I took my lead from the wise and brave Abby Norman, and declared it ‘gentle January’. (I discovered that if you make it into a hashtag, then it becomes a ‘thing’). Here are the latest book and music recommendations plus ideas for Lent
If this year you’re feeling quite blue
And your patience is all but worn through
If your children are restive
Or your nose is congestive
And you wish that the old year was new
This month I was published in The Spectator, Liberti Magazine, Magnet Magazine. I made a 30 seconds or less video that was 40 seconds. And I went to the opera. Don’t ask me what the weather was like this month. I don’t think I saw much of it, or much of anyone else.
The boy has a new obsession with making things and doing science experiments. I am good at neither. This means I regularly let him loose with some paper plates, a yellow napkin and an extravagant quantity of sellotape,
Before the party, we were all, “It will be legendary! The kids will be talking about this party when they’re SIXTY! When the other kids hear about this party they will be sobbing to their parents and berating them for taking them to Disneyworld instead of going to our boy’s party!”
After the party, we remembered that only really happens when you’re eight. I fear we may have peaked too soon…
When the grief of chronic illness strikes, I am Adam and Eve, homesick for Eden, looking at the angel barring the way back. My sickness is part of the metaphor that reminds me of the brokenness of the world. When I am paddling in the clear Mediterranean, I am John in Patmos, with a glimpse of heaven and the riches of eternal life with the Creator.
For the times when we despair of humanity and ourselves, and think, ‘we can’t do this’, it is a good reminder to do as the writer to the Hebrews instructed the first Christians: remember Jesus. At those times when we feel frustrated, we need to be reminded that we don’t see it yet. We don’t see the ending, when goodness and order will be restored and the earth will be as it should. But we do see Jesus.
For us it was my unexpected neurological illness that turned our love upside down. If love languages were inflexible things, we would have been sunk.