Sunday, 19 March 2017

York and stuff

York on Friday was lovely. We mooched around the Railway Museum, we pottered around in the Minster, we walked 7 miles altogether, enjoyed several cups of tea in various establishments, and a meal in a cosy little cafe, as well as a drink in a bar before the trains departed again. It was St Patrick's Day, of course, so the bars were busy in the evening and we poked our noses into a tent in the main street where there was an Irish Festival happening, and young girls were doing Irish dancing [which made me think of American friends with a passion for Irish dancing, CS!] and it was altogether a very good day.   Next week, we meet again in Yorkshire to go to a concert together, and then there is nothing yet in the diary until the end of May.  It's tricky - he works in ministry too, in another denomination, with a different day off......but as I reminded him yesterday, God's will finds a way, and if this is meant to work, it will.

The lady I told you about in the last post died last Sunday morning. It was a blessed relief for her as she was suffering very badly and in a great deal of pain.

You will be aware that I have been trusted with funerals for some time now.  I was so thrilled yesterday to be asked to take charge of a baptism on Easter Sunday at one of the churches where I have pastoral responsibility.  I had no idea that I could do a baptism, so that has come as a lovely bit of news: the child was due to be baptised next Sunday by the boss, but the child has come down with chickenpox so it is all to be postponed. The boss's diary and the family's did not align but they could make Easter Sunday when I will be there - so I shall be taking instructions most carefully at the next staff meeting!

And now I must away to fight to find all the financial information which is required for my part of the girls' Student Finance England applications - deep joy!  But I have a new series of Vera on ITV tonight which I shall look forward to watching - I do love Northumberland and Brenda Blethyn.


Saturday, 11 March 2017

Catching up

Back into this space again.

There's a family in the street where the Grandad was the FH's best pal, and I buried him in October. Grandad's daughter's husband's mother is dying now.......right now. The family are gathering, visiting her, coming close to share in the last hours. She is being kept pain free, and the medical team are doing wonders to support the family in the need to keep her at home, where she wants to be. She's scared, afraid of what will happen to her.  I'm popping in and out, supporting the rest of the family, doing what I can, and praying for them all.

And then there's another family some miles away. The chap was another of the FH's best mates, his cousin, and he's slowly slipping away from us, as liver cancer weakens him. He has asked me to take his funeral, and we have prepared it together so that it is ready when the time comes. That has brought him peace. This lovely man is the YFG's godfather, and so she is significantly upset about it all, not only that he is suffering, but that she will lose another connection to her father.  That's hard for her.

Work continues well for me.  I've been made a Lay Pastor with pastoral responsibility for two of the churches, which is very exciting, and I am really pleased with the opportunity.  Personally, today has been interesting......being in a developing relationship with a Scottish bloke who lives in Carlisle has been difficult when England has thrashed Scotland in the Six Nations today and an East Anglian team, Cambridge, have given Carlisle a beating in the footie....... Best not to talk about that, and move on!  We're having a day in York on Friday so looking forward to that.  Don't think we'll be talking about football and rugby ;)

Sermon tomorrow is about risk taking, so I'm using the managers of Lincoln City as an illustration - giving up secure jobs in education to go and manage a football team takes quite a leap of faith. Would have been wonderful if Lincoln had managed to beat Arsenal today but I think that would have been expecting too much!

Have a good weekend.....


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Exploring

In the quietness of this space, it seems right to share with you, friends, the news that I am beginning to gently explore a new relationship.  It is new and fragile and precious, and I am not sharing it widely in the real world, as I seek to protect it and hold it close, but here I know that it will be held in prayer, and I thank you for that.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Driving news

The worst happened......the YFG passed [which IS good] but the EFG failed :(

The YFG did extremely well to pass with only one minor, but the EFG had a catastrophe at a junction: the lights changed and she did not know that she had to move forward to trigger a sensor which would change the filter light to stop the opposing traffic so that her lane of traffic could move forward.  Because she didn't move, the lights went through the cycle back to red and she held up the whole lane - so that caused the fail.  She'll do it again, and should be fine. Apparently she executed an immaculate three point turn.

The YFG has been out on her first solo drive - she went and did the grocery shopping yesterday morning whilst I was at work. She's on half term so she thought she would get that nerve wracking first trip over and done with. She's out in the village tonight at her best friend's house having a takeaway but I think she should be home soon.

Thank you for continuing to read. Lovely to read all the comments on the last post.

Monday, 6 February 2017

February already!

Jackie has given me a nudge to come back to this space this morning, so I am here to say "Hello, and wow, where did January go?!"

We're up to our eyes in work, revision for mocks for A levels, and driving tests for both girls this week in Peterborough (YFG) and Aberdeen (EFG) - I am just hoping that they both get the same result, whatever it is, as the tension will be huge if one passes and one fails!

I am buying the odd bunch of daffs to cheer the desk and remind me that Spring is on its way, but on dark and cold mornings when I struggle to get out of bed, it still seems a while away - but the occasional glimpse of the sun gives me hope!

This morning, I am waiting for a grocery shop to be delivered, then I am off to work later in the morning.  We are asked to only work two sessions a day, so it is the afternoon and evening for me today.  It is a sensible rule, but one to which I struggle to adhere some weeks - when I have to attend meetings which are arranged by others, I have to go whenever they are, and that makes the diary a challenge occasionally.  We get round this by counting the days we work three sessions and then having an extra day off now and again when they have mounted up.....the trouble was that when I counted the days in January and looked for a day I could take off - and the soonest one I could find free was mid March.  I have got leave booked more regularly so I am not being worked too hard.

The role continues to change and be developed - the latest incarnation of it to be suggested is that I take pastoral charge of two of the churches in the circuit. Discussions have been had and it will be brought to the circuit meeting for decisions on 1st March; it is an exciting development and I shall be thrilled if it is accepted, as they are two congregations of which I am particularly fond, and it will mean working more closely with both of them.

It's also been a season of reconnecting - I've picked up a couple of new "friends" from Facebook, who actually were not new but very old!  A friend from uni appeared in my Facebook feed as he had been involved in a partnership between with the Church of Scotland and the Methodist church, so I sent a quick message to say how delighted I was to see the two denominations working together and to send a word of encouragement - and now the emails have been flying between north and south as we catch up on the twenty two years since St Andrews!  It has also been great to share news of other fellow students as he has kept up with different ones from those with which I have been in contact.

I'm very much enjoying and being challenged by Ann Voskamp's "The Broken Way" book and study online and would recommend them hugely to those of you interested in a little introspection and personal growth. As her book on gratitude impacted on me so much, I think that this one will also be life-changing but in a different way.

Better go - shopping has just arrived!  Love to you all and thanks for your patience!!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

The boy is born!  Hallelujah!

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

The dinner is in the oven, the presents are unwrapped and being investigated, the girls are watching a film, and we are all together, at home, with a warm fire and plenty of food - how very blessed we are!

See you in 2017......

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Advent

Here I sit, with twinkling lights decorating the windowsill, folk going past in the their cars taking the kids to school, the news on the tv in the background and thinking about getting ready to go off to work in under an hour. I realised last night that I haven't been here for about six weeks, and I was overdue for a catch-up.  If you are still reading, even with my long absences, I thank you.

Gratitude has long been part of my life now and I started an Advent theme on my Facebook posts with that idea at its heart. Each day I am posting a few words about things for which I am grateful that day. In all the hustle and busy-ness of getting ready for Christmas, I wanted to stop and be content with what I have now, rather than always looking forward to what will come in the future.  Anticipation is good, but so is contentment in the now.

Angels have been a huge part of my life in the last month - we have "Angels and anticipation" as our Advent theme for church and circuit life this year, so we have had Angel festivals, angel plays, angel Messy Churches - I am just about done with angels for one year, and we are joking that our theme next year will be "Silent Night" so that we can be quiet and reflective instead.

Only five more sleeps and then the EFG will be home from Aberdeen for Christmas. She has another exam tomorrow and then some socialising before she comes home on Saturday - can't wait!  Really looking forward to having her here for three weeks.

I hope you are all keeping well, and life continues peacefully.  I shall get round to reading more blogs sometime soon, but not this week!  Someone jokingly said that I would get a rest soon, but I can't see one coming until after Christmas lunch - but I shall be ready for it by then.  There are troubles in the circuit and lots of work to be done even in the New Year so we need to have a break and recharge our batteries over the Christmas holiday.  The boss is taking the workers to Norwich to see Mamma Mia in February so we are looking forward to that immensely as our staff day out!

Much love, as always x