The last year, as I alluded to in an earlier post in this space, has been pretty full. We moved across the country, we walked through the most difficult phases (so far, and Lord willing for good) of my dad's treatment for an aggressive brain tumor (he's winning, praise God), joined a new church, and moved into a new house.
This after half a decade of seminary life where I was working part time as well, where we added another kid to our family's life and walked through some of the hardest parts of Jaimie's struggle with depression.
It's not really a surprise that I'm dealing with some burnout. Life has been hard in a bunch of different ways! So I'm continuing to practice resting well. I made myself play video games a few times this week – that way of putting it is intentional; it really felt like making myself do it. I expect it may take a while for me to be back to normal, and that's okay.
It's okay in one sense because this is just how life goes. But it's also okay because life is genuinely really good in many ways right now. We live in a beautiful place, for one thing; and that is a comfort and joy to my soul many days.
For another, our little girls are thriving here. The move and all these changes haven't been without their struggles and challenges and pains for them, of course. Both of them tell us regularly that they miss their friends from North Carolina, and both of them have more than once told us that they miss living in North Carolina.
And who can blame them? Jaimie and I are both very happy to have moved here, but we miss our friends in North Carolina sometimes!
How in the world are they already 4 and 6, though?
We're trying to find our new rhythms in all of this. We're leading a small group for our wonderful church, and Jaimie is serving with the women's discipleship ministry and in the music team, and Kate is doing kindergarten and Elayne starting "first grade" – put in quotes because she's already reading up a storm: she loved The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and we need to buy her the next volume of The Chronicles of Narnia. But all of that is new! We don't have our routines in place yet; we haven't figured out what our day-to-day and week-to-week routines and patterns are.
Part and parcel with that: I'm still figuring out my own work rhythms and routines, and trying to find (or better: make!) time for building friendships. In North Carolina, I hit a coffee shop at least once a week, just to get out of our apartment. I feel the need for that somewhat less keenly here in no small part because my home office setup is really, really great. But a big part of what I gained from going to a coffee shop every week was social interaction outside my house. For the first time since I started working remotely, I've found myself seeing no one but my family except on Sundays for church – and I need to change this up!
Most of that is neither good nor bad, exactly; it just is. The worst I can say for most of it (now that we seem to be through the worst with my dad's brain tumor) is that it's low-level-but-constantly-stressful! That's not all that helpful for getting rid of burnout, but it's not the end of the world, either. And we're still really happy to be here, grateful for our congregation at Forestgate, glad to be nearer to family, happy to be by the mountains, happy to have a house we can use to host and bless others.
That's pretty much it as far as life right now goes. It's up and down, and that's what we expect it to be until our King comes again.