Hullo. Man, I’ve been ill. Only a cold but good grief – a shocker. Thank you so much for your encouraging remarks and wishes. Kept trying to get past it but body absolutely refused. Legs went from under me in shower (unattractive), kept falling asleep all the time and then finding myself crying a bit. I am known for this at Hargreaves Towers. I am very rarely ill but when I am, I lose my sense of perspective and can get a bit depressed. (You probably can’t hear everyone I have ever met shouting A BIT?) I have unstinting respect for those who cope with ongoing illnesses. Watching lots of Paralympic stuff this week like most people, I am obviously and quite properly awestruck at the things I am seeing. However, I have to tell you that I am equally impressed by people with debilitating life conditions who get up, get going every morning and manage to function with a reasonable amount of positivity. This level of stick-ability is as least as admirable to me as a washboard stomach.
Anyway, think I am on the right side of it now. My arms and legs still feel like lead and I am prone to the occasional bout of sudden coughing which makes the little dog peg into the garden with horror but am definitely getting there.
The offspring have returned from camp with the usual interesting suitcases. Sometimes, when I feel a bit intimidated by the thought of heaven, I look at how the kids are when they return from these things and think it might well be fine (Don’t tell me you don’t get a bit scared by Heaven sometimes. Especially when people say it will be like one long Sunday service.)
One brilliant story. One of the younger kids is Romanian and his grasp of English isn’t perfect. However FOW1 was happy to help him when he came up and asked
“Excuse me. Where is the toilet?”
That was fine, except that was day four!!?! What had been happening up until then? Don’t think about it. I’m trying not to.
I have been rooting around my Bible a bit as usual. (When I’m ill I like to look up – “This is sickness is not unto Death.” – #encouragement) I just wanted to tell you this. It has helped and challenged me. I did tell you that I was working on the concept of thankfulness after reading Ann Voskamp’s book. One of the things thankfulness does for me is that it puts pauses in my life. It stops me going off on one. I know someone (not me for once) who, when bad things happen sort of howls “Oh noooo God why are you doing this to me?” as a sort of immediate response. In a way that is a natural response but it jumps too quickly to complaint mode for me and if I start complaining I am liable never to stop. I am trying to train myself to pause, so that when things happen, I take a breath, then think.
1. Is it likely that God wants to kill me?
2. If not is it more likely that God is on my side?
3. What are my evidences in my life when God had most certainly been on my side?
4. Say thanks for these evidences
5. Take logical next step which means that same God will invoke same process of listening and intervening, spurred on by his inexplicable love for me and pray sensibly and thankfully rather than in hysterically whingey voice.
What I think that this can do is provide God with elbow room. I know that he is God and doesn’t need elbow room -don’t write to the Baptist Union. I mean elbow room to work with me. A pause for him to ask me a question, to point something out or even to re-position things. I’m not saying that all things then immediately fall into place but it seems to be saving me a lot of worry. Rather than thinking “Well what if this is disastrous and God doesn’t help?” I am trying to move to “Before you panic too much, remember what God has done for you. He may well be happy to do even more.”
On a sadder note. Hal David has died. So many lovely lyrics to chose from. This is just about my favourite piece though it’a close run thing. “The moment I wake up. before I put on my make-up. I say a little prayer for you.” Just perfect. HOH and I argue about whether we sing lead or backing on this when we join in when no one is listening. I always sing backing which shows how humble I am. He sings Aretha’s part. You can draw your own conclusions about his humility.
Anyway, have to go. Back to work tomorrow. Time and Tide and the Ring and Ride bus wait for no-one. (Well the bus does obviously otherwise no-one could get on and off it but you get my drift.)