Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Friday was a frustrating day in an equally frustrating week. By noon I felt like taking to my bed, covering myself with a quilt, and eating an entire pint of Hagan Daz ice cream... which is exactly what I did one time in my old corporate days. However, there is no ice cream in the freezer, which was probably a good thing.

It had been a week of little foxes again, almost all caused either by the usual suspects... health and financial concerns or (as on Friday) someone else driving me over the edge... in this case my doctor's office... which has happened more than once this year.

Friday evening I tried to relax and read a bit but my eyes are giving me trouble (allergies) and I couldn't focus on the words without them hurting. I talked to God but it was mostly complaining about my day, and my entire week while I was at it. I'm glad He is all Patient.

Soon thereafter I had a call, a complete surprise... Stephanie calling from the Mother Country. (We don't need to mention that whole Revolution thing.) How wonderful to hear her describe the old Roman architecture of Bath, I could almost see it through her eyes. Although her degree is in Interior Design, it is actually a pre-architecture program so she thoroughly enjoyed the sites... not to mention high tea. They also stopped at a small tea shop while on the road to their cottage, which she said was very cute.

They had just arrived at their rented cottage in the Lake District. I had prayed for them that this trip not only be all they hoped but that it would surpass their expectations. They do not plan another such trip until after the children are grown (and her hubby is iffy about that). So... how excited I was to hear she had a moment where she was overwhelmed with the beauty before her as they made their way to their destination. They even have hobbit houses (although my son-in-law reminded her that the doors were not round).

Saturday they were to walk to a village near the water and on my birthday... head to Ambleside to see the Charlotte Mason "stuff" and meet the young woman from Oxford who had recently finished her PhD on Mason's work... and have a scone in my honor.

Her phone call cheered me up immensely and the decision to tuck in early was just what I needed. I rarely sleep for nine hours but that is exactly what happened Friday night. When I awoke, all the challenges were still there but there was also peace and strength to handle them with. All I needed were rest and a good chat with a wonderful daughter (who spoils me)!

I once had a friend whose mother committed suicide when he was a teenager. It was devastating to him and his siblings that she would choose to leave them. However, I told him I could understand someone having those feelings if they had lost all hope... claustrophobic emotions can overwhelm one and they think there is no way out of their despair.

Fatigue especially is the enemy of hope and faith. Hope is an all important emotion that we often overlook. (I have hope spelled out from Scrabble tiles, sitting on my vintage breadbox.) Faith is necessary and the Book says we cannot please God without it. However, hope is that light at the end of a dark tunnel that keeps us treading on until we reach the goal.

We must have a way to handle days when life seems to hand us more than we can take right then. I should say... healthy ways... as I feel a lot better while eating a dozen chocolate chip cookies... until my blood sugar skyrockets and I've gained five pounds.

However, I know if I pop a favorite film in the DVD player... brew a little pot of tea... place a few cookies or a muffin on a pretty plate with an equally girly cup and saucer... I will renew the hope and feel better.

Or, perhaps... eat pizza and watch an "end of the world as we know it" disaster flick with my son or part of a White Sox game with my husband (did you see that perfect game???). Something to take my thoughts off of Trouble.

Then again... weeding the garden and picking veggies or working on my flowers... that can work. Sometimes it requires getting immersed in a good book or looking through a stack of pretty magazines.

I need those mini-vacations to get away from all that would cause me to sink into an abyss if not challenged.

Of course, the foundation of all is time spent with another Friend and in the Word... without that foundation I would have no hope.


scrappy quilter said...

Your last paragraph is so true. Without a Friend like Him, there is no hope. I too think we all need mini-vacations. They rejuvenate us and help us get back on track. Even if it's only a day trip, it just gives us new perspective. I'm planning one in Sept., want to come? Hugs and hope this coming week goes much better.

Pom Pom said...

WHAT a fantastic post! I loved it and felt a strong connection to your honest thoughts! What you say is VERY true - small encouragements gently blown our way, remind us we are greatly loved by the consummate LOVER.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a helpful post.

Very good ideas.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom that you share. I believe this may be the first time I have commented here. Right now, I am reading "When Children love to Learn", editor Elaine Cooper. It is the voice of some who share Charlotte Mason
s methods and application for today's student. It has been a great read. I have been migrating toward her philosophy and methods for the last couple of years. I can't seem to read enough about her. When I saw your last couple of posts, it made me smile. What a dream to go to meet this lady your daughter is meeting with a hear all she has to share about this great lady! I hope she comes away absolutely filled up. I know I am scouring, reading everything I can get my hands on.

Thank you too for your recession pondering posts and pantry posts as this also has been my direction of last. Thank you for being a Titus 2 women even via internet.

Teresa in Ohio

Packrat said...

A friend of mine said she complained to her pastor husband that all she seemed to do was complain to God. (Her sister and father had just passed away within a couple of months of each other.) He told her that it was okay; God has broad shoulders.

Anyway, I hope you are feeling better.

Anonymous said...

Well, you certainly had company this week from this house!! It is dark days we are heading into in this sorry world and especially when we fall ill, it is easy to get very depressed. But the FATHER heard me Friday and sent several small but happy things my way!! I appreciate when HE does that. I need those little reminders!! I know that a good part of how I am feeling is due to being ill right now, but also it is July after all. In my life July has held way too many difficult days. I am glad we are nearly to August now!! But once I realized that most Julys had been difficult, even if I had not been ill, I would have not done or planned to do anything significant this month. It is a good time for extra prayers, reading, studying and quietness!! indeed are blessed with such a daughter!! VERY blessed!!

Rachel and Family said...

Your tea setting is gorgeous! I felt relaxed just looking at it. I really liked your post too. Fatigue/Burn-out can get anyone down. Praise God for His gift of hope!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

This was a very soothing post. I am so happy for Stephanie. It sounds like her trip is just wonderful. I can't wait to see pictures. I hope she'll share with us. Last week was hard for me too. I had a migraine for 3 days last week and had to keep working and going to meetings. It was the Lord that helped me through it. I feel so much better now and I loved seeing those pretty dishes and your cookies. Yummy.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry this week has been hard on your physically and emotionally. We wouldn't know it from most of the posts recently. I am heading into a week I have dreaded for a couple months. I wish it was over but it has to be done. :( I often wonder what in the world people do who do not have God in their lives at times like this? Without Him things would have to feel so much more scary and desperate. It is truely amazing the little things that come up or happen unexpectedly that brighten up our down days. The relief of that diversion is so sweet at those times! I hope this coming week brings relief for you Brenda. Jody

DarcyLee said...

It is very wonderful that we have a loving heavenly Father to turn to when we need comfort. Sometimes He is the only one Who can understand. How good it is to have a daughter who spoils you. I always feel better after talking to my daughters or holding my grand daughter. They are such gifts from God.

I hope your daughter gleans much information from the lady in England about Charlotte Mason. Since they are in the Lake District, will they be visiting Beatrix Potter's farms?

Vee said...

Just getting back to pick up Sunday's post. How wonderful that your daughter is having a delightful time and sharing it with you. Yes, weariness is a joy stealer for certain. Hope that the remainder of your weekend was a restful one. Doctor's offices! Don't get me started!