...so today, I was looking for some space to put all the boxes of chocolate we have acquired from Christmas. What usually happens in our house is we dispose of the Christmas chocolate to prepare for the Easter chocolate and we dispose of the Easter chocolate in preparation for the Christmas chocolate. It just doesn't get eaten, or we have packed it away into such obscure tins, so deeply buried in the back of cupboards, that we completely forget about it.
...so I figured I would just clear out one cupboard and seven hours later I finished tidying the entire kitchen, 12 shelves, 6 cupboards and very nearly the 'bits' draw, until I figured that everyone has a 'bits' draw so that one remained untouched. My girls helped for a couple of hours until they found something better to do.
I threw away so many things that had expired April 2009 and it got me thinking about 2009 and how nothing really got done anywhere since April 2009 apart from in my head! It made me feel happy in some ways but sad in others. This year saw me through DDO interviews from Feb until July and then Bap and then interviews at theological college and preparation for starting in September. It all just flew by and I didn't notice the food passing its sell-by date, the bits collecting in the cutlery draw and the backlog of chicken drum-sticks in the freezer and in some ways these things do not matter and in some ways they do.
There are a lot of things that I fear I might never do now in all the busyness that lies ahead. I hope to plan holidays again, like we used to without saying 'better not, you never know where we're going to be' and I want to learn how to make scones, I know, weird! It's all a bit random.
We have lived off very little money for the last 6 months because my husband has been building a new business, it's been really tight, like seriously, and yet our inability to buy anything apart from the basics has somehow coincided with a lack of desire to buy anything more than the basics and life has been so busy and fulfilling in all sorts of ways that we never anticipated.
Living in community has been intense but really great. Living with people who all centre their lives around God and punctuate each day in a regular way with prayer and worship has been ..., well...a relief. It feels like that...a kind of 'phew', yeah, this feels right. Being back at home for the three week break has reminded me of life before...
Living in community has also been pretty excruciating at times. You're encouraged to reflect, of course! You're encouraged to work on those aspects of your personality that might need refining and there's no hiding, they 'get' you. So they sussed I am a bit of a perfectionist and my friends worked out I can be a bit dramatic, a tad partial to hyperbole, and I am working on these things.
I also hope in some ways not to become too sucked in by the institution that is the Church, to see things somehow from the perspective of those who are not entirely comfortable with it, those who are not familiar with it and have little desire to be a part of it. I want to be conformed more into His likeness but that doesn't mean I will necessarily conform! I will not rebel for the sake of rebellion either but just continue to question and wonder why we do what we do and what it means for us and for God and for those who are only just coming to know him.
...so I look forward to 2010, its shape is not going to be one I can control. I'll shadow a hospital chaplain for the first part of it and late spring, I will be on main placement in a church somewhere and I'll keep churning out the essays as I go. I'll continue to struggle with a rule of life and I'll continue to look for God in the everyday details, the serious and the mundane, the God whose will we seek to discern, of whose mission we hope to be a part. I'll probably continue to ask as many questions of God as I will of the institution which claims to be his hands and his feet, imperfectly and at times strangely.
...so it that 'went off' in 2009, hopefully 'went off' in the right direction. With parts of my old life thrown away, there is room in more spaces for more of Him, how those spaces will be filled I do not know, only that like chocolate there will be that bitter-sweet fulfillment!