This is probably the busiest pregnancy I’ve ever had. In this past month, I helped to orchestrate a wedding in our home, host a baby shower for my dear sister-in-law, I met with different women for counseling, attended several events as an endorser and blogger, had to fulfill commitments to clients, tried to kick-start my 2018 – 2019 homeschool year with the kids, as well as finish writing the homeschool book Edric and I are hoping to launch in October.
I’ve been worn-out and tired. I am worn-out and tired.
Everything that I’ve been preoccupied with has been meaningful and important to me, which has kept me going. Yet now, I’m sputtering towards the end line of the month, seriously out of fuel. Although I wouldn’t say that I’m burnt out, I know I’m headed there. The eyebags are started to show.
My prayer time, quality bible reading, exercise, and sleep have been compromised. I find myself praying as I retire at the end of the day, talking to the Lord while falling asleep. I read the Bible at night instead of first thing in the mornings because that’s when it’s quiet, but I’m several days behind on my reading plan. Then there’s the lack of exercise because I feel so huge, awkward, and heavy. I feel like I’m in the 8th or 9th month of my pregnancy with all the cramping, back aches (I have a hard time lifting one leg to put on pants or socks in the mornings), the pelvic pressure, and the fatigue. No more jogging for me. Workouts have been very minimal.
Edan, my second son, came up to me this afternoon and asked, “Mom, will you be busier when the baby arrives?”
“Yes, hon. That will be the more difficult part for me.”
He was not particularly pleased with my answer. I’ve been a little disengaged from my kids in the past two weeks. Although I’ve taken them everywhere with me, as much as possible, I’ve been running around doing errands and fulfilling commitments that never seem to end, as well as typing away like a madwoman on my keyboard as I add and edit content on the book Edric and I are finalizing.
Writing a book with my husband has also been another huge challenge I’ve had to overcome.
Oh my. On Sunday, Edric and I had quite a big conflict over the manuscript. I accused him of not doing his part, of failing to sweep through the entire book line by line. He didn’t appreciate my tone or manner. He actually declared, “We just can’t work together on things like these. I’ve just resigned to the fact that we can’t.”
I was peeved because I handed the draft to him three weeks ago and he promised to prioritize filling in the gaps and his sections. When he told me our deadline with the publisher was Tuesday of this week, and he started questioning why I highlighted the portions that I did for him to comb through, I lost it. The kids heard me raise my voice at Edric, as I held the manuscript in one hand and pointed at the pages where he hadn’t given his inputs.
My accusation was, “Have you read it? Have you gone through your parts to actually understand what information you have to contribute? You want us to meet this deadline but you haven’t done your part, and now you are asking me to explain to you the sections you have to work on when it should be your problem, not my problem. You should have gone through the manuscript.”
His response was, “I don’t work that way. I need to see the big picture first before the details can make sense to me. That’s why I am asking you to clarify the portions you highlighted and you can’t give me straight answers.”
Later on in the day, he added, “I never go through every single thing that you are going to say when we speak together. So I don’t feel like I need to read every single line that you wrote.”
“It’s not an apples to apples comparison,” I contradicted. This is a book. It’s not a random talk that we are giving to an audience.”
We were both so annoyed with one another.
The first part of the discussion happened on the way to church, with the family in tow, and our household helps as witnesses to our back and forth bickering. The arguing continued after the first service as we sat on the stairs backstage to try and resolve our conflict. We had to attend all four services of our church to stand in front to be prayed over as part of the leadership since it was the 34th anniversary of CCF.
I felt like such a hypocrite. There I was smiling on stage and bowing my head as we were called up and prayed for, but inside I was irritated and upset with Edric. No doubt, he felt the same way towards me. We didn’t like each other very much last Sunday. However, being prayed over four times was just what we needed!
My mom sensed that Edric and I were not okay. She pulled me aside to remind me. “This is not your book. This is God’s book. The evil one is going to use this book to divide you if you aren’t careful.”
She was right. I had to remember that this book wasn’t about who had written what parts, or who had contributed more. I was so focused on how hard I worked in the midst of a crazy month, as a pregnant woman, and I felt this sense of entitlement. I felt like Edric had to appreciate all that I had done in comparison to what he hadn’t. I was making myself out to be the better one, the one who deserved an applause. As for him, he was the bad guy and the slacker to me.
However, God used my mom to recalibrate my thinking. The two years of trying to put this book together, and everything I had been able to accomplish in the past month was not to my credit. It was all by grace. Everything was about grace.
That’s when my conversation with Edric started to take a more positive turn. It took us a while to get out of the pit we were in, to heal from the words we exchanged, and the accusations and judgments that were made. We had to ask for forgiveness from our children and to humble ourselves before the Lord and one another in order to say sorry. We had to agree upon how we were going to move forward with finishing the book, how to work together even if it was difficult to.
Elijah, our oldest son, wisely set up google docs for us so we could edit the contents simultaneously and it would automatically save in the Cloud. It made our process so much easier. Eventually, Edric did dissect each chapter and page of the draft. We clarified our expectations of one another. We started to be a team. He took his place at the helm and set the goals.
As I’ve survived these past weeks, I’ve thought about how much grace God provides. There are seasons when I don’t know how I made it through. How I managed not to get deathly ill or fall over from utter exhaustion or pull my hair out from all the stress. I look back and I think, How did I do all that?!
This has been one of those months.
Well, the answer is, I didn’t do all that. I mean, sure, I put in the effort and tried my best, and I gave everything I could. But, it was really the Lord who enabled me and carried me through. It was the Lord who supplied where I lacked, who went before me. He’s the only one that deserves the applause in all of this.
Thankfully, by the end of September, life should slow down to a more reasonable and healthier pace. There won’t be any more out of country trips for Edric and me. I will be saying no to invitations and events. I will try to stay home-bound. I will try to get better sleep. Once the baby comes, that will be the harder part, and I have to be prepared.
In the meantime, I feel like a mess but I know that the Lord is sustaining me. “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not drive to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed…” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)