Happy Times on Facebook and What’s App

One of the chapters of my new book
says, The Christian life is not a bed of roses. The early Christians were throw to lions and Jesus learned obedience to the Father through the things he suffered. He died a horrible death on the cross.
On Facebook and What’s App people want to share all the fun times in their lives. I don’t read much about their suffering or other difficulties.
When one who is depressed or in difficulty reads about the happy times others are having, he may think what is wrong with me? I don’t have the money or ability to do what they are doing. So his life becomes more unbearable and he goes deeper into the pit.
I remember friends of mine who were widows with four to five children. When they went to Church, they felt rejected. They didn’t have a husband, their clothes weren’t as pretty as the good living Christians. No one talked to them as others who knew each other stood in groups talking. Not surprising they didn’t go back to church.
When I was getting my six or ten children ready for Church there was fighting or bickering. When we got to Church we had to pretend all was okay and smile. Underneath all the facade I was hurting and felt no one understood me. I thought what is wrong with me. I must be a terrible sinner. Everyone else is happy. It seemed to me if your life was not all fun you were a bad Christian . One feels condemned and not good enough to come to God or to Church. I cannot live up to others expectations of me. I didn’t know that God loved me and was with me in my battles and was helping me through them.
One day a speaker talked about marriage. He said according to the scriptures those who are married will have more trouble than those who are single. This resonated with me.
So friends on Facebook or What’s App don’t be surprised that I don’t respond always to the happy clappy times. If you share your difficulties I will respond.
Please get to know what is going on in other peoples lives, especially family, the good and the bad. Then one can empathise or even pray with others.

Panic Attack

Panic attack

I have fourteen children and the last seven include six boys in a row, with my daughter Angela at the end.  Before these boys were born God spoke to me from the scripture in Psalm 147 v 13 LB  “Blessed are the sons within you”.

At one stage five of these boys were at primary school, where children attend from the age of five to eleven.  They were getting along fine.  We lived within walking distance of the school, so each day they were able to come home for lunch. They were keen to get back to school, so they could have some play time with others in the playground.  All was well.

When I look back it was great when the children were young.  We had a routine which no one rebelled against.  Bedtime was at seven for the younger ones. The others did their homework and went to bed a little later.  Brendan and I were sure of some time for ourselves then.  I did not have the time to go over homework with each one.  I may have signed a homework book to make sure the work was done the odd time.  It is great that some mums home school but that was not for me.

When I had four children I remember reading a scripture that really stayed with me. 

It is Isaiah 54 v 13 RSV  “All your sons will be taught by the Lord and great will be your children’s peace”.  

 I am so thankful to all the teachers that have been involved in my children’s education. They were being used by God!  A big thank you to you all.

Once a year the school arranged an evening when the parents were invited to attend to meet the children’s teachers and to hear how our little loved ones were getting along.  I had always looked forward to having a chat with the teachers because they were helping me.  Thank God for school.

I got glowing reports from Isaac’s, Jacob’s, David’s and Patrick’s teachers.  They were well behaved and doing well with their three Rs.  I was smiling, joyful that my young boys were doing me proud, like little saints.  I thought only John’s teacher to see now.  He was the oldest of the boys at the school and was very responsible in helping with his brothers.  As it turned out he was too responsible in defending his brothers when they were called names or wrongly treated.

I sat down with his teacher expecting another good report.  She drew her chair close to me and said, “John is doing very well in his work but he is a terror in the playground!  The principal doesn’t know what to do with him.  He is always fighting”.  This was a big shock; surely not my son John.  He was a very lively, happy boy.  If this is how John is doing what is it going to be like when these other boys get older.  I panicked.

My panic attack lasted all weekend.  I thought, “How am I going to rear these boys”? What will happen if they start fighting with each other at home as well.  The future looked bleak.  The head teacher did not know what to do with my eleven year old boy, whom to me was pleasant and well behaved.  How was I going to rear these six boys!

On the Sunday night I had a dream.  I do not remember the details but in the dream God reassured me of his love.  Scripture says in 1 John 4 v 18, “Perfect love casts out fear”.  My panic attack was over.  God would help me rear my boys.  He promises me in Psalm 91, “He will be with me in trouble”.

My husband and I were on holiday in Israel.  My husband was telling the Muslim taxi driver he had fourteen children, because Brendan heard Muslims have big families.  The man responded, “How many sons do you have?” Brendan replied “I have eight sons”.  “You will go straight to heaven because it must be hell on earth”, the man replied.

God is faithful.  It never turned out to be hell on earth. Indeed my sons are blessed.

Angela