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Posts Tagged ‘Work’

It has been a long time.  Life has moved on.  I have moved on.  A few times I nearly deleted this blog, but then. . . . I just couldn’t quite bring myself to.   I am back at work, albeit it very part-time.  I provide lunch-time cover at a school for children with severe physical and learning disabilities.  It’s rewarding and humbling.  You think you’re having a bad day and then you realise that your worst day is a hundred times better than their best day.

Ethan is half-way through his second term at our local Catholic Senior School.  For the most part he’s enjoying it and has [according to his tutor] transitioned really well but the step-up in homework quantity, compared to Primary School, has taken some getting used to.  I’m sure he’s not alone in that challenge.

Si has also got himself a new job.  His night shift at a local distribution warehouse has been cast aside for the dizzy heights as an IT Consultant, a job he did for fourteen years back in the days before he worked in education.  The hours are so much better and so is the money.  The whole nights thing is not conducive to family life or having any quality time together.  Made worse to be honest by a truly ridiculous off-duty rota that included far too many single nights off.  Anyone who’s worked nights will appreciate that a single night off is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard……!!!

My crochet continues on at a steady pace.  I’m not churning out a project a week, or even a month, but I enjoy what I do and I’ve got three projects that are all going to be finished within the next few weeks.  A shawl, a pair of socks and a blanket.  I’ll post photo’s of the finished articles when I get there.  I have however, finished Ethan’s Cosy Crofter Blanket and the photo’s of that are at the head of this post.  The perfect finishing touch to his new bedroom.

There is big news on the Faith Front and this has been one of those subjects that I’ve spent a while deciding whether or not to write about/share.  The thing that finally swung it was that I myself would have liked to have a found an article like this when I was trying to discern my religious path.  Interestingly this is not something I’ve shared much in real life apart from a strictly need-to-know basis.  It feels a little boastful and overly pious to make this public but hopefully it will help someone else.  So . . . . . .

At the latter end of 2008 [before I became Catholic] I found the wonderful community of Turvey Abbey where, for many years, I walked the path towards becoming a Benedictine Oblate.  A time of formation ensued towards taking the vows of Stability, Conversion and Obedience.   For all sorts of reasons I never took that final step to oblation.  All I can say is that it never felt quite right.  I love Turvey and the community and I still love going there, in fact it’s probably one of my favourite places on this Earth to worship, but I felt that God was calling me elsewhere.  However, it’s taken me a very long time to discern where that might be.

Somehow I felt that God was asking me to make private vows….promises just between Him and me, not attached to a charism or a community, just a way of aligning myself more closely with Jesus and hopefully bringing some of His love to all the people in my life.  Easy you’d think huh?  Hmmm well in reality, not easy at all.  Firstly, it took me a while to find out anything about private vows [we’re not talking consecrated vows of chastity, poverty and obedience here] and secondly what would that/they even look like?   With the blessing of the Turvey Nuns I gave up the Oblate path and decided to focus completely on Private Vows, asking God to guide me.  I devoted the whole of Lent 2016 to this cause not really expecting much to happen in what is after all just a few short weeks.  A good starting point seemed to be working out exactly what the vows would be.  Clearly I’m a wife and mother so chastity or the eremetic life were out of the question.  These would have to be vows that challenged me yes, but that would also fit around my family.  I also felt that they would have to benefit everyone [without exception] who touched my life.  These are not vows to benefit me, they’re for the benefit of my community, they’re to bring the face and love of Christ to all.  So, with much trepidation and the loving support of Sr Yvonne who is the Vicar for Religious and the Pastoral Administrator of my parish, I moved forward in faith and prayer.  Over the coming days words soon made themselves clear….Obedience, Simplicity…and ???  That last one was illusive to say the least.  One day I was dusting upstairs with the TV on in my bedroom and I suddenly heard the word, ‘Caring’ and I knew instantly that was the last one.  I’ve no idea if it was from the TV or God but there it was, loud and clear.  So I had them all ~ Simplicity, Obedience and Caring.  I wrote posts on Simplicity and Caring when I was discerning last year so you can read a little of the thought process behind them if you’re interested. 

I have not yet made these vows but, as we approach Lent 2017, I know that the time is right to move forward with this and I will be sure to share how and when that happens.  The one thing I do know is that it will be very private and simple.  If you pray keep me in your prayers, if you don’t, think of me kindly as I make this amazing journey into the arms of God.

God bless.

Sharon xx

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blue-birds-blog-header1.jpgI have quite a bit of news, both life and faith related.  However, I will keep the two separate and update on the faith part in another post. 

There are some significant changes taking place in my life at the moment.  Firstly, and I suppose most importantly, my mum has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  She has chosen not to have any aggressive treatment and has opted for palliative care only, I totally respect her decision as it’s not something you can decide for someone else.   I understand why she’s chosen this path, I don’t think chemotherapy is for everyone, it can be worse than the disease it’s trying to cure in some cases.  So, good for her on knowing what she wants and bravely going for it!

My relationship with my mother has been very strained since the death of my lovely step-father Jim, back in 2009.  We were fairly close up until then, but she has never been easy to love if I’m honest and that became a lot more difficult after Jim’s death.  I think he somehow kept us together and calmed the waters between us when he was alive but when he died that soothing balm went with him.  I had kind of hoped that she would mellow a bit with this latest news and build a few bridges but, despite my offered olive branch, that has not happened.  She knows I’m here if she needs me but as it stands that’s as close as I’m allowed.   Some things you just have to place into God’s hands and trust that He knows what’s best.

Secondly, Ethan [who is about to turn 11!!!!] has just left primary school.  He attended a fantastic Catholic Primary School here in Milton Keynes,  and they became like family by the end.  Yesterday was his very last day and to say it was emotional is an understatement.  So many tears from staff, students and parents alike.  From my point of view it was also the end of an era; for the last 33 years I’ve been a parent to at least one child of primary school age or under.  I have to admit to feeling rather bereaved at the loss of that status.  There has to be a time to move on but it’s a hard habit to break and I’m sad at its passing.

I am still not working having given up my job as a Teaching Assistant back in December ’15.  However, once I’ve got Ethan settled into secondary school I will start to re-assess things.  I’d really like something part-time that gives me time with Ethan in the holidays as I won’t leave him on his own all day yet.  I’m not keen to go back into a school full-time but if anything part-time comes up then I’ll probably go for it.  Finances dictate that I’m probably going to have to earn something within the next year or so, barring a lottery win.   I may sign-up for supply work which will mean I can choose when and where I work.  For now it’s in God’s hands and I’m trying to remain open and just see what comes along in the next few months. 

My crochet has been badly neglected recently.  Just too much going on with the huge amount of end-of-term activities that goes with being the mother of a Year 6 student, visits to the new secondary school and organising uniform/equipment/bus passes etc., hospital appointments with mum and the general demands of a family and a house that still refuses to clean itself.

That is about it for the ‘life’ part of my news.  I will do a ‘faith’ update very soon.  

Sharon xx

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…….so that in all things God may be glorified…..      

1Peter4:11 & R 57.9

Last time I blogged I said that I wasn’t going to renew my contract at the school for various reasons.  Well, that isn’t quite what has happened ~ best laid plans and all that.  I genuinely wasn’t going to seek another full-time [by that I mean a full school day] post at the school.  I had also written and handed in a letter to that effect.  A couple of days before we broke up I noticed a ‘mornings only’ position had not been filled.  I had been unaware that we even had any half-day posts available at the school but long story short it’s now mine.  The best of all worlds ~ a slightly different job description, some money still coming in and some ‘me’ time to devote to family etc.  I was a bit nervous at the thought of no personal income again if I’m honest.  Funny how things turn out.

I have said previously that I’ve found it very difficult to find God in my workplace and that has not changed but with my recent attempts at studying The Rule I was hoping to get a better understanding of why I struggle with this.  When I thought I was giving up my job I shelved the worry of that for a bit but with my last minute change of heart it’s become an issue again.  I am very aware that for most people the word ‘work’ does not just apply to paid employment but it is only when at my paid job that I have this problem.  When I’m working at home or I’m out and about I find God in all situations but at school zilch, nada, nothing.   

I have a very useful book by Jane Tomaine that gives an indepth commentary on The Rule.  There are quite a few books like this that you can read alongside The Rule that give great explanations and information but this one is the one I keep coming back to as it is a realistic guide on how to actually apply The Rule to my daily life.  It talks about Benedict’s view of equality for all jobs, how no one type of work is any more important than another.  Jane Tomaine writes that ‘Work has a strong spiritual component for Benedict: it’s a way to find God’ SBT p154 [emphasis mine].  This last line left me wondering where on earth I’m going wrong.

I am not defined by my job which is probably quite obvious to anyone who knows me, however I am a perfectionist and like to do things well.  The one thing I have always known is that Benedictine teaching embraces and promotes a day that is ‘filled but balanced’ SBT p153.  Arranging each day’s tasks carefully to create a useful and productive balance whilst remembering to care for and make time for yourself within that.  Our main JOB [as people of faith] is to love one another and to show the presence of/point to Christ in our daily lives in whatever format that may take.  Our work is also a way to use our God given gifts to bless those who touch our lives by becoming the hands of Christ.

I think I have been approaching this ‘God in the workplace’ thing all wrong.  I have been looking for what I can get out of it; how I feel when I’m at work.  As I sit here tapping away I’ve  realised that this isn’t about me.  I should be offering my work to God and using it as a form of prayer, praise and devotion.   When I was at home all day it was easy to feel the Holy Spirit close by, simple to turn to Him in prayer whenever I felt the need.  I was expecting similar at work but I can see now how unrealistic that is.  I can hardly find time to blow my nose never mind enjoy a quiet moment with God.  I should view the very act of working as a means of loving and hopefully blessing those around me and consequently loving Christ.

In one of the ‘tools’ that appear at the end of each chapter in JT’s book is a timely reminder for me [us] to use arrow prayers for those busy times.  Little bullets of devotion to be shot heavenwards as I [we] move through the day.  I’m a great believer in arrow prayers but have got out of the habit since starting work which is ridiculous really as that’s where they’re most useful.

I will apply what I’ve learnt when I go back to work in September.  I will try to change my approach, attitude and expectations to something less about me and more focussed on the greater good and, more importantly, our Dear Lord.

Soli Deo Gloria

Pax

 

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An award and a ‘Thank You’!

My very good friend and fellow blogger Claire from ‘A Seat At The Table’ has chosen me for the above ‘I love your blog’ award.  How lovely ~ thank you Claire.  I am supposed to choose ten people to pass it on to but as always I am going to buck the system and instead I’ve decided to give it as a tribute to all the people who make writing this blog worthwhile because they read, comment and share their lives with me.  Not all these people are bloggers so this way seems alot more encompassing and fair.  So, first names only for anonymity but I’m sure you’ll know who you are ~ for…..Allie, Gail, Barbara, Claire, Autumn, Sr M, Sr J, Nicholas, John, Tim and Tess.  I sincerely hope I haven’t missed anyone ~ thank you all for enriching my faith journey and consequently my life.

I have been awol for a while as have been busy tidying my life up, making a priority life plan to embrace and replace things that are of the most importance to me and generally having a metaphorical/emotional clear out.  As part of this I have chosen not to renew my contract with the school next year so my job officially ends on 31st August 2010 [although we break up next Friday 23rd July for the summer hols].  There are a myriad of reasons why I have decided to do this, most of them too difficult to share on here without falling into whinge mode or sharing information that should/must remain private.  Suffice to say that a big part of it is to free me up to settle Ethan into ‘Year One’ in September and to be able to concentrate on my immediate family, especially my mum and new grandson.

I have not forgotten about ‘The Rule’ and am working on another post for that.  I will be looking at the chapters that refer to manual work, unsurprisingly provoked by my recent decision to stop working at the school.  Lots going on in my head on that subject as you can imagine. 

That’s me for now ~ am totally exhausted in these last weeks of school so am looking forward to breaking up and being free [ish] to blog a bit more frequently.

Love to all and thank you again to Claire and all who visit here.

Pax   

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…..and some news….I’m back to update you all. 

We have moved house finally [sounds of cheering and applauding heard in the background]!!!  It was on Friday 13th November which, under the circumstances, I thought was very appropriate considering the amount of grief and hassle and two last minute cancellations we had in the days prior.  We were unpacked and sorted within less than a week partly due to the fact that I can’t live in chaos and also because I started a new job on the 17th November so time was of the essence.  I am a teaching assistant in Foundation/Reception year ~ 27 hours a week, temporary contract until April’10.  I’m not sure if I’m enjoying it yet as, with the stress of the move, starting mid-term and the build up to Christmas my head has only just stopped spinning.  I reckon I’ll just have a hold on it all about a week before my contract expires :).

The new house is lovely.  Still a building site outside as it’s a very new part of MK but the house itself is better than we’d hoped.  Smaller yes, but that has been a good thing as it turns out ~ gives rise to even more mininalism on my part which I really like.  Very liberating!!

We’ve all had Swine Flu ~ Si and Ethan were very poorly but I seemed to get off quite lightly. 

Ethan has completed his first term at school and is still loving it for the most part.   He is still the light of my life ~ such a joy!!!

Millie is well into A levels now and is coping extremely well with the huge change in academic pressure in comparison to GCSE’s.

My faith continues on with my usual enthusiasm although time is now very restricted with work added to my list of responsiblities.  I used to whinge about being busy before which is laughable looking back.  I spent the first two weeks of my new job grieving for the loss of time to pray and be with God.  I had become very used to a rather more sedate pace of life.  This has had a knock-on effect on my ability to attend Mass.  No more weekday Mass for me in term-time and in fact most weekends have become a manic round of domestics and food shopping.  I’m hoping that, with Christmas now behind me, a rather less chaotic schedule will emerge and within that some space for Mass and Turvey.  I am praying hard to that end but have to do my part to [want to] make some time.  One of my friends asked me, on hearing of my new job so close to the move and Christmas, “Do you find that you’re chasing your tail all the time?” ~ er that’ll be a yes then lol. 

I’ve just finished reading ‘An Infinity of Little Hours’  by Nancy Klein Maguire which I enjoyed immensely.  I would highly recommend it to all those who, like me, have a love of all things Carthusian.  It brings alot of comfort to know that even Carthusian monks face the same doubts and struggles as the rest of us.  I’ve now started ‘Finding Happiness’ by Abbot Christopher Jamison which I got from Si for Christmas.  I’ll let you know what I think of it.

I’ve started my Seven Sacred Pauses study again although I’ve not done enough work or reading to update on here yet, but soon hopefully.

I’ve really missed my blog and have been tempted many times to just leave a short post but in all honesty I haven’t had two minutes to do it justice.  It’s been quite freeing not to have that self imposed pressure.  I’m not sure how Christmas happened either but happen it did and without alot of time or input on my part.  Just goes to show all that hype and stress is really not necessary.   It was actually a lovely time and nice to just be a family, enjoy our new home and place the stresses and sadness of last year firmly behind us.

So, Happy New Year to you all.  May the love of God surround you in everything you do in the year ahead, moving you ever closer to His loving arms.

Pax et bonum.

Sharon xx

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convalescentI’m back ~ not quite over whatever it is that ails me just yet but well on the mend I’d say.  I think I’m in what one would term as the convalescent stage. 

Thought I’d just do a newsy blog as I’ve been away for such a long time.  Firstly the house move [“stop groaning you there at the back ;)”].  We’ve actually lost yet another buyer since the last time I was brave enough to mention this topic but we sold again within 48 hours so not much has changed in reality.  Still hoping to move by the end of the summer holidays but it’s looking unlikely if I’m being honest.  By some miracle of God though we’ve still got our new little house on the other side of the city waiting for us.

I have finally registered for the Catholic Certificate of Religious Studies as Fr J said he [or rather the parish] would sponsor me if I in return would offer my newly qualified services to the parish.  Couldn’t get a ‘yes’ out fast enough so I start the course in September.  Quite excited if a little nervous.

I’ve missed Mass for the last two sunday’s as was just too ill to leave the house really.  Finally managed to get to Mass on Monday though and it was lovely ~ I miss it so much when I haven’t been for a week or so.  Tomorrow is the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord which is one of the most meaningful passages in the bible for me [wikipedia synopsis] so I’m happy to say that it coincides very nicely with Mass at Christ the King in the morning so I’ll be able to celebrate one of my favourite feast days in style!

Hoping to get to Turvey Abbey next week as it’s been far too long since my last visit.  I need a ‘Turvey Refill’ every now and then to keep me going.  When we move [that was a confident statement huh :)?] I’ll be ten minutes nearer to Turvey so no excuses then about having to battle the city traffic to get there!!  I’m just starting on part three of my ‘Seven Sacred Pauses’ study which is part of my formation journey towards becoming an Oblate.  I’m writing about it here if you want to see what it involves.  Or alternatively click on the SSP tab at the top of the page.

My little lad Ethan will be four years old on Saturday and he’s also being baptised into the Catholic faith on the same day.  We’re having a family party to celebrate this momentous occasion.  I’m rather busy with the logistics and preparations but it’ll all be fine once the time is here.  Will post some photo’s on his blog [and maybe on here too] after the fact.

As I’ve mentioned before I was offered a job on the Maternity Unit at MK General Hospital in October last year.  Despite my references coming back fine and my enhanced CRB being clear I’ve heard nothing.  True to say that with Jim being so ill during the first part of this year I was quite relieved not to have been given a start date and then I kind of lost motivation for the whole idea as I mentioned in this post.  However, today something inspired me to give their HR department a call.  I had a long chat with a guy there [who I spoke to last year and he remembered me] really with a view to just finding out what on earth has happened to this job offer.  I’ve a feeling it probably doesn’t still exist and that some ghastly administrative faux pas has occured but I’m just intrigued to know if I’m honest.  He sounded very concerned especially once he remembered talking to me previously.  I’m expecting a call back from the person ‘responsible’ for that position.  Should be an interesting chat :D.

That’s me I think.  Thank you to everyone who wished me well during my poorly interlude.  Your prayers and love were and are much appreciated.

Pax

S xx

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God's loveApologies for absence are in order I feel.  I’ve just not felt in the mood to blog much.  Since my last two posts about my emotional and spiritual struggles  I’ve been very reflective and have spent time thinking, praying and just being with God.  When life gets tough I tend to scale down and keep it simple which leaves more room for discernment.  It’s actually been quite refreshing to be honest.  I’ve also been very poorly again ~ all connected with my last emergency visit to A&E ~ Thursday morning at 2am found me being rushed once again by ambulance to MK General this time with a massive haemorrhage.  This is not the place to go into detail but suffice to say it was very scary both for me and for my family.  It took three hours to get the bleeding under control by which time I thought I was looking at a hysterectomy which thankfully in the end I didn’t need.  I’m left feeling very nervous though and will be back at the doctors next week.

So, Father’s Day ~ hmmmm….first one ever with no father figure in my life!!  I did wonder how the day would pan out and whether or not I’d be very sad and I am sad but I think I was kind of prepared so emotions haven’t overwhelmed me too much.  It is really not accurate to say that I have no father figure in my life because of course there is God and He is doing a wonderful job of filling that role for me.  The image at the top of the post is what I see in my mind’s eye when I think of God’s love for me.  I am enfolded in His arms and surrounded by His Spirit; that’s a wonderful place to be.  He is a tangible part of my life at the moment which I’m sure is because my need is greater than usual.  Mass has taken on a deeper meaning as well and all the chaos and intensity of the early part of this year is falling away to be replaced by a sense of purpose and calm.

I’ve recently looked into taking the Catholic Certificate of Religious Studies which is due to start in September but it’s quite alot of money and I just don’t have that right now so I shall review that option again next year.  It looks really interesting though but maybe I do have enough on my plate with Ethan starting school in September and the house move pending.  We have home educated Ethan for his pre-school years [and loved doing so] but we always said that if he ever expressed a wish to go to school then we’d make that happen.  Of late he’s been very interested in other children and school in general so we feel he’s probably ready now.  However, I am getting itchy to do something productive with a bit of ‘me’ time in sight……

which leads me to…..

….. some of you may remember me being offered a job at Milton Keynes General Hospital at the end of last year working on Maternity well, suffice to say that despite my CRB having been back for months I’ve heard absolutely nothing, zilch, nada, not a lot….  When Jim was ill I was grateful that they didn’t contact me but now, well over six months down the line, I’ve absolutely no idea what they’re playing at.  I suspect that I’ve been lost in the admin. pile or that they’ve run out of funding and are hoping that I just don’t notice their failure to give me a starting date.  My initial contact with their HR department was dodgy to say the least, I received some forms twice and others not at all which didn’t fill me with confidence.  All very strange!!!  I won’t be contacting them as I’ve lost the will to live with it now, the moment has passed I think!!

The house move still seems to be going ahead albeit very slowly but as we don’t want to move until the summer holidays then we’re in no rush….yet lol.  Remind me I said that when September is looming large and we’re still here.

Ethan and Si have started coming to Mass with me every other week which is lovely.  It’s mostly for Ethan’s benefit but how wonderful of Si to support me in that and to bring Ethan so that I can still participate fully in worship while we share the job of entertaining Ethan.  The date has been set for Ethan’s baptism into the Catholic faith which is most exciting and Deacon J is going to be taking the service which, as you can imagine, I’m very happy about.

I went with my friend Liz to hear  Eileen Shaughnessy from Cockfosters Healing Ministery speak a couple of weekends ago.  It was really good and very inspiring.  After the main talk the ladies came round to lay on hands and pray over us individually.  I accepted the offer not expecting to feel much [I’m always quite reserved at events like this] but found my whole body tingling for the duration of the prayer in a most alarming way and felt quite tearful afterwards.  The Ministery must have a relationship with the Vita et Pax Convent also in Cockfosters [the only other Olivetan Convent in the UK  ~ if I’ve understood that right ~ and sister convent to Priory of Our Lady of Peace at Turvey] because there was mention of them and also of Turvey ~ small world.

Okay ~ update finished and I’m off to bed as it’s nearly 11pm.  I always end up blogging at unearthly hours probably because the house is quiet and I’ve got space to think.

Pax et bonum xx

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Fed up….

It’s rare that I post a ‘fed up’ post as I tend to try and put positive things on here, but hey, this is MY blog and I’ll cry if I want to.  It’s been a bummer of a couple of weeks.  The house seems to have fallen through yet again.  More problems at the bottom of the chain with some poor first time buyer not being able to get a mortgage.  It’s just so hard for people trying to get a foot on the property ladder and my heart goes out to them.  Our [now ex] buyers are devastated.  We have someone else viewing our place tomorrow at 2oc who is apparently a ‘hot’ buyer [ I don’t think that means they’re wearing one too many jumpers] so the upshot is that if they turn out to be luke warm as opposed to hot then we’re back on the market proper.  We would also then have to inform our vendors that we’re no longer in a position to proceed which means they’ll also remarket their house and our dream home will probably vanish into the ether.  Aaaarrrrggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m also suffering from a nasty case of ‘anger’ – I’m just so angry at everyone and everything.  I’d really quite like it if the world would just leave me alone.  I feel defensive and crabby and although I’m doing my best to keep a lid on it there are times when I could explode.  I’m really having to watch what I say to people and I’m taking offence at the stupidest of things.  Not like me at all.  I’ve tried to examine why I feel this way at the moment and have nothing concrete to blame.  It’s very stressful with the house etc. that’s a given.  Yes, I have had a couple of colds but nothing earth shattering.  I could be perimenopausal I suppose and am suffering mood swings as a result.  I also have a couple of grim hospital visits looming so could be those in part as I’m dreading both of them.  I’ve wondered if I’m just plain down but that usually makes me teary as opposed to angy.  New job is still going fine – not started yet as still going through the minefield of clearing procedures but something positive to look forward to.  Who knows but I don’t like ‘me’ very much at the moment.

This week has been such a total waste of life.  I feel I’ve achieved very little in the way of home schooling Ethan or anything productive.  I don’t feel I’m giving to others in any way at all which makes me sad.  A week of self-pity, self-loathing and zero motivation.  The only plus to this kind of week is that my faith benefits hugely because I just talk to God 24/7; His poor ears must be burning from the stuff I’ve been sending up.  The more horrible I feel the closer I pull to God.

Next week is half-term which means Si will be here to bolster me up a little.  I’ve had all my hair cut off tonight and it looks very pretty even if I do say so myself.  Tomorrow Si and I have ‘our’ day together as Ethan will be with Dave so I’m going to enjoy it to the full.  I’m also going to Turvey Abbey for Mass on Sunday [assuming I get the time right ;o)] so that’s another plus.

On that whingy note I’ll say goodnight.  I apologise for not being my usual self but sometimes you just gotta get it all out and writing it down can be very cathartic.

Love to all and you know I’ll pray for you ‘cos I’m doing very little else just now.

Pax

Sharon xx

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Today is the feast day of our beloved St Luke, disciple of Christ, author of the beautiful Gospel that carries his name and also the book of Acts.  I went to Turvey Abbey this morning with the intention of going to Lauds but due to it being a feast day I actually missed the service which was earlier than usual as is the norm for a feast day [I really must get up to speed].  To be honest it really didn’t matter because I was just so glad to be there after a really stressful week.  It was exactly what the doctor ordered to be able to spend half-an-hour quality time with my dear Lord and Saviour.  It was just lovely and as I remembered that I’d got my pocket NIV in my handbag I was able to pray some psalms, Psalm 27 being one and 31 being another.  He also put some very relevant scripture on my heart which really hit home; Matthew 18:15-20.  The grounds of the Abbey looked just beautiful in the early morning sunshine.  All in all a very successful visit and one I was much in need of. 

News on the house front is that we did make an offer on the house we liked and it was accepted.  However, [and there always has to be a ‘however’ in house moving] we had a scary couple of days where things looked decidedly rocky at the bottom of the chain where the first time buyers were having trouble raising a mortgage, what a nightmare for them, [there are only four of us in the chain and we’re number three].  This resulted in quite alot of stress, me ageing about 50 years overnight and the very real threat that we could lose both the house that we wanted AND our buyers.  After some very nifty financial moves by Taylors we were  back on track by wednesday and I have to say that it’s thanks to our estate agent Lee at Taylors that it all came right in the end.  He certainly kept his cool under pressure and has restored my somewhat shaky faith in estate agents per se.

My son Mike came home for a few days last week – it’s his birthday on 24th and he’ll be 19.  He had no idea what he wanted for his birthday [well, no idea that didn’t require me to sell one of my vital organs to raise sufficient funds anyway lol] but in the end he opted to have his ear pierced.  I had my reservations initially but it actually looks really nice.  I also bought him a earing for him to wear once it’s healed so he’s a happy camper.  He’s gone home now with stacks of clean clothes and a full belly.  Sigh!!!  It’s the same the world over I suspect with teens…….

Nothing else on the job front yet and in fact not even an official offer, just the verbal one over the ‘phone so I think I’m going to call HR on monday just to make sure it hasn’t gone astray.  It could be that they won’t make the official offer until after they’ve received my references but due to three important things going awol in the postal system recently I think I’ll just check to make sure.

Ethan has been very delicate for the last couple of weeks, easily moved to tears and either very happy or very sad, nothing much in between.  He’s been in contact with Chicken Pox so we could be hatching something but only time will tell.  Other than that the Home Schooling is going really well.  He’s started to ask what words say and recognises that text has meaning and shape.   He knows most of the phonetic sounds now so we’re moving on to double letter sounds like ‘sh’ and ‘th’ which are more tricky.  It’s amazing watching him soak it all up.

Catholic course is going really well despite my missing a week due to being poorly.  I’m really enjoying it and I’m learning so much.  The catholic faith is truly very beautiful.  I’m also busy studying the Benedictine way of life.  My friend Julie [another Oblate in the making] suggested a really good book called “St Benedict’s Toolbox – The Nuts and Bolts of Everyday Benedictine Living”, by Jane Tomaine.  It’s very readable and user friendly and I’m looking forward to introducing The Rule into my everyday life once I’ve learnt a bit more and gained in confidence.  I think it’s going to have a very positive effect, not only on me but on those around me.  Certainly be a vast improvement on me walking around with a small cloud above my head and a face like a bashed crab which I think may have been me for the last week or so.  Mass tomorrow at Kent’s Hill and then hopefully at Turvey Abbey next sunday God willing.

That’s me then guys xx.  Great to be back blogging after my week away doing battle in the real world – I’ve missed it.

Pax

Sharon xx

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The strangest week……

This has been the most stressful week for quite a while with some real highs and lows.  We’ve had to deal with more issues surrounding the sale of our house that Simon’s ex wife [Sue] has a 25% [gross] share in [long story which I won’t bore you with but no ones’ fault].   The upshot of it all was that we had an offer last weekend way under the asking price that we decided to accept if only to put an end to the nightmare that this has become.  On asking Sue if she would accept this she threw a giant sized spanner in the works by requesting 25% of what it was worth back in January when the house first went on the market!!  [shocked smiley needed just here] It has sold for nearly £80,000 less than what it was worth back then making her 25% more like 35% today leaving us potentially homeless.  Scary stuff!!  Well, the good news is that, after some discussion, she realised that we just couldn’t realisitically give her that nor was that what was originally agreed between the two of them [legally].  We would very reluctantly have had to go to court to contest her request which is so not what we wanted.  We just want a quiet life and no legal hassles.  After much prayer and discussion she’s agreed to accept 25% of what we’ve sold it for which is a massive relief to put it mildly.  We have her acceptance in writing so no going back now [big cheesy smiley face needed here].  We’re going to be spending our weekend frantically trying to find somewhere else to live which is both exciting and exhausting but finally the end is in sight.  Thank you all those who prayed into this situation with me xx.

Still snuffling over everyone!!  Yes, yes, sorry to bore you with my cold yet again but where are they all coming from??  I don’t have time to be ill and what with the stress of the house and being poorly I’m not sleeping.  Spent most of the early hours watching TV downstairs Tuesday night and only managed about two hours in total.  I’m fine nodding off but if I wake up then my brain kicks into ‘worst case scenario’ mode and I can’t stop going over all the things that are happening and sleep becomes a dim and distant memory.

Right – you’ll like this one.  You will remember that I went for a job interview a few weeks back for the position of HCA on the maternity ward here in MK.  I’d purposely put it to the back of my mind as I was certain, in hindsight, that I’d given an absolutely pants interview and wouldn’t get the job.  Well, I GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing!!!!!!!!!!  I’m so chuffed, I really am.  Finally after all this time mourning the loss of my nursing degree, which I reluctantly gave up when I discovered I was pregnant with Ethan, I’m going to get the chance to Nurse again.  Not in the same capacity but that is of no matter as it’s the physicality of caring for people that I found rewarding.  In fact I think I’ll enjoy it more without the added responsibility that being a qualified nurse brings with it – best of both worlds. 

I’ve heard from a couple of the Turvey Oblates that the Sr’s put me in contact with and received some lovely emails which I’ve been too stressed and poorly to reply properly to – I’ve so enjoyed reading them though.  I’ll be responding just as soon as my brain hit’s ‘calm’ and ‘healthy’ mode so that I can reply in a manner befitting to such lovely correspondance.  As this week has also been fraught with feeling that the more I try to help people the worse I’m making matters, it was great to receive such ‘giving’ letters.  Sometimes we really shouldn’t try to help!!  Sometimes it’s better just to sit back and watch people self distruct.  I don’t honestly believe that but I do think people have to be open to help before you can offer it and it’s quite a skill to spot the difference.

Okay I’m off to bed now to see if I can keep my eyes closed until the alarm goes off tomorrow morning.  Day three of my backwards novena today and still managing to stay with it. 

Love to all

Pax

Sharon xx

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