Wednesday, 24 September 2014

How many times? - A Dose of Encouragement 39

What do you say to your 17 year old son at the airport just before he is flying off on a month's language experience to Germany with 29 other kids from the UK?


Well I bet you would not think it was what I said
 to Jonathan our eldest son.


And all these years later he has never forgotten, and doesn't let me forget it either.


You see as soon as Jonathan would return he was going into his last year at school finishing his A levels and then the following year he was hopefully going to university.

And I felt it was important that all our children would be able to look after themselves before they would be living away from home for any length of time.

The previous summer I had told him that it was time he learned to do his own washing, so we had proceeded to arrange a day each week when I would not use the washing machine and dryer and it was all free for him.

He managed that ok getting used to it as the year went on.

He had understood that he would eventually need to be able to sort his clothes into suitable washing bundles and know how to read labels and wash and dry items without shrinking or dying anything so accepted the task and did it.

However I did continue to do his ironing along with everyone else's.

So no doubt you can guess now what it was that I said to him at the airport


"As soon as you get back 
you will have to start doing your own ironing."


Well you would think I was the cruelest mother ever to walk this earth, not because I was insisting he now learned to iron but because I said it then at that specific time and spoilt the trip for him.




Yes he said this was because he now had a rotten chore to look forward to.

It was a bit of an exaggeration really because it did not spoil the trip for him although he will still to this day try to claim it did.

Of course I didn't just expect him to be able to do the ironing without being taught to do it properly.
I so I showed him how to iron his shirts and T shirts and trousers and watched as he tried and gave advice where it was needed until he was able to do the job.

Since then Jonathan has been to Cambridge University and got his Bachelors Degree in Theology, then to Belgium and got his Masters in Theology and is now living in Leeds UK working on his Phd and pastoring a church part-time.  During all of that he has lived both with us and one his own at various times and has coped with a lot more than just his washing and ironing.

But sometimes he still needs to consult his dad or I on things to do with his appartment like how to fix the timer for his central heating etc.

Just the other day he rang up to check with me about bleaching white items as he wanted to make sure he would not ruin his clothes.

When I answered the phone he said



I laughed and said that yes the weather in NI was very good for the start of autumn but not that good.

But he wasn't talking about weather he was ringing with a washing question.

You see when he was 15 years old Fred & I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary with a trip to Hawaii. My parents came and stayed over in our house with the 3 kids but Jonathan being a very sensible boy thought that he should help with the washing; but not knowing about how to use the machine then he decided to ring me in Hawaii to check it out.

How many times has that story been told to dinner guests!!!

I love the fact that our son, who is well established in his own home and has learned to do so many practical things there and is a very clever lad, is still willing to lift the phone and ask a question of his old mum and dad.

I also love the fact that he will often just lift the phone to tell us when he has done something new as well.

You see this is our son who loves books and reading and learning and has a fantastic memory but has always thought he was useless at practical things.

How many times do we think we are just not good at something?

How many times do we think that we couldn't possibly do something God wants us to do because it is so different to what we have been used to doing?

How many times do we think that we couldn't possibly learn something new to be able to help our church?

How many times do we think that we couldn't offer to help in a situation that could be a blessing to someone simply because we don't know them very well?

We need to take an example from Jonathan and just ask for help

to do those things we don't feel adequate about,

or to learn a new task,

or to change our attitude to certain situations,

or to know what to say to others.


We need to ask God for help in tackling these things that we have been hesitant to do in the past.

We need to come and pray for wisdom, understanding, or even a change of heart in some circumstances.

God is not asking us to do something if He does not intend to help and guide us.
Tweet: God is not asking us to do something if He does not intend to help and guide us. Sandra's Ark http://ctt.ec/gLbfQ+




Just as I helped Jonathan to learn to iron, God will help us learn what ever we need to.


When Jonathan was very young he asked a lot of questions about everything.

We would get tired sometimes answering his questions.

God does not get tired answering our request for help.

God is not limited in any way even though we are.

But so often we feel we are more limited than we really are.

How many times can we ask God for help?    
There is no limit.
Tweet: How many times can we ask God for help? There is no limit. Sandra's Ark http://ctt.ec/k10a1+




15 comments:

  1. Your relationship with your son reminds me of my son. Thank you for the challenge of stretching ourselves. I accept the challenge! Stopping by from Jennifer's place. It's nice to meet you.

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    1. All the best with the challenge Diane.

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  2. So true! I am always asking God for something :-)
    Found you on Raising Homemakers and thoroughly enjoyed your story.
    Blessings,

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  3. I loved this sweet and simple, true, analogy! We just need to ask! How true! I'm your neighbor at Holley's this week.

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  4. True. God is here beside us, walking with us, helping us, praying for us and love us through this life. So exciting!

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  5. I love that story. It is often in humility we get a glimpse of God's strength.

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  6. So fun to read this post. God's generosity and mercy is limitless. :)

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  7. You seem to have a great relationship and it is no harm for kids to learn all these things before they leave for college. Thanks for linking up to Pin Worthy Wednesday, I have pinned your post to the Pin Worthy Wednesday Pinterest Board.

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  8. That made me laugh because I said something to my daughter a few years ago, that neither she nor my son will ever let me forget. She'd just bought her first new car and was so proud and excited. I got in, looked around and meant to say something to the effect that it was nice, without a lot of complicated things on the dash, but what came out was, "It's very nice...ordinary." An ordinary car. Just what she wanted to hear! We are never ordinary, are we? Each of us is extraordinary! Thanks for sharing. Visiting you via Sunday Stillness...from NJ to Canada to you!

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  9. Your son will call you blessed above all mothers for the things you taught him to do for himself. Yes, God never tires of our questions and He is always there to help when we 'ring' him up. Thank you for sharing your awesome post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

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  10. This story made me laugh! It is so true, though. We just need to ask.

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  11. Awww... I love these stories about your son and laundry and I love how they bring up reminders of the Lord for you. :-) Thanks for linking up with the Faith and Fellowship blog hop! :-)

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  12. Awww...what a beautiful principle to impart to your son :)
    Anyway, I'm visiting from "Inspired By Me Mondays"; was so nice to have you join us last week!! Please come & stop by this week with some more amazing posts!! http://www.parentingandhomeschoolinginfaith.com

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