Feeling the squeeze

Today is the start of National Marriage Week. I chuckled wryly to myself when I found that out, as this week has been incredibly testing. We’ve definitely felt the squeeze, due to many reasons – mainly outside of our relationship. We are still exhausted from the fantastic weekend of celebrations honouring our pastor and his wife as he retired, and now my husband is feeling the pressure of taking over the church and being the only member of staff for the next two months. I’m really busy juggling a lot of deadlines, including writing a book, and looking after our kids. I’ve also found it very difficult to be surrounded by a houseful of mess as my husband transports the church office temporarily to the studio at the bottom of our garden. That sort of thing really grates on me – and I have to be honest, I bit my tongue for three days but didn’t manage to keep quiet completely!

Each night has been busy since last weekend, with meetings already booked in. And each night we’ve been supporting others with difficulties – some with intensely bad news they are struggling with. While it is an honour and a privilege to serve them it is still hard when you are just plain tired yourself – and some of the issues have been so big it is hard not to be affected by them. I think the fact that we are not sleeping well even though exhausted is a sign that the stress is taking its toll. And this afternoon my daughter had a complete meltdown doing homework that I thought she would actually really enjoy. I found myself almost at explosion point and shouted inwardly to God ‘Not now – don’t throw anything else at me now’.

I left her to it and escaped into my office. And there were another series of tweets about National Marriage Week, which stopped me in my tracks. We absolutely HAVE to make time amongst all the manic-ness, responsibilities and people problems to just chill out, do things together we really enjoy and affirm and encourage one another. Because when tiredness and stress set in, it is always the person closest to you that bears the brunt of it. I know you know this, but I urge those of you that are married to use this week’s timely reminder wisely and let your husband/wife really know why it is that you love them. Use the commercialised, cheesy, annoying day that is Valentine’s Day to do something special – whether you choose to do it on that day or another just make sure you do something in the next week! I’m going to make sure we do…

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