I'll work Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday up to mid-afternoon, then hand over to Mardi. She'll finish Wednesdays (nice because sports events are often WEds afternoons) and then take over Thursday and Friday. We'll take turns doing Saturdays, so some weeks she'll hand back over to me on Friday afternoons, and other weeks we'll touch base on Sundays before I start back on Monday again. This allows her to do preschool/playgroup things with her small children (ages 2 and 4), and have focused Swahili time as well.
Today was the first day of the rest of my life. After morning Swahili lessons when I would normally be rushing to start rounds and answering pages . . . I instead said goodbye to everyone else and stayed home. I spent about two hours sitting at Scott's desk reading and pondering and editing something he's writing and had asked my input on. I worked on some administrative details for the Africa Field retreat we're planning in August for all our WHM missionaries in Africa. I went through the top ten or fifteen flagged emails and crafted some answers. ( This is the kind of thing that I otherwise only do from about 9 to 10 at night, which is not a great time for clear thinking. ) After that productive time I BAKED COOKIES, which seemed like what you might hope your mom would do if you were a teen and she was having her first morning "off". Molasses, a favorite of Jack's. I helped Abigail make rice and beans for lunch, and had the food on the table when the kids came in from school (they come home for lunch about half the time, and eat at school the other days). Thursday afternoons I'm still on duty as the RVA doctor, so I headed up the hill after lunch to the weekly clinic for students. But when that was over at 4, I WENT FOR A RUN with Star, plodding slowly along a narrow descending path through the woods, and then heaving even more slowly up a rough steep twisting road back home. Then I made TACO SOUP for dinner. Writing, baking, doctoring, exercising, cooking. And mostly just the relief of not having the tenuous fates of 20 tiny babies on my shoulders, not rushing to push through rounds and track their care while still worrying about the hundreds of RVA students and the needs of my family. This, perhaps, is how normal people live their normal days. It's nice.
Tomorrow beckons. Prayer out among the flowers in our yard is my first hope, to listen to how I should use the gift of this time. By Saturday we'll be back to the pressure and rush, early rounds, and on-call all weekend. So looking for sabbath tomorrow, and hoping that I'll be able to keep the boundaries of sanity in this life. Thank God for Mardi, an in-the-flesh testament to the God who hears and sees and knows our weaknesses. If He plopped her here all the way from Australia, surely He will along with her freely give us all we need.