Friday, 24 February 2012

It won't always be dark at six

So how is my Lent going?

Is that you asking, Lord?  Why would you ask if you already know?

I am sort of blurred at the moment. 

Can't concentrate on anything. 

Including you. 

Going to stop writing in staccato sentences now.

I'm not feeling well. My cold has turned into a cough which has turned into a chest infection which saw me trudge up to the doctor this morning in defeat; with a following wind I should be on the mend tomorrow thanks to some little green pills. Part of me wants to assure you that my Lent will go better when I'm better.

But I'm thinking that this time last year you allowed me to be slowed to a stop as well. (You sat down next to me) Last year I stabbed myself in the eye with a document wallet (I know, I know, it still makes you smile) and the week was going to be so busy... I learned then that the world keeps turning without me and then again, this week, I've had to get off for a while again and strangely enough, life goes on. I can't help thinking that the one-eyed me this time a year ago might have made better of the hiatus in the speed of life than the coughing and complaining me this time around. 

But everything has been cancelled. I haven't even shopped so the meals are getting a little bit eccentric and freezer driven. Or they would be if it were not for my Mum, who once again (and again, and again) has been wonderful. I am sure that I'm more trouble to my mother now, as a forty-one year old with husband and children than ever I was as a teenager when I was supposed to be a hassle. 

I have read two and a half books and I have slept a lot. I have cried with self-pity and I have coughed until my ribs feel as if they've been run over (hence the self-pity). Have I spent more time with you in all this time when I couldn't do anything else? Well...

It's been unseasonably mild outside.

I think I just changed the subject.

Yesterday I went out in the garden for ten minutes and I saw three purple crocuses. A host of snowdrops. The weather has been mild and sunny and for a little while there I started thinking about when to clean out the greenhouse, what I would plant and where. I walked around and noticed which plants have (so far) survived the winter and which I never got around to pruning last autumn. The children came and went crazy in the sun for a little while. They got muddy and they swung on the swings and they kicked around a football. I sat with a couple of fleeces on huddled round a mug of tea and it was lovely. 

Spring isn't here yet but I can see it coming. I'm waiting for the daffodils. I love daffodils. When the daffs come I know that Spring is here. Soon, please. 

Of course, it's February and this is the England and so the chances are we'll have four feet of snow in the next week. Indeed, a frost is forecast for tonight. Good job I didn't take the fleece off the yucca.

Today I read a story about being happy. About choosing happiness. About not waiting for happiness to happen but to decide to be happy. It lifted my spirits momentarily until something happened to squash them again. I need to seize those moments and bury my nose in them. Close my eyes and ears to everything else that is going on around and immerse myself in a moment that is purely of you. I'm finding that it's hard to do right now.

The doctor told me today that the antibiotics will start to make a difference in about 24-48 hours but I might not be better for a couple of weeks. He told me to give myself time to get over the chest infection; to be gentle with myself. I think I am already too gentle with myself - I let myself off too many hooks. Things that are difficult I tend to shy away from. 

Like choosing happiness. Just for a moment there I pick happiness up and then something crashes into me and knocks me off balance and instead of clinging tight to the happiness in my hand it my fingers open reflexively and I drop it. And it's gone.

Too often I take the line of least resistance.


I'm feeling a bit rough and not thinking straight. I'm finding my promise to find the positive in every day a bit of a challenge at the moment. 
  • My little girls gave me cuddles today.
  • My Mum changed an appointment so that she can take Katy to her swimming lesson tomorrow so I don't have to get up early.
  • My husband brought me a mug of tea in bed. 
  • Every day this week I've had a text message from a friend asking how I am and saying that she's thinking about me.
  • My Mum bought me freesia. My favourite flowers.
Thankyou for all those things and doctors and chemists and comfy beds and sleep. Thankyou that I'm not seriously ill and that you are a God of second chances.

Thankyou that the nights are getting lighter. As my Mum says, 'It won't always be dark at six'.

I'm holding onto that at the moment.

It won't always be dark at six.


  1. Helen,
    I am not from a denomination that observes Lent, but I love your heart toward Him. You're struggling with your imperfect offering, but what comes across is a psalm--a human heart that loves Christ because He first loved her. Messy life + Jesus = glory to God.
    Hope you are feeling better soon.

  2. Amen, Ginger. I hope so.
    Thankyou for encouraging words at exactly the right moment.
    Bless you, sister.


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