I love doing these daybook entries. They serve as a focus point for me in many ways, and there are times in my life when I need this time to just stop and reflect. Tonight is one of those times.
Outside my window… the clouds are scooting through the sky in layers. I can see wispy low clouds scudding like they’re being chased by the hounds of hell and then behind those there are denser, slower moving ones that are playing hide and seek with the moon. Then there are the high ones that seem to be painted on. It’s lovely.
I am thinking… that I’ve done it again. EVERY year I tell myself that to start getting ready for Christmas before Remembrance is just not on, and I’m definitely going to wait until 1st December to start, and EVERY year I get to this stage, realise that I haven’t got a hope of getting ready because I’ve been so tied up with other stuff that I’ve not started yet. There’s so much to do I feel I could cry.
I am thankful… that I have a fantastic support system. If I begin to name people I would be afraid of missing people out, but without a certain handful of people these past couple of weeks I wouldn’t have made it through.
In the kitchen… there is lots of space – space in the cupboards, space in the oven, space in the freezer. As I said earlier, I am so far away from being prepared this Christmas and I have been so busy that I haven’t got myself organised enough to be prepared for being busy. We haven’t eaten properly for a couple of days because a) I’ve not been shopping for proper food, b) I’ve not had time to cook anything and c) I haven’t got anything in the freezer we can rely on to bail us out. ARGH!
I am wearing… shorts and a t-shirt. I have been on the go for over 12 hours today and I got home and had a shower about an hour ago. It’s time for bed shortly so there was no point getting dressed properly.
I am creating… not very much at the moment, but this coming week I am going to be crocheting lots of things for presents for people.
I am going… to have lunch with my bestie tomorrow. After all the time spent on other stuff in the last couple of weeks I’m going to enjoy a bit of time out tomorrow.
I am wondering… if this sicky feeling I’ve got is going to go away after a good night’s sleep. I thought it was because of nerves about things I’ve been responsible for today, but that’s all over now and I still feel sick.
I am reading… I have just finished “Candle in the Darkness” by Lynn Austin. It is the first in a trilogy centred on the events leading up to and during the American Civil War. Each of the instalments tells the story from a different perspective and this first one is told from the point of view of a plantation owner’s daughter in the South. Caroline is a Southern belle but she disagrees with slavery, befriending her father’s slaves and treats them as family. Her fiancé doesn’t see it the same way, so when the war begins she finds she has divided loyalties. The second is told from the viewpoint of Caroline’s cousin from Philadelphia and the third is from the viewpoint of a slave. I am looking forward to finishing the trilogy – the characters are vibrant and alive, and I have gained a better understanding of the American Civil War through this story.
I am hoping… the families at the memorial service at church tonight were comforted and strengthened by our efforts to bring light to them in their grief. From the feedback we got from them it seemed to go well, but only God knows just how people are touched by things like this.
I am praying for… our memorial families; my friend John; Eddie; my church family who I have grown closer to this past year; my husband; my niece Jessica.
I am looking forward to… having some time to relax this week.
I am learning… how to write a decent essay – thank you David!
Around the house… I wouldn’t know. I’ve spent so little time here over the weekend I’ve almost forgotten what it looks like.
I am pondering… gifts or presents for people? What’s the difference, you may ask. Well, the way I see it, a gift is something you give someone to be nice. It might have a function or a decoration but basically it’s something that comes in a nice box and is nice to open. A present is something that you have put a lot of thought into and you match to the receiver’s needs or wants. I don’t like giving things just for the sake of giving something, but I don’t have the resources or finances to give presents to people that I want to. See answers above…
A favourite quote for today:
Lord, forgive our lack of faith in your loving power.
When all we see is what we don’t have.
When we fail to notice the countless blessings.
Clear our blindness to the needs of others.
Strengthen us to serve you.
Help us to truly listen to one another.
Give us loving and generous hearts.
One of my favourite things… is sitting in my rocking armchair with a cup of tea in my hand.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Stay and Play in the morning, lunch with my friend, carolling in the evening tomorrow; some housework (badly needed!) and shopping on Tuesday; carolling on Wednesday night with my bestie… lots happening that I can’t even get into place yet!
A peek into my day…
Sunday School today was a bit mad – we had a puzzle race to do, a couple of worship songs, some artwork to do for the wall and a brilliant “When I Went To Bethlehem” game. These two snippets of video were taken as the children spontaneously burst into song while they were colouring in their pictures. You can’t beat moments like that!!
You may have gathered that I’ve been a bit busy for a couple of weeks. Let me give you a glimpse into my activities just this weekend:
Friday – get to the church hall at 9.30am to set up for Christmas lunch for the First Friday Silver Service lunch club. Go into church to disassemble the PA system, amp and microphone receiver etc. Take it to the hall to set it up there. Put up tables and chairs, get music going, help serve lunch, perform quiz and give answers to music quiz, organise singsong and lead 12 days of Christmas with audience participation. Clear up tables, disassemble PA and all sound equipment take it back to church and reassemble it all, head back to hall to help finish washing up and tidying up, get home at about 4pm. Dive in shower, no time for tea, leave house at 6pm to go to Todmorden, conduct brass band concert, arrive home 10.40pm. Quick cup of tea then bed.
Saturday – typeset service sheet for Memorial Service on Sunday, type up slideshow for same service to include 80 names and all animations and transitions, leave house at 12.15 to go to OU tutorial at Manchester University (no time for lunch), leave tutorial at 3pm, get picked up by Kevin (late, as he’d been stuck in football traffic), head to Tesco for carolling with church, 5pm finish carolling, go shopping, 7pm manage to eat some food (hurrah!!!), spend evening making sure memorial slideshow works properly and finding appropriate music and sorting out Sunday School resources for morning, downloading video for a visitor in the service and making sure service slideshow works for morning. Still fighting with printer at 1am….yes, one o’clock in the morning!
Sunday – up at 8am for breakfast (yes, food AGAIN) head to church for 10.15am to set up slides for service and stuff in the hall for Sunday School. 11am manage to sit down for service in church for half an hour before heading out with kids to do Sunday School. Great fun, see videos above! Back into church after service to time test the memorial slide show with the readers and to decide music, enter baptism in the parish register, write out certificate, photocopy 200 2-page service sheets with Mum, Dad and Kevin and then fold and staple them. Home at 3.15pm and a quick bacon butty (hurrah FOOD!) and a sit down before heading out again at 4.45pm to go to church. Lots of final touches before the service including writing prayers and double checking the names on the slideshow match the memorial candles and playing music as people arrived for the service. Memorial service in full swing at 6.30pm – memorial slideshow and music went perfectly – disassemble the AV stuff after the service then over to the hall for the reception with the memorial families. Tidy up, tables and chairs away, set up for Stay and Play in the morning and then home just after 9pm to finally stop this weekend.
Phew, it’s been a bit busy!!! In a funny kind of way I do enjoy times like these, but I do have my limits. Being so heavily involved with church and a brass band naturally means that this time of year is the busiest ever, and I find that the more I have got to do the more I can do. Strange really. You can see why I like the time it takes to do a Daybook Entry – the stopping and reflecting does wonders for me. I just hope you like them too.
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