A State of Worship

For all accounts, today was a crappy day.  I woke up before the kids, a prerequisite for a good day, and drank coffee while chatting with the hubby.  Lucy was sleeping well so I hated to wake her for Sunday School.  Why?  Two reasons: 1. She is still a recovering cancer patient and when I tell you "she's going great, thanks for asking" I'm usually lying.  She gets tired, her brain shuts down and she needs sleep.  Lots and lots of sleep.  2. My kids get 5 days of Sunday School every week.  I am so grateful for the amount of Biblical emphasis our school places in curriculum.

So, there's that.  I totally justified letting Lucy and Ella sleep through the Sunday School hour.

Ella wakes up, we take showers and get fully dressed--makeup included for me.  Erik and Jack are at church, because a good Lutheran never misses a Southern Baptist Sunday School lesson.  No really, they went on fully expecting us to follow right behind.  When Ella and I are completely ready to walk  out of the door, I realize that Lucy has no intention of waking up anytime soon.  After a disappointing text message conversation with the hubs I realize it's just not going to happen for me today.

I wanted to go to church, I needed to go to church.  I give, give and give all week.  Sunday morning is my time to recharge.  I love the music most of all.  When our choir sings, the special music, the worship through instruments.  Music is my spiritual animal.

For about 3 hours I sulked and pouted.  I was literally mad that I didn't get to go to church.  I begrudgingly fed my family lunch, lounged around in my sweats and read books to Lucy.  We played golf outside in the backyard and then worked with Jack hitting a baseball.  Ella played with neighborhood friends and we had family pizza night--everyone made their favorite.  After that we colored in Jack's coloring book while the other two snuggled on the couch watching TV.

For all accounts, it was the perfect day.  It only took me until 3pm to figure it out, what with the whole missing church and me being a big baby about it.

Somewhere along the way, though, I allowed the legalism of being at church get in the way of my real opportunity to worship.  I have been devouring books lately.  Jen Hatmaker is shaking my world upside down.  She is piling onto the work God started in me 4 years ago.  I am simultaneously uncomfortable and totally hungry for more.

Everyday I am recognizing the gift of religious freedom that came with cancer.  38 years of religiosity has taken on a new life---and I love it.  God is surely stiring a spirit within me yearning for more, for so much more.  The greatest gift I have been given is the desire to read His word.  All my life I knew about the Bible but its only been recently that I've known the Word.  And let me tell you, It.  Is.  AMAZING.

Trying to reclaim my wasted opportunity, I sat outside for a long time this afternoon reading some challenging perspectives on life, I spent some time in prayer and then allowed myself forgiveness for the way I behaved this morning.  I think I'll always fight the urge to follow the "rules" of church.  It's who I am (type A super-pleaser).  My prayer is that I will continue to find God each day of my life;  in the small moments, in the rush of motherhood and in the trials of marriage.  And when I find Him there, and He will always be there, I want to worship Him then.  Right there where He is.  

I am learning that I don't have to wait until Sunday.


  1. HI Kate,

    I feel the same way sometimes about church. There is a yearning for me to do worship outside of a building. I downloaded the Your Move app from Andy Stanley, and heard his series Christian. Really changed my way of thinking. Glad your family is good and thanks for keeping us posted. May I leave you with a piece of advice that I'm still struggling with. What works for 1 person, may not work for me. When I'm stuck in the comparison trap, I try to remember this. Hope it helps.

  2. Thank you for your amazing witness! I am now my daddy's caregiver, therefore church is difficult for me. Your sweet message has certainly hit home. Prayers for you and your sweet family, Terry

  3. Always LOVE your honesty and your insight! So wise my friend!!
    Thanks for sharing and for opening my eyes and heart!

  4. A quote that has helped me in moments like this is, "I've discovered that this act of mothering is my WORSHIP to him right now. Dying to self & delighting in them. Oh yes it is messy and sloppy and sometimes there is failure YET forgiveness and grace and growing." Lovelyn Palm

    I love Jen Hatmaker too. She is dynamo! Read all her stuff...it's worth every second.

  5. Kate, I hope you get this message and I hope you can help my sister Katie, her husband Ben, and my niece Lilly. Lilly was diagnosed with Medullablastoma. Her story is very similar to Lucy's. My sister Katie followed Lucy's story for years. My sister Katie keeps mentioning wanting to get in touch with you. I'm trying to help make that connection. You can check out Lilly's story on her page: Prayers for Lilly Grace. If you have time to talk to my sister we'd be very thankful! Thank you! Heather Ace

  6. Kate,

    I have recently discovered your blog due to Ben and Julie Parker's recent loss and listing of golucygo as one of their preferred organizations for donations. I remember Erik fondly as one of the guys who were very instrumental in me joining ATO and I believe I owe it to him for me making one of my best and most influential choices. I also remember you from those days although we did not have as much interaction. I just wanted to drop you a line and say how refreshing and powerful the honesty and richness of your posts are. It's always great to read of the depths of someone's relationship with God and his blessed word and how His whispers, as you mentioned, saturate our lives if we're willing to listen for them. I feel ashamed that I have not been in more frequent contact with Erik and more in tune with y'all's challenges. That is one thing that God has put on my heart lately - getting back in touch with the guys who were so close to me through ATO. Tell Erik I say hello and that our thoughts and prayers are with y'all each and every day.

    With love and respect,

    Rob Pettigrew

  7. Sunday is also a day of rest. It sounds like you needed one.

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