I'm sat here in this beautiful garden, notebooks and pens (my addiction to stationery shines through!) surrounding me, the sun shining down (yes, I have no jumper on!), the birds whistling in the trees and the occasional bark from the dog as somebody comes along the drive. It's a very peaceful place to be. And, although I also live in a relatively peaceful place on the outskirts of the city with a view of the Pentland hills from my window, it isn't as peaceful as here for one simple reason - when I'm at home I feel the need to do 'things'. When I'm away from home I can be free to do whatever I want to do, because I simply can't get on and do 'stuff' because I'm not there to do it.
I've spend the past days confined to the walls of my two bedroom flat, with only two very energetic kittens to keep me company. And this is why:
I decided this week to finish painting my bedroom (although the ceiling still needs done...) and then to redecorate the bathroom. Now, there wasn't particularly anything wrong with the bathroom decoration in itself but it had clearly been a while since it had been done; the paper was starting to pull off, there were the odd stains and grime and really it just needed a bit of lightening in because of it's lack on window.
So, this has been my life for the past days. In my flat, stripping wallpaper, filling holes, painting walls, cleaning, drinking tea, playing with kittens and eating jaffa cakes. Oh, and the odd bit of watching the Olympics of course.
What in all of this is about me learning or relearning? Well, there's a lot to be said for having so much time on your own. I love time on my own, this is a known fact. I get so much energy from being on my own. But this week I have learnt, possibly relearnt, that I only love time on my own if I've had time with people. Time with people: I love it, I cherish it, I don't often turn that opportunity down, unless, well, I'm people-d out! People make my world go round, it's that simple. If I don't have people in my life I go slightly crazy, let's face it!
There is something to be said in this about serving. I don't think I'll ever fully understand what it is to serve in God's kingdom. But I do know that I fit better with serving than many other things. So when I'm in my flat on my own for so many hours in a short space of time, I go a bit bonkers. There isn't much serving to be done.
And, yes, as some people have already said to me, it's good to take time to not serve, to be myself and take time to look after myself. But this learning/relearning this week has proven to me that I still need people and other things to stimulate, motivate and inspire me before I am able to stop and 'look after myself'. If I haven't used up much of my battery than I don't need time to recharge it.
There is much, much more I could say on this. But for now it is time for lunch and a cup of tea. Maybe I can say more another time. In the mean time, go use up your battery so you need to charge it again too!