Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why I'm grateful today

We've been searching. For a home, for stability, for something, for a church. We were attending a church this past year, joined it, joined sunday school and a small group. Lucas got baptised, we dedicated Balin, we never found it a fit. Week after week I left frustrated, or tired, or annoyed, or sad. I'm sure the church is reaching people. I know people who are thriving there, but for some reason I was not. WE were not. So we've been searching. It started with some visits to other nearby churches. Just to see. We've also been looking online at houses, and spending our evenings driving around town. Searching for a home. Just to see. We even applied to get pre qualified for a loan. Just to see. We were rejected for the loan. Apparently we have too much school debt. (anyone else as NOT surprised as we are?) so we've stopped that search. We are keeping our eyes open for rentals, but our lease won't be up until the end of May so thats kinda pointless. But for the Church. The first one we visited was charismatic. Joyful. Strange. They remarried us. I laughed that we were on a secret taping of Dr. Phil as he called all the married couples up to the alter and had us repeat our wedding vows. Our vows were not typical so it was a first time for us. Again. It was strange, but an experience. Then we got to pet a hedgehog that was visiting the children's ministry. Again. strange. So that wasn't home. I then was encouraged by my sister and a dear friend Becky to look up PCA churches. It's a branch of the Presbyterian church for those who don't know. Conservative. Believe the Bible is inerrant. Use a more liturgical service style. I've been more of a free spirit kind of gal. Non denominational. Band style worship. But we're searching, so I figured it was worth a shot. The building they are meeting in is a museum... literally. A manuscript museum that was oringinally the Opera house. A small building, it has old fashioned curved wooden beautiful pews and a white alter area with an organ. The walls are tall and covered by windows. There is a balcony area. Everything is yellow, bathed in natural light and simple. Beautiful. I've been finding worship noisy lately. Noisy with the sound of controversy and pride. Noisy with man made attempts to entertain a congregation and fit into an image a pastor has created. Noisy determing who gets to be the soloist and who gets to play the guitar. I'm searching for rest. I need a way to enter into the throne room and be still. We walk into this church and were gently and honestly welcomed. People actually seemed to want to know us and who we are. EVERYONE said hello and tried to go beyond the "good morning, how are you, fine" conversation we are so used to having. Within minutes I knew the names of two other homeschool families, another oil services family and the names of other mothers of multiple children. Within minutes we were hearing Grace preached out of love and authentic Joy. The worship began with strings. Piano, violin.... and hymns. I've avoided hymns. "Theyre out of date" "theyre not interesting" "they are boring." I was quickly reminded that in their beautiful simplicity the love our ancestors had for Christ Jesus was expressed clearly and wonderfully. Songs written not with churches of thousands in mind, but of the heart of one man for his Father.This past weekend I got to go on a ladies retreat. Friday evening and all day SAturday I got to sit without my children and listen to women share Biblical, Grace and Gospel focused lessons on community and discipleship. I found two other women with stories earily similar to mine in terms of how they got their first children. I found a purpose for my addiction to blogs about women who are carrying terminally ill babies to the end of their pregnancy (God's timing)instead of terminating at the Doctors will. A woman shared that her neighbor was on the cusp of that decision after finding out her baby is developing at 4 1/2 months with no skull. I got to pray for this stranger and bring her resources I had quietly been collecting over the past few months. I see opportunity here to grow and to love and befriend. The pastors started a classical school that though I can't afford it, I'm sure I'll be able to glean from. There are several other homeschooling families that I can get to know and Ayden can play with. There are men who Lucas can also grow and learn from. The Lord clearly directed us here. No more searching. We found a home.