I noticed several months ago that, although my tag line states that I'm "trying to honor it all" I haven't posted much about the pastoring part of my life. I suppose that makes sense since I'm doing a heckuva lot more mothering than pastoring, but I still feel the need to try and honor the pastor part.
So several months ago, as I eagerly anticipated the end of Jay's school year, I contacted my District Superintendent to offer myself up for pulpit supply during the summer. I guess there were a lot of reasons why I did it. I really wanted to be back in the pulpit and work on my preaching chops. I wanted to connect with other pastors and congregations in the district. And most of all, I think, I wanted to contribute something to the household coffers. One of the hardest things about staying home for me has been trying to accept the transition from "moneymaker" to "completely dependent on husband's income." Jay had pretty sweet fellowships when he was at Northwestern, but my income made it possible for us to live in a totally fabulous condo in Chicago. And my appointment at the church where I pastored provided free housing, insurance, utilities, etc. Going from all that to no income at all hasn't been the easiest transition psychologically.
The DS sent an e-mail to all the churches on my district and one of the neighboring districts. Strangely enough, the first offer I got was from my own church, which I gladly accepted. The second offer was from a local pastor who has a two-point charge (she pastors two churches) several miles west of here. There have been no more offers and for that I am eternally grateful.
I have discovered that pastoring and momming in combination is not my forte.
As tough as it sometimes is (and I hesitate to say that since a blogger that I read regularly and enjoy has just vented about SAHMs who "bellyache" about how difficult the job is) I feel like the during-the-day care of Joshua is my responsibility. Everytime I packed up my books and went over to church to study or write, I felt unbelievably guilty about asking Jay to do my job. He doesn't ask me to grade problem sets or prepare his lectures, right? So why should I ask him to do my job. And yes, the logical part of me knows that Jay is a parent, too, and that Jay doesn't think twice about hanging out with Joshua when I need some time to myself. But the totally irrational part of me says that I'm not being fair leaving Jay with my responsibilities when he has things that he'd like to do, too. (Yes, I know how unbelievably stupid that sounds. No need to point it out).
So it wasn't the greatest experience ever. I was really glad for the opportunity to study and write and preach and feel like I was, in part, doing what I've been called to do. But I'm not sure the trade-off in guilt was totally worth it. I guess it doesn't help that I'm merely weeks from giving birth and exhaustion and hormones are at an all-time high.
Maybe I'll try again next summer. Maybe not. We'll see.
There's the "pastor" part.