You'd be forgiven for thinking this blog is misnamed as I haven't mentioned working with children all that much recently.....or have I?
I have come to realise that what I do isn't my job, it's my life. I so enjoy spending time with kids and their families, it's just part of what I do. I love to meet the other mums for lunch, coffee, play dates and chat to them when I'm not at "work" - people say: are you getting time away from work? Well, this is what I do to relax - be with people being normal and chatting. I don't particularly feel called to iron clothes to perfection during daylight hours; that's what evenings and FilmFour are for!
Last weekend a friend and I organised a 4pm candlelit service for children in the local community and their families and once more the church was pretty full with people who wouldn't otherwise attend a church service - watchnight being too late and Sunday morning being too - well, - busy with other things? It seemed to go well; a friend had handpainted baubles with "Jesus" beautifully to give out as a gift at the end to each family and as always the iced biscuits went down well.
Earlier on Christmas Eve, B. and I jointly presented an all age service, experimenting with a first ever "dual sermon" - well, he did the hard [ theological] bit and I did the application bit. We realised we were striding into territories new; either it would work really well or we would come across as "Ant and Dec"-like!
The last few days has been spent revelling in the enjoyment of my own family; with late nights and long lies, visiting and being visited. Love it.
I do find January hard but have some visitors (friends) bringing some great teaching to the volunteer teams on "passing the baton" onto our children during the first weekend in January, so I can't wait for that.
In the past I have tended to spend the first ten minutes of January mornings "cooried" under the covers asking God to help me face the day; I have never been a big fan of January, in some ways it feels like an anti-climax after Christmas. I am encouraged by Stuart to think about Epiphany. He recommends this website, where I read:
"The term epiphany means "to show" or "to make known" or even "to reveal." In Western churches, it remembers the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing "reveal" Jesus to the world as Lord and King.
I want that as a prayer for my life: I want to reveal Jesus to the world as Lord and King - even in January where I feel - errrrr - under-par!