I love a Sunday morning-especially if it is quiet AND has coffee-
There was a time that this wasn’t the case. Sunday’s were filled with frenetic activity-hustling to get reluctant (and frequently recalcitrant) kids ready for church, figure out food for the day, figure out how to keep everyone happy, figure out how to pay attention to the message with one eye on aforesaid kiddos, figuring out exactly what the message was, figure out how I managed to fail at something that was suppose to be so intrinsically good, right and necessary…take a breath annnnnd…the list could go on but I’ll quit here. After that grammar defying last sentence this next one will be brief. Sunday’s sucked.
I was super busy being super busy! Following all the ‘rules’, all the ‘should’s’ and all the ways I was lead to believe I was suppose to do that I lost the Sabbath. Completely. Sundays were stress-full, un-spiritual, un-hinged, un-holy and un-fulfilling. I will backtrack just a little. I wasn’t raised going to church-except on the occasional holiday-and I really wanted to get this thing right. I followed examples, followed along, followed the teachings and finally followed my failings all the way out the door. I was church exhausted. For all my scrabbling to find ‘church’ I had totally lost my direction. I am happy to say that I didn’t loose my faith-just my faith in church.
Being a military spouse we have had our share of experiences, moves and changes. One thing we had always managed to do was find a small church within the community to dive into and become part of the community. We attended churches that were Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, independent, Christian Reformed, evangelical, non-evangelical, mission oriented and on and on, One thing they all had in common was that we were accepted lock, stock and barrel as part of a vital and vigorous family. Dinners and friendships followed and each move brought with it the tears of separation partnered with the anticipation of where we would find that kind of experience again. Once out of the military we settled down and tried to find a similar experience in our ‘forever home’. This is where the train totally fell off the tracks.
We tried so many different churches-always searching for that element that reflected our previous churches. Finally, we ended up settling for something that later proved to be our undoing-and ungoing- for church. And, each time we tried again we were met with similar institutional values that made us feel we were only of use to ‘the church’ if we conformed to their standard and performed to their expectations. Notice anything there? Their? I will speak only for myself here in stating that I was longing for God. Longing for relationship and community that was concerned with serving him and loving each other even if our kids were imperfect or our life was a little messy AND we didn’t care who knew it. AND, in the 15 years (so far)of our ‘forever home’ I will admit that I have let go of those hopes and expectations.
I have set out to go back to that place where I can talk to God, see him in the world around me and attempt to exist on a plane where I can hear him over the clatter and clamor of life. I am learning to live with intention and gratitude. I am trying to bring holy back into my Sundays. To find peace in my Sundays. To find Him in my Sundays. And sometimes this means not going to a building where I don’t fit in, to worship with strangers who share the peace but not their lives and instead sitting in quiet with nothing but the word and a cup of coffee-finding peace in Him alone.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace…
What do you do to recharge? Where do you find your peace?
Whether you are fortunate enough to have a great church or are living in the space of looking-or not looking at all-I hope you have a Sunday of peace, of beauty, of breathing space to soak in whatever you need to begin a new week.
Enjoy the AND because that is where the journey is happening-
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