It is easy to smile at people outside your own home. It is so easy to take care of the people that you don’t know well. It is difficult to be thoughtful and kind and to smile and be loving to your own in the house day after day, especially when we are tired and in a bad temper or bad mood. We all have these moments and that is the time that Christ comes to us in a distressing disguise. – Mother Teresa
Ah, Sundays. I spend much of my week in anticipation of a spirit-filled Sunday of peace and love and puppies and rainbows. By Sunday morning, I am battling the devil on my shoulder. The kids are cranky. The house is a mess. You’re TIRED. Just stay home, take five.
Yesterday, I battled back and was determined to follow through with getting my children to church. My sweet husband let me sleep in until 9 am and then I got up and he went back to bed. He was exhausted so I set out to get my kids ready, and take them to church with me so that my husband could get some quiet rest.
I gathered them up, and some art tools for my 7 year-old so he could keep himself occupied during the service. I was exhausted, sweaty and grumpy by the time I got to church. I lugged my boys (and our “stuff”) in and carried/dragged them down two flights of stairs to the nursery. I planned to leave the baby there, but the seven year-old decided he wanted to stay as well. “Please,” I asked him softly, “don’t you want to sit with mommy?”
No, he did not, and he went back into the nursery and shut the door behind him.
During the service, which was packed full with baptisms and confirmations, I focused on enjoying myself. Actually listening to the sermon. I cried big, warm tears during the confirmation. I did the same thing almost ten years ago when I watched my husband’s baptism. There is something so selfless about it, re-focusing one’s life on Him.
One of the hymns spoke so loudly to me that it gave me chills. The hymn “Spirit” by James Manley, with lyrics that read:
Spirit, spirit of restlessness, call me from placidness, wind, wind on the sea…
That is the Spirit moving in me these days – one of restlessness. Stirring me toward something – some kind of “change” that is hopefully not associated with menopause.
After the service, I loaded my boys and got them home. By the time I was serving them lunch, that sweet notion of Christ-centered community was overcome with a furious frustration. I had served their food and turned only to hear my little one throw his to our dogs. Simultaneously, I dropped some food on our kitchen floor. I started to call our dogs, hoping that they would clean up the mess in the kitchen (I don’t mop, dude- I’ve got dogs!), but they would not come. Our baby happily threw them the rest of his food from the highchair. And then, the seven year-old threw up. Seriously? Seriously.
My well-rested husband came out to see me, yelling – YELLING – at our dogs to “GET OUT OF THERE” and he looked at me with eyes that clearly spoke “Lady, you need to bring it down a notch.”
I had gone to church. Why did he look happier than me? Why did he look well-rested with a cheerful smile and loving spirit? How could I in good conscience go to church and “pass the peace” with strangers and then come home and let loose in the ugliest way?
As my blood pressure went down, and my pulse returned to normal, I apologized. To my husband and my boys… not the dogs, though, which, in hindsight, was probably quite an oversight on my part.
I adjusted my attitude, in that moment. I determined to have the sweet, God-centered Sunday I had planned.
And, it was the weirdest thing – I did.