true for those of us with flat chests and nobbly knees. Those rompers were completely hideous and did nothing for me at all. As if that wasn't enough to make PE a nightmare, it was even more unbearable for me because I was, and still am, a total klutz. Not only did my classmates laugh at my inept skills in the gym, but the teachers did too.
My friend R surprised me the other day when she told me that she quite liked PE and wasn't too bad at it. I felt a twinge of envy as I conjured up images of her in rompers doing cartwheels and forward rolls with wild abandon. Then she shared a deep and intimate secret with me. So deep and intimate that I've decided to share it with anyone reading this. One day she arrived to PE class to find that new climbing equipment had been installed. Kids were invited to give it a try. R was in shock. Although she really wanted to try it out, she has always been one for routine and was petrified to try something new just in case she couldn't do it. It turns out that all the other kids were keen to have a go with the new equipment...and all the other kids were keen to make fun of the one who was too afraid to go near it. Thankfully R had a very kind teacher who took the time to get alongside her at the end of class and allow her to try it on her own, with no other kids watching. And it turns out she loved it and went on to participate fully in every subsequent class.

Here's another example of someone being encouraged to achieve a personal goal:
We all need someone to encourage us from time to time. Sometimes we even need someone to hold us up when we're too weak to stand on our own. I heard someone defend his unbelief once by saying that Christians are weak because they can't manage *life* on their own; they use Jesus as a crutch.  Personally, I don't think that's such a bad thing and I'm not ashamed to say that I can't manage life on my own and Jesus is my greatest Support Person.

The caption under the video clip states: "When you don't give up..You cannot fail". So, in this Race of Life, I am determined to fix my eyes on Jesus.  I will not give up following Him and through Him, I cannot fail.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The giant leap from a double A cup to Watties tomato sauce

I had to go shopping recently. Over the last year I've stacked on a few curves - a bit of a shocker for someone who has been skinny her entire life. After "weighing up" the options (see what I did there?) I determined that diet and exercise would simply be out of the question. I've tried exercise and I don't really like it very much. Refer to my I'm not weird if you want further details, or check out my chocolate-inspired workout video if you really have to get things moving:
Clearly, hitting the shops was the only way to ensure a satisfactory outcome for me. On the up side about 4 decades after it was due, puberty has finally been kind to me and my "double A Filing System" has increased to an A Cup. The down side is that I'm buying clothes with a number on the tag that just doesn't match what I feel the clothes should be. Must be made in foreign sizes or something.

Now the really cool thing about having lots of new stuff is that it makes a girl feel pretty special to wear something that was in an actual shop just days earlier, rather than scrunched up in a heap behind my winter boots at the back of the wardrobe for a few years. Only, I have these little compulsive fears about spoiling new stuff. I like to keep them new for as long as I possibly can. Unfortunately, I'm very messy. Here's the result of foolishly wearing a white tee shirt at the chocolate fountain for the "Ladies' Chocolate Dessert and Movie" night at church recently:
Liquid chocolate is just so...gooey.

Sometimes I think we can have a similar feeling towards all the nice things that God gives us. When I had my first baby, I couldn't believe that I could possibly be good enough to be a mother to such a beautiful child. I fretted that I'd break her somehow and would constantly check her while she slept by pretty much doing anything that would annoy her enough to wake up. 

I have a lovely friend who seems to think the same way. Whenever something nice comes her way, she worries that she might spoil it. She told me once that if she gets given a white robe in Heaven, she just knows that she's going spill tomato sauce on it. I get what she means. Although...I'm still trying to work out how she'll have access to tomato sauce in Heaven. Maybe God's planning a traditional Kiwi Barbeque for our arrival and there'll be a massive bottle of Watties Tomato Sauce to go with the deviled sausages.

So I told my friend that I think God has all that covered. I reckon he has some sort of stain preventive thingee, a sort of condiment repellent that doesn't stick to Heavenly robes. I think it might be called...

Jesus' blood

I guess it's okay to say that since Jesus made a way for us to cuddle up with God and be His kids, we can safely assume that sometimes God allows nice things for us and it really is okay to enjoy them. I think they're known as Blessings. He really is very nice, isn't He!

 And on that profound note, I'll leave you with this little clip of someone who I think I would get along very well with: