6.04.2007

Homemaker, writer, minister?

If you were to ask me my occupation, I’d probably say, “I’m a homemaker, a writer and a Quaker minister, of sorts.”

This month, it seems like the homemaker role is taking over my life. Well, I did edit my first Meeting Newsletter, which is now my primary Meeting responsibility, as of this month, after five years on the Ministry and Oversight committee, and it did involve some writing. But it felt more akin to preparing my weekly shopping list than any deep kind of ministry.

This is the last week of school for both my boys. H. is gone on the third grade overnight camping trip tonight, tomorrow is S.’s graduation from preschool and my last ever cooperative nursery school work day. (Last week was my last ever nursery school parent meeting!) On Friday afternoon, we will all attend the largest annual meeting for worship in San Francisco. I'm expecting about 400 people this year at the San Francisco Friends School closing meeting for worship in Golden Gate Park – 200 children plus all staff and most of the parents. (That reminds me I need to call H.’s friends’ parents and coordinate our picnic.) At the end of that meeting for worship, S. will officially be a kindergartener and H. a fourth grader: their first and last years of elementary school! And I’ll be a full-time mom for the summer.

A very busy summer at that. We’re probably moving to a new apartment, so that will be quite a process. It’s not that far away, but enough to disrupt all our daily/weekly routines. And of course, all the purging/packing/unpacking to be done.

Our zoo membership expires at the end of June, so I’d like to take as much advantage of that as possible. The new Grizzly Gulch opens June 14th!

I’m sure we’ll play more baseball and tennis in the park across the street. I hope it still works out to have both boys in swimming lessons at the same time, so I can swim on the lap side of the pool. I want to find a way to continue walking by myself a few times a week even though the boys aren’t in school.

There are a few bright spots in my summer plans. In addition to FGC’s summer gathering in Wisconsin, we’re heading to PYM at the University of Redlands in southern California in August. I’m hoping to have another convergent dinner on August 4th, somewhere in the L.A. area, but Chris Frazier and I are still looking for a suitable location. (The Daniels family is moving that week and can’t host this year. If you have any suggestions, let me or Chris F. know.)

Also, next week, I’m really looking forward to attending a meeting of emerging church leaders, called The Spiritual Ecology Project: A day of conversation about the emerging church and God's mission in our world. Including Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones and our own local Mark Scandrette. I’ve read these people’s blogs, and now I’ll get to talk to them in person. I think. I don’t know how many people are coming, but I don’t think it’s going to be one of those 500 people in the audience listening to speeches kind of events. The venue isn’t that big. I think it’s going to be small group discussions, but hey – I’ll see when I get there. This week, I’m just trying to arrange childcare for the day – of course, this had to happen the week AFTER school gets out.

The hard part this summer is going to be writing. How to carve out a room of my own, or at least an hour or two of my own, in the midst of normal family chaos? Can I write when the Spirit says write? How can I organize my days and nights to maintain some discipline and balance around this?

This story helps:
“Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, ‘Stay here while I go over there and pray.’ Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, 'This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.'
Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, ‘My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?’
When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, ‘Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.’
He then left them a second time. Again he prayed, ‘My Father, if there is no other way than this, drinking this cup to the dregs, I’m ready. Do it your way.’
When he came back, he let them sleep on, and went back a third time to pray, going over the same ground one last time.”
Matthew 26:36-44 (The Message)


I want to be like Jesus in this story, but I know I’m more like Peter and the sons of Zebedee. Even if I can’t maintain focused discipline, I’m not alone.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Doug Pagitt said...

Robin, I look forward to meeting you next week.

6/04/2007 1:03 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

And I look forward to meeting you, Doug. I think you met some Friends of mine last year, Gregg Koskela, and Aj Schwanz and Kathy, from Newberg, OR. (Gregg went to seminary with Jimmy Barnhill.)

I hear you serve a mean guacamole. If you aren't getting enough while you're in town, I'd be happy to offer you full-guac hospitality.

6/04/2007 2:10 PM  
Blogger Gregg said...

I'm glad you're all of those things: homemaker, writer, and minister. I'm glad you keep pursuing God's leading about how each of them look.

Hope the emerging event is refreshing and fun!

6/04/2007 3:09 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Thanks, Gregg. One important thing for me is to remember that these things change - some days, months, years need/offer more homemaking, some more writing, etc. Whether I like the current phase or not, this too will pass.

I try to be grateful that I have choices and see them as opportunities to examine where God is leading me instead of becoming resentful of the blessings in my life.

6/04/2007 3:41 PM  
Anonymous alan said...

Moms get to wear many different hats and I admit a little jealousy about that. I don't have so many hats. (The fact that I don't look good in hats being irrelevant...) I've offered more than once to switch places and be the stay-at-home-one, but alas, it has not yet come to be.

I smiled as I read many similarities in the summer things-to-do and also that I hadn't realized until now that our kidlets are only a year apart. Mine being 6 and 10 and heading into 1st and 5th next year.

I hope your many opportunities, as you commented, do not feel like burdens during what should be a time of fun. The balance may come in unexpected ways.

6/04/2007 5:36 PM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

I try to be grateful that I have choices and see them as opportunities to examine where God is leading me instead of becoming resentful of the blessings in my life.

This is well said and rings true for me, especially these days.

Blessings,
Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

6/04/2007 6:13 PM  
Anonymous wess said...

Robin I am really jealous that you're getting to go to the emerging leaders conference. I've heard great stuff from Ryan about all those guys and both Doug and Mark's new books are really good.

About our convergence in LA - I plan to be there - and if we can't find a house I am pretty sure I could find a menno to host us, or maybe we could do it at the Mennonite church building. Another option would be to meet at Fuller, at the catalyst or something. The catalyst is the living room style student center (that's pretty posh for a seminary) with lots of couches etc. Those are some options. Let me know how else I can help.

6/05/2007 8:41 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Alan, the grass IS always greener on the other side, isn't it? I long for focus, you long for variety. Maybe we'll have a chance one day to meet at a playground, before our kids are all too old to hang out at playgrounds.

Liz, I'm also grateful for you tagging me for the Thinking Blogger meme. I think my post about it is ready for tomorrow.

Wess, have you read both new books already? Mark's just came out last month! Now I know why I wish I was in graduate school.

Let's hold Fuller as a last resort - but it's always good to have a back up. I'll let you know if I find anything else. That's another blogpost in the hopper.

6/05/2007 7:22 PM  

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