this week, as WonderfulVicar and many of the congregation are away on a parish holiday here.
The boys returned to school yesterday, and Hattie Gandhi is back to Cardiff on the morrow, so there was no question of my going on the trip, and it's actually rather pleasant to be here quietly, after all the frenetic activity of Holy Week.
Yesterday at the Spir Dir course it was my turn to be "directee" during one of our coaching exercises, and I was reflecting on where the line comes between my public persona of priest, so much to the fore in Holy Week, and my everyday identity. Having watched much-loved friend negotiate a 3 month sabbatical from parish life (which was certainly not a sabbatical from ministry) and beginning to consider the "Where next?" question also fed into this. Whatever life and ministry may mean now, it's set to look quite different at some point in the next 15 months. A third year curate lives on borrowed time!
But what was lovely about the process of reflection yesterday was the realisation that, actually, I was pondering an artificial distinction. Kathryn-the-priest really is the same person as Kathryn-the-mum/wife/ friend. I'm comfortably whole. For once my intellectual understanding of what reality "ought" to look like matches the lived experience. And that's really good.
So this week, there's a fair bit of parish "stuff" to keep me busy, but I don't feel the need to cram every waking moment full of activity to justify myself. I'm going to try and carry on being me as best I can, remembering that having asked God to use me, I can trust that this is exactly what will happen. I wrote an open cheque a good while ago, after all...