Six weeks into this 52 weeks of happy, goodness me, never thought I'd last this far. It has not been a bad week, not too bad anyhow, although I have been struggling to relax and sleep. I keep meaning to write other blog posts and they keep not happening. Today I do not feel especially positive, so coming up with four things to be positive about is a good exercise, hopefully it will help my head see that there are positive things going on, help me not to miss them.
1. A kind thought and a great quotation - a kind friend sent me a lovely cotton bag she had got on a weekend away in Sheffield, with the following quotation on it "It is impossible to be angry when looking at a penguin", from of all people, John Ruskin. I would love to know what the origin is of this statement, I had always associated Mr Ruskin with serious matters, not penguins. The bag has two rather gorgeous penguins following in one another's footsteps and it put a big smile on my face. Naturally it already has some knitting in it.
2. Cabin Pressure - the radio 4 show, which each week keeps me in stitches, laughing so hard the whole house can hear, if not next door as well. John Finnemore is a brilliant writer, mixing wordplay, situation and plain silliness into a superb and closely packed half hour. Go and listen on iplayer while you can - the last in the series is next Wednesday at 6.30. I realise now that I should have mentioned this sooner, before the series was nearly over, however, you can catch up with the previous series on audible most reasonably.
3. Continuing promise of spring - the buds on our wild cherry twigs are breaking and gorgeous green leaves emerging, hopefully there will soon be flowers. They are rather hard to photograph though.
4. Prayer - I would not have made it through the week without prayer, both mine and other people's. Sometimes it is talking things over, sometimes sitting in peace, with some liturgy in between. Prayer helps me to keep my stress and anxiety levels manageable, my mood more stable, and helps me and others in so many ways. I am so grateful to God for this gift and that He cares about us and our daily lives, that He is interested and wants to hear from us, no matter how small or big the problem. Through prayer God is teaching me to rely on Him and how infinitely gracious He is. For example, if I cannot find something I try to remember to pray, before tearing the house apart looking, as I find searching for things so tiring and they do generally appear after I have prayed, sometimes almost at once, sometimes a little while later, but they do. Through watching Him answer prayers on a small scale I find I can learn to trust Him more for the big things.
Prayer also helps me to feel less useless within the church - I may not be able to do much else for my church and for the wider church, but I can pray. It is so good to have others pray for me too, sometimes it is easier to pray for someone else than it is for yourself and in the past a good friend and I have arranged to pray for one another that day rather than struggle with prayer for ourselves. I love how God equips us to help one another and love one another.
Time to try to relax and get some sleep now I suppose.