Welcome to our new Church @ The Barony Blog. Let me introduce myself. My name is Jen. I live in Bo’ness with my husband, Ray, and our daughter, Abby. I’m helping with our social media and in the very strange season we find ourselves, we are embracing technology as a way to fellowship together, encourage each other and stay connected.
Despite the weird situation the world finds itself, life is awfully exciting for my family. Our (much prayed for) second child is due in a few weeks. But I have to say, this is not what I expected my maternity leave would look like. The box sets I’ve been saving (Star Trek, Doctor Who and The West Wing in case you were wondering) have been replaced with homeschooling a very sceptical Primary 5 pupil. My husband is very, very grateful that his employer introduced ‘working from home’ to save him being drafted into Jennifer’s Kitchen School (Abby’s choice of name).
God has called me to many different places, jobs, people and situations but I never imagined He’d call me into teaching. Especially in the midst of a global pandemic! Thankfully we have an amazing support in Abby’s teachers who have provided mountains of online resources for us to plod through. But what about her spiritual education? Not going to school every day and seeing her friends has been tough on my only child and I don’t have our Barony Stars team to rely on for a spiritual top up for Abby on a Sunday.
So we’ve been doing our own Bible studies. Armed with my NIV Teen Life Study Bible, Abby and I have been looking at what the Bible says about coping with change. We’ve turned to one of my favourite verses, Philippians 4:6.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
We broke this down into its individual parts:
Tell God what you need. In Mark 11, after Jesus has cleared the temple, he talks to the disciples about prayer. “I tell you, you can pray for anything”. He doesn’t tell them to pray for the big things, they are told to pray for anything. We can pray for healing for our country, for the grieving to be comforted and for this pandemic to come to a swift end; and God hears this. But we can also ask God to look after our own lives. We can pray that we have enough money to keep paying our bills, that we have enough food in our cupboards and in our shops. And we can pray for little things. That we find the energy to get out of bed and face Joe Wicks PE class at 9 o’clock in the morning. God hears all prayers and if we believe in Him then we can trust that He will take care of us.
Thank him for all he has done. How can we not be thankful to our God? Even in these troubled times, God gives us endless reasons to be thankful. We can be thankful for the key workers who keep our NHS, government and infrastructure going. We can be thankful for the carers who are taking care of our elderly, the vulnerable people this lockdown was brought in to protect. My granny has carers 4 times a day and I am eternally grateful that she is being looked after when we can’t go and visit her and she’s still got someone coming in to give her a bit of company. In our own community we have a group of people coordinating our town’s response to this crisis. They’re making sure the vulnerable don’t go without and those willing to help are given the opportunity to do so. I’ve seen so many people volunteer and, Christian or not, these people are doing God’s work in our town. We are so blessed!
When fear threatens to overwhelm us, remember we have a God who loves us and wants to take care of us. He has already provided so much for us and we owe Him all the praise. So I can power through with homeschooling for a few weeks and trust that when I need help, I have a God ready to lift me up.
God bless, friends.