Tag Archive | granddad

Lessons from Ivy!

 

Just had a wonderful four days at Centreparcs at Sherwood Forest, a serious time of chilling and being with family.

It was my first holiday with my granddaughter Ivy and watching her and her interactions with mum and dad was a joy.

I was reminded of how it really should be in those early days and weeks of life, through Ivy’s eyes and facial expressions when her mum, my daughter Bethany was talking to and interacting with her.

Ivy’s eyes were full of wonder, awe, joy, happiness and sometimes they matched the frown on her face. All this stimulated by Bethany’s tone and gestures.

This was connection and intimacy 101!

I loved these observations and was fascinated by them.

What a privilege to see and be part of these moments.

I do not know what career Ivy will eventually have or take but at the moment she is teaching me a lot and reminding me of the heart of my Father and His desire to love and be intimate with His sons and daughters.

I am reminded of the tender and amazing words of the opening chapter of Hosea –

Hos 11:1

When Israel was only a child, I loved him. I called out, ‘My son! v1

That I lifted him, like a baby, to my cheek, that I bent down to feed him. v4the message

These observations and reminders carried on throughout the week and quite frankly made my holiday.

Many lessons were offered and my hope is that I will learn and internalise them!?

Ivy is only 12 weeks old but already I have observed her preferences and a tradition developing.

Ivy does not like to be held on your knee but desires, quite strongly via her vocal chords to be up and looking around. She communicates to you that she wants you to stand!

Once there her eyes are darting around and her shutter speed is amazing, as she captures info!

 

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It was just brilliant and I find her sense of wonder absolutely beautiful and it wells me up.

Why do we seem to lose this?

It was a week of first for her, all of which she took in her stride.

Her first experience of the sub tropical swimming pool was beautiful. She wasn’t amazed or fazed. She, pardon the pun, just soaked it all up. Although at one time her face did seem to be registering why there were so many people in the bath with her!

The first time in the reclining Mamas and Papas part of the push chair and for the first time wearing her excellent ‘Ewok’ coat. She looked amazing and very cosy. This combo led to her having a four hour nap in the day which was another first. In the end mum had to wake her. Another first!

This week of observations, lessons and reminders have led me back to two core scriptures and desires of the Father –

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” 16 God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. Rom 8:15-16 The message

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. 1 Jn 4:16

Bethany and Liam’s spirits wanted Ivy to be reminded of the love they have and feel for her, and for her, through consistent reminders, to know it and rely upon it.

 
Just as any parent, including God the Father would!

Thanks Ivy for all you have given me this week.

One proud granddad.

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Pennies!

oldpennies
A granddad was showing his five year old daughter his porcelain collection and she was fascinated with the colours.  The granddad got temporarily distracted and at to momentarily leave the room.  When he returned he was shocked to see and hear his granddaughter in pain and her hand stuck inside a priceless vase. He tried to pull her hand out, no joy.  He tried all manner of lubricants to see if her hand would budge.  It didn’t.   He finally realised that he’d have to smash the vase, and so, reluctantly he took a hammer and freed his granddaughter’s hand.
What he saw next amazed him.
His granddaughter’s hand had made a fist and was almost white in colour.
fist         What’s in your hand?
She opened her hand and there was an old penny, which the girl had seen at the bottom of the vase, grabbed but could not get her hand back out whilst her hand formed a fist around the penny!  pennycoin
What she clung to eventually destroyed the surrounding environment
Her clinging perspective was catastrophic to her surroundings
What she deemed as valuable had destroyed what was ‘priceless!’
“What may we be clinging to that seems valuable, which might be  destroying that which is priceless?”
The penny and the fist!
The penny could represent many things
  • a mindset
  • a tradition
  • a attitude
  • a loss
  • a grudge
  • pride, vengeance, bitterness, offence
The vase for me speaks of the core people in our world, our family & loved ones.  It is difficult to watch someone you love cling to stuff that’s just not helping them.  In fact it is detrimental to their mental, emotional and relational health.
chinese_vaseThe intensity of clinging can sometimes be seismic to all that’s around us and affect the strength and integrity of the vase, the relationships that make up our core!
This week two politicians clashed and then both clung to the need for the other to apologise first.  It took the intervention of the leader and some key information being shared before one of the politicians apologised unreservedly.  At first, the ex-mayor of London said in effect –
when he apologises for what he said about me I’ll apologise to him!
 In this moment, the politician valued his pride and his will was clenched around his choice like an iron fist.
It’s logical that we cannot receive if our hand is full and that what we need to pick up, sometimes starts with putting something down.  Now, I’m not saying this stuff is easy because it’s not but that which is priceless is being forfeited if we don’t let go of what we deem as valuable: our pride, reputation, standing etc..
Jonah found this lesson out the hard way – fish puke is not an attractant!
Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit grace that could be theirs.      Jonah 2:8
What Jonah was forfeiting was grace.  What he was clinging to is described as an idol, whose value was classified as worthless!
In today’s culture, particularly in the West, we have idle talk but not much talk about idols.
sumerian_idols
An idol is any person, possession or position, that we value and esteem above all, and from which we draw our sense of worth.
This might sound crazy but hear me out – some people draw their sense of worth and their identity and meaning from wrapping their fist around past problems, pains, losses, hurts, injustices, betrayals.   And in the same way an object tightly held in the hand will impress itself into the skin, leaving a mark, so it can be with us!   It makes its impression and until removed, leaves its mark but worthless means is as no value!  Therefore, it adds nothing of value to our lives.  No positives, no enrichments!
If these  ‘penny issues’ are clung to, they inevitably  become our hallmark: setting the standard and authentication of our identity
victim, betrayed, reject, loser, second, last, over-looked, abused, old, past it, lost it!
Victor Frankl never lost his hallmark, even when exposed to heinous and incessant evil.
Viktor_Frankl2
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Victor Frankl
A human being is a deciding being. Victor Frankl
When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. Victor Frankl
I believe that our hallmark is not drawn from what we have, possess or the positions we hold or what we do but from being made in Father’s image. His hallmark, is the standard for our worth and value and authenticates our identity.  He never changes; life and people will and do.
Father never moves the goalposts!
His unmerited love and unrivalled power are always there, regardless. 
This is grace and He desires that it makes a lasting impression on us but it can be forfeited.  
The enemy comes to rob, steal and destroy said Jesus (Jn 10:9) both the the image they bear inside and them as an image bearer!
Is it time to fling and not cling?
Time to forgive and release ourselves?
Time to come back to grace and be stamped afresh?