Then this morning son number two utters those immortal words, "I don't feel well."
Now we've never kept a thermometer but he felt a little warm and he had been coughing in the night.
"You'll miss your school Christmas party. And your performance tonight."
(And I'll miss my doctors appointment, my massage, my meeting.....were the thoughts running through my head.)
"I know," came the plaintive reply.
Well you can't argue with a child who will willingly miss a party. So putting into practice the principles of taking things easy, (scroll down to Reflections on Snow!) I set about cancelling and re-arranging the days activities.
It wasn't a hardship, the kids always come first, but today never quite turned out as I expected in so many ways.
Now I'm a fan of setting my iPod to shuffle and yesterday I found myself listening to the song Change by the Sugababes...
Ain't it crazy how you think you've got your whole life planned
Just to find out is was never ever in your hands
(Actually all the lyrics to that song are apt at the moment - go and google it!)
I've always liked song lyrics, words are very important which is probably why I like writing. But it always annoyed me that Andrew didn't like to read what I'd written. He said he wouldn't understand it and he couldn't make comments as he didn't really read anything. He'd wait until I'd sold the film rights and see the movie!
Well the last thing I wrote before he died was an article for our local free paper. It was to go on our church's "Spirit Matters" page. Well I made him listen while I read it aloud to him.
"Very Radio 4 Thought for the Day." He said with a smile.
It's taken on even greater significance now. I am so glad I got him to listen and got the approval from him that I'd craved for so long.
Expect the Unexpected!
It was just before Christmas last year when that the vicar stood up in church and made the surprise announcement that he was leaving. News travels fast and soon it became common knowledge. Who could have predicted this time last year all the twists and turns and changes that would take place at Emmanuel in 2010?
Christmas is often a time to reflect on the past year and take stock. We never really know what the next year holds. Everyone’s lives are filled with unexpected events. Maybe this year you have experienced the sudden loss of a loved one, the start of a new relationship or had news from out of the blue that has turned your world upside down!
With the absence of a vicar at Emmanuel others in the congregation have had opportunities to take on something new. In our previous church I had regularly written a nativity play and this year I feel very privileged to be writing one for our young people to perform in the service on the Sunday before Christmas.
The last one I wrote was about an angel in training and had the title “Expect the Unexpected”. Before Jesus was born the Jews were expecting their Messiah, which says in my dictionary beside me “the awaited king of the Jews, to be sent by God to set them free”. What they didn’t expect was for their King to be born in a stable to an unmarried mother!
God has a habit of doing things differently from how we imagine. Sometimes it’s so easy to be swept along with the busyness of a modern Christmas that we can lose the awe of just how wonderfully unexpected that first Christmas was. Of how a tiny baby changed the whole world forever.
The story remains the same, of God who sent his son to live among us, but I don’t know what theme this year’s nativity play will have. I still need to sit down with the children and find out how they want to tell the story. Why not come along, they’ll be angels and shepherds and of course a baby Jesus, but be prepared to be changed by a God who loves to surprise us!
Today I got my ironing done and re-watched the first two Harry Potter films.
Only God knows what tomorrow will bring.
I do want to make it clear that I don't believe God makes the bad stuff happen but he can make good things come out of it - if we let him.
I haven't written so much in a long time and people are reading and liking what I've written. This blog, the poems, the nativity. That is what is making me happy at the moment and keeping me positive.