Monday, February 12, 2007

And We Cry Holy, Holy, Holy

ETA: If you are Google-ing and trying to find the song lyrics or video, please click here.

Ahh, Monday morning. It's quiet, we slept in a bit and I woke up with terrible back pain again. I thought my back problems were over but I guess that was just wishful thinking. My back has been bothering me for a few days now. So I start my day with a big cup of coffee and a handful of ibuprofen. *sigh*

Thankfully Kiddo seems to be in a good mood. He went to bed about 10:30 last night. He crawled into bed with me sometime after 6:30 and slept there till 9:30. That's a pretty long night for him. He had a nap yesterday too. I wonder if he might be having a growth spurt. That would explain my back issues.

Yesterday we went to a new church. We decided to try out this gigantic bible church about 20 minutes away. The main building of this place has 4 floors and a congregation of about 2000 people twice on Sundays. That's 4000! It's funny, we've attended some large churches in town, much larger than this, but this church felt much more busy than anything I've been to.

We dropped Kiddo off in the childcare. This is always a test for me. If Kiddo resists, I have been known to take that as a sign that the church may not be for us. If I, as the neurotic first time mommy, am treated poorly this does not bode well for the church either. Yesterday though, we checked him in at the welcome desk and filled out the paperwork among swarms of people. They divide the kids up by age of course but have enough children that each room holds kids that have only 3 months difference in age, instead of the usual 1 yr olds, 2 yr old, 3 yr olds, etc. We were walked back to the room (one of probably 10 in the hallway) and checked him in at the door. He didn't even look back; just strolled on in and started playing like he'd been there a million times before. Before I even had the opportunity to check things out or talk to the teacher, we were whisked away to the sanctuary.

The security measures for childcare involve each child being assigned a number and the child and parents receive identical numbered cards. The child's card is clipped to the back of his/her shirt and the parents hold the other for identity purposes at pick up. If there is a problem with your child during the service, the number is flashed up on a screen in the sanctuary. Everything happened so fast with dropping Kiddo off that all I could do was cling to that card. It was my only connection to him; the only thing that could identify me as his mom and he as my son. It was such a scary thought. My child doesn't know how to identify himself. He can't tell you his name, he doesn't know mine and there was nothing on him with his name. What if he lost his tag, or got separated from the group? The teacher said as we were leaving that they were going to go outside and play - how did 2 adults keep track of so many 2 year olds? Kiddo is not known for smooth transitions from play situations; how were they going to get him back inside? The thoughts were racing through my head as we sat in the comfortably padded theater style seats of the sanctuary. I clung to the card so tightly that it left indentions in my moist palm.

I don't think I heard a word of the hour long service. My time was spent trying to relax, to stop shaking, worrying, fretting. It was only an hour and 15 minutes, I could do that. I could suffer the Kiddo-ectomy for that long. Thousands of people drop off their children each Sunday, and I haven't heard any news stories lately of anything bad happening. He would be fine. We would be reunited in just a short while. Lord, please bring us back together safely. Please let him have a good time and help me Lord, please, to relax.

On top of all of that, I was also dealing with being in church for the first time in a few weeks. Even though I think of myself and certainly my family as being spiritual, christian and trying to daily walk in God's will, the act of going to church often eludes us. We don't go very regularly- for many reasons (none of them good) but when we do and I am actually in the service I tend to go through a mild exorcism of sorts. I am always overcome with emotion and spend most of the service trying to hold back tears. By the time everything was over, and though I could not tell you the first thing about what was said, I was spiritually, emotionally and physically drained.

Weak from hunger, thirst, and emotional distress we practically sprinted back to Kiddo's room (well, I sprinted, Hubby just tried to keep up), dodging the hundreds of people swarming the hallways doing just the same thing. When we got to the door, he was fine; happily (and nicely) playing with the other kids, he couldn't care less that we were there. After calling his name a few times I guess he figured he better come to us. When I scooped him up he gave me a truly heartfelt hug and sweet pats on the back. He smelled so good and sweet and was warm and squishy and I felt like I had been separated from him for far too long. He was talkative and happy and though we were leaving his new friends and fun toys, he didn't put up a fuss at all. We three walked out hand in hand, like a real family; talking and laughing and having fun. It was a rare, special moment.

As for the church itself, it may be a good candidate for us. It's big enough that we can ease into it at our own pace. That is, we can be anonymous long enough to get comfortable and not feel pressured by members to get involved before we are ready. I actually prefer, for the long run, a smaller church setting, but for my family as a whole a bigger church is probably a better fit. Also, and this is HUGE, there are people our age there. Most of the churches we've been to recently may have one or two couples our age - no really. But probably 80% of this church's congregation is made up of couples in thier 30s. The only "real" problem I have with it is the music. Don't roll your eyes. I know. But you have to understand that church music is what got me into church to begin with. It was my first and most influential exposure to Christianity and salvation and because of those beginnings I am a bit of a church music snob. This church has a praise band and 4 singers that lead all of the music. They have a choir that is open to everyone (re: no audition necessary) and it performs maybe once a month. The regular singers lead the music in a rock concert-like fashion every Sunday. And even though the band is much better than most that I've seen and the singers lead songs that are slightly more than your average, yucky "praise music", I still lament the fact that if we commit to this church there really won't be an outlet for me to sing in on a regular basis. Which really all that means is that if I want to get back into a good choral music setting, I will have to find one outside the convenience of a church home. Which, by all standards of my life, means I am even less likely to find something and do something about it. Oh well.

At least we are moving in a positive direction.


Anonymous said...

what is the name of that church? I was watching Joel Osteen preach on tv at a big church in Houston and I thought of you and some other family I have living there. You are near there, right? I might have to come and meet you next month!

I'm glad you were able to retrieve your ds after church safely, hehe. Once you start going more regularly, you will get used to dropping him off and he'll actually get used to it too. It took my kids a while to get comfy in the kid's nursery at church.


Anonymous said...

OH and I looooooove that song!! Now you've got it stuck in my head!


Dawn said...

Hey Amanda!
Joel Osteen is at Lakewood church in Houston. We are actually in Austin and went to Hill Country Bible Church, NW campus. I don't think it is televised, but a couple of the other big churches we've been to here are.

I would love to meet you when you come out this way. We go to Houston fairly often, so if you head that direction maybe we could meet for coffee or something.

Yeah, that song is one of my favorites too. After I hear it, it runs in my head for a couple of days. :)

Amanda said...

well we will be visiting the Houston area (family) and the Dallas area to meet Blaire, hopefully. I would love to meet y'all :)

Amanda said...

I'm here from the blog party...just snooping around. I thought this post was just interesting. I'm a former children's pastor and I like hearing your thoughts on dropping your kiddo off. (who by the way is cute! i also looked thru all 4 of your other blogs! sheesh, who's the one who needs a life now?) Anyway, I'm rambling. I just wanted you to know I appreciate your candor. Come visit my party when you get a chance

dt said...

HCBC is a great church. I'm glad you felt comfortable there. Your comments about small vs. big church is interesting. I think that most people want to belong to a small church with all the programs and community of a large church. I think the secret is to find a larger church that can make it feel smaller. God's best as you make the time for church. dt

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