The importance of kids’ music in church

Two weeks ago we learnt a new children’s song at church. My toddler has been continually asking me to either sing it, listen to it (YouTube is great!), or listen to him sing it, since then. I should be completely sick of it by now, but I’m not.

Why?

Because hearing my 3 year old singing truths about God is amazing. And not only is he learning about God, but he’s reminding me as well. It shouldn’t surprise me though, as I can still remember the songs I learnt when I was small. I can’t read certain Bible verses without wanting to burst into song. Music is such a great tool for learning, we need to make sure that the songs our children are singing are teaching them the right things. 

We also need to lose our fear of looking or sounding silly. Actions hugely help my son learn new songs,as does me singing loudly. He doesn’t care what mummy looks like or whether I’m out of tune. He just sees someone being enthusiastic about singing to God, and that is a great thing to model to our children and young people.

Where is my worth?

I bumped into an old university lecturer today. He asked me what I’d been up to since leaving uni, we had a bit of an awkward conversation, and then we parted ways. I realised afterwards though, that I had felt awkward saying that I had just been at home with my boys. (And even now I’ve used that word ‘just’!)

It is something I struggle with. I often feel I should be earning money (after all, this is how society often defines worth), or that I am wasting my degree. I worry about people judging me for staying at home,or thinking that I’m lazy.

Ultimately though, and wonderfully, my worth is not based on how much money I earn (or how much I save us on childcare!) Nor is it based on my ability to be a good wife, mother, daughter, friend,or even Christian. In fact my worth is not based on anything I can do at all. My worth is all in Christ. On our own we are imperfect sinners worthy only of judgment, but God loves us so much that he sent Jesus. Romans 5 says it much better then me:

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. 

So if I can start to be secure in God’s love for me, it stops mattering what other people think of me. It doesn’t matter if I myself feel worthless. Because God loves me anItay. He loves me in my weakness, despite my mistakes, whatever society thinks of me. And it is in Christ that I am made perfect, it is in him that I find my worth.

Why I will not be “cherishing every moment”

Facebook is dangerous when you have PND. Everything on there seems to make you feel guilty or inadequate, from posts about activities people have done with theirs kids, the sharing of web links titled “25 nutritious toddler meals” (after I thought I’d done well finding the energy to make beans on toast), to simple things like smiling photos. I felt like I was this terrible mum, never doing enough, never being good enough.

The worst are memes though. The ones that talk about “cherishing every moment with your children, they won’t be small for ever”. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the sentiment, but these memes can be damaging. Why? Because firstly it’s impossible, and secondly because it stops us sharing our struggles with other people for fear of being judged for not loving our children enough. I have days when I’m bored out of my mind, days when I hate being at home with my kids, and days when the best part of the day is their nap time. And all this is normal, all this is part of life, and all this is OK.

So here are some moments I will not be cherishing:

  • Nappy changes
  • Sleepless nights
  • Pushing a pushchair for hours with a screaming baby for them to then only sleep 20 minutes
  • Early morning wake ups (4:30am and up for the day anyone?)
  • Bolognaise and weetabix in the carpet
  • Tantrums over triangle or square sandwiches
  • The whining

and probably many others I’m too tired to think of!

So if you’re feeling guilty for not cherishing every moment, don’t. Just treasure the moments you do enjoy, even iif they are small.

Not alone

I’m exhausted, feeling down and lonely, and typically cannot sleep.

A few months ago I would have been lying in bed, thinking about the day, and feeling guilty for all manner of things.

Instead I lie here dwelling on how I am not alone. The Bible has so much to say about God being with us. He is my comfort and my guide. He leads me by still waters. He says “come to me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. My comfort is not ultimately based on whether my boys sleep through the night (although that definitely helps!), but on a God who never changes, who never leaves me, and loves me no matter what.

Grace

Grace has been on my mind a lot lately (and what an amazing thing to dwell on!)

Something that I have really struggled with over the last year is feeling completely inadequate as a mother. ¬†Society says we should try to be perfect parents and seems to judge anyone or anything that falls short. But the Bible has the opposite message. The Bible says we’re not perfect, we can never be perfect, but we are loved anyway. Imperfect people saved by a perfect Christ.

Nothing we can ever do will make us perfect. It is only Jesus who can do this. And even our faith itself is not of our own achievement or work. Hebrews 12:2 says that it is Jesus who is “the author and finisher of our faith”.

So God doesn’t judge me on my (in)ability to be a perfect wife, mother, friend and Christian, so why do I judge myself? If I can be secure in God’s love for me, and his amazing gift of grace, then I can be secure despite how the world seems to judge me.

Masterchef is too easy! 

Cooking with toddlers

I’ve decided that Masterchef is too easy. Next year the contestants need a real challenge; cooking a family meal that will be eaten by toddlers and adults alike (containing at least 3 of the 5 a day) whilst said children are both moaning at you to be quicker and clamouring for your attention at the same time. They will be racing against the clock before the moaning turns into full blown tears (oops too late!), whilst the children will also be racing to see just how many breadsticks they can get through before the meal is served. They then of course will not eat the meal because they are already full! 

Whoever finds cooking relaxing clearly doesn’t do it with two hungry children, one of whom is using your legs to learn to stand, whilst the other tries to ‘help’ chop the vegetables!