Every single day. Every hour.
So I planned accordingly.
I was going to stay inside and do nothing.
And not feel guilty about it.
Friday night, on my way home from work, I picked up this:
And made a tuna casserole. One that would last all weekend. So I wouldn't have to cook again. When I plan on being lazy, I plan on Getting An A in Laziness. Cook once. Eat the same food for every meal thereafter.
Turned out to be NOT RAINY.
But I wasn't mentally prepared to change my expectations for the day. But guilt set it. And every time I looked out the window, the blue skies taunted me.
So. OKFINE. At 5 pm I went to church.
And then came right back home again and had some more tuna casserole. In bed.
Turned out to be NOT RAINY.
What the flippen heck.
The weather forecast app on my phone is very clear. It is going to rain every single day til next July.
At 2 I ate the last of my casserole then called a friend and made arrangements to go for a walk.
This is what greeted me at her front door when I arrived an hour later:
I know right?
She's the fun one.
It was a good day to be outside.
Sadly, though, it's November.
And all I can think about is making it to Jan 5.
Just hold it together for 6 weeks.
As the days get shorter and greyer and darker and colder, I'm to get cheerier and happier and jollier and funner for The Season that is looming.
You can imagine how much fun it was to walk with me today.
Just a barrel of laughs.
I definitely have to get some Vitamin D tablets.
Can you fill me with some giggles?
Or maybe peace?
Can you help me Just Chill Out about expectations regarding Christmas?
Why do I always get like this?
Your will be done.
I'm praying that Your will be done in my life these next six weeks.
Open my eyes to things and people that You want me to see.
Open my heart to emotions and thoughts You want me to feel.
Fill me with hope.
And if not joy, at least contentment.
There are so many people in my life who are hurting right now.
Guide those who are struggling with drug and alcohol addictions to meetings and rehab centres. When they arrive, arrange for them to be greeted by someone You have already placed there. Provide them with counsellors, mentors, friends, and sponsors handpicked by You. God I pray that this Christmas season would see a huge increase in addicts getting help. I pray You would be moving in their midst, bringing about change in their lives. I pray that they will get so physically ill every time they use, that they would be eager and desperate to get help. God? I pray that the whole lot of them hit bottom in the next six weeks and that You will be there to catch them.
And God? About those who need jobs?
Are you on it?
Could you be preparing them for positions uniquely suited for their gifts and talents? Could you arrange for them to be employed doing what they were born to do? Could they make a living from a job that is exactly perfect for who they are? Please? Could they feel good about their contributions? And could their co-workers and supervisors be people of faith? Whoa. Not asking for much here, am I? God, I pray that You will place those who are needing work in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. May they stretch and grow while employed there. May they make new friends while they are there. May they come to know You better through this work experience.
Regarding those folks I know that have messed up relationships?
I don't even know how to pray.
For those who are sleeping with partners they are not married to, and those who are not sleeping with the partners they are married to, could you step in? Do something? I don't know what. But I just sense a whole lot of pain because of the decisions that are being made. I ache for them all. You probably do too. This wasn't your plan. I pray Your will be done. Go on. Just meddle.
And it should be about Your gift to us.
And all I can think about is, how can I spend some time with my kids.
Its like an obsession.
How can I make it fun? How can I plan something that they'll look forward to? How can I make it meaningful? How much food should I prepare? How much money should I spend? How can I keep it light and happy? How can I prepare myself not to be disappointed? How can I introduce the idea that Christmas isn't about family, food and presents? How can I bring Jesus into it? How can I not get caught up comparing my Christmas to everyone else's?
God? Your will be done.
I'm giving it over to You.
Guide me as I make plans. Make sure poor ones don't happen. Inspire me to follow through on ones that come from you.
Help me to crave time with You.
Oh. And one other thing.
Thank you for this unexpected non-rainy fall day.
Thank you for friends who are free to walk.
Thank you for friends' husbands who text to say, "Sunday Roast is ready. Invite Jane to stay for dinner."
Thank you for my neighbourhood.
Thank you for my job.
Thank you that Clint and Stacy were able to drop in tonight to help me with my TV. (Please be with him as he finishes up his last class of university. May he end well.)
Thank you for language. And words. Help me to use them wisely.
Thank you for memories and the passage of time.
Thank you for deciding I should have generous, loving parents.
Thank you for tuna.
And roast beef. And roast potatoes. And roast gravy. And salad with avocados.
Thank you for music and books and movies and TV shows and actors and writers and directors and publishers and artists and photographers and videographers and talented, gifted, artistic people.
God? I'm going to pray for Martin Smith's upcoming UK concerts, (like the one in Manchester on Dec 10). I pray Your blessing on those evenings, and I ask that You would fill the venues with folks that who need to be there.
And thank you for this ministry. I agree whole-heartedly in a ministry that is called to provide a chaplain for each project undertaken in the Canadian film/entertainment industry.
Thank you for the internet.
God I pray that this week you would reveal Yourself in new, powerful, highly personal ways to the 78 people on my list. Overwhelm them with Your love. Be right in their faces with Your glory. Make it so they absolutely cannot ignore it. Then enable them to respond. Bring into their lives, companions of Your choosing to walk alongside. Touch them in their most vulnerable spot. Stir up their deepest longings and wrap Your arms around them. Hold them close. Whisper. Or shout. Call them. Woo them. Heal them. Don't give up. Don't grow weary. Be unrelenting. This week. This week, do something spectacular. Something so very personal that they would know, the God of The Universe wants them. Loves them. Desires a relationship with them.
Thank you for loving my people. Thank you for being on it. Even before I asked. Thank you for doing more than I could even imagine. Thank you for being God.