I love Sundays. A day of rest, relaxation and peace. It is so nice.
Right now, I've got a family fav, Tatertot casserole, baking in the oven. The girls are putting dishes away as their daily chore, then plan on watching the new Hannah Montana movie that Hannah got for her birthday yesterday. DJ and his brother are playing Halo3, while Gabe naps on the couch and I'm blogging. Ah. Heavenly.
Sunday's didn't used to be this way. We'd wake up at the crack of dawn, rouse the kids out of bed and into the shower, take showers ourselves and run out the door by 8:30 a.m. b/c we had a "ministry" to tend to. A few years ago, we worked in a church. DJ was the youth pastor and I was the music minister, and Sunday's were never a day of rest back then. In fact, by Monday morning, I was exhausted, my house looked like a tornado had hit and whatever drama had ensued on Sunday, was still in my minds forefront on Monday. I'd spend the whole day trying to recover. We spent 4 years this way, missing only 2 Sunday's in that time span.
There were so many problems and issues, and yet we pressed on, b/c afterall, we were doing God's work. Countless times, we'd arrive at church by 9 a.m., having forgotten (or had no time) to feed the kids breakfast, scrounge around teh church kitchen for a stale little debbie left over from the children's church snack from the week before, and shew them off to class. DJ worked 3rd shift then too and many times would fall asleep on a bean bag chair in the youth room, from sheer exhaustion, sleep from noon to 5 and be back up in time for evening service.
This all came to a screeching halt in November of 06 when the Pastor walked out one Sunday morning and resigned. In a way, I had never been so relieved in my entire life. Finally, that obligation was over. It was such a sad situation b/c music had been a joy in my life. It was what I loved. What I was good at. But it had become a chore and one that I was happy to leave behind.
Now, we've attended two more churches since then and none have "fit" us. I am not sure where that leaves us standing, but I know I feel anxiety when I think about going back, but I also feel anxiety when I think about not going at all.
My problem has never been with God. I know what I believe. My problem is with people and the way church becomes a contest and how everything is political and how I feel like I am on guard all the time. I long for a place to worship, that is peaceful and a place of safety, instead of war zone. Do those places exsist?
The morning, I woke up to the kids asking if we were going to church. Hannah got Heely's yesterday and wanted to show them off to her friends. Abby wanted to go b/c she wanted to put a dress on. LOL Less than spiritual reasons I know, but they are 9 and 5...At any rate, DJ declared that he wasn't going anywhere, even after I listed off several places we could try. I thought about pressing the issue, and even about just taking the kids myself, but the truth of the matter is, I'm not ready. I'm not ready to go back.
And that is when the anxiety comes. I worry about what will happen to our family if we aren't rooted in God. I worry about the teenage years, if my children have no moral guidelines. Yes, I will instill what I can, but I have always felt like church is a consistant place for them to learn and grow in faith as well.
DJ thinks I've lost all my faith, especially since I'm puffing on the stinky sticks now, but I don't think that will keep me from heaven and I surely don't believe he can point any fingers at my faults, when he struggles with his own things.
I miss spending time with God. I miss those quiet moments we used to have. I would wake up early in the morning before anyone else was up, and read a few passages, sitting by the window and drinking my coffee. It was in those quiet moments, with the sun shining on my bible, that I felt like I knew who I was. I felt peace in those moments. It was never in a crowded sanctuary, that I felt closest to God. It was when I was home and alone.
And so here I am. On a Sunday, not in church but at my house wtih my family. The smell of a home cooked dinner in the air. Kids happy and chattering about. I'll think for now, I'll go back to those quiet moments in the morning. Maybe God will still speak to my heart and show me the way to go.