Today is Pay Day which, for a limited time only, makes me the most popular member of the Black household. This will of course not last and normal service will no doubt be resumed before the end of the weekend. It is also the start of the half term holidays and Funderland is opening in Belfast. Funderland is an annual, outdoor carnival and the kids have been chomping at the bit to visit it this year and spend Daddy’s hard earned money. I mean, what else would I be doing with it.

So tonight after work I am taking Adam, Rebecca and two of their friends to the greatest show in town. Unfortunately Hannah is a little under the weather so is staying at home with Fionnuala. At face value I cannot say I am jumping up and down with excitement at the prospect. Carnivals combine many of my pet hates. Rollercoaster rides (terrified of them), possible clown sightings (even more terrified of them) and unhealthy food coming at me from all angles.

The kids are excited, though, and that is all that matters. This is another positive memory that Fionnuala and I, as parents, are creating for them. These memories are the building blocks of a happy childhood; they are laying foundations for their lives ahead where they may face tough times but can always fall back upon a  strong, solid upbringing that taught them right from wrong. Amongst the candy floss and toffee apples tonight we hope that bonds are strengthened and relationships deepened. 

Our children are a blessing to us. They are our legacy. As parents we too often find ourselves screaming at them to wash the dishes (our washing up rota is a literal war zone most evenings) and bring their dirty school uniforms down for washing. Homeworks, constant demands for money and sibling warfare are a drain on the most patient parent. And our house is no exception. There are times when we are both driven to despair by their antics. Surely we didn’t behave this badly when we were kids? 

I’m pretty sure God blessed me with kids for reasons other than keeping the Black family line intact. They continue our education as human beings long after we have left school. They are little professors who reside in our homes and teach us values that we have either  forgotten over the course of time or never quite figured out in the first place. They help untangle the roots of selfishness that take hold in our hearts and chip away at the layers of bitterness and resentment that calcify our souls.

I look at our son and learn about patience and humility. I look at our eldest daughter and see courage and determination. And then I look at our youngest daughter and experience humour and fun. Fun – a word that I somehow lost from my adult vocabulary many years ago. Don’t get me wrong they are no angels and there are days when we want to string them up but would we have it any other way? No, I don’t believe we would.

Jesus hit the nail on the head when he said ‘Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter at all.’ As we grow up into adults we all too easily slip into a life of complacency and mediocracy. We pick up bad habits and stumble along, oblivious to the warning signs all around us. As we grow more physically mature, we become more spiritually immature. Instead of progression there is regression. Little teachers are placed in our lives for a purpose.

We need to ensure that the inner child within us all lives on. We need to ensure that the daily grind does not destroy the values we were born with; the purity, faith and unconditional love of a child. We need to remember that life is to be lived and not merely endured. For it is only when we reconnect with the inner child that the outer adult can mature into the person God created us to be; and fulfil the plans he has set out for us.

We need to remember that Funderland can be every day and not just a once a year experience.

When did you last have fun?

What do you learn from children?

Who washes the dishes in your household?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

26 thoughts on “Funderland 

  1. This is so true and so beautifully written. I have been contemplating my effectiveness as a parent and been in earnest prayer for God to guide my and my husband’s parenting. This was such a beautiful reminder about what really matters!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy going to high school basketball games seeing young talent. You can learn so much for kids. I would say there curiosity my daughter is almost one and everything is a new adventurer to her I love seeing her take it all in. The dishes are a team job for me and my wife but who honestly likes doing dishes lol.


  3. I feel God also by saying as little children let us know that we will always be children, learning Him, and His Word. I’ve never heard of and adult of God but we are always a child of God :):) I laughed out loud at “Don’t get me wrong they are no angels and there are days when we want to string them up…” hahaha we’ve all had those days 😉 I had fun today catching up on blogs because the past week or 2 have been a struggle just keeping up with life 🙂 I learn that children are so open hearted, and open minded, willing to love. In our household the dishwasher does the dishes but before the dishwasher it was whoever DID NOT cook has to do the dishes :):)


  4. I absolutely love this! I learn something new from a child everyday. I work with children with special needs and it is so amazing to see them understand the concept of grace and Jesus. I can just hear Jesus say “Let the children come to me” I love your posts great job


  5. Another great and thought provoking read. Must admit i cannot remember when the last time was that i truly had fun? I learn so much from my daughter, every time i see her it is a new learning curve for me. She has a wonderful and grounded outlook on life which i guess all children have, that innocence that we all crave to have back as we grow older. As for dish washing duties, it is me in my house.


  6. I’m learning to paint, and that is fun for me. Also can be frustrating. I find it fun and meaningful to come here and read blogs. I learn a lot from everyone who writes.

    I learned unconditional love from my children. I learned how God feels about us from having children. I understand why Jesus would die in our place, because I would die for my children and grandchildren .


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: