The day before we depart…

There is always something in me which wants to write a blog post just before we go on holiday. A kind of line in the sand moment if you like. A marking of time and maybe it’s the same thing that is driving me to clean and sort our house out. I want to leave with no loose ends, no untidy strands to worry away at my mind whilst I’m away. I want to drive up the A23 with peace in my heart on Friday morning knowing I am clear of most of my churning thoughts for 2 weeks at least. Obviously I can’t escape all my thoughts with two small boys in a van but I can make my mind as clear of worry as possible, so I can be free to forget about life for a bit and concentrate solely on the three people I will be hanging out with each day.

It’s a good plan but it is making this week before we go away slightly frantic in my head, my mind whirls around to do lists and emails I need to send before I can hit the road with some sense of a clear mind.

We’re almost at the end of the second week of this odd school holiday time. It’s the first one I’ve known in our married life without the lovely husbandface at home. I think we are both finding the adjustment odd. It’s son1s first long summer from school and yep, the routine loving boy has been all over the place, slowly he’s returning to some solid point of being ok but it’s taken a while. Son2 as well. They and I are adjusting to constant time together again. That hasn’t happened, for an extended time, since this time last year and that was very different as we were off in the Motorhome with the beloved daddy.

So far though we have survived. Some days have been better than others, some we barely survived and some we have really loved hanging out and I’ve had a greater insight into their worlds. Some days I’ve wondered why we had kids and some days I’ve marvelled at their beautiful faces all day long. It’s been a bumpy road but we are riding it out.

Friday morning we head off on our challenge adventure with small people (holiday is a silly word for it) and I think I’m looking forward to it. The van is slowly filling with our stuff and I’m gradually ticking things off the to do list.

We go to The Lake District via some lovely friends, then to Northern Ireland and then back to the lakes for time in my favourite place. If we manage to sleep ok I think it will be a great time. Husbandface isn’t doing at all well right now but we at least know that taking your house with you always provides a safe space to retreat too. I think it will be ok. I hope it will be ok.

Right now I’m having to choose hope each day. I have no sense of the future, of whether we will be ok. All we have is this day and moment before us. I want to choose hope in the immediate world I have right now today. It’s hard to drag my head back from the past or away from fears of the future. We don’t know what the next moment will hold and to cope with it all we need to hope.

I hope in a God who is at work here, who will give strength for this day, who dwells in this moment with us. I hope in a God who pours out love on us. Who has abundant mercy, grace and love. So often I think we lack in this space we inhabit at the moment. I focus on the negative spirals of fear and all the things we don’t have. Honestly it feels like we have a world of scarcity rather than abundance. And in some ways that is true. I don’t want to skate over the bad stuff, it’s pretty bad around here at times. But we still have a world of abundance. Grace, mercy and love are not dependant on circumstances. In the midst of the dark we have grace, love and mercy, bent out and made tangible by friends and family around us.

And so we go. We head off into the unknown. Hoping a change will once more bring rest. Hoping for connection. Hoping for grace, mercy and love to live with us as we go.

Good thing our van is called Gracie. A reminder of the grace which holds us together as family in this weird world.

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