It turns out that having a baby rocks your world. I know, I know, everyone tried to tell me that I would probably cry a lot and but also that babies are pretty awesome. Turns out it’s all true, even for this girl who has never been much of a crier or the type to gush over babies. I don’t think I’ve ever cried as much as I did the first 2 months of her life (feeding her at 2 am on my birthday comes to mind as a pertinent example). I’ve also never laughed as ridiculously and often. It’s pretty fun.
My husband graduated from seminary 9 days after she was born. When she was six weeks old our apartment flooded and we spent the summer as wanderers. We were blessed to have a seminary prof and his wife/couple from our church take us in when the was no longer any room in the inn. We moved back into our apartment at the beginning of August and I started the fall semester of teaching at Boyce the following week. Just this last Sunday I realized, hey, we’re in a normal schedule and Jason isn’t in school anymore! (Well, except for the Arabic class he decided to audit, haha.)
In any case, for the last few years I have been working quite a bit and Jason has been in school and working and we did well to eat square meals (or round ones), take the dog outside at some point in the day, and have clean clothes to wear. Even when I had time at home I usually stressed out about everything I should be doing. I think it partially comes from growing up on a hobby farm where there is always something to do. Somehow, even now that I have a small apartment I still tend to feel like there must be 10 things I am forgetting (surely something needs to be planted or picked or a horse somewhere needs to be fed?) I am grateful for everyone who does this for a livelihood. However, I don’t, so it is probably time for me to stop being anxious about there being something more I should be doing.
Now that I am teaching for the fall, Jason is home with the babe a couple days a week and now that he’s not a student he feels freer in his time. Which means that yesterday he cleaned the floor not one or two, but three different ways. Three ways, folks. He swept, dry mopped and then wet mopped the floor. (At this point, I am realizing this sounds like our floor must have been really dirty… I promise, it’s not possible, it was replaced a month ago😉 ). He also made me coffee before work, packed my bag, took care of the baby, vacuumed, did laundry, studied his arabic stuff and read, napped, drove me back up to work… All without anxiety. I realized that part of his secret is that does what’s important to him first, without apology. I will tend to think I can’t sit down and read or something until everything else is done. He studies the Bible first in the morning (well, after making me coffee and such), and then does whatever else his hands find to do.
I started a book by Josef Pieper on The Four Cardinal Virtues and have just gotten part way through the first chapter on Prudence. It’s not a virtue I am used to thinking about or that sounds particularly snazzy. However, I was struck by it. Here is one sentence describing it: “Prudence means the studied seriousness and, as it were, the filter of deliberation, and at the same time the brave boldness to make final decisions. It means purity, straightforwardness, candor, and simplicity of character; it means standing superior to the utilitarian complexities of mere ‘tactics.'” I think I am fairly good at deliberating, but I miss out on the “brave boldness to make final decisions.” I see it in Jason though, and I see the fruit of it in his lack of anxiety and his ability to both rest and work freely.
To sum up this rambling post (if anyone is still reading, kudos to you), I am grateful for all that my husband does, but I am more grateful that he has the character to be able to do what is most important, boldly and without apology, even when he’s “just home with the baby.” I hope I can learn to do that too.
Really, the point of this whole post is that I am grateful. Grateful for my baby, for my husband, for work to do, for rest.
P.S. At some point, I may write music again. I’ll try to keep you updated.