This morning when I got up, I just felt the need to be at home today rather than at church. I went through the motions, got the girls dressed, put make-up on, had poor Child 1 change his clothes (nothing "fall" fits him), then realized I really had nothing to wear either. Well, not what I had planned. Child 4 was running around with a runny nose. And I was feeling overwhelmed with the task of switching out clothes. I know that may seem silly but it is a HUGE ordeal. I have to put clothes up, some going to charity or the garage sale pile, some being saved for next year. Then I have to dive into that really disorganized attic to find the clothes that we have saved that will probably fit this season. Of course, we are in between seasons, so I can only do a little of each. And I do it for three kids and myself; Mark takes care of the oldest. I am also facing a little stress this week which means I am back to popping Tums to cool the burning sensation in my stomach/esophagus. (They don't work by the way) And I just needed some extra family time. Last week's schedule was hard. And though church is kind of a "family event", it isn't completely. We all go to different classes, then Child 4 stays in the nursery all morning. I just needed that "together time".
Anyway, I made the choice to stay home. I am not ashamed of it. I don't feel like I am less of a Christian or doomed to a bad week. In fact, I had a pretty good worship experience, albeit a bit nontraditional. :) I ended up having three kids join me; Mark and Child 3 went ahead and attended church. In no time, the two older kids had planned "home church". All I had to do was show up. :)
After a bit, we gathered in the living room. The boys were dressed for church, their sister was in casual clothes, and I was in my pj's still. Really, isn't that what church should be? A place for you to wear what you are comfortable in? Does God care if I am in pj's? Is it what is on the outside or what is in my heart?
Child 2, in her typical planning mode, had planned out the "service", with a little itinerary and everything. We started off with a reading of Psalm 23 (Child 1) then moved to praise songs. Thankfully, due to the lack of any kind of musical talent in our family, Child 2 had the good sense to bring out Praise CD's. Something interesting happened. We sang songs like "Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord". And my children who tend to hold back their song at church sang at the top of their lungs. In fact, we all did. (Child 4 was in and out of the "service"...he attended children's church a couple times which means he was sent to his room :) We sang without any reservations. I will admit. It sounded bad to human ears. But I can say it was all sung from the heart and hopefully God's ears heard something totally different. :) Child 2 even moved a bit (not danced, just moved) which doesn't happen often in a Baptist church. The praise time was very sweet.
Then it was time for the preaching. Child 2 chose to read from Esther, which is her favorite Bible story. Then Child 1 threw in a story from his "Book of Virtues" which we tied to some other Bible stories. I got tickled listening to him "preach". He did the finger pointing...not quite hellfire and brimstone, but close. :) He also would stop and ask questions after reading for a bit to make sure we were paying attention! Nothing keeps you on your toes like knowing you will have to answer questions. :)
One funny moment was Child 4 pulling out his own "Bible" as we were doing our Bible story. He didn't sit still for it but it was cute that he was trying to join in. Even though he really didn't participate, it was just nice to have our "worship" with him there, loud as he can be. :)
We ended with some prayer time, always a sweet time with the kids.
I didn't get much done...too hard with me and three alone. But I did get a little extra rest and even more important, some family time. I needed my love tank filled. Hopefully that filled theirs too.
Traditional worship? NO! Glad we did it? Yes!