Posted by: theacres | April 8, 2013

Spring harvest 2012 vs 2013

Come with me back in time, a year or there abouts to Easter 2012. Mrs TheAcres and I decided that we we proper Christians if we’d never been to Spring Harvest so booked it, packed it and … Got in the car and drove to minehead. There was more to it than that, we had been thinking about the church we were worshipping in and church in general, where God wanted us, what God wanted from us, and about the whole shebang. The theme in 2012 was ‘church actually’ and it seemed to fit in with what we’d been thinking.

Day 1, we arrived, registered the boy at the crèche and watched the evening service on the telly in our chalet. The boy needed a nappy change and while I was doing that on the living room floor he rolled over (annoying!) and looked at the telly. ‘They singin’ ’bout Jesus’ he said, we were pretty impressed!

Day 2 was good, we went to the bible reading, enjoyed the site, and went about normal business. That night however I was violently sick until I had nothing left to give. Mrs TA took the boy to his group as normal the next day as neither we’re showing any signs of poorliness and I was fairly sure it was food poisoning. Someone got wind of the fact that I was poorly and shopped us to butlins. We were told that we all had to stay in the chalet for 48 hours or go home. With a toddler there was only one option realistically so we went home, utterly gutted, deeply annoyed and spiritually deflated.

Roll on a year and we stupidly bravely decided we’d give it another go. I’m so glad we did, it was thought provoking, humbling and challenging. The theme this year was ‘be, say, do’, I went to the daily bible readings led by Gerard Kelly (@twitturgies on twitter) and some of the stuff he said really hit me. For a while now I’ve been conscious of the fact that I’m too angry with the boy and Gerard spoke wisdom when he said that first children are like icebreakers, crashing through the pack ice, finding out the areas of your life where God’s got some work to do. This hit home. The thing to remember though – as we came back to time and again in the 1 John study – we’re all broken, we’re all unfinished, and God loves us. He loves us so much that he sent Jesus in human form to allow us to be forgiven. Better than that, we ARE forgiven, God’s already done it, we just need to accept it.

Amazing stuff! I prayed that God would show me why I get angry and impatient with the boy, and I think that things have been a bit better. It’s definitely a work in progress though.

Other cool things were hearing the excellent Rob Parsons of @Care4theFamily speak so passionately, going to a gig featuring @RealTimVine and @TheArchini, and taking the boy swimming for the first time. All good.

Someone, Gerard again I think, said that if we’re all made in God’s image it’s possible to be inspired by the most unlikely things, because there’s God in them somewhere. I like this, it chimes with experiences I’ve had, for example, the film Donnie darko taught me a lot about God’s relationship with time. Today I was inspired by the music of @michaelkiwanuka. Really soulful, and i could interpret the lyrics in a way that easily pointed to God. I don’t know if he’s got his baggage on the gospel train or not, but he surely writes some fine tunes.

Coming back home’s been a bit of a bump, but hopefully the things we’ve heard will stick with us, and make a difference in how we live our lives. We’re praying that we find a new church soon, but more on that in the next instalment.

FAIL! I’m editing to include the thing I was making notes on through the day. Each time I write this I want to put #fivethings that I’m thankful for, so here goes.

1. Bambara groundnut – trying new foods is great, especially when they’re served with fried plantain
2. Family – we spent the weekend with family, everyone mucking in, laughter, too much good food and it was great to see the boy playing so well with his cousins
3. @howies – they make such pretty things, and now they’re producing cycle specific clothing. PTL! Now, how does one go about getting a pay rise?
4. A washing machine that works
5. Spring harvest

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