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When You Know That You Should Feel Guilty, But…

3 years ago

1088 words

Photo: Well look at that! DIY number 3 is in the books! All done! The dining room is put back together, I need to make some freaking curtains, and all we need now is some money to buy an actual table and some actual matching chairs so it looks like real people with class actually live here! Until then, the ikea table with the big chip on it (given to us, with love, from a former co-worker) and the big heavy chairs that are supposed to be for an outdoor set will remain in the room. Stylish. Functional. Classy. That’s how we roll in the farmhouse.

 

Can I make a confession, dear reader? (Pun sorta intended?)

We didn’t go to church yesterday. And, well, it was lovely.

And you know what? We probably won’t be able to go next week or the week after just because of life scheduling.

And I?

I’m kinda beside myself with joy.

It’s so wrong. I know. It’s wrong. But I do you know how much I’ve missed my Sunday mornings? How little I’ve been enjoying the church experience? Sundays have essentially turned into Mondays since we started attending church: I’m up early to make breakfast, serve breakfast, wrestle boys into clothing, navigate The Husband and his not-enough-sleep-grumpies, get out the door, get in the car, go to a place and be pleasant. It’s exhausting, ya’ll.

Church eats so much of our Sunday, and for the last few weeks it has run longer than it should, and the boys aren’t even in Sunday school yet. Ursa Major isn’t eligible until January and Ursa Minor won’t be eligible for it until April 2016. So they hang out with a bunch of other babies and babysitters in a classroom at the church while I’m upstairs wondering about what trouble they are getting into… and don’t even get me started on the nonsensical or overlong or just uninteresting sermons (The Husband and I are playing a new game now: “Allusion to Civil Rights Bingo” where we listen for a seemingly obligatory reference to MLK in the weekly sermon. Usually said reference has little to nothing to do with the overall message of the sermon. It’s kinda like, “we acknowledge that you are liberal, yet wholly separated from those other people, so we’l just drop in this little reminder that they do, still, exist out there). So you get through all of that, you take your communion, you sing the songs, you shake the hands… and then you leave and go home and there is a lot of work to be done.

Now don’t go jumping all over me. I get it: I’m blessed and I go through this world with a good amount of privilege, some of it earned and a lot of it I was born into. I recognize that for all of the work that God does in my life, I shouldn’t bitch and moan so much about setting aside 90 minutes a week to say thank you and commune with Him at His table.  I even recognize that, upon taking the marriage sacrament and entering into a covenant with my husband at the wedding alter, I pledged to raise my children in a Christian home and in a Christian way of life. I doubled down on that when I had them baptized. I take those vows seriously. Thus, here we are. Ok? Ok. I don’t take this stuff lightly (if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I don’t take anything lightly).

Heavy vows and traditions and rituals aside, I really want the boys to have a community that they feel like they are a part of, I’d like them to have a resource for the spiritual questions that I know that they are eventually going to come across, and I’d like for them to have a spiritual education of some sort. I want them to know what the Bible is and what is in it, and be able to get the references that are made to it, and I want them to be able to choose what they believe in with a clear context and deep understanding of the religion that we’ve chosen to raise them in. If they reject it, I want them to be able to say why. That’s all. But mostly, seriously, I spent way too much time during my teenage years wondering about God and stuff, and I wish I’d had more resources to tap into than nothing, which is what I had.

But there is a large part of me that is wondering if we just decided to jump into this too soon: the boys are getting no benefit out of it, and Lord knows I’m not getting a lot out of it either. The only person who seems to be happy in the equation is The Husband, who is just so happy to come in and do his thing. The problem with this is that Church is a social thing, and The Husband isn’t a social being, which means that I feel like I’m doing all the leg work: I’m the one going to the functions (or fielding the invitations and then politely getting out of stuff), I’m the one having all the small talk with our fellow worshipers, I’m the one hosting clergy in our home. This is turning into just another service that I perform for the family that brings me little to no enjoyment whatsoever and eats large chunks of my time. Wasn’t that the number one thing that I didn’t want this to be?

So when I got to get up at a reasonable hour, enjoy my coffee, make breakfast tacos and eat them with ease… when I got to watch Jon Stewart on CBS Sunday Morning (scratch that. When I got to watch CBS Sunday Morning for the first time this season) it was like…. ahhhhhhhhhhh. This is Sunday. I got some cleaning done. I got some writing done. I even got some playtime with the boys. It was… lovely. And to think that I’ve got another 2 weeks that are going to be just as easy? My goodness… I don’t even know how to act right now.

But it’s wrong. I know it. It’s wrong. I feel bad. Bad, I tells ya! It would probably be best if I came up with a better attitude about this before the end of the month, huh?

Gonna be difficult…

Happy Monday, dear reader! Let’s have a great week! See you Wednesday.

7 Replies to “When You Know That You Should Feel Guilty, But…”

  1. Hmm, how do I say this…? Oh yeah, God don’t care. Sheeit.

    God’s table is your table: he made you, he gave you the food, and he gave you the brilliance to make something genius out of it. What better thanks than to take such special care with his bounty?

    And church? Church is for social stuff, and that is important to God too. He wants us to commune and sing off-key, and snicker at Mrs. Johnson’s new outfit, “Girl, can you beleeeve she fit into that wrapper?” But God’s true house is far far bigger than four walls and pews could ever frame, and you will be closer to God in your unadulterated expressions of joy than you will ever be walking up the aisle of some man’s pulpit.

    Do chuch when you can to show the neighborhood you love them; show God you know he’s there by loving what he’s given you…

    …like that fantastic fucking dining room! Score B Moore!

    1. B Moore IS fucking amazing! I’ll never buy paint for anywhere else, I swear!!

      Anyway, I’m down with all of what is written here. I feel like I’m always talking to God, always hearing him and always seeing him. When the wind blows, when an awesome scent comes through the air, when someone gives me good advice… God is PRESENT and I am down with that.

      But as I’ve been explaining since we started this thing… The Husband just doesn’t see it that way. Worship for him involves MUSIC and communion and MOTION. He needs these things. He needs a person to look at him, lay hands on him and tell him that he’s forgiven for something.

      It’s frustrating. It’s all frustrating. I want to stay home. I really do… but if I do, my boys will too, and I’m not sure that I’m ok with that, either. No. Easy. Answers. Bullocks!!

      1. Remind husband that his god might not be your god. Not necessarily in a polytheistic sense, just as in it seems to me that the god of so many souls cant possibly be as one-dimensional as the one they advertise most often. God has to be fluid, and ever-present in all of us right? So why shouldnt we be fluid in our worship? Sometimes we sing, sometimes we’re silent. God hears all of it. Why would something so omnipresent require you to broadcast your thanks from just one spot? God is our wi fi.

        If god is anything (in the gospels anyway), he’s compromise. We go torture backsides in pews some Sundays, and some we take for quiet reflection and personal prayer like in Matthew. There is no reason to believe that something as complex as god could be limited to a time table and a postal address.

    1. Hey! Thanks for reading!

      No, we have not tried evening services. First, because my boys are 2 and 3 and early evening is meltdown time. Second, because usually evening services are more contemporary in nature and we prefer a traditional service with traditional hymns.

      I know. We’re very picky, too specific. It’s part of the problem…

  2. I LOVE your dining room! Well done you 🙂

    I am a Christian and have raised my children to understand why and to make their own decisions. We do not go to church. We did when they were little, until I was informed (in a loving way) that it was not appropriate for my toddlers to (quietly) make towers under the pews with the prayer cushions (lovingly crafted by devout and elderly ladies for the congregants comfort) and happily knock them over. Two and three year olds will not sit still for a sermon. I did not want them associating God with boredom and parental displeasure.

    We went swimming instead, and I talked to them about my beliefs. The discussions we now have are informed if not totally satisfactory to a believer.

    Many people gain greatly from the church community. I and my family gain greatly from God.

    As a family it is hard if requirements for communal worship differ. I do not blame you for your thoughts. They are NOT wrong 🙂 x

    1. I want to do it your way… I wonder if I trust myself to teach the lessons that I’d like the boys to learn in the right way? I want them to hear the stories, get the lessons… but I also don’t want them to think of this like you said: as a boring thing or an unpleasant thing. I want them to decide that a relationship with God matters, that it’s personal and that it’s enriching. I want them to talk to Him all day like I do. I want them to see him or hear him in the every day, in the grand and in the mundane, just as I do. But I wonder if I can instill that in them without them getting a foundation from somewhere else? It’s confusing in my head. Maybe that’s the problem.

      But I don’t want to be bored, either. And I don’t want my husband to feel like, yet again, he can’t have something or do something because I don’t want to do it (though I’d never stop him from going. But I know that if I don’t go, He won’t, either). It’s such an uncomfortable spot. Maybe i should just schedule a bunch of stuff to do every Sunday for a while until he’s like “Oh, well, we tried but.. you know… LIFE keeps happening!” but that’s unfair, too, I know. So wrong! lol

      Thanks for the compliment about the dining room! I am trying to get a less blurry picture so that you can see the whole thing! Hopefully Friday! It is SO nice to be in that room now! Now, of course, the sight of my living room makes me itch to start up again… probably not until January, though…

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