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Something’s Gotta Give

It’s official. I do too much and it’s starting to feel like plates are crashing down on my head.ย  Sure…some of it is (hopefully) just a one time thing – like last night’s Fishful Thinking presentation at Burke and Maggie’s school. But some of it – like teaching Sunday School – isn’t. I need to start prioritizing and I need to learn how to say “no, I just can’t do it.”

Obviously, my job isn’t negotiable. And frankly, I actually enjoy doing it – when I have the motivation ๐Ÿ˜‰

My blog is non-negotiable as well. It’s my one outlet to get thoughts down to help work through things…and the only place that I journal about the kids!

My second job is so tiny and infrequent that I think it’s okay to keep that one going. It can get stressful when my boss says “Hey, can you look this over and have it edited by noon tomorrow?” …but he doesn’t do that too often.

I *LOVE* being a part of my twins club, so I highly doubt that will be dropped at any point in the near future. The membership position looks like it might be shifting slightly due to our move from Yahoo Groups to BigTent, so that may lighten that load anyway. (Plus, I’ll be changing positions next year. More about that one later though.) I haven’t been able to go to many of the recent COPE meetings for the club – and I really miss those. It’s fun to go out and chat with other ladies who totally get what you’re going through. Or to give some advice here and there since I’ve already been through a lot of it… The General meetings/Board meetings have stopped being monthly, so there are only 4 months out of the year where I feel like I have at least one thing going on each week.

The Fishful Thinking stuff isn’t really all THAT time-consuming. Since I had the presentation last night, it was consuming things for the past week, but that’s pretty unusual. Plus, I *REALLY* like the message that Fishful Thinking brings to the table. I do most of that “sharing” online, or while waiting for Burke and/or Maggie, so it’s time that would have been “wasted” anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday School? *sigh.* It terrifies me. ๐Ÿ˜› I’m not a teacher. I don’t know WHAT I was thinking when I said “sure! I’ll help out!” when Pastor L. asked…I think I was thinking “I’m new…might be a good way to meet more people.” And … it has been. But it still terrifies me. Those poor kids are learning about the bible from ME?? Yikes. At least they’re only 4 and most of what we’re doing is coloring pictures to go along with the stories. . .One of the teachers has already backed out (with good reason), so that leaves only 3 of us (we rotate months of being teacher/helper/off). I’ll fulfill my obligation, but I really don’t think I’ll sign up for it again next year. I AM afraid it might be one of those “hey, we’ve already gotcha” things, and it’ll be tough to get out of next year though.

I also committed to a women’s circle at church. It’s just starting up, so I thought perhaps it would be another good way to meet more ladies around town without feeling like I’m crashing an established “club”. They meet monthly – and on a weekend! – so I think that’ll be pretty good. We’ve had one meeting so far and it’s a fun bunch.

I did just say “I just can’t do it” to another women’s group at church…it’s one that meets in the middle of the week and my heart sped up just thinking about trying to attend it each month. I felt terrible saying “no” … and it was hard!! But I did it.

It’s a start…and I KNOW I have a hard time saying “no, thanks” when people ask me to do things…and apparently, knowing is half the battle ๐Ÿ˜‰

Blasphemy?

Since I’m usually running late on Sundays, I tend to grab my coffee in a travel mug and head out to church…sipping and hiding my mug all through the service. Is this blasphemy?

This morning I had thought I was pardoned when I saw that the minister was trucking around through the entire service with HIS travel mug this morning…until he mentioned that he was losing his voice and it was lemon water.

I’m going to hell, aren’t I??

VBS

Burke and Maggie are attending Vacation Bible School this week. It’s a community-wide event, so lots of different churches attend.

…which means that I keep running into people from our old church. I’m having a hard time with this because I REALLY liked the people from our former church. It was the minister we had a problem with…we just never really let people know why we left. And now that they see me trucking the kids to VBS, they pretty much KNOW we’ve left them for another church, but they don’t know why.

The really nice thing is that the ‘Tweens we knew at the church have come running up to give Burke and Maggie big hugs…and they even chat with me a bit. It’s the adults who are giving me the stink eye – or avoiding any eye contact at all. *sigh* I suppose I could march up to them and say “Hey!! How are you? I miss seeing you…”ย  But I’m such a chicken ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway … the kids are loving it so far. At least…if I can get them to let go of me. Maggie has NO problem. Runs right in and faces the world with open arms. Burke, not so much. Day 1 was a drop-off in a smaller room and there were lily pads for him to sit on, so that was cool – mommy could take off no problem. This morning they were all meeting in the BIG room … lots of noisy kids. Burke did NOT want mommy to go. Luckily, his group leader had stickers, so she distracted him while I slipped out.

On my way out, I bumped into one of the said ‘Tweens from above. I mentioned to her that Burke was having a hard time (while trying to glance in the room undetected by him). She said she’d go hang out with him for a bit. Awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wonder if her mom would have a problem if I asked her to babysit for us…

Holy Awkward

Literally.

The minister from our former church paid us a visit last night. And when I say last night, I mean he showed up at the door at 8:45. Unannounced. Uhm…really? And he stayed for about a half hour.

The thing is…he doesn’t know that he’s our former minister. (Read about my struggle and my peace.) We haven’t been to his church in two weeks. (We actually didn’t go to church yesterday because I was feeling really crappy and Logan has/had? Pink Eye.) He didn’t ask why we haven’t been at church. Church didn’t come up much, actually. As per typical, we heard a lot about how wonderful he is. (*sigh*) And honestly, as the last part of his visit dragged on, the voices in my head kept screaming “SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UUUUUP!!!!!!!!” (bad Nancy ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ) I guess that reinforced that we’re doing the right thing by going to another church.

The other awkward part of it all is that he brought toy cars for the kids. He’d been mentioning for a while that he had some – after Burke brought a bunch to church one day – and that he’d drop by to give one to Burke. He even set up a time with Mike to come by on a Monday (about a month or two ago) and then never showed up. I was THIS close to handing them back to him, but I totally didn’t want to get into it. Plus, if he HAD dropped by when he said he would – we wouldn’t have been looking for a new church at that point…right? I suppose we’ll just send a thank you card and leave it at that.

Do you think he’ll get the hint if we aren’t there next week? Or do you think we’ll get another visit? And if we get another visit do we let him know that we’re going to another church? Even if he doesn’t ask? Blah.

Struggling No More

If you remember a few weeks ago, I wrote about my spiritual struggle. Well … I’m no longer struggling. We took the advice of pretty much everyone and tried out a new church on Sunday.

Wow.

All I can say is that the buzzing atmosphere alone when we first walked in was completely different than “our” church. And the kids! There were kids everywhere!! At our church, I could probably count the number of kids on two hands. There were too many to count at this new church. And there’s a PreK Sunday School class. With three teachers. The only option at our church is the nursery.

The minister is a young guy (with a Southern accent heh) who has a lot of energy and seemed to be fairly upbeat. His sermon was short and to the point. The hymns were upbeat. The woman sitting next to us kept looking over at us with the three kids (who stayed upstairs for the entire service) and smiling. She was super nice and chatted with us afterward about how things work and some opportunities and things.

The second-in-command minister (I have no idea what her actual title is) recognized us as new people and came over after the service to chat and give us a tour! She brought us down to the nursery and to see the PreK room and to meet all of the teachers. They have a (paid) dedicated woman in the nursery and then members rotate through the Sundays to help out…there is never just one adult with any of the kids at any time. Same with all of the Sunday school classes.

They have a whole system for dropping off and picking up kids, and they keep the kids – both in the nursery and in Sunday school – THROUGH coffee hour!! Mike and I can hold adult conversations without interruption! Holy cow.

I didn’t really realize how uptight I was about the whole thing until the peaceful, relaxing feeling came over me when we got home that afternoon. It’s amazing what you realize after the fact.

The clincher for me though, is that this church says “trespasses” during the Lord’s Prayer instead of “debts” LOL Since I grew up with the “trespasses” version, my brain freezes a bit when we hit the “debts” part at our church.

…Or should I say, our old church.

Spiritual Struggle

I hesitate to write about this because I have no idea if anyone from my church has found my blog. I doubt it, but you never know…I decided to go ahead anyway, because I’m really struggling and I seem to do better if I write things out.

Mike and I started attending church a little over a year ago. The congregation accepted us with open arms and everyone has been incredibly nice. The kids love going and Maggie has loved playing in the nursery room since day one. Burke has just started to let us leave him down there, but he’s loving it now as well. Logan hates it when we rush out, but he enjoys playing as well. And all of the ‘Tweens who help out down there seem to really get a kick out of all 3 kids. (They even give me hugs – which is cool.)

Many of the adults in the church are much older than we are, but like I said – they welcome us with open arms. There are others there our age, with kids about the same age as our kids (mostly a little older though).ย  Not a LOT of kids in the church, but I’m fairly certain that that’s actually the norm in our area.

So what’s the struggle? I don’t love the minister. Talking with him one-on-one is okay – he’s grown on me over the past year. But listening to him preach takes a lot out of me. His messages are…well, preachy. (For example, the message I took away last week was “The World is Wrong.” Not really the best message – in my opinion.) And the entire service is so … down. I mean, I swear this guy finds the darkest passages and the darkest hymns and builds his sermons around them. I can understand “dark” every once in a while…but you really don’t have to look that hard to find uplifting passages and hymns. To top it off, most of the messages are pretty accusatory. (“If you have money in your pocket, you’re not doing the word of God.” And lots of “You must”s and “Never do”s … I guess I’m just not an absolutest.)

To be fair, I had two amazing ministers while growing up and it’s hard to not compare things to them. Both have incredible senses of humor – a must in my book. And their messages were almost always (if not entirely) uplifting. They never made me feel like I was being accused of doing – or not doing – something, but I “got” the messages they were sending. I suppose it helped that they were both close family friends as well…

I guess my point is, if you can get your messages across without all the doom and gloom, why do people still use it?