"Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them." (Margaret Mitchell, in Gone With The Wind) Sadly, for us the last three months have been swallowed up by first my father's descent into his death, then the aftermath doings that go along with death, and now a mad rush to get our taxes done before the January 31st deadline for online returns. And, waiting in the wings, the huge amount of catch-up work to do! Makes me feel like Scarlett : "I'll think about that ... tomorrow!"
Unfortunately all this has meant missing deadlines for our Sunpenny book releases, and pushing back the launches for our two new imprints, Rose & Crown, and Boathooks Books. Manuscript submissions have gone unread, letters and emails unanswered, web sites fallen by the wayside, blogs subsiding into silence. And when we did take a two week holiday to try and recover, we both promptly fell ill and spent our time in Cyprus - beautiful Cyprus! - trying to feel energetic enough to explore, and then collapsing the next day from overdoing things in our weakened states.
Consequently we have not begun 2010 as we had hoped: refreshed, energised and enthusiastic! Rather, we are still under the weather, under the circumstances, and under strain. We covet your prayers so that we can recover rapidly and work through our backlog and overload quickly and efficiently, and somehow by the middle of the year be caught up to where we had planned to be by then!
As Christians we are to be filled with the joy of the Lord, but that isn't a feeling, it's a state of being. Jesus went through his own ups and downs and totally understands our struggles on an emotional level when things get rough. All He wants is for us to know that He is our Immanuel - the mighty power within us (yes, say that again, Mighty Power Within Us, Strength With Us!). So while we grieve for my father's loss, we rejoice that his suffering is over. While we struggle with our workload and to get back onto an even keel, we give thanks that we have work to do! While our bodies come under attack from illness, we are so grateful for healing and health. And while we strive against the oppression of low spirits, we are gladdened that we have good fellowship, and praise music to lift our souls to God!
(Oh, and while we're thinking about all this, Lord, a quick note: Can we talk about this menopause stuff please? A little private chat perhaps? These little tropical vacations and hormonal roller coasters? -- Not one of your best plans, Lord. Just so you know.)
Keep praising and praying on our behalf: we have God's work to do before we quit! And meanwhile: Up and At 'em! Hundelay, hundelay!