finally done

Tomorrow by this time, my husband, JJ, will have finished taking his Comps (comprehensive exams), and will be done with his Master’s Degree in Liturgy.

I cannot tell you how relieved both of us will be to finally have that finished.

This last month, really the whole year, has been hard on JJ.  He has had to be both pastor and principal at our small church, and both jobs come with innumberable tasks and situations that someone has to take care of, and that someone has often ended up being my husband.  Besides those jobs, he was part of the Hymnal Supplement Introduction committee, creating materials to help districts, circuits, and individual congregations learn to use the new Supplement.  As District Worship Coordinator of the AZ-CA district, he got a chance to utilize his own materials as he conducted weekend workshops around the district.  Add a few other more minor roles here and there that he does, and add the fact that he is often called/emailed by his fellow pastors and asked for advice on a worship-related topic, and he’s one busy boy.

Looming over all of those activities this past year has been these Comps.  He has been dreading taking them, because he knew the large amount of work that would be required to adaquately prepare for them.  With so much other work to do, there just wasn’t time during the year.  Summer proved to work out best, although these Comps have really eaten into the easier summer schedule that he’s enjoyed previous years.  It’s mid-July, and his “summer” is finally be about to begin.

But, better late than never.  We are looking forward to this time tomorrow afternoon, when he can cross out one huge item from his To Do list, a list which is never lacking for undone tasks.  We’ve decided that a small celebration is in order once JJ gets home tomorrow.  We’re planning to go out to supper, and, if all goes well, we’d like to go to a local park that has live music for families on Wednesday evenings.  Maybe a trip to Baskin Robbins will happen, too.  It’s not every day that someone truly completes a Master’s Degree, and it’s worth celebrating.

Thankfully, after tomorrow is over, JJ can have take it easier than normal for the rest of the week, as we are blessed to have a guest preacher this Sunday.  That guest preacher, as well as his wife and children, will also be our houseguests this weekend.  I’ll share more about that after it’s over, but suffice to say, we are excited about the next few days.

Hopefully, with Comps finished (as well as his Hymnal Supplement work and the other odd jobs that ocassionally come with his job as pastor in this area), life will settle back into a better groove.  This stress has been hard on all four of us, and we’re looking forward to finishing this period in our lives.  My husband and I are especially looking forward to finding some ways to re-discover each other, to find some laughs together, and to start re-connecting as a couple.  Both of us really want to make that happen.

Plus, perhaps JJ and I will actually start getting to bed before midnight on a regular basis.  A 10pm bedtime would be a radical, but welcome, change of pace for us.  It’s certainly a much-needed change of pace; we’re both just SO tired.

In early August, we leave for two weeks back in Wisconsin, which will be a relaxing change of pace, too.  JJ’s already planning a family trip to the community pool in the town where he grew up, a pool where he spent many summer days as a young boy.  Of course, we also plan to get together with friends and family while on vacation, but we plan to do some things on our own, too.  Perhaps we can take the kids to a local county fair.  Yum.  Fried cheese curds… 😉  Regardless of what we do, it would be lovely to spend some time just being a family … together.

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But lest I gloss over the exciting news, as of tomorrow, my husband will have a degree in liturgy and worship and liturgical music!  I’m sure there will be more busy times ahead, so I’m looking forward to soaking up these relaxing moments as much as we can.

Because, you know, his next big item on the To Do list is to write a book on worship…

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