This has been a week of checking off my list in preparation for our baby girl! My husband told me my last post “sounded stressed,” so I’ve worked to finish important things to make me feel better. I got up at 6:30 today, after Spartacus crawled in bed with us at 5 and I woke up at 6 with the difficult internal debate: I’m overheated between two bodies, I have to pee, and I have to get up 45 minutes for church…do I suffer to pretend to sleep? Do I get up and try to come back? I ended up pouring the first cup of coffee and writing this post in the solitude of the 50-degree January morning.
I’ve been meaning to write about our chapel service this past week. It was my last major “school commitment” before maternity leave. As a sophomore student council adviser, I handled the coordination of their class chapel service. Sophomores also plan and execute the Christmas semi-formal dance just before Christmas break, and my co-faculty sponsor handled that, so I covered chapel.
We tried to start planning the service the week after the dance back in December, but with a snow day and finals not much got done. Two weeks later, we were back in school and two weeks from the service without any definite speaker or music plans…I discovered that six fifteen-year-old girls don’t have much interest or knowledge in planning a Lutheran worship service
When they were shot down for the student praise band (the group was overbooked for chapels in January), they decided to sing along to PowerPoint-style YouTube videos instead of finding an organist for hymns. The first list they sent me included Oceans by Hillsong, Lord I Need You by Matt Maher, and 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redmond. These are okay worship songs (I’m not a huge fan of using contemporary music in worship), but when I opened the first link they sent it was NINE MINUTES LONG. Chapel is only 30 minutes – we can’t devote a third of it to one song!
In addition, none of the six StuCo members were willing to stand up in front of the school and read. No one. So they needed to convince a peer to read; by 5 PM the day before, we still didn’t have readers! They had suggested I and the other faculty adviser read the Scripture…Bless the two kids who stepped up that morning, because it would have looked really bad to have the sophomore class chapel and no sophomores actually on stage…also bless my parents who took my chapel program to my dad’s church at 8 PM the night before to print 850 copies of it so I didn’t have to try to do that before school started the next day.
A sophomore girl with a fabulous voice offered to sing a solo; the StuCo girls told me she was singing a song called Hallelujah. I was thrilled – live music, especially from this talented young lady, makes chapel extra special. I asked them to tell me which version of Hallelujah for the program – “Not like, the one from Shrek, right?” No no, they assured me…but gosh darn it if she showed up for a sound check fifteen minutes before service and I hear, “Maybe there’s a God above, but all I’ve ever learned from love was how to shoot at someone who outdrew ya…” Yikes! It was too close to game time to do anything about it, and she and the senior boy who sang with her did an absolutely phenomenal job, but I feel like my legacy will be one of bad theology – earlier this year I told the school that Jesus hated them. Thankfully even my AP students didn’t think much on the lyrics beyond, “Doesn’t it at last talk about the Bible in the song, Mrs. H?” so no gross damage done to anyone’s salvation…
The pastor preached over 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, and he titled his message “An Inconvenient Church.” As so often happens in worship, God gave me just what I needed to hear even when I didn’t know I needed to hear it. The pastor talked about how being a Christian is not a life of convenience; it’s the narrow path, and anyone who says being a Christian is easy isn’t really getting the grace and difficulty due to the position. Making the right decision when the easy one is in front of your face takes strength beyond what we have in ourselves. He reminded the kids that we can’t even believe by ourselves; the Holy Spirit enables us to do that. It wasn’t easy for disciples to follow Jesus, and it isn’t easy (or actually possible) for Christians today to achieve any God-pleasing lifestyle on our own.
I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed in these past few weeks, what with bathroom renovations (see most recent photo below…), my due date next week, planning for my sub, living with a toddler and a grad student, getting sick this week…I often feel like I’m a personal failure when life feels so hard. Like I’m somehow doing something “wrong” and all those other social media working moms make it seem like no big deal.
|Current view of bath – all new plumbing!
|Notice the pretty new drain fixtures – it’s the little things 🙂
I know this isn’t really the case, but it’s easy to get myself in a funk and convince myself my exhaustion and frustration are somehow my fault. However, I know that what I require of myself to be a “good” teacher, mom, and wife are all beyond the realm of possibility.
When Spartacus asks me at 5:30 when we get home from daycare, “Mommy, you go play basketball with me downstairs?” it is easy to say, “No sweetheart, Momma’s tired.” It is inconvenient to get up and spend a few extra minutes playing with my son, especially when his only-child time is dwindling and he’ll need extra assurances of our attention very soon!
It’s inconvenient to live with my parents while our bathroom is being renovated, just as it would be inconvenient to live in a house without a shower and drywall dust coating everything.
And of course, it’s inconvenient to have NO idea when we’re going to actually have this baby…it could be today, it could be ten days from now.
My father (and also my pastor) snuck in an extra petition to the Prayers of the Church last week for pregnant women; I appreciated that! As long as I don’t need to go to the hospital between 3 and 6:30 tonight (Packer NFC championship game) everything else will be okay!