I haven't been blogging for a while. The plan to journal my experiences of pastoral care training on this blog kind of took a nosedive as the stream-of-consciousness, often confidential nature of what I am learning and writing doesn't sit too well here! I've also been busy doing other things like going on the school trip with my 5 year old and helping out in her class. Suffice to say the course is going very well; I have been offered a placement at the local hospital in the New Year, and I was presented with a Certificate that marked the end of my two years of general study in Christian Discipleship during our Harvest Festival at church this Sunday, which is the bit I want to blog about now.
As is often the case, I took three children with me to the Family Service. Usually FirstSister sings in the children't choir at the front, but this particular morning she didn't want to. ThirdSister seemed to want to make for the table of candles. SecondSister wanted to play with her friend. (Did I mention they were up extremely late at the Harvest Supper the previous night?!) By the time I had shepherded them all into a pew and walked around and around with ThirdSister before the service started, I felt exhausted. Often we pop into the Children's Chapel at the back and we were invited there, but I knew I had to be up to collect my certificate, so I had to wait. I think I had two photographs taken, one with a toddler under my arm, the other with her pulling me to go somewhere.
After the service I joked to the photographer (who was a church elder taking pictures for posteriority, rather than publication) that he had better Photoshop me, as I must have looked frazzled and harried. And he went and picked up the camera, and showed me my picture in the viewfinder. And I looked lovely! (Bear in mind I never look good on photos.) Somehow, with the sun coming through the stained glass windows, and the candles, and being surrounded by my children and my congregation and honoured with the gifts of God that allowed me to get to the end of a difficult course, I looked like I was shining in His heavenly light. Which, due to His blessings, I often am.
I don't often feel like I am, but sometimes, however hurried and worried I may be, it seems I can look it, too.