Well a new semester of classes is beginning. I've already started a class over at Catholic University in the last few weeks, but as of yesterday, Leland classes are back in session. I'm taking a full load this semester: Hebrew I & II, What is Salvation?, Biblical Exegesis, along with an intensive, Theology and Film, all over at Leland, along with my Hermeneutics and Religion class over at Catholic. It's a full semester, but it looks like I should be graduating on June 14, 2008. I will need to finish up two classes post-graduation or post-end of the semester which is I believe May 15.
It is so hard to believe that I may be finishing up my master's already. I will have finished my degree in only three years at Leland which may be one of the quickest for an M.Div. I have truly enjoyed my time there, and the education and development has been a really beautiful time in my life...hard, and wrenching at times, but beautiful. I've made some great friends there, and am looking forward to another strong semester of learning and growth.
That all being said, starting a new semester is really tough, I usually begin the semester muttering to myself: "There is no possible way that I'm going to be able to get all of this work done." This semester I'm also muttering: "There is no possible way that I'm going to get all of this work done, along with taking the time to enjoy these months with Shey before we have a child, work a full-time job, prepare to be a dad, and be a friend to others....and figure out how we are going to financially make it through Shey no longer working."
Don't get me wrong, I can't wait to see our child, to hold her/him (we find out on February 20 the sex of the baby), to be a parent with Shey...but I usually fall into a panic at the beginning of every semester that lasts about a week as I get going, and try to figure out how in the world all of the busy things in my life are going to work. You add the usual stress to the fact that our lives are beginning to go through a large transition (which I know is good, but still is scary sometimes!) and you get quiet Josh, the one who doesn't talk much, is slow to respond to anything, and who can't stand the inconsistencies in his life. How church makes me feel empty a lot, how I want to buy locally and organically, and never shop at Wal-Mart again, but I need a notebook for a class and don't know where else to buy one that isn't being sold by a major corporation in our town, and I want to really embrace the growth in the youth group, and the changes that I'm seeing in the kids, but am scared that I will fail them as a leader and friend.
Shey and I had a really great talk last night and we worked through some of this, and she is so wonderful at helping me have perspective and believe that this will all work out when I just want to sit and read Harry Potter and pretend that my classes don't exist. The funk that usually lasts for over a week is clearing already, though I'm still scared, still overwhelmed a bit, it is nice to be on the same page with Shey in the midst of my spinning head and thoughts. So I'm getting back on the saddle, with some new music, some great stories (thank you J.K. Rowling), and the excitement of a new beginning and new life. We heard the heartbeat again yesterday of the little one inside Shey, and I was thinking this morning of the strong steady sound that we heard, and how that rhythm, that strong and steady rhythm can be a song of hope in the midst of feeling overwhelmed. That I can keep taking steps with that rhythm going on in my heart and in my mind, and find strength for this new day.