Thursday, January 31, 2013

church

Sometimes I really don't like going to church. And other times I don't like going to church. And very occasionally, I like going to church. We pack apple slices and crackers for the kids. They have crayons and paper. During the message, Justin and I draw fish or boats or trucks. We hear the sermon and it might resonate with a truth we're learning. We sing. Claire and Grant like to dance when they aren't trying to crawl up us.

Over the last couple months, my attitude about going to church has sucked. I haven't seen the point of it. I don't have that honey-soaked-spiritual experience when the worship leader prays. I cry at the wrong times. I bite my lip and wish I was at home. I look around and get super judgy about the singles with the space on their laps to open fat Bibles crammed with tiny notes in the margins. I get annoyed at prayers the length of Lutheran sermons. I itch when the worship team calls us all to cry out to Jesus and I half-whimper, God help. I don't like to clap when I sing. A lot of the time I can't see the words to the songs anyway. And when I turn inward, I see a tangle of need need need. God help.

I much prefer reading my Bible and praying alone or gleaning wisdom from fellow believers when we meet for a small study or lunch. I have long joked that if I lived in a cave I'd be a really holy person. Well, maybe. But God asks us to meet together and I've been having an awful time seeing the goodness of a large gathering. I keep going. I don't like getting there. I grit my teeth and chafe at the time because I'd rather go grocery shopping or draw chalk pictures in the courtyard on a weekend morning. Even so, I crack open to truth and wisdom and the services give me something to think about. Still, I wish I actually liked going to church more.

Monday, January 21, 2013

we're raising two of these!

Justin and I feel pulled between places we call home. And now Claire and Grant will grow up thinking about what home means. As a family, we'll be together, sorting this out. Hm.

Check out this film on Vimeo. It's called "So Where's Home?"

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

a weary fifteen minutes

In November when I had to write something each day, I couldn't go by mood or the editor in my head. I had to find a post. I've been looking for a post for this new year and there is nothing peppy or fun to report and I don't want to take this blog into a sad dive of Why I Should Go See Someone.

When I was a junior in high school, I was curled up at one end of the couch crying. During another crying episode, my mom explained to my brother that this was hormones and I laughed a little and cried more. This time, on the couch, Mom asked if I needed to see someone. I don't think we ever talked about therapy as a real option before that day and when I thought for a moment - likely a teary, snotty moment - and said no, I didn't think I needed to see someone, we didn't talk about therapy as a real option again.

I'm reading this book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. In college I took the Myers-Briggs Personality Test and fudged a few of my answers to skew more extrovert. I knew how it worked and extrovert sounded more fun. But this week, running through the introvert checklist, I'm there. I think I always was, but I'm much happier living it now - though I am not living as introvertedly as I'd like. I'll talk more about that in another post. But one characterization of introverts is sensitivity. Another is thinking a lot. Check, check.

And I write most of it down when I need to put words to what is happening in my mind and heart. So while I have thought about paying a therapist to do something to help me understand something, I find great solace in the friendships I have here and a church family that lets me ask questions. And revelation in my prayer and journaling. Usually teeny tiny revelations. I wait for the wild, big truths that knock me over.

I've written before about saying goodbye to friends. Such an expat experience to make a fast friend and carry deep experiences and conversations with that friend and then say goodbye as quickly. And I can't keep all the friends I say goodbye to and that hurts in an achey way until I think about something else.

So yesterday I learned that two good friends of ours are leaving Kuwait on Sunday. And I spent most of the afternoon and evening swallowing shock and waiting to think how this really worked. Last night I lay in bed crying because I will miss them very much, but also because I am so weary of saying goodbye. Saying goodbye means you miss them more later.