Thursday morning that feels like a Monday.
The end of the Easter Holidays.
The start of new paths in this world.
Yep. It’s roundup time. The holidays are over and there is much to be reflected on.
We had a lovely Easter time. Easter weekend was massively special, hanging out with new friends from church, catching up with old friends, sharing Easter Sunday with our friends who are family and then seeing family on a typically rainy Bank Holiday.
We loved the Easter stuff going on at church. Good Friday reminded us of the darkness that haunts this world and the only hope for the broken mess we find ourselves in so many times. We sat and heard the old old story again, heard heartbreaking songs and held people close in our hearts for whom the rain keeps falling in this season of life.
Easter Sunday morning found us down on the beach hearing what resurrection means for some of our church. It was a beautiful time of sharing stories of pain tinged with the silver thread of hope. I remembered the year before when I could see no hope. Each year we are encouraged to choose a stone from the beach to warm in our hands and remind us of someone or some situation where there seems to be no hope. They serve as reminders to pray and to hope for the light of resurrection in the darkest times. Last year my stone represented the lovely husbandface. This year I wept with joy at the changes that we’ve seen in these last few months. Things aren’t completely healed but we are so much further along the road. This year I held my lovely brother and sister in law in my heart. Longing for them to be rooted and flourishing in a space that is theirs in this world. I wait in anticipation. I wait in hope.
Husbandface then swam in the sea. Crazy man.
The Easter morning service seemed to burst with joy. Big fat singing. A bubble machine and the taste of hope on my lips.
It was also a service when the next step in our life was announced. I’m going to be working for our lovely church for 16 hours a week helping out with small groups, pastoral care and generally helping nurture community in the midst of us. It’s initially for 6 months to see how it all works out and if it is the right step all round.
It’s the kind of job that I’ve said for years that I would like if anyone has asked what I want to do with my time. Frankly it’s fairly terrifying and exciting for that to become a reality. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all works out. I officially start on Wednesday. Eek.
After a fairly full on Easter weekend we took ourselves off to Cornwall to visit more friends who are like family. It was lovely to hang out, chat late into the evening, see the children enjoying each other and spending three lovely days outdoors in the beautiful world of Cornwall. It was refreshing in so many ways to be out of our space. Our friends are deeply inspiring in the way they parent and think about life in this world. I came home revitalised and able to see our lives from a changed perspective.
It was also a time of realising that the lovely husbandface isn’t as well as we might think he is. After 5 days with many people and lots of noise (5 children aren’t all that quiet to be around) his body was being triggered all over the place, it was a very pale and twitchy man that I drove back home on Sunday. Thankfully a couple of days at his lovely quiet calm job sorted things out and I am once more profoundly grateful he has such a helpful working environment, even if it does seem counter intuitive to recover from your holiday at work…
Foolishly I planned in a bit too much stuff for the days that followed our return and forgot we are a family of introverts. After a day of mooching around on the beach everyone’s moods chilled out again and I must must remember to include a couple of introvert days into each week of the long summer holiday.
Today me and the smallest are hanging out regrouping before nursery tomorrow.
It’s been a good holiday and I’m looking forward to the term ahead, to new rhythms, to days in the sun (I can live in hope..) and the best season to be a parent of small people in.
This morning I read a page of Thoughts to make your heart sing (meant to be for small people but actually perfect for parents in the parched desert of faith that early years parenting seems to bring). It told me of a God who teaches us to walk, who holds our hands as we learn and is gentle and kind with us. I’m deeply glad I walk into this term holding a hand bigger than mine, that I belong to someone who knows and loves me, that whatever happens, whatever faith looks like at the moment I am a child learning to walk in the arms of a loving and gentle parent.
Somehow the next few weeks feel more manageable as a result of that.
As we sang loud and clear on Easter Sunday.
“Because he lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because he lives, all fear is gone,
Because I know he holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because he lives.”