Friday, August 31, 2012

Test taking, the olympics and having babies...

In an hour I will be sitting in the library computer lab taking my Bible Content Exam, otherwise known as my first Ordination Exam. It's part of the joy of being Presbyterian. Today will likely be a two blog day because if I pass I will want to write about it and if I fail I will likely need to cry with words. I made a promise to myself that no mater what, I would under no circumstance take practice exams this morning. I would just do normal morning things. So now I am left wondering what to do with my time, I want to start the test already.

I am really nervous this morning, or maybe anxious. I am facing this test a lot like I did the delivery of my only child (so far anyway). My labor was induced so I knew about when I would be having a baby. This was the worst thing ever. We went out to dinner and then went to the hospital. There was no ouch I think this is it or my water broke it was like keeping an appointment. I also knew that having a baby meant everyone in the hospital was likely going to see my girl bits. Maybe even the janitor and the chaplain. So I walled myself up, shut out all the nervousness and went in like a stone, no over emotional reactions just sheer perseverance. This proved to be a good idea because it was a long 24 hours that ended up with a baby stuck in my pelvis and a surgery while still awake, one of my biggest fears. I don't know that this was healthy but it worked. I shut it all out and I survived. The baby was fine and she is now 3 and I can possibly consider doing it again, for the first time.

It's exactly how I am approaching this test, only I get to keep my pants on. I am shutting out the rest of the world and going into me take a test and pass mode. I hope it works. I hope by 10:45 this morning Noon the latest I can say I have passed.

I think this is the closest I will ever come to feeling like an Olympian, I have been training my brain for this for a long time and it is going to come down to what gymnastic commentators call muscle memory. I will never be an athlete, but this morning my academics are my athletics.

Today I am grateful for time to just be before I attempt my exam.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Test

Tests generally do not make me nervous. I might have a little anxiety about them but I really don't worry about them too much. (Well unless it's a pregnancy test those always make me nervous.) Tomorrow I am taking a huge test, the Bible Content Exam, I have spent a good portion of the last two weeks preparing for it. If I fail it, I can take it again, so it's not that big a deal until you factor in I have to pay another $100 to take it again. It is a 100 question test, so that's a dollar per question and there is no prize money. Here's the other thing, I don't study for tests, but this one I have had to study for and it's freaking me out. This morning I am already a ball of nerves I can't imagine what tomorrow morning is going to be like. I don't know how to best make use of my study time today.

Here is one last complication, LG has been fighting off a back to school cold for a week. Guess who woke up with a sore throat and upset stomach this morning?  The stomach I am blaming on nerves or just the general irritability of my stomach. The throat though that's preschool germs at their best.

So if you are the praying kind, I would greatly appreciate your prayers as I take this exam tomorrow morning.

70 is not a grade I like but it is one I am striving for because it gets me the magic passing grade.

The good in all this is that I have spent a lot of time reading the bible the last two weeks. There is so much beauty and inspiration in there.

Today I am grateful for the inspired word of God which is still speaking, particularly to my heart.

Monday, August 27, 2012

We had Watermelon and it was ok...

Yesterday I wrote about my issues with gender and ministry and how I was struggling as a woman to juggle both roles of mother and church leader. I have to tell you what happened, I woke up yesterday at 6 in order to bake cookie bars for the lunch after church. At 9:30 they were cool enough to cut, so I got the plate and knife out and I started cutting them up. That's when I discovered they were raw in the middle, even though I tested them twice when I took them out of the oven. There was nothing I could do, we stopped at the food store on the way, bought a watermelon, found a knife and a tray and that was that.

It was alright that I brought a watermelon and not a home baked treat. We survived and no one knew the difference.

I am grateful for learning to relax a little bit more.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gender Roles in an Almost Pastor's Home

It's Sunday morning. Church day in our house, which makes sense considering in two years I will be done training and hopefully serving in a church somewhere. Today at the church where I am interning, there is a big BBQ after church, where you bring a dish to share. This is a fairly normal thing at churches. So I am up a few hours before I need to be, baking. While my cookie bars are in the oven, I sit writing a children's talk. Today we also happen to have a kid with a cold. So that means I am leaving and Paul is staying home with her.

We joke frequently about Paul being the Pastor's Wife. However, being the woman in this relationship and the "Pastor" gets complicated because not only am I prepping for worship, I am up baking. Paul can bake but I really enjoy baking. However I think in the future Paul is going to have to add preparing potluck dishes to his Pastor's Wife resume.

This is highly frustrating as female (nearly) clergy, particularly when you consider we have kept some what traditional gender roles in our home.

Just some thoughts.

Today I am grateful for a sense of humor in all this.

Friday, August 24, 2012

This New World

LG started pre-school last week. She is adjusting well and seems to really enjoy school. Aside from a few potty issues she is mastering being in school every morning. Case in point, Lilia did you pee your pants again, No Mommy I pooped my pants. She wasn't lying. That was our conversation as I put her in her back into her car seat. I think it was pretty typical for motherhood at least for me.

Earlier this week we had some storms and I worried about where they take the kids in the case of a tornado. Tornadoes are still new for me and their inability to be predicted makes me nervous. Then as I was folding some laundry I realized I didn't have my phone on me, I ran and got it thinking if LG isn't with me then surely my phone should be. I am very comfortable with the staff at her school, I feel like she is in excellent hands. There is part of me though that gets a little panicky. Of course being me I didn't just let that settle I thought it through. What makes me nervous is that I am not there to protect her. Protect her from what? Well people sure do seem to be going into random public places and shooting them up. I think the chances of this happening at her preschool are pretty slim. I thought about writing this a few days ago, I wrote it off as paranoia. I dropped it, in my head, anyway.

Then right before I went to pick LG up I heard about the shoot at The Empire State Building. It all came flooding back. First off I live in a place where a good number of people are carrying guns and those that aren't have them, this makes me nervous to begin with. My train of thought started back up again. I don't think my mother ever worried that I would get shot while at school. I never worried about going to school and getting shot at, or going to a movie or the mall or a PLACE OF WORSHIP or anywhere. Don't get me wrong I don't loose sleep over this and I don't let it stop me from doing anything. Its just there in the back of my mind. I hate that there are times when I can't protect her.

What does it mean for older children who know that these things happen? Will she grow up afraid that she is going to get shot up by going to school or church? Right now she is oblivious what am I going to do when she understands and asks questions? How do I teach her to not be afraid but to be smart and aware of what is going on around her?

Today I am grateful that my LG is still too young to really understand any of this.