It dawned on Brian and me this afternoon, at some point, between Angel Food distribution, chauffeuring Nathan to a birthday party, and various other errands and issues, that we haven't really a real day off, or respite from anything, in about 2 months. Something always comes up - there are people to visit in the hospital, counseling sessions, meetings, school events, meetings, pastoral emergencies, and did I mention meetings??? He even had one scheduled on Thursday night, Hannah's first birthday. Fortunately, he was able to go late, and slip out between dinner and cake for about 20 minutes to attend to the business at hand, but it really brought home just how crazy things have gotten.
It's hard on Brian, being the only one at the church. It's all on him, and there's no break. No assistant, no deacon. Half the time, he doesn't even have a secretary. And, because of all of the outreach that he's involved in, people who aren't even members of our church seek him out for their pastoral issues and hospital visits. It's good work - what he is called to do, but it's draining.
Add to that the responsibility of a family, and the fact that 6 kids require *all* of my time and attention, in one form or another. Like now, as Hannah is fussing, because she wants all-mommy-all-the-time. *sigh* Neither one of us is getting any relief. And both of us know that, and are well aware of the risks of burn-out.
And, now, Advent will be upon us in another week, calling us to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ Child. It's hard to put yourself in a waiting frame of mind when all you can see around you is list after list of things to get done, places to be, and things that must be attended to. So I must trust that God will see us through the next few weeks, giving each of us the strength and grace to keep it all together, and to provide moments of rest to recharge.
So, as we begin, this week, to enter onto the Holiday season, I pray that God will give me the grace to get through it all, to do what needs to be done, to let go of that which is not necessary, and to keep the Main Thing the main thing. And I pray that we'll also get some really awesome free time in the not-too-distant future, and that we'll not lose sight of what all this fuss is really all about - a Baby, born in a manger, who gave up everything, that we might return with Him, one day, to His house, and through Him, to learn the true meaning of Love.