Several things have happened this week.
First, I got my nursery cleaned out. Its now the bright cheery room it was meant to be, and the children can play in there again. I may now turn my attention to the play room and begin to sort and purge toys, trying to get back down to a manageable number.
Second, My mother celebrated her birthday, far away in Kenya where it is cool enough now to need to eat meals in front of the fireplace, so she tells me. I wish her a Happy and Glorious Birthday and thank God for her, and wish she was here. Emma and I will be making Strawberry Shortcake in honor of her tomorrow.
Third, I have collapsed under the weight of my own sin and inadequacy and have turned my eyes back onto Jesus, not realizing that I had taken them off and gone wandering into the Land of Anxiety. I had no idea how completely and totally exhausted I am physically, how dry I am spiritually, how depleted I am emotionally. I came unglued several times during the week and found myself complaining to God, echoing, even, the words of Amy Carmichael.
The son said, I am nothing. His Father said, Did I ever tell thee that thou wert something? The son said, But I do not feel fit for this that is given to me to do. His Father said, Canst thou not trust Me to make thee fit? The son said, But I am not successful. His Father said, At the end of the day will My word be, Come, thou good and successful servant? If only thou wilt walk humbly with thy God it will be, Come, thou good and faithful servant. The son said, But I do not care for what I have to do. His Father answered, At last thou hast touched the root of the matter. Did thy Saviour "care for" Calvary? Then the Eternal Spirit opened to him those terrible Scriptures which show Gethsemane and Calvary, till all his paltry "Buts" were shrivelled as withered leaves in the fire. And he saw Him whom he followed as He set His face like a flint; and he was utterly confounded and ashamed.
His thoughts said... His Father said...
I realized that all my praying lately has been a shouting complaint, and not really prayer, not simply and reasonably asking for those things I need, and being thankful for those things I have. Thursday evening I spent an hour with a young lady who is in a desperately sad place and in being with her, and bearing, for a few minutes, her burden with her and helping her to lay it at the cross, I was able to lay down my own as well. And so for the last few days I have been resting and tired. Which leads me to
Fourth, my exceptionally fabulous idea for Summer Sunday School. Matt insists on teaching adult ed through the summer (Well, he doesn't really insist, its just that everyone keeps coming and expecting a class, so he just keeps on teaching), and so summer after summer we have to scramble to think of something to occupy the children. I have resolutely set my face against Catechesis through the summer. The catechists need a break, the children need a difference of routine etc. etc. So This Year (instead of reading a Narnia book, bad Idea, or reading Judges and acting it out, Bad Idea, or pawning them off on some unsuspecting parishioner, Bad Idea) This Year, I went out and gathered all kinds of interesting things to put in boxes. This first week we will decorate and paint the boxes. And then each week after we will learn a verse and paint an object to go in the box, on subjects ranging from the Bible to the Cross, to Communion, to Evangelism, (all of which is meant to review the Solemn Communion experience). All by which I mean to achieve some level of continuity, some level of fun and mess, some level of scripture knowledge, and some way to get through the hour without being too hot and exhausted. My only difficulty now is coming up with some cool name for these boxes. I have until tomorrow morning at 9am.
And Fifth, I finished of Terry Pratchett's The Truth (lent to me by commenter 'R'-how are you? safely arrived? happy in love?). And, for your Saturday evening amusement, I offer you this tidbit from this fabulous novel:
'I never worry about that -ing stuff.'
'Never -ing give it a thought. I've got my potato.'
Then Mr. Tulip found that he'd walked a few feet alone, because Mr. Pin had stopped dead.
'Oh, yeah. Keep it on a string round my neck.'
Mr. Tulip tapped his huge chest.
'And that's religious?'
'Well, yeah. If you've got your potato when you die, everything will be okay.'...'Yep. You're allowed to come back and have another life.'...'We-ell, it's okay so long as you're really -ing sorry about it.'
Just so you know, I'm not leaving anything out by writing -ing. You've got to read the book, that's the way Mr. Tulip talks. So Funny.
And now, I must go to sleep, because in the morning I've got to three kids dressed and ready for church, do the bulletin insert for church, collect paints and boxes, and be out the door by 7:15. If I don't go to sleep now, I won't be able to cope tomorrow.
Oh, and all week long, for those of you who are longing for a theological fight, Matt's been debating the merits of Women's Ordination over on Stand Firm. I'm sure you can find the link and the article if you're interested. I just finished reading the second thread this evening and its given me a headache. Enjoy!