Four questions…..

superwoman-1Yesterday, someone said ‘I think it’s amazing what you do….writing like that every day, coming up with all those ideas….when did you become superwoman?’ (well, words to that effect. And of course, I answered ‘I’ve always been Superwoman!’ because that’s how I roll!).

Well, I don’t feel like superwoman this morning. It doesn’t feel amazing right now. I’m reading a great chapter and have no idea where to start.

I have a horrible tickly cough that kept me awake half the night and has left me feeling achy and tired and generally rubbish. Anyone who knows me well will know how irritating and persistent it is (and be assured, I find it more irritating than you do!)

So as always, I’ve turned to the passage. I have four questions. I’ll let Deuteronomy answer them first and then I’ll give some answers of my own.


Why do the right thing?

Fear the Lord your God. Keep all his decrees and commands. So that you may enjoy long life. Deuteronomy 6:2

Be careful to obey so that it may go well with you.  Deuteronomy 6:3

Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you.  Deuteronomy 6:18

Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.  Deuteronomy 6:14-15

leader-teaching-primary-childrenWhat are you teaching your children?

The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 6:4-9

In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”  Deuteronomy 6:20-25

How is it possible to forget what God has done?

When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  Deuteronomy 6:10-12

What does it mean to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength’?

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Deuteronomy 6:6

Remember. Trust. Obey.

That’s it.

My turn.

Why do the right thing?

Because it makes me feel better. I’ve been working this out for myself for the last 50 years. I’ve lived with depression and negativity for most of my life. I’ve finally found habits that really do make a difference. Developing a habit of getting up early has removed the awful awful ‘dragging myself towards the light’, ‘pulling myself out of a deep, dark pit’ struggle that I used to face every morning. Reading the Bible and writing about it every day has been inspiring. Allowing myself to become immersed in creative writing has set me free. Learning to run has improved my mood and fitness and body image beyond measure. Working on maintaining positive relationships in my life has made me happy. Giving everything I am and have to my work has been so rewarding. And learning to recognise negativity when it creeps upon me and dealing with it head on has allowed my natural positivity to flourish.

I don’t always feel like doing these things. Of course I don’t. But I push myself to do them because I know that the benefits are well worth it. People admire my determination, but actually, it’s easy to be determined when you are convinced that the consequences will be life-giving. Experience tells me that I will always feel great after a run, so if I don’t feel great, there’s even more reason to go for it! (do you follow my logic?)

girl in bedThis doesn’t make me very understanding when my 12 year old daughter is lying in bed saying she has a stomach ache and headache and cannot go to school (tired and anxious maybe but not ill enough not to go). Like right now. I get so frustrated that she cannot or will not push herself through the initial discomfort and get on with life. I pile on the negative consequences and still they do not seem enough incentive to get her out of bed. It scares the life out of me that I will end up with another school refuser. I use my own situation – feeling ill and yet still getting ready to go to the gym – as an inspiration but she will not be moved. Nothing I do or say seems to make any difference. I feel horribly helpless. I have been here before.

Which brings me on to the next question, I guess.

What are you teaching your children?

My dad regularly asks me this question when he’s trying to pin me down on a point of Christian doctrine. Yes, really. Our hour long phone conversations three times a week are deep and challenging and keep us both on our toes. He feels I am too vague, that my children are not receiving a proper Christian education. Maybe he’s right. You’d have to ask them, I guess.

I’d like to hope that they pick up what we believe by all that we say and do. We love God. We give of ourselves to serve God. We love others. We open up our home and offer hospitality. We appreciate all the good things that God has done for us and given to us. We value honesty and integrity. We embrace opportunity. We say sorry. We forgive. We encourage an appreciation of this wonderful world in which we live. We promote tolerance and justice and acceptance.

Our kids must see all that (not perfect of course, but amidst the flaws). I have no idea what they think of us and the way we live and how that influences their lives (for good). That’s where trust comes in. I have to be myself and hope that that is enough and leave the rest to God.

How is it possible to forget what God has done?

It’s all too easy. Because if, like me, you live very much in the moment, then keeping God in the forefront of your mind when there are lots of distractions can be hard.

When things are going great and all my needs are being satisfied, then what use is a God who can provide for all my needs? I have no needs. I have everything I need. Everything is fine just as it is, thanks. It can be hard to remember that all good things come from God, that he has blessed us with all that we have.

And then when things are going badly, I narrow my vision. I feel isolated. I catastrophise. I struggle to remember that God has helped me in the past and he can help me again.

That’s why I’m loving this journey through the Bible so much. Because it helps me refocus and remember God everyday.

What does it mean to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength’?

heartnsoul1I’ve always loved the idea of loving God with all my heart and my soul and my strength, but now I come to think about it, I’m not sure what it actually means. What’s the difference between my heart and my soul and my strength? Does it look any different to love God with my heart or my soul or my strength? Still, what I love about it is the feeling of giving 100%. Everything. I’m all in. I want to love God with all that I am and have – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Jumping in with both feet. Committing my life wholeheartedly to the one true God.

Some days are easier than others. Today is not turning out to be an easy one so far. I feel weakened by my cough. I have Nicola to deal with. Andy has come back from walking the dog in a bad mood having been shouted at by another dog owner.

This is a day that will call for heart and soul and strength.


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1 Response

  1. Ros says:

    Have been really unwell this week but reading your daily blog has been both enjoyable and inspiring! Thankyou

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