Happier

31 Oct

We’ve now lived in Oklahoma for a year and a half.  In that time, I had nothing to call my own.  I was wife and I was mother, and that was all.  That was all.  I’m sure there are those who think that should be enough.  Taking care of my family is important.  It is good and noble and refining.

For me, though, it’s also a tad depressing.  I don’t do well without something to call my own.

It’s why, when my son was a premature newborn under doctor’s orders to stay home for his first 6 weeks of life, my husband let me go to church every single Sunday during that period, instead of trading off Sundays with me, as was the original plan.  He saw how happy getting out of the house made me.  My plan at that time had been to quit singing on the praise team at church for a couple of months.  My hope had been to be back by Christmas Eve service.  I’m not sure I even made it a full month before I was back on stage singing.  I needed music to give me the feeling that I was still me.  I was drowning in mom-ness at that time, and singing on the praise team for those few minutes on Sunday mornings reminded me that I was still in there somewhere.  I didn’t have to give up everything.

Then we moved to Oklahoma, and I did have to give up everything.  Sometimes following God is really, really hard.

I am blessed.  I get to be at home every day.  I know there are many women who would love to be in my shoes.  I do know this is precious time with my son, and I love taking care of my home and family.  But I need something that is just mine.  Something that has nothing to do with my husband or son.

My husband jumped back into working with youth back in the spring.  He took a much-needed year off from ministry, then jumped back in.  He leads a high school boys’ small group.  Alex has been so sick this year that I didn’t think I was going to get to ever do anything, as one parent needs to be home with him when he can’t go to the nursery.  So I did nothing.

As summer came to a close, the assistant youth director said she’d heard that music is my thing, and she asked if I would be willing to help out with the youth praise team.  Once I made it clear that I might be unpredictable due to my son’s frequent bouts with sickness, and she was okay with that, I said yes.  Then amazingly, I was also approached by the children’s director asking me to lead music in AWANA.  The youth and children’s schedules worked so that I would be able to do both, so I said yes to that, too.

Talk about jumping back in with both feet.

After a few weeks, it became clear that doing both is just too much.  I’m running from youth rehearsals to feeding my family (a packed dinner I haul to church with us), to AWANA, and back to youth.  And did I mention I’m co-leading a middle school girls’ group?  The old Sesame Street song comes to mind.  “One of these things is not like the others…”  AWANA has to go.  It’s not just choosing music each week; I have to spend a lot of time on YouTube looking for actions to go with every song.  Because in my inexperience with children, I didn’t have actions for the songs the first night, and it didn’t go well at all.  It’s all just adding an extra level of stress to my Wednesdays, and I’m missing out on some youth stuff while I’m with the children.

But you know what?  Even with the stress and the crazy that is now known as Wednesday, I’m loving it.  It’s amazing how much happier I’ve been since I started doing something outside of my home and family.  It was definitely time.

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