Sunday, February 16, 2014
We've believed a lie.
Let me first build up to the lie by setting the stage.
Each Sunday typically goes about the same. I get up in what I believe to be an ample amount of time to get everyone ready and out the door in a timely fashion.
Yet that time inevitably fails to be sufficient, even when I allot more time.
Just this morning, the cat puked in the dining room. The kids are gagging at the table, interspersed with laughing and exclamations of "Eww gross! Look Eli, he's licking it back up." And I was fine to leave it until later when I wasn't trying to feed the baby, but no, him licking it back up was just too much. So, there went a few minutes.
Eli was taking forever and a day to get dressed. Anna's hair was a mess and she insisted she still doesn't know how to straighten it. And despite my encouragement for her to try any way because that's the only way she'll learn, she somehow managed to make it look worse, therefore causing me to have to stop getting ready to fix her hair for her. Emi was screaming because she was hungry (again) and time has now ebbed dangerously close to us being late.
I heard the Wii turn on and began feeling my face turn hot, because then I was just angry because we were running late and someone was playing the Wii. The Wii!!!
Can they not help!? Something. Anything! Is it too much to put burp rags in the diaper bag or better yet, to actually have your shoes on and a jacket in tow. Is it?!
Where is the baby's headband?! What do you mean you put it on her? It's not on her. It's not in the car seat. Where is it!? It's clear across the room, how can you say you put it on her!?! Don't talk. Just get in the van.
Why can I hear you clear across the yard? Why aren't you buckled in yet? Why are you calling your sister a "pea brain"? Stop talking. There's no talking allowed right now.
Why are you talking? I said there's no talking!
And then we pull up in the church parking lot, put on a happy face, and walk inside.
This happens more often than I'd like to admit. These Sundays where I've lost my cool and been impatient and inconsiderate. Sundays where we're so rushed that I just want everyone in the van and we get to church only for me to notice that Eli is in jeans with a big gaping hole in the knee or that Anna didn't even brush her hair, much less try to fix it.
How? How does this happen?
How do I lose it, slap a smile on my face and then walk on stage and sing:
Let them see You in me
Let them hear You when I speak
Let them feel You when I sing
Let them see You, Let them see You in me
How, when they've seen anything but Him in me?
That's when the lie creeps in.
You're a failure, Phoebe. It would've been better for you to have just stayed home. Then you wouldn't have had to be rushed. You wouldn't have been impatient. You wouldn't have yelled at those you love more than life itself. Everyone wouldn't be in a bad mood because you were in a bad mood and snippy with them. You wouldn't be a hypocrite, getting up there on stage to sing after acting the way you have. It'd be so much better, so much easier. Just stay home.
Chances are you've believed this lie at some point or another - either because you've told it to yourself or because someone has said it to you. For me, it's been both of those cases. Well intentioned people but faulty, so very faulty thinking.
I want you to know that this is a lie straight from the pits of hell.
Satan already has you upset, running ragged, yelling, impatient, and frustrated. If he can get you to miss church on top of that... well, it's the icing on the cake.
Don't believe it, friends. Don't do it.
It's not true. Not even remotely close to the Truth.
The Bible instructs us:
"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." Hebrews 10:25
"to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:21
God is given glory in and through His church. And I can't help but think that He's given a little piece of glory each time we've had a rough morning and we walk through the church doors to worship any way, in spite of it all. It's why either me or my singing partner will often start the service off by saying "Let's put everything behind us.... the tough week we've had, the rushed morning, all the stresses and worries, and let's just join together to worship Him." Because how much more glory does He get when we choose to worship in spite of all of life's difficulties? It's not hard to worship when everything is always going great. But when we're struggling, the choosing is part of the glory. And how glorious it can be!
And as for the sufficient amount of time somehow never being sufficient..... it's not a coincidence. It's a ploy. And it's intentional.
It's an attack from the enemy. An attempt to keep us from worshipping.
And when I identify that, it makes it so much easier to ignore the lie.
Tonight Anna said "You've been grumpy today, Mom." How true that statement is. I have been. I haven't felt well the past few days and combined with Psycho Sunday, I've just been pretty irritable. I have a love/hate relationship with these moments. I hate being called out, particularly when I've already beaten myself up about something. But I also love these moments because it gives me the opportunity to sit down and be real.
Real, like saying "Yes, I have and I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been grumpy or yelled this morning. Mommy is tired and doesn't feel good but I still shouldn't have acted the way I did."
She's so forgiving. How I pray she's always this way.
She then asked me to read Scripture to her. I turned to Psalm 139 and began to read:
1O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
My voice caught in my throat and tears pooled in my eyes. Anna watched me closely, then Eli. "Mom, are you about to cry?" I kept reading, amazed that He knew every single one of my days before a single day had ever even passed. He knew how wretched I would be. He knew that I would be sitting here, typing about Psycho Sundays because I can't ever seem to get it together in a fashion worthy of Him. He knew!
He knew, friends. And yet He knit me together anyway. And I love, love, love the word knit. Because when I think of knitting, I think of all the intricate details, all the variety of things you can do, and the amount of time poured into it. I pull up memories of watching my Grandma crochet and knit baby blankets, the hours passing and her just sitting there knitting away.
He knew and did it anyway. He poured time into creating me.... you.... even knowing all the while every horrible thing we'd ever do.
It's why after reading Psalm 139 we turned to Romans 8: 38-39 and read:
"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Nothing we ever do can separate us from His love. No amount of impatience, grumpiness, yelling, or the multitude of Psycho Sundays.
And so I take refuge in knowing that He knew and knit any way. In knowing that nothing can ever make Him unlove me. And so I keep trying. I keep going. I keep singing. I keep worshiping.
And in the meantime, maybe one day, the allotted amount of time will miraculously become enough. :)
Good night, friends.