The Very Worst Part of Christian or Spiritual Blogging
It’s when you mess up in real life. And you’re cross with your husband. And you feel you should be doing something about your 12 year old’s room. Though she is 12. And your 17 year old’s room, and her maelstrom of barely made or just missed deadlines. And the house…the house could always do with more sorting and decluttering, and other holy but actually mind-numbing, spirit-crushing activity. At least that what those things feel like today.
· * *
Okay, duties, responsibilities. And what are you going to do about them?
You are going to fulfil commitment to blog daily?
Really, oh Christian mum?
* * *
And you feel a failure as a Christian, and you are going to write your Christian blog? Really?
* * *
So what am I to write about, when I acutely feel the gap between what I should be, and what I am?
* * *
Grace, that is all I can write about.
That God loves me anyway. That this love is not dependent on the unfolded clothes (which I had Roy dump off the armchair onto the rug so that I could not see them as I type). It’s not dependent on being a sweet mama or a lunch fixing mama, though there is nothing wrong with those either.
It’s a love whose hugeness and enormity I am just realizing. And when I do, it staggers me.
A just-because love.
Just because I make him smile.
Just because he likes me.
Just because I love him. Though he loved me before I did, and loves me on the days when I run on my own little Triple A batteries, rather than on the nuclear energy of his power.
God smiles when he sees me, and that makes me smile too.
God loves me.
That is all when can write about on how can a wretch like me blog? days.
* * *
And here’s a little vignette from my day. I get the girls to school, less motivated than they are because their school starts at 8.40, and my Bible study, on the same road as their school, is at 9 a.m.
“We’re going to be late,” the younger one chirps up, predictably, every five minutes. And then we near Oxford High School, where the girls, even in uniform, dress like models. Long, loose, silky, beautifully styled hair, which tells of lengthy encounters with blowdriers, mousse, sprays.
And my girls? Well, they are tomboys, as I was. They read or are on the computer until Roy says, “Girls, to the car.” They begin to comb their short hair when school is in sight.
I glance back. Sure enough, neither girl has begun to comb her hair.
“Children,” I say, “Look at all these beautifully and immaculately presented girls. It makes me sad that you never comb your hair until you’re at the school gates.”
And we see super-mums lean out of their super-vans, and hand super lunches to their super kids.
“Mum,” says Zoe, 17. “It makes me sad that you never pack my lunch.”
Lunch? Lunch? “What have you taken, Zoe?”
She shows us two gigantic carrots, one tub of hummus, and two apples.
“That’s not enough, Zoe.” We pass her money. “Why didn’t you take more?”
“Couldn’t be bothered,” she says.
* * *
So my mind plays on that over the Bible study. Have we been well and truly negligent? Was there really no food in the refrigerator?
I come back and look. We’d had a bunch of Zoe’s classmates over for dinner on Sunday, had over-catered. Roy had frozen the food, and now it was all defrosted and ready for a second banquet. Pullao rice, and naan bread, and chicken tikka masala, and chicken korma, and lamb pasanda and beef balti and a chickpea curry.
And yet, even with a microwave in her sixth form common-room, she chose to go to school with two large carrots, 2 apples and a tub of hummus.
· * *
There’s a moral in there, somewhere… It’s not just that I am letting myself off the hook of bad mother guilt.
Isaiah 55: 1Ho, every one that thirsteth,
come ye to the waters,
and he that hath no money;
come ye, buy, and eat;
yea, come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
or “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13.
Spring of living water. That’s indeed what my thirsty soul wants. Free, and for the asking. Thank you!