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.