This weekend was cuh-razy. It reminded me of those first few weeks with a new born – you know when your emotions are just all over the place and you go from feeling completely saturated with love for your new perfect baby, to crying hysterically when the enormity of the parenting task hits you at 3am when a hungry baby won’t latch to your boob, to laughing uncontrollably probably from sleep deprivation but also from the circus your life becomes when you have children. Cuh-razy, I tell you.
So this weekend had nothing to do with newborns but my emotions pretty much matched those mentioned above.
On Friday night we were blessed with an overnight stay at Emperor’s Palace with another couple who we love. The giddy anticipation of a night away from our children, staying in a hotel room with a king sized bed which we didn’t have to share with midget bodies, and the tantalizing promise of a buffet dinner and breakfast was enough to send me over the edge of happiness. And it wasn’t an empty undelivered promise – boy, it was awesome. The food was amazing, the company was lovely, our hotel room was a real treat and we laughed until we cried at one point! Isn’t it great to have good friends to do life with?
On Saturday we attended the funeral of my husband’s cousin who was killed in a motorbike accident. Funerals don’t exactly have me jumping for joy, for reasons I don’t have to explain I’m sure. So already on a low, we then zoomed off to the airport to say farewell to my brother and his family who returned to Australia after a 6 week long holiday. You know what the worst thing about saying good bye is? It’s that uncertainty of whether you will see each other again in this lifetime. If I KNEW for sure that ok yes, I’ll see you tomorrow morning at work, then saying goodbye would be a cinch (even though even tomorrow is not guaranteed) but with the time and distance that separates me from these people who I love, it makes saying good bye that much harder. As I get older and the reality of life and death affects me more, goodbyes become very emotional for me. And yes I’m going to get all sentimental now, and tell you to treasure every moment and live each day as if it was your last because guys really, we need to be cognisant of the fact that this very moment is the only one you can bet your bottom dollar on. Later tonight, tomorrow, next week – we may not be here! Heard such an encouraging Word at church yesterday. An old and familiar teaching about the power of the tongue and how the words you speak bring life or death. But what struck home for me was how we speak to our children, how we should be affirming them every day with words of love and encouragement and positivity, how we should be prophesying good things into their futures. I want to say the things I need to say while I have the chance. And this goes for everyone else too. I don’t want to wait until so-and-so’s funeral to say and hear nice things about them, I want to tell people everyday how special they are, or how I appreciate them for whatever reason it is. Down to the lady who comes to collect my used coffee cup off my desk and washes my lunch Tupperware every day – I really appreciate her and I need to tell her that. It’s mind boggling that your words have an effect on the hearer without you sometimes even REALISING the impact. So make your words positive, spirit building and loving. EVEN if what you are saying isn’t necessarily a compliment, believe it or not, you can even pass a criticism in a loving way!
So after all of that I was feeling really bleak. But once again the good people in our lives came through for us and our friends invited us over for dinner. I neeeeed to be more like this friend of mine who is so perceptive to other people’s feelings; knowing the sort of day I was having, she extended this dinner invite and it was just what I needed at that time. Our friend showed us this really cool app that displayed exactly where my brother was flying over the ocean at that exact time and it made South Africa seem so much closer to Australia than it really is – even if it’s just an iPad illusion, it made me feel instantly better! We could see exactly where they were, how fast their plane was going (going like a boeing is not just a made up phrase, those planes go I tell you!) how many kilometers they had traveled and how far they still had to go. Technology is amazing isn’t it? Again I felt the warmth of good company and true friends seep through the sadness, saturating my sponge-like heart with good vibes again. It’s weird, I always picture my heart like a sponge that expands and contracts with each emotion. Sometimes it expands with sadness, and sometimes with joy. Sometimes it becomes dry and I need someone or something to pour something into it to make it all sponge-y and fat again. Anyway, my love tank was revived and full on Saturday evening, after a rather gloomy day.
Yesterday was a quiet day around the house, my most favourite type of day. Husband and I made homemade pies together. He made a chicken and vegetable filling and I made a lamb curry filling and we rolled out our pastry and filled our pies and popped them into the oven – a total of 10 pies! Although misshaped, and too much or too little filling in some, they were good. I’m guessing it’s the made-with-love ingredient in them! I read my book, the kids pottered around the house, the husband was glued to the end (hallelujah) of the English Premier League and then we went to McDonalds for cheapy ice creams.
What is WONDERFUL though, is ONE thing that remains constant – through the highs and through the lows – and that’s God’s presence and His concern over us. It’s like David said:
Your Spirit is everywhere I go. I cannot escape your presence. If I go up to heaven, you will be there. If I go down to the place of death, you will be there. If I go east where the sun rises or go to live in the west beyond the sea, even there you will take my hand and lead me. Your strong right hand will protect me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Ps 139 v 7 – 12.
And that, my friends, is what makes even the highest high better and the lowest low bearable 🙂