On a short fuse

Stress. Renovating projects and moving house and changing jobs are all rated highly on the stress indicator tables. Add to that the PTSS and depression of the previous two years, and I can excuse my instant explosions.

That angry tongue.

Those hateful words.

The impatient temper which explodes just when I'm not expecting it.

I even - yes, I confess to this too - I even hit the dog. Not hard, but still. I hit her, because she was leaping up at a visitor: trained already by our lovely workmen (they truly are, always cheerful and hardworking even in the recent freezingly cold weather) to leap as they tease her with their sandwiches. I've only recently discovered this and they do't do it anymore. But old habits die hard, especially in Labradors eager for any tidbit. Exasperated by her disobedience and desire to jump, I scolded and then lashed out, impatient, angry, on a short fuse.

And in front of a wonderful young Christian who had come on Saturday to help us work on the house.

So that's where I was last week.

On a short fuse.

It kept hitting me too, that short fuse.  Exploded externally, nagged internally.

But Sunday. And the sweetness of the Lord came pouring in as the tears poured out.

"This is the air I breathe ... and I, I, I - I'm lost without You, I'm desperate for You."

Worship at The Bath and Avon Vineyard. The Spirit convicting. 

Lord, change me.  I'm desperate for You to change me. I can't seem to get rid of this short fuse.

* * * *

He sent me Words. Words I have known for years but had forgotten. From Amy Carmichael's small but profound book IF  - 

If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love. For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.

I need Calvary Love. HIS love, pouring into me, loving others through me, filling me to the brim with His sweetness and patience and grace.

So I kneel at the foot of His Cross, conscious once again of that all powerful Love. LOVE that died for me and my short fuse.  LOVE that can flood me. LOVE - the first of the fruit of the Spirit.

Cross in chapel

The Cross we found (in the floor joists!) is now in the Chapel

close up of cross

I welcome His love in and drink deeply. Oh, LOVE, that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee ...

I'm still on a short fuse.  But I've handed the fuse to Him.

* * * *

SATURDAY  was another work day. The final wall came down, to create the kitchen. And the ceiling came down in one of the attic bedrooms.  That's the end of demolishing; now we start putting it all together. YAY!

last wall comes down

kitchen space!

ceiling comes down


 I am writing a daily blog on preparing spiritually and physically

to lead a Pilgrimage of 100 miles in September.

for details of the Pilgrimage, click on the dropdown Cotwold Pilgrimage bar at the top of this page 

Today has been a curate’s egg kind of day.

This morning, I stood at the happiest place: the arrivals gate. Oh the joy of hearing the cries of delight, the sobs of joy, the squeals of pleasure, as loved ones were reunited.

Smiles and laughter. Hugs and kisses. Exclamations and enthusiasm.

Would my own loved ones ever come through that door?

And would I recognize them?

I always have that ridiculous fear when waiting for my family and friends – that I won’t recognize them.

But of course I always do.

There they are!

And my eldest granddaughter she leaps up into my arms, words spilling out to tell me of the overnight flight and all that she, they, have done.

And her younger sister holds out her arms – she’s balanced precariously in her car seat on top of the luggage.

My poor daughter  is pushing the luggage AND the buggy – so is doubly glad to see me.

The happiness of reunions and being welcomed and recognized.

Surely a foretaste of arriving home in heaven?

Of being welcomed and recognized and swept up in joy and affirmation.

* * * *

And then this afternoon.

The unhappiest place to be: driving across a hot dusty crowded London. Friday afternoon in a tired capital.

It’s only 14 miles door to door:  it took exactly two hours and ten minutes.

People were hot and tired and frustrated.

Horns blared and bleated.

Finger gestures were indescribable.

Cars were cutting in and cutting up and cutting out.

Voices were raised.

It was all too tempting to join in.

And then something reminded me of Amy Carmichael and her writing.

Her book IF


If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love. *

*For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water however suddenly jolted.


How sweet was my spirit this afternoon?

What flavour was spilt?


* * * *

No walking today.  Fewer than 1,000 steps, after the ten, and eleven and twelve thousand of earlier days.


Relationships take priority over rules.

Joy over judgement.

Tomorrow is another day: and I am booked for a 7 mile hike with a friend – to Hampstead Heath and back.

And then a powerplates session.

* * * *

And I’ve been in the happiest of places today.

I’m grateful.


It’s good to have my girls back.