Butterfly Cakes and Parenting Skills

No! And that’s my final word.

Sarah was irritable. Her twin daughters, Lucy and Annie, had been arguing with her for almost fifteen minutes. They had been invited to their best friend, Amy’s, ‘teen theme’ birthday party the following Saturday. The problem was she would be eight; the same age as the twins.

The girls stomped off to their bedroom just as the telephone rang. Sarah took a deep breath and released it slowly.

Hello. Rubbing her forehead she leaned against the wall to ease the weariness that threatened to overtake her.

Well, you sound happy. It was Connie, Amy’s mother.

Hello, Connie. I’m sorry, sometimes I find parenting a little stressful.

You? Of all people, Sarah. You’re a great parent. You always seem to have it all under control.

Well not today. What can I do for you, Connie?

I was just checking if the girls are coming on Saturday.

Actually, it was the party we were discussing. I just don’t feel the theme is appropriate for eight-year-olds. Peter and I made the decision a long time ago that they are not to attend a party which goes against our values.

Sarah cringed as she realized what she had said. Connie was a good friend who attended the same church.

Connie sighed on the other end of the phone. Can I be frank with you, Sarah?

Sure, we’re friends.

It was Amy’s suggestion. In fact, she demanded it. Honestly, I have been trying to keep the peace around here. We received a letter from her teacher last week concerning Amy’s rebellious behaviour.

Sarah made herself busy at the stove.

Yesterday, we went shopping to buy her an outfit for the party. I have never been so embarrassed. Her performance was appalling. She insisted on purchasing the skimpiest pair of shorts I have ever seen and the top barely covered her. There wasn’t enough material to cover her navel. Connie’s voice reached an intense pitch.

Sarah stirred the contents of the saucepan. ‘Lord, why is it so hard to do what is right as a parent?’

Sarah, why does parenting have to be so hard?

I don’t think any parent finds it easy, Connie. We aren’t born with the skills either. We all have to learn them’

Connie resumed talking before Sarah could finish. I was just telling my mother yesterday that I remember some of my own childhood birthday celebrations. We used to dress up in our Sunday best and eat those yummy cakes. You know the little ones, Sarah, the ones you make so well. You scoop out the little piece from the top, and then add just the right size dollop of cream, before cutting that extra piece in half and sitting it in just the right spot on top, then sprinkling icing sugar over it all to give it that perfect sweetness.

Butterfly cakes? Sarah smiled at Connie’s description. It almost sounds like parenting skills. You need just the right balance to get it right. She laughed at her own illustration.

Oh, Sarah, I just had a marvellous idea. Why don’t I call all the parents and tell them I’ve changed the theme? It will be a good, old-fashion party for an eight-year-old girl. They can all dress in their Sunday best and you could make butterfly cakes. I think it’s about time I initiated some parenting skills. The first thing I’ll introduce is Christian values.

Sarah laughed. All right. I’ll talk to Peter tonight. He should be happy with the change, and yes, I think it’s a wonderful idea. Bye, Connie.

Bye, Sarah.

Sarah was still smiling after she hung up the phone. She turned to see the twins standing at the door, their arms folded stiffly.

What’s so wonderful? Annie asked sourly.

Well, first of all, go and get the flower-girl dresses you wore to Uncle Tony’s wedding and put them on the sewing table. Then, we need to start on some parenting skills.

What are you talking about? Lucy was totally confused.

I’m going to bake some butterfly cakes, and you two can help. It’s never too early to learn.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

As Requested with my Apologies

My apologies that the links did not work in an archived post that rescheduled a few weeks ago. Here they are. Please let me know if you have any further problems viewing each part. I also don’t like missing chapters of a book/story.

Memory of Dread –A Six Part Murder Mystery for the Christian Reader

Memory of Dread Part One

Memory of Dread – Part Two

Memory of Dread – Part Three

Memory of Dread – Part Four

Memory of Dread – Part Five

Memory of Dread – Part Six

Yesterdays Time Zone

Most of us possess several gifts from our Heavenly Father but are we making the most of them? We start each morning with great ambitions, but reminders of prior faults and inadequacies may cause us to neglect some gifts.

If we permit our failures to feed our disappointments, we cringe under their power. Moving onto other God-given gifts is a way of coping with disappointmentsand you might just achieve great things in other fields.

The pleasure of receiving a gift from God can often be overtaken by a hidden dread. Fear and rejection take control and the gift is dismissed, allowing yesterdays unfulfilled dreams to destroy todays visions.

Some of the most influential men in the Bible came from humble beginnings. Incredibly these God-fearing men questioned their ability, seeking signs and wonders from God to reassure them. They were all called to serve God and yet they all had every reason to disregard their purpose.

I am reminded of Peters denial of Jesus (Matthew 26:75). Just imagine where todays church would be had Peter focused on his failure. It change his life forever, yesbut the choice he made determine not only his, but also the Churchs future!

Gideon protested his shortcomings to God. After all, he was the least of his family in the Manasseh clan (Judges 6:15). The Lord told Gideon to go in His strength, but Gideon was still anxious that he wasnt the man for the job. Only after some incredible signs, did Gideon respond to his calling. How easily Gideons weaknesses could have kept him from overcoming?

Moses also required signs from God. He insisted that he was a man of poor speech (Exodus 4:10) and received a stinging rebuke!

Later, Moses went to Pharaoh to warn him to heed Gods words. Imagine if he gave up after the first, second or even third attempt! Moses could have also allowed his past experience with Pharaoh to prevent him from achieving Gods purposes.

At times we need mind-changing experiences, but do we always need God to give us signs because of our disappointments and weaknesses? Many conceal a gift because of fear of failure or rejection. An unused or neglected gift from God becomes void of its function. The splendour of a gift is in its use.

Today can be the beginning of a courageous journey. Explore beyond your past into expectations and hope. Its time to stop living in yesterdays time zone and go forth today, into the promises of tomorrow.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

Your Questions about my Poetry Book

Thank you for the emails I recently recieved from newer followers of Riverside Peace in regard to my poems and poetry book Glimpses of His Glory.Glimpses-of-His-Glory-Square

I was thrilled to read them. I’m happy to answer any questions about the book via email and how to order. Feedback and questions can also be posted in the comment section of my Poetry Book Page. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks again.

Love
Chrissy xx

On the Wings of a – Duck?

The water was as smooth as silk. Its glass like appearance mirrored the beauty of God’s creation that surrounded it. The sun was warm and not a single cloud in the sky. The air was filled with the aroma of damp earth after the rain. I breathed in the fresh clean air, deep into my lungs. The heavens were filled with the sound of a flock of birds; all the indications of a beautiful day filled my senses.

It came from under the bridge. It was flying very low. Every now and then it skimmed the surface so lightly the tiniest ripple formed and died. Words of a well know song came to mind followed by the words of a verse.

Now thats strange. Theres the wing of a snow white dove, and theres the wings of an eagle, but on the wings of a duck?

As I watched this unattractive but graceful, swift moving creature, I began to wonder just how awesome God really is. The power in those wings gave it the speed of an eagle, yet the gracefulness reminded me of a dove.

The charm of that duck brought me into a new understanding of beauty. God the designer and creator of the whole world, made all things … well.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

From my book: Glimpses of His Glory

Its Time to Grow Up!

Simon! Dad called from the back of the house. Come and fix this mess!

Uh-oh…

Simon stopped at the door of the laundry and watched as bright red foamy bubbles spewed from the family washing machine.Oops.

Oops is right and youd better clean it up before your mother returns with the groceries. Then, you had better deal with that car of yours. The windscreen looks like the aftermath of a locus plague.

The unusually quiet son entered the kitchen later that day and watched his parents move about to prepare for the evening meal. Steak, onions and potatoes sat ready for preparing. He sat in a chair to watch. Simon was always fascinated and somewhat proud of how they worked together. Being the youngest of five, and at almost twenty-three, Simon knew it was time to give his parents a break and move out on his own but…

Hey, Simon, his mother interrupted his thoughts. Are you going to the young adults Bible Study tonight?

Yeah… Ive even completed this weeks study questions, he grinned.

Dad looked up from chopping onions. Tears ran down his cheeks. Really?

Simon grinned at the voice that didnt match the tears, which were thankfully not related to this latest bit of news. Um…yeah. Were studying Hebrews chapter five. Im守m…finding it quite interesting.

His mother wiped her hands and approached the table. May I ask why?

Dad continued to chop and sniff.

Ill show you. Simon left the room and returned a few minutes later with his New International Version of the Bible. He opened it to where it was bookmarked.

You see, he began, last weeks topic was about “Warnings Against Falling Away”. Verses 11 to 15 says: We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Dad wiped his eyes before joining them at the table. What do you think these verses are saying?

Well, he began thoughtfully. Its like eating.

His parents laughed in unison.

Yeah, I know. Everything with me is related to food, he grinned. But its like the verse says, we have to stop just drinking milk and get in to the steak and potatoes of life地nd onions, he finished with a chuckle.

Dad reached across, pulled the Bible to him and turned it around. Yes, youre right. We need to grow and mature in His grace. He paused and turned over a few pages. Hebrews 10:25-27also says: Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one anotherand all the more as you see the Day approaching. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.’

Pretty heavy stuff, Simon sighed. But I think Im beginning to understand this whole adulthood stuff. I mean, Im no longer a child, or a teenager anymore. Im supposed to be an adult. Right? Not just as a person, but as a Christian. I cant rely on you and Mum all my life to feed me or clean up after me. In the same way, I need to get into the Word and grow up.

His mother smiled. Even us older Christians need to grow. We can never outgrow the need to grow. But, youre right, Simon. You do need to do this for yourself. She reached out and touched his hand. Is there more to this conversation than impressing us?

Simon took a deep breath. Well, I like my job and doing church stuff, but…

But what? Dad asked, a hint of worry in his tone.

This weeks Bible study has had me seriously praying about a few things. Im ready to put away childish things. Ive decided to start adulthood properly. Im going to attend Bible College. I believe thats where God wants me to be.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Live Long and Prosper – 2019

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith theLord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (King James Version)

This is one of our favourite verses in the entire Bible. You may have noticed we have used the KJV of this verse above and although Norm and I use the New International Version for our every day use, this verse doesnt work for us in the NIV.

This is how its written in the NIV: For I know the plansI have for you, declares theLord, plans to prosperyou and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Do you see the difference? Does it contradict? Does it make you feel better as a person reading the NIV version of this verse? Does it make you think youll be wealthy?

After discussing this, we decided that its more likely that the author of Jeremiah meant this for the Jewish nation as a whole; to grow stronger or to flourish.We read in the Bible that this promise was fulfilled. That is: those in exile returned, and the nation of Israel was restored for a time. God made a promise through the prophets, and that promise came true.

Our God is the God of salvation. He wants to redeem people and put them on a path of wholeness, just as He wanted the nation of Israel to be redeemed and to be whole again. He really wanted them to thrive and flourish.

As any fan of Star Trek knows, to live long and prosper is good advice.

Have a very happy and prosperous New Year.

穢 Chrissy & Norm Siggee– January 2019

Resources:
Origin: 142575; late Middle English prosperen < Latin prosperre to make happy, derivative of prosperustranslated as prosperous
https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/live-long-and-prosper.html
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/prosper