Monday, February 18, 2008


I don't like it.
The end.

Ok, that's not much of a post.
Maybe I should elaborate.
Shopping is one of my least favorite activities, so I avoid it. Which is why, in case you're wondering, I have, like 4 work oufits. I only need 4; one for each of the first 4 days of the week. And Friday is casual, so it doesn't matter, I wear pajamas in to the office.
No I don't.

Grocery shopping? Ugh.
Holiday souvenier shopping? Shudder.
Well, you get the idea.
Which is why church shopping has not been a process that I've enjoyed participating in. Nope. Not one little bit.

And the thing with church shopping after a church has closed down, is it becomes a race. Oh, well, not officially. And no one would ever admit it. Or maybe, no one is even in this race? Maybe it's just me, not wanting to be the last one to find a place of worship to call home?

But I'm feeling the pressure.
It's self imposed to be sure. But still, getting emails that say, "We've settled into this new church and it feels like we've been here all along. It's wonderful" or "We can't believe how good a fit this new church is, we knew after one Sunday we had found our home church" or, "We have stopped looking, we love this new church"; emails like that having me feeling like a loser.

Now, to be objective, every single family (except one) that I'm aware of, has only one child to 'fit' into a new church. And once that child is connected, the adults have no problem loving the church too. I, of course, could be wrong.

But I'm hanging onto that fact as my excuse for not having found something yet.
That, and I'm about 2 months behind in the whole shopping process. I started playing the game after everyone else had been at it for awhile. I feel like I'm one lap behind in the relay race and I fear I'll never catch up.

Anyway, a huge, HUGE prayer request of mine had been that we find something. Soon.

We tried a new one again this morning. And as usual, I prayed on the way there, that both boys would have a positive experience. That they would connect with someone their own age. (The "their own age" is a pretty big thing in my mind these days.) That they would be able to envision themselves as part of this faith community.

What I hadn't prayed for was me. That I would feel anything in particular. That I would find a friend "my own age". That I would be able to imagine myself in this church. I keep praying for my kids. Because, well, that's what moms do. My mom is probably praying for me, so I'm covered.

Anyway, we got there 2 minutes late, but it didn't matter, there was room for us. And people kept arriving after us, so it really didn't matter. We sang some Chris Tomlin and Brian Doerksen and it was good. (Well, mostly it was good. It was good until Drew told me to stop singing. He hasn't sat with me for years and I guess this was the first time he was aware of my voice. He doesn't like it. Which, in addition to my issues with people sleeping in the same room as me, is an issue with me ... I am very insecure about my singing. So I usually only belt it out at Creation. But this morning, sitting at the end of the pew, with only my kids in earshot, I kicked it up a notch during 'You Shine'... and my boy? Did not like it one bit. Anybody want a 13 year old?)

So, I've stopped singing, but am still loving the set, and then its announcement time. And one the screen is a power point slide photo of a computer keyboard with the request for "people who like to write to become part of the church's blogging team".

Prickly armpits.

A church with a blogging team?
That powerpoint slide might as well've said, "Jane? This is God. I think this is a good place for you to attend. The end."

I had to lean across Drew to bump Max, as I wanted to share my thoughts with him, but Drew hissed at me, "Yeah, yeah, we all know. We get it mom. You blog. Big deal."
Seriously, anybody want a 13 year old?

After the service was over, Max and Drew hopped over the padded pews to tackle a familiar face. I slipped out of the church and went around to the back of the building. Other than one Murrayville couple, I did not recognize anyone. I knew no one. This was not like a homecoming. This was me, in the church I got married in, with one good son, and one grumpy son, wishing I didn't have to shop. I was starting over. Again. And sometimes I just get tired of the starting over schtick.

"God? This is sucking. I can't hide out here, I know that. Max has the keys in his pocket, so I can't go sit in the truck. I don't want to approach strangers. And I don't want to hang on to that Murrayville couple. They have lots of friends here, they don't need me being all needy around them. God? I hate this."

I went back in, past about 100 senior citizens wearing suits or floral dresses, depending on their gender, and slithered down the aisle to get/receive a hug and wished I wasn't so needy. We chatted for awhile and then another familiar face approached... someone connected to Arrow. And he told me about a great travel deal. And then the pastor came by and I was introduced, and he made me feel very welcome and I think I went to high school with his cousin and then I found Max and Drew chatting with some teens they knew from Stillwood Camp and then we left.

We had a busy afternoon, walking in the sunshine... and a busy evening, downloading then uploading the photos of our afternoon in the sunshine. And then Drew got over his 13-year-old-ness and agreed to watch a Blue Planet disk with me tonight. And it's been a pretty good day.

But then I opened this email:
"Hi Jane,
Just wanted to say thanks for the short but sweet conversation today. You have no idea what it meant to have someone understand what I'm feeling at work these days. You absolutely nailed it with the whole perspective thing... Anyway, just wanted to say thanks. Bless you."

Say WUT?
I was embarassed to hang around her and her husband being all needy and clingy and I-have-no-friends-like and she's thanking me for our conversation? Oh, that's rich.

The moral of this long story is that God can use you even if you're a putz.

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