Sunday 14 March 2010

A Pause in Lent #4

A Pause in Lent Floss

I get my love of words and wordplay from my Dad- and at this time of the year he was especially fond of saying "Lent- that's when we live on borrowed time!"

I was thinking about that this week. According to the dictionary,  the first meaning of borrow is "to obtain or receive something, on loan for temporary use, intending to give it, or something equivalent or identical, back to the lender"

and then there is

living on borrowed time is "living an unexpected extension of life" or "close to death"

The word 'borrow' is so often used incorrectly these days. I try not to scream with frustration when a child says "Can you borrow me your pencil sharpener Miss?" - as if borrow/lend were interchangeable.

iou And then there is the person at the next table in the cafe who says "Can I borrow the ketchup, please?" - obviously they are going to put the sauce on their food and eat it - there is no suggestion that they intend to give it all back! But we know what they mean!

But I do like the idea of "living an unexpected extension of life" - not in the sense that I have reached 104 and I am still here doing good things [like the amazing Norrie Woodhall, read about her here - in every sense, a very Hardy Old Lady!!] but rather that my life has been unexpectedly extended in other ways...

In John 10:10 , Jesus says "I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of" and sometimes it is good to remind myself of the amazing and unexpected blessings which extend my life.

Just three things listed here - I could make this list much longer though!

There are the blog-friends who have come into my life in the past two years who have become very special to me - and yet if you had asked me in 2007, I would not have believed that an apparently 'random' click of a mouse could have made this difference. People I have yet to meet 'in the flesh' - yet from our first 'live' phone conversations, we've 'clicked' with each other and it is as if we have always been friends.

DSCF0787 There is Cornerstones - our beautiful little bungalow - I honestly never expected to own any property and was often anxious about retirement accommodation - but already there have been so many other blessings that have come to us [and to others] since we got the keys to our little plot. ["Ang and Bob's Norfolk Love-Nest" as the Rector's Wife always describes it!]



here are my daughters. After a very difficult pregnancy/birth with Liz, we rejoiced when she was born safely, and then they said "Well, you won't be able to have any more" - and then Steph arrived 2½ years later! It is Mothering Sunday today, and I am especially grateful to God for the way they have blessed and extended my life. We have had difficult times [which family hasn't?] but watching them grow into lovely young women has been wonderful, and they bring me much joy and laughter.


And mentioning the girls brings me back full circle to the idea of lending/borrowing. I have had two conversations recently with young teaching colleagues who have just had their first babies. Both spoke of the amazing joys of motherhood, and the difference "when it is your own child, and not just another pupil". I chose not to work full-time so that I could be there for my children, and do things with them and teach them things. I did not consider that to be 'lending' them my time - but now they are adults, I am aware that in a sense, they are 'returning' it. They frequently make time to be with me, and organise things for us to do together, and teach me things [suggesting good books to read/films to see/sorting my wardrobe!] even though they both lead busy lives down in London.

Finally, "living on borrowed time"can mean "close to death"

I do not want to be morbid - but the old farmers' proverb "LIVE like you will die tomorrow, and FARM like you will live forever" has a lot of truth in it. I don't know when the Good Lord will call me home - but I hope that when He does, be it sooner or later, I am still being busy, making a difference.

Jesus "went about doing good" - don't let us be satisfied with just "going about" - all our time is His glorious gift to us, and we should be using it in ways which give glory back to Him.


  1. So much to mull overe there, Angela. I do note that French children muddle up 'preter' and 'emprunter' in exactly the same way English ones do with 'lend' and 'borrow', so it seems to be innate in language, unfortunately. The rest, I will have to take some time to think over...

  2. It's so nice to see your girls. Happy Mothering Day to YOU!

  3. The worst phrase is..'Can I have a lend of your...?' But as Floss says, it happens here too.
    What a lovely post Ang, you give me much to think about.

  4. Happy Mothering Day! What lovely posts as I try to catch up on weekend reading! Love the play on words too! Will have to remember that one! Those tea bag holders are creative!

  5. Thank you - a lovely thoughtful post.

  6. Lovely and encouraging Bible verses and thoughts for a Pause in Lent. Thank you! :)


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