No, I'm not having a baby this week or anything, but my nerves wouldn't know the difference! Ha!
This is our final week of preparation before Regional Student Convention begins next Tuesday. By this point in the year, I'm just ready to get there and go after it! All of the stress, tons of paperwork, practice, funding a $3,500 budget, and then the unexpected things that come into play (we've had our share, for sure!) can wear a lady out.
This past Saturday we took the kids to a Veggie Tales showing at Family Christian Stores in Ft. Wayne, and then did a little shopping. In my head I knew that I needed that day to clean and get set for the craziness of this week (being away from home 40+ hrs. a week tends to do a number on the condition of my house!), but my heart said we needed to spend some quality time as a family before the craziness begins! We had a fun day together, and finished it off by cleaning the church together on our way home Saturday night.
Sunday was a good day, with wonderful services that fed my soul. I hadn't seen my brother and his family for several weeks due to schedules and lots of illness, so it was special to visit with them again over an awesome lunch that my mom prepared. Chuck and Darlene Line (our PHC missionaries to Antigua) humored and challenged us in the evening service. They are such special people, and Darlene's never-ending energy and passion always challenges me to keep moving and doing God's business. I will never forget her "singing" me out of bed year after year at Pilgrim Youth Camp. She knew I was a night owl, and the 7 a.m. bell was a little out of line with my lifestyle! She always showed us love and compassion, even the year that someone carried her bed out of the dorm and left it at the top of the hill at Anderson campground. How many grown women would take that with smile???? Not too many, I can assure you. In fact, I can't think of one! It's really easy for us to"whoop and holler" (sorry, but that's what it sounds like to me) when the person up front talks about winning the lost, loving the world, and being patient with people. It's quite another to actually show those qualities to the people with whom we already have contact. I don't think God is too thrilled about using us to reach those "outside" until we can first love those "inside", if you know what I mean. Just another area in which I need God's help...and more of a willingness to allow Him to help! Anyway, God bless the Lines. They are precious.
After feeding the kids and readying them for bed following last night's service, I went to the kitchen to run the broom over the fallen bread crumbs, and pick up a few stray dishes. I looked at the floor, splattered with this and that, and wished I had time to run a mop over it, knowing that Tuesday night would be my earliest next chance because of a 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. commitment at the school on Monday. Then there were those baskets of clean laundry screaming to be folded. I chose to go to bed instead (it was after 11...that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!), so that I could feel a little more ready for today.
So...here we are...it's Monday, and my Learning Center is quiet for a moment. Pretty soon the school day will be over, then it's full force practice for convention. The students are staying over and ordering pizza for supper, then we hit the gym from 6-9 this evening. Needless to say it has been a little more than difficult to practice athletics in this weather, so I'm hoping we can really make use of our time this week.
Another wonderful thing that occurs this week is the deadline for our school annual to be sent to the publisher. Since it is all done online, the "sending" part isn't too difficult. It's due Friday, but we hope to wrap it up tomorrow so that it is DONE! Our budget for that is only about $1,850, so that isn't too bad, but with the economy being down some, it has been more difficult to secure advertisers. I have an awesome, highly talented staff, and they have done a fantastic job on layouts again this year. Can't wait to see the finished product in May!
So...my blood pressure is a little higher this week I'm sure, but God is good and is giving strength, and I am trusting Him to make good on His promise that if we train these kiddos in His ways, they will not depart from them. It's not always easy to see the big picture. We weren't told that the outcome of our obedience would be exactly what we hoped. Each individual has a free will and a choice. Our responsibility is to do our best to prepare them for living a life that would be pleasing to God...and we're doing our best.
Happy Monday, everyone! I expect this to be a good week!