Does anyone else feel time whizzzzzzzzzzing by? I looked up and I’m still trying to figure out where 2007 went! We’re winding down for a three-week break, and as I’ve hit my annual holiday wall about 3 weeks ago, I’m perhaps looking more forward to the break even more than they are! Seriously, we’ve done the absolute minimum over the last couple of weeks, and I’ve been sleeping progressively later and later despite my best efforts. Today I didn’t get the kids up until 10 a.m., causing us to begin a full two hours past our usual time. The toddler’s lessons have come in spurts, working in short, teachable moments rather than a pre-designed agenda. Some of the fatigue is associated with late-night hours: papers to grade, great visits with relatives, and managing the house with my husband’s ridiculous travel schedule of late. However, some of it is genuine burnout that happens every year about this time. I recognize the symptoms, the primary one being that I don’t want to think about anything. I’m amazed when I actually have moments of intellectualism. In my earlier days of homeschooling, I’d fight burnout like Ali on Floyd Patterson, but I’m learning to listen to my body a bit more and obey its wisdom. It’s time for mental and physical rest.
We’ll be out of town for the better part of two of the three weeks that we’re on break. On one hand, I’m excited about being away. In keeping with what I stated about burnout, sometimes just changing your surroundings can be energizing. We had school at the library on yesterday, and I felt better just being a few miles away! Yet, the thought of only having one week at home as downtime before we kick off in ‘08 is a bummer. I know that I control the schedule, and I could push everything back, but I also realize that my spring fever starts to kick in at about mid-April, so at some point I simply need to roll my sleeves up and get busy.
I was a little disappointed when the church, in a cost-cutting move, decided to scratch the Deaf Ministry’s Christmas program. Our family makes this the one event we attend each year, in part because our kids are a part of the Sign Language Ministry, but I am also amazed at how beautifully those who can’t hear music are able to praise and minister in such a special way. We invite groups all over the city, and it’s a long night, but such a treat in the Spirit. I can appreciate the decision to not have this concert, the memorial celebration for those who’ve lost loved ones during the Christmas season, the Children’s Annual Christmas play, and the Family Christmas Celebration. We also have six services every weekend! This year, the kids will join all the other singing and performing groups at the church for the Family Christmas Celebration. This promises to be a great time in the Lord as well, but just not quite the same.
We’ve tried to tighten our personal budget this season with limited success. The teaching brought in a significant income for us in these last four months, but I’ve repeatedly had to speak Malachi 3:10 over our finances. Just as I was tithing, saving, and planning, we had to replace the garbage disposal and the windshield on our car. YIKES! How quickly $500 can come and go! Then, even though the kids don’t have their dance recital until the summer, all costume monies have to be paid this month—almost another $400. Merry Christmas, huh? I’ve personally had to fight the urge to buy everyone everything. Though I’m convinced that Christmas has become far too commercial, there seems to always be one more thing that would be great for someone in the household, and it’s hard with that extra Christmas jingle in your pocket to say, “No thanks.”
Well, with Christmas expenses putting dents in the bank account and the memory of the windshield (repaired today) fresh on my mind, I could dwell on money for a good, long time, but I’ll instead thank God that we didn’t go into debt to make any of this happen. May He bless you abundantly as well.