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Life can be overwhelming. Work stresses, financial and relationship strains take their toll. There are hurts, past and present, that may also carry weight in our lives. For me, in recent months, it's been the weight of the unknown that has felt the most unwieldy. We can research and plan, but ultimately the ins and outs of our future are largely unknown.

So what do I do with these weighty feelings of uncertainty? I've prayed, read my Bible and (most often) resorted to bingeing Netflix. Yesterday I watched the last episode of a 7 season series. I started it in September. I feel a mixture of accomplishment and embarrassment. That's just over 123 hours of mind-numbing distraction.

I could have chosen to work out. I could have volunteered more. I didn't. I didn't particularly feel like helping others or pushing myself; I already feel exhausted. Netflix doesn't require any effort, so I turned it on whenever there was a lull. It was a very effective distraction from worries and boredom.

We all have our pet distractions; our crutches that numb us from feeling. They can be risky, self-destructive, wasteful or even productive. Ultimately it's part of the human condition to need a break every now and then when the weight of life feels too heavy to bear.

Matthew 11:28-30 says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I know from experience that when I lean into the presence of God and meditate on Him, the weight becomes lighter. My perspective changes and I feel energized. That practice takes time and intention. It's a discipline that I sometimes don't have the attention-span to do well. What I can do is recognize and forgive myself for indulging in gluttony, sloth or any other dysfunctional way of numbing myself. I can admit where I've gotten off-track and chose to do better. Netflix bingeing isn't going to get me through the tough times. It isn't going to give me reserves of strength, hope or love, but God promises that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

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In North American culture waiting is avoided at all costs. We don't want to wait. We shouldn't have to wait. We complain if our plans are altered because one of the myriad things we've planned takes a bit longer to get done. We run red lights so we don't have to wait for the next green, we pick up our coffee order from a drive-through or (better yet) order it delivered through an app. All this busyness makes us feel important and productive and keeps us from having to wait.

Waiting often feels like a burden, when it should feel like a gift. When I have to wait for something or someone, I am no longer in control. My quick-paced frenzy suddenly slows and there's nothing I can do about it. Depending on my attitude it can feel like a life sentence or a reprieve. In my better moments of waiting, I pull out a book or turn on some music and use the time to exhale. Other times I pace and fidget like a caged animal.

This period of waiting to move to Belize has stirred up both appreciation and angst. There are days where I revel in the fact that I don't have to commute to an 8 to 5, and days where I wonder how many daytime hours I can sleep without triggering insomnia. More frustrating than just the passage of time is waiting to feel useful again. My heart and head are full of plans, ideas and dreams for our new life in Belize. Some days it feels like those days will never come.

Proverbs 13: 12 says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

Soon enough I will leave behind this season of waiting and embark on a dream I've waited 15 years to fulfill. In the meantime, my challenge is to focus on the gift that waiting can be and allow myself to cede control of the outcome.

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We have been preparing our kids to live overseas since they were born. We have fostered Central American teens in our home, sent our kids to bilingual school and exposed them to other cultures through friendships and travel. We are now 5 weeks away from the big move and none of that preparation seems to matter. The skills and experiences they've garnered don't amount to a hill of beans right now. Our kids are kids. What matters to them is the sadness of leaving their friends and grandparents behind and the exhilaration of embarking on a new adventure.

We've been transitioning for 7 months so far. The highs and lows hit all of us at different times and at different intervals. For our oldest, who is 11, the lows feel like his friends have already moved on and he is untethered to a social group. That's a rough thing to feel when you're in middle school. For our 9 year old, it's the thought of leaving the friends she's always had and needing the bravery to forge new friendships. She is acutely aware of social dynamics and never wants to stand out or be the "new kid." Our shy girl, it has taken her 5 years in the same school to do Show & Tell without tears.

On top of preparing the practicalities of doctor visits, passports and luggage, we are acutely aware that our kids need us to be present and anchoring for them. Sometimes parenting on the rollercoaster means having a pajama day with family games, sometimes it's visiting favorite places that we'll miss when we're gone. It's planning playdates and sleepovers, praying together and voicing our fears. It's including them in decisions and letting them vent their frustrations. The rollercoaster won't last forever. Sooner than later we'll disembark and start our new life in Belize and all the newness with become comfortable. Until then, we are holding on for dear life and laughing between the tears.

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