Monthly Archives: October 2010

Thanks to God for these

a)  Ceiling in bathroom painted!!! (One of my half-finished projects now closer to completion :))

b)  Eating habits pretty good over the last week or so.

c)  Went swimming on Wednesday after work.

Perhaps, in future, I will not wait for all else to fail before praying…

…then again, perhaps not.  I’m only human after all!

In response to a post by ‘Surfing…’

A recent post at “Surfing through a sea of the unknown” sparked so many thoughts.   For fear of  hijacking her comments section, I have posted my response here.  (It may help to read her ‘A space to rant’ post before this, in order to have things in context)
–  I am glad that, in our culture and time, the expectation that women have to be subject to the dominance of men is less than it is elsewhere and that it used to be here in the past.  That is not to say that it does not still exist, but I am glad that I am not forced by cultural expectations to stay at home and bring up a family, as would have been the case.  I have the option to work and also not to have children, if I so choose.  Equally, women still have the option of prioritising home and family if that is their choice (the problem of being told we can ‘have it all’ raises its head here, but that is another post entirely – and one I am far from qualified to write).
–  With regard to the biblical thing, it is true that certain passages  re: the role of women are open to abuse.  The thing is, just look at the fall in Genesis.  That is where inequality began, and it permeates through all of society – ‘religion’ included.  Jesus himself never treated women as second class, and that should be our template as Christians.
–  Surfing also wrote that “(women) don’t get important roles”.  I wonder how many women really think that. In my opinion, those who do have fallen into the male dominated trap of assuming that because something is ‘traditionally female’ it is therefore less valid.  That is one of the biggest lies perpetrated by men, and believed by many women.  Whilst I have no kids, for example, I cannot think of a job more hard and important than being a mother (being a dad comes a pretty close second, imho, but I feel that mums get it harder – possibly female bias there!)  Why should ‘caring’ (an example cited by Surfing) be less important?  It is certainly very different to more traditionally male roles, but certainly not ‘less’, surely?
–  Hmm, a rant which prompted a rant.  Glad that is off of my (very female) chest.

The last few days…

…have been lovely.

Tuesday – to my sisters’ by train after work.  9.30pm arrival with chilling and chatting after.

Wednesday – lie in (day off work- yay!) followed by surprising my Dad for his b’day.  Meal with Mum, Dad and Den.  Visit to Uncle and Aunt in afternoon followed by more relaxing en famille.

Thursday – pottering about with Den, then train journey home.  Serendipitous chat with Pastor Josiah from Zimbabwe on the train (never met the man before, talked all journey, gave him the book I was reading about Caring for Life and exchanged e-mail addys – this encounter may well get a blog post of its own!).  Collected by T&E from station, some time with Welsh branch of family then and easy evening meal ‘cooked’ by husband.

Friday – much pootling, useful hospital appointment and general chilledness.

Saturday – initial disappointment as original plans went astray (apols to those reading who I missed seeing, btw).  This was followed by the realisation that I would be able to make it to the pamper sesh organised by my sis-in-law for her 40th celebrations.  Cooked brunch at local independent garden centre with husband, followed by the addition of funky blue nail foils (is new way of doing nails called Minx) and a mini-facial.  Most unusual pastimes for a Dith, but very welcome indeed.  A relaxed and sparkly Dith then attended birthday meal and ended the evening crashed out at the in-laws.  Great fun.

Sunday – slow start to the day, with leisurely breakfast followed by coffee and doughnut en route home.  Afternoon pottering in garden finally saw the replacement of the tired plants in the hanging basket and the planting out of some violas and cyclamen which have been crying out for it for weeks.  Husband preaching at friendly local chapel this evening, me providing wifely support.  Chat with sis on phone, cheese on toast and chilling in front of telly-box with T&E saw end to day.  Sherpa cat tried helping me to write this and then I went to bed (well, the last bit has not happened yet, but will by the time you read this!)

Hope you are all doing well out there too.  Hugs. 😀

The power of prayer . . .

…brings me to a better place in my head

…points the way to possible means of managing my condition better

…causes words of comfort and hope to arrive in my life

This is all good.

Having explored the dark corner, in my previous post, I would like to reassure you dear people that the lights are back on and I am still fine.  Thanks for your support and prayers – it all helps and works.  Love to you all 😀

When all else fails…

…try prayer.

Yes, I know, it is better to pray before all else fails.  But I do not think I am made that way.

Don’t get me wrong, I can do ‘Open your Word to me Lord’ and ‘Bless this person and that situation’ prayer quite easily, well comparatively.  The prayer I speak of is the tissue sodden, snot ridden, face to the floor, angrily honest type of prayer.

I will try to fix, fix and fix some more – and fail and fail and fail – before I am again driven to my knees in that kind of prayer.

Today the final straw was another day off work with a stupid, pointless cold.  The foolish kind of sub-illness that makes you good for next to nothing, but does not really qualify as being ‘properly unwell’.

A little like Fibromyalgia.

In my mind I redecorate many rooms in my lovely home and tidy and clean all the corners til it sparkles a welcome.

In this same active mind I restructure the little garden of which I am so fond, making it resplendent in colour and scent.

I am a person at the top of my game; in work, in my calling, in relationships, in life.  I am only just turning 39, after all, so all this happens – in my mind.

I reality, my home is filled with clutter, dust and half-finished projects.

My garden has sad looking flowers and crumbling walls.

My life is hampered with tiredness, disillusionment, vague aches, stomach pains, allergies and re-re-curring sub-illnesses that make a mockery of my plans.

So, finally, when my strength has all but failed me and my self-help strategies are shown to be the foolishness that they are…

…I get angry with God.

That, in itself, is surely a sin.  As is lack of gratitude and self-pitying whining.  Yet, somehow, God is okay with it – I think.  He certainly seems to accept that I am disappointed in myself, and appears equally accepting when I turn this venomous disappointment in his direction, with the visceral cry of ‘Why?’

So I wear myself out with my ranting at the heavens – possibly prayer in its purest form – but probably not!  Somehow, though, it helps.  At least for a while.  I know how I feel a little more clearly, and I perhaps see a little more clearly how God feels about that.

Many years ago, my mental health was my greatest battle.  I remember the vague feeling of guilt when I realised that God was bringing me through the worst of that, yet leaving more faithful of his children (in my eyes) in a darker place than the one from which he was rescuing me.  It made no sense.

Now, my physical health is a struggle. I know God could fix this – yet I do not know whether he will, or even intends to.  There is something seemingly cruel and a little twisted about having the desires and hopes of a not-yet-40-something, but a body that sometimes feels older than the sprightly 80-somethings in my chapel.  This is compounded by the knowledge that, with a little effort on my part (eating better, exercising more etc), the way this condition affects me could well be managed more successfully.  The trouble is, it is sometimes an effort just to get off my backside and empty the overflowing washing basket, for example, so the chances of going the extra mile with regard to self-care are drastically reduced.

So, not only does not being healed (yet?) make no sense, but I am also trapped in a vicious circle with a good dollop of guilt to add to the mix.

As I said, this eventually drives me to a place of real prayer, which involves some honesty – with God and myself.  I am very grateful to Burnt Sienna for the recent reprise of her post on grief, as it has given me the freedom to be honest with you guys too.  This is only part of a much bigger picture, so please do not fear for my overall well-being, but it is a dark corner nonetheless.  I am doing no-one any favours by pretending that it does not exist – so there it is.  My anger, frustration, grief and confusion about this foolish sub-illness that occasionally saps all that I have to offer, and all that I would like to give.

I like tidy endings and neat conclusions, but this post does not want to lend itself to such.  So, this is my loose end, do with it what you will…

Thoughts on Hallowe’en

When I first became a Christian, I attended a fundy type of church where Hallowe’en was frowned upon.  They organised ‘Light Parties’ as healthy alternative.  I consequently felt a little guilty when attending a Hallowe’en party held by my friends as a teenager.

When I travelled to Canada, I was surprised by my hosts (staunch Christians) taking their young daughter trick-or-treating and the fact that the local Christians had an overtly ‘Hallowe’eny’ celebration meal.  Black and orange balloons, pumpkin shaped chocs etc.

There was recently conversation on Facebook about the celebration of Hallowe’en, which made me think about it a little more.

Today I was informed that we will be celebrating Hallowe’en for the service-users at work.  I had an immediate ‘that’s not healthy’ internal response, quickly followed by ‘why not?’ and then by ‘no real reason!’

In conclusion, I think I am generally okay with Hallowe’en these days, tho I would like not to be bribed for sweets at my front door around the approx time of 31st Oct!!!