A Year of Journaling / Week 6
Lewis and I are in the car. We are driving to Carla’s place to spend time with other mums and kids from church.
'I wish I had wings so that I can go flying and then take them off,' says Lewis.
'Where would you go?' I ask.
'Up into the blue sky.'
'What would you see?'
'You mean, you would look down and see cars on the road?'
'Yes! Also, the wings would go on my head.'
On Wednesday night, we prayed for a little baby called Arlo. This morning, Rick tells me that Arlo has died. I sit on our bed and weep. I am devastated for Arlo's parents. I am heartbroken, knowing what lies ahead.
After breakfast, I play Scrabble with Gus and Bear. Bear decides to play outside with the other boys after a few rounds, but Gus and I soldier on for another hour. It is a close game. My son has become a legitimate, worthy contender. As we pack away, we both congratulate each other on a game well played.
In the afternoon, I hide away in my Cubbyhole, working on Jane's new website. I spend hours experimenting with a few of the new Squarespace templates to see which one might work best with Jane's brand and brief. Two of the templates show great potential, but I am still somewhat frustrated by their limitations. It dawns on me that I might end up having to code Jane’s website from scratch.
We spend the evening at John and Rachel's house, enjoying the most beautiful fellowship as we eat, chat, and dance the night away...
I wake up thinking of baby Arlo.
It is not until I arrive at church that I realise how much emotion I have bottled up inside me. Five minutes before I'm due to do an interview with Sarah about SNAP+CHAT, I start crying uncontrollably. As if on autopilot, I walk towards the back of the hall. Thankfully, Rick is there. I walk straight into his arms and sob into his chest.
‘Are you sad about Arlo?’ he asks.
‘Do you want me to do the interview instead?’ he offers.
I shake my head.
‘No, I'll be okay...’
Later, after the interview, I escape into the church foyer to cry some more. I think of our own heartbreak and cry even harder.
I feel exhausted and depleted, but I carry on: Chats with people over morning tea. Lunch with the boys back at home. Choosing photos for Instagram during quiet time. Supervising the boys' homework in the afternoon. Going back to the church in the evening. Another SNAP+CHAT interview, this time with Jordy. Taking notes during the sermon on Ecclesiastes 4. Holding baby Jude over supper. Chatting to Peter and Mary back at home. More Instagram work. Watching a movie with Rick. Then, finally, laying my head down to rest, to sleep, perchance to dream...
I spend the day in my studio, painting.
It is calming.
I mix and re-mix paint, savouring the process in every way. It feels almost mundane but, after yesterday's emotional exhaustion, I'm thankful for mundane.
As the boys come home in the afternoon, I finish my last piece for the day.
‘Welcome home, boys!’
‘Welcome to us, mum!’
Eleven women come to Bible Study today, three of them new. After finishing the study, I listen to their collective story of heartache. We end our time together in prayer.
In the evening, I walk. And as I walk, I listen to a new song:
‘No fate I dread, I know I am forgiven
The future sure, the price it has been paid
For Jesus bled and suffered for my pardon
And He was raised to overthrow the grave
To this I hold, my sin has been defeated
Jesus now and ever is my plea
Oh the chains are released, I can sing: I am free!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me...’
It is midday.
I have spent the morning scheduling blog posts for next week and, now, I finally have four hours to paint before picking up Lewis from preschool.
I mix a big batch of paint in the laundry, then head upstairs to my studio.
I am torn between painting To Be and To Love, but I settle on the latter.
As I paint, I think of Cameron.
With each stroke, my love precipitates in the form of colour and lines.
With each stroke, my love becomes visible.
Something to be gazed upon...
Our Mid-Autumn Festival celebration at church is going ahead.
I spend the morning figuring out details with my Bible study group on WeChat, then updating the invitation design from last year.
We release the electronic invite at noon.
Within three hours, we have fifty people on our RSVP list.
By the end of the day, we have close to ninety people confirmed.
I am amazed.
A bit shocked.
And somewhat anxious.
But mostly, I am in awe.
You can read the other posts in this series here.