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Friday, 30 September 2016

WHAT IS A HOME?



A home is a haven and a place of rest,

A sanctuary where love and acceptance

Go hand and hand with the teachings of Christ,

Where He is invited to dwell by His Spirit,

And rule as rightful Head.


A home is the solid earthly foundation

For God’s Word to be lived out daily

Even in small things.


Home is a place of worship

Where true expressions of faith

And love for God

Can be expressed in the most intimate

Of relationships, the family.


A home is a blessing from the Lord.

May you find the peace and love of God

In your home.


© Glenys Robyn Hicks


"The curse of the LORD [is] in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just" Proverbs 3:33





WHAT CHRONIC ILLNESS CANNOT TAKE FROM YOU


Chronic illness has the power to rob us of joy, movement and motivation and can place such a strain on us and our families that we actually grieve for the life we once had. Yet, it is limited in what it can take, and here are some things it cannot take from us...
  • It cannot take our salvation from us
  • It cannot take our love for God or His love for us,
  • It cannot take our honour, or respect or strength of character.
  • It cannot take our courage, our motivation or our hope...
  • It cannot take our honesty, our faithfulness to God and family,
  • It cannot take our robe of righteousness or God's Spirit within us.
Trying as it is, chronic illness cannot destroy our walk with Christ, or preclude us from serving God in prayer and kindness, even from our bed... It cannot rob us of seeking communion with God or lifting our arms in worship or raising our voices in song...even if we are just mouthing the words...

Chronic illness can take our joy at times, and perhaps our life, but only on the day and hour that Christ allows it. And the day it does take our all, chronic illness will be replaced with unimaginable joy as God gives us our robe of righteousness and our eternal reward... another thing that chronic illness can't take from us!

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Romans 8:35

Thursday, 29 September 2016

A SURE FIRE WAY TO RUIN YOUR HEALTH



I often see young women today who have bought the feminists' lies that they can have it all... the job, the marriage, the well kept home, the nice cars and furniture not to mention nice clothes... and still juggle motherhood successfully, often taking just enough time off work to give birth and then sometimes only weeks after, to return leaving a new baby and usually others in childcare. Just writing it all down makes my head spin!

Perhaps it all seems possible with a sympathetic spouse who helps with household chores, and a strong network of family or childcare workers for the children. But one wonders, for how long?

I fell victim to working outside the home when my children were young. Having obeyed my then husband and gone to work leaving young ones either with him or my mother, I can testify to the inability to totally give ones' constant attention to detail at work when one has a sick child at home or when just plain missing them.


I can testify to the almost boiling point of emotions at small problems at home that would once be taken in their stride... fatigue makes pressure cookers of us all. Not only that, but I can attest to emotions that one would rather not admit to: having to not only cook a meal but clean the kitchen, sneak in another load of washing after the kids have been bathed and made ready for bed whilst Husband falls asleep on the couch... obviously worn-out from his own day of labour outside the home. And there is *still* so much she has to do!


The powder keg ignites when Husband, feeling refreshed from his 40 winks, decides at 11:30 when her head finally hits the pillow, that the Games must begin! And as a tired body tries to overcome fatigue and desires only sleep, a not so romantic emotion creeps in: resentment! And then we have marriage problems which could have been avoided.


Over the last few years, I have observed this at close quarters. Several mothers of young children in our family have thought they could have it all. Some have found out that they can't. And some are still striving, unable to relinquish the dream that feminists have implanted in their minds: that they *can* have it all.... without any side-effects! And there *are* side-effects!


One mother went back to work six weeks after giving birth. She chose to work night-shift so that Husband could mind Baby at night and she could do so during the day. Not only did she end up with a king-size case of post-natal depression, but she also developed panic-attacks which were so debilitating that she (unwisely) turned to alcohol to stop them. Fortunately, her husband realised that the stress of achieving the Have-it-all Dream was killing his wife, and he told her to quit working. Fortunately, she was able to get medication for the anxiety and was able to curtail her intake of alcohol. But it nearly cost her her health, her marriage, her children and her home!


Another mother who is still striving suffers from migraines, tiredness that prevents her from falling asleep at night, but which sees her lie in an exhausted sleep in the morning- only to have to rise and start the day when all her body needs is rest! She is particularly grumpy and strident, but mention overwork or quitting and the heckles rise... you are standing on very shaky ground when you try to debunk the Feminist Claptrap Dream!


Still another mother in our family is striving not only in work, but in her personal life and her childrens' lives. She totally believes she not only *can* have it all... but believes that it is her *right*. But she is paying a high price too. Perfect wife, mother, housekeeper, worker, social butterfly and off campus student, she looks the embodiment of the fakeness of The Lie. However, unable to swallow because of a feeling of a lump in the throat, she was diagnosed with a case of globus hystericus... nerves. My gentle suggestion to delegate jobs in the family, and forgo a few extra classes for the children was like a red rag to a bull.... warning... warning... danger! The Dream must be kept alive, even if the mothers aren't.


It is such a sad state of affairs... and there seems no end to it all... For every woman who falls by the wayside in the attainment of All, there are a hundred following in hot pursuit, stepping over her as they stampede forward to the Goal, which is never *enough* when you think about it.


Sadly, I realise that they *can* have it All.... but along with it comes divorce, depression, anxiety, split families and all that negativity does to your health.... The feminists have given our young mothers dust for dreams! God planned for us to have an abundant and relatively peaceful life as wives and mothers, but typically, the Evil One has used his messengers to pervert that which was originally perfect.


Over extending ourselves is a sure fire way to ruin our health. We aren't supposed to have it all.... just those things that are priceless: our health, our marriage, our children, our home and our peace!


© Glenys Robyn Hicks


For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34

CLEAN ENOUGH TO BE HEALTHY


I have had a perfectionist streak all my life, but in the last seventeen or so years of ill health, I have had to learn to be content with a more relaxed approach to my home making.

Where once I would be consumed with (false) guilt because I made our bed without four corner tucks or I had the blankets bumpy on the bed, I have had to make do with a more lenient approach. I simply don't have the energy to do four corner tucks. However, even the bed made up quickly and sporting a lump here or there, is extremely satisfying to me now that I've gotten past the perfectionism.

Mornings are no longer the time for house keeping. I have to fit in what I can over however long it takes me... and be content at the end of the day that I actually got it done...

I no longer allow cleaning schedules to dictate to me what I must achieve in any given day or time frame: it gets done more or less within the schedule but on a time of my choosing. It's the only way a Sacrificial Home Keeper can manage..

In saying that I am no longer a perfectionist, I still like to live in a clean home. For me, there are basic things that are not negotiable. I cannot live my life happily unless these things are clean:

I must be clean.

My clothes must be clean.

My bed must be fresh and clean.

My dishes and cooking utensils must be clean.

I can't stand smelly toilets and these and my bathroom must be clean.

These days I need help to maintain this list of essentials.  I do not go into a spin if a fly has died on my window ledge or there is some dust on my furniture. I have learned to accept white cat fur as a part of being a mother to 2 white cats. The floors can be in need of a vacuum, but I can usually control my perfectionism and wait for Chris to do them. It has been years since I ironed something that only I will see... and I learned years ago that one can sleep on unironed pillowcases... it can be done!

I find cooking, shopping, menu and social planning, washing and folding of clothes, managing finances and being a loving wife to my husband is enough for me to cope with. I know from experience over the years that by not pacing myself, I will crash and burn and my recovery time will need more than an occasional nana nap...

Accepting our limitations is an important part of staying calm in a world that has become anything but. And for most of us Sacrificial Home Keepers, our world is our home. 

One final thought that helped me was remembering what our family doctor once said to me when my children were young: "A home should be clean enough to be healthy, but untidy enough to be happy!"  I am trusting that I have at last put his advice into action.


© Glenys Robyn Hicks

God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:33

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

IT'S TOO MUCH EFFORT!




We live in a society that disposes of things that could be repaired, without so much as a thought. The TV goes grainy, or the washer breaks down, and immediately a new one is purchased.

Friendships are left for dead at the slightest argument instead of working on it and preserving it. On average a person will move house every 4 years. We are geared to instant fixes and change.

Raising children is often too much effort and the mother will leave her children in day care when it isn't even necessary that she work outside the home. Or if the family is affluent, children are packed off to boarding school so others have the task of raising them.

Something that I find worrying is the increase in divorce, even amongst the church. People in general bail out too soon in their marriage and don't allow much time to sort out difficulties. Because of society's immediate gratification leaning, often they find that working through problems takes far too much effort. It is easier to simply give up on it.
In line with this, I am completely baffled that often divorced people say that they remain good friends and that they have an amicable relationship. They often say that they are better friends now than when they were married. I wonder about that and my question is- if they can remain good friends, then why are they divorced?

A quite common occurrence in society today is the trial separation... In my opinion, this is the first step to complete breakdown of a marriage. Reconciliation is much harder with separate lives. In fact, statistics show that most married people who are in a trial separation either quickly learn to enjoy their pseudo freedom, or another person enters the scene, thereby causing adultery to become part of this new lifestyle. It brings death to a marriage and violates scripture for Christian marriage. 1 Corinthians 7:5 
Please note that I am not talking about a separation for spousal abuse of you or your children.... if you are being abused, it is imperative that you distance yourself from it. There must be time given for repentance for the abuser and it only is sensible that you are away from harm whilst waiting for change..

What society doesn't take into account much is that trial separation, unfaithfulness, divorce and lack of effort in restoring relationships exact a terrible toll on any children of the marriage. Far better to work things out under the same roof and keep the family intact. Alas, with today's society, it usually is too much effort!

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

"Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency" 1 Corinthians 7:5 

Monday, 26 September 2016

DON'T BE AFRAID TO DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILDREN



The scriptures tell us to train up our child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) But how many of us are afraid or unwilling to train our children? We are afraid that we will lose our children's affections if we restrain them- we are afraid to be mothers! Some of us don't train our children because we are too lazy- it is always easier to just let them go- it takes too much effort to harness them and direct them in the right direction. Some of us do a half-hearted training of our children- because they bug us, we make them toe the line! I suppose that is better than no training at all.

What are the consequences of us not training our children? At the very most rebellious young adults who have no respect for authority- yours or anyone else's. At the very least, young adults who cannot restrain themselves or their moods and who have no respect for property or other people's feelings. Definitely on both counts, we will have bred unhappy young adults. A lot of mothers are so afraid of harming their children's psyche that they become the child's servant eventually, doting on them and spoiling them until they are insufferable to bear. 

Mothers, you cannot be your child's best buddy or friend. You have to train your child well and be a mother who is not afraid to enforce her God-given authority as Mother. Your children will respect you for it- they certainly won't respect you for trying to be their friend.If we don't train our children well we are asking for rottenness to come into their character. 

A mother who trains and disciplines her children in a loving way will never lose her children's respect or love. Even from early childhood we intuitively know that Mother is our teacher and protector. We may not verbalise it as children but we all know we need a Mother's input in our formative years. However we train our children we can be assured that the results will reach into eternity.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. Proverbs 19:18

DON'T LET PEOPLE SNATCH AWAY YOUR MIRACLE!


Over the years, I have seen answers to prayer that were miraculous, but where people- even Christians, have downplayed it and rationalised it until it was almost a non event.

I have seen my unquestionably deaf friend with her hearing restored, and when I was telling of it, the miracle was scoffed at by me being told she wasn't totally deaf... but I know she was..

A neighbour was going blind because of a malignant brain tumour. I took a handkerchief that had been prayed over by the elders and anointed in oil, and prayed with her. She was very grateful and kept it under her hospital pillow and came to faith in Jesus Christ. The operation was a complete success. The tumour was benign!



When I shared this miracle with my then doctor, (a Christian), he was quite raucous in his denunciation of the miraculous and sited position of the tumour, doctor's skill etc etc. Yet she was told she was going to die because of it! 

A friend had great difficulty conceiving and we prayed together as we waited for her third surgery to help things along... I felt quite strongly that she would eventually have success, and I told her I felt she would have more than one child.... after many years, she had another two....

When I shared the wonderful news, it was greeted with disdain, siting the many (unsuccessful) surgeries. Nothing to do with God, not even the fact that number 3 was a complete surprise!

My own daughter was battling leukaemia and her organs were all failing with the chemo. They were putting her on dialysis when I took a minute to anoint her with oil and prayed according to James 5:15. From that point on, she recovered... and remains in remission two years later...

Most I tell this to just attribute this to the dialysis but I still believe it was God Who tells us in the Word what to do so the sick will recover. I believe this because the doctors couldn't be sure dialysis alone would save her and weren't all that hopeful...

Friends, I cannot prove that these things were God or His awesomeness displayed in doing the miraculous among us today.
But I can testify that He intervened when all looked set to fail in the natural scheme of things... We serve an amazing God...

I exhort you to keep believing in God and not to let people snatch your miracle away from you... 

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. John 2:23

Saturday, 24 September 2016

WE ARE NOT FAITHLESS!



I hate 'hyper faith' teaching! You know the one where you confess what you want and stomp on the Word and demand that God make it so.... and if He doesn't come across as you wish, well.... you are not applying the Word properly and are lacking in faith?... that one...
As one who has been terribly hurt by these teachings in the past, I have come to the opinion that this teaching is not only false but promotes fear and guilt in the Christian undergoing trials or sickness. I can't begin to tell you the added strain it placed on me during times of illness when people blamed me for my poor health and told me that I was faithless... Job's comforters all! and not only in illness, but in personal trial, admonitions to pray harder only served to immerse me in a pit of despair and fear.....
When my first marriage ( to a violent unbeliever ) failed and it was necessary to flee to save my children and myself, I would be bombarded by well-meaning Christians telling me that if I only had more faith, God would intervene and change my spouse's heart. How presumptuous of them to speak as oracles of God in this!
After 25 years of marriage and seeing no changes in his heart or true repentance or even apology for broken bones and rape etc, (and with the constant admonition to have more faith and the guilt this brought me), my body and mind collapsed and I was admitted to hospital for treatment and counselling. At this point I felt abandoned by God and ashamed of my 'lack of faith'.
My pastor visited me and was appalled at the false teaching that others had shared with me and advised me that God was supreme, He granted us all free will and if my spouse's heart was unyielding to God's Spirit, then it was imperative that I take the path of peace that Christ offered in allowing the unbeliever to depart.
The divorce was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and was in no small way compounded by the guilt and fear I still felt as an 'unfaithful' Christian. It has taken me many years to come to the point where I can see that God does reign supreme, and that the profession of 'faith', the commanding or bargaining with God, and the arrogance of standing on His Word whilst demanding OUR way, is not the way of true faith. True faith acknowledges that despite all things, God is sovereign.
I cannot and must not stamp my feet on the Word, wave my puny fist in God's face and demand that He work things out to my satisfaction. This makes God my butler and me the master. May this never be! In trials and sickness, none of us are immune, and sometimes it is in these things that God does His best work in our lives. May we be Christians of compassion and humility, asking in faith and believing in God's promises, yet with willingness to acknowledge that God's ways and answers are His alone to understand.
May we not condemn those undergoing trials or illness as faithless, but help and support them prayerfully as God works out HIS will for their lives.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

"Even though He slay me, yet will I trust Him! "Job 13:15a

CASTING THE FIRST STONE OR GRACE?



Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives. And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came unto Him; and He sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto Him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us, that such should be stoned; but what sayest Thou? This they said, testing {tempting} Him, that they might have to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not. So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they who heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last; and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more. 


Jesus, being sinless was the only one present in this scene who could have cast the first stone, but He offered forgiveness and life to the woman caught in adultery... 

We usually are the first to gasp in disbelief when we hear of Christians who have sinned similarly, and we shun them or refuse to listen to anything they have to say.... we cast the first stone in judgement then we cast another in ostracism and a third in completely assassinating that person's entire life through gossip. 

The Body of Christ is made up of people who are in need of a Saviour, sinners clinging to the Grace of God and the Blood of Christ. Not one of us have the right to cast any stones. So let us drop the stone in our hand and offer a hand to a fallen brother or sister and lead them to accept again the Grace of our Saviour Who died for our sin .that by God's grace, go we...
Are you casting stones or grace?

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

A LETTER TO THOSE DIVORCING







As most of you already know, I am a remarried woman after a divorce from a violence-filled 25 year marriage. In my new marriage we have 6 adult children and 15 grandchildren between us. This can make for lots of misunderstandings when a new marriage takes place.

This discussion is not to debate the theological issues or fault-finding. It is to encourage you in making a truly fresh start as you seek to blend not only your lives, but that of any children of previous marriages. So here a few thoughts that come to mind.


Try not to fall into the trap of comparing former spouses or marriages. I think it is detrimental to the forming of a new family bond to liken your new marriage with your past one or to compare habits, lifestyle etc. Woe be to the spouse who voices an unfavourable comparison to his/her spouse- that is a powder keg of gunpowder in a new marriage!

Make a pact before the marriage where there are his and her children to treat them all equitably and restrain from making comparisons between yours and theirs.

It is critical to the new marriage and family that past issues have been discussed and sorted out if possible. Never in the heat of an argument should it be said that "you sound just like he/she did!" This is a whole new ball game!

Resolve to keep the priorities of a Christian home as they should be:

* God
* Husband
* Wife
* Children
* Home
* Church

Do not enlist your children as back up should an argument arise! They are no longer part of the former marriage but should be included into the new marriage as children of that marriage and not used as ammunition or cover.

Keep unkind comments about the other spouse's children, ex-spouse and family to yourself- it is counter-productive to the peace of your new marriage to drag that up.

Concentrate on fostering a peaceful home for the nurturing of children who are undergoing the test of a life-time and try to see the situation through their eyes. They probably are grieving over the loss of their dream of Mum and Dad getting back together. Be understanding and compassionate.

Even if you cannot in all honesty say you love them as your own, show your step-children Christ-like love and compassion and guide them towards acceptance of this new situation.

Remember that some things will trigger a flash back for you or your spouse from the previous marriage and try to be forgiving and understanding of them or yourself.

Above all, make Christ the Head of your home and marriage and commit this marriage into His keeping. Remember the reasons for the first marriage's demise and try to learn from it so as not to repeat any mistakes of the past.

Ask forgiveness from the LORD for any fault of your own and then move on to a new life of faith and forgiveness, resolving to make this marriage and new family solid on the firm foundation of Christ and His peace and love, and particularly, of His forgiveness and grace.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

But thou, O Lord, [art] a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Psalm 86:15

AN UNENDING STORY


It is said a mother will raise a child for 18 years or so. What is not told you is that with each child, a mother’s heart is fragmented and not only will she give that child a Life Story at birth, but she will also give it her heart forever. Throughout the rest of her life she will be her child’s biggest influence, inscribing values and skills in its Life’s Book. 

Every Page of that child’s life will be scrutinised and lived through. Every word, every full-stop measured in feeding progress, weight gain, colic and diaper changes. Every sentence will be measured in her child holding up its head, smiling, grasping and focusing. Each early Chapter will read as accomplishments in teething, crawling, sitting unsupported, first words and walking.

Shortly, a mother will become an avid Reader of the Book of her child’s life and will pore through it with rapt attention. She will often re-read the previous Chapters, seeking reasons for the present Story unfolding in the most recent Page of her child’s sojourn through life. Quite often this will be a fruitless exercise as she cannot re-write the Chapters. However, she will certainly be able to enhance the outcome of future Chapters by passing on her foresight and life skills to her child.

As the Reader and not the Writer of this Book, the mother will find that she becomes absorbed in every Chapter as it unfolds. Often against her will, she will find that she lives every hurt and disappointment, every heart ache, every pain and illness as if it were her own Life’s Story. And often, being a loving mother, she will wish that the sad Chapter was her own and not her child’s….but she is only the Reader.

Every accomplishment, victory, honor or triumph will become personal as a mother reads and lives her child’s Story. Indeed many mothers will find kudos in their children’s unfolding Life Story, especially if that child is successful. However, successful or not, a mother will still remain a loyal and enthusiastic Reader.

It is not unheard of for a mother to question the Writer of this Book whilst at the same time yearning for the Writer’s direction. But try as she might to become the Writer, this is a Book that she cannot write. She can and should, enquire of the Writer for guidance but in doing so, she must accept that the Editor’s decision is final.

It is interesting to note that just as a mother thinks she may be coming to the end of this Read, that she will find there is a Sequel which is just as compelling as the original. This comes in the form of grandchildren. After one glance at the Prologue, she will find herself giving yet more of her heart as her mind relives the first chapter of her own child’s Life Story.

With shaking hands and teary eyes, she will scan the Page eagerly, knowing that she will be a reader of this new child’s Life Story for many chapters to come. And she will undoubtedly thank the Writer as she lovingly fingers the new Page.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks


Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. Proverbs 17:6 

THE PRAM BRIGADE



When my children were young we lived amongst a lot of families where we women were all having children or raising children. In the era before every household had 2 cars, we walked our older children to kindergarten or school together, pushing our young ones in prams or strollers. In fact, we called ourselves the “Pram Brigade!”

We looked forward to coming together twice a day toswap mothering tips, discuss household management, recipes and childbearing. High up on this list too were infant welfare visits, vaccinations and Baby’s latest milestone. This was the highlight of our day. And it was good.

But as often happens when women meet together regularly, a gradual overlapping of the boundaries of friendship and discretion slowly overtook us. A few mothers started gossiping about a neighbour who was not with us on a particular morning. Each woman tried to outdo the previous gossiper with another tidbit of “news” until the poor woman who was the unwilling topic of conversation had been badmouthed into a corner from which there was no escape.

I too was guilty of listening, for the morsels of gossip were indeed interesting- I let them slide down my throat easily, relishing the details which seemed to whet our appetites for more. By the time we reached the kindergarten, this woman’s housekeeping ability, mothering, integrity, morality and even marriage had come under some very expert dissection. We had not only gone through her home and family but had even figuratively been so bold as to enter the marital bed, discussing things that were a matter only between our friend and her husband.

Suddenly by lunchtime, my absent friend of the morning had become a stranger- a sad figure who obviously had no redeeming points in her life and who was in fact, a person to avoid like the plague. Furthermore, I was suffering from a bad case of indigestion, with the morsels of gossip stuck in my chest accompanied by a vague sense of sadness and guilt. Not yet a Christian, I never thought to pray, but a sense of injustice towards my friend who was the victim of a character assassination was developing, and I found myself grieving for her and our lost friendship.

Women can be the cattiest creatures alive. Just a few words can set a bushfire blazing with horrendous results. For the friend who was the victim of this gossiping session, obviously felt something was different the next morning when she took her children to school with us. And there was indeed something different. A bushfire had erupted and there was no putting out its flames!

Each of us had suffered not only a bad case of indigestion overnight, mulling over lumps of gossip, but those things which were shared had managed to force a wedge between us and this woman. We felt such guilt that we felt uncomfortable with her and she could sense this. Some women tried to compensate by being over friendly and we all came across as false. Gradually to the increased discomfort of our maligned friend, we became less verbiose, and our wicked loose tongues at last ran out of things to say.

So when at the end of the week our friend announced she was taking her husband to work each morning and then driving the children to school, we all felt that now familiar pang of guilt and regret. We all knew we did not deserve to call ourselves her friend after that morning. And we never did recover her friendship.

The Morning Of The Gossip heralded the demise of other close friendships too. For each of us in our hearts knew that when women start gossiping you could very well be the next object of interest. Gradually the morning conversations became more formal, with no one ready to be open about anything that was precious to us. Our sense of camaraderie slowly evaporated. And the walks seemed to take forever.

Forty years down the track, a lot of water has passed under the bridge. I have become a Christian and have learnt the Truth- that God hates gossip and maligning another person. I have repented and try hard not to gossip or listen to it. Whenever I think of my former friend, I wonder where she is and how she is. I wonder how her children turned out and if her marriage survived. I wonder if she overcame her weaknesses and if she regained her health. 

I pray for her. I pray that she reached out to God and found Him. I pray that she has found some true friends that have come alongside her and really supported her. I pray for my other former friends too, that they may have not only taken some antacid for their indigestion that day, but realised the cause of it. I pray that God has taken each one of us through this sad time and taught us the lesson of a loose tongue. And I pray that He in His mercy, stamped out the fire we created and sheltered that needy woman from its flames.

I pray that God will see my tears as I write this: tears of sorrow and warning for those of us compelled to speak things of others that we should not. Let my tears help put out the fires of yesterday and bring healing to my friend.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

James 3:1-6 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though [they be] so great, and [are] driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned abouth with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

CHILDHOOD ONLY COMES ONCE



The most precious part of a person's life is undoubtedly their childhood. It is in the first 7 years particularly of a child's life that their character is forming. It is in these years that it is most crucial that children have a close relationship to their parents or career. As well as training and learning, a vital part of childhood is playing. This is where what is observed is put into practice.


It is important that a child have fun in their life, stability, direction and love. The best thing we can give our child for a happy childhood is a happy marriage, a peaceful home and our loving guidance and attention shown at times in playing with them. This will delight a child no end. The memories of childhood games especially with Mother and Father, will last a life-time.

A happy childhood, I believe, prepares a child for adult life and is a once-off- we only have one chance to be a child! I believe that a happy child grows into a confident adult. Life is tackled more confidently than the adult who has had an unhappy childhood. To be denied a happy childhood often makes an adult resentful and can cause some people to be 'Peter Pans' who never grow up. They live life in a constant state of dramas and dependency on their parents or others.

Take time to play and read to your children, give them a routine so that they can know what is expected in their lives, and treat them gently and kindly. Expect them to make messes, cry at your discipline, get cranky when tired or sick and even embarrass you sometimes. They are, after all, children. 

Let them be loved and know it- tell them often. They need to hear it. I have never heard my mother say "I love you"- she just can't seem to show it. It grieves me that I am 63 and have never heard those words from her. I 'know' she loves me, but I would love to hear those words. So from someone who's been there- tell your child often that you love him or her.

Childhood is a growing time, physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Make your child's childhood special…let them learn to trust in you and their father and then to learn to trust God.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. Zechariah 8:5

TEACHING A NEWBORN TO TRUST NOT CONFORM



When I was born there was a philosophy of child raising influenced by a whole network of Maternal Welfare Centres in Australia under the umbrella of Dr Truby King. In this teaching, the newborn was "trained" to be fed every 4 hours on the dot, allowed to cry inconsolably when hungry yet allowed to run wild in the developing years. One did not want to hurt their little psyches by spanking or scolding.
My mother remembers only too well her niece who was sucking on her fingers and screaming for a feed but whose mother would let her scream until the clock said it was time for the next feed! She was a strict follower of the Truby King regime. By the time the baby was offered the breast (which was swollen with milk that would gush down the child's throat), she was usually too exhausted to suckle well and if she did, would be full of colic from all the crying.
My cousin grew up a chronic thumbsucker and a lonely and unhappy child. But a child who was allowed complete freedom- even to tap dancing on the top of her mother's white Queen Ann dressing table! At a time when a newborn should be taught to trust in a big world, and then how to love and form a deep abiding bond with its mother or carer, it was deprived of not only food but comfort! It learnt to be anxious and distrustful and unloving!
But at an age where the personality was developing and training could commence, the child was allowed full vent to emotion and desires and was allowed to run wild. These poor children were taught that instant gratification, disrespect of authority, people and their possessions and ultimate selfishness were their right. There were no boundaries and the child was unhappy and isolated. Parents of children being trained in the niceties and values of normal living rightfully didn't want their own children associating with them.
Ultimately, Truby King bred a generation of unhappy adults who knew nothing but self indulgence and that anarchy does indeed rule. How sad! How very contrary to God's way of raising children! I do not know what became of Dr Truby King perhaps he has passed on- but the legacy he has passed on to countless adults brought up under his spartan regime is appalling.
How different these teachings are to the gentle rearing of our children under the admonition of the scriptures! How my heart yearns to be able to go back in time and comfort and feed the many infants starving for hours and fretting and to direct and gently guide the little children brought up under the teaching of these people! Yet many sincere and genuinely loving parents thought they were doing what was best for their children- unfortunately, they followed after the foolishness of man and against the knowledge of the Most High God.
I was fortunate to have a sensible mother, but thousands weren't. It makes you wonder how each turned out as an adult doesn't it?

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.Psalm 22:10
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