Monday, August 2, 2010

Balancing act

The last month of our lives has been one of major transition. We have moved from the suburbs of Chicago back to Wichita. We've moved into a new rental home,and begun the long process of figuring out what life after school really looks like.
I already feel like I'm in a near-perfect placement as the associate pastor in a large, thriving church. I'm fortunate that with a large staff, I've been able to spend the last month "getting a feel for things" asking questions and watching the daily, weekly and now monthly rhythms of ministry in my particular setting. I'm keenly aware that if I were the sole pastor somewhere, I'd have to dive in a bit faster.
As I have been trying to figure out where I fit into the rhythm of work here at church, PreacherDad and I have been trying to figure out what the rhythms of our home life will look like. His schedule as a chaplain resident is a set 8-5 M-F plus at least one 12 hour on call shift each week. (this should be the same night most weeks, but may move from time to time.)

Being a preacher means that Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings baby J will be in the church nursery. So, we're trying to work my schedule so that including those times, James is in childcare less than 40 hours a week. (30 hours/week would be my ideal situation)

Since PreacherDad's schedule is set by someone else, I'm really feeling the weight of finding a schedule that puts me at work enough to be available, useful and productive but that also allows me to spend some time with J during some of his waking hours. I still believe it is possible and necessary to set healthy family life patterns as a pastor, but I am beginning to grasp just how tough it is going to be.

In the meantime,right on the heels of this article, PreacherDad and I are sending baby J off to his grandma's for a week and heading to Sunny Southern California for a much needed vacation this week.
We are celebrating 5 years of marriage, survival of a major medical event, two seminary degrees and a beautiful little boy, and doing our part to reduce clergy burnout one sunny california day at a time!


  1. Has it been five years already? Congratulations, you two! I'm happy to know such strong people who are in such a strong marriage. Can't wait to visit you two in your new home!