Kindness

Over the last couple of days the word ‘kindness’ has been going round and round in my head.

I really need to get into the parts of it that run deeper than the surface of the meaning.

What comes to your mind when you think of kindness?

The definition the dictionary gives is ‘the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.’

Sounds pretty obvious, perhaps we could end it right there, but I believe there is way more to it than that.

The dictionary goes on to say ‘a kind act.’

Now I think we are starting to get somewhere.

Kindness is an action, in the same way, love is an action. We often think of love as a feeling, but love is revealed much more powerfully in the actions we take to show it, and as Joy Margetts says in her new book ‘The Healing’,

‘When we help someone in Christ’s name, it is an act of worship.’

I think most of us would say we are generally kind. We say kind words, encourage one another, and may even do a few acts of kindness, but what if, when we look a bit deeper, we are actually missing something through what we ‘think’ is kindness.

God says ‘Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.’ Proverbs 16:24

Would the people you speak to be able to say this about your words?

It’s easy to open our mouths, but it’s what comes out of it that’s important.

We say that we are being kind through discipline, ‘discipline in love’, but what if when we are discipline our children our words come from a place that seeks to satisfy our own needs. This can cause problems because then the words become mixed with our own desires, justifications and feelings instead of dealing with the deeper issue that are taking place.

Ok, so it could be that your children are just trying to ‘push your buttons’, but there usually is a reason why.

So, as i’ve done so many times, when I’m disciplining my children, instead of finding out why a situation is happening and getting to the root cause, I’ll open my mouth too quickly and jump in.

Have you ever found yourself asking the ‘why’ questions over and over again? We are good at trying to figure things out by ourselves instead of being upfront in situations. This only leads to it festering in our hearts and minds and starts to take root. This is now an unhealthy root that is waiting to be pulled up and thrown out, like a weed but more difficult to get rid of.

Whereas, if you can do what is right and speak truth sincerely (psalm 15), if you can be honest with others, and true to yourself, acting in kindness, you might find that there could be an explanation you didn’t even consider.

This can be applied to any situation. It could be your marriage, a family member, even a mum at the school gate.

Getting to the bottom of a situation doesn’t always need to be a sit down talk or long discussion, especially when children are involved! From my own experience of discipline that doesn’t work with my kids, but then, I suppose it depends on how old your children are.

It could mean just throwing a quick question back to them with all that God desires for us, compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience as a way to get them thinking for themselves about something. It’s a good starting place! Colossians 3:12.

If you can be honest with others, and true to yourself, acting in kindness, you might find that there could be an explanation you didn’t even consider.

Each situation is different, and if there’s no time to talk, take some time to go through it with your child later on in the day. Just make sure you let them know you’ll be talking about it later and it might give them some time to think about their own words and actions, or – they might just forget it ever happened! It will also stop you from saying things you regret! You might not even need to say too much once it comes to the time for discussion.

In Colossians 3:12, we are told to ‘clothe yourselves’ with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

This should be encouraging, well, it encourages me anyway! It tells me that I am not naturally all these things, I will mess up. I need to make a choice to receive them, and behave or respond in a certain way. Kindness does come down to a choice, as with many of the decisions we will make. It also comes down to examining our own hearts and seeking to take the right action so that we can ‘lead blameless lives’ (psalm 15).

Kindness might be described as ‘easy’, but actually, there are times when it can be really hard! Sound strange?

Well, sometimes we have to speak the truth to be kind, and that can be hard. Sometimes we have to discipline to be kind, and that can be hard too. Sometimes we have to give something up to be kind, that too might be a hard choice. When kindness is being revealed in truth and in action, in the same way, that love is revealed through our actions, that’s when we make bigger sacrifices.

This takes me straight to the feet of Jesus, who made a much bigger sacrifice when he died for us on the cross, and praise God, HE IS RISEN!

Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’

Luke 23:34 NIV

‘The Healing’ Book Review

‘The Healing’ is a debut novel written by Joy Margetts, published by instant apostle. 

As a blogger writing about Faithful Steps, I was delighted to write a review about ‘The Healing’. The story guides the reader through the journey of a man taking his faithful steps along a path of life changing experiences and events. It is a captivating and inspiring story, and one that I could not help feeling part of as I walked with the characters through each step taken towards restoration. I was truly blessed by this book. 

‘Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and he will provide for you what you desire the most. Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust him along the way you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly!’ Psalm 37:4-5 TPT

Scriptures like this one are beautifully incorporated into the book, given its own place, bringing together the end of each chapter. 

‘The Healing’ is an engaging historical fiction, with accounts of true events and real people, one being Philip de Braose, a nobleman. The story comes to life after Philip works as a soldier, but then becomes injured and suddenly finds himself amongst Cistercian monks in France. One monk named Brother Hywel has great influence on Philip’s life and I could not help but instantly warm to his character. 

The author gently and beautifully waters the characters of Philip and Hywel until they become rooted and celebrated within the reader’s heart. 

As the two journey together from France to Wales, each part of the journey adds to Philip’s healing and spiritual growth. Right from the beginning, the story brings about a wonderful opportunity for a man of God to patiently walk another man from despair towards the light of God. This occurs through a growing companionship and a connection through God’s own creation in nature and their horses. 

If you are a reader who is not drawn to historical books or novels, I can promise you that any preconceptions of doubt will be buried as soon as you start to ingest the very first chapter of ‘The Healing’.

When I began reading, I was immediately struck by Joy’s honesty in the historical note. This showed the humility of the author, an insight into the person behind the story and the truth that seeps through each page. It is clear that life experience envelopes the pages. I just love how, although a book of historical fiction, it is written from truth and of the author’s own experience of healing and restoration. You can discover more about The Story Behind The Healing here. Not only is this book written in truth from a personal experience, but in truth straight from God. 

It is written with such clarity and description. The more I read, the more I truly felt part of this story. I was immediately drawn into the characters, especially Hywel. I just loved the warmth and humility that came through in him, and his wisdom is infectious. With the turn of each page, I was waiting expectantly, as was Philip, to hear what nugget of wisdom Hywel was about to pour out to his friend. I particularly enjoyed how cleverly Hywel puts a light on thankfulness, with subtle humour during the early stages of his companionship with Philip.

‘The Healing’, gives a wonderful insight into one man, walking closely with another, discipling and investing time in a relationship and the unfolding beauty within it. It became an admiring picture of worship through serving. 

‘Every time we help someone else in Christ’s name, especially when it inconveniences us, it is an act of worship. Every time we give our time, strength and minds to doing the things that God wants us to do, rather than doing what we would prefer to do, that is our sacrifice of praise to Him’ The Healing, Joy Margetts (2021)

The story is gently and gracefully convicting as I reflect on my own walk with the Lord. It will surely touch your spirit, and a box of tissues at hand would be recommended as the story unfolds!

Not only will you discover a story of remarkable restoration, ‘The Healing’ is a powerful book that has potential to restore you to a place of renewel and contemplation. It reveals how redemption comes from forgiveness, and the truth of this overflows the pages.

‘The Healing’ is a book that you will, without doubt carry in your heart and mind and will want to share with many.

Joy Margetts – Author of ‘The Healing’

‘I have always liked expressing myself creatively with words; writing stories, poetry and songs, and journaling extensively as part of my devotional life. I have always wanted to write a book, and have had many ideas over the years, but I have never before been brave enough to write for others. I love study, and teaching, and most especially I love the Word of God.’ Joy Margetts

You can buy a signed copy of the book from Joy at joymargetts.com

You can also visit Joy’s Facebook page here

Forgiveness is

Forgiveness is…..

About seeing things from the perspective of another,

Taking a step towards healing and battling through the hurt and bitterness even if your feelings are telling you otherwise,

Remembering and trusting God’s plans are for good and He is fulfilling His plans in ways we don’t always see or understand,

Forgiveness is remembering that God made us all, He made us in His image,

Forgiveness is taking yourself out of the situation and replacing your situation with Jesus Christ as your Saviour,

Forgiveness is allowing a blanket of God’s grace and peace to flow over you until you see his light cover the darkness,

Forgiveness is when darkness flees,

Forgiveness is when you forgive a person and see that they are being the best person they can be in the circumstances they have been through, are going through, and are dealing with in their lives,

Forgiveness is a time when your heart is open and you are set free,

Forgiveness is when you let God’s love flow through you and on to others,

Forgiveness is when Jesus Christ died on the cross and saved us,

Forgiveness.

As your children grow

As your children grow,  

Pour your light into their hearts and minds, 

Turn their hearts towards you, 

As you say in your word, ‘Let the little children come.’ 

As your children grow, let the fruits of the spirit overflow, 

Grow them as a good tree would grow, 

As your children grow let us be intentional about teaching them your words, 

Praying that their hearts would thirst and hunger to walk closely with you, 

That they would come to you in honesty through prayer, and grow to know the one who plans out the path of their lives, 

As your children grow, I pray that they would seek your will, growing in wisdom through the foundations that you build, 

Keep them strong, following steps of the good, and keep them listening to you,  

Lord let us all be like little children and come closer to you, 

As your children grow. 

Homeschooling Help and the Essential list

Do lists and charts really work?

Lists, charts, tick sheets. Sounds really boring right? Do they work? Can you actually use them consistently, even after the initial novelty of homeschooling fades? Well, for me, the answer is a big YES, but, each family is different and each mum, dad and child in that house is unique. So the simple advice would be, work out what’s best for your family first. Try different methods until one fits. Just don’t go crazy putting pressure on yourself, or your kids whilst you do it. Keep things simple.

I homeschooled my children a couple of years ago for various reasons, so have tried different methods and routines. They are now registered in a state school, so I have some direction in timetable format during lockdown. This doesn’t mean I have to throw a load of pressure on. My kids go to a Welsh language school, and guess what, even though I’m trying to learn, I don’t speak Welsh! Seriously! I find a way to manage.

Believe it or not there is beauty in homeschooling. You say WHAT? Beauty in homeschooling???

When you get to the bottom of this post, you’ll find the essential list you need if your homeschooling day isn’t going according to plan. Or just jump straight to it now if you need to!

In our house, there is not a strict time schedule. I started with high expectations, and it soon dwindled! Please say I’m not on my own with this. I soon realised that preparation was key, but it doesn’t have to be preparing a month, 2 weeks or even 1 week ahead. It’s very likely something will change and suddenly your wonderfully planned schedule will have a big dent in it and you’ll find you are trying to play catch up.

What’s my ‘method’?

I get to the end of the day, stick 2 A4 pieces of paper together with all the energy I have left. You could use large sheets so you don’t have to stick them together but A4 is what we have in the house right now! The top half is a tick sheet with jobs I expect the children to do in the morning. I said expect……

It really helps them as well as me. It prompts them to get themselves ready before the learning begins and helps me to know they are getting on with it, already teaching independence. There’s a lot of teaching going on under the surface that we don’t even realise we are doing.

The bottom half of the A4 sheet is the school work tick list. I generally stick to a pattern of reading, writing, maths, walking, devotional time, computer work and a few more. I then list the activity that needs to be completed for those things underneath, put a big box next to it, make the chart look colourful and fun and stick it on the board. The children love to tick it off throughout the day.

Do we always get through the list? No. Does my daughter decided that actually mum I’m going to do it my way today, play with my Barbies and do some of my own craft, yes! This is the way things work in our house. The moment I try to force through a resistance, is the moment I open an entry for stress. When mum’s not happy, the rest of the household isn’t happy, SO true!

Each house functions differently, I have a 6 and a 7 year old. Both strong characters, but both totally different in the way they learn. I love having them home, but homeschooling can be REALLY hard, especially if you’re not looking after yourself properly. It is both mentally and physically draining. Sometimes it’s as if life is slowly being sucked out of you bit by bit throughout the day!

Ok, so it sounds dramatic, but seriously, there is truth in that. It’s easy to become overwhelmed. Trying to give both children the desired attention they need can prove difficult at times.

As with many parents at this time, we are all trying to juggle work, homeschooling, looking after the home and all the other demands on us.

What can we do to help ourselves and our children from going crazy in the process?

Always remember:

👉🏻 Each day is going to be different.

👉🏻 We never know how functional we, or the children are going to be until the morning!

👉🏻 Without sounding negative, we are not perfect, so the sooner we realise that we won’t get everything right the sooner the pressure will be lifted.

👉🏻 Have a plan, and work out what is best for YOUR family.

👉🏻 DON’T feel guilty!!! Get your armour on to protect yourself from those negative thoughts!

👉🏻 Be realistic about what you can achieve in a day.


So what’s this ‘beauty about homeschooling’ thing I talk about?

The beauty about homeschooling is that you can make it what you want! You know your children, their personalities, what makes them tick, their look that says, ‘mum, I just can’t do anymore’. I’ve got one of those looks too! You have pretty much all the influence in encouraging them in their learning and inspiring your children to have a love for learning. You might have a timetable from the school, a curriculum to follow, but you CAN do it your way.


Now for that ESSENTIAL LIST I promised you!

If one day you think I just can’t do this today, it really is OK. Make a decision right then to try and have a more relaxed day with the kids. Just make sure you make that decision and be firm with yourself about it. If you’re not firm about your decision, your mind will keep wandering off to what you think you should be doing with the children and the flood gates of guilt will open. Be kind to yourself.

Here is a list for you to hold on to for those days you simply can’t do it.

Print it off, share it with friends, stick it in your note pad or on your fridge, whatever. It will remind you about the important things.

Heart Work


Root Cause

The children are home! Anyone else collapsed by the evening?? Afternoon?! Ok, 10.30am after the third cup of coffee!

It’s ok, they’ve taken over, but…..we CAN do this!

This is a time when we need patience, peace and a whole lot of self-control on a new level!

It is definitely a time when we need to seek the Lord’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding and ask for our hearts to be prepared.

This is heart work! If we want to know the peace that God promises, the heart work needs to begin right with us.

How can we do this?

Prayer

We can ask God to help us to recognise what is causing us to respond in a certain way. Lack of patience, anger, stress, family circumstances, sleep deprivation.

The more we can build a picture and understand what is going on in our own hearts, the easier it is to take steps that can be put into practice to help us in these situations.

Put on the weapons, the armour of God

Never put the sword down!

Meditate on scripture

Verse-mapping

Read devotionals

Keep in contact with family and friends

Think about YOUR needs, yes, I actually said YOUR NEEDS!

Think about your own walk with the Lord, what is the Holy Spirit speaking into your heart through your prayers?

For us to grow in wisdom, we must begin to recognise our need for God. Surrender ourselves, allowing the Holy Spirit to move in the depths of our hearts and minds, revealing a greater understanding and an openness to this instruction.

We will not achieve wisdom by simply sitting back.

We must move forward with faithful steps, trusting in the one who generously pours it out to us when we desire a relationship with him.

You cannot build a relationship if you are not taking steps towards it.

We will not achieve wisdom by simply sitting back. We must move forward with faithful steps, trusting in the one who generously pours it out to us when we desire a relationship with him.


What is coming out of your mouth?

Today, I was too quick to respond to a situation. I responded with very little patience. If there is a given opportunity, if our weapons go down, the peace we have is snatched away.

Genesis 4:6 speaks of a conversation between the Lord and Cain. The Lord gives Cain a warning. The Lord says to Cain,

‘If you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be it’s master.’

Let’s be a master and take control! Be ready for the unexpected moments with our armour in the right place. Let’s start to recognise the root cause of our heart responses.

‘For the Lord God is living among you. He is a mighty saviour. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs’, (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT).



Why I Don’t Want to Forget 2020

The jigsaw above reminds me of how I felt many times during the past year, but I still don’t want to forget 2020. So many pieces scattered in various places around the broken picture.

When we start a New Year, we have a picture of what we envision the year to look like. In the same way, a child will envision what they might like to ‘be’ when they grow up. I remember my dream job was always to be a wildlife photographer. I would picture myself in Africa, the Masai Mara, studying the African Bush Elephants, Cheetahs and lions in wonder. Photographing their beauty, and revealing their most natural behaviours.

I wonder how often that the year we picture ahead of ourselves actually looks like the same picture at the end of it. I’m looking forward to getting my planner out and prayerfully setting my goals and organising for the year ahead. It’s exciting, but I still don’t want to forget 2020.

The Broken Jigsaw

Putting a jigsaw together reminds me a little of patience and perseverance. There are times when we try and rush through, get frustrated, then lose our motivation and vision for the end result. We end up not far off from where we left off. When we take one piece at a time and thoughtfully find the right place to fill that space, it is far more satisfying.

The jigsaw is a picture of the way I feel about myself in 2020. Quite a few pieces have been pulled out and scattered around losing their place.

What I’ve come to see is that bit by bit through all the messy parts of 2020, God has graciously, lovingly and compassionately taken each piece of the jigsaw that was pulled out and scattered. He has then placed the pieces so perfectly back to where they came from. The difference about the pieces this time is that they are much stronger, and much more refined.

I don’t want to forget about 2020. Not because I haven’t struggled, not because I’ve adapted to the changes easily, not because I haven’t been in a heap on the floor in breakdown, but because I want to hold onto the way that God has spiritually changed me through it all.

God has strengthened my marriage and grown my relationship with my children.

Renewed my spirit and shown me that when we trust in Him and step out in faith we will see Him even more clearly.

Gods hasn’t given up on me, even when I’ve hidden from Him.

Taken me by the hand and revealed himself to me in the most profound way I have ever experienced.

Held the big pile of broken pieces in His hands and put them back together again.

Been faithful through everything.

He has shown me that He is the king and the only one to fear.

The Father that longs for us to seek Him

My wonderful councillor, and perfect redeemer.

That’s why I don’t want to forget 2020.

We shouldn’t dwell on the past, but we should keep hold of what the Lord has been teaching us, continuing to give Him the praise and glory. Remembering what he has taught us and what motivates us to keep pressing on.

‘We shouldn’t dwell on the past, but we should keep hold of what the Lord has been teaching us, continuing to give Him the praise and glory.’


Psalm 147:1

Praise the Lord.

How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!


The Finished Jigsaw!

The finished jigsaw

http://www.francescaprice.wales

A Gift that Lasts Forever

A Gift that Lasts Forever

After all the excitement on Christmas Day I thought the children might wake up a little later on Boxing Day. It didn’t quite work out the way I’d hoped! It didn’t really matter though, the excitement seemed to continue on in their little hearts as they quite happily played with their new toys. I stayed in bed a while longer.

My daughter loves craft. Anything creative, especially the type of craft that will get her hands messy. This morning she chose something a little less messy. I was grateful, especially as I wasn’t there to supervise. After a short while I heard her coming up the stairs to our bedroom. I remember her shining face, smiling with pride as she held a beautiful brightly coloured bunch of flowers in her hand. She had lovingly crafted them for me. Her way of showing love that morning.

I put them on my bedside table and she cuddled up with me in bed. It wasn’t long before my cuddling time was up and it was time for me to move. What a wonderful way that day had already begun!

As I got ready for the day ahead, I looked at the flowers my daughter had so lovingly brought me. There was something more to the brightness of those flowers than I had first thought. They were a gift that would last forever. As soon as I heard those words on my heart, my mind went to the cross, to Jesus. The precious gift that we receive when we make a commitment to the Lord. The gift of salvation.

My little girl blessed me so much. The Holy Spirit used her gift of love through the flowers to not just show the love she has for me, but to remind me of the precious gift we have in Jesus. The gift that lasts forever. The sacrifice made for all those who believe, those who choose to have faith in Jesus and walk in His ways.

I am so thankful for the love that God put into my child’s heart that morning. It’s a sweet reminder of the joy we can have when we give back to others what He gave to us.


Mary Mother of Jesus – Part 2 – An Extraordinary Journey of Faith in Motherhood

In last week’s blog Mary Mother of Jesus – Part 1, I wrote about the beginning of Mary’s journey in motherhood. How her remarkable faith, humility and courage stands out in the scriptures. Her instant obedience to God’s commands, as she follows the path God sets out before her. Her righteous fiancé Joseph is obedient alongside her. Mary is a mother I truly admire. On one hand she was living to pursue her maternal longing for her son, and on the other hand, acknowledging and understanding that her son was Lord of all. 

In Luke 2:19 we read of the beautiful verse that gives a picture of Mary’s close walk with God. It reveals her wisdom to quietly consider her situation. It shows her humility as she quietly ponders with grace and elegance.

‘But Mary treasured up all theses things and pondered them in her heart.’

I pray to have such wisdom as a mother, instead of being so quick to respond about the situations in my life! This verse is inspiring and encouraging. As mothers we too can hold on to God’s word in our hearts. We can meditate on them and use them as a shield to protect us along our way.

The consecration of Jesus and Simeon’s prophecy

When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons,” (Luke 2:22-24).

Mary and Joseph were obedient to the Law of the Lord. They took the poor persons options to offer a pair of doves or two young pigeons, instead of a lamb. This itself tells us that they were far from wealthy, (Leviticus 12:8).

Simeon, described as righteous and devout, understood through the Holy Spirit that he would see the Lord’s Christ before he would die. It is at this point that Simeon shares some very profound words with Mary and Joseph in Luke 2:29-32.

‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’

When Mary and Joseph listen to Simeon sharing the prophecy, it fills me with excitement to think about what must have been going through Mary and Joseph’s minds! We are told that Mary and Joseph are filled with wonder, (Luke 2:33). It’s difficult to think of any other way they would have responded after having heard such words. It’s no wonder she kept these things in her heart.

‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too’, (Luke 2:34-35).

How exciting it is to imagine the kind of wonder they must have been filled with! So far, Mary’s journey has been filled with so much profound knowledge about who her first born son is and was to become. A sense of overwhelming revelation that spreads through the scriptures. A wonder that is filled with astonishment and a divine peace in Mary’s heart.

Jesus grows in strength

After Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph return to Galilee.

And the child grew and became strong, he was filled with wisdom, and the Grace of God was upon him.’ (Luke 2:40)

Jesus, a Jew, was a carpenter, (Mark 6:3). Or, if we were to look at the Greek, (tekton) a builder. Of which trade, there is much debate. However, during this time, it was likely that he worked with his father Joseph as a tradesman. This could have been working with stone or wood.

Mary and Joseph go to the annual Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem. It is at this point we get another glimpse of the future of Jesus. We read about the beginnings of His calling to preach. Nothing will stop Him from this calling, to the point where he stays behind in Jerusalem without informing his parents!

Mary and Joseph are anxious because they can’t find their son, (Luke 2:48).

Mary had had such divine encounters up to this point, it surprises me that she responds with anxiety. This is one of many parts of Mary’s journey that I do love reading, because of the comfort it brings. It expresses how natural her maternal response is towards her son. Even through the divine nature in which Mary came to carry her son, she is still very much a mother to Jesus having a maternal protection for Him. The responsibility that Mary’s son was Lord of all could have easily put more pressure on her when she couldn’t find Him.

Again, we see the contrast of Mary living to pursue her maternal longing for her son, then on the other hand, her acknowledging and understanding that her son was Lord. An amazing and yet extremely challenging combination.

Social factors also contribute to an understanding of Mary’s anxiety. During the time that Jesus was growing up, there would have been much social disorder where Mary and Joseph began their lives as a young family. It would have been an era of violence and political turmoil after the death of Herod. A very difficult time for many, including families. There would be deep scars remaining after the implications of Herod’s diabolical decision to have every first born son killed. It is no wonder that they were anxious!

As mothers, we can all put our minds to this situation and relate in some way to the worry and anxiety that Mary would have felt. Perhaps frantically searching for her son. The stomach twisting, gut wrenching feeling of loosing sight of your child.

I come from a family of two sisters and one brother. I am the youngest. My brother was 4 years old when he decided to hide behind the shed in our garden! It became more than just a game of hide and seek. My mother had the whole street searching for him! He probably would have been too young to understand the trouble and stress he had caused my mother, but understandably she was cross.

Jesus’s authoritative words that He spoke when he was found preaching in the temple (Luke 2:49), confirms the description of His growing strength and wisdom described in Luke 2:40. After the search for Jesus, He is both obedient to his calling and to His mother. They leave Jerusalem and made their way back to Nazareth together as a family. We don’t hear the conversation that follows between Jesus and his mother, but we do read that again, with wisdom, Mary,

‘treasured all these things in her heart.’ (Luke 2:51)

This is not the only time we see the authoritative behaviour towards his mother Mary. His family try to intervene during his ministry, (Mark chapter 3). At this time he is accused of being possessed by Beelzebub. There are other times in scripture that reveal His authority. They show the growing submission of Mary to her son’s divine nature.

His final words to Mary

‘When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home, (John 19:26-27).’

This is wonderful! Even when suffering on the cross, Jesus ensures that His mother is cared for by John His disciple. Mary provided for Jesus as his mother, and now Jesus was providing for her as a provider as her son, but also as a provider as Lord.

It becomes clear when we look at Mary’s story as a mother and devoted child of God, that her pondering, wonder and treasuring of all things in her heart is a beautiful example of her profound faith. She is a woman seeking and trusting God as she faithfully walks in her journey in motherhood. We can apply this same action of wisdom to our own journey in motherhood. Taking time to feed our hearts and minds with the words of God. There is a clear sense of a graceful, quiet spirit that seeps through the scriptures as we are directed through the story of Mary, mother of Jesus.

As a mother she is naturally wanting to acquire the relationship that any mother longs to have with her son. In contrast, Mary also submits to His authority as he grows into a young man and begins His ministry.

For Jesus, His work is priority. Yet, the final words Jesus speaks to His disciple John confirms the undeniable love for His mother. Jesus makes sure Mary is cared for before the ‘sword pierces her own soul’, (Luke 2:35).



Just keep going

What can I do? I say to myself in the quiet stillness as I hold my hands in my head. What can I do? I hear the words, just….keep…..going. Priorities flash before my eyes. My little children, precious little children. My beautiful family. My strong minded husband who keeps me going when I can’t see the light through the one step forward two steps back. I fight through the brambles, the thorns, the tangled mess that try to block my vision of where I should be stepping forward into, just……keep……going.

Press on towards the goal. Keep returning to the vision, the reason for moving forward. What can I do? Helpless, empty and frozen in my thoughts, I must keep going. I lift up my eyes to the hills. I reach out, I see, I know that now, I can keep going. I can make a difference. I can move forward. Bring my children up in this world, to be strong, to be focused, to be faithful and to laugh. No matter how tough, no matter what arrows come our way, the Lord’s shield will be our refuge. He will – keep….us…..going…..