This was the first summer that I spent in ministry as a married woman.
I started dating Mr. two summers ago. Last summer we were still dating until he proposed at the end of the summer.
There was a huge difference this summer since being newly married. It was incredibly challenging to find balance with my responsibilities and desire to spend time with the teens and my responsibilities and desire to spend time with my new husband. By the time I got to my second trip of the summer, I declared to Mr. (yes, DECLARED!) that he was coming with me next summer.
Mr. isn't in full time ministry, so it's challenging for him to go on any trip with me.
In years past (even when we were dating) it was exhausting to go on a trip of course. Being "on" 24 hours a day and responsible for sometimes dozens of teenagers will wear you out! Particularly when you're in Colorado and climbing a mountain!
Add to that the crazy newness of living with a BOY and trying to figure out what it's like being a wife. By the time that the summer was over, we were both ready to be STILL. All I wanted to do was stay at home and watch Phineas and Ferb on our couch and surf at Pinterest.
A few things that I've learned:
-Just because I'm married or newly married doesn't mean that my exhaustion was any more than when I was single and doing ministry. It was merely different.
-Planning a sleepover one day after you come back from climbing a mountain is a ridiculously foolish idea.
-It is okay to let Patrick help me when I've got a thousand things going on. It doesn't make me a bad wife if I don't make coffee in the morning or I forget to make his lunch.
-God has been faithful in providing a husband who is very understanding about my schedule in ministry- and who even encourages my "after-hours" work.
-It's pretty sweet not having to find someone to look after the Little Monster (aka my dog Phoebe).
-I will be much more deliberate about planning our Summer calendar in 2013. Some of the plans I didn't even CONSIDER! Hence a sleepover a day after I got back from Colorado.
-Teenagers have a lot of baggage.
Okay so I didn't JUST learn that last thing. But I think that I was just so emotional in general, that it made me extra sensitive to the pains of my teens. There was a lot of good God healing this summer.
Praise to the King who meets us right where we are. Even in the midst of life craziness.