Mum and Dad came to stay for about four days to help me with some jobs. Paul and his teenage son Paul are moving in after the sale of their house, so I had a bit of work to do to make it liveable for someone other than me! Dad tidied the shed, and did an absolutely marvellous job. Mum and I maintained that it was good enough to live in, and I think the resident rat really appreciates Dad’s work! Dad also did a little garden tidying. Meanwhile Mum cleaned out all my kitchen cupboards and helped me to pack up the spare room for Tom to move into (the furniture, all crappy second hand stuff, is going into the shed so he can move in his own furniture and feel a little more comfortable). Meanwhile I packed, weighed and packed again, checking my list and checking it twice. I don’t think I forgot anything, although I think I might have packed too much… Oh, well. Why be a martyr?
In the meantime, I was also busy having last coffees with dear friends and catching up with people. I celebrated my 40th birthday on 22 July and had a lovely dinner at Glendalough Estate, a new gourmet pizza place in Armagh, just out of Clare. It was such a pleasant evening, and I felt much loved by my dear family and friends. Sunday morning was my commissioning service and Alan and Geoff from SIM in South Australia came to support me. Tuesday was “hot chip nacho” night with some of the crazy kids I teach with. If you’ve never tried melted cheese on top of hot chips, then topped off with salsa, sour cream and avocado, well, you just haven’t lived! Genius idea, Emilie! That was followed by Toblerone fondue into which we may have dipped Mint Slice biscuits…
I finally wrapped up everything at school, including handing over the International programme (at its busiest time of the year) to Melissa and Rachelle, who will do a fantastic job. I may even let them keep doing it next year!
It was quite frantic at times, and I really did wonder how it would all get done. However, as my dear friend Carolyn reminded me when she sent me an SMS with Isaiah 40:28-31, “…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagle; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
So finally it was all done. I am exhausted, but starting to relax enough to enjoy the journey, and not just feel a little panicked!