Life has been SO full lately - and most of it has been good, draining but good. We realised the other day that over the past 14 months, we have lived MANY big transitions - a wedding, a move, a daughter coming back home, and lots of little things added here and there. No wonder we feel tired on a lot of levels. I am realising that I need to find ways to fill my "coping tank" back up, not an easy thing when the timetable is over-full and I'm wearing several different hats.
All the same, I have little that gives me a right to complain. Compared to the situation in the Central African Republic, which we are following regularly, we have very little physical discomfort. We have plenty to eat and drink, to wear, to do, and lack for nothing. That pushes me to thankfulness, in the midst of all the busy-ness.
From time to time, I wonder how I would react if I lost it all to civil war or to a flood, which many people in other parts England are living through. Would I rebel at the hand I was dealt? What would I miss most? How about you? Do the "creature comforts" we have possess us, or do we possess them? Perhaps something to reflect on . . .
Solomon said something about there being no end to books. There is certainly some truth to that, especially as I anticipate the final module of my degree program which will take place in Pasadena in October.
The main emphasis of the course is how to balance the demands of "professional" church life while remaining fresh and connected to God in a real way - quite a challenge! I have already started reading, but much more is ahead. And I am looking forward to learning from those who have gone before, what they have done to face the challenge.
The amount of work is always a bit daunting, but this degree program has stretched me in ways I would never have anticipated. Well worth all the "blood, sweat and tears" - well, actually, none of it has been as hard as that ;-)
In my last blog entry, I spoke of my fear of how I might react before, during or after my daughter Anne's wedding to Adam on 20 July 2013 (you can read my thoughts more fully below).
You can read some details of the wedding by clicking the "Imports" page. The whole affair could not have been more perfect.
As for my small part and how I lived it, it could not have felt more natural and a great way to symbolically pass the baton for Anne's spiritual covering from myself to Adam. What a joy! I now look forward to this next stage in the life of our daughter, as we get to know Adam better and forge a modified relationship with the two of them "as one."
In a few short days (20 July), our second oldest daughter Anne will be married to Adam. For months, we have been making plans, talking through details, anticipating each aspect, and sharing in the joy and challenges of pulling off a major event to mark the official start of their new life together.
If I'm brutally honest, my biggest worry about Anne and Adam's wedding is something I hope will NOT happen. Above all, I don't want to become "the father of the bride." You know, the role that Steve Martin has played multiple times in those films that MaryAnn and the girls loved to watch over and again. For me, each viewing brought out an extremely mixed set of emotions - some laughter, some tears, some fear, some excitement. But the panic about how to avoid becoming Steve Martin's character in real life grew each time I saw the film or even heard the title.
The last thing I want to be remembered for is ruining any of my daughter's weddings. Up until now, I think I've done okay at not mentioning money at every turn, not questioning any decisions, and not imposing my vision of how the wedding should go on the bride and groom-to-be. But there are still two weeks to go. I'm praying I won't fall prey to the stereotype - but that I can occupy well my small role in the gala event: simply the bride's father.
But just in case, if you are coming to the wedding: do NOT point your videocamera my way. I don't want any of what might happen to be the forthcoming "Father of the Bride 4"!