T’was the month before…

We made it through Halloween (or at least the thing it has become where children pretend they are Hollywood offspring and dress up as characters from Marvel comics and sing the Spiderman theme through your letterbox). Bonfire Night has also passed with little reference to the historical detail and a lot of frankly quite depressing Brexit themed jokes. I live in the home of the British Firework Championships so we overdo it a bit here. Although, if I were twenty years younger, I might think it quite romantic to take a boat out into the harbour in the evening to watch the fireworks. I am, however, as old as the hills and hate the water so we stayed at home with a Jack Russell with fear induced flatulance. 

We have made our way uncertainly through these events only to find the John Lewis Christmas Advert lying in wait for us so I think we can safely assume that Christmas is on its way. This is the Diptyque Advent Calendar above by the way. It’s £320. For that amount of money, I would expect a personalised Wise Man complete with all the relevant gifts.

My earlier announcement that I would not be “doing” the usual Christmas this year has been supported by the releasing of Christmas Rotas. Head of House will be ministering the the sick for a good proportion of the day. FOW1 will be spending lots of it supporting his inamorata who will be working in the local pub/restaurant- trying to keep slightly drunk former sailors this side of completely legless. This leaves me, FOW2 (only for one day as her work beckons as well) and you know who. Aged Parent is still at the stage where she is pretending that she is happy as Larry with a reduced Christmas. I am considering softening the blow by offering Christmas Morning Church. I haven’t done one of those since we stopped working there but it could be a bit lovely in C of E. Time will tell.

With our usual impeccable timing, we are also dealing with house viewings. It has only been seven days and it is giving me bad nerves. I am not exactly Miss Congeniality at the best of times but, we had our first viewers on Saturday and it fell to me to show them round  – all the while trying to keep Morecambe quiet. Our dog likes to show his interest in new people by barking wildly and throwing himself at them. This can make things quite difficult when you are trying to be positive about the lack of central heating upstairs. (We never wanted it. Don’t like it in the bedroom) Eventually, a nine year old girl turned up from the Estate Agents to do the proper viewing. Unfortunately, she neglected to mention that we had a living room or a basement so I had to recall them from the front door. It’s all going very well. Are we supposed to be looking for a place to move on to now? It seems a bit bad mannered when you haven’t sold your own house. 

Can I be honest? (Cue lots of readers rolling their eyes and thinking – “Well if you must”) I don’t think I am doing very well in the Christianity department. I think it is everything that is going on – and there is lots going on – and work is flippin’ crazy. I know when I am overwhelmed, because I become quite peevish. Even more so than usual. I was watching a perfectly normal advert for a “Worship Service” and everyone in it was getting on my nerves. Anyway – what does “Leaning In to Worship” mean? See – I am  getting you involved in my whinging now. 

The irony is, of course, that the less I do spiritually, the less I am able to deal with what life throws at me, making me therefore less willing to do anything spiritually – making me even less able to deal with life. It is a veritable circle of life and not in a good way and with no cute cartoon lions to lighten the load. However, the HUGE positive of all this is the vastly underestimated Grace.  Is it bad, that it never occurs to me that when I eventually make my way back to God, that he would reject me? Mainly because he says he won’t and because my life experience has taught me that this is so. This isn’t ingratitude – it’s how it is. It doesn’t make me any less grateful. It can be easy to miss grace. At least I find it easy.  I just sometimes wish that I could get more of a hold of this gracious God and his involvement in me and the life I live. I expect that it would make life less troubling and therefore less wearing. 



  1. November 18, 2018 / 11:22 pm

    Just hang in there and keep going with all the mundane stuff that must be done. House viewings and pacifying AP and arranging your life around FOW etc. . God will still be there and waiting when you come back (I’d cite Luke 15:20 but you might be offended and think I’m implying you’re wasting your substance with riotous living) But don’t equate your irritation with the bizarre habits and sayings of the church family×× with a personal lack of spirituality. Sounds like you’ve got an awful lot of stuff happening right now. It’s hard to think straight when your brain is that full. I say this as an overbusy woman who missed church tonight and spent the time sorting out the fridge and listening to the Archers (in real time, not catch up) And remember, even if you are struggling with prayer, there’s always someone else who is praying for you.
    ××Of late I have done a lot of unspiritual giggling in the privacy of my bedroom over the oddness of church people, especially in regard to what they eat, wear and sing.

    • lesleyps91
      November 19, 2018 / 9:19 pm

      Thanks for this Ang. Am sure you are right. Just am really unhappy when life pushes the top of my head till it is flat! And believe it or not, I am my most content when I am closest to God. How lovely for you to get a Sunday night off.

  2. November 19, 2018 / 6:41 am

    Sympathy from here. The big question I want to ask of Big G is why he has so many teabreaks. And always when I need him.

    • lesleyps91
      November 19, 2018 / 9:39 pm

      All sympathy gratefully received 🙂

  3. November 19, 2018 / 12:50 pm

    Leaning in to worship.
    Pushing in to prayer.
    Phrases that do rather make me feel queasy.
    Our Morning Christmas Service at our church is all jolly fun for family – which is nice and celebratory. And also why I prefer the Midnight Service of candles and awesomeness and stillness.

    Could a bit of Stillness might be what you could be doing with?

    I read some Bishop-type person writing that one should say The Lord’s Prayer at least once a day. If I can manage that, I reckon I’m doing well.

    Do reckon you might be doing Pause for Advent this year? Hope so…

    • lesleyps91
      November 19, 2018 / 9:37 pm

      Stillness – couldn’t agree more. Think that idea about the Lord’s Prayer is excellent. Like a meditation

      • November 20, 2018 / 8:17 am

        I practiced what I preached last night in the wakeful wee small hours. Then I fell asleep. Ahhhh

  4. November 19, 2018 / 2:16 pm

    I really find phrases such as ‘leaning in etc’ quite off putting. Struggling , like you, with too much going on in my life, lurching from full time Caring to keeping a house running to thinking about Christmas, more in a shopping way than in a spiritual way. This is not good.
    I guess we get there, with help, eventually.

    • lesleyps91
      November 19, 2018 / 8:53 pm

      Lurching is a good word for this. I am sure we do get there. Am just a bit naffed off that despite knowing what to do to make things better for me – half the time I just don’t do it.

    • November 21, 2018 / 10:42 pm

      Yes, lurching is a better term than leaning!

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