I’m sitting in a local cafe, having been their first customer an hour and a half ago. An extended moment of space in which to prepare for the start of our church Women’s Bible Study, and to gather my thoughts for the next few weeks and months.
Our weekend was spent seeking out a final summer fling before ‘Fall’ fully arrives, and the leaves carpet the pavements. We headed out to Lake Michigan, thankful for friends lending us their house, and hit the beach in true English fashion amidst the surprised glances of passing Americans. Surprised because it was grey, a little damp and we were still stalwartly sitting on the sand. Thankfully the sun did emerge yesterday, and we had a final warm afternoon which was very much September in Illinois rather than Devon.
As we arrive back, life and work and normality kicks in. We gear up for all that is to come, and trust that the Lord has our paths in this continually strange time of a pandemic. Thankful for the way in which prayers have been answered, often in unexpected ways, over the last few months, I’m reminded to keep praying and trusting and delighting in the fact that God, and His powerful word, is not caged by any restrictions or rules. He works in us – changing us, shaping us, growing us – and He works through us, often despite ourselves.
I was glad for a lengthy conversation with a handful of other mums last week. Tailing off an evening of chat and laughter and ‘normal’ feeling interaction, a few of us found ourselves mulling the value of motherhood, the glory in the mundane, and the way God’s economy imbues our every day with value and worth. As the lockdown shadow hovers, and we wonder if ‘normal’ will ever return, I’m fearful of life being limited again, of the horizon being flattened. But then I remember that He goes beyond my boundaries, sees more than my vista and so works in and through, and even because of, the circumstances we find ourselves in.
I look ahead, thankful for what has been, and trust that the ruler of the universe, the one who loves us more than we can imagine, is not surprised by what is to come. Even more than that, I am privileged enough to be involved in His plans and purposes.