Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Sunday Morning Madness.

I woke up at 3am sneezing my brains out.  I popped an allergy pill, shoved some toilet paper up my nose and crawled back into bed.  I sighed as I thought about what was ahead of me in a few hours.

The Sunday Morning Madness.

Sunday mornings are hard enough when both parents are there to get the kids ready, fed and out the door.  But when you're doing it alone, it's absolutely daunting.  Husby worked all weekend and left home in the wee hours of the morning Sunday.  I was left alone yet again to take the kids to church alone yet again.  "Tired of it" is the understatement of the century.  We made it through the morning fairly smoothly and left the house scheduled to arrive exactly on time for church (we didn't go to Sunday School).  A miracle, yes.

When we swung open the door to head to the car that morning, we were greeted with gusts of wind so strong they made us walk crooked.  Levi exclaimed that he had never seen a day so windy, and Ezra lost his breath as the freezing wind pelted his little face.  It was miserably cold and insanely windy.  And, it was snowing to boot.  Perfect.

We surprisingly landed a great parking space at church, but you still have to walk quite a ways to get inside.  When you're doing it alone, it feels like 3 miles.  I got out of the car, bundled the boys up in their giant winter coats, grabbed the diaper bag, threw my Bible inside, left my purse in the floorboard because I was out of arms to hang it on, swung Ezra on my hip and headed toward the steeple.

Levi was lagging behind talking about the weather, so I kept telling him to keep up with Mommy as I lugged a 23 lb. baby, brick heavy diaper bag and several other accoutrements on my person.  The bitter cold wind felt like tiny daggers on our faces.  My eye started to water profusely.  My hands were full, so I couldn't shield the wind or wipe my eye, so I just shut it like Popeye and kept trucking.

"Come on, Levi! Stay with Mommy", I huffed, water spurting from my eye like a leaky hose.

We started down a little hill and I hoisted Ezra up higher on my hip because he, along with everything else, was slipping at this point.  I audibly said to myself, "why did I wear heels? I knew better than this."  Just as I was finishing my complaint, I turned to look at Levi (with one eye), and ....

Boom.

Down I went.

Me.  Ezra.  The diaper bag.  My Bible.  Sprawled out across the parking lot.

Perfect.

I made sure Ezra landed on top of me, so he was fine.  My ankle twisted, but I gathered up the rest of my belongings, finally had the chance to wipe my water logged eye, grabbed Levi's hand, hoisted Ezra back up, and booked it into Church .... mad.

I mean to tell you I was HOT.

I dropped the babies off at their classes and Ezra had the biggest melt down of his life to date.  So that's always fun.  Leaving your babies as they are reaching and screaming for you.  Makes you feel awesome.

I huffed my way to the restroom where I found black streaks all down the right side of my face, thanks to the profusely watering eye that STILL won't stop, mind you.  People are staring, and I'm still mad.  I fake smile at a few people but the things that are going through my mind are ....

WHY does it have to be 20 below zero and snowing on the day I have to do this alone?

WHY do I have to do this alone?

I'm SICK and TIRED of residency.

I MISS my husband.

I NEED my husband.

WHY can't he just say, "sorry, but I can't work another weekend ever again"?

My ankle hurts; my makeup is completely GONE from one eye; I hate my outfit;  I'm cold; I'm exhausted; I look REALLY ugly today; I can't stop sneezing; I don't feel like being nice to anyone; I'm DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes.  All these thoughts were swirling around in my head as I made my way to the pew and nestled in between two very sweet women named Jackie.

I felt angry.  I felt weary.  I felt alone.

Then ....

We began to sing.

My mind was quieted.

My heart began to soften.

Tears filled my eyes.


"In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost it’s grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ."


My morning happenings suddenly became overwhelmingly minute.  My ugly heart was filled with gratitude.  My selfish thoughts were stomped out by Love.  His love.  For ME!  For ugly ole rotten attitude, ridiculously narcissistic ME.

Of all the terrible things going on in the world around me and I'm worked up about THIS?  I have a sinful attitude in taking my children to CHURCH?  Hold up - there was something terribly wrong with this picture.  But also, terribly human.

How silly of me to feel alone.  I am NEVER alone.  Never abandoned.  Never forsaken.

BECAUSE

Jesus took all that for me on the cross so that I would never have to!  HE was alone.  HE was abandoned.  HE was forsaken .... as he carried MY repulsive sins.

Because He loves me.

Our pastor said in his (outstanding) sermon that nothing ever comes to us that hasn't first gone through the wounds of Christ.  I thought of my sinful heart and how that day, that morning, that very unrighteous attitude I was displaying, had already made it's way through the wounds of Jesus thousands of years before.

As he hung on the cross.

For me.

For you.

I was so ashamed.

The sermon was spot on everything I needed to hear that morning.  Jackie hugged me after we were dismissed and told me she hoped I got to feeling better (I sneezed all the way through the sermon). I needed that hug. I left feeling convicted and encouraged, humble and refreshed.  Basically, the complete opposite of how I felt when I first took my seat.

The trek back to the car wasn't nearly as eventful.  My feet were planted firmly in the ground with each step, my smiles and chats I had with friends were genuine,  my baby happily hugged my neck (reunion, sweet reunion), and my three year old talked all about Jesus with the woman at the well as he carried my big Bible.

The sun was out.  The chill wasn't nearly as piercing.  The rumblings of my little boys tummies were like a song of praise as I whispered, "thank you, God."

For life.
For a husband who loves us and works so, so hard.
For my babies.
For the freedom to worship.
For health.
For church.
For salvation.
For Jesus.

In Christ alone, my hope is found.




16 comments:

  1. Amen. Such a great post. No doubt the enemy was trying to get in the way of all the Lord has in store for you in this wonderful week that we celebrate the risen king! Blessings and I am thankful for you and the way He turned your day around! :)

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  2. That is exactly what I needed to hear. I have been feeling what you felt like on Sunday morning: alone and bitter. Thank you so much for sharing that. We never are truly alone if we have Jesus, the perfect reminder. I hope the rest of your week is better than Sunday morning was.

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  3. That was so good, and so honest, and I can SO relate. Thanks for sharing. What a powerful reminder.

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  4. Thank you for this, Whitney! I love when you share things like this. Makes me feel not so alone when I have "Ugly Sundays!"

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  5. Sunday mornings are always the times at our house when EVERYTHING that can go wrong does. Beautiful post and a great reminder!

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  6. I am crying reading this, because I relate to it on so many levels. It is hard feeling like a single mom through this time in our lives. I struggle to get to church on Sundays when I'm alone, which as you know, is often. I need to start leaving Jack in the nursery, but I feel so guilty about it. It's always almost naptime or time for him to eat, so he isn't in a good mood and I hate leaving him with people he doesn't know. I leave him all week long. Wow, I just started on a rant. The point is I need to start leaving him, so I can have that time focusing on God. I can't do it while entertaining a baby. I'm glad you shared this. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one that struggles with Sunday mornings.

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  7. That's beautiful. Thank you Whitney.

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  8. My husband isn't in residency, so I dont quite relate, but my hubby plays on stage all three services at church. He leaves around 6:30am and doesn't get home until almost 2, so I go through the Sunday Morning Madness all by myself as well. What an internal battle I go through on those mornings! Sometimes not so internal :/ I'm more impatient with the kids and ticked off that Bob has to play so much (really Kari?!). I feel like a single parent on those days and that people who dont know me, think I'm one of those women whose husband refuses to come to church so I trudge haggardly through the doors to do what's right. Anyway, my mind, I tell you what. It thinks crazy things and worries too much about what others think.
    But when worship starts, Christ love washes over me and carries with it the bitterness, pride, selfishness and anger with it. His unfailing, always forgiving love. I feel so unworthy, but the cross and resurrection prove otherwise. I guess I was worth the price. We all were. How is that? Christ amazes me. Even in my sin, He's gentle to show me His goodness and mercy.

    I loved this post. And, once again, you brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing your heart! It's a blessing to so many!

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    1. I relate with you a lot, too, Kari! My husband is the youth pastor and worship leader at our small church (so small we don't even have a nursery!). I can start off my morning-before-church fine but once we're heading out the door I'm yelling at everyone to buckle and just be quiet and blah blah blah. I'm so human! And I always feel like such a crank.

      I really appreciate the post and the perspective. We need to remember it everyday. Our daily struggles are so minute to the eternal. God bless!

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  9. Thank you for this great post! It's something so simple and so beautiful, but so easy to "forget" when we are consumed in all that is going on around us. The "never alone" piece is exactly what I needed, as my husband spends so much time outside of the house doing other things while I take care of our 14 month old child 90% of the time.

    So again, thank you for this great post.

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  10. I totally relate to this. After so many weekends of churching it up sans hubby, I for reals get it. Thanks for the reminder to remember WHY we even go in the first place. And it always helps me to remember that R would rather be there with us, too. ;)

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  11. Thank you so much for this Whitney!! Sunday mornings are crazy too and too often we walk into church with those same thoughts! Thank you for the reminder!!

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  12. You are so strong, I admire you. I let myself be depressed by much less... I'm following you via Bloglovin, hope we can stay in touch!

    Stop by whenever you like and share some love!
    xoxo
    Coco et La vie en rose
    Coco et La vie en rose on Bloglovin
    Coco et La vie en rose on Facebook

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  13. Last Sunday I took my two (2.5 and 1 y/o) to church alone, again. Dropped them in their rooms and had to go to a far off the course ladies room and shed a few tears before pulling it together to get to the sanctuary--where I was sanctified. The playground and lunch after church was completely different for us than it had been an hour before. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one. Thank you for sharing this!!

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

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