Traveling is exhausting... and stressful.
So as many of you know, I stress. I stress about the unknown, I stress about forgetting things, and I stress about the well-being of my children more than anything. This weekend I realized how prepared and "with it" I was feeling when it came to caring for my children. We were at the Verity Institute having a staff retreat and training with Child Evangelism Fellowship. Our state director generously provided us with a babysitter (who was amazing!) during the training sessions, and we had a really big room with our own private bathroom.
There was such a sweet spirit about that place. So many people gathered to give glory to the Lord. I found myself lost in joy some moments even though I was definitely feeling sleep-deprived and hurried. I'm so glad we were able to attend even though it definitely took some extra effort.
One of the biggest helps was Tsh's packing list for a week-long trip. Though we were only going for a few days, the list is really the same (minus a few pairs of pants). The list is conveniently divided into sections. I crossed things off the list that I knew we didn't need and checked off all items as I got them packed. Once I finished a section, I gave myself the gift of making a big X over the whole section so I could better see what I had left to do.
There were so many moments that I just thought, "Thank goodness for that list!" For starters, the building was an older construction so my husband and I had some allergy issues. Good thing the list said to pack adult AND children's allergy medicine. We all took our dose of Zyrtec and were much happier for it. The list also included packing jewelry. That's the last thing I think about when I'm packing for four, but it made me feel so much more put-together when I had matching earrings to wear to the trainings. Definitely a girl thing.
One of the entertainment items on the list was "books for adults." So glad I took my book because I actually finished it this weekend! All that time outside pushing a stroller back and forth with my feet while reading really paid off! Also, the entertainment list help me to remember our card games. You never know when you'll need a Dutch Blitz challenge to get the blood flowing!
Now that I'm not running on adrenalin and caffeine, I can look back and see how blessed we've been this weekend and how effective the packing list really was. If you're not already a Tsh addict, check her out! Because besides prayer and the promises of Scripture, planning is the most effective way I know to avoid stress.