I really have no idea how we have notched up 11 weeks already. It is a week with which on the one hand I would like to go back and start again. A week when I responded differently, when I approached the week differently. Birthday weeks with family celebrations add excitement and hyperness to the mix and I have not worked out how that looks when trying to cover lessons. Evenings have not been ours. And I have realised how vital that day to prep the 7-8 weeks in detail is, having done it for the first half of this term but not as detailed this time due to the way the half term holiday unfolded. I have an overview of the week and the material to cover but I am simply one session ahead of Bob if even that at times and he sees through that and I am not impressed with myself either, leading to me getting ratty and finding any reason other than myself to blame .
Having said that I would like to go back and start again I have to let it be the week it has been as I cannot go back and re do it. And this is where these times of reflecting and prayer are so important. I can look back and see where I need to say sorry, where I need to forgive, ask for forgiveness, extend and receive grace and mercy. Be honest with myself, with God with others. And when I write it down like that I am struck by how relational life is. One cannot give and recieve without relationship, without others and so I stop and am thankful that my life is filled with relationships. Relationships that grow and blossom through the acts of redemption, grace, mercy, and thanksgiving.
And this weekend we have a big celebration of life with Zog turning 3 and Kanga turning 1. We will be surrounded by family and my mind goes to all those who have loved our family along the way who are scattered far and near. I had my ideal how this weekend would look, the homebaked menu, the detail and attention. This week though I have been reminded of how life is filled first and foremost in relational ways and so I have laid down my ideals for the sake of those I love and spent time with them even if it has not been perfect because I have had to wrestle with the letting go and allow the supermarket to be the main provider of the menu. The relief that swept across Mark’s face when I laid my ideal down and said yes when he offered to go and buy the food made the wrestling far easier and worth it. That is the blessing and gift of living life relationally first. It is not simply a life lived for others without any thought to self. For to truly live for others will mean a wrestling of ones own dreams and ideas and a need to lay those down and unless I am alone in this, we do not do that without an internal wrestling and so live is lived both outward toward others and inward as we genuienly lay down ourselves.
It has also been a week when grammar and maths have played second fiddle to character as Bob has had to step back and allow the attention and gifts be toward Zog and Kanga. It is often a hard lesson for other siblings at this stage in life to allow others to recieve all the gifts and attention and one’s own birthday can seem forever away. But when both your sibilings get to revel in all the celebrations and gifts at the same time and you have to stand back and let them play first with their new toys as well as have a Mum who is present but distracted with trying to keep what she can of her ideal for the party alive and wrestling with what she has to lay down it stretches one thin. Bob has done really well with delighting in the others and helping them get excited but he is ready for us now to move on to normality, to Advent, to events that he has equal particiaption in.
As for lessons they have carried on, we are off schedule but I am at peace with that. That sentence alone shows we have come along way as I would never had been at peace with that or dared admit that 11 weeks ago. We are picking up on lessons I had not timetabled such as character and sibling friendships. We are growing, we are learning, we are finding our feet in this journey and adapting the pace of lessons. And tomorrow we will feast with family in the deep dark wood and enjoy Gruffalo cake and Owl icecream along with some roasted fox, scrambled snake and knobbly knees and give thanks for the youngest two in our family who are full of life, adventure, fearlessness and determination. I cannot think of a better way to round off a week that has been a reminder of living relationally.