Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Restoring Sanity

I've been struggling with my temper lately. (It's actually always a struggle, to be honest!) My kids seem to be grumpy and prone to fighting, and that puts me into bad moods. I've also been lacking in sleep, due to working late nights. And after moving to Maryland, I've neglected to meet with a new healthcare provider and get my antidepressant meds refilled.

Yesterday things were really not going well, and by the time Steve got home from work, I knew I had to get away. Thankfully he was fine staying home with the kids while I "ran away" for 3 hours, hiding out in a Mexican restaurant (because Starbucks was shut at 8:05 PM!!!) to read, think, pray and generally enjoy silence!!

The first thing I did, before I even got there, was to pray in the car, confessing to God how sorry I was for my mean and unjust behavior towards the kids that day. Then when I sat down to wait for my food, I opened the Bible to read Philippians. I was really struck with chapter 1, verse 27, which says, "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." It hit me hard, as I knew that I had *not* conducted myself in a manner worthy of the Gospel that day!! I'd like to make it my "mantra" of sorts for the next few months.

I spent the rest of the time jotting down lists (what exactly is bugging me about the kids, goals I have for school, home, chores, and my own self-discipline, etc.), speed-reading a few books ("Teach Your Children Well" by Christine Allison and "Creative Correction" by Lisa Whelchel), and giving myself the time and quiet to re-focus. I couldn't believe how refreshing it was to have a 3-hour chunk of uninterrupted-by-children silent time!! I think I'll try to make it a regular habit, if not weekly then perhaps biweekly. It definitely restored some sanity!

Playing at St. Simon Island, Georgia with cousins!

Two Months in Maryland

We've been in our new home for 2 months now, and I've been frightfully negligent about writing! It's been a whirlwind 2 months of having overnight guests, going away for Thanksgiving, having family stay for Christmas, 3 of us having birthdays, and then going away again -- first to Williamsburg and then Steve to England and the rest of us to Georgia. We've hardly had any normal weeks!!

But we're definitely feeling more and more settled. We really like our townhouse. Highlights of it include a fireplace, 2 spare rooms which we use for school and guests, a gorgeous kitchen, and a play area just across our tiny street. It's been hard to get to know our neighbors, partly because we've led such crazy lives ourselves, and partly because it's been getting colder and colder so fewer kids are playing outside. But we have intentions -- now we just need to act on them!

Steve is enjoying his new job, and finding that it really does suit his skills and interests. He's gotten many compliments on his editorial work, which confirms that he's doing the right thing! He's also just formally begun his PhD work through the University of Exeter, which at the moment means lots of extra reading. He's "all-but-dissertation" so the next few years will entail lots of research and writing, and editing and writing, and yearly trips to Exeter, England.

Our most recent news is that we've finally found a church that we're 98% sure we'll commit to as our new home church. We're really excited about The Falls Church -- about their worship, outreach, preaching, people and devotion to Jesus. And we're grateful to finally know where we're going every Sunday, and to finally look forward to church!