PamBook Entry 23rd Jan 2023

Today is… Monday 23rd January

What I’ve been up to today… I’ve had a bit of a strange day today. Pain and numbness in my legs meant I couldn’t go to the toddler group this morning, then I went to the orthopaedic surgeon for an appointment with my hip – or so I thought – but it turned out he wanted to see me for my shoulder injury, and then I was in a meeting to plan Sunday’s worship and teaching. It was lovely to be back on the rota again after all this time off sick and though I’m a bit nervous, I am raring to go and looking forward to preparing my sermon for Sunday.

What I see from my window… signs that spring and winter are starting their annual duel and though there are still plenty of patches of cold and ice still to come, the spring flowers are delicately poking their noses out to test the air temperature in my garden.

On my mind is… getting back to “normal” after a prolonged period of absence. It is one thing to have a cold or the flu and be sick for a little while, but I’ve found that the hospital and recovery time for my surgery has taken it out of me a little bit. I’m raring to go, but still a bit scared too. Will I have the energy to lead worship? Will I find the words to offer in my sermon? Will people welcome me? Will I be confident again? I rather think the answers to all of those are “with the help of God, I will”.

My prayers are for… I’m praying for my blogging friend Andy who has invited me to take a service for his family in the coming weeks; I’m praying for my church community as we prepare for the imminent departure of our leader; I’m praying for my son and his girlfriend as they make joyful plans to be married soon; I’m praying for my daughter who is off on travels afar this week. As ever my prayers are for my Christian brothers and sisters around the world, that they are the light and salt in the places where they worship and share God’s word.

My hope is … to finish a gift I have been creating for a very dear friend this evening. I will share it with you when it’s done because I don’t want to spoil the surprise for her if she gets wind of it!

A recent lesson I have learned… what it really means to be upheld in prayer. Let me explain – I have felt moments in my life where people have prayed for me and I’ve felt almost a physical response to their prayers, especially if they are by my side at the time, but during my hospital stay and my recovery from surgery, there were times when I found it hard to pray for myself and yet I could still feel the prayers of those who were offering them on my behalf. Those people who prayed for me really did lift me up, and I am humbled by their faith and their care for me.

I am thankful… for the gifts of the surgeons who operated on my spine and for the nurses who cared for me in hospital, and for the love and care for me at home that has got me to this stage of “getting back to normal”.

Lately I have made… a little blue prayer bear.

Top of my reading list is… a series of books by Michael Robertson Jr centred on the character of Lance Brody, a young man with extraordinary gifts. It’s a bit fantasy, a bit supernatural, a bit far-fetched, a bit challenging, but very readable and very escapable-into.

Seven books (plus a novella sized prologue) of great storytelling

I am getting square eyes from watching… not so much square eyes but can’t wait for the next episode of Happy Valley on BBC1. Have you seen it?!!?? If you’ve not, I urge you to watch it watch it watch it. Honestly, it’s the best thing on TV for donkey’s years. A gritty thriller written by Sally Wainwright starring Sarah Lancashire which is set around one of my favourite places on earth, the Calderdale Valley. There are reasons why it’s called “happy” valley – yes, the locals call it that too! – and the series is absolutely stunning. There are two more episodes left and then there are no more being made. There are so many loose ends to tie up I can’t see how it’s all going to be done, but I can’t wait to watch it. Honestly, it’s that good that I’m pining for next Sunday evening already!

My relaxation sounds are… I’ve recently gone off listening to music for some reason, and so instead of having the radio or Spotify on I’ve had different bits of spoken word things going on in the background as I’ve been working. Sometimes it’s LBC, sometimes it’s Radio 4, othertimes it’s podcasts or YouTube videos about stuff. I’ve even managed to complete a couple of audio books recently too, the latest one being The Couple at Number 9, which was a bit complicated but well worth listening to.

My plans for tomorrow… I have my regular Bible Study tomorrow morning, and then I’m hoping to meet my friend for some brunch. I’m getting back into the swing of ministry again now so in the afternoon I’m going to make some phone calls and start to think about my sermon prep for Sunday.

Closing Note… I was on a training course this weekend, and it was a bit of a testing time for me. I have to be honest and admit that I didn’t really want to go, and I was really apprehensive about being away from home for the first time since surgery, and I was really worried about the stuff around the mechanics of the weekend – carrying my bags to my room, managing to move around the retreat centre and keep up with the others physically, self-care in the shower etc – but I needed to push mysuf out of my newly rebuilt comfort zone of home, and get out there and do it. Apart from a spell on Saturday afternoon where my pain was overwhelming, I managed pretty well and I got through the whole thing relatively in one piece. The weekend was not without its cost, but it taught me a valuable lesson about facing fear and doing it anyway, and I feel emotionally stronger for that small victory.



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