The past three weeks, our usual routine has gone completely out the window, what with first my eldest two girls (D, 15, and K, 13) coming to stay with us over Easter, the usual Wednesday group being on Easter hiatus, and then all three children and I going back to Wales – the elder two going home, and the baby and I accompanying them to stay with them and their stepmother J for a week. During the girls’ stay in London, K came with me to the Good Friday and Sunday services at St.Mary’s with me and was made very welcome; and she was as delighted as I when Simon and I finally set the date for my baptism.
The week in Wales was lovely – nice sunny weather, and the girls and I spent some time heping out on a volunteer project to help build a woodland walk for disabled people at Pencraig Farm in Carmarthenshire; we carved wooden benches from reclaimed wooden railway sleepers and stools from short sections of tree trunk. At present there’s a long wooden boardwalk that winds its way across the hillside, through the forested slopes of Pencraig Farm, and in the areas being cleared of pine forest they’re replanting native species including beech, oak and hornbeam. It’s fascinating seeing what they’ve done thus far in the space of a year, and it was great to get to work on something creative in such a physical way in the sunshine during two days of lovely weather. There’s something very calming and spiritually refreshing about working with your hands in honest toil.
Freda and I returned to London last Monday; there was no Wednesday group, so Freda and I felt a little out of sorts – our usual routine has been completely disrupted over the past three weeks. They’ve been a very enjoyable three weeks, mind – but it’s always good to get back into a regular routine again. Church today was a very refreshing step back in that direction, and it was good to catch up with various people. We missed Elizabeth and Paul though, as they had stayed home with a nasty chest infection that seems to have been doing the rounds recently – here’s hoping they’re feeling much better soon!
The sermon today was focused on John 10:1-10, concerning the Shepherd and his flock and how Jesus is the gate for the sheep. The subject of gates seems quite appropriate, given that this weekend I had to put up the safety gates as Freda is now incredibly mobile, cruising around the furniture with confidence and even standing unaided for brief moments! We shall be covering John 10 in more detail in the group on Wednesday.