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Princess Morag is a stay at home mum who tries to stay sane, hold on to her faith and keep her brain somewhat stimulated

Friday, December 07, 2012

not by sight

Princess Morag lives near quite spectacular mountains - this has been good compensation for the lack of precipitation and greeness.  Last weekend the clouds descended, and the sky was grey (she was happy about this) and she stood on the balcony and stared and stared.  Normally she would enjoy the view of the peaks in front of her, but that day she could see nothing but cloud.  And she used her minds eye to remember what it normally looked like; remembering the majesty of the mountains.  It was difficult, even though it was her daily view, it took effort to believe that they were still there.  She knew of course that they were - as mountains don't often run away - and she realised that she was pondering the business of FAITH.

God is even bigger than the mountains, and he never leaves us or forsakes us, yet we can't see him.  Our lives are full of big bad clouds that want to make us forget the majesty, forget the glory, forget reality.

"We live by faith, not by sight" 2Corinthians 5:7

Sunday, November 04, 2012

self-deception

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?  Jeremiah 17:9


Princess Morag was somewhat dismayed (to put it mildly) a couple of weeks ago when she realised that a particular self-neglecting behaviour was much worse than she'd been telling herself.  It seems that lying to yourself is pretty easy, and deflecting others from broaching the issue not too difficult either.  She received a 'wake-up call' and has been humbled in the process.  Princess Morag has had a tendency for a long time to think she is 'super-Morag' when in fact she is simply regular 'human-Morag' and when she read on this blog:  that pretending not to have any needs is trying to be God, her conviction on this particular issue was complete. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rain

Princess Morag was so grateful for the rain last week.  She is not made for the desert.  She smiled at the grey sky, enjoyed the hunt for the rain jackets, and was horrified that the young master and little maiden had forgotten the concept of a hood to keep the rain off their small heads!  Then, after dropping off all the work/school attenders, she sat in the quiet apartment looking out at the rain falling and the puddles forming with a cup of coffee in her hand and satisfaction in her heart.  It was like God had pressed her reset button and the tension of waiting....waiting....for the rain was gone.

 "Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near."   James 5:7-8 NIV

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

bubbles

Princess Morag was blowing bubbles this afternoon with the young maiden's new birthday present - a Minnie Mouse tea set where the cups and spoons have little holes you blow through to make the bubbles and the 'tea' is bubble mixture.  The feature where you pour the bubble mixture into the saucer and then use the teacup to blow bubbles has the added advantage of it being less likely to get all over your hands.  Princess Morag has an issue with bubble mixture and it making her gag slightly (yes she knows it is just soap) this is a nice feature in her opinion.  Plus the teacups have a bigger hole and therefore make larger bubbles.

As she watched some of the bubbles float away she could see how they were all different, and had different rainbow hues.  And as she watched some of them pop instantly and some drift away for a while before popping she thought of how they really were like dreams.  Princess Morag considers herself a bit of a dreamer and sometimes it is just a momentary thought, a what if...?  And sometimes it is a treasured idea of something she would like in her life, or something about herself....

Unfortunately Princess Morag has painfully learned that she has people close to her in life who are bubble bursters and seem to delight in making her dreams go 'pop'.  This makes her conscious to respond kindly when her children talking fancifully about things, because sometimes we say our dreams out loud just to enjoy their rainbow colours for a moment, not necessarily believing that the bubble is something solid that we can keep.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

mornings

Princess Morag has never been a morning person, she rather loves her bed.  If she attempted to say she has somehow become a 'morning person' anyone in her family would snort with derision at the notion.  So she won't go that far.  BUT, since the summer she no longer holds murderous thoughts towards whoever/whatever woke her, which in her book has got to be progress and pretty miraculous too!

It seems that five years of motherhood, to children who are really strange cheerful creatures in the early hours of the day, has trained her to some degree to cope with rising.  Previously only Christmas morning and catching-a-flight-somewhere mornings were the ones where she could get out of bed with any sort of enthusiasm for the start of a new day.  Princess Morag can't stretch to enthusiasm yet on a normal run of the mill morning, but she does manage sort-of-cheerful-I-know-I-need-to-get-up-ness.  This has stemmed from a growing realisation that her role of mother is essential to the possibility of her household getting ready for leaving the house on time. This has taken on greater importance with Master Ryan's starting school; Princess Morag knows that the young master will fare better if he arrives at school in plenty of time, therefore she has to help him get there.  And now she is grateful for his ability to get up early by himself (in fact his acting as an alarm clock for the whole household) because even though she can muster enough discipline to get herself up now, it wouldn't be strong enough to be shared with another person, certainly not without much grumbling.

"If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse."  Proverbs 27:14 (NIV)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Do not worry

Do not worry.  Jesus said that.  He told us not to worry about what we eat/drink/wear or to worry about tomorrow.  Princess Morag knows it is a good idea, and like most good ideas it is terribly difficult to put into practice.  Much the same as getting up early - always a good idea - never easy (unless it is the day you are catching a flight somewhere and then she remarkably finds the motivation to spring out of bed).

Princess Morag was worried over as a child.  And so she tried not to do much worrying herself as then there would definitely have been an excess of worrying going on.  But then adult responsibilities arrived, and parenthood; consequently she has been doing a lot more worrying.  In the baby days, Princess Morag was tempted to go into worry mode - but she recognised that it was dangerous territory.  There is no end of harrowing scenarios that can immediately pop to mind the moment you are not in the same room as your baby, and even if you are holding your baby, you are still not safe....what if.....what if.....  Better just not to go there in your mind.

Now that they are no longer babies and Princess Morag no longer watches them every second of every day, she is finding new things to worry about.  The young master has started school.  The moment Princess Morag had to watch her son walk into the classroom and did not know what was to become of him in the next 4 hours, she had an acorn of panic in her stomach.  Sir Rianus, told her to just get in the car.  She knew she should, but it was taking a lot of discipline not to follow the 5 year olds into the classroom - what were they going to be doing??  Could she really trust the teacher?  The young master was fine.  And so was Princess Morag.  She has since managed to let the boy walk into the classroom 3 more times without following him in. 

She was not so worried about the young maiden starting preschool, so no emotional energy was wasted on the girl who has chirped with happiness every day at pick up time.  

Jesus said we can't add an hour to our lives by worrying (Matthew 6.27) and Princess Morag reckons worrying adds nothing to anyone, it only takes away.  Having being worried over as a child, Princess Morag felt it was like an additional weight she had to bear on top of the health and emotional issues she was already facing.  She wanted someone to take her burden away from her by listening to her and showing compassion - not to have that burden added to by knowing she was causing distress to someone else.  Princess Morag does not want to worry about her children's future - today has enough worries to occupy her anyway and if she is busy worrying about the future she is not present to love her children in the present.  And they are God's present to her everyday, she doesn't want to miss them.

Friday, July 27, 2012

What is saving Princess Morag right now?




http://sarahbessey.com/in-which-we-are-saved-synchroblog/

The morning chorus of her wee ones imaginative play even though it is an earlier hour than Princess Morag ever wants to see/hear.  The sun on her back as she weeds the flower bed - who knew that she might actually enjoy gardening?  The fact that it has rained this week, and there are sometimes clouds in the sky.  Access to the hope of heaven.  News from friends, any news will do, just so she knows they remember her.  The swamp cooler.  Memories of the baby days, without the exhaustion that accompanied them.  Singing and laughing with her children, basking in their love.  Children's spontaneous prayers, revealing their heart.  Praying scripture, knowing it's not possible to do it wrong.  Marvelling at the birds outside and knowing that God thinks us more worthy than our free flying feathered friends.  Walking the neighbourhood, feeling the presence of the mountains hemming her in.

Friday, July 13, 2012

big blessings

Princess Morag reacquainted herself today with one of her old favourite tv programmes - Deal or No Deal.  In today's episode the contestant settled for a low/mid-range winning sum, but she could have had the top prize if she'd kept playing!  It is quite likely that many people do this in life.  Princess Morag is musing over the fact that in order to receive BIG blessings, not only does one need courage, but also the ability to handle the discomfort of doubt.  Faith can only grow by being tested, but that process of being tested is uncomfortable, it involves risk taking and facing the possibility of failure.  Even if the rewards are great, like on the tv show, sometimes we just can't face the short-term suffering of our mental and physical battle with fear - what if the worst happens?  But what if the best was going to happen if we hadn't short changed ourselves?

"Therefore we do not lose heart...For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" 2Cor4.16-18  (NIV)

sweating in a pool of discontentment

Princess Morag is being forced to live in a climate she is entirely unfamiliar with.  Hot desert is the complete opposite of what her 32 year old body is used to, and it's not adapting awfully well.

Also, when it's sunny and warm you are supposed to spend time outside, right?  But Princess Morag doesn't know what to do outside, except be grumpy about the fact that she's out there and doesn't know what to do.

And the master and young maiden seem to want to be inside when Princess Morag wants to be outside and vice versa - it feels like never ending no-win situations.

Throw in some general anxiety about the future, thorough homesickness, and creeping loneliness and voila: Princess Morag has learned how to be discontent!  This is the opposite of what she was meditating on the other day.  Paul says in Philippians 4.12 "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation".  Finding Nemo's Dory just came to mind; she says: 'just keep swimming', Princess Morag is going to endeavour to 'just keep praying, just keep praying....'

Friday, July 06, 2012

Why Merida?

You might have read in a previous post the problems Princess Morag has had over her name since moving to the new realm.  She is currently pretty gutted that Pixar decided not to name their Scottish princess after her as it would have made her life a whole lot easier.  What makes it even more galling is that Merida isn't even a Scottish name!!!!  

growing peace

Princess Morag realised today that life over the last few years has involved phases of spiritual development.  The 2010/11 phase can be summed up by the realisation that sometimes the stuff that happens in her life might not always be about her.....

And 2012 has so far been characterised by the growing wisdom of keeping her mouth shut and listening.  Listening to other people and most importantly listening to God.

Despite being simple sayings, neither of those spiritual lessons have been easy.  But when Princess Morag has disciplined her mind and her will to truly believe in the truth of the lesson, there has been peace.  And peace is normally pretty elusive; anxiety is a more familiar companion, but definitely not a friend.  We crave peace but so often we choose distraction instead.  But distraction is only a temporary fix, a 'band-aid' if you will.  To choose peace means you have to stop running away from the fear - face it - confess fearing the fear more than fearing God - ask him for forgiveness, for help, for healing, for direction.....He is faithful.  Praise Him.  

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition,with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6

Friday, June 01, 2012

Are you a walking corpse of a Christian?

Princess Morag has two brothers.  They would probably both admit to being somewhat self-absorbed.  This became obvious at the wedding of Sir Elder Brother.  Sir Younger Brother was best man so they both made speeches.  The point of the speeches was not to celebrate the marriage of Sir Elder Brother to Fair Sister-In-Law, but to out do each other.  In the midst of this competition and retelling of their historic battles in childhood it was not at all obvious that the household they grew up had also been the home of Princess Morag.  Tales of sister were conspicuously missing.  Yet, these are the same men that at the birth of Master Ryan had congratulated each other for their new titles of 'Uncle' as if they had something to do with the new life of their nephew.  Admittedly Princess Morag had spent his birth lying half paralysed on her back, but he was flesh from her (newly scarred) flesh, and she was confused at the applause that they were giving each other.  Princess Morag was put in mind of this occasion after reading the words of James in the bible:

"Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful?  That's just great.  Demons do that, but what good does it do them?"  (James Chapter 2, The Message)

James reminds us that faith without works is dead.  Patting ourselves on the backs for 'being a Christian' isn't doing anybody much good, least of all ourself.  Princess Morag is trying to work out how not to be a walking corpse that goes to church on a Sunday, but instead to be a loving, breathing, peace sowing woman walking with God.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

staying clean

Princess Morag asked her children to play in the paddling pool, and not in the mud.  But apparently getting dirty is more fun after a while of splashing.  Princess Morag pondered how this same scenario plays out in our spiritual lives.  Good clean fun is fine for a while but it's not very exciting!  We get drawn to the mud and then it becomes very evident where we've been playing just as it was evident in the case of Princess Morag's children.  And they were perfectly pleased with themselves, they'd had fun; but Princess Morag was more grieved because she was the one that had to make them clean.  All the while she was thanking Jesus that it pleases him to make us clean after we've been pleasing ourselves in the mud of our lives.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

remembering to be happy

Sir Rianus enjoys photography, a fact that Princess Morag had to get used to when they first started dating.  She had never been photographed so much in her life and she felt very self conscious.  Fast forward ten years and Princess Morag was watching her children frolic in the sun on holiday and wishing that Sir Rianus hadn't already moved to the new realm because the only visual record of the glorious summer afternoon was in her minds eye, and not a digital copy.  The photographs of life in the old world have been a consolation to Princess Morag since moving and she notices that in almost all the photos she is smiling.  Sometimes Princess Morag has a hard time remembering the happy times, yet there are literally hundreds of photographic accounts of her looking pretty happy.  She suspects that her current attitude is colouring her memories somewhat.  Parenting is hard work, marriage is hard work, but it doesn't stop it being something to rejoice in.  Princess Morag is going to pretend that she is having her picture taken several times a day and maybe that will help her to remember to smile :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

seasons of my childhood

I don't like summer 
Summer is lonely 
No school, no friends 
Summer means being sent outside to play 
By myself 
Being woken early by the sun 

Autumn in my favourite 
Back to school 
New shoes, new jotters 
Fresh white pages ready to be filled 
Routine, friends 
Not stuck at home 

Winter means wrapping up warm 
Sleeping 
Reading 
Staying inside 

Snowdrops = my birthday
Downhill from there

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Opposites attract

Princess Morag has been amused this week at yet another demonstration of the difference between her and her husband. While she has been celebrating the fact that she now has people to say hello to as she bumps into them around town, (something that she sorely missed when she first moved to this new realm) Sir Rianus has actually started to find it trying that people know him!! Church, community theatre, MOPS, pre-school gates: these are places that Princess Morag counts as opportunity for social interaction. She is grateful that over the course of seven months they have borne friendship fruit.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Healing

Princess Morag is prone to romantic notions about all sorts of things in life and emotional healing was something that she thought must be a soothing, satisfying experience.  And even after some painful probing of her preconceived ideas about the state of her life and relationships bore some fruit when confronted by a wise counsellor it somehow took her a while to realise that 'healing' is not a pretty process - it is difficult, confusing but eventually immensely helpful.
Recently she was plagued by lots and lots of thinking, analyzing and more thinking and analyzing till she spiraled into despair.  Reading a particularly helpful book for the situation, talking to a friend and being prayed for all led to the wonderful realisation that more healing was taking place, it wasn't time to despair, it was time to celebrate!  One of those completely turned upside down occasions that the bible seems to talk about quite often.  This is what James has to say in chapter 1:

 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

The middle of healing is hard work and not much fun - but Princess Morag now counts anything that makes her aware of her need for God and His strength and power and direction as a GOOD thing.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

a poem

wary, weary
barely breathing
trapped

invisible divinity
gives dignity
freedom

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Six words

Princess Morag was challenged today to describe herself in six words.  And they came to mind surprisingly quickly: born again, a child of God.  And those sweet words soothed her soul because they are true.  Although Princess Morag has identified herself as a Christian for half her life, it has only been a year since the phrase 'born again' held any resonance for her.  It means a new start, letting go of the hurts and hardship of the past and she is not yet used to the idea that her primary identity is that of child of God.  Because if that is who she is, then she is undoubtedly loved and therefore lovable.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Voices

The soundtrack to Princess Morag's day consists mostly of the voices of her two small children - either making happy play noises, or whiny requests for mummy to get something for them.  With the background noise of dishwasher, washing machine or tumble drier being in use.  And since her birthday, Princess Morag is once again able to hear music and dance in the kitchen (it's the best room for dancing you know) because she has an i-pod dock/speaker thing that looks like a donut.  Furthermore, yesterday Sir Rianus informed her that there IS a way to turn off the sound of his talk radio shows recording on the computer without turning the speakers off entirely - Hallelujah!

With everything going on Princess Morag is not really able to have a quiet quiet time, but she perseveres nonetheless.  She has mostly been doing her bible study homework at the lunch table and despite interruptions and noise, she can hear God talking to her - not audibly but often straight to her heart.  There is very little conversation to be heard in the Princess's day, except those slightly bewildering exchanges she has with her three and four-year-old children, but what can't be heard is the constant babbling going on in her head.  You see, the inner critic residing in her brain thinks that the best plan of attack for this stay at home mother is to constantly criticise and spew negativity into her spirit so that she feels like she can no longer function in any aspect of her life :(  Now do you understand why she perseveres with the attempt at a quiet time?  How else can she counteract the attack from a bodiless, soundless enemy from within.  

Freedom comes when Princess Morag is able to leave her dwelling place and go to the rehearsal hall.  There she is released from her responsibilities and is free to sing and dance and celebrate life in the story of another - what joy.  And the critic leaves her alone there because she is not thinking of herself, she is dreaming awake in the attempt to lead others in the same dream.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hiding

Princess Morag recognised the issue that a fellow blogger wrote of last month: the phenomenon of people thinking you have your life altogether if you are thin and smile a lot.
http://momastery.com/blog/2012/01/19/telling-secrets

Smiling is Princess Morag's default polite face - it is her aim in all interactions with fellow human beings to try to help them feel more comfortable and flashing a smile is her normal strategy for this - it is not too difficult and it doesn't require touching the other person. Being thin is not part of Princess Morag's internal self-image but when she looks in the mirror she can understand that is what other people see. Pregnancy kind of messes up your internal self-image, way more than puberty ever did; where did enormous bump suddenly come from? And those boobs were massive for a while and then they shrunk :( It's a very confusing time when your body is invaded by two small humans in two consecutive years.

Anyway, Princess Morag wants to assure the world, as Glennon did, that being thin and smiling in NO WAY indicates that she has got everything together. There is no direct correlation between any body size/shape and level of happiness, it is just not that simple, but we like to think it maybe is because then we would be happy...if only....[insert your own condition]

Princess Morag is not UNhappy at being thin, but the reason she is thin is 2.5 years of breastfeeding and a smidgen of self-neglect. In fact she is pretty ambivalent about her body, not sure that she feels entirely at home in it. Sometimes she retreats so far into her body she feels like a bodyless baby in a shell with peepholes, and then she remembers that the people walking around her can only see the shell (so she smiles).

Princess Morag likes to think she is good at communication, and hopes one day that she might get trained to become a most excellent counsellor. But it was when she went to counselling herself she realised that eye contact is not always such a comfortable thing for her, letting people see who she is, that's a bit scary. And her body lets her know sometimes that it is not a shell, because it has muscles, that get sore and so her massage therapist is the other person who forces her to reveal herself and then release some of the pain that she has been carrying around, hiding in her shell, feeling small and unsure of herself.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

dance shoes

Princess Morag has lost her dance shoes.  They might be in the multiple boxes that have been hibernating in the garage of the house in the new realm, or they might have been donated amongst many many things in the old realm.  Princess Morag is on a mission to discover the truth.  She needs the shoes because she is rehearsing to play a chorus part in 'Hello Dolly' and at rehearsal this week her slip-on shoe slipped off when doing a dance move and hit a fellow cast member (oops!)

The young maiden Kayley enjoys dancing also.  She has been admired the world over for her lack of inhibition in church, using her beautiful three year old body to worship the Lord during the singing of praise songs without any inhibition.  When she invited her mother to join her dancing in the aisles, Princess Morag was gripped by the fear of adulthood and could not bear the thought of everyone watching her despite the desire in her heart to copy her young daughter.

Princess Morag is reminded, through these events, of when she was a very young schoolgirl skipping round the dinner hall in her blue leotard and white dance skirt.  And her first and only dance performance as a beautiful colourful flower.  The joy of ballet lessons was unfortunately short-lived.  Impending open heart surgery required that particular extracurricular activity be given up, much to the young princess's dismay.  

Ten years later, the Princess took the matter into her own hands and enrolled her teenage self into modern dance lessons at which point she bought the shoes that are now somewhere in the garage or somewhere on the other side of the world!  At the same time as attempting to find the shoes, Princess Morag is trying to find her four year old self who skipped with a joyful heart and an eager desire to please.  She wants to tell her that she is brilliant, that she should keep dancing if it makes her happy and that not only will her earthly audience be delighted, so will her heavenly Father.

David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might.  2Samuel 6.14  

Thursday, February 02, 2012

God soup

Princess Morag was led towards a bit of a revelation the other Sunday at church.  Where is God?  The preacher asked, and it was very easy for the princess to nod in agreement when he said "God is everywhere".  But as he went on to point out, the words of our mouths and the beliefs in our minds are not necessarily heartfelt or demonstrated in our behaviour.   Princess Morag was asked to ponder whether praying to God was like a (long distance) telephone call, or a face to face - in the same room conversation.   If God is everywhere, then He is in the very space around us, and if He is just a breath away...

Well, what does that mean?  To Princess Morag it became a new way of looking at the world, if God fills all the space in the room she occupies then that means she lives in God soup - and that's pretty cool.  A morsel of Princess Morag in the broth of God.  A believer in Jesus to avoid the wrath of God :)