Debbie’s diary entry 2013

A lot happened in 2013..
What a start to the year as we found out I was expecting and Andrew made the big announcement! We celebrated birthdays, hen parties, baby showers, anniversaries, holidays, the city of culture, engagements and weddings. The joy of new arrivals, the loss of loved ones. New friendships formed, new roles in life for many of us. 
We lived in four different houses and finally settled in our new home! We watched the seasons change and enjoyed the weather of a real summer! We became parents, as Andrew and I were blessed with our little boy and have shared together, with our family, friends and church so many of Peter’s ‘first moments’ and our First Christmas together as a family (great being on maternity leave!).
As one year ends and another begins, we have a lot to give thanks for and a lot to look forward to in the year ahead! Many memories have been made, alot of laughter had and shared, many a tear shed, lessons learned and much still to learn..
Personally I have learned that you can’t ‘do’ life on your own strength. In particular I was reminded of this after Peter was born and I was quite unwell. The care, attention, love and dependance I had on God, Andrew, my family, friends, and hospital staff was felt most at this time. I am constantly reminded of that every day when I look at Peter.
Sharing life with Andrew, has been a real joy and a real journey. Each day may we continue to Stand on God’s grace and strive to walk in His ways. To live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
With full hearts and ready hands, Andrew and I step into 2014 and pray that God would pour into it, as we will..

Ready!
Eph 3:19

In love, and the ‘in’ has been strengthened

I love Debbie, I did before but there’s a new level now. A more complex, diverse, intentional and dependable level of love.  Peter is here.  Peter is here!  I could write for a thousand pages and not find a language deep enough for the expression of pride and love I have for my son and my wife.  Oh how it is deep.  I thank God for them. I will, for them?… anything. 

Complex.
Our love is complex now, not just a two way show, we have no.3 in this double act.  This third member has not been invited from the outside but created inside the love.“Forged in the fires of human passion”1, “made from love”2. With this third member we are stronger but not as simple, and this is no bad thing. A simple love is easy to extinguish and complex love keeps you tangled and I’m glad our love is more complex.

Diverse.
Over the past 2 week I have showed Debbie, more than ever I’d say, how much I love her.  Isn’t that romance, the ability to show that you love someone.  Yet not one flower, present, chocolate, or meal was bought.  (I would love to resurrect the word romance from the pansy, upper class French image that it places in our minds, to the ability to show one that they are loved, not just liked, not just thought pretty, but to show that they are completely, wholly adored.) The things that I have don’t for Debbie have not been day time TV, and the way that I’ve be romantic toward Debbie will continue to diversify now that we enter the fullness of the word family. Love will look different and I’m glad our love is now more diverse.

Intentional and Dependable.
Those of you who know me know that I can’t talk to long in a teaching capacity without saying the word ‘intentional’.  I now love Debbie on purpose, it’s intentional and from her side it’s dependable. This is where the promise of love is worked, and realised.  Debbie not only needs me but she needs me to love her, and just as much, if not more, Peter needs me to love Debbie.  How else could I teach my son how to love and be a husband if not by showing him? Peter needs parents who are in love and I’m glad our love is more intentional and dependable.

Love is a want and I want to love Debbie but now there’s a more realised responsibility of love, ‘I don’t have a choice but I still choose you’3.  Though there is 1000 more things I could say, I’ll just finish with my prayer/hope.
“As Peter grows up may he know and understand the Fathers love for him by the way I love him and may he know and understand Christ’s love for His church by the way I love Debbie, and my he show the world what God is like by loving others more than himself.”
I’m in love with Debbie, and the ‘in’ has been strengthened.

Ps. I would love to be able to write a blog about meeting Peter for the first time but I can’t find the words but here’s some photo’s of him and his parents! Come visit! 

 

1 – Rich Mullins in song ‘We are not as string as we think we are’
2 – Stevie Wonder in ‘Isn’t she lovely’
3 – The Civil Wars in a complex song about tough marriage called ‘poison and wine’

WAITING AND CREATING …diary of pregnant dad-3

It’s a bit of a wait to be honest.  I mean I’ve been married to a pregnant woman now for seven and a half months, that’s long time to be a pregnant woman’s husband. 
Never mind me it’s been a long time for Debbie to carry this bump and to be married to a hyper-active pregnant dad.
Why the big wait?
I’ve been reading Genesis 1 over and over again, trying to pick up it’s rhythms and hip-pop style lyrics.  It’s a bouncing passage this creation text, with it’s repetitive yet action packed schedule. 
Right, here’s the thing, God could have created the whole cosmos in a flash. He didn’t. He took a whole week.  The workings of this week are not rushed everything has it’s own place and time, God has a chance to see the morning and evening everyday and enjoy a full Sabbath.  And neither are the workings of this week lazy, each day has a good amount of action and reflection. 
Safe to say, Genesis 1 does not procrastinate nor is it in a rush. 
Now if God can make a whole cosmos in 7 days with time to marvel and what He has done, what could He not create in 9 months!
Gods not rushing the creating of my child but neither is He being lazy, He is knitting my child together with passions, making arms, legs, beauty, senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, abilities to love, show mercy and have compassion, knitting all this and more into my child.  But most of all, and this is what excites and scares me most about this whole thing. God is creating a home for Himself inside my child’s heart. A home with a door, a door only my child can open to let God in to make His home there.  My child will be God’s image bearer, for sure, but it will be his/her choice to become in-dwelt by God Himself.  And I pray with my whole being, and will do, think and say everything and anything within my wisdom and power so that they understand that they have been created to be a ‘home for God’ to be in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit because it’s only then they will become who they really are, and it’s only then I will be fully blessed knowing that I will be with my child forever in God’s sustaining eternal life.
I wonder what s/he will look like, will Debbie’s mangled toes get a tribute in God’s creating, will my love for music, will my asthma, what about Debbie’s love for family? I can’t wait to see what God will create for us, but I can wait, because He still has creating to do; hey, sure He’s still creating me.
Standing on Grace

time on hands

MOUNTAINS ARE DANCING …diary of a pregnant dad-2

There is nothing really happening!
I mean Debbie is just getting a big tummy, or so it looks, to the untrained eye.  We’re all trained to notice pregnancy. We’re quite literally brought up with it, and we know the implications it has, it means a child is about to be born, and subsequently parents are also about to be born.  God is at work and yet, we don’t get to see his creative craftsmanship in any great detail, just a growing bump and an ultra-sound picture.  Yet we know He is very much at work. I had this thought a few weeks back when down at the sea with Debz, thinking on how there’s so much marine life in the ocean though we can hardly see it’s movement.  Then knowing that God is knitting a personality, gifts, muscles, eyes, soul etc in my child and yet everything looks so still.  The untrained eye could even say that God was doing nothing. 
I mean what if, with our seemingly still, slow church God is busy at work birthing something of abundant life and I have found that often it’s in the stillest, quietest part of the day that God does the most speaking.  Who knows what else in our lives looks still to us and yet God is working His will out through it.  Like the time at the end of winter, we think everything quit, we think nothing is happening, and then snowdrops, daffodils, primroses and the life of spring show us the life that was waiting to birth underground.  hey maybe even those mountains are dancing.

I went home with that thought in my mind and wrote this wee song.
Mountains are Dancing
Is there anyone who couldn’t be in love tonight

With the magic of the full moon that’s shining bright
There must be a billion and one stars God has set alight 
And the mountains go dancing on the skyline 

And the Girl that I’ve given my heart to
Seems quite like she’s thinking the whole thing through (might need to work on this line!)
I press my lips agains her hair and say ‘I, love you’
And the mountains go dancing on the skyline
Yeah those mountains go dancing on the skyline

Chorus:
God is creating us
God is creating a new heart in us
God is creating us
He’s creating a new life with us

You see God is at work in her womb tonight
Knitting together a brand new life
He’s planting a heart and a soul in behind my child’s eyes
And the mountains go dancing on the skyline
Yeah those mountains go dancing on the skyline

Chorus again.

The ocean looks so still
With the moonlight resting on it’s ripples
But there’s so much life beneath those watery shadows
And the mountains go dancing on the skyline
Oh even mountains can dance with the skyline

here’s a wee picture of our baby, and the shore out front of house.
standing on Grace.

IMG_0547 DSCF1932

GIRL or BOY …diary of a pregnant dad-1

Today we had a scan, like 22 weeks or something, baby looking a healthy wee thing with long legs!
Here’s the deal right, I don’t like keeping secrets from anyone, Jesus asked us to live in the light, not to hide in darkness or to keep parts of our lives hidden.  So, I don’t delete my browsing history, I don’t hide anything, open living.  Anyway.  At this scan you can find out if your baby is a girl or boy.  I wanted to, but Debbie says if we find out then we’d have to keep it a ‘secret’ (bad word for Andrew), so we decided not to find out… As the nurse put the gel and camera around Debbie’s tummy, and commented on the heart, lungs, brain I was on a mission, I was searching hard for a willy!  Thought I saw one at one point, but it turned out to be the umbilical cord! It did look a little oversized. 

Why do I want to find out? Well I’m a day dreamer, and a visionary, I dream of the ideal before looking at where we are. 

If it’s a boy, I dream of introducing my son to the world, telling him that beautiful and terrible things will happen.  That you can’t trust everybody but must always trust Jesus and choose to trust those close to you.  Showing him a way of life that honors God, relys on the spirit and focuses on Jesus.  I dream of him making me proud with his passion, I dream of Him following Jesus.  

If it’s a girl, I dream of protecting her from the world, showing her how beautiful she is. Teaching her to trust Jesus always but to only trust the most very very excellent and Jesus focused of men with her heart.  I dream of Debbie showing her a way of life that honers God, relys on the spirit and focuses on Jesus.  I dream of her making me proud with her compassion, I dream of her being in love with Jesus.

What do these differences tell me? The natural God made difference between male and female, or the cultural context that I’ve somehow dragged into my faith, I don’t know, bit of both maybe.
I do know something…  …I didn’t see a willy!

standing on Grace

Diary of a Pregnant Dad (blurb)

It took a lot of toothpaste but we got there, we’re pregnant!  So with Debbie’s permission I’m hoping to keep a wee blog diary about being a husband/dad for a pregnant wife.   I’m a Jesus follower. And many people who I respect greatly, tell me that the journey of becoming a parent teaches you so much about God (the father), your own parents and love.  So here’s an attempt to document this learning and experience before I know what I will learn or what will happen.
All I know is, Debbie’s preggers, I’m to blame and God is good.

Due date: 1st September 2013.  you can come and cheer us on!

2 great truths

I wonder do you, like me, often think, man, the Devil is always on my back, always there like this evil influence. Waiting, with a creepy smile that makes your skin crawl for you to walk into temptation. And then, pounce!, he’ll wrestle with your thoughts, make you do something, say something, hurt someone.  

Well, I’ve got quite good news, 1. Satan is not omnipresent! 2. Satan doesn’t know everything about you! 3. Satan is trembling at the thought of the power of the Holy Spirit who’s inside/part-of you.

If we took what we sometimes think the Devil is and flip it, you’ll find a great truth.
The Devil is not with you all the time, wanting to curse you.
But God is always with you, wanting to bless you.

Two great truths.

God is Omnipresent.  There is nowhere where God is not.  God is everywhere.  Think of the darkest most evil place you know, God is there, frustrated with the free-will of people I’m sure, but He is there, seeking to bring home His children, and establish His kingdom and glory.  

God is Love.  There is nothing that we have experienced from God which is outside of love.  Everything, and I write this knowing the suffering life can throw at us, but everything you have experienced and will experience from God is and has been love.

Put these two great truths together and you get one great reassuring confidence, one awesome companioning blessed truth.  

No matter where you are, who your with and what your doing, God is close, and God is always looking on you with love wanting, willing, cheering you in love to become more like His Son.  

“God is Love”
“I will never leave you nor forsake you”

Standing on Grace

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