I'm feeling a bit rushed today. It's been a bit of a frustrating week as I've wanted to spend more time with you to catch up a bit but circumstances seem to have conspired to prevent it from happening.
Now, there's a sentence that begs to be deconstructed, don't you think? Immediately I said that I realised a few things:
1) Feeling rushed is a state of mind. Actually, I have just less than an hour before I need to be somewhere else, which is plenty of time unless I try to squeeze too much into it. I need to have lunch, do a supermarket shop, dust the living room (someone clever wrote their initials in the dust on top of the DVD player) and, oh, come and chat with you. Hmm.
2) The week has been frustrating because I've constantly been trying to get something out of the way so that I could do something else. I've been thinking a lot about Living In The Moment recently rather than wishing time away either looking back or looking forward, so I have not been getting it right. This is Not It At All.
3) I've wanted to spend more time with you - then why haven't I? Well, because I've said yes when I should have said no (and I've just done it again! Help! Got to untangle another self-made mess... but that's a stress for another day, not got time right now...rush rush). Also because I've been unutterably tired so evenings have been written off, and also because I am the mistress of distraction. If I was a bit more Mary-esque and less Martha-like I might do better with this one.
4) Circumstances. Me, yes, and also the usual stuff that gets kicked up by a normal life with two children. The day to day things that need dealing with. Domestic crises. Tantrums. Spiders to be removed from bedrooms and nightmares to be soothed away.
So, on this Friday morning, a week and a bit into the new term, I resolve to:
1) Stop rushing so much. Dust less often (hahahahaha).
2) Live In The Moment. Stop to see the flowers more.
3) Stop and think occasionally. Especially in meetings when everyone is looking at me.
4) Stop being surprised when my plans are derailed. It's life.
Does that sound reasonable? Or are you chuckling as you listen to me? After all, you know me pretty well.
Before I disappear in a cloud of shopping lists and hairspray (haircut this afternoon, please bless that appointment, Lord. I'm in great need of a miracle) I wanted to say thankyou for a couple of things.
1) A couple of days ago I was awoken by a piercing scream. I galloped to Elizabeth's bedroom very early in the morning to find her in tears because of a bad dream. Something about a giant slug. I stroked and soothed and glanced at the clock to find that it was only an hour or so until alarm-clock time, which is bad news from the perspective of trying to convince a seven year old to go back to sleep.
Back in bed, was just relaxing into the warm again when another piercing scream. This time a duet. Galloped back across the landing to find both girls huddled on Katy's bed (clearly Lizzie had decided sleep was not on the agenda and had gone to find Kate). Spider of mammoth proportions in the middle of the floor. I nearly trod on it as I stumbled through the door. Of course, I had to go and find my glasses, a glass and a coaster to trap the spider and as I located the necessary items I could hear from the shrieks that the beast was on the move. He was eventually tracked down with much moving of furniture and hopping about lest a spider the size of Denmark made a run for my pyjama leg. I trapped him, we admired him, I deposited him outside the back door.
Since I had to walk past the kettle on my way back upstairs it seemed only sensible to right off the remainder of the pre-alarm clock time. We were all well awake. An abrupt start to the day. Grr.
I pulled back the bedroom curtains and found your present right outside. Waiting for me.
The most spectacular golden sunrise. Red and orange and sheets of beaten gold across the sky. Just for those of us who'd been catapulted into the day ridiculously early because of slugs and spiders.
We had a moment or two, then, didn't we? Me and you. It made a real difference to my day. Me and you, first thing. The glory of you shining through my bedroom window. If it hadn't been for the slug-dream and Spidergate, I'd have missed it. In fact, within the hour, a bank of cloud had obliterated the sun and we didn't see it again that day, which made that morning glimpse all the more wonderful.
2) Later that same day, it rained. Just in time for the school gallop, the rain came. Pelting. One of those showers where it starts as I leave the house, stops when I put the key in the door and leaves a wet line around my jeans where my coat finishes. It was a strange thing, though. I'm enjoying the round trip to the girls' two school and on this occasion as I went to fetch Elizabeth I had my umbrella up so that the rain was coming at me vertically from underneath, it was so heavy, and I had my headphones in with a song played loudly.
It was YFriday's 'Come, let us Worship'.
'He made the heavens and they shine his glory
He moves the sun across the sky
So incomparable the star of morning
Radiant in light'
As I set off in the rain it reminded me of the sunrise at the crack of dawn that morning. The golden streaks across a sky that was dark and heavy with rainclouds by 3pm. It made me smile. It made me smile because there wasn't much that was radiant about the day at that moment. The noise of the rain on my umbrella and the the sound of it beating down was competition for the music.
'He made the world and all its countless wonder
Composed the song creation cries
Our God incredible, immortal Saviour
I rounded a corner and there was a single sunflower, drooping with the rain, against a dark fence. Nothing else around, just a bright yellow face looking at me through the grey of the afternoon. Just as I was hearing about Creation's song, there it was, singing. As I disappeared down a little shortcut path a rose was poking through another fence. In the drenching rain where I huddled under an umbrella and plodded through puddles, eyes fixed on the splashing at my feet, there was breathtaking colour. Standing out even more because of the backdrop of grey.
'Come, let us worship
Come, let us bow down...'
So here I am, just wanting to tell you that I noticed. That it was a couple of days ago, but I've been holding this in my heart ready for a chance to tell you that I haven't forgotten. I want to mark it down and remember it. Tell people about it. It was a grey, dark, threatening day where the rain came down heavily, but that sunflower was all the more beautiful for the beads of water. The rose stood out all the more against the dark wood. They were there to see. Thankyou that you gave me words in my ear to draw attention to them, Father; if my umbrella had been any lower I'd have missed them. You brought it together perfectly. To see and to worship.
So, the dusting will have to wait. Again. I'll find something in the freezer for tea. The haircut can't wait, though, it's an emergency - but I have liked this bit of time you and me.
Thankyou for slugs and spiders and sunrises. For rainclouds and sunflowers and pink roses.
For your endless patience and gentleness in showing me your treasures.
'Come, let us worship
Come, let us bow down
Come, let us sing of all the Lord has done'
(YFriday, from 'Great and Glorious', 2009, Kingsway)
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