Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Nearly the end of term for me, but both daughters have finished and are basically home.  They’ve both worked so hard, and are enjoying some well-deserved rest, and personally I can’t wait for a bit of R&R too!

It was weird collecting our younger daughter from her accommodation on campus – it seemed hardly any time since we took her there in September.  The accommodation hasn’t been the best, but she’s had a great first year, loving her course, and made some lovely friends, mostly through the university Christian Union, and is really enjoying going to a big, lively, city church.

Daughter number one, meanwhile, has got her work placement sorted and the dissertation is taking shape too.  Our concern over lack of flatmates has been resolved (praise God!), and the current two are graduating in a couple of weeks’ time!

The annual angst over the Student Finance applications is very nearly over (only 1 more year of completing that form – hurray!!).

The annual cycles continue….year 13 have just finished their A2s.  I feel sadness at them leaving, but pride that they made it through and are launching out into the next phase of their lives.  And the year 12s are beginning to realise they need to get a grip on their future.

Hoping you enjoy a summer with rest and recuperation!

Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.                  Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Well what a lot has happened since my last blog….

End of March and it snowed today for the first time this winter – I’ve decided to light the fire…

Here we are almost at the end of term – although strangely no one’s holiday periods are quite the same, but we will at least all be at home for Holy Week, even if not all on holiday.

This year’s annual trip to the UCAS Convention once more starts off the next round of deliberations and applications.  And much deliberation is also going on in the world of higher education as institutions wonder what the advent of linear A Levels might mean for their recruitment strategies a few years down the line.

Daughter number 1 unexpectedly came home last weekend and it was so lovely to have some quality time together.  A rare treat.  People say to me things like “oh isn’t it nice to have peace and quiet at home now?”  and I think, well, we have got used to it being just the two of us, but actually I really look forward to them coming home – they bring home so much life and energy (not to mention the new on-trend words which we then attempt to use ourselves just to wind them up!!).  Her need for flat mates may finally be resolving – I am trying to be patient and leave it in God’s hands.  The work placement is at a similar point.

Meanwhile daughter number 2’s accommodation is basically sorted. But how do you unload all the stuff when the house is right on a double yellow line?!  That could definitely be a challenge.  But challenge is what we thrive on, isn’t it?  I was trying to explain to my Mum the other day all the intricacies of collecting ‘stuff’ and then getting ‘stuff’ back after Easter and all the comings and goings in between.  She said it sounded familiar.  Yes, they did all this sort of thing for me, too.  And they waited for the end of term and for holidays and for family times together.

So, as we wait for the girls, we will also…

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.                           Psalm 27:14


Sunday, 2 February 2014

Re-reading my last blog post makes me feel slightly uncomfortable:  the text from Ephesians 4: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” turned out to be more apt than I had imaged.  The Christmas period was not without its uncomfortable moments, as we tried to strike a balance between taking a healthy interest in daughter no 1’s wellbeing and what was too readily taken to be nagging!  Oh dear, what a tough job it is sometimes being a parent.  But what I reckon it all boils down to in the end is good communication:  if she could have found a way to communicate her need for some personal space, then there would have been a greater degree of understanding.  If we could have found a less-threatening way of addressing our concerns over next year’s accommodation situation the whole thing would have been less upsetting.

As it is, Christmas came and went, and both daughters are now back at university, have sat their exams and have now embarked on semester two.

Daughter number 2 has found a nice groups of friends with whom she wishes to share a house next year and surprised us with her degree of organisation, having attended an accommodation talk last term, been given a helpful booklet of questions to ask when looking at houses and now getting on with the task of researching possible houses.

Daughter number 1 meanwhile is busy turning her attention to applying for a summer work placement, whilst the thorny accommodation issue remains.  My prayer is that God has just the thing lined up for the first and just the right person lined up for the latter.

Reading Lamentations in the last few days I was struck by the words:

“Yet this I call to mind
And therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
For his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
Therefore I will wait for him”.”

Lamentations 3: 21 – 24

I pray that if there is something all-consuming just now in your life, that you will know God’s great faithfulness to you and to those you love.