We started our last week of school this morning, but oh my, am I ready for a vacation. And it has almost nothing to do with being tired of school (though both the sweet girl and I are ready for a break from routine...we seem to be wrapping up well).
Remember my post from a couple weeks back, about my struggles to live in a city? I had one of those days where city was pressing in on all sides and just exhausting me.
Our landlord decided on this week for the workers to come and strip the bricks from the top part of our building. There's some sort of oxidization (i.e. rust) problem, and they're breaking the bricks off from the top of the building down to the top of the window-frames. I have no idea whether or not the bricks will get replaced, which may mean the outside of our building will look even more forlorn and dilapidated than it does already. I'm trying not to mind, reminding myself of how much we enjoy the good space within.
In the meantime, we have a huge scaffold across our sidewalk. We have to duck under it to get in and out of the house and the foreman of the project has issued a friendly caution that we let them know when we come out or at least check overhead so we don't happen to catch bricks on the head. And of course, for most of the day they were pounding and hammering at the surface of the building, breaking the bricks off. I've been struggling with headaches since a minor migraine-like episode last week, and let's just say continual pounding for hours didn't help today (they may bring the electric hammer tomorrow...oh joy! which at least has the advantage of getting the job done faster). They're right at our front windows...we had to close the front blinds this morning because otherwise the workmen would have been right there during out entire math lesson ("Mommy, I feel a little bit distracted..." said the sweet girl. Huh. Wonder why?)
I decided to have the sweet girl skip her rest time (hard to rest with all that pounding) and we went out to run errands. I guess I was hoping to escape "city sounds" for a while, but motorcycles, a bus, and an angry and quite possibly drunk man (we get that a lot round here) really didn't improve the atmosphere much. I just kept feeling tired and more discouraged.
Part of my discouragement is our difficult financial situation which continues to get harder. Pardon me for mentioning it (and I'll spare you details) but we could use much prayer. Our long-held ministry positions and patchwork of part-time/self-employment jobs (sans health insurance, which we pay out of pocket) has had us running a really long deficit. We're trying to be wise, but each month the squeeze gets worse. I knew this summer was going to be difficult, but I thought the worst of it would not hit till July. The way we get paid, June should have been slightly less anxiety-ridden. But go figure, it's still awful. I spent part of the morning trying to wrestle with the numbers and see our way clear, but it remains a fog. So awful that the debt hole is beginning to feel not like a mere pit, but a Mars-sized canyon (yes, we've been reading solar system books again). First of the month is always hard for me because of the frustrating hours spent trying to figure out the bills.
And this month feels particularly hard because I just can't see any way we're going to be able to cover any summer vacation (much less the things we *really* need, like groceries and gas!). Normally I would not be whining about the fact that we can't get any vacation. I'm aware of how selfish that sounds, especially in a world like our's! Last summer we got 2 1/2 days, and I remember being determined then that we would find a way to make sure it was a bit longer this year. But with a shortfall every month, there is no way to do it. And I am just having one of those days when my longing for -- beach, rivers, mountains, fields -- anything not covered in concrete! is just acute.
So please forgive this post. I know the weariness will pass; refreshment will come (it always does somehow...God is good, all the time!). I'd appreciate prayers that I'd be open to it when it does come, not bowed down with heaviness. And grateful for prayers that I will survive a week of sledgehammer sounds on our walls.