For Yianni and Theo there have been some changes but for me a few more. I love my relieving – which has been constant for a long time and I do miss the children. I was to work at Kelsey Kindergarten till the end of the term then into the holiday programme. For over 10 years now, I have been working during all holidays for the DK Holiday Programme (as Lead Teacher for most of them) and then straight into relieving during the terms. This has been my first big break for a very long time – so that's different!
For the first few days I was 'edgy' with my men and kept getting irritated with their passionate views and ideas which broke into arguments. Like Karene, I had to work on myself as I didn't want to be anxious, and therefore needed to be more prayerful and trust God so I can have His peace. But I did tell my men that we all need to work on this and repeated aloud some of our learning eg. what the word 'rejoice' means and what to rejoice in. However I'm happy to say things have settled and actually the 3 of us enjoy doing lots of things together. The truth is we are a close knit family. (Actually, Theo is a peacemaker and very skilled at settling our differences). Theo is enjoying the quiet life style, Yianni is quite neutral and I am missing visitors and entertaining. (Now I'm not getting 'tidy' as I know no-one is going to knock on our door.) Theo, as always is a great blessing to us. He does all the shopping (complete with his mask and gloves) and spoils us by insisting he does all the work in the house, garden, meals etc. He knows how to spoil us. (Now that I am not working I need to 'up' my home chores!)
We were missing the 'cafe' scene - but then we decided to have lunch at our lower garden – something that we have never done before – and hey! It was better than a cafe!!! This seems to be a good time to reconnect with each other, a time to slow down and talk and forgive, a time to reflect, a time when we can re-new and make new friendships. We noticed this happening in our community on 'Day 1 Lockdown' when we took a walk around our neighbourhood (Highgrove) on a lovely sunny day. Many others had the same idea. During that walk we did not feel isolated but blest. At a distance we spoke to Angela (from church) outside her home, a colleague, a kindergarten family and our neighbour who hardly ever communicates with us, asked us to let him know if there was anything he could do for us. The many others we didn't know all greeted each other in a friendly way. It is nice to see complete families with children, mums and dads enjoying their time out in a relaxed mood. Positives are happening. However a recent trip through town with no-one around, and to see empty shops and streets was uncomfortable and eerie and with the constant news (which is mostly valuable) can cause one to fear.
The phrase 'fear not' is used in the Bible over 80 times. One is Psalm 18:2. 'The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer'. And my favourite verse I learnt at Crusader Camp as a young teenager and has been with me ever since is Isaiah 41:10 'Fear thou not for I am with thee. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen thee, I will help thee, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness'. I've needed to repeat that one many times in my life (especially when flying) and many times now.
We miss Home Group and Church. I believe we will 'blossom again' and come back stronger and closer to God and rejoicing in Him. Meanwhile I think God is doing a bit of 'stirring''!!! When this is over I think we should celebrate with a big 'hug' party and lots of kai. Until then, look after yourselves and those in your bubble, keep safe and healthy and don't fear. Blessings from
Yianni, Toula and Theo.
ps: We're not actually in Greece.