Last night I took minutes at one of the most chaotic meetings I have ever been to, in which people were frequently having two conversations at once, and the chair was clearly feeling too knackered herself to call order. Meanwhile I was very close to the edge and greatly doubted my ability to write anything coherent.
So I sat down this morning to type them up before I forget everything (having first had a little prayer time and entrusted my day to God) and amazingly, I managed to put together something that does actually vaguely resemble accurate minutes.
Then on my way to the gym for a swim (walking there like a good girl) I remembered to pray that Genius Brat would remember to go to his German oral revision session after school (the oral is in two days and he has already missed one revision session at the weekend). Lo and behold, I sit at my desk at 3.15 pm and he has not yet arrived home, and by 3.55 he still hasn’t, and as I had hoped, he turns up at 4.00 pm having been to the revision session. Seems at least one prayer was answered – but then what did I expect?
Just for Kerensa’s delectation, on Saturday I did a short German oral practice with him. The instruction from the ‘examiner’ (ie me) was ‘Beschreibe eine Person in deiner Familie’ (describe a person in your family, for non-German speakers). He began with ‘Meine Mutter ist…’ – and then a short pause, and then ‘..alt’. That’s telling me.
It’s been too hot to blog. It’s been too hot to breathe. It’s been too hot to live. Yet in the midst of all this, I managed to reduce the last Horrendous Pile to half a pile. Good thing I have some chocolate in the house to reward myself with.
Other good news: two days ago three vital things in our family were missing: The Grouch’s driving licence, which we need for our hire car on holiday; Genius Brat’s Nintendo DS, which would be the third he had lost; and GB’s Freedom Pass for tube and bus travel, which he can get because we have Disability Living Allowance. Being a good evangelical (ha!) I didn’t pray to St Anthony or whoever finds things for Catholics, but I did pray specifically that all three would be found.
Behold, after a long search and a lot of panicking, The Grouch found his credit-card-style driving licence in an unexpected file. Then I took a look at GB’s desk, a black hole into which many things disappear, and there was the DS large as life and twice as black. Finally, GB put on a pair of cropped jeans that had somehow emerged from a dark corner, and so not been checked through with the rest of his washing, and there was the Freedom Pass in his pocket. Thank you, St Anthony! (whoops, I didn’t mean to say that….)
Yesterday: I receive a letter from Genius Brat’s chemistry teacher that informs me helpfully that the deadline for his chemistry coursework is Tuesday 22 June, a date which does not exist this year. Even assuming she meant Tuesday 23rd June, it was not hugely helpful to send, second class, a missive informing me of the deadline which only arrived on the deadline. She also informed me that the coursework was worth 33% of the overall mark, and that he could be moved down to a lower set if the work was not submitted. Added to this is the fact that he missed the Core Science Chemistry exam last week because of illness, and we are well on the way to a failed GCSE.
GB very nonchalant about the whole thing, saying that he can afford to lose one GCSE. I, not very convinced, raise the matter at home group, and lose hours of sleep over it, as well as posting it in every prayer forum I can think of. I also write a panicky email to the Chemistry teacher, asking if there is any possible leeway. My email bounces back the same evening.
Today, I transfer the contents of the email to a letter and, reasoning that it is foolish to post it when the school science wing is 10 minutes walk from home, I go and deliver it by hand. I have done all I can.
Lo and behold, GB saunters home from school and remarks, ‘Oh, I found the chemistry work I’d already started and did some more work on it. I can finish it tonight and the teacher says I can hand it in tomorrow’. My mouth drops open with disbelief.
Do I believe there is a God who answers prayer? Well, to paraphrase a song, ‘Ma’am, I do tonight’.
…the squirrel. Behold the squirrel, how he darts about the lawn. In the time of bounty, he finds acorns, hazelnuts, cob nuts, and all the gifts God gives at harvest. Lo, how he collects them, he buries them here and there. So, when the days of hardship come, he will have stores for his nourishment, to plump him up against the cold. But what if he should forget where he has buried them?
And so, perhaps, it is with the Christian. When the blessings are pouring like rays of late summer sun, then she can gather insights, good memories, encouraging words, to store against adversity. But what if, when the dark days come, she forgets where she has buried them? O then she must search, and dig, and rake every inch of the garden, searching for that which can feed her and keep her alive through the callous winter. Pray, then, that you will recall where your treasure is, for the hard times are coming, they are always coming.