So, the original plan was to blog weekly throughout pregnancy. And then the first trimester started to take it’s toll so I decided to blog once a month. And that went well for a bit, but then the third trimester got into full swing. Anyway, here we are, pregnancy number blog 6, with just over two weeks to go!
There were lots of times when I wanted to blog over the last three months. Like when I gradually realised that there’s an actual person in there and that being back at church by October was completely unrealistic.
I’d have liked to have written about falling over in the garden and spraining my ankle an hour before a funeral when there was nobody around to help me up or do the funeral for me.
I could have written about how we won’t be sharing pictures of baby online, or how it felt to reach the half way mark, or how ‘I thought you were supposed to be pregnant, you don’t look pregnant‘ is a silly thing to say to somebody.
I’d have liked to have talked about setting up the nursery…
And another stressful trip to the hospital when baby decided to stop moving for a day…
But hey, when life is busy, sadly blogging gets pushed to the bottom of my To Do list! So here I am, in week 37, getting around to writing again. And the reason for that is because I have started my leave!
I have to say, preparing church, worship, the rotas, the admin and my very excellent warden for seven months with a vicar on leave was hard work. Thankfully, a whole host of clergy and volunteers from across the deanery and the diocese have filled the rota all the way to February. I’ve also written, formatted, printed and stapled new orders of service for the whole way through.
I wrote down all my thoughts about how to make Foodbank run smoothly and sent them onto our volunteers. I’ve set my out of office, changed the voicemail and tried mentally prepare myself for stepping back, which hasn’t come naturally.
But I took such comfort in the lectionary reading for my last Sunday in church, which was Mark 6.1-13. It’s about Jesus not being able to perform many miracles in his own town because they remembered who he was when he was younger. In the reading, Jesus then moved onto other villages where he was welcome. It was also about him having faith and confidence in the disciples by sending them out in twos with nothing but the authority of God.
In the sermon, I spoke about how sometimes, we may feel like impostors, especially when we are criticized like Jesus was in the reading. I talked about Jesus’ leadership and how he doesn’t pay attention to the criticism, but just keeps his eyes fixed on what he is called to do. I talked about how Jesus calls us and equips us. This is how I wrapped the sermon up:
There is no better thought I can leave you with as The Good Shepherd enters a new season today. When you say; ‘I can’t’, Jesus says ‘you can’. When you say: ‘I’m not worthy’, Jesus says ‘You are worthy’. When you say: ‘I’m no good’, Jesus says ‘you are fearfully and wonderfully made’. When you say: ‘It’s all going wrong’, Jesus says ‘all your days are written in my book’. When you say: ‘I’m not lovable’, Jesus says ‘I love you with an everlasting love’. When you say; ‘I’m an impostor’, Jesus says ‘I give you authority. Get out there and change the world’. Amen.
I think, overall, I finished well. The Good Shepherd is very well looked after by our immensely faithful warden and if anything comes up, there is great support from other local clergy and the wider deanery. As I’ve said before, I have every faith that it’s all going to be fine.
So now, for me, it’s just a matter of waiting! People keep sending me flowers, and the house is starting to look like a florists! I’ve got little jobs to do around the house as well as rediscovering daytime TV and taking some time to read. I am more tired as each day goes by, and I’m up to less and less. Even though I have been told several times over the course of my pregnancy that ‘There are many women who worked to their due date’ I think that for me, personally, I stopped just in the nick of time!