Sunday mornings

I have a confession to make. I hate Sunday mornings. This sounds bad, being a pastor's wife and all. But that's why I hate them. I have 5 kids to get ready, largely by myself, as Pastor Hubby is usually gone before we all get up.

That's not all, though. I noticed, back when I had a measly 3 kids, that on other mornings, I could get all of us ready more easily than on Sunday. It was hard, but Sundays were killer. And, when I finished and we were all loaded in the car, on other days I felt like "phew. ok, now we can get on with _____." On Sundays, though, I was (am?) a crazy person. My mind is my enemy. Here's a small peek:

"I can't believe I couldn't find those shoes. I'm a terrible mom. She's wearing tennis shoes with her dress. Who lets their 2-year-old wear tennis shoes with a dress? No one who has their act together. At least she has on a dress. I should have just put her in jeans since I couldn't find the shoes. But none of her jeans are clean. Because I suck. I can't even keep us all in clean clothes. And, of course, I'm late. If one person says a single thing about how I'm late I'll tell them to shove it. I'll smile and say the minute they think they can get 5 kids aged 8 ready, in addition to themselves, they're welcome to take over, because I'm clearly bad at it. No. I'll just say they're welcome to come help me at any time and leave it at that. Kill 'em with kindness. or passive-aggressiveness, whatever. And if they say something about the shoes..."

Of course, this internal dialogue is punctuated by 47 questions until I finally yell, "I don't know! No more questions this morning!" Which in turn starts a whole new guilt-circle. "Why did I yell at them? I want them to ask questions. That's how lifelong learners are created. Will I ruin their curiosity if I keep this up?..."

Now, you might think that people routinely blast me at church, based on my statements above. But they don't. At least not at this church. So why do I get myself all worked up imagining insults? Because that's how Satan works. I don't believe in "the devil made me do it." I do believe he is alive and well, and does his best work by whispering our own failures into our ears. He makes it sound like it's our own voice (saying I'm a terrible mom) or others (who would bother to say something about my daughter's shoes?).

Almost without fail, I arrive at church on Sunday morning completely defeated. People smile and say, "How are you today?" I very often reply, "I'm here." I'm saying that it took every ounce of my energy and will to get here, but now I'm done. It's part truth and part shield. I am afraid they're going to say something negative; I hope that if they understand just how vulnerable I am at that moment, they won't.

An amazing thing often happens, though. By the time I get to church, I'm already broken. I'm already crying out for God's grace to relieve me from the misery of myself. I worship and I learn. I am made new, over and over again. I am able to say to Satan what Joseph said to his brothers: "You planned evil against me, but God turned it for good."

So, late this Saturday night, I'm doing something I've never done before. I'm welcoming it. Bring it, punk. My heart immediately says, "No! I take it back! Scott's preaching tomorrow! I don't want to be late!" But, I've been learning lessons lately about welcoming, even enjoying the hard times, because they make me stronger; they make me who I am meant to be. I mean, if it weren't for those two lines, I wouldn't be writing this now. I might be preparing to run a half-marathon tomorrow, but I wouldn't have run the marathon required of me this year. As hard as these lessons have been to learn, I wouldn't trade them.

I'm ready for tomorrow.
Yes, my mirror is dirty. You got somethin' to say?


Shadia Koury said...

Kristi, I want you to know that I never read blogs. However, this weekend I became hooked on yours. I actually have the link saved on my iPad and have been enjoying it every morning with my cup of coffee. I totally suck at writing and internalize a lot of my thoughts. As I read your blog, I felt like you pulled my thoughts right out of my head and exposed it on the world wide web! I always knew you were brilliant, back from the DivaMamas days. And I have always admired you, from our very first meeting. I look forward to all your future posts and I truly pray that you and your family are blessed with health and happiness! And yes, I am home on a Sunday morning reading your blog instead of going to church. You got somethin' to say? I love you Kristi!

K Newman said...

No pressure, huh? ;) I love you, too!! Thanks for sharing! I really like hearing that I'm not alone! :)

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