Monday, April 18, 2011

A goodbye, A reunion and Honouring others

Our weekend was a very busy and social one.

On Friday night we had dinner with my mum and step dad who are heading back to India this week.
They are missionaries there, run an orphanage and do other missionary work.
They spend three quarters of the year there and the rest back here in Sydney resting and recuperating but that's another story to tell!
It's always a sad time for me when they have to go back. I have become so much closer to my mum in the last few years (we've always been close) but I think becoming a mother has strenghtened our bonds as we now have motherhood in common!
I also feel sad for Rebekah as she misses them and her paternal grandparents don't live in Sydney either!

On Saturday we attended a birthday party of some friends' one year old daughter. We were asked to be God-parents (as were about 15 others), very cute!
In this couple's culture the first birthday is a big one and this definitely was a BIG one, it seemed more like some weddings I've been to in Australia!

Also this weekend, I had a trip down memory lane which was fun and revelatory at the same time (for me)!

I studied in a catholic school in India run by nuns (some of whom were Irish). Well our school principal was one of them and a good friend of my family's too.
She served in India for 25 years and has been back in the UK for the past 25.
An old school teacher (who is also a distant relative of mine) organised a golden jubilee mass and get together for her (as she was visiting Australia a month after this event). I had not seen her in about 25 years and I was eagerly looking forward to this weekend. When I left India, we had no emails, no internet etc and the only way I could keep in touch with friends was via snail mail. So, I had thought I would never see any of my friends or teachers again let alone a school principal who was herself not from India! Boy was I wrong! Who knew about internet and facebook and the wonders of modern technology and what it could do back then!
Anyway to cut a long story short, we spent Sunday afternoon with her and a dozen or so old school students who now call Sydney / Australia home.
Some of them I remembered quite well, some of them I vaguely remembered and others not at all or were at school at a different time to me.
What was revelatory to me was that the ones who were the extroverts were still the same and the ones who were the quiet types (yours truly for instance!) were also still the same! Time had not changed our personalities!

As this nun walked into the room, some of us felt like it was a dream and that this wasn't really happening!
You see we all loved and respected her so much and never thought we'd see her again.

It was strange also in a way as we (30 and 40 something year olds) took a trip down memory lane, singing some of the old songs we used to sing at school including our school song!

The most interesting and moving part for me was when we all shared some memories of our old school principal.

I came from a broken home and I remember during that traumatic time for us(me and my sibling sisters who also went to the same school), this nun was so compassionate and helpful to my mum and us. She was very generous towards us to say the least.
I always felt she 'knew' our family quite well because of that.
Little did I know that there were many others in similar situations that she had been extremely generous with as well.
There were tears and emotional speeches of thanks for the part she played in some of these girls lives.
It was a powerful time as we honoured her! Ron said it was pretty boring until that point:) Though prior to that he did manage to capture some of my singing and 'dancing' on video to embarass me with later!

So last night, it got us(Ron and I) talking about the subject of honour and how one of our pastors says that God places people in our lives for us to honour because they are training grounds for us to learn to honour Him. How true!
In fact I think we are honouring God when we honour those people He places in our lives and that's what made this Sunday afternoon so special and powerful!

I came home exhilarated and exhausted at the same time (as I've mentioned a zillion times before how I am an introvert and these social things seem to wring me out a bit):)

Hope you all had a great weekend too!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A time to rest and a time to work!

We've just come back from a three week holiday in Victoria and to tell you I've hit the ground running is an understatement!
My autumn memories post that I scheduled to post while I was away was very ill timed I believe as I heard it was raining all that week (embarassed grin).

We're back from cold Victoria to warmer pastures, yes believe me, NSW is a lot warmer than it's Southern neighbours!
I've packed away our winter clothes I took down with us on our trip to be brought out in a month or two.

We had a lovely time away - sleeping in, going for leisurely strolls along the beach, catching up with relatives and Jeanne (one of my home school mentors and friends) spending time together as a family, celebrating birthdays, eating too much cake, sight seeing, breathing in the fresh country and seaside air and generally resting.

I opened my emails on Monday to find I had hundreds (yes hundreds) all up, in my various email inboxes!
I've also come back to a three day prayer and fast at our church (which I'm heavily involved in), preparing for a conference that our church and our sister churches in Sydney are hosting at the end of the month (which I am moderately involved in), getting ready to begin year 2 with Rebekah next week (when all the other kids are breathing sighs of relief on Monday morning as they don't need to go to school), yes cruel mummy that I am :), not to mention catching up on my emails, the mounds of washing, cleaning etc!

Then, too top it all off, last night I got a phone call from an old school teacher (who is also a very distant relative of mine and who also moved to Sydney many years ago) to say there is a bit of a school re-union planned for next Sunday with my old school headmistress (a lovely Irish nun who is now retired back to Ireland and is visiting Australia) and any ex-students who now live in Sydney! I am terribly excited about this! I do however have to get the word out which involves work on my part, but hey, I think I'll use Fakebook (oops Facebook) to do that:) So, to say I've hit the ground running is definitely an understatement:)

BUT I am SO rested though that I've already done a weeks work in three days - side benefits of holidays! :)

So, I promise to make my way over to your blogs and catch up and also post some holiday pictures in due time...