Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Self Harming Bride

On the way home from the school-run, a thought dropped into my heart...

"Jesus doesn't want a self-harming bride..."

It gripped me, it challenged me...and the more I considered it, the greater the challenge.

I'm no theologian but one of the great truths I know is that Jesus LOVES His bride, the Church! He adores her, He is passionate about her and He has died for her. One day, He will return and claim her.  He will present His bride to His Father...and He doesn't want a self-harming bride! The bride, He has been promised, is radiant. Beautiful.  Sadly, there are times when I fear The Church is a far cry from radiance and much more familiar with self-harm.

At many times, The Church has wounded herself, judged herself, and divided her members.  Too often The Church has held anger and resentment, that has spilled out into relationships, communities and the national press.

So, what is the remedy? The cure? The treatment that will restore the Bride's radiance and beauty?

Remember first the harm Jesus submitted to, for the sake of His bride. The church no longer need endure the pain of futile ways. This leads to joyful surrender to the Bridegroom's teaching, love, compassion and the Bride walks out (and works out) her courtship.

This can be applied on two levels.  Primarily, the individual must remember their first love and what He calls them.  Loved. Accepted. Chosen.  Do not self despise, self criticise.  Worship Jesus, seek after Him first and He will transform ashes into beauty.  Sisters, the snare of compare must be resisted.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Brothers, do not judge others harshly. Remember the grace you have received, and so freely give it to others.  Don't allow the old,  hard hearted ways to rob you of the joy of loving and being loved by the Saviour. Please Church, let us not forget our first love.

Corporately, The Church must respond and guard herself against self harm.  Submit to the authority of scriptures and God-appointed leaders. We are free to work out our salvation, to question, to ponder - but this is at it's most constructive (and least harmful) when it is within the context of GLAD submission to Jesus.  When we start to loudly question biblical truth, or slander others when they do, the Bride of Christ is self-harming. When The Church dismisses those who she doesn't understand or holds in contempt people she fears, the Bride of Christ is self-harming.

With some scars, it is easy to find their the belly that has been swollen to the point of bursting with new life.  Or life saving, life changing surgery.  The scars from self-harm CAN speak a louder word...they can speak of redemption, restoration.  But that all depends on how The Church tends to her wounds...and responds to her saviour.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Battle to survive...


The truth is, life with young children can often feel like a battle to survive!  I'm not complaining.  Merely stating a fact.  But the question on the table is not really a question of survival.  It's more about how will you win the fight?  Will the victory be won by gracious means?  Or will the wreckage, of battles fought, be long lasting?  Like bullet holes that scar war torn cities?

You'll be aware that this winter has been a trying time for us Stamp's.  But these things will pass.  We're in a short & fleeting season of life.  Last week I randomly encountered 2 strangers, who were grandparents, recounting how swiflty life's experiences had passed them by!  But even if you were to remove the extreme circumstances we found ourselves in.  Life with young children is challenging.  Lack of sleep.  Behaviour management.  The constant feeling that once you have mastered parenting a particular stage, you realise the child is on to the next one & your learning begins once more!  Did I mention lack of sleep?!

If you're in the battle, be encouraged.  You will survive.  If you're the parent of one will probably reach a point where you decide you can do it all again!  If you're in the battle...face the challenge & allow it to shape you.  Allow it to mould you.  Allow it to grow you.  You can choose for this season to be a winter or a spring.  It's all in how you situations, children & husbands.  We believe in an Almighty God, who is control of everything, who allows the circumstances that we face, that we may grow in godliness & fruitfulness.  So lift your head from the battle & survey the land!

(I found this unpublished.  Enjoy....)

It's Been Too Long....

So, I took a's been too long. We have been at the coal face of raising daughters, serving each other, serving the church, finding me  a job that combines well with family has been full. Inspiration was lacking.

But today is a new day!

Inspiration has come to start writing again...

I don't yet know what I have to say...but I can guarantee it will be something.  Something about raising a family, something about loving Jesus, something about my primary calling & how I work that out within my spheres of influence & responsibilities...

You're welcome to join me as I discover what I am going to talk about!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

2011 so far...

You know feels like The Stamp Family have already crammed 2011 full!  We're only 2 weeks in...this has got to be a good thing!

Bean has started "school"!  It's pre-school, but I'm not going to take away her sense of arriving in Big Girl World now she is going to school like "my fwiends".  It was a mad morning the day she started.  I had hardly slept the night before - worried I'd sleep in past my alarm!  (I remember doing that when I was working early shifts, as a student nurse...worrying, not sleeping in!)  I had chatted to a number of experienced mums...HOW do you get 2 young girls out of the house, into rush hour traffic & to nursery in time for the bell?  Well, more in time for them opening the pre-school door, but you get a sense of the level of my fluster-ings at this new season in Stamp Family life.  Asking around was one of the best things I've done.  Always, always, always ask the more experienced when you have a new challenge to master.  There is nothing new under the sun.  Don't reinvent the wheel, be willing to learn from others experience.  Following this has served me & my family well.

We made it...with 15 minutes to spare!!!  Bean had a whale of a time meeting her teachers & new friends.  We've already managed to line up play dates for the holidays!  She is a real social whirl!  When I dropped her off the first time, I felt like a spare part...which is good.  We are raising our girls to be independent - & feeling like I'm not needed is a sign that we are successful in our mission.  Yesterday I had to persuade Bean to come home at the end of the school day, after being greeted with a disappointed "ohhhhhhhhhhhh, I mean,'re here...<pause for thought, small smile> I did miss you!"

Other things that we have fought & conquered (or just suceeded in)...
  • Dear Hubby has had proper flu.  Not your wussie, namby-pamby man-flu.  But proper, challenge-all-my-nursing-skills-to-keep-his-body-temperature-from-surface-of-the-sun-realm-&-hydrated-enough flu.  It's was horrible.  He's now 80% better!
  • Pea is sleeping through from 7 til 7(ish!).  No more waking her, to give a feed, when we go to bed.  No more staying up until the feed is due.  One night this week, I was even tucked up in bed at 9pm for the first time in months.... I'm well impressed with Pea, seeing as we had got back in the habit of night-feeding when she was in hospital.  It's not taken very long at all for her to get back into sleeping properly at night time!
  • Pea is also self-feeding!  She sits in her high-chair - while we are having tea - munching on rice cakes or toast or garlic bread.  All that can be heard from her corner of the table is "mmmmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmmmm, hmmmmmmmmmm..." as she devours whatever morsel is in her vice like grip.  She'll often pause, regard the snack for a while, then go back to her vigorous & enthusiastic attack!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Thought you might like to see...

Pea Update...

So, Christmas has come & gone.  As has the New Year.  For the first time, in 5 years, the Stamp Family woke in their own beds on Christmas morning.  We have started feeling our way around growing some family traditions...although Christmas did rather sneak up on us & pat us on the bottom!

We were all together and Pea had managed to lose the rather fetching pink hip spica...Praise God! 

So, we were discharged from hospital about 10 days before Christmas with this rather cumbersome cast.  Pea was happy.  We were all tense...the threat of going back into traction should the cast get soiled loomed over us.  Thing was, the cast was waist to toe, with a small hole for hygiene.  I became rather adept at trimming nappies, to fit the hole & catch the mess.  Alas, a dreaded teething nappy won...the Friday night after discharge we headed back into hospital after a major soiling incident.  Traction was mentioned.  Pea kept smiling.  The other 3 Stamp's were tense.  Long story short.  Cast cleaned, sent home late that night still slightly whiffy.  Mum = stressed.  Dear Hubby = supportive.  Bean = surprised to see Pea & I at home the following morning!

I asked for an early review & new cast to be fitted...just because I'm a nurse, I like to think ahead, be prepared, and I need to understand the treatment plan.  We saw a doctor who was not interested in my questions, or helping us understand the plan.  Thankfully, all he was interested in was the fact that Pea's latest x-ray showed she probably didn't need a cast any more.  The Tuesday before Christmas Pea's cast was removed.  The relief was felt throughout our family.  As I tucked Bean into bed that night, she said she was "so pleased that you & Pea are home now...", revealing that until the physical reminder was removed - she didn't quite believe that we were home.

Pea is not supposed to weight bear for another 2 weeks...but it's not stopping her from being on the move.  Trying to crawl.  Getting from A to B, through rolling, dragging or pushing. 

And The Stamp's are back together, getting on with life.  What did we learn... I'll let you in on it later...

Friday, 17 December 2010

We're home!!!

Pea has been discharged!  She is now sporting a rather fetching bright pink hip spica - a plaster cast that extends down both legs & up around the hips.  It's tricky to deal with.  If it get's wet or dirty, we're back up to the hopsital for a refit.  But we're home.  It nearly didn't happen.  She has had 2 previous plaster casts, that kept slipping.  If Pea couldn't cope with the spica being fitted, while awake, it would have been traction over Christmas.  But she coped.  And we're home.  The Stamp's have been reunited.

I will post more about the events, but for now we're going to enjoy being together & working out just how you change a nappy on a hip-spica-wearing-bub in under 10 minutes.  For is a picture of my girls when they met the local football team....