In vain? Mummy Meditation Week 18

My Mummy Meditation verse this week has been tinged with sadness – the verse I chose was one that I read when we were buying this house, one that I prayed over my new house in the excitement that this was the house the Lord had built for me and my family (and if you don’t know the full story of my train related drama, do read the latest update here) and so it brings me confusion now.  It also came to me at the start of this week when the builders on our half finished estate have started to take down scaffolding and actually STOP building (when there are still at least 15 half built houses that need finishing).  What does that mean?!  Have they been building in vain?

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain” Psalm 127:1

There are three things that have jumped out to me whilst I have been meditating on this verse this week (and crying slightly as I see my beautiful estate and the hope of it ever being finished slipping away)

Partnership with God is essential – I think the KEY thing this verse tells us (and is not just about building houses or churches or manual labour in general) is that whatever we do, we need to do it in partnership with God.  We need to seek his direction in it and pray over it so that God is with us in our work and in our endeavours.  This may sound really obvious in some things, but think about it for everything.  This week I have just had my sons letter to apply for school and I need to try to remember to partner with God when I make that decision for Sam’s future.
Fighting the right way – your energy and work might be totally wasted if you don’t think to fight in the right way.  It might all be energy used in vain.  We recently watched the film “War Room” as part of our ladies night at church.  It is a great film to encourage and inspire you in your prayer life and also reminded me that it is important to first fight through prayer and to let God do the other stuff.  I am taking this to heart at the moment in a fight where I can’t do that much, but I can lift up the situation in prayer to God.
Be the gatekeeper – this image of the guard over the city has really come back to me this week.  We should prayerfully be the guards and gatekeepers of our estates and streets.  This means that we make sure nothing comes past us as the gatekeepers, that we are praying about everything that happens there and making sure nothing dark enters.   Maybe if we took this role more seriously then our estates would be blessed beyond measure and people would start to ask why!

The builders on my estate had been building in vain, not knowing that this huge impending news of HS2 coming on to bulldoze it would occur.  But we don’t have to live like this.  We can build something worthwhile and important by making sure we partner with God, build and fight in the right way and step up to be Gatekeepers in our local communities.  If we do this then nothing can bulldoze what we build and nothing can plunder what God protects.  


I want to carry on in Psalm 127 this week and look at this verse, so please do join me!

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him”  Psalm 127:3 

Mum on a Mission VS the train – episode 4

I am exhausted!

It has been a full on week of HS2 related activity this week, and it has been both exciting and tiring.  Started off on Monday with a planning meeting with our action group, putting together everything we needed to do for a public meeting with the council later in the week.  This was a really positive and proactive meeting and it was nice to be able to open up my home to the group too.

Then Thursday night was all action stations – a public meeting at the local high school to inform people of what has happened since the announcement in July, where we all stood and what the next steps are in fighting this proposed route are.  I had the fun of sitting on the stage for the whole meeting next to the local councillors, Mayor of Doncaster and Ed Miliband!  That is an experience I won’t forget in a while….

But although the meeting didn’t change anything, the energy there was that across Doncaster they are supporting us as we try to fight this new route.  Everyone, although maybe having different opinions on the project as a whole, thinks that this new route is a mistake and are committed to making the government see that. 

Once again I am blown away by the new friends I have made, the conversations I was able to have with concerned local people and the opportunity to make a difference where I live.  God really truly has given me an opening to reach so many people here, and I am taking hold of that with both hands.  Who knows what the next two months will hold – there are protest walks planned, doorknocking to be done and potentially an announcement from the Secretary of State for Transport on what our fate will be.  I will stand firm to oppose this new route with my neighbours, councillors and MP.  MEXBOROUGH SAYS NO!!!

Mum on a Mission vs the Train – episode 3

Episode 3

Sometimes you have to accept that God knows better than you.  At least that is what I have been trying to do given my latest meditation verse (check out my mummy meditation post from this week).  Easier said than done in some situations, especially when so much is at stake.  How can I just sit back and go “not my will but your will” when it comes to HS2 ploughing through my home? (200 homes being demolished to bring economic growth to the north of England makes about as much sense as someone dying to bring life to everyone, but then Jesus’ resurrection changed that so lets hope there is a game changer on this one too….)

But I have been praying the last few weeks that whatever the outcome from the Secretary of State for Transport in November time that I will be at peace with it, and I will see God’s purpose in it.  In the meantime I have stopped being so much of a toddler and crying about it all the time, and I am trying to enjoy the ride.  I have enjoyed getting to know my neighbours so much better and fellow Mexborough people.  There is such as rich diversity of people in our town and I love that!  

I recently got the opportunity to read and review the book “Game Changers” by Gavin and Anne Calver (do head over to Liberti Magazine to check out my review!) and it got me thinking – so many people shy away from what needs to be done in this life to make real positive change.  So many people think it can’t possibly be them that can do anything about the problems we face – whether that be HS2, or anti-social behaviour, or declining church attendance.  But if we make the decision to get on board and just do our part then we can all make a difference. Moses got on board with God, just as Moses Mother did when she wouldn’t let just lie down and let her baby boy be murdered with the rest of the Israelite children.  They didn’t let the challenge ahead overwhelm them, but found strength in God to face it in a different way.  

I want to be a game changer and get this route changed for the benefit of my local community and wider community.  And so I am choosing to do my part and get involved in the campaign.  What can you do to be a game changer where you are?

Mum on a Mission vs the train – Episode 2

Episode 2

Everything has changed.  But also nothing has changed.

Life goes on as normal, but also it doesn’t and it can’t

I am living with two possible futures in my head and have no way of knowing which might happen.  And it is driving me a little bit insane.

This week I reached my breaking point once again.  I had swept all those feelings about the HS2 news under the carpet, trying to happily get on with normal life, but this week they all came flooding out again.  How is it possible to live a normal life with a huge question mark hanging over your head?  I really don’t know.  

I have been trying to look at possibilities for the future in order to not be so down about the fact that our house could be bulldozed.  But in doing this I have gotten myself slightly down about staying and that I can’t have that future just yet.  There are so many ifs and buts that my little brain can’t handle it.  And like I said in my latest Mummy Meditation, my mind has been so full of all the options that nothing else has found space.  

Today though I met another lady on the estate who is a Christian, and she is so lovely.  I know that many of us are praying against this and that is strength in itself, so I am hoping that we can meet up and just talk through things in a godly way and get some perspective.  I am loving that all of this has thrown us together as a community and I am loving all the new people I am meeting on the estate and getting to know even better.  Long may that continue!!  But at the moment, my battle against the train is one that is taking place in my mind – please God help me to win it!

The rule of three

My mum would always tell me that bad things would happen in threes – the car would need fixing the same time as a pipe bursting and the washing machine deciding to conk out.  That was just the way it went!  I guess this is the same as saying “it never rains, it pours!”.  There is some logic behind this sentiment though, as I think the devil purposefully looks for when we are down to try to attack us further.

For me this has been the HS2 news quickly followed by Sam and Reuben being ill (possible hand foot and mouth) and then myself getting ill with viral conjunctivitis this week.  Maybe the stress has weakened all our immune systems, maybe its just coincidence or maybe someone is trying to stop me from having the energy and fight to sow into my community.

But instead of focusing on these negative things (Ok, well I may have focussed on them a little and moaned a bit on facebook for sympathy) I am NOW choosing to relive the positives and these come in multiples many more than three!  In fact, if I have to make a list of all the positive things from the last month and compare it to my negative list it would look miniscule! Even though satan may be trying to kick me whilst I am down, God is still in the detail and still caring for me through it.

One little example is with our mortgage.  Our two year fixed rate was coming to an end and we were trying to remortgage to get a better deal, something that will be impossible for most on our estate now given its blight status.  We got the letter to confirm our new 2 year fixed rate a few days before the awful letter came through, so we are financially secure in this for 2 more years.  God really is in the  detail.   

Mum on a mission vs the train: Episode 1

Episode 1

Why can human life always be devalued to just an amount of money? 

Animals are irreplaceable, habitats can’t be destroyed as it would have lasting damage, but human communities are worthless and can easily be recreated elsewhere.  Well that’s according to HS2 and our government. 

Our fragile, fledgling community on our brand new estate is worth nothing more than “market value of your house + 10% compensation and reasonable moving costs”.  No value is placed on the relationships built with neighbours or the future needs that will be met through others.  No value is placed on the unique setting in which our homes were built and chosen by us – steps right down onto the canal tow path for early evening walks and a play park in the centre of the estate for children to use.  Nope.  All that can be demolished as long as we have monetary compensation.

I am so glad that my God and Father sees me as more than that. 

“Look at the birds of the air;  they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26

I am much more valuable than an animal and I am much more valuable than the price tag put on my and my family’s head by HS2 – I am a child of the living God!

Mum on a mission is devastated….

So today our family had some bad news.  A letter through our mailbox first thing this morning.  

Our brand new estate that we moved on to 2 years ago is now in the firing line for the new route of the HS2 railway.  This means that the government can force us out of our homes to make way for it.  This means that the community we have built here, the lives that we have made for ourselves and our sons, all of that is at risk.  

I am devastated.

I am unsure.

I am upset.

When we moved here we had a clear image from God about the location – next to a river/canal.  That our house would be a metaphor of our relationship with him.  At the time I also had the word “roots” given to me and that where we moved next would be the place we would set down roots and grow as a family.  And I have thrown everything into this community trusting God to grow our roots here.  So you can understand why I am upset.   

I don’t know yet all the details or all the information/time lines etc (and of course we would be compensated) but I feel like this is not right.  I guess that might just be my emotion and God might be doing something amazing through this, but I wanted to share how I really truly feel.  Hopefully you will pray with me through this and join me on this journey to see where we end up.

My prayer is that our community is united through this, not divided.  My prayer is that people will come to trust in the security of God’s Kingdom in heaven, and not in property here on earth.  My prayer is that God’s will is done in all this. Amen….