Mine has been a nice mix of work and other stuff.
It started with the Men’s Annual Croquet Cup, which is held every year in our garden. Husband is very keen on croquet, and I absolutely refuse to ever play, because it’s a horrid nasty game involving hand-eye co-ordination (which I don’t posses) and an evil temperament (which I do posses, but try to keep under control). When, in the past, I did play, it was always my ball that Husband sent spinning off into the bushes. So now he has to organise a church event, and get lots of blokes round to play. I think it went okay, I just had to provide drinks and snacks and keep out the way. The prize is a big ugly rubber-glove mould, which Husband found in a shop in NY. No-one wants to win it, so it is a game of skill, as they all try to be good enough to reach the last post, but then fluff those final shots so someone else has to take home the ugly prize.
I’ve also spent lots of time cooking fruit. Harvest is an extravagant season, and I feel uncomfortable leaving plums and apples to rot on the trees, but they do all ripen at the same time. So it takes hours of picking, and sorting, and preparing fruit, ready for the freezer. My fingers are now stained brown, and I don’t want to see another plum.
I didn’t have my Chinese lesson this week, because we can’t find our teacher. Perhaps she’s done a runner to escape our terrible accents.
On Thursday I was invited to speak at the Cameo Club (an afternoon group run by one of the local churches for the over-sixties.) I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It was held in their church, and I had assumed everyone would sit round in a circle (which is usually what I find when I speak to small groups or book-groups). But I arrived to find them in rows, facing a lectern and microphone. A bit scary.
I also wasn’t quite sure what to talk about (I have three talks really, one about books, one about the slums of India, and one about me having a brain tumour and becoming an author.) I chose the me/brain/author one, as I thought it shows that God can use us, however much our body has gone to pot, which might be appropriate for an older audience.
I never manage to actually say what I’ve planned to say when I do these talks. I pray beforehand, asking God for a ‘message’ to say. Then I plan a talk, and write a few notes (which I usually can’t find when I arrive). Today, I did manage to arrive, on time, with notes, but then at the end, I glanced at them and I hadn’t said anything I had planned to say. I think this shows I’m not very good at listening to God. The day I manage to actually give the talk I feel he wants me to say, I will know I have got better at listening. However, I do think, because I try to listen, he might use me anyway. Perhaps (hopefully) someone there heard something helpful. I did have some nice chats afterwards, anyway.
I did have bit of a ‘spooky’ God experience this week (which shows he listens to me, even if I am a bad listener – because on the way to Lunch Club I had been thinking that sometimes, it’s hard to believe in God when life is just ticking away nicely) Anyway, when I arrived in the kitchen, the oven had been set to ‘automatic’, which means it won’t heat up. (Not sure if this was due to a power-cut earlier in the day, due to said oven being cleaned during summer break, or if some annoying individual had fiddled with it.) No one could remember how to ‘unset’ the automatic setting. I fiddled with various buttons for about 10 minutes. Then DP- who can usually mend anything tried. Then I tried again. Then we gave up, and decided dinner would have to fit into the other two cookers. We always have a prayer time, so when the team had arrived, we left the kitchen, and prayed – during which I mentioned unhelpful cooker (not expecting anything to change). We went straight from prayer back to kitchen, I pressed the same buttons on the oven I’d already pressed and – tada – oven came on! I have no idea if it had warmed up and dried out, so now worked, or if it has an intermittent fault which corrected itself, or if we witnessed a miracle. The cooker worked. And given the timing, the me saying I was feeling a bit like I never ‘saw’ God anymore, for me it is a miracle anyway.
The rest of my week, has been spent rewriting Clara. I left it for a few months after writing the first draft, and now am rereading it, and deciding what I need to change. When I’ve done that I will send it off to my editor (who usually makes me rewrite even more). So far, it’s going well. I think it’s the best book I’ve written so far – certainly it’s the most powerful. But it’s hard to judge your own work, so we’ll see. You can tell me next year, when it’s finally published.
So, a nice ordinary week for me. Hope your week went well too.
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