I love my church.
Today our church was so bright and beautiful. We just put down this beautiful warm toned tile on the altar area and because it was Reformation Sunday, our liturgical color was red which always looks so warm to me. Those things along with the candles and the way the choir sounded with the new acoustics (thanks to the tile) just made the whole thing beautiful and peaceful and reverent. We sang "A Mighty Fortress is our God" and heard about what things were like in the church in Martin Luther's day and most importantly we heard about how the bible teaches us that we justified by Christ alone for our sins, which is something I need to hear all the time, because without it, I would teeter between thinking I was a pretty good person and then realizing that my best works are really just filthy rags.
In church, I was looking at my beautifully well dressed, well behaving children and I had such wonderful thoughts about them. I thought about how wonderful it is that I am able to stay home with them and homeschool them. I thought about ways I would show my love to them this week. *I* would slow down. *I* would spend less time on the computer. *I* would keep the tv off and read more books. We would have tea together and play games together and *I* would be more patient during our classroom time. *I* would be great!
How vain. I am none of those things without Christ. I am especially not patient. And I am prone to turning on the tv in order to get some peace. And playing games? I usually do not want to because it takes more brain power than I have after parenting 5 kids all day. And I hate the mess that having 7 people living in a small house brings. I often feel swallowed by it while trying to keep on top of things. There is no physical rest.
To be sure, there is nothing wrong with those things that I aspire to do and we do enjoy those things together occasionally. It is not easy for me though. I didn't take that into account when I was planning my own awesomeness this morning. How I need Christ.
Almost as soon as we got home, the chaos started. Barry had a gig today across town, and so he left and I was on my own. The children were not fighting or being unkind to each other, but it can be just sort of naturally loud in a home with 5 children, ages 9 and under and I am not a big fan of loud at all. It doesn't naturally bring out in me all of those qualities I was smugly planning on having while sitting in the peace and beauty of my church this morning. It's quite the opposite actually.
And for this, I have Christ who forgives me and strengthens me and helps me keep going and doing good things when it is hard.
I want to put in a disclaimer that I love my job and I love motherhood. To me it is beautiful and sacred. I would do nothing different, and I would even welcome more children into our family. I believe truly that it is very good to do things that interfere with our self centeredness. These are the things that help us to grow. And nothing gives me more joy than being home with my children all day. I feel that I am truly blessed to be able to do so. I am just not very awesome and could not do it on my own strength.