Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Strength will rise


Evening, God.

Very tired tonight, so forgive me if I stop making sense after a few minutes. You must be used to it by now.

Today has been a strange day. One of those days when I've felt as if I've been outside my body watching myself. It started way too early with a small girl with an upset stomach wailing that she'd had an accident. One which turned out to involve carpet cleaner and a variety of detergents. Poor little Katy couldn't go to school; and indeed couldn't go to the appointment with the consultant that we'd been gearing up for. We've had to postpone finding out the plan for her neck and her lumps (still there) for a few weeks until the next available appointment. 

Poor poorly girl. 
I felt sort of deflated - we'd planned the journey, we were all ready to find out the scan and blood test results and (please please) we've been hoping that we might not have to go back again. Tomorrow was the day we'd find out, and now it's not for another two weeks. Sigh. 

Poor Mum also ill today - the girls made Get Well Grandma cards and I hovered anxiously with offers of cups of tea, bread rolls and Poorly Person Biscuits. 

Not much got done today. I sat with Katy and watched 'Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat' twice, 'Barney at the Seaside' twice and 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' just the once, mercifully. We curled up on the sofa and many times my arm went numb, but that's what you do when your little girl is poorly, isn't it? Cuddle until you can't feel your arm.

I managed five minutes dusting while I brushed my teeth (not until 11.40am) which consisted of wiping down the chest of drawers and bookshelf with an old sock from the washing basket on my hand. I managed a quick nip to the shop to buy fresh bread to try and tempt people to eat (not very successful, but now the bread bin is overflowing). I managed a quick surf of Facebook but no writing as I only had my left hand (right trapped under Katy). 

Yesterday I flapped about how much I have to do and ask for your help in prioritising, today I am forced to slow down to a full stop. 

Co-incidence? 

I don't know. What I do know is I spent the day with my arms wrapped around my littlest baby girl and able to kiss her whenever I wanted and inhale the wonderful fragrance of her hair all day. It took me a little while to stop lamenting the demise of the plans I'd had for today, but I came to terms with things eventually. About half way through the second Joseph, I think. I was still chafing all the way through Barney, but hey - whose teeth are not on edge during Barney?

My beautiful Katy. She missed her big sister today. She was worried that she should be doing her reading at school and she was concerned that everyone would forget about her. She couldn't even eat a fish finger at teatime so to be honest I'm not holding out much hope for tomorrow. We'll see.

The house was warm as everyone was feeling shivery. There was a bit of a poorly-person odour in our part of the house after Katy's early morning accident. I'd spent most of the day on the sofa and I was feeling so sleepy that I could barely keep my eyes open. Bleary and stuffy and a bit sorry for myself. 
I had a little break when I walked round to school at 3pm to collect Elizabeth and I put on my headphones as I walked. There's just enough time for one song, and I put it on shuffle to surprise me. 

'Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord.'
(Brown/Riley 2006 Survivor records)

Strength. Oh yes. 

This is something that other people have. 

I need more strength, and I haven't got any in reserve at the moment. The past few days I've been planning all that I need to do and I even commented to a friend last week that it's all very well having my week planned out, but when something goes wrong I may as well rip up the schedule. My little girl is poorly and I spend the day on the sofa with arms wide and eyes half open watching the TV. Brain pretty much switched off - you don't need a brain for Barney. Indeed it's a positive disadvantage.

The world doesn't stop when I get off for a day. I guess I have an inflated idea of my own importance if I think that my input in various things is so necessary to the wellbeing of those around me. Today I was stressed out that a poorly child meant my plans went by the board, and yet yesterday I'd asked you to help me with prioritisation.

There you have it. 

I need to wait upon you. I need to do that because unwittingly I've started worrying about time, again. I've been much better at it recently but it's so easy to slip back into old habits. I need to wait upon you because that is the number one important thing in my life. Without time with you, nothing else means anything. Nothing else will ever come to anything. 

And strength will rise when I wait upon you. And after a disturbed night, a very early morning and an un relenting child-full day I could do with topping up tonight, Lord God. 
'But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.'
Isaiah 40:31

I think this is an everyday strength as well as a strength that you give us for the uncommon events and challenges that life throws at us. A daily, or hourly, or minute-by-minute renewing of the strength just to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I don't know about soaring on wings like eagles; I'd love to do that, but at the moment, if it's not selling you short, I'll settle for a Good Night's Sleep and a reasonable start to tomorrow, if that's alright with you? 

I walked to school and the sky was blue, the sun shining and a crispness in the air more like March than May, but it didn't matter, as the house was hot and stuffy. I looked at the greenness after all the rain we've been having and the signs of Spring slowly turning summery and I looked at the clouds and the older children pouring down the road from the senior school and the faces of the little ones looking for Mummies and Daddies as they came out of the infant school - and I saw you. You are all around me. There in the evening song of the blackbirds in our garden right now as I sit up in bed with my window open onto a beautiful evening. There in the weight of my gorgeous poorly girl on my tingling right arm. There in the sun and the sky and the forget-me-nots taking over the flowerbed that I haven't weeded. 

And there with me as I scrub smelly stains in the carpet and there as I frown, trying to work out when I can fit in things I want to do for you. 

You've got this one, haven't you? You know what you're doing. 

Priorities. 

I hope in you and you will renew my strength. 

Father God, whose ways are so far above mine that I can't keep up, thank you for the gentle reminder today that I should get things in order.

Thankyou for the chance to cuddle my little girl. Thanks for the chance to sing the words to Joseph with her (again). Thankyou for the chance to fast forward to the best bits in 'Charlie'. And thanks for the chance to watch Barney. No, scrub the last one. I'm not that thankful for that bit. Sorry.

Lord, I need to start from the beginning again. Here it is: my time. I only have so much of it, and since you designed it that way, I can assume that I have the right amount. Help me to use it wisely. 

'You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God'.

Everlasting. That's you. I never get to the end of you, like I get to the end of me, sometimes. I'm pretty much there at the moment. But you? You go on forever.

You do not faint, you won't grow weary'.

But I do. Never enough sleep. Never enough energy. Never enough patience, or unselfishness, or generosity. I grow weary alright. 

You're the defender of the weak;
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles.'

That's me, my God. I feel weak and in need. I could do with lifting up right now. Show me how to spread my wings. 

Amen. 





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