i am a planner.
if you know the intricate workings of my overanxious brain, you know this is true. i need to have things laid out, planned out, so that i can face the future with a small sense of control. i don't think i'm a control freak; it's my coping mechanism. if i know what's coming, i can figure out how to deal with it, even if it's bad.
this sometimes leads to a great deal of unnecessary stress. i recognize it, and sometimes have the capacity to recognize that some things i will not know, cannot know, and have to trust that i will have what i need when i need it.
(childbirth, for example, is one of these things. i am just not stressed about it. my body is a machine. it's sometimes a rusty, clanking, horrible jalopy of a machine and other times a sleek italian beast. whatever. it does its job quite well and i'm just going to try to prepare to let it do its job. since i know that no one can possibly describe the process to me adequately, and since i know that every individual is different, i am chill.)
however, sometimes this leads to awesome. sometimes i think the Lord uses my planning nature to achieve His ends, or to help me help myself.
case in point.
since Baby comes in early april, i can't teach traditional classes. we do, however, still need traditional money to pay for traditional things like food, rent, and student loans (ohhai phd. you were expensive. but worth it.).
cue my overplanning nature.
i start emailing my bosses. i call it my "putting the ducks in a row" process. i just need to know that there are ducks and that there is a row. the ducks can change color and the row can get shorter or longer, but i need to know that it's there.
(read: i need to know that there will be sufficient income for our needs, even though i know that we will always have sufficient for our needs.)
first email got me a promise of two online classes from the place that gave me four this semester. i was sort of counting on four. but, awesome coordinator guy said he would try to find as many as he could for me. i know he will, and actually think that he probably will find me at least 3 if not 4.
panic ensued. i started doing calculations in my head. we would never survive on just that.
(of course, this does not include the other OIOHL that i can work for every six weeks for as long as i want, basically, if i hustle a little bit. so...panic was not necessary, but it was there.)
instead of freaking completely out, i emailed the department head at local cc, where i started this fall. i really like teaching there and just got a glowing evaluation from the adjunct coordinator.
this was her response: "For what it’s worth, pregnant women have dibs on online classes. "
and suddenly i begin to see that, even when it seems scary and dark, there are people everywhere that want to help and ways in our lives that the Lord is working quietly and mysteriously and completely.
i think i sort of needed a reminder of how much He works in our lives, even when we are forgetful, slothful servants. i think i needed to remember how very much He has our backs when we exercise even a little bit of faith in Him. i've been feeling lately that my life is very much out of whack--i spend a lot of time on things that mean very little. our lives are so busy and frantic and fraught with to-do lists and responsibilities that we don't spend very much time getting centered.
i know that i don't spend enough time putting the best things first.
i have felt, for the past few days, a pressing need to make that right. i have felt like musicboy and i need to figure out how to put first things first and have faith that all the rest will fall into place. we are, right now, trying to fit the golf balls into the jar after the sand's been poured in. nothing fits right and it's frustrating.
we need a bit of a switch.
today's truly tender mercy--even in its vague promise of comforting times ahead--testifies to me that, when we listen, when we heed, when we put what's most important first, we will have everything we need. we won't know where it comes from or how it works. we won't understand it but we will see it everywhere in our lives.
i genuinely think it might take this entire semester of crazy for me to learn a tiny lesson about prioritizing in faith. i think it might take me three months of making little moments count to learn that what we do with all our little moments counts.
but i'm going to try. i'm going to keep trying. i may not get it perfect--i may not get even close--but i know that this time, right now, is essential. our lives are changing and, for the foreseeable future, they will be just as busy and require just as much prioritizing (if not more). i feel so impressed that the lessons of this insane eight class, marching band semester are little practice rounds for our lives as parents.
what we do now matters because what we do now sets the tone.
i want the tone to be faithful, focused, and fun.
in this case, planning will work for us. in this case, i am grateful for the small glimpse of the bigger picture that helps to reorient me and redirect me. they are rare, those glimpses, and i hope that i can do justice to this one that i've received.