Hello, and how has your week been? It was my birthday, so we tried to celebrate whilst also keeping to the current covid restrictions. Last weekend I met some of my children for a socially-distanced walk, and then we shared slices of cake in a carpark. It was lovely, but not as comfortable as sitting on sofas in a lounge.
On my actual birthday I was treated to breakfast a’ la husband, which was smoked salmon on muffins with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, grapefruit halves, and chocolate money in gold wrappers scattered across the table. I felt very spoilt. In the afternoon I took my mum to Chiddingstone Castle, and we walked to the Chidding Stone (and got lost and ended up walking through a field of cabbages!) Then we ate the remains of the carpark cake before I went home.
We spent the evening having a family quiz on zoom, where we each had prepared 10 questions. It was very funny, especially the round where we were presented with extracts from our family chat and we had to guess who had written them.
Have you put up your Christmas decorations yet? I noticed lots of houses were decorated in November, which helped to brighten the weird winter we’re having. I suggested we could do the same. We didn’t. Instead we bought our tree today, after a trip to the dentist. I hate going to the dentist, don’t you? Of course it was even worse this time with all the fussing about with hand-sanitiser and masks and not being allowed into the waiting room but freezing outside until the nurse came to fetch us. Actually being a dentist must be even worse — staring into all those germy mouths and wondering if covid is going sneak past your visor and make you ill for Christmas. Not a job I would relish.
Husband kindly drove me to the dentist, but this meant that he was also involved in the tree-buying decision. Needless to say, we now have a tree that is much too big for the space and we will spend Christmas peering at each other through the branches. But the house smells nice.
As if covid isn’t bad enough, I now have to avoid bird flu as well. Apparently there is another outbreak this year, and we all have to keep our poultry inside until it clears (it’s carried by wild birds, and keeping the chickens in their coop is the only way to avoid contact). They are all very grumpy, and try to push their way past me when I open the door to feed them. I’m sure they produce extra levels of poop when they’re locked inside in retaliation.
My Greek lessons continue to be fun and challenging in equal measure. I recognise more and more words in my Greek New Testament, though am still at the stage of saying: “I’ve learnt that word…but I don’t remember what it means.” Not yet very useful, but I am getting better. I have an exam in January, which is terrifying because December is plenty of time to forget absolutely everything learnt so far.
Another morning in my week is taken up with a Bible Study group that I belong to: BSF. It’s all online now, but mostly I like it because I am studying the Bible with a group of women who all live in my town. We do differ in our opinions, as some people tend to take the Bible very literally, and others place it very much in the context of the time it was written and then look to see how it applies today. This week we looked at the destruction of Sodom (lots to disagree about in that particular story!) However, something struck me for the first time.
In one of the daily questions, it asked why Lot didn’t want to leave Sodom. (A quick reminder: Sodom was a city of evil people who did things like gang-rape visitors, they ignored the poor and lived self-indulgent immoral lives, and God said he was going to destroy the city. But when Lot — a man who followed God — was told to leave, he didn’t want to.) Why would Lot not want to leave when he knew there was so much evil in the city? And then I thought, it’s like Christians today who don’t want to die. We know the world has evil things, horrible, unfair things happening. And we know that God has prepared a better place for us, that he will take us safely there when it is time for us to go. And yet when we think about dying, about leaving what we know –even though it’s not perfect — we’re not so sure that we want to go! We don’t want to walk into the unknown, even when we know that God can be trusted. We are a bit like Lot.
You can mull over that idea during the week — it will help to distract you from all the political debates if nothing else!
Hope you have a good week. Thanks for reading.
Love, Anne x
In an attempt to keep warm during my morning run, I have started to wear my son’s old school rugby shirt and a bobble hat my daughter gave me. Husband informed me that I looked like a ‘Where’s Wally?’ cartoon which seemed harsh. But perhaps he has a point. . .