Sunday, October 20, 2013
Otherwise, though, and I'll just be really honest here--Sundays are really hard days, and I always feel the most defeated and like the biggest failure on Sunday mornings. It's especially hard on days when we're transitioning seasons, like right now. Everyone is clamoring for long-sleeve church shirts, black shoes, tights, and so on, and that is when I remember that I actually threw away a few pairs of black girls church shoes at the end of last winter because they were falling apart, and no one can find things that fit. The girls ended up wearing long-sleeved dresses with their summer sandals/flip flops because that was all we could find. Oh well, we have never made any claims about style.
Since we merged churches a few weeks ago, we've started up a Sunday school program, now that we have classrooms. Bob is volunteering this month in the 5th/6th grade class, so he has to be there at 9:15. Usually he takes the 4 older boys as well as the girls, just leaving me Micah and Drew, which is what happened today. And everything seemed to be going fine--Micah didn't even have a meltdown during breakfast or getting dressed, which has been one frequent source of stress and lateness. St 10:05, both boys were dressed and ready to go, so I thought we were in surprisingly good shape--maybe we won't be late, like we always are! Then I asked Micah to get me his shoes. "Here it is!" he happily said. "Where's the other one?" "I dunno!"
I wasn't too worried because the one shoe was in a pile in front of these shoe shelves we have, so surely the other one wasn't far off. I searched and searched, growing more and more frantic and harried, but the other shoe was absolutely nowhere to be found. At 10:25 I had to declare defeat and go downstairs to the basement to find him another pair of shoes by digging around in my big "box o' boy shoes". Fortunately I was able to eventually find him a pair of shoes even the same size, which begs the question of "why did I even have 2 pairs of size 7 1/2 tennis shoes?" Most likely, I had one pair at one time, lost it for awhile, and had to buy a second one, but then found the first one. Sigh.
So we head off to church at 10:30, for a service that starts at . . . 10:30. Significantly late again!Getting to church, I still have to get Micah and Drew signed in and dropped off at the nursery. Micah skipped merrily down the hall, talking about seeing his little friend Amara, but as soon as we got down to his door, he wouldn't go in, and he pitched a huge fit, disturbing the tenuous peace of the nursery. I sat down in a classroom down the hallway to wait him out, because last Sunday I went over to the sanctuary, but then they paged me to come back, although by the time I made it back, he had settled down. Once again, he settled down after about 5 minutes of loud crying right by the door, so I then went to the service, which was well underway, and totally full. So I sat outside for a few minutes, until all the kids were dismissed for children's church, and Bob found me and showed me where they were sitting. I kept thinking, "I should have just stayed home. I detest Sunday mornings." But the sermon was good, as always, and it reminded me that I go to church to stay grounded in my faith, "keeping myself in God's love", as it says in Jude 21 (we're going through Jude right now). It's a discipline. It was a good reminder. So I'll keep on slogging through Sunday mornings, and if you see me, you can say things like, "Hey, at least you made it here!" because that is literally how I feel.
I keep telling myself--eventually Sundays will be easier. In the meantime, I have taken myself off the nursery roster because I really couldn't deal with another thing making me feel like a giant fail on Sunday mornings, and there my being late was actually affecting others. You know, I used to never be late. Never. Or unorganized. Sigh.
All this reminds me of something I shared on Facebook a few weeks ago. It's really good--read the whole thing, even though this lady is obviously gifted in completely different ways than me, LOL. Here's an excerpt:
As I look back at my life I can see that almost every time that there was something that I felt good at, or capable of, or confident in, God would give me a wonderful opportunity to lay it down. There is a way of looking at it that says, “God just keeps not letting me be happy! He just makes the conditions perfect for me to be miserable! He knew that I need a certain amount of alone time every day and He keeps not giving it to me!”
But this is the way that I see it. Those things that I consider part of my personality – loving to decorate, loving to cook, wanting things to be beautiful and organized and perfectly crafty and satisfying. I believe in these things. But I believe in them as things that I can use to honor my Creator. Back in the days when I wasn’t being challenged, these things came naturally, and I believed in them because I could cobble together reasons that they were good. But they primarily came from my own strength. I could be that way without really any pushback. So God brought the push back. He made it take more than the capacity I think I have to do these things. He said to me, “I know you like it, and you think you believe it. Now I’d like to see you do it without yourself.” God isn’t interested in my strength. He is interested in my obedience in weakness. Do you hear that? God said enough with my hobbies and my preferences. Lets see about her obedience and her faith . . . Anything that I felt capable of doing, God will both make it seem impossible and simultaneously ask me to do it. And there I am – in the sweetest place you can ever be – relying on Him. Walking in faith. Living in joy.
This broken feeling is only broken if it stays there. If it stops in self-pity. If it wallows in grief about the lost emotions of our journaling days. But this is richer. When we seek His joy instead of our own, when we lay our best on His altar, and we have nothing left for ourselves, that is when we are truly accomplishing His purpose in our lives.
We are not broken. We are being healed. We are not alone. We are in His hands. We are not overwhelmed. We have a champion. We are not stupid. We are being made wise. We are not weak. For He is not weak. We are not hopeless. For we are His.
So there is hope. And there is even hope in the rest of Sunday. This afternoon there was a ladies tea at church, and it was so wonderful to just sit and visit with friends. I had a lovely time! Then I came home and did some more cleaning. I wasn't as productive as I was yesterday, but I did throw out one thing I thought I should memorialize here: