Thursday, January 31, 2013

speaking the truth

Princess Morag's children speak the truth.  Sometimes it's not exactly what you want to hear:  "Mummy, you have a crinkly belly button"!  But Princess Morag knows not to take offense because it wasn't intended to be offensive, it was just an observation.  This is helping the princess to be better at hearing and speaking the truth without attaching judgement to it. Her daughter is not saying that a crinkly belly is a bad thing, it's just a crinkly thing, and that's true.

As they grow up, Princess Morag wants to help her children grow in the godly principle of speaking the truth in love.  Which does mean considering the feelings of the person you are speaking to.  The truth is a very powerful thing, and will sometimes cause offense, so we do have to be careful.  But that is not to say we should hide from it, because then we do not really live, and do not really want the best for those we care about.

"Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church."  (Ephesians 4:14-15, NLT)

a time to dance

Princess Morag has an inner dancer.  She doesn't get out much due to some excruciating self-consciousness.  But when the princess allows her inner dancer to come out, she normally has a lot of fun (along with some anxiety symptoms that sometimes get mixed up with the feelings of fun).  Princess Morag asked for a dance game for the wii for Christmas so that she could dance in the privacy of her own home and have fun without the added adrenaline of an audience.  And it is good.  She is learning to allow herself to be happy and feel like a teenager again (but a happy one, not the fairly angsty one that she was all those years ago).  Princess Morag is not very good at being happy, so this is part of the strategy to get better at it.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.....
a time to mourn and a time to DANCE...."  (Ecclesiastes 3)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

beautiful grief

Princess Morag went to see Les Miserables again last night.  She didn't cry quite as much, but that meant that her vision was better to notice more small details about the film. She was struck by the beauty in the moments of grief.  When Marius was singing 'Empty chairs and empty tables' there was such beauty in his face and voice and tears.  What makes something beautiful? Princess Morag wondered.  And later she wondered if the answer might be when that something is pure, when it is truth, when it is love.  And grief in an odd way celebrates all those things.  It commemorates the good times that were shared with a person, when there was a soul connection with someone, when there was love.  And in the words of another song at the end of the musical "to love another person is to see the face of God".

It is in losing something or in longing for something that we appreciate its value.  So sometimes grief for something one has never had is a gift more than instant gratification would be.  Does Eponine know how much Marius' love is worth in her unrequited relationship more than Cosette knows it in its fulilment?  Princess Morag's heart has always echoed much more in 'On my own' than 'A heart full of love'.  She knows what it is to recognise when the love she has longed for is not possible and to grieve for it; to be counted upon by the one she loves and longs for, but be simultaneously overlooked.

Loving someone who doesn't love us back in the way we want hurts, but it makes us cry out to the author of love, and in our pain and grief there is somehow beauty - it is God's promise to us:

"to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes" Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

magical mess

Princess Morag is tired: hoping-she-isn't-sick tired.  So she was quite dismayed that the children's room had toys strewn all over the place and really really wished their was a more magical way to tidy the mess than physically picking it up herself.  She had attempted to create a sense of responsibility in her offspring and threatened to throw away the toys if they weren't picked up.  Today this did not have the desired motivational effect.  Instead of hurriedly picking up, her five year old declared himself whinily "tired" and when her angry outburst obviously made the whole situation much worse, Princess Morag resorted to giving up and comforting the boy with the tired tantrum wishing that she had a house elf to save the day.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

clickity clack

click, click, click....It's the cyber equivalent of hitting her head off a wall, and Princess Morag knows that but figures her fingers won't bruise from the mouse but her head probably would on the wall.  She knows that the connection she craves is not going to be found through the mindless clicking but it is hard to pull herself away from the screen.  It is easy to get confused since so many spiritual resources are now located on the computer - her daily devotional in her email inbox, the biblegateway website: every version at the click of a button, and various Christian bloggers inspire and encourage her regularly.  But still......she clicks and is unsatisfied.

As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?  Psalm 42:1-2 (NIV)

Monday, January 14, 2013

She reigned victorious

Princess Morag wasn't sure about Christmas season 2012.  Forget three wise men, what about three sets of grandparents to deal with!  It went more smoothly than she had feared, and her travel agent duties she discovered, are easier to handle on the phone than the internet.

Visits to the underwater animals, and the dinosaur skeletons seemed to keep everyone, no matter what age, pretty happy!  There were lots of presents given and received, and shopping trips made until the car was brimming on its way back to the middle of nowhere.  The grandparents from afar made the trek to the humble hamlet in the desert and Princess Morag hopes they returned to their green land with a good report.

Receiving visitors from her homeland was something to rejoice when they brought good tidings and treats from whence they came.  However, when it was time for them to leave, they took that refreshment of spirit that came with their voices and familiar way with them, and Princess Morag found herself quite bewildered once again to be living in a place so foreign.  Yet overall, she entered 2013 in a contended spirit and with hope for good things to come.

You crown the year with Your bounty, and Your carts overflow with abundance.  Psalm 65:11 NIV