It's that time of the year again! Caitlin & I are preparing to pack our bags & pack the mainland car & head up to my mother's to spend time.
You would have thought, as the children grew up & left the house, that this would get easier to organise & arrange each passing year but in fact it just gets harder & harder. My time is constrained by church hours & days, Cait's schedule & when Ryan needs the car. There are the cats to consider because, realistically, how long can I be away before they completely lose the plot? To say nothing of John who must rise at the crack of dawn while I'm away to drop the lad to his boat.
Ryan visited mum last week for several days. Somewhere I lost a week. Cait & I would have been better off going this week but have arranged to leave on Sunday after church for 5 or 6 days because we need to be home for Friday church. Realistically 2 hours is not a long way to travel & we could do more overnight trips~ but I don't travel well & more often than not spend my first 24 hours fighting a migraine so I look for longer stretches of time ~ & they are in remarkably short supply around here!
We are still suffering a combination of smoke & rain. Yesterday the smoke was so dense we double checked there were no spot fires on the island because that would change everything! No. It is still only Straddie burning in one of the many inaccessible spots on that beautiful island.
Meanwhile we are trying to organise the first of our training days. *sigh* I do wonder, you know, what God was thinking? Seriously? There is nothing wrong with my ideas but getting them to fly drives me to distraction.
However God talks to me, sometimes in really odd ways indeed. Over a year ago there were a number of different people running round the islands prophesying a number of things. Generally it went rather like this: A square building packed to bursting, a great work of salvation with crowds of people coming from the other islands & even the mainland & only one church, a mega church on the islands. All the leaders were scrabbling to claim this vision for their church. I kept my mouth shut because I had something similar but I knew which building I was seeing [& it wasn't square!] & I knew it was none of the present churches. I had no idea who was leading ~ & cared less.
Now the interesting thing is we got the square building by default because no~one would give us space in their building. Last Sunday we got our first inter~island visitors. I am still keeping my mouth shut. I know the vision I have been given is for a much larger church than we presently are but we have received confirmation & now people have figured out we aren't upping & going anywhere they are slowing seeping out of the woodwork & promptly naming their gifts ~ in areas the Lord has been talking to me about like Messy Church, New Believers, Evangelism!
John has been told by the Lord this is our year for growing. No, the Lord doesn't talk to me about this stuff because I promptly hit the panic button & go into meltdown. John doesn't. He goes into consultation with the Lord & begins strategic planning. However this time the Lord is in my ear about detail [which is amusing John no end!] because I'm the one with the primary teaching gift & I'm the one who needs to organise & plan this stuff & pray about the workers who will lead various groups.
But before all this starts snowballing out of control I am going to visit my mother. We will eat too much good food, walk for miles along the beach, resurrect the dead & decimate the living, play cards & rummy~cubes, ping~pong & billiards, put together a jig~saw or two, hike through a national park or so, admire the art in the community centre, the summer dry gardens, read more than I generally have time for & squabble about who gets the crossword. We will enjoy each others company & then Cait & I will head home into a year that promises to be exhausting & exhilarating & interesting.