Mum Enough - by Charmaine Croxson

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We’ve brought a song called Here Again by Elevation Worship in our Services recently and it reminded me of something I wrote a couple of years ago about being ‘Mum Enough’. I shared what I wrote on Sunday and a few people have asked I share it wider - thanks for your encouragement.

The song (Here Again) is all about declaring just that...I’m not enough unless God You come - there are moments in my life....when it feels like God is far away, or I need reminding that God is with me and won’t forsake when I call on Him, He will answer, He will meet me here again! No matter who you are, and whatever season you find yourself in, know today that right ‘here in the middle, is the place where God promises to be’.

Mum Enough… 

Sometimes, just sometimes, I really believe I am!  I believe that I am mum enough for my children…and mum enough for me to feel good about it and maybe even proud of myself… 

Then there are those moments, those car journeys, evenings, dinner-time tantrums, crazy mornings, where it all goes wrong and the current reality of never being enough shouts so much louder… "I'm a rubbish mum and to be honest I can't be all I need to be. Why did I think I could, I don't do 'this' particularly well and I'm always my kids even know my 'nice voice'?" and if I feel I am being 'enough' I can't seem to maintain it for very long… 

Before I was a mum, I intently watched other mums. I watched with interest and intrigue; what they did that I liked, what they did that I didn't! 

I promised myself I would do this and would do that, that I wouldn't use this, never say that. I saw the examples of what I wanted to become and took note of the sort of the shoes I didn't want to step into...

But that's just it...when you actually become a mum you see that in the face of it, we're all very similar - we thought we'd be a certain type of mum but we've been unable to live up to our own expectations! Motherhood has so many highs, so many joys and rewards but with it also come the tears, the struggles, the frustrations...what I've learned though and am still journeying, is that on my own...I will never be enough...

For me everything comes down to trusting God…trusting in who He’s made me to be and to see myself as He sees me – not just as mum; I'm His child, a follower of Jesus Christ – and all my confidence is in Him alone!

 If we don’t know who we are in God we'll constantly make comparisons with other mums or other women. But if we can acknowledge that 'mum' on our own means we'll never be enough, with God, who's infinitely enough, we can truly, actually, be MUM ENOUGH! God is able to fill the areas where we feel weak and inadequate - if we're open to His Holy Spirit He'll show us how to be that awesome mum for our kids in every season of motherhood.

Words In Season - series reflections by Ben Parsons


What a series we’ve been having just finished over these last two months! 
Our ‘Words in season’ series has seen 7 incredible speakers invited to seek God and share what He is speaking to them about our church in this season. 

We’ve had: Bruce Oliver, Simon McIntyre, John Kirkby, Lesley Marshall. Michael Conrathe, Chrissie Chapman and Paul Demetriades. What a calibre! Each one brought their own unique style, voice and message that they prepared just for us. 

During these 7 Sundays we’ve heard some amazing messages and seen God work in incredible ways, we’ve seen healings, people released from demonic oppression, people returning to Christ and people receiving Him for the first time! 
God is at work in C3 UnitedLife!

As I reflect on the messages we have heard, though none of the speakers knew what the others were saying, God seems to have woven a thread through each one. In different ways the Lord is speaking of moving ahead with purpose and conviction into the future He has for us!

No more 'monkey business', and no more 'going round the same mountain'. It’s time to 'dust off' and move God’s church forward through prayer, the gospel and His miracle working power; to truly see ourselves, our church and our community changed.

I hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I have, and in awe of what God has done here, however I hope you are even more excited about what He is going to do! We are shaping the future in Jesus name!

If you missed any of these messages, you can get them on podcast here.

- Ben Parsons

Honour Sunday Reflections by Catherine Prince


Honour Sunday is a highlight in the calendar for UnitedLife as it is a time for us to come together as the family of God to encourage and thank one another. We all have a part to play in the mission God has called us and no part is more important than another. Seeing and reflecting on the impact our church is having on our local and global community through the service of generous and talented people using their gifts to make a difference and point people to Jesus is inspiring. I was so encouraged to see that UnitedLife is not only having an impact on Sunday mornings but right throughout the week in so many community initiatives like CAP, Storytime, TazZa and the team who visits the Sutton Court Care Home.

I love that our church values family and the roles that they play in the life of our church and I loved that we got to thank and hoFor me, I was completely blown away and overwhelmed to receive the Honour Award. I am so blessed and honoured to be a part of the family at UnitedLife and I am so grateful to God for His grace and how being a part of this church has seen me grow so much in the past few years - both in my faith and who He has called me to be. I am also so grateful to my church family for their love and support through the years. I would not be who I am today without Jesus and the prayers and encouragement of so many and for that I am truly thankful. Reflecting this past week has inspired me to look forward - I want to continue to grow and serve in the areas that God has called me and I want to inspire and help others in their journey. We all have something to give and we must never think that what we have to give is insignificant. There are so many examples in the Bible where God took what somebody thought was “too small” and worked His glory and purpose through this. (The boy and his lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish which Jesus fed 5,000 is just one example)

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10.

This verse is one of my favourites as this demonstrates what it means to honour God and others. He has given us all unique gifts and we shine His grace best when we are loving, encouraging and serving each other by stepping out and using our gifts to be a blessing. Jesus is the ultimate example of what it means to serve others. One of my favourite examples is when He washed the disciples’ feet. This act was usually done by the lowliest servants in the households of that time but by doing this act of humility and love, He foreshadowed His ultimate act of love and humility of the Cross. God will use what we have to give and being able to serve Him and his church for His glory and point others toward Him is the ultimate honour. 

I pray that we continue to be a church that loves to honour God and one another.

- Catherine Prince

CAP Snowdon Sponsored Walk by Hilarie Leong


It all started with an idea God gave me about 18 months ago. The idea was to raise funds for CAP by doing a sponsored walk up (and down) Mount Snowdon. It took some time for the plan to take shape, but once I committed to it, I found that it took on a life of its own. I sent out emails to gauge interest about 2 months before the chosen date, and to be honest, there wasn’t much! I had guides, now I needed walkers, then I could think about logistics.

One morning I bumped into a work colleague, Linda, in the car park and told her about the plan. She said “that sounds wonderful; I’ve been wanting to do something like this for ages! Can I come?” Slowly the list of walkers began to grow, Donna, Pete and Grant agreed to join us!

Pam, who manages a day centre, very graciously agreed to lend us their centre minibus. A massive thanks to our three drivers: Linda, Donna and Michael who took turns driving on the day. (We got a parking ticket, but hey!)

The day arrived, and we set out at 5am and arrived at Mount Snowdon at about 11:30, we started our ascent up the Pyg track at 12pm. Our guide Natalie was ill and couldn’t be with us on the day so Hard Core Pete and James stepped up and did the job! These two young men were our shepherds for the day, they set the pace but they were patient, encouraging and always willing to stop and help those who were struggling. At one point James was carrying 5 ruck sacks. The climb was harder than most of us expected but it was a good day and we all made it up and down the mountain. We got back to Sutton at around 1.30 in the morning, and home shortly after.              

The best part of the trip for me was getting to know people better. The sense of being part of a team and supporting each other was very special. The climb itself was a great parallel for the Christian life with all its challenges. There are times when you just run out of fuel and all you can do is sit, rest, refuel then get up and keep going. At these times the friends around you make all the difference.

We raised somewhere in the region of £2000 for CAP, so a huge thank you, to all who took part and all who gave!

- Hilarie Leong