January Stress?

I have missed writing, reflecting, and being nourished by the thoughts of others.  It seems that January has been unusually difficult and strained.  Nothing really big — just layers of stressors that feel big as they pile up!  January always begins with a 3 day Commission on Ministry Meeting in another city.  At the end of that same week Saturday was taken up with an Area Board Meeting.  In the midst of it all, my laptop was giving me fits and finally, after way too much time lost, the hard-drive crashed completely.  Of course, it crashed this past Saturday night with sermon and everything for Sunday on it.  AAAAHHHHH!   The long and short of it is that I’ve ended up with a new one (which brings its own stresses as everything needs to be reloaded and this stuff makes me crazy.)

The construction at the church has kept things in chaos there, and I find myself wanting to spend as little time in the building as possible (made more difficult without the laptop up and running).  This past Sunday morning, after my late Saturday night rewriting, I was crabby about the condition of things in the building.  I give thanks for a forgiving congregation.  Maybe they don’t like being in the building right now either; worship attendance has been down.  I suppose it’s cyclical – I need their energy and presence and they need mine but we’re all stressed and have so much going on.

In December, we had a sick dog and and an injured dog.  They are doing much better.  We’ve also had a sick bird — who, indeed, died today.  He was one of our beautiful dear little Gouldian Finches.  This was “John” of “John and Yoko.”  We had known he had a liver problem for quite while and last week was hospitalized, then came home stronger and was able to be back with the flock.  But he was becoming weaker again and the others were picking on him.  I just cried as I held and stroked his soft little body.  He was so very beautiful.  I thanked him for all the beauty he had shared with us and thanked God for creating such a miracle in even the tiny finch.  So, left in the cage are John’s partner Yoko and then Fred and Ginger.  They are all beautiful but tonight I was so aware of missing John’s beautiful red head and yellow breast.

I met with a pastor’s group the other day and a couple of folks were sharing that they almost always dread January; that is always a difficult month.  Hmmm.  Maybe it’s not just me.  I’ll be glad when February arrives!