I think the Friday round up will continue into 2018.
Because, well, somethings shouldn’t change all that much. And it’s good for my head to know I will make myself write at least once a week.
It’s Friday lunchtime and I’m sitting, not on a sofa with a small person watching some inane TV, but in my parents house. Mum’s study/spiritual direction room is a haven of peace and tranquility, as is their whole house, summer house and amazing labyrinth at the back of their garden. It’s a good place to come and hang out for a few days.
For the first time in a long long time I am having three days to myself, days to do whatever I like with, days to live in someone else’s rhythm for a while, days to read, write, sit and generally not have to look after any small people. It’s been amazing. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been heaven. I still have crazy anxious thoughts, time off doesn’t always equal times where I am perfect and my surroundings are perfect. Life sadly isn’t like that. BUT. It has been and is still for the next 18 hours or so, a wonderful gift. It has been amazing to run without the voice that says, hurry up and get back to move on to the next thing. It has been delicious to not have to get out of bed in the morning, no voice demanding to ‘go down the ‘dairs NOW’. It has been lovely to have space to read without thinking about what the next thing will be. It has felt like a holiday, time to decompress and truly relax.
It feels oddly fitting to start the year with rest. To start by knowing this year isn’t about my efforts to be amazing, to know that I am not in control of my family and their well being, to stop and let someone else take the reins.
I came with a sense of wanting the profound thoughts to flow. I feel like we’ve climbed the first peak of many mountains in this adventure of being parents. I feel like there are new peaks to be explored in our wider lives and in the raising of small ones. For now though, my hiking boots rest at the cairn at the top and I sit gazing over the sun drenched vista all around me.
This year feels like a turning point kind of a year. We are 5 years into the raising small people thing, the eldest is established in school, the youngest has just had his first settling in session at his new nursery. He’ll go there for 15 hours a week in a couple of weeks time. For the first time in this strange season of life I shall have extended space in my days. It feels like we are moving from winter to spring. I do not feel like a frozen tree frog this year. I feel like air might be coming back to my lungs and that I might have some energy once more.
Husbandface is launching into the 9-5, 20 or so days of holiday a year, world. He has only ever known the adrenaline lurch from term to holiday, holiday to term. We as a couple and family have only ever known what it is to plough through the term and eventually find breath in the holidays. Sprint, rest, sprint, rest. Now we embrace the long slow middle distant runner world. We need to find our pace, our rhythm, how to breathe in the long walk home. (can you tell I’ve been running lots in these couple of days…).
We have no idea how all this newness will go from this viewpoint up here. I can’t predict how my lovely husband’s health will be, how he’ll settle into the new routine, how me and the boys will be with each other with him back at work. I can’t control how we will all live in this new world. We just have to put our boots back on and walk out onto the path ahead.
There are exciting projects going on at church, potential worlds to get involved with, one day we will actually join a small group and rest that longing in our hearts to get to know people in a deeper way. As I look at the view I can see that we have been held up this mountain and we will be held as we journey on. I can feel my faith unfurling again, truths that have held me thus far still holding me now. I still believe in the cup, the cross, an empty tomb, an unfailing love, a reason to keep walking on and hope in a future of unimaginable relief awaiting.
Last year, for the first time, I claimed a word for the year. It was treasure. At random points throughout the year I saw treasure all around in our long dark tunnel of long term illness. It was good to treasure things up in the black inky night.
This year I’m going to go with rooted, and not just cos it’s a Christian cliche kind of word… This year feels like one of being rooted where we are, digging deep down into our community, digging deep to plant the new jobs and rhythms of life that we will experiences. I want to be rooted by streams of living water, I want to be a tree that produces good and healthy fruit. I long for our family to flourish and know more and more of our Maker who holds us here and calls us to love those around us.
I want to be rooted in the fundamental reality that I am worthy, I am loved, I am beloved. Before anything I do this year, before I put on identities of being a wife, motherhood, friendship, church involvement etc.
Before all that I am Kath, beloved of my heavenly parent, created as a beautiful poem, loved with an everlasting love. I do not have to prove my worth with how I spend my time, how many friends I have, what works I do, how good I am at my different roles.
I wake and I am loved.
Before anything else happens in a day.
I am worthy.
I am held.
I am sought.
I am loved.
From that place of secure rooted safety I am then free to love my family well without my worth coming into question when I mess up, hurt them and don’t make good choices in my love. I can be free to say sorry, to ask for forgiveness, to know redemption rather than believing the lie that I am no good. I am free to choose wisely how to spend time, to set healthy boundaries, to love deeply and well because my worth is bound up in something so much greater and unchanging.
That’s the theory I’m working with anyway, some of the time my brain mashes up and calls me selfish for even thinking I could be of worth and value. Ugh. Thankfully I have an unchanging reality of a God who comes and seeks and finds his children, who seeks out the lost because of their utter worth and value to him. Who didn’t leave Adam and Eve when they rejected him but who came out looking for them. Who always takes the initiative to come and find and hold and love.
Phew. Unchanging realities are good to throw myself on when I go down the rabbit holes of my mind.
And that’s about it for now. I’ll be back around this blog here and there each week.
See you around on the path.