Monday, 30 September 2013

Bible Challenge

I was thinking this morning about how many people look at their phone as soon as they wake up, whenever they have 5 minutes to spare during the day (or just want to look busy) and last thing at night.

I wondered what it would be like if Christians, instead of looking at their phones, read their Bibles at these times.

It seems like such a small thing, but if we all did it, I think it would make a big difference. For a start, people would be more aware of Christians in society, and also our Biblical knowledge would be better. And you never know, it could lead to some interesting conversations.

So I have challenged myself to carry my Bible around whenever I go out, and to look at it (or at least have it visible) whenever I would usually have my mobile out. For example, on the table at a coffee shop. And having a Bible app just doesn't cut it. That would be too easy and would be no witness as no-one else would physically see a Bible.

So the first place I took my Bible today was to the doctor's surgery, I got it out and read it instead of the old magazines in the waiting room. I read a couple of chapters of Acts. It was good. No-one screamed and threw me out.

At Starbucks today, I was too busy talking to actually read it, but it was sitting next to my mobile on the table, visible to anyone who happened to pass.

I am hoping that one day someone will notice and ask me about it, but for the moment I am happy to spend a bit more of my time thinking about God and less time simply wasting time.

I wonder if anyone else would like to join me on my challenge?

Be the change you want to see.

Friday, 13 September 2013


You pick an apple off the tree.

It's green with rosy cheeks.

Take a bite

and some juice runs down your chin.

You grin

and lick it off.


The nights are drawing in.

Summer's gone

and the leaves are starting to turn


We went blackberry picking

and got purple hands-

like zombie blood you said-

but it tasted good.


Days full of grey

and rain,

but when the sun comes out

it's like an unexpected gift.

The smell of wood smoke in the air

and digging out old jumpers.


September is here.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

First world baby problems

1: My wipes are too cold.

Seriously Mummy, couldn't you get a wipe-warmer or something? My poor delicate bottom is feeling the chill.

2: I'm unfashionable

I've been given hand-me-downs to wear. They are So last season!

3: I'm gender-confused

I'm getting mixed messages here. My nursery is all pink and my outfits are floral, yet I have a Thomas the Tank Engine potty that used to be my brother's. It's blue. It's meant for boys. But I'm a girl, right? I bet North West never has these issues.

4: My first birthday party

It involved pass-the-parcel; crisps and a cake made by Grandma. This may have been acceptable when you were young, Daddy, but that was like 100 years ago.

Next year I expect ponies, a bouncy castle (for the retro vibe) and glittery cupcakes. Ok?

5: I don't have a passport

My only Summer holiday was in Weston. That went down like a lead balloon at baby yoga. What's wrong with Florida?

6: I have pram envy

Mummy, why can't I have an iCandy? I know they're chic 'cos they have an 'i' at the front.

7: I'm teething

Grandma bought me a delightful book of fairy tales. I can't read it, but it does taste delicious. I know that I shouldn't chomp on literature, but I just can't help myself.

8: I'm too little to drink a babychino

They don't come in sippy-cups. :(

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Parenting myths

Warning: You may be offended. Look away now if of a nervous disposition.

Nothing brings out the self-righteous judgemental side in a person quite so much as having a baby.

Sometimes I feel myself slipping into some of these ways of thinking, and have to give myself a mental slap in the face.  Here follows some parenting myths that I would like to dispel.

Myth #1: You are a better parent if you...

breastfed for a year/ used only washable nappies/ feed your children only organic food fed by mountain streams and farmed by virgins by moonlight/ would never give your kids sweets.

If you harp on about these things (delighting in your own self-righteousness and thereby condemning all  'imperfect' parents to the scrap heap of failure) all the time then you need to know two things.

1: You are boring.

2: If the last 2 examples apply, your kids will be the ones who fill up on ice-cream and sweets at friends' and granny's house.

Have you ever been to a job interview when the potential employer asked how long you were breastfed for? No? Me neither. Neither have I been asked about my nappies of choice. Guess it doesn't matter that much then.

(Note: breastfeeding is very good for your baby, I do it and think it's great. I just don't feel superior about it.)


Myth #2: Your baby is more intelligent if...

He walked at 8 months/ potty trained at 18 months/ went to baby music, yoga and novel writing classes.

We should celebrate our children's achievements, of course. And that's great that your baby was an early developer. But that doesn't mean that they will be the next Einstein; every kid grows at their own pace and they get there in the end. Competing with other parents over these sorts of things is not nice or attractive.


Myth #3: Your child is more important than anyone else because...

Some children have learning difficulties. Some have physical disabilities. Some are great at sport. Some are maths geniuses. Some are pretty. Some like eating mud pies.

None of these things make your child more important than anyone else's. All children deserve love and respect and have their own strengths and weaknesses. File under 'Normal'.


Myth #4: Your child is not a miracle.

All children are miracles. Your child might be the result of a drunken one-night stand. This doesn't make her less of a blessing than the offspring of a couple who have been trying to conceive for 15 years and had IVF.

If your parents didn't plan or want you, that doesn't make you less important than someone whose parents were happily married and lived on a farm with ponies and who hosted wine-tasting and bridge-playing parties.

God doesn't love one type of child more than another. He loves us all equally and without prejudice.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.