Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 begins - with a bang and a reminder

The circle of life goes on.

Yesterday, I heard that Glynis's mother is coming peacefully to the end of her life, and as I write, Glynis and Peter are preparing to fly to South Africa. And then this morning, I had an email from a dear friend in Zimbabwe to tell me that her husband had died earlier in the year. I didn't know. If ever there was a very good nudge about what I wrote yesterday, this was it. Time. I was so wrapped up in my own life and battles that I did not take the time to check in on a friend.

Gill is an amazing woman. We were at university together back in the dark ages, and she and Peter have stayed on in Harare, through the worst period of its history. Peter was a vicar, and Gill is the head of a large school in the capital. Their 4 children are scattered around the world. Her elderly parents moved in with them in the past year. Living in Zimbabwe makes any challenges we are facing pale into total insignificance, so your prayers for her safety, strength and the example of her faith to only grow would be really appreciated. And while you are about it, please add Zimbabwe to your prayer lists. It is a living nightmare. The place the world forgot.

These photos were taken from the television at midnight. In the Casa del la Rocking Chair, we go for exciting times, and the fireworks from London were spectacular! Especially from the comfort of the couch, snuggled under a blanket, while the 700 000 people watching IRL were being rained on. Cold. Wet.

So here we are, in a new year. It is like having a brand new book with crisp clean pages, and our pens held ready, about to write the story of our days. Stroke that empty page, and pause for a moment and think about the possibilities ahead to document.... it is time for dreams to be pondered and hopes to be considered.

Having a heart open to what challenges life will offer does not mean sitting safely under the blanket on the couch all day every day, even though there are times I can think of nothing more perfect. Like now.

2007 is gone. Over. Done with. It had many highs and then a good few lows too. Lots of lessons and lots of changes. Challenges. Times to flounder and times to roll with laughter. Sometimes I failed. And sometimes I did well. I made loads of mistakes. I let fear win too many times. My biggest failing is that I try to do it all myself, and won't share the load. This is crazy stuff. I am not god. I should have let others help when they offered. The grace and serenity I long for showed up now and then, and then I blew it over and over again. I. Me. No-one else. I was born on a Thursday. Thursday's child, the old rhyme says, has far to go. (I have just yelled at my Mother for having me on a Thursday. Friday would have been better. My sister was born on a Sunday. Bonny, blythe, good and gay.... you get the picture. Snarl. Mum laughed at me, and said I was born on Ascension Day, so should be happy about that. That is beside the point. Humpf.)

Where was I???? Far to go. Hmmm. Oh yes. I seem to take the long circuitous route everywhere. I get there in the end, but it is the slooooooooow road. (This does not apply to my directional skills or speed on the roads, however. I am very good at that!) As I am, by nature, impatient, this is a torturous process. There is a lesson in progress here. I know, I know. (As I am writing this, the New Year Concert from Vienna is on...glorious music filling the house.)

I digress. I am easily distracted today.

I like taking detours. I like the interesting byways and then I get frustrated because the final destination gets further and further away. Like with the Inquest, for example. I became absolutely fascinated by the workings of the heart, so I delved deeper and deeper and now have this impressive kalaedoscopic knowledge of stuff which is of absolutely no use to me whatsoever, and is unlikely to ever pop up in normal conversation. And it made the research take far longer than necessary. You see? Not always bad stuff, just unnecessary. Interesting though. I am like a magpie, except I collect bits of information.

So where does that leave my glance back at 2007? Full of new experiences. A realisation that I am not as young as I once was. Wiser. Full of new roles. A simpler life. After letting me dawdle through life at my own pace, He has upped the ante, and I am having to rumble into a faster gear, and get moving. He has plans for me, and is tired of waiting. Am I up to the challenge? Only He knows. I will have to do the best I can.

As I take a flying leap into 2008, I am so glad to have you all alongside me. We have stories to write about the lives we live. So get out that clean page and let's get going!


Barbara said...

Fun post Linds along with the sadness too.
You really did get good photos from the tv. I wondered if they would come out but did not try as it was 2.0 a.m. videoed so I could still try.
I posted on our NYE.
I know yur sitting room is not always that tidy!! I like the sea picture.
Thanks for your lovely comments.

someone else said...

I so very much enjoy reading what you write. This was really nice, Linds. I'm looking forward to the new year.

As We Sail... said...

So glad your daughter came by for Christmas. those sofas look very nice, and comfortable.
Hope 2008 keeps you close to the Lord.

Pam said...

Yes, of course you're quite right and I shall manoeuvre my brain into this sensible and mature position in a while. Possibly. But brace yourself for some serious gnashing of teeth if 2008 brings what I fear.... Meanwhile my thoughts will be with you on the 10th.

The new sofas look excellent. But... cream sofas! This shows the difference between us, dear Linds. What an optimist you are.

We actually got free extra loose covers with the sofas in our sitting room (the one the cats aren't allowed into) - the covers we chose were darkish blue but the extra ones are cream. We've had these sofas about five years now, and every now and then I contemplate having a change and putting on the cream ones. And then I consider how long they would remain cream, and they remain in the box they arrived in. I suppose that the blue ones are actually just as dirty as the cream ones would get, mind you. Maybe I should actually remove the blue covers... and wash them. Now there's an idea.

Happy New Year!

Susan said...

I with you Linds with my Penless instrument in hand :o) May 2008 truly be a Year of New Beginnings for you dear friend.

meggie said...

This is a wonderful post. It nicely counterbalances my slightly cynical one about New Year.

I wish you only good things in this year of 2008.

Crystal said...

I love the sentiments you express in the last paragraph! I am glad to be alongside you in this journey of life. I'll be praying for your friend and the place they live. We are so protected and safe here in Canada - thank you, Lord. Happy Writing!!!

At A Hen's Pace said...

His mercies are new every morning...how much more so at the dawning of a new year! Great post.

I'm Saturday's child, who must work for her living. Humpf, indeed!



Linda said...

Happy New Year Linds! I'm back and feverishly trying to get caught up wih everyone. I really enjoy reading your posts. It's like sitting down and having a good chat with a friend.
I will remember to pray for your friend - it puts our lives into perspective doesn't it?
Blessings to you Linds.

Dawn said...

What a year it has been. And what a year it will be - the twins will be born Sunday. Sunday's childen! We pray for them to be healthy from the start.

Vee said...

Oh, I think you are up to the challenge and I know that He is able.

Love this line, Linds. I'm going to quote you on my fridge!

"Having a heart open to what challenges life will offer does not mean sitting safely under the blanket on the couch all day every day, even though there are times I can think of nothing more perfect. Like now."

Hey, and be grateful for that Thursday...I'm Wednesday's Child. ;>