I’m getting ready for my first speaking engagement since baby Cohen was born and as excited as I am, it’s proving to be pretty challenging.
When Alex and I found out we were pregnant it was the most exciting news! However, I had just quit my full time teaching job in order to pursue a speaking and writing ministry. It was a huge faith step because I gave up a salary, pension, benefits, etc, and all for a passion that really isn’t a money-maker.
Finding out a baby was on the way changed things yet again. Instead of having the freedom to speak anywhere – anytime, I knew my expectations would need to shift. And as the requests for summer camps poured in (well they didn’t pour exactly, but I was asked to speak at four camps), I found it incredibly difficult to say no. Following some good advice from a fellow speaker, I decided to take June-September off and had my last event in May, 2 weeks before my due date! (next time, no events the month before – it was exhausting!!)
Now that I’m getting ready for my first weekend youth retreat post-baby, I’m a little nervous. Usually when I prepare for a weekend like this, I take hours at a time to study the theme passages and plan out my talks clearly and concisely.
Well doing anything for “hours at a time” doesn’t happen much these days. I don’t even sleep for “hours at a time”! So my prep happens ten minutes here and twenty minutes there. And as I’m rocking or feeding or changing or bathing the boy, my mind wanders to a mental outline of each talk – trying to piece together fragmented thoughts into a clear message.
It’ll be different now.
Alex will come with me and in between talks I’ll be rocking and feeding and changing and bathing (not Alex – Cohen!) Thankfully I have the most incredible husband who is willing to support me in this way and for that I’m so grateful.
I’m also grateful for truths like this one, found in Zechariah 4:6:
“‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
This verse assures me I can put aside my nerves and trust that all God needs from me – from any of us – is our willingness and availability to be used by His Spirit.
How do other moms and dads out there balance work and parenting? Lately I’ve been prepping during his naps, but I have a lot of other things to do during those times – like shower! And often his naps are short.
I’d love to hear from you.
photos by Photography by Jodi