Hello! And happy September. Many parents’ favourite time of year! The month when schools (in my case, nurseries) are once again open for business, stimulating and tiring out my small person for free. We’ve had a lovely summer with lots of fun activities – we’re blessed with wonderful friends and a vibrant city and region. But you can’t beat time to yourself. Visiting the grengrocer is so much easier when you aren’t accompanied by someone who may or may not lick or even eat the produce. And September is of course the month when the merry-go-round of toddler groups begins again after the six-week summer break. So, happy September!
Despite the free childcare I’m loving, September is a bit of a whirlwind for me, as the weekly toddler group I run gets going once more. There are rotas to draw up, emails to keep on top of (but preferably not when Freddie’s at the top of the climbing frame… the iPhone has been a mixed blessing!), cakes to bake, craft activities to prepare, stories to tell and new faces to welcome. Thanks to one of my wonderful co-leaders, this term we also have the excitement of running an Alpha course for parents and carers within the group. Fun times ahead!
And September means lots of flying visits – a quick playdate here before we rush to nursery there, a brief trip to the shops on the way back from a kids’ birthday party, a drop-in to a toddler group or playground between household chores, hopping onto buses… it feels like the long lazy days of summer are behind us. We don’t seem to stay anywhere for long, and that will apply to this blog post too as you’ll see when it ends shortly! That’s a fun way to live up to a point, but it’s better to slow down where possible. I’m the worst offender when it comes to this – slowing down doesn’t come naturally. But there is one thing I do that’s helped a lot. I start each day by checking my emails. Strange way to slow down, you might say, but during the night, the nice people at http://biblesync.org/ will have sent me an email with some Bible readings. You could read them at any time of day, but as the list of activities above shows, if I don’t do it as soon as I wake up, then nine other things will crop up! And if I don’t do it now, I’ll notice it as my mood dips throughout the day; I have a three-year-old, so my mood needs all the help it can get! (Speaking of the three-year-old, he has ten minutes of CBeebies on the iPad while I read the passages in bed. I have yet to intercept any complaints from him about this!).
As I read, I thank God for his word and ask him to open my heart to what he might be saying to me through the passages. I commit the day to him, knowing from experience that he hears me and that he will faithfully watch over me and my family. (Or, to take the toddler group as an example, I believe that all the cake-baking and emailing will be for nought if I don’t talk to God about it and listen to what he’s got planned for the group!)
Lengthy blog posts, indeed whole books, could be and have been written about the transformational power of prayer and Bible reading, but it’s September, so I’m on a flying visit! (I will lazily suggest that you check out the blogs I follow for some wise insights!) But just now it’s time for me to step away from the computer, and to focus on my relationships with my friends and family, and my relationship with God. Thank you for reading!
Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)