A couple of weeks ago my life was thrown into complete disarray as my wife and I discovered that we are expecting our first child. As far as disarray goes, this is the good kind. Nevertheless time has moved at a different speed than before and my weeks have run together. It doesn’t help that we’re experiencing a miserable heat wave or the fact that we have had guests most of last week and will again this week. And none of them are baby related – they were planning on coming before we learned about the baby.
Aside from being excited I’ve had a few other thoughts on the pregnancy so far. My first is that I have no clue how other women do it. My wife has the luxury of staying home and she has been tired and miserable off and on. She’s coped alright but I can’t even imagine her getting up and being at a regular job at 8 and coming home at 5.
Another thing that has struck me is how many doctor’s appointments there have been. We’ve had three appointments in the first two weeks and have to go back this week because because the baby isn’t quite as old as they thought and they want to be able to hear the heartbeat this week. Not too long ago there weren’t any of these appointments. While I’ll do anything to make sure that I have a healthy baby, it’s not like these appointments have done anything to improve its health and none have been checks because something seems wrong. They are just routine and if something should happen to be wrong, there’s nothing they can do about it at this stage anyway. I have health insurance and maternity coverage and I already feel like I’m being nickeled and dimed to death. My first appointment cost $25 out of pocket, I’ll probably pay at least that much for the second appointment and the third I already paid a $40 copay for two minutes of the doctor’s time to tell us that the baby isn’t as old as they expected and we’ll have to come back next week. And that doesn’t include the cost of what the insurance won’t pay for the ultrasound – or the second one we’ll get this week. I knew having a baby was an expensive process but I thought that most of that would begin at the delivery and the costs going forward, not right now.
Most importantly though, I touched by the wonder of God’s creation. When we discovered we were pregnant I immediately thought of Psalm 139:13 – “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” I plan on putting this on the wall of our nusery. Last week I saw a tiny little speck on the ultrasound, no bigger than a grain of rice. By this week that tiny little speck is supposed to have a discernable heartbeat. I can’t tell you how amazed I am by this. I can’t fathom something so small having a heartbeat and I can’t fathom the fact that one moment its heart will just begin to beat. Even though it is what happens in every living creature there doesn’t seem to be anything natural about this to me. There is no way that anyone can convince me that this is the result of a random process and it all just fell together. Only God can do something like this and only He can give life and start a heartbeat in a being so tiny that only recently have we even been able to detect its presence. I find myself amazed and in awe of God the further we go into this process.
What on earth is maction? It is a new term for “massive action.” I was recently talking to a friend and he said that he had set aside the month of June for maction. He has a second child coming in August so pretty much whatever he hopes to accomplish in the next few months needs to be done now.
I’ve been absolutely wore out lately with church stuff. Hospital visits always take a toll on me and I’ve had someone in the hospital for the last three weeks. It all started with three people in the hospital which wouldn’t be out of the ordinary expect my church isn’t that big. But I’ve also noticed before that hospital visits come in bunches. I can go months without anyone in the hospital and suddenly I’ll have a group of them.
All of this has left me worn out and feeling like I haven’t gotten much done lately. It’s also a foolish time to take on any more projects. Yesterday I decided to take on a new project on a whim however. My whims have been some of the greatest ideas I’ve ever had and have been the cause of some of my greatest online successes. Despite the fact that I had decided to focus all of my online work on Christian websites from now on, I took on an entertainment project. Hoping to be ahead of the curve, I’m setting up a network of sites devoted to 3D technology. If it doesn’t catch on I’m not too concerned because I don’t have too much invested in it.
Just having a change of pace has felt really good though. I love the work I do as a pastor and I love what I do online. If I had the option of doing them for free I would. But it is nice to take on a new project that has no religious significance. That way there is no real pressure to even complete the project if I don’t feel like it. If the project fails, I won’t lose any sleep over it either because there is no significance to it other than an opportunity to supplement my income online.
While I’m energized I hope to get the bulk of the work done for the new sites. Unlike the other projects that I’ve taken on recently, this one is meant to be short term. This means that right now is time for maction. Even though there’s not religious significance I’ll post the links here when the sites are completed just in case anyone is curious. (And it helps my search engine ranking when there are more links too. 🙂 )
Just about everyone that I’ve talked to has been under a great deal of stress this week. I don’t know if it is the start of summer that has done it or if it is the end of school for most students or what it is. It has been a very odd week.
I usually handle stress very well. I am not wired like most pastors who have a very ordered type A personality. I’m much more laid back and take things as they come. But even I have been feeling a lot of stress for the last few weeks. Ironically, I was even on vacation last week but couldn’t escape a lot of the problems that I was supposed to vacate. This week I saw the effects of my built up stress when I went to the doctor – my blood pressure was much higher than normal. Usually my blood pressure is the only good thing I have going for me.
When we’re feeling stressed – and I have to preach to myself right now as well – we need to remember that God is in control no matter what. He has promised to provide for our needs. Beyond that, we’ll survive and He will give us the strength to handle whatever comes our way. We are promised to never have more than we can handle. This is an easy promise to believe in because when God is with us, we can handle anything.