Well, Dixie is on her way back home from The Field. I expect her home in two hours or so. Apparently she’s a changed woman. So would I be, after a good number of days in a Field, with miles of nature in every direction. Well, not a changed woman, but changed or at least renewed. I’m glad it was a good trip for her. Hope they arrive safe and sound.
Dixie and I have both wondered when in the next 6 months or so I could possibly find time to make use of my birthday present–the weekend away at a solitary/silent/spiritual/what have you retreat. I’m looking forward to it, whenever it may happen.
The week-ish with the kids went well. It was broken up with some help from family–Uncle had the older kids for an afternoon; Gramma and Papa had all the kids for a morning and Olivia for a couple of nights. At the beginning of our alone time I was stressed about this and that, so I probably was edgier than I should have been with the kids. Sometimes it feels like my only recourse with the kids is yelling, even though I know that doesn’t do anything except upset them (and me).
Saturday morning we went to the mall to see Safari Jeff and Shannon. Madeline and Luke seemed to enjoy it. It was a very slick presentation with some real animals (alligator, some kind of monitor, albino bull snake, albino reticulated python, etc), but there was probably more information presented than the kids could retain. Other than that, we didn’t really do anything special. I got some studying done–nearly done all the lectures! But still an enormous amount to do!–and a little cleaning (not as much as I would have liked).
I led worship at church this morning. I always find this stressful for some reason–more stressful than preparing and “presenting” a sermon. I imagine that’s because it’s an organizational thing: songs here, announcements there, scripture here, prayer there, etc. Organization isn’t my strength.
We’ve been having some trouble with the sound card on the power-point computer, so I had a friend do some work on it this week. It seemed to be working fine, but at practice this morning the computer kept freezing during or immediately after bootup and it would reboot as soon as I put my USB memory stick–where the lyrics for the powerpoint were kept–on the port. Eventually the computer booted up propertly and I got everything going (in roundabout ways), but the remote for the slideshow wouldn’t work.
In practice we prepared for the worst and ended up reworking the order of service, changing it to an all-hymns-with-the-hymnbook service. It went well, I think, all things considered. There’s nothing wrong with hymns, of course, but it was a bit odd to see everyone standing there with hymnbooks in hand. And the service was a bit rough around the edges. But that’s OK.
But I definitely need the powerpoint to work next week, because I’ll be leading worship alone (all the other instrumentalists are female and will be away at a retreat) with my guitar. Hymns and guitars generally don’t mix for this ol’ fella. Next week will probably be all choruses. (Of course, I’m of the opinion that the difference between hymns and choruses is essentially fictional–it’s simply a matter of how they’re presented. ”Shine Jesus Shine”, that classic chorus of the early to mid 90s is now in the hymnal, for pete’s sake.)
It’ll be a very busy week, I think, and I’m not sure how I’ll get everything done. My real estate co-worker is on holidays and it’s month end this week. I have a sermon and service to prepare for next Sunday and some other church stuff to do (including that ornery computer). Plus all the usual things of school and life. I’m not complaining. Honestly, I’m not. But it will be a busy week.