It's so sad. I've actually had very bloggable ideas lately, but just haven't had the discipline to sit down and blog them. I need a routine.
Advent is here. I love it. I love the music, the Scripture, the PURPLE, the excitement, but not yet. I don't know why. I love Advent.
I was fired up last year to preach my first full Advent, but then was highly disappointed to discover I didn't get a full Advent. The first two weeks were mine, but then the next week was the adult choir cantata and the week after was the kids' Christmas program. Bah humbug. Fortunately or unfortunately (they always said that when I was in Ghana years ago) neither of those things are happening this year. I get 4 full preaching Sundays. Woo hoo!
I put together a theme that is based mostly on the lectionary prophets. It kind of stinks because these Lukan songs are stories are fun, too. But I'm enjoying playing around in the prophets after a LOT of gospel this summer and fall. The over all theme is "What do you want for Christmas?", and I'm using the traditional Advent themes of hope, love, joy, and peace (in that not as traditional order). I contrast something we want for Christmas, or something we want Jesus to be for us with what we really get. We want instant gratification; we get hope for the future. We want constant affirmation; we get a call to repent, tough love. We want momentary happiness, immediate experiences (oooohhhh---might go with the state dinner crashers as we see how that story unfolds); we get lasting joy in God's presence. We want to know where our week 4 notes are; we hopefully get a clue before week 4 arrives. Ha! Gotta find that sheet.
Anyway, that's Advent.
I need a liturgical new year's resolution, I think. Or really I need to make a change, so I'm calling in that. Time to figure out how to get more done before Saturday so I can get better sleep consistently. Those short nights are not going to do my health well through a pregnancy.
Oh yeah - - did I mention that? (BTW - NOT my belly pic there. Not that big yet and it'll never be that cute.) I'm pregnant for the third, and likely final, time.
I'm 15 weeks along now, but I haven't made many (OK any) changes to my writing habits. I think it might finally be time for that to happen if not forever than at least for 18 months or so. I need to get better sleep to stay healthy. Those super-short Saturday nights aren't going to cut it for a while. And I totally remember almost not making it to church with a completed sermon a couple of times when Karoline was itty bitty and still nursing at night. It never failed that she would make her most needy nights on the nights when I happened to be preaching. This time around every Saturday night will be a preaching night, so I'm going to need to do something different. Hopefully it'll happen. This week, though, it's not just for those noble reasons. This week there is some SERIOUS football going on! I want to watch it all guilt-free!
On the pregnancy front, things are going well. I felt way more nauseous in the first trimester with this one than I did with either of the other two, and it lasted way longer. It's dying down now, but the heartburn is remaining. Poo. We started Bradley Method natural childbirth classes last night. They are weekly for 10 weeks. I tell folks and myself that it's because my last labor was so short, I don't think I'll have time for the drugs anyway, so I should go in prepared, but it's more than that. I think deep down inside I sort of want to be one of those granola-mom's with this crazy, emotionally-charged birth experience. I mean, I do want to know what it's like to do it all myself, or myself with husband support, but to really know what it FEELS like. I know it doesn't feel pretty, but I want to know that, too. I'm curious and excited about the whole prospect.
I'm also very proud that I am letting myself do this. I have never before in my ministry at either church allowed myself to sign up for any sort of weekly (or regular in any other way) class. It always seemed impossible because it meant possibly not being available for some meeting or another, whether it was on the calendar already or not. These classes are weekly on Tuesday nights for 2 months. Taking the class meant we had to move 2 session meetings for me and skipping 2 deacon meetings. Huge for me. I didn't even really ask. Not in a rude way, but in an assertive way. I just said this is what I needed to do, so we would have to move the meetings to make that happen. There was no obvious fall-out, and I haven't heard any feedback yet. It felt good to do that. It felt good to go to the class last night and start that journey. It felt good to get away with my husband and do something together, even if it is a childbirth class. We haven't ever had weekly "dates." I'll take what I can get. Saturday his parents will be in town so we're ditching the kids with them so we can go Christmas shopping on our own. Two times in one week. Lord, I won't know what to do with myself!!!
OK - this is getting a little out of hand. Time to get back to work. A few random things - -
Godzilla (who is now our 2 1/2 year old boy) likes to say there is a girl baby in Mommy's tummy and a boy baby in Daddy's tummy. He wants to name our baby Axel.
LadyPrincess (who is now our 4 1/2 year old girl) is fired up about the baby. She wants a sister almost as bad as her dad wants another son. I don't know whose disappointment will be stronger. I worry about that. She's also quite the church mouse, and is never happier than when she's here. Oh my.