It all started pretty much as usual, although we were looking forward to a move from the mountains to the coast. Then hubby was told he had an aggressive cancer, a re-appearance of melanoma that had been dormant for something like seventeen years. So, instead of a nice, planned, period of finishing up, we had a sudden move to the city for his treatment and palliative care where we could be close to family.
I made the sea-change move alone.
The new parish has been great. Ministering in three viable congregations is tiring. How did ministers manage in the days when they were expected to do it all? These congregations are well organised with gifted lay leadership. Mastering the cast hasn't been easy and I'm not sure I have it all straight after six months.
It has been good to be closer to the family. I have been able to look after the two youngest grandies for the day and have them stay over once or twice. I went to see Mary Poppins with my daughter. Great! I've also been able to watch eldest grandson in his footy grand final in Melbourne. I've been able to go to family get-togethers. All this just wasn't possible from the mountains.
I have a cleaning lady who comes every fortnight to vacuum the carpets, mop floors and clean bathrooms. Sometimes she has time to do a bit of extra, more detailed cleaning. She is a pleasure to have in the house and we have discovered a similar liking for books, so have been lending each other books. I have a mowing man who keeps the lawns under control. I have a cooking day around once each month and freeze meals, so I don't need to cook every day and am not tempted to live on take-aways.
I go to the gym three days per week and Floss gets walks from time to time - not as much as she should, but she doesn't mind, as long as we have our snuggle times first thing in the morning and as often as she can during the day. She has a bed in the family room and another in the office, so she follows me back and forth between the two.
Life for the first half of the year was stressful: the second half has not been exciting, but very enjoyable anyway. The week is spent mainly in preparation for Sunday worship in three congregations, with some visiting and meetings. By Sunday the work is done and I go out to play! I'm so glad I believe in a God who likes to play, so worshipping can be fun.
Life for Floss and me is good.
What surprises do you have in store for us in 2011, playful God?