Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hello, my name is Donna and I am a first time mom.

There, I said it.

What does it matter, you ask? Let me give you a glimpse. It means I second guess almost every parenting decision I've made for the past 16 months, even the ones from way down deep in my gut. It means I boast extra hard to the point that you'd think my baby girl was a child prodigy. It means I'm enamored with her sweet smile and funny antics and that I want everyone to see. (And I do mean everyone, including my Twitter followers.) It means that I cringe at every fall and snatch every piece of paper that seems to be heading for her mouth. (I've hear that by baby #2 all that goes at the window. Sure baby, eat the Crayolas! They are non-toxic.)

It also means that as awesome as this next phase of our lives will be, I am trippin' extra hard when it comes to sending baby girl to daycare. Hubby and I visited eight centers in one day and made a prayerful and informed decision about where we would send her. The place is filled with trained staff, love, and a diverse student body. And it is spic and span clean. We chose a time, beyond what we thought would be my year at home, that was right for our family. This allowed baby girl and I to visit my sister and niece in California for three week and enjoy a long weekend in Orlando for our family reunion. It also allowed for lots of cuddle and play time for us before the hustle of life resumed. So given the consideration that went into this decision I shouldn't trip.

But I am.

Today I dropped her off for a one hour "play date" at her daycare facility so she could interact with her teachers and the other children. And, if my racing heart was any indication, I tripped hard. I am trippin' less for her and more for me. Being home with baby girl, as uncertain as I felt at times, allowed me to rest in one aspect of my identity: mother. I didn't have to think about myself as preacher, teacher, artist, or writer during that time. In other words, I didn't have to deal with my stuff: feeling alone in New Jersey--like I have no people, wondering where I will work; wondering what I will do; wondering I will be invited into spaces to minister when no one know me; wondering if people will figure out that I feel like a fraud in most aspects of my vocational life--like I've mistakenly earned three degrees and been ordained.

Before I get too caught up in my head, my heart kicks in and reminds me that I am exactly where God desires for me to be and that with God, all things are possible. I am reminded that God has gifted me to the praise of His glory. I am reminded that I worked hard for my degrees and was ordained to the Gospel ministry even before the foundations of the earth. I am reminded that even though I'm out here all alone, that God will open doors in ministry that no man, woman, boy or girl can shut. I am reminded that God called me--in the fullness of who I be--to serve this present age (including my hubby and baby girl). I am reminded that God, who began a good work in me, will be FAITHFUL to complete it.

So, for now, my trip is over. As a point of reference, I reserve the right to trip all over again.
It's part of the journey...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Microphone Check


Is this thing on?

It seems we were having some technical difficulty. Or perhaps I lost my voice. Or perhaps...

Whatever it was, it is over now.  

This morning I woke up singing, "I can feel the breaking of day..."

It could have been the seven and a half hours of uninterrupted sleep I got.  (Never underestimate the restorative power of sleep.) But I know in my soul that it was more than that. It was--and is--God, tugging on my heart, telling me that it is time to wake up and get moving.  

Not that I haven't been moving.  Surely, chasing a fifteen month old around is not sitting still. But its a different kind of movement.  It is time to write. It is time to create. It is time to preach. It is time to teach. It is time to engage in the fulness of my vocational identity. 

This week marks the last full week I will spend at home with Baby Girl. She will begin daycare next week. I am excited and anxious, but I know that it is necessary for our family.  It is necessary for me. Part of being a good mother and wife means being a good woman and minister. However, I know in the depths of my soul that the time home with her was theological education, indeed. For God has used her to teach me so much about the depths of God's love and the nature of humanity (including myself).

I am writing this as she sleeps. Nothing new there, right? What is new is that I am writing this from my brand spanking new Macbook Pro. My old computer died when Baby Girl was three months old. And as much as I wanted a new one, it wasn't time. At the time, finances were the primary reason. With all of the stuff that babies need, buying a new laptop wasn't a high priority. As I look back, it wasn't really about the money. It was more about the timing of it all. 

I am reminded by the Preacher in Ecclesiastes that,"He has made everything beautiful in its time" (3:11 NIV).

Beloved, it is my time. Stayed tuned and tell your friends. New things--beautiful things--are on the horizon.