Back to Life, Back to Reality

When Sarah and I were talking about what I should be blogging about it right now, she said this song immediately came into her mind. And this is what life feels like right now. I’m 2.5 months into my call as Associate Pastor here at First Presbyterian Church in Ashland. I’ve been ordained and installed, we got settled into our home here in Ashland, we had a beautiful baby boy, I had a short time off for some paternity leave…and now it’s back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now.

For those of you who have been in ministry much longer than I am, and have families and children, you can go ahead and enjoy reading this post of a newbie and please feel free to share your infinite wisdom with me. But it’s evident that life will never be the same again. Our marriage will never be the same, our priorities have been changed and my days off have become “Okay – take the baby!” I’m starting to settle into my job at the church, but there are still days that I’m clueless as to what I’m supposed to be doing. My office is a constant mess. And as with any job, you always learn more about the church (both its strengths AND it’s “growing edges”) after you accept the job.

All of this leads me to wonder how it all works? How do I find time for myself when coming home now means that Sarah is more than willing to relinquish the baby into my care so she can nap, get some work done or just relax? How do I spend the time I feel is necessary to read, study and reflect deeply on my ministry when I need to find more Sunday School teachers, continue to learn how this church does things from potlucks, to expense reports, and pastoral care visits? Where do Sarah and I find the time to sit with each other, catch each other up on our days, and cultivate our marriage when we’re both exhausted at the end of the day and she’s ready for bed, and I’m ready to get in some “Adam time” by doing things like writing this blog post?

I keep thinking to myself, “We’ll find our rhythm soon…we’ll get into a good routine” – but I sometimes wonder if that is just a ruse, a “pie in the sky” dream that may not actually be attainable with all that we have going on? Certainly my monthly talks with my spiritual director help. And being able to hold that beautiful baby boy of ours and just look into his eyes seems to make everything else seem much less pressing…but I find myself, during those moments when things all seem just a bit crazy, looking around like David After Dentist, and asking, “Is this real life?”

Caleb Elijah’s Baby Registries

A few weeks ago, Sarah texted me and said that her belly-button seems to have “popped” and she was wondering if that meant that Caleb was ready to come out. I know that she’s getting to the point in pregnancy where she would love for Caleb to come any day now. And I’m pretty excited about that too – but I also realize how much preparation we still have to do before that can happen!

We’ve been in Ashland, Oregon for about a week and a half now. Sarah’s parents are coming tonight or tomorrow, and they’re going to help us get the rest of our house unpacked, setup and put together. It’s going to be really helpful. Sarah’s dad will be working on the crib, which is a goodo thing, since I’ve heard that many marriages almost ended when the couple tried to work to put the crib together.

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I am a Dad

This was cross-posted on Dazed Dad last week as we remembered Micah and Judah’s deaths just four weeks earlier. I am continuing to process my grief and journey through our loss on that site, and have written a few posts recently that you might be interested in:

Four Weeks Ago Today I Became a Dad

Four weeks ago at this very minute (6:49am), I became a dad. I saw Micah delivered first; I even saw his little tiny 19-week 3-day arms and legs moving a bit when he first came out. And then little Judah, tiny Judah 2 ounces lighter than his bigger, older brother. I didn’t remember it at the time, but I had my “Becoming a Dad” blog entry set to post that morning, and while it was never in the way I would have ever imagined, I was more a dad that morning than I had ever been.

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