What Women Want

I suppose this title is rather cheeky. I mean, it’s not really about what women want. Nor is it about the film with the same title – brilliant, in case you haven’t seen it. Actually, what I wanted to write about was the right to vote.

It’s Polling Day here in the UK, and people across the country have been voting for an MP to represent them. At the same time, how people vote for their MP may have an impact on who is our Prime Minister. It is safe to say, then, that this is a big day.

But today is also a big day for another reason. No, not my dad’s 60th, though that is a special occasion we mark today. In fact, today marks 104 years since Emily Wilding Davison died after suffering wounds at the Epsom Derby. She ran out in front of the horses with her banner, hoping to gain more publicity and public backing for women’s suffrage. She died in protest.

She died fighting for the right to vote: my vote to vote, and Isobel’s right to vote. 

That is what women wanted then, and it is what women in other parts of the world still want and are still fighting for. Whatever you do today, go and vote.


The F Word

Today is a momentous day; a day which will go down forever in history. It will one day be taught in schools as part of our national story. And yet there is a four letter word going round.

I’m guilty of it myself. I have said I am fearful for the future. I am fearful for who takes control of our government. I am fearful of theunknown. But fear is the enemy here, not Brexiters.

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.'” – ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭3:13-14‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

Of course, for my own reasons, I am dissapointed that the UK voted to leave. I honestly and whole heartedly believe we are better within the EU, not least because I feel it is how we best serve our little part of the world. But, as I said at the beginning, this is a momentous day. It is a day the full implications of which will not be seen for years to come.

Today I am choosing hope.

I hope that our elected government helps to build a society which protects the vulnerable and needy, whether in our country or elsewhere in the world. I hope we strengthen our global voice and take a stand on world affairs and issues of inequality. I hope we become a beacon for democracy. I hope we continue to embrace our wonderfully diverse multi-national country. I hope for good times, regardless of today’s outcome.

Choose hope, not fear. For we still have “far more in common, than that which divides us.” (Jo Cox, 2016)

A Season for Everything

Today, I tried to put my daughter in a favourite vest of mine: a Harvard University one, a gift from my sister-in-law. It matches my own Harvard University t-shirt which I bought in Boston in 2012. Anyway, it was far too small. I couldn’t even squeeze her arms through the arm holes.

There is reason to rejoice, of course. She is growing! She is a lovely size, with adorable chubbiness. My milk is providing her with everything she needs. And yet, I am so sad that she has outgrown yet another favourite top.

I rushed her into certain cute 3-6m clothes, when I could have been enjoying the 0-3m ones. Why? Simply because I couldn’t wait. It is a trivial matter, but it is a matter nonetheless. 

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1

Each phase of Isobel’s life will bring great joys, as well their own challenges. As each phase draws to a close, I know there will be things I will rejoice over never having to do again. But there will be so much I will miss, and so much I will never experience with her again.

When I wrote this originally, earlier today in my quiet time, there was an alternate end. Since then, though, there has been heartbreaking news that the MP Jo Cox, wife and mother of 2, has been stabbed and shot dead in broad daylight. The news is horrifying anyway, and when I saw it I text a mummy friend, “I’m just sat here crying. What is this world we are living in? I cannot believe an MP has been shot dead. I cannot believe the hatred being spread.”

The news chills me to the core. As a mother, Jo Cox may have kissed her children goodnight last night, or made their breakfast this morning, unaware that it would be the final time she would do it. As parents we do not know when the last time we do something will be the last time. I do not know when I will do Isobel’s final breastfeed. I do not know when she will wear her final nappy, nor when her final nighttime feed will be. I do not know the last time I will see her gummy smile without teeth. Jo Cox did not know that she would never again get to say to her children, “I love you.” She will never get to say those words again.

There is a season for everything. And the season is now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, but now.

Grasp every moment. Live in the here and now. Enjoy the seasons.

Life is precious.

Love Your Neighbour

I don’t want to say how anyone should vote; it’s one of the greatest things about democracy, that people can vote freely. However, I am opinionated, as friends will know, and my blog shares all aspects of my life, so why not politics? If you don’t want to read it, don’t. It may upset you, or make you feel uncomfortable.

I make no secret that I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus. I believe in the Bible. I believe in truth, justice and hope.

Jesus said, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Love your neighbour, as yourself. What does that mean? What does it mean to love yourself?

For me, that means wanting the best for my neighbours. In an increasingly globalised world we benefit, as a country and as individuals, in economics, education, equality and information sharing. Social networking has allowed people all over the world to connect, to enlighten others of their plights, and to reconnect with long lost friends and family. We live in an exciting and connected world. So who is our neighbour? As a Christian AND as a believer in connectedness, I see my neighbour as every man, woman and child, wherever they are in the world, whatever their circumstance. As a Christian, I want to see great change happen in this world; I want the best for everyone.

A friend spoke such truth to me when they said:

“This whole referendum perfectly sums up the hashtag #firstworldproblems and is a major distraction to living as a human being in a needy world.”

However emotive that statement might seem, to me, it is true. We live in a devastatingly unequal world, and yet many of the arguments from both camps are based solely on selfish gains. It seems to be all about trying to make a more profitable and easier life for British people… People who already have one of the easiest lives in the world, and definitely one of the richest.

Who is looking at what is best for humanity? What is best for the citizens of European countries less well of and with less freedoms? What is best for influencing change and bringing peace and hope and love to countries outside of Europe? When will humans be human first and nationalistic second?

I believe, if we take the Bible seriously, we must live this out in every aspect of our lives. I have been guilty of thinking selfishly, wondering how the outcome of this referendum will affect the property market and mine and my husband’s mortgage. But it’s time to stop, and to change.

Love God first, and humans second. Anything else is contrary to Jesus’ teaching.

“Love your neighbour. This is the greatest commandment.”