Over the course of our marriage, this not-going-to-church thing has been allowed to evolve, and allow me now to outline the circumstances of this evolution.
There was some discussion about whether Catholic or Protestant; then an exploration of local churches, including one of those mega-churches where the Sunday school attendees need a picture ID and the parents' fingerprints are scanned into the system (for safety's sake, which gave me a decided feeling of being not quite safe at all); then the simple fact that because we have a hard time deciding on the first point, we feel paralyzed from going anywhere.
Thank goodness for my mom (who's growing in smarts at the same pace as I'm growing out of my extended adolescence - meaning, in case there's any ambiguity, that I can finally appreciate her wisdom):
1. She went with me to our local Christian bookstore and helped pick out some books (the ones pictured above, this one and this one) for our guys.
2. And then reminded me that going to church or Sunday school once a week means little without the reinforcements of home. As she said, "90% of a child's spiritual upbringing happens at home". In other words, if Sunday school and CCD are the only times when a child hears about God and love and the sweetness of life, it will be a shallow pursuit indeed.
So, until we find our place, we have to make do. The happy surprise is that by "making do", I feel that we all have become at least marginally kinder, gentler and more patient because we are reminded to be so every day. I want to share just in case some of you find yourselves (now, or later) in the same boat.
Over the years, we've been gifted lots of little spiritual tokens and have found that when these things are on display, they become gentle reminders of what's important.
The other day I realized that it was time to file away the summer clothes and haul out the woolies. I don't know what we'd do without these giant space bags, the ones that you label with a Sharpie.
I know it looks a mess, but each bag is labeled: 18-24 months, 2T, 3T, and so on. It is pathetic, but it gives me such peace of mind to know that they're all in clearly labeled and logical order. And yes, I know there's a pill for that.
Finally, pictures from today, when I went to a local farm market I hadn't been to in years, preferring I guess to buy produce from Chile as opposed to my own backyard. (Shame, I know.)
Monica doing her thing in the top photo, and here at the bottom is the haul: cinnamon rolls for Saturday's breakfast, the sweetest pears ever, mudslide cookies (a present for Chris), jalapeño bread, chévre (goat) cheese from Edgwick Farm, honey sticks, and four pretzel croissants.
The most lovely thing is that I ran into friends and acquaintances I hadn't seen in a long, long, long time. I hadn't known that the farm market is THE place to be for retirees (my older acquaintances are among my most dear).
On the ride home, I actually thought for a second, "Am I dead?" because it was really surreal in that Five People You Meet in Heaven sort of way. It just reinforced for me the fact that we all need each other, that it's our family, friends, and neighbors that make life rich, and how beyond easy it is to forget it.
Enjoy your weekend, dear readers!