This was my second blog post which emerged from writing in the van this week. This time it’s an insight into our world right now, the highs and lows. Life bumbles on and in the midst of that I need to remember the truths I was reminded of at Forest Church as we journey on into the coming weeks.
A monthly round up…
It’s been too long since I sat in front of this screen and tried to process the craziness of life all around me.
In the midst of these last few weeks I have felt the stirrings of desires to write again, to fumble through my thoughts and attempt to order them once more.
The weeks since half term seem like a massive blur. We’ve ploughed on through the days. I’ve worked, husbandface has worked, the boys have enjoyed their school and nursery and we have put one foot in front of the other. Put like that it all sounds a bit bland. But then again maybe ordinary life does sound bland? We’ve lived, breathed, in and out, through each day, we’ve survived through the rhythms of weeks and weekends.
In the midst of that ordinary living thing there have been a few noticeable things.
I’ve busted my ankle and haven’t been able to run in the last 3 weeks, I’m desperate to run again, my endorphin levels are too low and my mental health is suffering in the lack of full on exercise. However, it has created more space to get my reading mojo on again and receive lots of help and love from people, but still, I wish it would hurry up and be ok again soon.
Being fairly immobile coincided with me giving up on our 30 days of wild this year. I had a week or so off social media to try and be more present in life. I reached a wall of tiredness where I couldn’t face recording another thing in our lives. We get outdoors lots, we love nature, I’m not sure I needed the pressure of finding something to take a photo of and talk about online each day.
Husbandface’s health is pretty bad. I’ve written about it before. You can read what it’s like in a day to day way here. There isn’t much more to say other than it’s a fairly sucky situation. We are coping differently this year to last year, it feels less intense for me because I have other outlets in life, work is a welcome difference and son2 is at nursery 3 days a week. Husbandface is now able to work due to a lovely lovely job and a fairly calm environment to work in. The boys are less confused because he’s doing ‘normal’ things. There are good things in this stretch of whatever this is. But the tiredness is creeping in again. The tears are close to the surface and I can feel my stress leaking out on the boys.
I go back to my sailing metaphors to cope with the darkness. We’re in a boat, a man down, I steer into the dark, occasionally he comes and sits by my side and we stare out at the horizon together, always together. Then he retreats below deck to battle demons and I sit in the cold light of morning wondering what squalls will come our way to navigate today.
I’m grateful for the people around us, for the ones who’ve looked out for us, fed us, asked after us, laughed with us, been points of light in a very hard situation. I’m grateful for our full rooted life here, for the community we are part of, for the people I see each week for cups of tea and chats. I am grateful for our church, for a space to know the reality of God in this present weird world. I am grateful for my beautiful insane boys and their waves of development. I am grateful for our camper van and the opportunities for chats, tea and reminders of reality that already are taking place in her. I am grateful that we are still holding hands in the dark and I am grateful for wedding vows, for better, for worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health and the way they act like ropes which wrap us around each other and keep us on this ship in the storms.
In the midst of the slog through the ordinary we realised we were going to have to postpone my birthday party, an afternoon of african drumming, music, poetry, cake, tea and beer. It was the right call, it’s now going to be at the end of the summer, (message me if you want to come) and I think it should be a lovely afternoon. I can’t help but feel a little sad though, our stupid world tells us over and over again that we need good stories to tell of milestone birthdays. It’s no good to say, I just had a quiet day like normal. We crave injecting meaning into the passing of time. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a hard thing when life feels small and rubbish at times.
BUT, I shall either eschew the desire for a meaningful exciting story of my 40th Birthday or I shall retell it and reframe it and look back at it as the best birthday ever because it marked the point when Gracie, our lovely VW Campervan joined our lives. Yes, reframing is best, why question the underlying assumptions of our world anyway?
Husbandface and I are escaping for the day in her on Saturday (thanks amazing parents) and we shall have fun, and maybe a nap. I am loving writing this post in her and kitting her out today with the stuff we need for our holiday in a few weeks time. It’s not such a bad way to celebrate turning 40…
There you have it, life is a mixed old bag of weird. In the midst of that I’ve taken today off to sit on the downs in Gracie and try and breathe. To remember who I belong to and the eternal realities all around us. Ordinary life is hard and brilliant all at the same time. I’m exhausted but held. Overwhelmed but protected. In need but stunned by the plenty more than enough we have. Crushed but not perplexed, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.
There is hope, a golden thread in the dark which encircles us and does not let us fall.
I am glad.