I've said before that this blog is often just a place for me to process things, not necessarily a ministry tool. Today it's possibly both. I'm not sure how well you know your pastor and family, but I try to be as real as possible with those around us. We are not living a fairy tale, and we struggle with the same stuff everyone else struggles with. Today was a hilarious, well now it's hilarious, example.
If you attend church on Sunday morning I wonder if your family has it all together as you get to church? Do you arrive eager to hear from the Father? Does your sweet family sing hymns or worship songs as you drive leisurely to church, arriving early to lovingly chat with those who sit around you each week? If you do, then you should probably stop reading right now! Our church is next door to the Methodist church and they always have the bells ringing on Sunday mornings as I park and walk the children into church. It's the perfect backdrop for a Norman Rockwell painting except that our family isn't quite the Norman Rockwell family! The pastor's family at your church might be different, but our family is barely hanging on to the Holy Spirit as we screech into the parking lot! I'm just going to be honest here! Today was one of those days!
You see, last week was one of those days too so I was pretty excited that no yelling had occurred this morning by 9:15 when I was gently but firmly suggesting we all make our way to the car. (You do realize that the pastor himself was already at church, right? He hasn't driven to church with us in about 21 years. He gets up early, has his quiet time, reads through his sermon, arrives early to pray, and then genuinely enjoys greeting those who arrive early. And honestly, that's just fine with me because it's one less human I have to get out the door on Sunday.) So anyway, Justin even helped buckle his little sister into the car for me. I commented that we were only about 10 minutes later than I'd hoped, so we were doing pretty good for us! We prayed for dad, which we've done every Sunday morning for 14 1/2 years, as I drove. (I don't close my eyes during this prayer!) We were a little late though, so I snagged a close parking spot today rather than parking across the street to allow close spots for the senior adults and visitors. They were on their own today in my book! A few last words to the boys to remind them how to act, take their bibles, don't embarass us, etc., and then they were off. I got out of the minivan and proceeded to take Sarah out of her car seat...then I noticed where we went so wrong! SARAH HAD NO SHOES!! Seriously??? How did all three of us "big kids" miss the fact that she had no shoes on?! She's four years old...how did she miss it?? At this point I had a quick choice to make. For about 1.5 seconds I thought, "Well, we are from Arkansas so would anyone be surprised?" But then I remembered today was the first day Sarah was to attend "big church". I knew pretty quickly that I'd have to high tail it home and get the shoes! Thank you, Jesus, for your sweet mercy in not ordaining a speeding ticket for me this morning! That would have been funny, but not for awhile.
We got back in time for me to run, and I do mean RUN, Sarah to Sunday school and then fly to the sanctuary. I entered, oh so discreetly, just as the announcements were ending and everyone stood for that glorious greeting each other time! Oh how I love that time...for so many reasons! You see, greeting time is kind of like what the Bible says somewhere about love. Greeting time covers over a multitude of the pastor's wives sins! Gives me time to make it to my seat fairly unnoticed.
Remember this if you are ever tempted to say, "That pastor's family is so sickenly perfect! What would they know about REAL life?!" And if I screech into the parking lot in your sight, please don't take it personally! I'm just keeping it real...and giving Blake some serious sermon illustration material!