I am approaching my fourtieth birthday and going to three weddings this year, it’s a coincidence but it reminds me of how I felt when I approached my thirtieth and seemed to spend all my weekends meeting new brides and grooms. When I was 29 I realised there were lots of things I wanted to achieve and I needed to get on with some of them now. That year I bought my first house and started a proper job! Ten years on I feel the same but I don’t have such a long “to-do” list, in fact I feel like I probably can’t fit much more in.
I have been reminded recently through friends and family who are aren’t able to have children how lucky I am to have my two lovely toddlers. At times they are very testing but I am realising that reading about parenting and hearing about it, are not the same as doing it, and it’s alot more fun as well as very challenging than I ever realised. The grief and pain people feel if they are unable to have children is quite overwhelming and can make it hard to be around other people who are pregnant or have little ones about. This is far worse than the frustration I feel when I can’t get home quick enough to see them after a long day at work.
I have recently started watching a DVD that goes with a christian parenting course which I’ve found quite useful so far, as it seems to suggest that we don’t need to add attention to the bad behaviour and we need to notice and comment on the good stuff. This is pretty reaffirming as we all like people to notice when something has gone well, and if we’ve made a mistake it’s good when people don’t go on and on about it to you. I think it would help my marriage if I noticed more of the things Steve has been doing all day when I get in from work, as well as expecting him to hear about the office.
My experience of God is that he doesn’t like to keep a tally of all the things I’ve messed up, and he’s pretty good at remembering when I’ve done well, even if I can’t seem to acknowledge it for myself. He’s also not all that interested in grand plans and “Things to do before I’m 40!” as he’s got it all worked out for me. I will finish with James 4, v 13-17
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.