Five Minute Friday : Dare




Today’s prompt word is DARE

I used to think that Dares were stupid.

The idea that someone would willing compromise their sense of dignity or common sense to do something that they wouldn’t otherwise do, simply because someone ‘dared’ them to was ridiculous. Actually, I still do.

Only, now I better understand the fear that we all have about not fitting in, of not belonging, not being wanted. Fear of being seen as somehow lacking in an area that we desperately long for kudos or approval.
I understand the desire to leap to prove yourself and any cost.

But when we are willing to hand over our sense of responsibility or integrity, we lose something of ourselves and hand it over to someone else.
We willingly enslave ourselves.

Whilst the game of ‘Dare’ is usually only played as children or teenagers, the sense of expectation that we will do as expected is still present in adulthood, but under the surface.
Rather than daring us to be different or brave, conversely these hidden dares want us to stay small and conform. Not rock the boat.

This is not who we are called to be.
We are given the offer of true and lasting freedom by a God who loves us and knows us for all our gifts and all our faults. Who accepts us.
Daring is associated with bravery, and adventure is offered to us in a life spent following Jesus.

The difference is that there is no coersion.
We are free to say yes. Free to say no – without being loved any less.
And that is a very important distinction.


**Five Minute Friday is an initiative set up by Lisa-Jo Baker over at Surprised by Motherhood. It has now been taken over by Kate over at Heading Home. The basic premise is to take the word Kate gives and write, non-stop for 5 minutes. Then you stop and post. Read more about it here.



Precious moments found
In pausing to simply be,
Relishing their company
Without any hidden agenda.

No need to plug the gaps or
Fill the time,
Instead it flows, as glitter dust
Poured through fingers not clenched tight,
Leaving the flickering light of a memory.

Connection is built,
Warmth -
Not eroded.

Water-play, learning, anticipation & joy

IMG_0063These past couple of weeks have gone by in a bit of a blur.
The kids have both had colds, and I has been teething again, so sleep has evaded us. G has been asserting herself in quite loud and demanding ways of late, as per being two and three quarters in age, she has cracked daytime potty training (we only need to sort out naps and bedtime now), but has also been immensely sweet and cuddly. They both have.

I’ve been taking iron tablets because my iron seemed low, explaining (at least in part) why I have been feeling so breathless, and lacking in energy and motivation over the past couple of months, yet my iron levels at my last blood test came back ok. Go figure!
That said, since taking it my husband and I have seen a definite improvement in my energy and enthusiasm for life, so aside from this week, I have had far fewer deadened flop-outs at the end of the day.

We have seen family. In Sheffield for our niece’s christening last weekend, which was IMG_0011lovely. Both children enjoyed seeing their cousins immensely.
And we had a visit from my parents, so the kids and I got to spend Wednesday morning with them at our local wetland nature reserve, which was wonderful.

In addition to that, we have been doing all sorts of autumnal things together over the past few weeks. Since making the decision to home educate our IMG_0329children, I have been feeling more determined about intentionally creating opportunities for natural learning. Therefore with one of my favourite seasons just upon us, Autumn with it’s riot of colour has been an ideal starter subject as a springboard to a myriad of fun things to discover.

So far we have:IMG_0325

  • Made a papier mache lantern to hang from our tree with a tea light in it.
  • Collected leaves to make a mobile.
  • Used leaves and string wrapped round a jar as another tea light holder.
  • G and I have been singing a song about the months of the year, which has gone down very well, and I always looks up IMG_0327with a delighted expression whenever he hears it.
  • Various bits of sticking and painting of leaves and trees, and generally messing about with colour, which we began to put on a wall display.

Alongside going for lovely walks and kicking the leaves, picking up sticks, playing in IMG_0306puddles (for AGES), drinking hot chocolate, watching movies, foraging for blackberries, baking, lego-building, wrestling/cuddle/tickle sessions, picnics, dressing up, holing up with stories, make believe games with toys whilst G does different voices for them, and lots of bouncing on the bed.

But two of my favourite new things, have been making leaf biscuits out of mutli-coloured dough which tasted delicious, and letting G play at the sink with a washing up bowl full of water, food colouring, glitter, pom poms, glasses  IMG_0235and various bath toys and cutlery impliments.

We have done this twice so far and she will happily play on her own for up to an hour, just exploring the coloured water and “Making wine, mummy”. It’s been lovely seeing something so simple be a source of such delight, and I am reminded that this life is given IMG_0234as such a gift for us to enjoy and discover.

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.”
Proverbs 25:2

Both children have been relishing the water play of late. Besides the puddles and the coloured water, they have wandered into the bathroom whilst I was in the bath on several occasions, and have enjoyed dipping their hands in the water, covering me with bubbles, giggling as I washed my hair by being submerged under the water level, and generally getting very wet. It has been a lot of fun.

I continues to drive his Tonka Truck with great speed and precision around our downstairs, enjoying his own space and cIMG_0244ompany. Mostly he can be found engrosed in driving any number of his various toy cars around the place, testing out different heights and surfaces as he goes, or walking back and forth around the house on a joyful mission that only he is privvy to. Lately he has been showing an interest in my many cookbooks, and has been staring intently at books and the backs of dvd boxes.
Maybe he is teaching himself to read before he decides that he is ready to talk – who knows?

Meanwhile I have been trying to rest (Ha ha!), sleep, and get ahead with the christmas baking and cooking up meals for when the baby arrives. I am pleased to have squirreled away 11 individual meals and one big tub of soup thus far, so we should be able to cover the first week at least.

With roughly nine weeks to go until baby number three arrives, I am getting really excimageited about the labour and birth. I know, I am odd (I will explain in another blog post). I get a little bored of pregnancy after a while, but we are on the home straight and I look forward to meeting the person who feels much like they are auditioning for a contemporary dance version of Saturday Night Fever inside my tummy every night!

“Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Psalm 127:3

I also have begun getting excited about our Autumn party, and Christmas, especially with another child at home. Pinterest, my new-found hobby, has been generating lots of new ideas for activities and family traditions, and in all of this I have the pleasure of seeing the world through the wide-eyed and wonderful perspective of our children.

Therefore, despite how hard things have been at times in the last few months, especially with my energy, I consider myself immensely blessed.
I have the privilege of spending time with two amazing small people every single day. Watching them grow and discover life at a gentle pace, I get to slow down too, which is a gift in itself.image

I may be exhausted, achey and frequently uncomfortable, I may moan a lot, but I am really, really happy. I can honestly say that I enjoy parenting, I enjoy my kids, which as with marriage, is equally tough and wonderful, but which bears such rich fruit.
I wouldn’t change it for the world.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23