Dreams dashed tonight as MOMCON 2020 is the latest victim of the Coronavirus.

Last year I hopped on an empty plane to Florida, calm and assured despite the hurricane heading towards me.

This year several thousand mums will not get to celebrate the unique institution of motherhood together.

Thankful that our God is bigger than any virus. That motherhood continues and MOMCON 2021 will be all the more special.

MOPS.org #MOPSInternational

May we never lose the vulnerability required to enter into new relationships. To miss out on those that enrich our lives in so many ways is one of the greatest tragedies.

The difference between living and existing.

A mother now spends her time speaking at schools on the dangers of drunk-driving with the drunk-driver who killed her daughter.

He has served his time. So has she.

Both are free.

THAT is the power of forgiveness.

But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matt 6:15)

‘In a time full of noise, just listen’

‘In a time full of war, be peace’

‘There ain’t that much difference between you and me’

‘In a time full of doubt, just believe.’ Thomas Rhett

Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Mark 5:36

A picnic in the sunshine, after walking the circumference of a beautiful lake 45 mins from home. Simple, but oh, what a pleasure it was to go somewhere we’d never been before.

It’s been months since we’ve hopped in the car and gone on an adventure. No masks, no gel, no regulations, bliss.

Many are beginning to discuss the effects of CoVid 19, ones that spread way beyond the physical.

Feelings of loss have been acute during the period of confinement, I suspect there will be many more that we are not currently even aware of. History will reveal much. ‘Hindsight is a wonderful thing’ is an oft quoted phrase.

It was William Blake, a famous English poet, who coined the phrase, but did you know the entire sentence?

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing but foresight is better, especially when it comes to saving life, or some pain.”

Interesting. Foresight would save lives and an awful lot of pain around the world. We have a window of opportunity to put plans in place to prevent us ever looking back in hindsight in the same way again.

A fitting time to trot out my ‘life verse’ methinks:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Verbatim quote from our 15 year old’s lips.

Friday night movie night was heavy duty. If this Oscar nominated, BAFTA award winning, 2016 film doesn’t provoke uncomfortable feelings then we’re all in more trouble that I thought. (And I think we’re in a lot).

As I searched for the film to share, I realised how many films I’d watched recently with explicit racial content; Selma, 12 Years a Slave, Green Book, The Help, to name a few.

Racial awareness is ‘out there’ in Hollywood. It’s ‘out there’ on our streets currently too. Mass protests planned in Paris and London today, to name just a couple of major conurbations bracing themselves this weekend.

One of the many shocking elements of this film for me was watching a white American police officer with his knee on the neck of a black man, who was saying ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’. Yes, really.

‘Use it, don’t lose it’ is a phrase I’ve trotted out during Lockdown. Same applies. Let’s ‘use’ this moment and not allow it to feature in another future documentary. Please.

Flock together, as do birds not of a feather. And I hope it will remain that way.

Honoured to have people in my life from different cultures and backgrounds. My life is enriched in so many ways by knowing them.

Many are long-term friends so we have clearly found some common ground and what joins us together is way bigger than what could potentially pull us apart.

Prior to September 2019 I lived as an immigrant for 17 years. Except no-one called me that. I was an expat.

Semantics (the study of language) has much to say on these choice of words. It matters.

My husband clearly remembers an appointment in the early days of living in our new homeland, sat outside a door marked ‘migrants’ at a local government office as we worked our way through joining the health care system. I suspect the meeting would not be so clearly engraved on his memory without that sign, which made him feel different, needy, somehow less than.

Whether that was the intention or not, it’s how it made him FEEL.

Emotions are running high. I understand that. If there is to be real, lasting change in this window of opportunity we need to step back and analyse why we find ourselves where we are, again and how we can make this the last time.

Exodus is a biblical story of liberation, written thousands of years ago. The command was there then…
“Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.” (Exodus 23:9)

They’re one of my fave fruits, horrible when rock hard however. In the past couple of years I’ve discovered that it’s ok to buy them even when they’re hard: just pop them in the fruit bowl and 24 hours later they’re ready to go.

I’ve also discovered that when I have fresh flowers in the house I need to keep them far from said fruit bowl, or their days are seriously numbered.

It’s all about the mix.

Ethylene gas regulates the ripening/ageing of cut flowers, potted plants, fruits and vegetable fruits. … Fruits like tomatoes, bananas and apples produce high levels of ethylene. This gas will influence the ethylene production in the plant and by this cause more rapid ageing of flowers and leaves. (Chrysal.com)

We’re the same: I bloom around positivity and shrivel when the ‘green mist’ of negativity pervades.

‘An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions.

When wickedness comes, so does contempt,
and with shame comes reproach. (Prov 18: 1-3)

Tricky stuff that green mist, the Bible tells us to: ‘guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it’. (Prov 4:23)

The team that’s playing uphill will be disadvantaged, always. The team that’s playing directly into the sun’s glare will be disadvantaged, always. The game’s result will not take those factors into consideration, the result is the result. Any mitigating circumstances will be long forgotten.

It is not enough to merely acknowledge those circumstances and let the result stand.

“An invisible package of unearned assets” is how Peggy McIntosh, an American academic insightfully described advantages that whites in Western societies enjoy and non-whites do not experience.

#Whiteprivilege or #Whitedefault ? (The idea that in theory we are all equal). In practice we are clearly not.

My girls have ‘called me out’ on race. They see our world with fresher eyes than mine. I don’t want to think of myself as privileged. It doesn’t ‘sit well’ with me.

Equality should be a basic human right. Not a privilege.

‘Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality’ (2 Corinth 8: 13-14)

We’re still not there, almost 2000 years later.