Joyful and Teetering

Alone, awake and enjoying the silence of sleeping children. 

Thanks to the kindness of friends, I am sitting in a sky-lighted nest at the top of a peaceful house having slept for longer than many of the past nights, and there is even a cool breeze slipping through the open window. 

It feels very different to the tumult of recent days as we rollercoaster our way through our whistle stop visit of England. 

The last ten days have been spent in gloriously sunny Keswick, as Jonathan has been running the bookstore at the Convention. I’ve never seen the Lake District basking in such continuous sunshine, and its brought much joy as we’ve enjoyed the water, warm evenings and picnicking with no need for a wet weather plan. There have been precious times with grandparents, and catching up with friends as we pick up where we left off a couple of years ago. 

Alongside the joys of being in a beautiful holiday destination were the realities of a husband working under pressure and accumulative tiredness, the demands of looking after two little boys on my own and then the emotional hit of hellos, goodbyes and a heart that jumps from one continent to another within the space of a conversation. 

Thankful to be here, grateful for time with family and friends, joyful in the familiarities of home…just coloured with a slight feeling of teetering on the edge as I anticipate emotion sweeping in, and we consider the uncertainties of our path back to the States and the restriction-determined timing of our next visit here. 

Leaving Jonathan in Keswick, the boys and I arrived in Bristol yesterday, spilling out of a hot, sweaty car after a journey that was fuelled by jellytots and having just about survived the inevitable irritabilities of tired people in close quarters without air conditioning. We were met by the wonderful welcome of the oldest of friends, and the joyous enthusiasm of her daughter eager to play. 

Amidst the ups and downs, and travels from one end of the country to another, I’ve found it hard to find the rhythm of reading the Bible and praying. But over recent days, I’ve been enjoying slowly reading, and dwelling on, psalm 16. King David writes of having ‘set the Lord always before me’ and ‘because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.’ I’m challenged to fix my eyes on my unchanging God, and thankful for stability that is found through him irrespective of where I find myself, both emotionally and geographically. 

Bristol for a few days with the easy company of the best of friends, and then on to Newcastle for the long awaited reunion with my dear sister. Thankful for each moment, and smiling at the thought of the days ahead and grateful for anchor of my God. 

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