I woke up later than I wanted to in order to get H and J to Summer Academy which meant we were all rushed trying to get ready to go. The kids function even worse under pressure than I do so that made getting out the door lots of fun. On top of that it was raining. That meant that I wasn't going to be walking with my new friend which really bummed me out as I enjoy spending that 30 minutes talking with her in the mornings.
I returned home after dropping of H and J, put a load of laundry in the washer and had just settled down with a cup of coffee to catch up on emails and attempt to work on the church website when I got a phone call from Summer Academy. I won't go into details but lets just say that I had told J that if he had any more problems in school that he would not be returning the previous day and now he does not get to finish summer academy. The initial problem was not his doing but his reaction to it was and it was not acceptable in my household for him to have behaved that way.
Baby A wouldn't sleep until just before I had to leave to pick up H from school. So I left her at home with K and quickly ran out to pick up H. That afternoon seemed to drag on. J was supposed to be cleaning his room and didn't do it correctly which meant when my hubby arrived home he was not in a good mood and really wasn't happy with J. Baby A woke up and was inconsolable. When I was feeding her she got food all over her new outfit and then her bowl of food spilled all over the carpet. At that point I quit. I looked at my hubby and informed him I was done and I walked away from it all.
I didn't want to go to church that evening. I wanted to stay home and hide in my bed under the covers and feel sorry for myself. I was embarrassed at my son's behavior, frustrated that Baby A was crying and I couldn't figure out what to do to console here, aggravated at myself for the mess I had created. I truly wanted to just call the day off, go to sleep and start over in the morning. However, I packed up Baby A's diaper bag, pulled myself somewhat together, and with my husband I packed my children into our van and went to church. I, after all, had obligations. I had things I needed to pick up and questions to ask a few people that I knew would be there that evening.
I went into the building carrying all of this emotional baggage. I didn't feel like worshiping God. I didn't really want to be there. I am sure that you have been there at some time or another yourself. Our Wednesday night services are different than those at any other church I have been to. We have a simply prayer and praise service in which we sing 3 or 4 songs, our pastor gives a "Pipe Tobacco Sermon" (one that is short, sweet, and you can stick it in your pipe and smoke it!), followed by prayer, and then more singing. The first few songs I sang the words but really didn't feel it. Doug gave his sermon, which I missed part of due to Baby A deciding that she needed to have her diaper changed. But during the last set of songs, this one came up:
And as I sang the words, I felt my emotional baggage start to fade. Yes it had been a difficult day for me, but in the grande scheme of things, I had so much to be grateful for. Rather than feeling sorry for myself, I began to count my blessings. H leaned into me and put her arm around me, reminding me that even though my children may not always make the best choices, they are really good kids with great big hearts. I looked beside me and saw my husband, who has time and again shown me that he would do just about anything for me and my children and that he loves me with all of his heart. I looked around the sanctuary and saw all of the people that God has allowed into my life that have started to mean a lot to me. I had a new church family that was honest, sincere and really cared about each other. It truly felt like family. God has blessed my family with financial security, new friends in my neighborhood for both me and my children, and a wonderful, happy life.
I left church last night with a renewed spirit. God used my little church and that little song to show me that I am truly blessed, even when it seems like everything is going wrong. There is a reason that He tells us not to give up meeting together (Hebrews 10:25). He knows our hearts and knows that there will be times that we feel overwhelmed, depressed, alone or many other negative emotions. He also knows that we can encourage each other, through song, through His message, or even the simple act of fellowship. So I share this with you so that you will know you are not alone. Each of us have bad days, but know that God knows how you feel, and that even in the dark times, you still have much to be thankful for!