Yes, you read that right – I went to church for the first time this year. Are you shocked? Are your eyebrows on the ceiling and your jaw on the floor?
That’s the look I get from the people I’ve mentioned it to recently that I hadn’t been going to church.
For people who were raised to go to church every Sunday they just can’t fathom the idea of going three months without attending church.
There must be something seriously wrong, right? A heathen in the making, right? You can’t have a good relationship with the Lord if you don’t go to church can you?
Let me ease your shock and put your fears to rest. Remember my post about SAD (seasonal affective disorder) ?
One of the ways I dealt with winter this year was to stay inside most of the time. I rarely went out. And that included staying home from church.
The church denomination we used to be a part of would have made this decision a bit difficult. We would have been visited by ‘concerned people’. I probably wouldn’t have done it – I would have felt I had to go. And I will be honest here and say that if felt so good, so free, to be able to just stay home while I was dealing with SAD and the weather was cold and snowy and bitter. It felt good to sleep in, stay in my pj’s, spend all morning drinking coffee, spend time with my family, and just snuggle in where it was warm.
I also have to be honest and admit there was a bit more to my non-churchgoing days than just winter. Mainly it was just my desire to not be out in the cold but there were a few other minor things that caused me to take this hiatus from church. A couple are personal – things I needed to work through myself and I just needed the break.
Another is the frantic scurry and dash on Sunday morning to get everyone ready and out the door.
Am I the only one who deals with this?? Please tell me I’m not alone!!
Eat your breakfast! Hurry up! Aren’t you done eating yet?! Hurry up and eat!! Get dressed. Get Dressed! PLEASE GO GET YOURSELF DRESSED!!! Brush your teeth! Have you brushed your teeth? Did you remember to brush your teeth? Have your teeth been brushed? GET IN THERE AND BRUSH YOUR TEEEEEEETTTTTTHHHHHH!
Mom’s voice is beginning to raise to a very high volume as her patience deserts her completely.
Come on it’s time to go! Why don’t you have your socks and shoes on? Don’t you know that’s part of getting dressed? Get your coats!
Mom is completely frazzled and just wants to go sit in her chair and drink her coffee in silence.
The kids are upset and trying to find all their socks and shoes and coats and purses. They never have it all together at once and on time.
We finally all walk out the door and get in the car. Someone always fusses with someone else on the 10 minute ride to church. Everyone wears a frown and no one is peaceful or happy.
And then we arrive at church. We all get out of the car, everyone pastes on a smile and we pass ourselves off as a relaxed, happy family who never gets on each others nerves. We tell everyone we are ‘fine’ and we pretend everything is perfect.
Now. That might sound a bit exaggerated but it’s not. Not every Sunday gets quite that bad, but wintertime is worse. In the summer we can forget the socks, shoes, and coats and just slip on our sandals and go.
On top of some things I won’t go into here, the scenario I just described and my fight with SAD, something had to give. So I stayed home. And for the most part my family stayed home with me. Emma went a couple times and Travis went with her once.
I can’t say we will do this again next year, but I certainly wouldn’t rule it out either! Sometimes we just need a Sabbatical – even if it’s from attending church.
Yesterday at church we heard about being ‘ALL IN’ for Jesus. I want to be ‘ALL IN’ for Jesus like Stephen the Martyr was. No, I don’t think I have to be in a church pew every Sunday to be ‘ALL IN’ for Jesus. Being ‘ALL IN’ for Jesus – to me – means accepting the free gift of Salvation He offers. Living my life for Him. Spreading His Word to the world. Caring for others like Jesus would himself. Being His disciple. Living within His will for my life. Being willing to give my life for Him if called to do so.
I love my Jesus. Staying home from church for 3 months did not change that. In fact it strengthened my love for my Jesus. I felt His comfort through the cold winter months. I saw His beauty in the mountains of snow outside my windows. I gave thanks to Him for my warm house, for the blessings He bestowed.
Yesterday we headed out to church with a minimum of stress and reminders. Everyone was pretty cheerful. I have relaxed a lot on what my kids wear to church. They don’t have to be as dressed up as I used to think they did. It helps those Sunday morning scrambles and stress 😀
I pray you all have a wonderful week, that your children listen to what you tell them, and that the next time you head to church it is stress-free and happy 🙂