This is a reply to my sister’s letter, which you can read at:
Thanks for your letter. It’s funny but I was thinking much the same things this week. I don’t think I could choose one word for the year though, for me it would be two : Nothing Lasts.
The same conclusions as you really, it is something I realise more and more as I get older. Nothing lasts. This can be sad, when it refers to friendships, when people I love move or die, when a job I enjoy finishes or a stage of life (like having toddlers. I loved parenting tiny children.) It can be good too, when something’s awful, or we’re ill, or we look at the world and it just seems black and hopeless. Nothing lasts.
I had a terrible night on Wednesday, I just couldn’t sleep. I think I spent the whole night awake and worrying. Usually I’m an excellent sleeper – 10:30 to 7am, straight through with no wake ups. If I can’t sleep I put on a story in Chinese and it distracts me enough that I sleep almost instantly. (Husband gave me headphones for Christmas. I am thinking it might not be the same for him.) But Wednesday I started worrying and then couldn’t sleep. All night.
I had all kinds of different worries bubbling around my head. Church has had lots of people move away and we can’t find enough people to fill all the gaps and I’m worried I wont cope with everything I have agreed to do. My book is on the way to being published but I’m worried that no one will buy it, that it’s not good enough, that friends will laugh at me. I hate self-promotion, I just can’t do it, so the thought of having to ask people to buy my book is terrifying. I also had agreed to drive the boys back to uni, which is a long drive, longer than I have driven since brain surgery. Worried I would get too tired, worried about staying in a motel (very scary), worried I would get lost in big Northern cities. Worry, worry, worry, buzzing round my brain.
The next morning I was reading Psalm 8 (you remember I am studying the Psalms at the moment?) Anyway, it just made me cross! It begins by talking about God, his glory, how he put the stars in place with his hands, how even tiny children praise him, etc. “That’s nice,” I thought, “but it doesn’t exactly fill up the Sunday School rota with names of willing volunteers. It doesn’t help me much.”
Then I realised that actually it did, actually it took all those worries away. If I believed in a God who placed the stars, then surely I believed that he could cope with a rota of names? Surely I could leave the problem with him? It just wasn’t MY problem, none of my worries were. They were his.
All I have to do is live each day as well as I can. To live in the present – which kind of comes back to what you were saying. I have to live each day as best as I can, which might mean editing my book or asking people to help with some job at church. But as long as I do that right, in the best way I can, then I am only answerable to God. The bigger problem is his and I can just dump it with him and get on with my day, with my ‘now’, my ‘present’.
Perhaps my word should be ‘Trust’. Except I’m not quite holy enough to do that very well, so I’ll leave it with ‘nothing lasts’.
Hope you have a good week. Hope woodpecker doesn’t destroy your house (your house is made of wood, right?)
PS: News in brief:
The rats are back. More annoying than I can say. Have found new holes in the duck aviary. Have put down traps and discussed with cats.
We’ve had lots of rain. Loads of it. Makes walking dog each day very unpleasant. Squelching through sodden fields is grim. So is the amount of mud that seems to find its way into my kitchen. Hens are very cross and refuse to leave their perch some days.
I still have a Christmas tree up – the artificial one that I refuse to have anything to do with. The ornaments are gone but the tree remains. I think husband thinks I haven’t noticed. Am saving discussion for when I’ve done something wrong and need some leeway. Shouldn’t be long.
Thank you for reading.
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