Daybook Entry – 21st December: Winter Solstice


012614_1641_DaybookEntr1.jpgFOR TODAY

Outside my window… it’s very mild out there tonight. The clouds over Manchester are a funny colour and it looks like they are reflecting sunshine bouncing off Mars or something. It doesn’t feel like the Midwinter Solstice!

I am thinking… that this time a month ago I was in a transient state of anxiety about the amount of commitments I was responsible for in December, both in terms of OU work, service to my ministry, work for band etc.

I am thankful… that I made it. With the help of many friends and family, with many prayers and desperate, tearful appeals to God for help and with some utterly joyous people on the receiving end of my service, December has turned out to be worth all that anxiety and worry at the start.

In the kitchen… is not very much. I haven’t been here to do anything about that for the past couple of days!

I am wearing… black t-shirt, blue shorts. Yup, it’s very mild tonight!

I am creating… I made a few scented decorations on Friday afternoon – studded some oranges and clementines with cloves and then wrapped them with ribbon, and I tied up a couple of bundles of cinnamon sticks too. They are resting in several places round the house, which is now smelling lovely. I made the most of an hour where I had no pressing obligations to attend to!

I am going… to have another busy day tomorrow, but I’m excited for it so not stressing about it at all. I am going to be with a team of colleagues serving Christmas lunch to some families who are involved with Homestart and from our church. Shopping first though – I’m responsible for getting the dessert from Costco as soon as they open in the morning!

I have been… BUSY!!! Nearly there though. There has been so much I can’t even begin to tell you but suffice it to say that I have had a ball so far, but I can’t wait til Christmas Day when I can switch off and relax.

I am wondering… how my Mum and Dad are doing. They both went down with a sickness bug this afternoon and the last I heard they had painted a black cross on their front door…

I am reading… I don’t have a book on the go at the minute (shock horror!) but I have got a Ruth Rendell lined up to start tonight when I get to bed.

I am hoping… none of us in my house get the sickness bug too. My Gran had it yesterday and it has obviously jumped to my Mum and Dad because they were looking after her. She’s better today so it looks like it is just a 24 hour thing, but it is worrying nonetheless.

I am looking forward to… having Emma back home on Christmas Eve. It has been lovely to have her home since Tuesday and I got upset today when she went back to her other home.

I am learning… that I am stronger in my ministry now more than at any other time in my life previously. God is calling me.

Around the house… I would love to tell you that there is a Christmas tree up, a candle-tree on the windowsill, garlands hung round the stairs and the chimney breast and strings of cards hung on the walls. I would love to tell you that there is a freezer full of Christmas goodies, and the cupboards are groaning with treats for later in the week. I would LOVE to tell you that all presents have been bought and wrapped, and I would love to be able to tell you that there is a nativity scene set out ready for Christmas. I’d love all that, but I’d be lying if I told you all that was in place. Sigh….

I am pondering… shower before bed, or first thing in the morning?

A favourite quote for today… “In the beginning was the word, and the word became flesh”. I have been involved with leading/organising two carol services in Blackley this evening and this is one of the many lines that have been said or sung that have stuck with me.

One of my favourite things… is hearing a church organ in full throttle playing Hark The Herald Angels Sing.

A few plans for the rest of the week: serving a charity meal tomorrow, shopping if poss in the afternoon (if my feet will take it!), dentist on Tuesday and some shopping (desperately needed), Crib Service on Christmas Eve afternoon and midnight communion Christmas Eve night, carolling in the neighbourhood on Christmas morning and then after that I am going to SWITCH OFF.

A peek into my weekend…

This is a group shot of the children at Messy Christmas yesterday. We have been running a lost sheep trail in Blackley during Advent and as you can see we have got a safely gathered flock in church now. And we managed to round up the sheep too!
This is a group shot of the children at Messy Christmas yesterday. We have been running a lost sheep trail in Blackley during Advent and as you can see we have got a safely gathered flock in church now. And we managed to round up the sheep too!

 

I made the following video to use in our carol services today. It is made from a separate video (credit to follow when I’ve tracked down the original), a music track and some photos I collated myself to make this whole presentation. I hope you like it.

 

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