Monday, March 23, 2015

In My Absence...

...I worked at work, and then I worked a church fundraiser.

I also managed to squeeze in a bit of a weekend, yesterday afternoon into early evening, which meant time spent with Before the Blood.

And that's it, vampire fans.

First, the fundraiser...

This was our church's 50th annual dinner (St. Nicholoas Orthodox Church, Homewood), and if we never have another, this was a good way to end it. We have, at best, twenty active members at our church. With the exception of three adult children, there is only one member younger than I, and that is not by much, and his health is fragile. The rest are over sixty (including both priests, with our pastor being eight-two), and most are over seventy and eighty.

That was our work crew. Now, no one has said we will not have another dinner. But I am a realist. And next year's dinner is a year away.

Was it hard work? Of course, but there is a special sense of serene stillness and profound joy that happens when you can bless those that have first blessed you. Add to that mix the opportunity to watch the children you have raised do likewise, and the serenity becomes elevated to high praise to a God that allowed you to share in the building-up of such character. Acts that seems ordinary - kitchen prep work for four hours, running the raffle for five, and another two of tear-down, not to mention missing most of liturgy the next day to help in kitchen clean-up - take on a level of extraordinary when performed in that spirit.

Did I mention that most of our spaghetti dinner patrons were also elderly?

In short, we served - and we made people feel like a million bucks. It was a fantastic weekend.

Now for some self-ministry, which is important for we love others with the same measure that we love ourselves. Three weekends back, I was on call; two weekends back, we moved; and last weekend was a hybrid of various activities, which did include some writing. Next week, I am again on call. The following weekend is Pascha.

When life is busy, it's easy to cast aside one's personal needs in favor of more pressing duties. But never addressing yours can produce internal resentment and exhaust the spirit, never a good thing.

So yesterday afternoon, I claimed the room I share with Rebekah and tackled chapter seven of Kellen's story that has stubbornly refused my attemps at rapid completion and worked out the last couple of scenes, leaving only several miscellaneous paragraphs for short bursts of tackling, when time is brief. At that point, the muse had kicked in, so I proceeded to chapter eight, and wrote half. I saw the time, reluctantly shut off the flow, and made some notes of what to write when I return, whenever that is. Although actual minutes and hours were less than I would have liked, the production reflected the opposite and altered my perception of  Monday morning.

This means that, instead of starting the new week a bit weary and frustrated with lack of "me" time, I'm actually rested, refreshed, rejuvenated, and renewed, ready to begin a round of work that won't really pause until the first weekend in April, and happy to be of service, wherever I am called.

And wherever I can squeeze in a bit of vampire fantasy, trust me. I'm gonna do it!

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