Monday, 26 July 2010

First comes wedding, then comes marriage...

So, with it being summer (apparently), it's 'wedding season'. I am hearing about them right, left and centre. Either, I am going to one, my friend is going to one, or another friend is actually taking the's exciting stuff!

The topic of 'weddings' is no hotter than within our department at work. You see, we have a generational split going on - some colleagues are going to friends' weddings, whilst others' are helping their friends through divorces! 

Mr O and I are just starting on this journey, we made a commitment - that's that. So, officially, the word 'divorce' is not present in our mental dictionaries! But don't all newlyweds say that? Who gets married thinking 'we may get divorced!'? Nobody, I hope!

One comment that my more life-experienced colleagues made, was that a marriage can be set up for failure if the 'wedding gets bigger than the marriage'! Ouch! This notion is something that we encountered on a personal level and in honesty, at times, we had to make a conscious effort to keep our impending marriage from being overtaken by our wedding.

A few things that worked for us were:

- Constantly asking ourselves, 'will this matter in 5 years time?' 
This was possibly one of the best things that we did. This helped us to eliminate several unnecessary costs and saved us a lot of time in the process. Time that we could spend together, reconnecting and getting excited about our commitment. Certain things were important to us, other things weren't. It's a personal choice that each couple has to make, but asking this question was really helpful for us.

- Having a personalised marriage course
We did this with our Reverend. She is fantastic - through and through. We were able to discuss our personal concerns/hopes/fears about marriage and selected key Bible verses to guide us through. Of course 'love is patient, love is kind' was featured in there.

- DIYing
By sitting down and completing random tasks together it gave us 'us' time. We would sit chatting whilst making our invites and laugh whilst making sparkly gold twigs! In fact, some of the pre-marital conversations that I will always hold near to my heart, are those that we had, sitting on the floor, surrounded by pearlised card, glue mice and a guillotine! Sometimes we sat wordless - cutting and sticking, listening to music and exchanging lovey dovey eyes - how cute - how priceless. 

- Banning 'wedding talk'.
Planning a wedding can be so consuming, especially if you're a girly girl-uber-excited-bargain hunting-control freak (like me) and you're constantly talking about it! We had several 'no wedding' nights, where we couldn't mention ANYTHING wedding-related and just did 'us' and not 'bride and groom'. Again, some of the best evenings of our pre-marital time.

Sure, we put all of our efforts and a lot of our money into our wedding BUT we only did that because we wanted to have a fun day, with the people we love most and to celebrate our marriage. It's basic maths, one day does not equal forever - if only it were that easy.

One facebook friend who seems to have an understanding of this (and who incidentally planted the seeds for this post) wrote:

"If people spent at least as much time preparing for their marriage as they do the wedding day, what a difference it would make. The wedding is just one day or several days in some cases, either way, it all comes and goes like every other day, but when all is back to 'normal', there has to be true substance to sustain the marriage. For us, only God will be our unshakable foundation." 

Here's to a generation who is entering church with our eyes open!

Mrs O

Saturday, 24 July 2010

I like big butts and I cannot lie..

We all know and love Sir Mix a lot's song, 'Baby got back'. You know, the one that goes: I like big butts and I cannot lie, you other brothers can't deny..' tra la la la.

We love it right? Well, when our two year old burst into singing this whilst we were browsing (not buying) in Molton Brown today, we prayed for the ground to swallow us up, right then and there! Ordinarily, this latest Molton Brown episode, may have made me laugh, but given the equally awkward public appearances we have had recently, I was mortified!

In the supermarket the other day:
Little Miss L: Mummy, I'm scared, Mummy that scared me!
Me: What scared you.
Random (very hairy headed man): Umm, I think she's scared of me!

[floor please give way now!!!] 

Another example: in Sunday school, the kids were learning about Noah's Ark.
Me: What's that sweetie?
Little Miss O: A pirate ship!
Me: Umm, no sweetie, it's Noah's Ark...see look, there are the animals going in 2-by-2. Which animal is that?
Little Miss O: Its an alien!

[pastor, please don't judge me]

And the -ism that really shocked me - upon seeing a little boy, Little Miss O shouts out
'Hi Boy! He's got a willy!'

[oh my actual goodness!]

You have to love the innocence behind her comments. Why not just tell it like it you see it? Why not say what you mean and avoid confusion! They do say that we are only really born again when we become like a child again.. (another story for another day). These incidents have made us realise though, that our daughter is her own person, we cannot control her thoughts, her comments, and ultimately, we cannot 'control' her behaviour. We can only guide, support and encourage her to be the best kind of person that she can be.

But what is that?

Time will tell I suppose, but for now I thought I'd just document these -isms of hers to serve as a reminder for the future. Tweenager and teenager-hood sounds like remote concept to me now, but given how quickly the last 2 years have gone, I can imagine I only need to blink a few more times and it will be 2023! Hopefully when our gorgeous little daughter becomes a terror-of-a-teenager and she's resisting my attempts to 'make' her see sense, I want to remember:

When she was two, you couldn't control what she thought, said, or did - so give up now Mrs O! Just guide, support and encourage her. Remember that there are no such things as mistakes; only lessons learned.

Mrs O

Friday, 16 July 2010

'The God-Father'

This is a mobile upload of Little Miss O and her God-Father. Now, I am joining the club - woo hoo, I'm a God-Mummy!

When my cousin first announced that she had 'something to ask me', I couldn't imagine what it could be...she is intelligent, loving and an amazing Mum to 3 gorgeous kiddies... what could she POSSIBLY have to ask me?

Yep - she asked me to be a God-Mummy! It came as a complete surprise....she was still pregnant at the time!!!

I was over the moon, jumping for joy and have slowly, but surely, told everyone I know - and a few strangers too.

The christening is on Sunday and I am really REALLY excited...more than thinking about what I will wear, I've been thinking about what kind of God-Mummy I want to be. When I was first asked to be God-Mummy, I asked my cousin why she chose me and she said 'cos you'll be a good role model for her' - that was good enough for me, and I can do 'me', so I thought it couldn't be that hard - right?

Recently though I was asked, 'how are you enjoying your duties as a God-Mother?'. I didn't quite know what she meant? Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of 'duties', 'musts' and 'shoulds', so, as I just avoided the question.

I guess it's a bit like asking, 'how are you enjoying your duties as a Mummy?' - surely the only real duties of a Mum are to keep your child safe, healthy and attend to their needs and wants without spoiling them too much? Isn't anything else a bonus? But what are the 'duties' of a God-Parent? I was really grateful that she asked the question though, as it did leave me thinking, what could I do as a God-Mummy?

I thought about my own God-Parents. One has always remembered my birthdays/Christmas, helped with planning our wedding and is always a source of the brutal truth - gotta love her! She has also ALWAYS been there to support my parents. As for my other two God-parents, I have had little to do with them since about age 9 or so... sad really, given that my parents probably thought long and hard over selecting them too.

In thinking about what kind of God-Mummy I am going to be, I also thought about Little Miss O's God-Parents. We chose loved ones who (outside of our immediate family) we would want to be a key part of our childrens' lives if the worst were to happen to us. The three of them are equally fabulous and appear to enjoy their 'status' as God-parents. We also chose them for their kind hearts, good nature and because we thought they were strong in their faith and great role models for our little cutie.

I have to say though, the male God-parent, who Little Miss O calls 'The God-Father', hasn't bought a single present for our daughter. What he does do, is teach her to dance, make her smile and best of all, sends daily scripture readings to inspire both Mr O and I - and this, I absolutely LOVE! It's the biggest gift that money can't buy and amazingly, is worth more than all the clothes in Mothercare plus all the toys in toys 'r' us! Don't get us wrong, we LOVE receiving gifts for our daughter and are always very grateful (as of course is she) - but fortunately for everyone else's wallets, we're simple people and don't, even for a moment expect gifts! For Mr O and I, there is no better way to nurture a child than to support their parents in their spiritual growth and personal development.

You've gotta love The God-Father!

If I could be anywhere near as good a God-parent as our daughter's God-parents, then I'll be one happy God-Mummy!

Have a great weekend...

Mrs O

Saturday, 10 July 2010

'I wanted to change the world, but I couldn't find a babysitter'

I've just got back from my first work trip - in Bordeaux! Unfortunately, I can't really speak French! Learning French was at the top of my 'to-do-list' a few years ago...but I traded my time at French language evening classes for night-nursing!

It got me thinking about the sacrifices I am making for the sake of our family... not having time to learn French (at the moment) is very minor really. I felt really lucky this week, blessed in fact, that the job I have at the moment will give me the (odd) opportunities to travel abroad. Ultimately though, I would LOVE to have the kind of job that allows me to spend longer stretches of time, exploring the world and it's people, the cultures, the food - the weather!

For now though, I have a young family - so 'galavanting', as my Mum calls it, is kind of out of the question - and I'm OK with that. I believe that families need stability...not mundaneness (is that a word?!), not perfection, not a white picket fence, but having a sense of knowing where you're at, what you'd like to happen next, and the faith to deal with things if they don't go according to plan. I don't really know how to articulate it better than that...but I know what I mean...

So for the next 18+ years, stability is our goal. Some of the happiest people I know are 'stable' - emotionally, financially, socially, professionally - they're stable. They have the capacity to cope when God throws them a curve-ball!

In the beautiful home of a woman who I would describe as VERY stable, I saw a framed quote:

'I wanted to change the world, but I couldn't find a babysitter'

To me, this woman is very well accomplished, has a doting husband, has four high-achieving (grown up) kids, has written books, has travelled the world over and owns homes in multiple countries. I wondered what more she would want to do! She is happy, she is stable...and I actually was intrigued that at some point in the past, she had felt that she wanted to change the world but she couldn't because she couldn't find a babysitter! Even more than that, I loved that this woman HAD gone on to change the world. How amazing!

Simply, I loved it... I related to it and it meant something. 

I could relate because, my to-do-list still has things on it - there's more I want to achieve, more to see, more to do, more to taste...more to experience...and I like that. How sad it must be to have nothing on your to-do-list... I always want to do more, to learn more, to be more... But for now, a lot of things on my 'original'  to-do-list have been replaced with other things...I have new priorities and actually I prefer many of these new priorities. 

I wonder what other people have on their to-do-list - has it changed from being single to married, childless to mother, young adult to fully-pledged member?!

Mrs O

Thursday, 1 July 2010

My life is like a movie...

So, I'm still on my mission to (seriously) surrender EVERYTHING to God. Having just watched Sex and the City2 (I know, I know - I’m late!), I realised that I’m kind of like Carrie - kind of! My life is just one movie scene after the other!

You see, Carrie plays the starring role in SATC, but really her character is just a small part of something bigger.

In likening myself to Carrie, I considered that actually, Ms Bradshaw Mrs Preston, didn’t write SATC – Candace Bushell and Michael Patrick King did. Sarah Jessica Parker didn’t make Carrie’s character up, Candace did! Carrie didn’t even film it – someone else did!

Carrie is just in the middle of it all. Carrie isn’t even the only person in the movie….what about all the other strategic characters….? They’re important too right? Without them, who would Carrie lunch with? Who would she have fun with? Who would she cry to? Without the other characters, the movie would just be Carrie – talking to her laptop. So, like Carrie in SATC – in my movie life, I’m supported by a fantastic ‘cast’ – of friends, family and random strangers who seem to say or do the right thing at the right time!

Like Carrie…I’m not the only one here (duh!) I didn’t make myself and I didn’t write my life so far…and actually, I’m not really directing the future either… Sure every now and again, I’m afforded some leeway to improvise, to make it up on the spot, to do what I want to do BUT when it boils down to it, I simply am not running this show – God is.

Not the most profound analogy…but it works for me.

So now all I need is a set of practical tips for remembering that I am just Mrs O and that I am not the director! It’s such an easy thing to say, but how do you actually do that?!

Mrs O

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...