*After finally finishing this eternal post and being, humbly, reminded that I used to criticize others who use their blogs as emotional dumping grounds, I realize that reading the following post may not be up everyone's alley. So, if you're in a hurry or don't have the emotional energy to invest, here's my status in 3 lines:
Busy, but trying not to break down.
Wondering, but trying not to wander.
Distressed, but trying not to doubt.
For you others who like to go through people's emotional dumping grounds, looking for signs of what is to come like an Armenian grandmother reading the dregs of her coffee cup, this one's for you:
Whew, what a week! Who knew my thirties would begin with such activity?
Since my birthday 2 weeks ago, I have:
*went to a "preggo party" where we swapped stories, gifts, and ate with abandon
*seen Owen read another sight word ("bee") without context clues
*traveled to Texas (and back)
*ate with my mom, dad, brother, and sister-in-law
*attended a wedding for Kris and Abby
*socialized at Richland Hills Church with old friends
*ate with my parents-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, niece and nephew
*sewed up a storm with Mom for my baby and a friend's
*crawled around the Arnold's attic to retrieve baby items held in storage
*taught 2 weeks of school (with one GRRReat day of being called a crude name...and a great day of a written apology by Mr. Potty Mouth to follow)
*took 50 kids on the city bus from Roosevelt HS to Fresno State's library and helped them conduct research with my co-teacher/friend
*attended 2 Lamaze classes (no, it's not just the breathing)
*had one flat tire on the way to work (to my father-in-law, no, I did not change it myself)
*four separate medical appointments (including 4 lbs of weight gain, 1 Rhogam shot, 1 failed diabetes test, and the 3 hour follow up test...results yet to be determined...looking at the above list, perhaps there was too much eating in the days prior to my appointment)
*hosted brother-in-law for the weekend (insert Michael and Bryan giggling like school-girls at dumb jokes and much potty humor while I'm attempting sleep)
So, maybe I need the next Lamaze session to be the breathing class because I'm TRYING to slow down. But, life just keeps coming, no?
The weekend in Texas was REALLY difficult for me. I haven't been that emotional during this pregnancy (I should check with Michael to see how biased that perspective is, but he's at the movies with his brother), but I was overwhelmed with emotions while at "home" and bottled most of them up...only to be released through wracking sobs in a bathroom stall at the DFW airport before boarding back to Fresno.
The year we spent in the Metroplex seems like a figment now...and so I wonder, what will this year in Fresno feel like later? I told my mom that I feel like a person who has a teaching job for a year in one state and KNOWS they should be investing in their state's retirement system because you can't benefit without some initial sacrifice of money and they really don't know how long they'll be there. And so, the worker puts in and puts in, and over time, they do start seeing some dividends on their investment...only to move states after a year. So, do they leave their money behind (to grow at a slower pace) or do they pull it out (with an obvious penalty) to reinvest at their new place?
So, being with family at home, work friends at the wedding, and old friends at church was tough. It reminded me that I do have "accounts" still open, and I need to give them some attention...I can't hole up here in Fresno and shut off old friendships. And, as I returned here, it reminded me that I can't withhold time and energy from people here either just because I'm afraid of the "withdrawal fee" later.
Long, financial analogy aside, I feel like that person (and have been that person in AR, CA, and TX with my money). With every place we move, I have to invest myself. We made a decision long ago when we moved to Pasadena not to hold anything back from potential friends and communities, no matter how long we thought we would be somewhere. But having roots in so many places is difficult. Either you are drained by having connections so far flung (a really wide root system and, yes, I AM grateful for the ability to maintain social connections through technology) or you are stunted by severing ties. I don't know how to give it my all without feeling later that I'm penalized for my investment. So, there were friends that I wanted to see, but I chose not to while I was at home. Not because I don't miss them but because I miss them too much to only spend a rushed lunch on an already crowded weekend. (Forgiveness and mercy, friends whom I didn't see?)
On top of all that (BREATHE), I do not know the answers to the following questions posed to me last weekend by at least more than one person:
*Are y'all going to be in Fresno next year?
*How many job prospects does Michael have in Fort Worth?
*Will you be teaching next fall?
*If you do, who will watch the baby? And Owen?
*If you move, when will you be moving?
*If you don't, how will you afford to stay home if Michael is just starting out?
*How much will those student loans be when he's done?
*Really, you still have the red truck...selling it anytime soon?
*What date will Michael be defending his dissertation?
*Will you be going to his graduation June 13th if the baby is due June 9th?
*What if Michael doesn't pass his licensure exam this summer?
*What are you doing for Owen's birthday April 8th?
*When will you be posting pictures of Owen on your blog next?
*When will be your last day of work before taking maternity leave?
*What will you name the baby?
*Is it a boy or a girl?
All VERY legitimate questions that I too would like to know the answers to, but, for now, only God knows the answers to them. Some of the questions I need to be seeking answers to through prayer to the Lord and the counsel of wise people, and some of them, I need to release from my grip and over-active analysis and give back to Him who is in control...to Him who has called us to this purpose...to Him who has faithfully led us since the days Michael and I accepted His call...to Him who has always invested in us, despite sometimes (no, often), a rather poor return for His sacrifice.
So, could you take a deep breath with us as we plunge into this busy season? Please pray specifically for the following blockbusters in our world of coming distractions:
*Owen's 4th Birthday - April 8th - May he feel loved and celebrated for the joy he is!
*Michael's Dissertation Defense - mid-April - May he be affirmed for his diligence!
*Teaching - May - Have you ever been around a freshman in the Spring? May I have energy to endure and wisdom to decide when to let go!
*Baby - late May/early June? - May he or she be full of life and surrounded by love!
*Graduation - June 13th - May it become a reality and a celebration!
*Job - anytime* Lord! - May Michael use his gift of listening to bless others while being a financial support to our family!
*note my hesitation to say "anywhere" too. The desire of my heart is to be nearer to family, and I feel demanding to ask much more. Still, maybe if YOU ask... :) As if He didn't know my heart already, right?
Please be patient with me.