Confessions of a pregnant worship leader
I just finished making the song list for worship tonight at my small group.
Last week, several people — literally, three — said something along the lines of, “Thank you for serving our group. Thank you for leading worship.” And my response, initially, was, “Wha…??”
These friends thanking me were sincere, but it seemed weird. “I really, really like to do this. I really like to worship. It’s a privilege to lead. I don’t need to be thanked!”
But then, I remembered only a couple hours previous: It was about 6:40, and my husband had walked me to the car. He loaded up the guitar into the back seat, and we kissed goodbye. Our little rascal, four-year-old Fiala, came running out — which she is not supposed to — and Martin turned to whisk her barefoot self back inside. The car still not started, I leaned my head back and gripped the steering wheel. “If I wasn’t leading worship, I would NOT go to small group tonight,” I grumbled out loud. I started the car and chugged down the driveway en route to the approximately ¾ mile commute to the home of the dear family who hosts my group.
I was feeling cruddy, as I do, most afternoons and evenings these days. I’m about 12 weeks pregnant, and I really dislike being pregnant. That is, I pretty much hate the first 20 weeks when I’m sick to my stomach 24/7 and I have no energy. Then, for weeks about 21-29, I’m golden: I have energy back, no nausea, and my belly isn’t so big to be ponderous, I’m motivated to get things accomplished, and excited about the prospects of a new baby in our home. Then, about week 30 hits, and I feel like I’m going to physically fall apart at the seams, and my giant baby-house gets in the way of everything, and I can’t breathe… So, I should say that I really dislike about 4/5 of pregnancy.
I was thinking that I’ve never led worship while pregnant… Wait. That’s not true. I haven’t led worship in a small group while pregnant. I started when Fiala was — if memory serves — four weeks old. I’d nurse my newborn, put her down to sleep, Martin would wrangle the other four, and I’d go off to group… I’d come home fairly promptly, and feed my baby again. It worked out much better than we thought it would, plus we didn’t have to pay for babysitting. (Prior to four years ago, Martin and I always went together, he always led worship in whichever group we were a part, and we always paid a babysitter to tend to our littles.)
I have led worship for the 6-12 year-olds at church while pregnant. Oddly, though, I have no memory of that… I’m not sure how I accomplished that with a big belly. I think I propped my foot up on a stool and rested my guitar on my thigh, out in front of the baby-protuberance. Anyway, that’s what I told my small group’s host that I would be doing, a month or two or three down the line… She now asks, every week, if I need a stool. “No, not yet!”
So, in a way, I guess it’s service, to lead worship. I can be an effort, at times. Most of the time, though, it doesn’t feel like it. Most of the time, I feel like I do right now: “I’ve got a great list, and worship will be great tonight! Come, Holy Spirit!!” I’m really thankful that I get to lead worship; I love doing it. It honestly feels like a privilege. I can’t help but compare myself to my husband’s guitar-playing and worship-leading virtuosity, and I come up way, way short. I feel like “they” LET me lead worship. I get to. And that’s when receiving thanks feels out-of-place.
Anyway. The baby is due the end of June. Small groups usually end for the summer the first or second week of June. I hope I can make it that far! My husband became the worship leader of our church when the previous worship leader was ponderously pregnant and in what was a shock to him, promoted him. He’s been there ever since. That was 20+ years ago.
Now, I’m questioning this whole post. I’m afraid it sounds like I’m tooting my own horn. That’s not my intention! What I’m trying to do is say:
- I feel like worship leading is a privilege.
- Sometimes, I don’t feel like going to small group, but by the end of it, with the presence of the Holy Spirit and the love and friendship of everyone there, I’m so pleased that I went, and I feel great.
- I’m not entirely sure how things are going to go, once my belly gets huge…
I guess that’s it.
Lordy. Blogging would be significantly easier if I didn’t second-guess myself about everything… I was hearkening back to the days when no one read what I had to say except my Uncle Steve, and I would write, shooting from the hip, about whatever crossed my mind. These days, I question myself endlessly, like, “Is this worthy of being published? Is my attitude crappy? Do I sound like a jerk? Am I a jerk? This isn’t a recipe. Or about birthing. Or homeschooling. Or even about parenting. Who in my not-really-targeted-but-certainly-niche-readership is this going to bless? No one??” ~sigh~ And then I shoot down the post I’d written in my head, or drafted out online… And thus, compiled with my time crunch, leads to me blogging less than ever. Ugh. /whining.