OK, so I think I have my head round the (academic) year ahead.
I ordered some books, entered the dates of each session into my electronic calendar (Wednesday evenings and one ENTIRE Saturday, woo-hoo!) and read through the course folder again. It's not half as scary as the first peek at The Folder seemed. Obviously. (Once again, I praise God for enlightenment on this topic.)
I am also (as befits someone who is trying to balance mothering and ministry) mired in shopping for school shoes, ballet shoes, a fish tank, toddler pyjamas and bread for dinner. ThirdSister has her vaccinations tomorrow, we are cleaning the Pram Service toys on Wednesday, then it is new books & singing time at the Library on Thursday. Swimming lessons on Friday, picnic with friends on Saturday, church on Sunday. Then - back to school next week! (I'm trying to realise I don't need to be overwhelmed by these feelings of being overwhelmed. Prayer helps.)
Because it's been the summer holidays, I haven't been around the people I usually minister to - the mums in church and the playground, the people I work with. It has all been about the children, and then some. Making the transition from home life to school/work/study time has been huge this time around. I feel that over time, with practice, it will get easier, although I do want to keep that home/work boundary intact for now.
My husband usually works at home Monday evenings so I'm hoping to use this time to do some reading and journalling. Wednesday nights will be study nights. I'll also have singing practice some weeks, some months I will have a Baptism Preparation session to help with and there is always Pram Service planning and leading to do. (Somewhere I will fit in sewing on swimming badges, arranging babysitting, and a date night.)
I thrive on routine, though. And over the past week, although the summer holidays have definitely not been about routine, I have been able to slot little things back in. Reading St Augustine while the girls are settling at night. Praying (REALLY praying.) Actually reading those Bible verse emails rather than letting them just pile up in the folder.
And as it's Monday, I am going to open a book. I'm not sure whether it is going to be something from the actual course material, or something I ordered while I was ordering the course material from Amazon, but I am aiming to get further in it than I did with the last pastoral care book I opened (which I will return to soon.)