I found it interesting to note my reactions as school camp approached. Abby and Tim were both very excited, Simon was pretty calm and assured me they would enjoy camp, but I have been very on edge and nervous about it. I mostly put it down to being a mother and worrying they may forget to take something they need, but as we actually said good bye at school I began to feel physically sick.
I have only vague memories of a school camp I attended in year four at school. I don't really know what happened on camp, but I'm pretty sure I ended up on my bed in tears and I never attended another school camp after that. I managed to avoid every camp by begging to not go, or by getting 'sick' the morning camp started. Watching my own children head off to camp has brought back all the emotion I felt every time my own school camps were drawing near. I am left now to just pray that they have a wonderful time and see it as a fun and exciting memory, not a black mark on their past.
However, I suspect that some of my emotion and stress lately is due to accumulated stress over the past few months. What do I have to be stressed about? There are a few things happening.
In 10 weeks and five days we must move out of our current home. I have no idea where I will be moving to. Simon does not yet have a job for next year, and we don't know what to do if he doesn't get one sometime very soon. That is probably some cause for my stress levels to elevate a little.
Relating to this move is a feeling of inadequacy on my behalf. I don't really feel cut out to be a pastor's wife. I'm not sure I can get over my naturally introverted ways and give out as I feel a pastor's wife should. Anywhere with a large crowd of people has been a struggle for me lately, and church has felt especially difficult. I have a constant struggle with feeling socially inept in large groups, and the more this happens the more I feel unsuited to being a pastor's wife.
Simon is feeling the pressure of his last few weeks of study and the thousands of words he must get written during that time (and the reading needing to be done before writing those words). He is also feeling the pressure of next year, and I find myself trying to be calm and hold it together because me falling apart is not going to help his stress levels.
Added to this is an almost 9 month old baby who, whilst being absolutely adorable and mostly placid and content, still doesn't sleep through the night, leaving me with a general feeling of exhaustion from the moment I wake in the morning. She is also becoming increasingly mobile, leaving me feeling as though I have no time to clean the house, let alone sort and pack everything we own to move to an unknown location.
Then, of course, there are the daily issues related to family life; squabbling and bickering among the children, and issues related to being a godly, wise and consistent parent.
Before this sounds too much like I am whinging, I have to say that amidst all this I am confident that God has a plan for us, and He does know what He is doing. There have been good things happening also. The last week of the holidays has been enjoyable, and I find myself somewhat dreading the return to school days, making lunches and rushing through the morning to get ready on time, instead of being able to wake up slowly and allow the children to set the pace for the day and enjoy each others company (which they have been doing a lot more lately).
Not long ago, I reread some of the older posts on this blog, written just before our move to Sydney. I found them to be very encouraging, especially the first one I wrote after we got here, where I said "Here I sit in my beautiful new home, wondering why I wasted any time last year worrying about how my family would cope with a move to Sydney." God blessed us and provided for us SO well throughout our last move, and I KNOW He will do so again. I try to remind myself of this daily.
My prayer at the moment is that God will show us His plan (sooner rather than later…) and that we will continue to see evidence of His work in and through our lives as we follow Him to… wherever.