When I started blogging I called the sons "suns" - high octane stars burning with energy and heat! I am sitting here this morning, basking in front room sunlight and trying to say some prayers, and it strikes me that what I in fact have are a sun and a moon.
All three of us will be back to school next week. So this week feels poignant and precious. The last year has painfully illustrated the ways in which both my stars have been deeply unhappy in school, for reasons that are different but connected. Jo*, definitely a sun, has always needed to be outside, his bright blond head bobbing through surf, carving along bike trails, everything fast and furious. We refer to him here as The Force of Nature and when he asks what his gift is, I always just say, "Life". And he so wants to please and be known for himself, not just for Mattman's younger brother.
Mattman* is, I think, my moon. Silver haired, quiet, loving late nights watching (and discussing!) deep and complex movies. Where he is in relation to the difficulties he has with horrible people in school does in fact control the tides of this house. But his gift of wisdom was very clear even when he was a very small little man. He has insight that often pulls me up short. He sees very clearly where his schools have failed to help him, and is looking forward to his gap year with all sorts of expectations.
I'm trying not to dread next week's return and what it sends them both back into - lurking in the dense forest of assessments that they have entered today, now that the external exams have been cancelled. And I'm telling you this because I suppose I want to share the encouragement that I get from this app* when I don't know how to pray and can only ask forgiveness for my lack of belief. Pray as you go is gentle and still and very Godly.
This was today's reading from Isaiah 65. I'd recommend this morning's reflection. It's very lovely, and I suppose for me it's the same encouragement as last week's Micah passage: the challenge to hold faith in God's future. The idea that there could yet be joy and delight for my sun and my moon* is wonderful, like the wonders of Micah 7 on the other side of the forest. The Pray as you go reflection from 10th March quoted Isaiah 50: "I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame."* And maybe one day even these former things will not be remembered, like the men who came out of the fiery furnace with not even the smell of fire on them.
Can I just thank all of you who have so openly and honestly shared your family stories* here in the Land of Blog? You have been a significant encouragement to this struggling mum. It is good to see God's faithfulness in real lives*.
So there we are, this week will hopefully be a time when we can slowly accustom our minds to The Great Return. I'm hoping we can have flint faces and joyful, faith-full hearts all at the same time. And I wish you all a gentle and faith-full week, with bursts of sunshine* and daffodils* and joy* x
You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.
(*up to 894 of years' worth of 1000 things for which to give thanks!)