29 May 2008

Mommy will be OOO

Next week I am going to become an independent woman again. For four days, I will not be performing my duties of “mommy,” “honey,” “boss,” or “employee.” I will simply be Angie – and I am so excited!!! Of course I absolutely love those titles (especially the first two), but I will get to represent just myself and have a schedule that depends only on how I need to best spend the day.

It is so appropriate and yet coincidental that I will be enjoying this brief stage of autonomy where I first found true independence. That would be in Fischer Dorm on the campus of Wheaton College, where I lived for two years during my time as a freshman and sophomore in college. .

Ever since I was selected for the “Reedy/Walling Writing Conference Scholarship” several months ago, I’ve been dreaming about walks to Adams Park and sitting in those familiar classrooms scribbling notes while learning important life-changing information. I’ve been preparing my manuscripts, researching the faculty who will be in attendance and reviewing with my husband all of the rules that must remain in place during my absence.

In the past week, its been the rules of our home part that I’ve struggled with the most. My manuscripts have been submitted, I’ve learned as much as I ever needed to know about the publishers who will be there, and now I’m struggling with how I will handle this independence while my family flounders here at home. The longest I have ever been apart from Asher has been a little more than 24 hours. I haven’t even been away from Walter for more than a couple of nights! I will be gone from home for four nights and FIVE days!

Over the course of our almost five years of marriage, I’ve read many books about the joys of traveling alone and being an independent woman. These books are helpful not only in satisfying that part of me that likes to be free but also in reminding Walter that if I left on one of these independent adventures, he would really miss me. But now I really am going to be on an adventure of sorts and the reality is that I think it will be a challenge.

I am looking forward to attending the Write to Publish conference next week, but my enthusiasm for a rush of independence is somewhat dampened by my thoughts of not seeing my little boy and my sweet husband for an extended amount of time. My more than capable mother-in-law will be here to take care of my family but if anyone catches Asher out and about past his bedtime looking rather grungy, please excuse us, but mommy is going to be OOO (and that is Out Of the Office for all of you non-Corporate types).

21 May 2008

The End of an Era

There aren't many things left in my life that have been consistent for more than a couple of years. And now this one thing that has been very predictable for 9 years is changing. I've been involved with Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) for a long time. Monday nights have always found me with my group and Friday mornings I have committed to getting up early and preparing with the other leaders for our discussions on Monday nights.

Some of the leaders in that Friday morning circle have seen me through much change in my life. They were there when my parents moved to Ethiopia to understand the pain in letting them leave. When I became engaged and lamented not having my mom around to make wedding plans with, they volunteered to be 30 moms for me and one gave me a phone card to call my mom for a few minutes. Although we had Asher's name picked out long before his birth, the Bible study lesson that week when he was born happened to include the study of Jacob's sons, one of whom is Asher.

I've come to love Friday mornings with those women. Its there that I learned how to pray: on my knees, adoring God for who He is, thanking him for what He has done, and bringing requests to Him. It was on those mornings that I watched women I served with reveal they had just received diagnoses of terminal cancers and then over the months and couple of years, I watched them serve out the rest of their lives, never wanting to stop until they were physically unable. I learned what it means to rejoice over kids as they make choices to turn back to God. This spring I saw God answer the prayers to bring a new life into a fellow leader who was so real in her struggle with infertility. That group of women has taught me what it looks like to live as a Christian woman in each stage of life.

Its bittersweet to leave the group. I'm not leaving BSF altogether, but just switching to the day class, so that I can take Asher with me! Now that he's 2, he can go and learn verses, songs, and Bible lessons. I know that even at this young age, he will be taught truth and I pray that truth will remain in him and that he will never stop adding to it.

Here's my BSF commercial...if you have never attended a BSF class, it is an international organization with classes all around the world. There is a class finder on their web site: www.bsfinternational.org that will help you find a class near you! Next year we're all studying the life of Moses - what a great study!

12 May 2008

Football with the Girls

Tomorrow is Walter's exam! My days as a single mother are almost over again... until about August, but the exciting thing for now is that I will see my husband again soon.

Walter has had extremely limited time for fun things lately, so when he won 4 tickets to go watch our local arena football team, he was a bit disappointed that the tickets had to be used on a night he needed to be studying. But that meant that Asher and I could go with a friend, and we picked AUNT BECKY!

This was Asher's first football game! It's kind of interesting that he experienced it with his mommy and his aunt who didn't really know (or care) much about the actual sport. This is the conversation Becky and I had a few hours before the game:

Becky: So is this soccer that we're going to tonight or is it real football?
Me: It's real football, but different since it's indoors.
Becky: Is the team a part of a league or some kind of club?
Me: Hmm...They seem to be pretty good, maybe they're some kind of minor league.
Becky: Where is the game going to be?
Me (I knew this one!): The Coliseum.
Becky: What kind of food are we going to get?
Me: Definitely nachos and maybe we could share a hot dog.

Walter is a bit distressed over Asher's first football game experience. We did get there early enough to get a free t-shirt, but left as soon as half time was over.

It was something to do.

02 May 2008

Running Tears

Running often brings me to tears. I doubt that I'm alone in this sentiment, but this week I was brought to tears during a run in a way that has never happened before.

Its easy to understand why there were tears when I was in track in junior high. I struggled so hard to make running my sport, but eventually I realized that my short little legs just were not going to be helpful when running competitively.

I started running again during a summer internship in my college years and in my care-free pre-Walter and Asher days, I trained for and ran a lot of races just to prove to myself that I could do it. Tears came to my eyes often in those days, weeks, and months of training. There were many early mornings when I just wanted to stop.

The most victorious running tears came when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon and then again after the second. I couldn't believe I had actually run so far!

But this week, I experienced running tears in a whole new way. Its kind of nice to say "I went running this morning," but honestly I haven't been able to say that since last fall. I am currently counting down the days and hours until Walter's exam when I will be rescued from single motherhood, and I reached my boiling point one morning and told Walter I needed to cry.

Although he normally tries to leave the house between 6 and 6:30 he agreed to stay home until I got back from a run. So I tied up the laces on my shoes and set out. As I passed the lilac bush in our driveway, I took my first sniff of the freshly budded flowers and tears began to flow. When I reached the sidewalk, I started running and tears came that needed so badly to be released.

It was the most freeing feeling to run and cry! Sometimes I stopped to walk because I needed to breathe, but it was so good, refreshing, and exactly what I needed! Even though I am completely dismayed that my legs are sore after such a pathetically short run/walk, I can hardly wait to go run (and maybe cry?) again.