House church-take one
Here are my observations from our first night of our house church:
My kids waited expectantly to ‘sing the songs together’ and I loved watching them observe, take it all it, sit on Chris’ lap as we worshipped. So different than sending them to children’s ‘church’ and picking them up later.
I didn’t have to wear shoes. My son took his shirt off. And that was okay.
My husband was functioning in the gifts God gave him. He was happy. He is happy. More so than he’s been in many years. That is one of the best things in the whole world to me.
We shared a meal. I like this. I always like food and food+people I especially love.
When Chris is sharing some thoughts (and recording them) and Caleb goes to the bathroom without shutting the door it is loud. And it is on tape too.
I got to act out a Bible story with the kids, my kids tried to drag me across the floor to get me to Jesus, slightly painful but fun.
Also during my time with the kids, we built a big fort. Called it a church. Talked and hung out in there for quite a while. It was hot.
I asked “where are the people?”
They said “what people?”
I said “the people who don’t know Jesus’ love and hope.”
The kids said “not here. nobody else is here.”
I asked if our little neighbor friend was here.
“Nope” they told me.
“Well, then what are we doing here? Let’s take Jesus out of the building and share His love with everybody we know.”
This is the reason I am excited about what we’re doing. The spilled root beer all over my carpet, I can deal with that. The mess of dishes in my kitchen right now, also okay. The mini-meltdown from my son during singing, made me sweat a bit but that’s okay.
What I can’t deal with is people all over the place who are broken, hurting and hopeless. I can’t ignore that. I can’t pass that by. I want my life to be given to others in such a way that compassion and encouragement flow continually from my mouth. I want to share life and hope.
The tricky part for me is doing that at home. It’s easier for me to lift up others, share kind words. But when it comes to the home front, it’s so much harder.
I complain rudely about what’s not done around the house instead of giving thanks for what has been done. I cry about not seeing my husband instead of appreciating how hard he’s working to provide for me and our children. I snap at my sister about something stupid like pop cans instead of being grateful she shared her soda with us. I blow my top in the middle of Fred Meyer when my son says a bad word (that he learned from a little friend) instead of taking a deep breath and realizing he has no idea what he’s actually saying. He is 4.
Life, real life totally gets in the way of me being the person I want to be. Poop, dirt, tantrums, mean words, whining, lack of sleep, not having a daddy around as much as we’re used to, rainy days inside, spilled food, the wrong food….all these things make it so much harder to be nice. To offer hope. To share compassion and a soft word. That is so very lame but it’s true.
I actually have been putting on my to do list each day, things like laugh more or hug the kids 4 times today or smile. Why? Because life is darn hard. I can hear you now “Crazy lady, you’re the one who had the four kids!” or “At least your husband HAS a job.” or “Quit complaining, someone always has it worse than you.” None of those are my point though they are all true indeed.
Life is just hard but somehow in the midst of it all, I am so desperate to enter in to the peace that only comes from one place. The peace that calms my days that should be out of control. The peace that allows my heart to rest when it’s still hurting and grieving the many losses as we’ve moved on from our old church home. The hope that I’ve begged God for and He’s been faithful to pour out even when I didn’t believe that He could. The grace to get out of bed and cook another breakfast when all I want to do is sleep. For three days.
All this to say, I want to share the real, hard, this-is-the-real-me life with some people. Not 2, 000 people like where we’ve been. A houseful of people that can see my dirty toilet and still call me their friend. That is what I’m excited about.