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I Can't Church Today

What do you do when flooding hits, roads are closed, schools are delayed, and classes are cancelled at the gym? Go to Chick-fil-A of course! I had a coupon for a free iced coffee at CFA and been looking forward to this treat all week. I was determined to not allow flooding to deter me from the goal! So, here we are at our home away from home! And I am hoping a sleeping baby and playground will give me a few minutes to write and hat with you!

I really have no idea why I am sharing this story but for the sake of authenticity and maybe to provide some laughter, I will get real here! My hubs works at the church, so he is there by 7:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings, so I get the four of us ready and take us to church. The other ladies in the household are two and a half, one and a half, and four months. Woohoo! Some Sundays are uneventful, but there is always a chance for events to change...

One particular Sunday a few weeks ago, nothing specific happened, but we left really late for church, I was tired, and just not in the mood for church if you know what I mean. Even when I was little, with my family of six (four of us kids), we could be yelling to get in the car, fighting in the backseat, but when we walk into church, we put on our smiling angelic church faces like nothing ever happened. Sooooo...I look at the time as I pull out of the driveway into the brilliant sunshine and notice it is 9:30 a.m. already and the service started at 9:00 a.m. Okay, well, by the time I get to church, take some kids to the nursery, I will have already missed the sermon, so why even try? Already in a less-than-stellar mood, realizing how late I really was, I called my hubs, and let him know I was on my way, then let him know I was so frustrated, I might not even come. I might just go to Starbucks. I don't want to smile or ask someone how they are doing. I don't want to pretend today. By let him know, I really mean, speaking loudly...through tears. Really, though, skipping church would annoy me too, since I had already gotten us all ready! I came to the realization I just can't church today. Yes, church, as in a verb. An action word. Just cannot do it. I was in a terrible state of mind.

I pulled into the Starbucks parking lot, trying to decide what to do. I considered not going to church but then I felt like completely horrible person. The next option would be to take a break while the worship service finished, have some coffee, then forge ahead to church for Sunday School. I felt like a completely subpar Christian and subpar mom. How could I not get it together? I am sitting in a coffee shop parking lot, when my children need to be in church! I began to feel like an absolute failure, which made my mood even more gloomy, convinced I just couldn't be a worse human being. I mean, I can't even get my kids to church on time (again) and then how dare I complain that I get us ready for church every Sunday alone. How dare I be so selfish and negative? Why can't I just smile and get it together?

I wiped the tears from my eyes, checked my red face in the rearview mirror, unbuckled the girls from their carseats and headed inside. It was kind of nice being obscure, while the only person speaking to me was the barista, who was super nice! Nobody wanted anything from me! Yay! The girls behaved better than I had experienced in a public place. I gave the youngest a bottle and a "pachachino" for the rest. In Linley translation, this is a frapuccino, which really is a cup of whipped cream. We sat for a half hour, breathed, prayed, got back in the car, and headed to church, in a much better state of mind. We made it to Sunday School in plenty of time, so my daughters did receive spiritual guidance that day. Praise the Lord.

I have no idea why I share this story, but maybe you can relate. Maybe you get to feeling subpar sometimes. I guess I remember now that God's grace is good enough. I wonder if He laughs when I get in these moods? I like for days to go as planned, how I envision them. I like to have it all together. If i have it all together, though, then I would never see God's miraculous works. I would never experience God's grace. If I had it all together, then I would not be human and God would not be God! I like my big God. I like that He is all powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere. I would not want to worship a pansy god. And I do not! He is perfect, full of compassion, and grace.

Psalm 86:15, "But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." I am so thankful that He is patient and compassionate! There are many verses about God's love, patience, and compassion. Check out the Psalms. Search a commentary on God's love and find Truths about His love. Post them around the house for days when that reminder is needed. Enjoy your day! I am going to entertain the girls on the CFA playground, finish my frosted coffee, and find out if I can make it through the flood waters back to our house! Love you all.



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