I got the chance to catch up with Premier Digitals “Up and Coming” award winning blogger Cathy Thomson from Gospel Centred Parenting! I can’t wait to share our conversation with you all, so make sure you have your cuppa and find a nice snuggly corner for 10 minutes….
It’s really nice to meet you – please introduce yourself to us all!
Hi I’m Cathy. I’m wife to lovely Scott, my childhood friend, and stay-at-home-mum to two cheeky chaps – Reuben who is two and a half years old, and Boaz who is 6 months old. They keep me on my toes and thoroughly reliant on caffeine and chocolate! I have future aspirations to embrace an extreme sports lifestyle with my boy-clan, but in reality I love nothing better than drinking a glass of red wine in front of our wood-burner! Scott and I blog together at www.gospelcentredparenting.com
Where do you live and what do you like/loathe about it?
We live in Hartlepool in the mighty North East of England! Scott and I met at a little Baptist Church here when my family moved to hartlepool years ago – Scott was 13 and I was 9. Little did we know that we would be getting married 12 years down the line! We love Hartlepool, there’s gorgeous coastline, a beautiful nature reserve and friendly people here. After living away for several years, we moved back to Hartlepool to plant Grace Church.
How many kids do you have?
I’ve already mentioned them, but I could talk about them all day – they’re ace! One of our most popular blogs gives you a little insight into the craziness of life with two tinies, and it gives you a flavour of the vivacious personality of our toddler! It’s a good read if you’d like to feel better about your own parenting! 😉 You can read it here.
What is the best thing about motherhood for you?
It’s so hard to pick one! I love cuddling my little ones when they’re sleepy. I love it when Reu has just woken from his nap and be nuzzles his nose into my neck! Or when baby Boaz falls asleep in my arms – it’s just the best feeling.
And what is the worst thing?!
Also hard to pick one…. I think the horror of seeing your child’s sinfulness for the first time. I remember when Reuben purposefully scratched his brother’s head out of jealously, it drew blood and we were all horrified! All three of us cried!
How do you try to help your children connect with God and the bible?
It’s really hard to do with tiny children I think. Reuben is starting to get to the age where you can have proper conversations that sort of make sense, but before this developmental stage it’s really hard to chat about God, because you’re just not sure what they’re computing – it feels a bit like talking to yourself! We’re trying to get more purposeful with our speech in ordinary life though, and we’re beginning to chat to the boys about Jesus in ordinary situations. We’ve written a series on our blog “Gospel in the Everyday” which seeks to help us think about how the everyday things of life can point us as parents to gospel, and then how we might communicate this with our children.
Scott reads a children’s Bible with Reu on a night and they pray together before bed (I eavesdrop next door as I feed baby Boaz to sleep). During advent we did some family devotions as a family of four (which was more about trying to form a habit of doing this, rather than because any of us particularly got much out of it!) But we think it’s really important to set the precedent now, as there’s probably no easy time to start these things.
We’re really grateful for Grace Kids at our church. We have some really gifted people who help teach the little ones the same things that we as adults are learning during the Sunday sermon – this is intentional so that we are able to chat to our children about what they’ve been learning about (which is hopefully the same thing as us!) We also have weekly “life groups” where we meet in someone’s home and have a meal together (all the children come for that part) and then we have a bible study once the children are in bed. This is a great way of helping the kids to feel like they are an integral part of the church, for them to see Christian community lived out and for other adults to disciple our children too.
What is your “mission-field” at the moment?
Being a parent to young children is such a gift evangelistically! It’s great getting to know other parents at play groups – there are few other scenarios where you are free to meet the same people multiple times in the week and chat about whatever you want (even though the conversation is often interrupted to wipe noses/ clean bums/ break up fights etc!). We’re blessed that we have several families in our church with young children which means that as a group of Christian mums we’ve been able to get to know other mums at play groups. Excitingly two of the mums that we’ve met are now regular attenders at our church and are participating in a Christianity Explored course! Praise God. It’s so much easier doing mission in community.
What causes or activities are you particularly passionate about and why?
If I’m totally honest, I would feel like a bit of a fraud to say I’m an activist for a particular cause – most days I feel like I’m doing well if I manage to keep both boys alive and brushed my teeth before leaving the house. In this season I’m investing in our church plant and our tiny kids. Scott is just about to start working a day a week for Grace Church and part of his role will be thinking through how we as a church community can bless Hartlepool. We’re not sure what this will look like yet – perhaps getting involved with the food bank, setting up a Christians Against Poverty debt centre or running a parenting course at a local primary school. When God makes it clear what cause he wants us to champion in our town then that will be our passion. Having said that I care a lot about pro-life issues and we like to promote adoption and fostering on our blog whenever possible.(
Thanks so much for having a cuppa with me!
Thanks for the opportunity Rachel. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you through your blog. Keep up the great work!