This is an amazing week for me:
- My lovely, frustrating, kind, mean, friendly, grumpy son Joen is three years old in 10 days.
- My smiley, screamy, doesn’t-want-to-sleep, lays-in-her-cot-just-grinning daughter Neriah is one tomorrow.
- Me, the one who deserves lots of pretty nasty adjectives, admittedly alongside some nice ones too, I hit twenty-eight in 3 days.
- And, crazily, in 4 days it will have been two thousand days since Katherine and I made each other lifelong promises.
I can tell this period is going to be a period of introspection for me each year. A time where I weigh up my behaviour, my goals, my achievements and my failures. Is my character where I want it to be? Is it where You want it to be? Is our relationship where it should be?
I’m not going to write everything here Lord: much of that needs to be just between me and You, but I felt led to share a little of this.
There was a promise I made to Katherine, 5 years and 5 months ago, and there were words to that promise.
Do you promise to love, cherish and submit to Katherine?
Now, at the measured time in our lives, I pray you help our family to fulfil that promise.
Help us to love one another. Help us to love You, and show love to others outside our family. Help that love wrap round us and define our family – “The Lowrys? Oh, don’t they just love!”
Help us to cherish. As I sat at the dinner table, watching Joen pretending to eat Quorn with a fork, whilst actually surreptitiously feeding Heze and Pudding under the table, as I watched Neriah bite into a brussels sprout and simultaneously look surprised, happy, disgusted and also manage to kick her legs, my heart jumped. I feel like any moment not spent sitting watching them sleep is one wasted, but yet I know I probably spend more time looking at facebook each day than I do into their eyes. Help us to reboot our addictions: let’s be consumed by one another, not by things that fade away.
Help us to submit. When Joen tells me to “shut up”, help him to realise that his 3 minutes in “Time Out” is a time for thought and repentence. Help me to submit to him, to listen to the fact he is telling me to “shut up” because I’m not giving him the attention and validation he craves. Help me to submit to Katherine, when she wants the cup of tea without asking for it. Help her to submit to me, when I need to spend some time on the computer, not dealing with any of our children. Help Neriah, as she starts to discover and demonstrate her free will for the first time, help her to get it more right than I ever have. Help us all fall over one another in selflessness, and give us the strength to know when we need others to serve us.
When we get to this point next year Lord, help us look at that promise, and feel able to say “I did!”.
Love, Your obedient, disobedient, friendly, distant, unworthy, worthy son,