Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Church

Do you like church?

I do. I really like church. I like walking into a building designed specifically for teaching me about and worshipping God. I like worship music. I sing loud and raise my hands and bounce on my toes if the beat is just right. I like seeing people I know and I like reading my Bible. I like praying and being prayed for and I like getting my children to a place each week where they are being taught about God and what He has done. I really really like church.

For all of its mistakes, for all of the hypocrites, for all of its shortcomings - I genuinly love church.

And yet ...

We haven't been to church for awhile. A long while. It's just a struggle to make it there. With Mike working every other Sunday, and us having only one car, it seemed that slowly and steadily we began attending church less and less. For a long while I made the effort to take Mike to work, bring the kids home to get dressed, and then get to church. It was a difficult process; there was only an hour turn around time before Mike had to be at work and church began. It was a constant rush and more times than not by the time we got to church I was frazzled, angry, and sweaty. I would spend the first 45 minutes of service calming down and the next 45 feeling guilty about how I treated my kids that morning. Then service was over and even though I'd been there I hadn't actually been present. When the fall came around and my kids started sleeping longer I gave up on driving Mike to work. It had been stressful when the kids were up early, but once they began sleeping longer it was enough to make me cry and I gave up. That left only two Sundays each month that we could attend church and some days someone was sick, or we overslept or we just needed a day to stay home. Before we knew it, we hadn't been in almost two months.

When we haven't been to chruch in awhile, it feels good to walk in and have someone say, "Hey! We haven't seen you in awhile!". When that happens I feel like I have been missed, that people care about me. In fact, in the couple of months we missed church, I received a few emails and some phone calls from people just to see if we were ok. It was difficult to say that we were mostly being lazy and that everything really is fine ...
Saturday night we were visiting with some good friends who had taken a break from church for awhile. After a few months they decided to start attending again and we were talking to them about how we hadn't been for awhile, either. We also talked about the big hullabaloo that was caused last week while the Seahawks played their final playoff game. One large church in our area canceled Sunday morning services and had a football party instead and we discussed the 'controversy' (which was highly overrated in my opinion) over it. Then I said something that made me sound like a really shallow Christian.

"I've missed church for much less than football. In fact, my kids are filthy and the boys need haircuts. I highly doubt we'll be at church again this week."

I hate even typing that out to admit to the world.

Sunday morning Mike woke up early and made coffee ... and then told the kids to get dressed because we were going to church. And for the first time in almost two months we went. And when I took Judah to Sunday School and his teacher said, "Judah! Where have you been? We've missed you!" it felt like coming home after a long absence. And when Judah replied, "We've been sleeping!!" I felt like a total loser...{sigh}.

Mike told me later that he felt that it was his job to make sure our family gets to church and he apologized for not getting us there. I didn't need him to apologize, after all, I've enjoyed the benefits of sleeping in. But it did feel good to have him acknowledge what his role in our home is. And, for the record, I don't think going to church makes one a good Christian. But, for me, not going to church makes me a lazy Christian, and honestly, that's not something I want to be known for.

So, my question for you is ...

Do you go to church? If not, why? What is your biggest obstacle in getting to church?

A little more for the record...I've had bad experiences in church too. Really. Really. Bad. And I've known hypocrites and I've been a hypocrite and my pastor has really upset me and my friends have been hurt and things are said that I don't agree with and CHURCH IS NOT PERFECT. Sometimes it's downright terrible. So, I don't want you to think that I live in this la-la land place where I think church is the perfect representation of Christ. Yikes. But, like I said earlier, there is something beautiful about people who genuinly want to follow Christ meeting together and trying to make it work, and making the effort to look past the 'humanity' of it all has made church a much more enjoyable experience for me.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Wedding

As Mike and I approach our tenth anniversary, I find myself being very nostalgic. It happens to me every year, but this year especially since reaching the double digits is such a huge milestone. Throughout the years Mike and I have talked about the early days of our relationship and it always always makes us smile and laugh. Speaking of laughing, I found a picture of myself while we were dating, wearing clogs and overalls. Wow. How could he keep his hands off of me? Eek.
In spite of my poor fashion sense during that time (er...I'm wearing sweats, fuzzy socks and a hoodie as I type this) Mike couldn't seem to get enough of me and now, ten years later, he still hasn't grown tired of me. I love it.
So, in my nostalgia, I'm posting some pictures from our wedding. I'm sure you won't watch it over and over as I have been doing ... but I hope you enjoy it. 

video

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Worthless

I'm worthless. Totally, completely 100% worthless.
My mind has been consumed by one thing and it has rendered me utterly useless.

photo credit


This is all I see. This is all I am focused on. (That's Maui...in case you didn't know.)

Mike and I are going for our tenth anniversary.
*Side Note: I can't believe we've been married for ten years. We were just kids when we said our vows! Not that we're much different now...I'm just a little stretchier and saggier. Viva la stretch mark! 

You know what my plan is while we're gone?
Nothing. I plan on nothing.

I plan on doing nothing so much I've kind of already begun my whole "do nothing" regime. A little premature, to be sure, since our flight doesn't leave for another 346.5 hours or so, but I like to be prepared. It's been awhile since I've done nothing and I want to make sure I'm in the right frame of mind. It's very important to be prepared.

My poor children. So neglected.
My poor house. So dirty.
My poor laundry. So unfolded.
My poor...poor...
What was I talking about?
I was thinking about waking up to the sound of the ocean outside my door and lost my train of thought.

Send help. Or send me to Maui. Either will do.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Day Late

Friday morning after Mike left for work he gave me a call.
"Hey...do you want to drive me into work tomorrow? Do you need the car?"
"Eh...I don't know. I don't really think I want to go anywhere."
"Really? You didn't want to spend New Year's Day with your parents?"
"Uh...is today New Year's Eve?"

What happened to this year?!

It seems like it just disappeared - which is so cliche to say but honestly, where did it go?

I have to admit I'm glad I spent some time blogging this year as I can look back and remember what the year held for us. Also, our external hard drive crashed a bit ago and if it weren't for dear old Google I would no longer have access to our year in pictures. Thank you Google. It is also fun to look back and see how my blog has evolved from focusing primarily on being married to a police officer and shifting to about just being married and being a mom. I feel more comfortable as a blogger, more like I've found my true voice. Here you can see some of my favorite posts of the last year.

In the last few years I have started the habit of making "Looking Forward To..." lists as opposed to "Resolution" lists. First, it makes me feel excited about what I put on the list, and second, if I don't get around to it, I don't feel like a failure. So here goes!

* I look forward to potty training my baby. Along the same lines, have you ever read the book by Karen Kingsbury, Let Me Hold You Longer? Get our your Kleenex.
* I look forward to enhancing my skills as a photographer and continuing to grow my hobby into a business.
* I look forward, immeasurably, to celebrating ten years of marriage.
* I look forward to spending less time on the computer.
* I look forward to establishing a routine and philosophy for homeschooling that works well with my family.
* I look forward to beginning a morning routine that gives me a good start to my day. Namely, exercising regularly, reading my Bible, and having a few minutes of quiet before everyone else is up.
* I look forward to getting a dog. A teeny tiny dog.
* I look forward to finally finishing the paint in the living room, bedrooms, and kitchen. Ok...I look forward to finishing the majority of projects we've begun over the last eight years we've lived in this house.
* I really truly look forward to everything this year has in store. There is so much uncertain and so much Mike and I have been talking about; what will this year hold for us? Often I find myself nervous and worried about the unknown, which is, just about everything. But I find myself even more excited to see how God is going to come through for us, how He is going to lead us, and how everything is going to come together. I am even looking forward to how He is going to stretch me and grow me - and yes, I realize that's a scary thing to say. I just know that with what He has taught me about Himself this year, I am unafraid of challenges and trials because I know He is leading me through them and orchestrating it all.

So, 2011...bring it on! I'm excited to meet ya!