Holy Week busy-ness, eleven days away, and hitting the ground at record breaking speed on my return, and the realisation that the underwear drawer was very bare, and none of it was in the airing cupboard. Well, much as I had other ideas for today, laundry just had to be done!
I wasn’t exactly dressed for the outside world, luckily. Emergency items were dug out from their hiding hole, and I had to resort to the painting and decorating jeans. A Day At Home being domesticated was declared.
The retreat, for those interested, (Thanks for the prayers, Ian, and anyone else) was a really important time, and there is much to ponder and dwell on in the weeks to come. It was hard, hard work, much harder than I’d anticipated! Especially as I gave up all pretence at being a serious grown up mid retreat, but and got on with the work God needed me to do in a much more Japes friendly fashion, and at Japes friendly times. (Late night, when no-one else was around.) It meant there was a good chance of God getting a word in edgeways, and getting me to understand what He’s trying to get me to do…. I did give the poor Sister locking up at night a bit of a fright the first time, as she came across me in completely engrossed and utterly absorbed mode, with a huge pile of strips of paper all getting woven into a design. But, luckily, she was the one I was talking to, and I could explain I’m really a late night person, and the usual pattern of life in a retreat house/religious house doesn’t work well for me at all, though I do try and work with it. So, the next night, when I was surrounded by large sheets of paper, and glue sticks… she grinned, asked me to turn all the lights off when I went back off to my room, and left me to it! It all made for interesting packing coming home, and I had to plead mercy and ask for a bin liner. My poor spiritual director isn’t going to know what’s hit him when I turn up with this bin liner full of things to explain. That’ll teach him to say he wants to know all about it!
By way of light relief, my godchildren were visited on the way home. We need to have a serious conversation about prayer not being a one way process and God not being bored by us, ever. Soon! But, they know how to share chocolate cake, so I’m not a total failure as a godmother.
I came back to a much more humungous and urgent pile of work than I thought might have been the case… so, this is the first chance I’ve really had to sit down and reflect on the time away. The main thing is, I am much, much clearer that what ever happens in the future, the life I am currently leading is not where God wants me to be, nor is it enabling me to be the person He created me to be. It’s not going to be easy when it all goes public in about a month, but I feel much more able to cope with the potential fall out now.
And for your prayers, my niece’s friend died this week, aged 13. Expected as it has been, it’s still all very, very hard for everyone, especially her parents, and friends, who’d hoped so much it might not come to this.