Sunday Morning Church: Accept No Substitutes

[Picture via Heidi Hilkert on Pinterest.]

I didn’t make it to church this morning. I had every good intention last night, and planned out the morning as I lay in bed so I could squeeze in a shower and smell nice, the babies would eat breakfast and take a nap beforehand.

I know, I know, the road to hell…anyways. The babies went down for their nap, and so did I.

But I continue to mull over what Christine had sent me a while ago – a blog post called “The Desert Mothers Didn’t Change Diapers. But Maybe They Should Have,” written by Penny Carothers, a guest writer on Don Miller’s blog Don Miller Is. She articulates exactly what I have been feeling for a while in terms of thinking that my spirituality, my faith life, my devotional life, my connection to God needed to be a certain way. But, she challenges that obligation, and offers the possibility of “the sanctification of the ordinary” in these words:

[It] has got me thinking: what if there really is a different way? What if God intended the hug of a child to mirror the numinous moment others achieve through meditation? What if attending to the needs and the play of children – really attending, not reading the news on my phone or folding laundry while I listen with half an ear – was a window into the spiritual? What if all I really needed to do was simply be present? After all, God calls himself a lover and a parent, and perhaps there is something to learn in embracing my life rather than trying to escape it so I can have real communion with God.

It’s still a little shocking, but perhaps the most spiritual thing I can do may be to embrace my life as a mother. Not a spiritual, metaphorical mother, but a snot-wiping, baby-chasing, diaper bag-toting mother. Because sometimes it’s not the bible stories or the lectio divina, but the Help! and thank you that a relationship is built on.

So, I put on some classical music for a little bit. The babies and I listened to their Pap’s sermon from last Sunday on my Iphone. We played with rattles and cars. I sang “Spirit of the Living God,” to them. We played with kitchen paraphernalia. I threw them up in the air a few times just to hear them squeal and laugh. I played some more hymns and worship-y songs on the piano. We ate lunch.

It wasn’t church, and I really believe there is no substitute for the communion of saints each Sunday, but I was still blessed by it. I believe I can still worship through attending to these moments, and of course, there’s always next Sunday.

4 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Church: Accept No Substitutes

  • January 15, 2012 at 12:12 am
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    I’m here from the linkup at Write on Edge. And I agree with you, church/worship can happen anywhere. I do enjoy being in God’s house on Sunday morning, but sometimes He meets me in other places.

    • January 16, 2012 at 11:40 am
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      Having babies has opened my eyes a lot more to seeing God everywhere! Thanks for the comment!

  • January 15, 2012 at 12:48 am
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    This post is very timely. We may attempt church again tomorrow. It’s hard with two little kids. I feel like it’s more an exercise in child-wrangling than anything spiritual. But here we go. Again.

    • January 16, 2012 at 11:40 am
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      Child-wrangling sounds very spiritual! 🙂 Here we go again! Thanks for the comment!

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