Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pondering A "New Normal"

Although another "new normal" is just around the corner, (I'm 29 weeks along today... wow) the current "new normal" has been surprisingly interesting. I am used to rising at 5 (at least attempting to) and heading to school around 6:45 to return home again between 5-6 perhaps. The school season meant rushing home to a quick dinner, MAYBE dishes, some grading, reading for school, laundry or whatnot, talking to Dustin or running an errand together, maybe home group, and then hitting the hay. My days of teaching were pretty full. I have been surprised that there are some of those things that I miss, but overall, I've really enjoyed being home. I tutor 2 days a week, and tutoring kind of "scratches the itch" I may have for teaching. And, it's good money and flexible. :) Overall though, I've enjoyed this big change of life/season. But with it, I find myself thinking a lot. Maybe too much sometimes. Lots of introspection. Lots of time. Some questions (below...)

Dustin has a "new normal" now too, going from the seminary life to being Mr. Butts, high school Geometry/Algebra teacher. He's a busy guy, that one. He's enjoying his classes so far though! I'm really trying to figure out how to best help him, especially since I have the time to do so. I'm trying to be a better iron-er, lunch make-er, e-mail encourager and help with things like finances or even grading. And, sometimes I feel like I'm just waiting for that "nesting" instinct to kick in. I mean, I want to clean sometimes, but nothing like what you hear about pregnant women doing. Ha! Either I'm just lazy or it hasn't kicked in yet. So, I'm hoping to get organized and get some projects going.

What does it mean to prepare for your first baby, I wonder? Does it mean cleaning everything spic and span? (It's hard for me to want to scrub floors or tubs with my new belly, but I guess that's what we pregnant women are supposed to do pre-baby? Kick in, oh nesting instinct!) Does it mean stocking your freezer and pantry? Does it mean reading a lot of books? Always hanging out with people? Addressing your Christmas cards months early?

I wonder if it's kind of like a wedding. You can get so distracted with planning the wedding, you forget you are stepping into a marriage. Similarly, you can get so distracted with baby, you can forget you are stepping into a ministry - namely, motherhood! So, I'd like to prepare for the latter and not lose sight of that in all of the hustle and bustle (or sometimes in the quiet solitude) of all of the other things.

So, what do I do to get ready to be a mom? To parent? To discipline? To sacrifice? To share? To be home? To be sleepless? Stretched? To love well? To not neglect Dustin even though the baby requires so much attention? Maybe I'm thinking too hard. :)

I guess my big question is... and I'm not sure who I'm asking it to. What does this season look like pre-baby? Especially with your first baby, when your hands aren't full with other kiddos. I know certain tasks I need and want to do each week - whether it's schedule a few things with friends, some hospitality, laundry, some chores, some house things, some church things, ministry to others. But, what else can I do with this huge chunk of time? I could schedule to do so much that I miss a special season to grow spiritually or prepare practically. I could schedule to do so little that I grow selfish with my time, lazy, etc. I guess it's all about balance once again...

Any suggestions are welcome! :)

5 comments:

mindy said...

I absolutely love this post! I love the grace that the Lord has blessed you with to diligently think through your life. It is so encouraging to me, dear friend! I have been wondering how you have been since I saw you face to face. I am glad to hear that you are remaining faithful to your husband and the task at hand. I pray that you will continue to be so in practice as well (sometimes that is the hardest part)! Love you!

Momma B. said...

I remember while I was pregnant with my first being a really lonely time. I felt isolated by my 'condition'. I was SOO excited to be a mom and I knew it was God's calling on my life but I wasn't sure what to do either....
Looking back I see that time as preparation. God was resting me for the next season, helping me slowly adjust to the HUGE change coming my way. It's normal to be tired and it's ok to rest while you are making a human! You are so very right though that it is all about balance. As long as you are being obedient to the Lord in the moment, and in EVERY moment, then you are doing exactly the right thing. Not being busy is a change for most of us, but don't worry, you will catch your groove! Keep your eyes on Jesus and everything else will fall into place! Many blessings!

Vivian Risse said...

Hello, precious sister! I loved the post. I'll never forget the surprise, after labor and delivery, that I'M TAKING THIS BABY HOME, and I'M HIS MOTHER! Wow!And I was just thinking, Phew, THAT'S over!

It's a sweet time. Pray! I remember after living on the church property (company galore!) and being church secretary and homeschooling 5 (grades 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6!)and working at the Christian school, then moving, the kids in public school, and me with 8 hours of "nothing" to do! I felt like a newlywed, with God saying, Come sit by me, love, and let's talk, and I'd jump up, remembering something I "had" to do! IT WAS HARD to learn to be still. I still struggle with it at times, but I love it. (Greg didn't arrive for a month because he wasn't released from his base.) I was ALONE!

Enjoy your husband, sleep, rest, visit the nursing home or somesuch other place, and pray. Enjoy God. There are big changes when you get married, but HUGE changes when the little one comes! Forget selfishness, which you can do some when you get married. His/her LIFE depends on you! If that doesn't floor you....

Love you! Enjoy. You'll know when the nesting kicks in. Whatablast!

I love what God has done/is doing in your life. I love you!

John said...

Are you thinking to much? WOW! Sounds like "Stretch" to me. :O)
Just enjoy this time of peace and quiet...it will be over before you know it. If people had to wait until they were prepared to have a baby this world be empty! (always something) I know this for sure: You will be a Fantastic Mother!!!

Jamie Butts said...

Just saw all of these comments - thanks friends. I will take them to heart!