Some days, when you're sleep deprived, it feels like you're an actor in a drama, with things happening around you which don't feel properly real. If you're down, it can feel like you don't belong or feel connected to events around you - you just keep pushing onwards in the hope that eventually things will get easier and/or you'll feel better. In this late summer/early autumnal beauty, with dusky pink sunrises and light glistening on deadening leaves, it's easy to register such images without them actually having any effect - I can see God's amazing creations, but they don't move me like they used to.
So how thankful am I for the small things that have been taking place which remind me not only of the presence of God in my life, but the whole amazing bigger picture. I detest the term 'God-incidence' (like a coincidence, but God-directed, for those of you who thankfully don't know the term), but it only takes two or three little things to happen together to help me out and make my day better.
Firstly, I have been granted grace at bedtimes. Patient with the behaviour of two excited, silly little big girls - how did that happen? It certainly didn't come from me. Answering the ludicrous questions. Talking about problems. The putting back to bed. The putting back to bed. The putting back to bed. The putting back to bed.
Secondly, it's the stuff that springs out of the kids that turns things around. Yes, I know we just had a newborn, but at the start of the 6-week holiday I was thinking we might be able to recommence a daily slot at the piano, like we used to - we have simple books of nursery rhymes, seasonal songs & faith songs. I love to play (in an amateur way) and haven't for ages. Of course, this never materialised in practice. But yesterday, after Church, a roast dinner, a DVD and chocolate, the girls actually *asked* for songs at the piano. And it transpired I haven't played since the piano was moved to a space in the lounge which has better acoustics; I haven't sang with the girls since I joined a performing Ensemble for singing practice. And it felt magical. I felt more 'me' than I have since the birth of the baby, enjoying making and sharing music. Maybe it was the songs for the season, such as 'The Farmer Gather His Hay Today, It's Harvest Time', and 'Paintbox', about all the different kinds of vegetables (and I am hankering after getting the organic vegbox delivered again). Anyway, I was uplifted (far more than singing Onward Christian Soldiers in Church...)
And finally, while I was sorting the music books I came upon a recipe, 1 solitary recipe, on the piano, for Green Beans A La Grecque, that I had put there to, ahem, 'file', months ago; maybe even last summer. And it was just the recipe that I was planning to use today, to use with the remainder of the runner beans my friend Mary brought round from her allotment when she came to visit the baby. (We had some with the Sunday roast - delicious!!) And I just felt at that moment, that everything was in alignment, that everything made sense, that God is all around, & that the good things in life outweigh the bad, at least for now.
I am so thankful for these tiny glimmers of hope.