Thursday, March 17, 2005

CCD, Coffee, and Crosses

I started back to work full time 2 summers ago when I was pregnant with my second son. The elder was 2 and a half and the funds were getting quite low. I needed to go back to work and I had been working at a certian coffee shop chain part-time but being pregnant, tired, and having to smell coffee all day were not mixing.

I applied for the CCD Coordinator position in my parish at the prompting of the wonderful woman who was the DRE at the time. She was leaving and she asked if I had ever thought of doing it. It had crossed my mind, but I didn't want to put the boys in day care and I don't have a graduate degree (yet) in Theology. She told me about it, told me I could bring the kids, so I asked my dear husband and he said go for it. The Holy Spirit wrote my resume cover letter and I sent it off. I got an interview and I got the job.

My pastor is wonderful. Very easygoing. Yes, it was true, I could bring the chidren with me and I did. I started in summer, ran VBS and then began the CCD year. Terrified. Had son #2 in September. But when I came back to the office a month later, it was good (still terrifying, but good) because my guys were with me.

My mother is wonderful. She lives with us and she used to work for a university nearby, but in October she stopped working and is now watching my boys while I work. I am SO GRATEFUL. And I'm sure my pastor and the families in the religious ed program are grateful to her too. I know my assistant is because there is no longer a diaper pail in the office. And it's better for my guys because they are not stuck in my office all day. The baby just sat in his pack and play all day. He would not be walking yet f I still had to cart them with me.

So my conflict stems from the fact that I cannot seem to reconcilie my ministry and my vocation. I am a married woman by vocation. I am working God's plan by being half of a couple who is a testament to His creating love in the world and a mother to 2 terrific kids. And I don't feel like I'm doing that as well now as I was 2 summers ago- before I began my ministry.

But I am in a minstry, not just schlepping coffee. I am working hard to bring the Gospel to 600 kids every week. It's a huge responsibilty and an enormous privilege. I also firmly believe that the Lord wants me to do this since He is the one who put me here. This was not something I ever would have sought for myself. And we needed me to go back to work. Ask anyone who lives in Metro NY how easy it is to live on 1 income.

But there are certian things that cause me pain. My younger son rarely calls me "Mama" or "Mommy." I have asked him if he has a kiss for Mommy and he goes to my mother (who is Mom-mom. I know this is a misunderstanding on his part and I know he loves me, but it hurts all the same). I was at the office when he took his first steps and when he was saying his first words.

But we all bear crosses don't we? As Holy Week appraoches, I think of Our Lord and his cross. How much he loved us that he died for us. I am humbled every time I think about it. What I have to bear is not as bad as what others must go through-or what he went through. It's said that the Lord doesn't give us to shoulder more than we can bear. That is comforting. But as someone else has said, I just wish he didn't have so much confidence in me.

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