20.5.09

Last minute wobbles



Tarshish - is it warm there?

I sign on the bottom line tomorrow - it's just my papers. It all gets sent off to the advisors and I am having some wobbles, I think, well, not quite. The passion has not died but there are just some things I am over-analysing.

Last night I was phoned up by a friend after I'd come pelting down the stairs from having put the children to bed, hoping to catch the last ten minutes of Eastenders (I know...habit I can't give up). My friend from house group asked me to send prayer information out about a friend who needs protection from infection after undergoing an op on Monday.

I started to scribble details on the nearest piece of paper to hand, realising mid-scrib it was my daughter's masterpiece (tinfoil, sellotape, paper creation which she had completed in after-school club). I then did a dishonest thing. I cut off the bit I'd scribbled on and tried to make good by adding extra sellotape. But I left the evidence in the middle of the kitchen table by accident, not throwing the scribbled-on bit away.

My daughter is four but incredibly sharp and observant, unlike her big sis who lives in a dream world. She saw the remnant of her picture this morning and lost it! I am at this point trying to leave the house for college as close to 7 am as I can to get there for 8am prayers.

I leave, she screams, daddy comes to investigate why there is so much commotion and I drive to college gutted.

My prayers were scribbled all over her work. I wrecked her work.

Is this symbolic of the conflict that I am going to feel about the church and my children?
Are they going to resent me for being at Church when I could be with them?
Is the Church going to welcome my children if I work for the Church?
Can I juggle it all?
What if I can't do it?
Is it really a tough place for women and especially mothers?
Why did David Runcorn say it makes him weep to think of what his wife has gone through as a priest and a mother?

Christina Baxter prayed for me on Monday that as my family have perhaps less of me, they come to have more of God's blessing and that his generosity will make up for any sense of initial lack. I think I might need to keep praying this one through.

5 comments:

Peter Kirk said...

And thanks to you for sharing.

I think the college needs to rethink the appropriateness of 8 am prayers, or of expecting students like you to attend them, if they want to attract people like you to the ministry. Perhaps you should tell Christina Baxter that, that rather than praying about your family having less of you and asking God to make up for the lack she should do something about making up for the lack by releasing you from such requirements. And the same should go for any church you work in. They have to realise that a mother of young children cannot work to schedules designed for largely single men.

Rachel said...

em, lots to think about there, Peter. It all becomes quite theological - and therein lies the problem. I think my theology contains a significant strand of theodicy, if I've got the term right - you know the whole taking up your cross and suffering thing - I don't know whether the angst I might feel is just going to be a part of this and that is how I am to rationalise it. The church has to change to attract new recruits indeed, whether I feel called to be the person who champions the changes and wrestles with the system - wow - that's going to take a lot of energy. We'll see.

Peter Kirk said...

Rachel, I accept that you need to take up your cross and be prepared to do the work you are called to. But that shouldn't imply needless suffering for your family. I wasn't suggesting you changed the system, though you can try if you like, just that you ask for dispensation from early morning prayers.

radical evangelical said...

hi rachel

i think that peter speaks a lot of sense - having said that, i can imagine that i will be doing a similar thing when i start at ridley in september.

on one hand many husbands leave their families early and the wife takes on the job of 'children' and so if the roles are reversed then perhaps that's okay.

on the other hand, mothers generally tend to be more aware of the need to be integrated in terms of families and worklife, so will be the ones forcing the change in systems that are malnourishing or unsustainable.

i have always been lucky in that my hubby has left the house at 8 and gets back by 6 generally. he sees the kids at either end of the day, i know a lot of dads who don't.

having said all of that - it is an interesting ball game going into ministry as a woman and even more interesting as a mother. i've had the 'my kids are gonna resent church' conversation with myself, as i sat french plaiting my daughter's hair with not really enough time, because i didn't want her associating days when i'm preaching at church with mummy not having enough time to help her do her hair!

i guess we have to help each other as spouses, to do what we need to do and not feel that we have to make up for the lack that there will always be because we are not God, not necessarily because we are priests.

i'm really glad that you're going down this route rachel, and i hope you are richly blessed. when do you go for BAP?

Rachel said...

Thanks Jody. I signed my papers off today and read through my report. It was quite a nervous moment for me but an exciting one.

I just pray now that I have the grace to accept the decision the advisers make, which ever way it goes.

Ridley prayers are 8.15, I checked it out. Lucky you - you have an extra 15 mins ;)

I was encouraged to go for interview there by my DDO, but after discussing it with the family, decided St John's is the place for me - it makes sense practically. It would have always come down to Ridley or St John's.

I go to selection on July 6th until the 8th. So hope to start September as an ordinand but it is in God's hands and I am grateful to feel able to let my blogging friends in on my journey, knowing that they will prayerfully help me to pick myself back up again if I should get turned down.

Good to journey together with another mum of young children with a hubbie who isn't already a minister. I haven't met that many in this category.

Thanks Jody
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