Sunday, 6 March 2016

The Next Generation

When I was a child,
Mothering Sunday involved
walking home from Sunday School clutching a daffodil
- which probably had a
rather crushed stem
by the time it arrived home!
I remember being quite put out
to discover that I was supposed to hand the flower over to my mother, as although it had been given to me it was actually a gift for her!

My next memory of Mother's Day
was my mum buying a flower plant for my Grandma,
and being quite shocked to discover that my mother had also been a child once!
What is more, my grandmother was my mother's mother!
Until then I have been under the erroneous impression that the only common link between them
was me.
Suddenly I discover that they have a whole common history of which I am not a part!  
How rude!

Fast forward many years and roles are completely reversed,
as I became the carer of the one who once cared for me.
Nursing care followed as mum retreated further into the world of her childhood,
lured away by cruel alzheimers.
Now, like my grandmothers, she is just a memory.
I have no-one to ring,
or graves to take flowers to.
Realising that I am the older generation is a sobering thought.
My daughter has no real concept of the world in which I was a child.
There is nothing new!

So today we look back and remember those who have gone before
- not in some syrupy sentimental way,
but remembering the laughs, and the words of advice.
Forgiving the words that we did not appreciate at the time, yet find ourselves echoing!

Mothering Sunday - a time to remember and say 'Thank You',
even if they are no longer around to hear us speak.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Introspection, contrition and Resolution.

O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.  Psalm 69:5

Look in the mirror and you see, every wrinkle and dimple.
I turn my head in search of 'my better side'
only to deride
myself, for my vain,
misguided foolishness.
If I am honest there is no difference between my good side
and the other side,
for both are equally unspectacular!

Look in the spiritual mirror
and every human foible and weakness is no longer concealed
as God reveals
more than I would want to see
or acknowledge.
My overthinking and introspection
leads to clumsy conversations.
Words, that in my head were reasoned and logical,
translate into blunt weapons.
Yet when I am required to speak truth,
I decline.
Reluctant to be the one
to whom conflict can be attributed.
Fearful of offending.
The worst of both worlds.
Lord give me the grace to trust you in all things,
not to worry when things do not appear to be as I expect,
to believe that in the grander scheme of things,
you can work for good in all,
no matter how unlikely I consider the outcome.
I am reminded again that
Your ways and my ways can only be the same,
when I allow you to be my guide.
You ways can only be my ways,
when I trust in you
and allow your thoughts to freely shape my thoughts.
Instead of constantly constraining them
by the limitations of human expectation.
Lord, give me the grace to forgive others,
as I hope others will have the grace to forgive me.

O God, thou knowest my foolishness; 
and my sins are not hid from thee. (Psalm 69:5)

I can fool others, I can fool myself, but I can never fool you.
All things are known to you,
and even our limited capacity for understanding,
is a gift from you.

Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: 
turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies. (Psalm 69:16