It’s Friday morning, the sermon for Sunday morning is mostly done and oddly seems to make sense, the house is quiet and calm with the small whirlwinds at their school for a while. Belle and Sebastian are bringing music to my ears and I’m finding myself in the mood for one of these weekly round up things.
I’m sure March had just begun last time I wrote one of these, it seems a little ridiculous that it could now be the middle of March, time is doing that crazy fast thing again, and, to quote the wonderful Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while you’ll miss it…” Quite. (does anyone know who Ferris Bueller is anymore? Bueller, Bueller, Anyone?)
So, lets stop and look around…
The last two weeks have been very small and slow. I’ve been sick, sicker than I’ve been in a while, with a horrible virus/flu thing that is taking a while to shift. Amazingly I didn’t have to just push through, amazingly because I’m really not sure I could have done this time. The lovely Husbandface and friends came to the rescue, sorting out the school run on a couple of days and generally giving me the time I needed to lie in bed staring at Friends, wondering how it is 14 years since they finished being on our screen all the time.
Sickness makes everything small and quiet. I haven’t seen many people, son2 has also been ill so we’ve watched endless rounds of Puffin Rock (lovely for the Norn Irish accents all over the place). That’s pretty much it for the week to be honest. Most of life has been put on hold. I’ve been fairly ok with that, this term has felt like a bit of a slow adjustment to life in our new normal and being sick, having time to rest and get better is part of the deal.
Counselling has been pretty awesome in helping me process much of the stuff of my life, each week I feel like we sort out a different cupboard in my head, take the bits and pieces out, look at them together and then put them back, neater and with less rubbish around them. This round is coming to an end in a couple of weeks and I feel pretty good about that, glad of the things I’ve been able to realise about myself and my approach to life and hopeful about having better tools to live life well with. I think I come away with a gentle realisation that I’ll never be ‘sorted’ out but that’s ok.
I think my greater ease with myself, who I am and what I am like is feeding into all sorts of areas of life, and maybe that’s why no sermon grumps this time around… Or maybe it’s a fluke. Or … Anyways. Whatever the reason is, I am grateful for change and a sense of peace with who I am right now.
Being sick helped me plan our, slightly scaled down, summer adventures this year. With Husbandface rather rudely getting an amazing job he loves which isn’t teaching comes a decrease in holiday times. I am sad. But happy about the non exhausted husbandface who has fun colleagues and work that doesn’t destroy his body. It’s a mix of emotions. Anyway. He does, obviously, get some holiday time and we are using that to head to the Lakes and Northern Ireland in a VW campervan, pretty much the opposite of the beast we hired last year, but hopefully good for the tiny small winding passes in the Lake District.
I can’t wait. I haven’t properly been back to the Lakes for about 8 years. Writing that makes me sad. All through my 20s I would visit the Lakes about 2-3 times a year. Some might say that’s overkill but it is a precious and amazing place. I’ve stayed away because of various things, not really having time in the first couple of years of marriage and then feeling like I had no idea how to relate to the place with small people in tow. I might just have stared at the mountains and cried (in a bad way, rather than in the good way I do whenever I go there). This year I turn 40. It feels like a good year to go back and see how family holiday and adventure works there, to give the boys chance to fall in love with the hills and lakes, to visit my valley around Buttermere. I feel in so many ways, over the last few months, that I’m coming back to life, feeling daily more and more like Kath again after 5 intense years of being a carer for small people and then my lovely husbandface. Going back to the Lakes will hopefully be another step on that road to enjoying the stuff which I love and brings me alive. We are also hopping across the Irish sea to see lovely family and see more pretty mountains as my sister and father in law live near the Mournes. Ah. Happy Happy Days.
With that all booked the call is to live well now, to look to the couple of weeks in front of me and to remember that it is Easter soon. Lent has passed me by this year and I’m starting to realise that I really don’t want Easter to pass us by as a family. Easter is rooted deep in my soul, the rhythm beats strong, from the crowds of Palm Sunday, the upper room, a dark dark painful wrestle in a garden at night, the sadness of Good Friday, the quiet despair of Saturday and then to the joy that Sunday came. I love drawing away from the eggs, chocolate and hot cross buns (apart from when consuming them) and looking to the reality of what Easter points us to.
It’s the story that I can’t get away from, the certain stuff in a world of grey nuance, the bit of my faith that feels entirely non negotiable. Everything else seems so uncertain these days but Easter brings me back to the wonder of a cup, a cross and an empty tomb. It’s the story that has followed me since I was small and I pray will lead me until I am old and grey. It’s the centre of all I hold dear and it’s the stuff of hope in this world. Resurrection will come, death has been defeated, Jesus will come again, forgiveness is real and possible, guilt and shame can be taken away, I can be who I was made to be. I can love freely, widely and expansively.
So yes, once this sermon has been done, I’m going to start musing on helpful ways to celebrate Easter, and book in some baby sitters so we can enjoy some of the brilliant ways our church helps us do that in a passover meal and a Good Friday evening reflection.
View noted and recorded.
How have your last two weeks been?