Sundays are hard for me~

Back in October of 2004 we moved to my home town… in Olympia Wa.  Back to my roots.   Our little family is mixed Canadian and American.  Our first 8 years of marriage we lived in British Columbia ~ there was no question that God wanted our lives together to start there ~ we said our vows in Vancouver ~ our babies were born there ~ we established roots.   Life was full of huge ups and downs… Our little family has had more than our fair share of trials (all for another post!)  Medical trials is what finally put this mommy over the edge… I needed to be home.  Home… where everybody knows your name..  (ah… Cheers… what a great show!)  anywho… I needed home… family… friends… a different medical system.    Moving here has been a huge blessing in many ways…  many many blessings!

But… 5 plus years later… we are still Kind of churchless!!   We have paved our path here…We connected  with a few old friends, family, new friends, schools, doctors,  and jobs.  We were able to buy our first home and we enjoy family adventures in places I hold dear in my heart.  Many many blessings and beautiful memories!  God is good.  But…  Settling in a church ~ feeling connected ~ finding fellowship ~ being a part of God’s family ~ has been difficult for us.  I have never felt so unconnected ~ unplugged ~ a lack of peace about where to worship God!  For 20 years I have know God as my loving Savior and always had peace in this area!

I think you need A little insight into my heart~ Our sweet, funny, witty, delightful, intelligent little boy has a few significant medical challenges ~ not limited to but including low vision and a rare genetic *undiagnosed* bleeding condition ~  (I will author that Novel sometime in the near future!)   … AND…  my sweet, darling, loving, tender, witty, intelligent little girl has some anxiety we have been dealing with over the years.  God blessed me with these 2 amazing children ~ but  these 2 kids combined with my passionate heart has made it hard for me to feel peace taking my kids to Sunday school … trusting their care to the hands of the folks running kids church.  Let me explain a little…  We started in a large church.. and it was ok..we tried to connect for 2 years…  but when Abby turned 6 and graduated to the first grade… the Sunday school went from 30 to 130??  She didn’t handle it very well… and she has good vision!  My head went wild…. if Abby can’t handle this big of a kids church… what will it be like in 2 years with Sammy… we hadn’t really connected much with families… I was feeling broken from all the medical challenges… though I clung to God… there was not that feeling of peace… belonging… it didn’t feel like our church family… So we moved on… we connected at a smaller church… My husband and I loved it… again… we stayed for 2 years… we connected.  We joined a  bible study, we tried to get involved with VBS, I attended a womens retreat, my husband participated in drama.  We made friends.  We belonged.  But the kids… did not.  There was no desire for them to go.  The were afraid of Awana.  They didn’t have many friends.  There weren’t really any little boys… and few little girls our kids ages.  The kids were not connected.  My heart was broken.  I could not continue to pray for new kids, I could not continue to drag them to our church.  My heart was heavy.  After many conversations and some prayer ~ we made the difficult decision to move on ~ again!  2 churches ~ 4 years ~ why is this happening?  why are we not ‘settled’ ?  where is the peace I always have?  why has this been so long and hard?

For the last year we have bounced our poor children with visual challenges,  anxiety and shyness… around to a few churches… to no avail.  Discouragement is high.  My heart is still heavy.  I am at a loss.

Bear with me as I seem to switch gears… but not really!  you will see where I am going…

I home school our precious little man ~ he needs personal teaching ~ materials need to be eye friendly, they need to be bigger, closer, the pace slower, he needs more hands on than most kids ~ I love it~ I enjoy teaching him ~ and though it can be time consuming using the copy machine to enlarge his school work ~ I am happy to do it ~ I am helping him stay above the curve!  It is exhausting at times… but the most rewarding fulfilling job I have ever had!  I often wish I had started my daughter on this path too … but she has roots.. she has amazing peers and wonderful teachers… I have not had the heart to take her away from that!  So ~ my son also attends a wonderful program  through the public school system.  He gets to attend classes every week at a public school only for home schoolers!   It provides us with classes and resources that I am extremely grateful to use ~ it compliments my teaching!  All parents are encouraged to stay and help the teachers… which I do.  I can use the photocopy machine to enlarge his materials ~ fabulous!  His teachers are excellent and really care about his disability.  They work with us to make sure he sees everything the other kids do!  They are wonderful!  OK.. I have a point here..  Many of his classmates at this school for home schoolers go to the Big Church I talked about in the beginning.   The one that was too big and we weren’t super connected to … so we left.  That one!  Sammy has formed beginning friendships with some great little boys… from the church we left.  I feel so humbled.  Did I do the wrong thing 3 years ago?  We are praying … looking… seeking… hoping…. and 3 years later… we are back where we started… maybe?!

Last night I shared a stirring in my heart with my weary husband!  it has been with me for a little while…  perhaps we should try it again… the kids have grown… medical stuff is calm right now which makes the mommy calmer =) … we have learned ways to cope with the medical challenges and anxiety… we are growing… learning… living… loving… hoping… praying… maybe I was wrong… maybe God wanted us to take that crazy journey for a reason… maybe it was the only way to meet the people we met along the way… to learn things about ourselves and our family we would not have otherwise learned?  We are taking a leap of faith and going to give the big church I had roots in… the one we first tried to establish family roots in … one more chance.   I am humbled!  I need this journey to be over!  I need connection.. I need peace… we need fellowship that is constant.  = )    Pray with me that God will overwhelm me with peace… Pray with me that God will grant my children the strength and confidence to connect… Pray with me that God will grant me the same!   Pray with me that our family can call a church home…  I know it will take a few weeks or months..  but here we are Lord…  hoping, praying, seeking…     =)

Whew.. that was heavy!  I am taking a leap of faith posting such vulnerable thoughts out here!  I have made some amazing connections here… in blogland… in cyberspace… you ladies have beautiful hearts, you are encouraging and inspiring to me!  This is not my shining hour… not my encouraging post… it is simply where my heart is today… and most Sundays lately… if you are still reading at this point….  Thank you for staying… thank you for listening and for praying!

Blessings to you and your families this Sunday!

(publish Jenn – just click the publish button! – here goes!)

Just Jenn~

10 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Jessica yazmış:

    Your not settled because your not where you need to be yet. I firmly believe that. We’ve been here 5 years and have yet to find “our place”. We’ll be moving back to WA ASAP.

  • 2 Almost Unschoolers yazmış:

    Those are hard issues. It can be difficult to know when it’s God leading, and when it’s our own impatience – I’m sure Joseph had trouble being at peace in an Egyptian prison, but look how well that worked out! I’ll certainly join you pray 🙂

  • 3 Sarah yazmış:

    I absolutely and completely get where you are! I am a preacher’s kid, and when my father passed away about 15 years ago, I left the church entirely. Slowly but surely I made my way back. But I still don’t have a church that feels like home. A church where I feel I belong. I attend two different churches somewhat irregularly. There are things I like about each. But neither one belongs to ME…. I will pray that you find the church home that God has for you. Please pray the same for me!

  • 4 Becky @ Farmgirl Paints yazmış:

    I loved that you shared your real thoughts. To me that is what blogging is all about. Then you can hear encouragement from people all over the world! How great is that.

    Sounds like you have had a lot of trials. Many ups and downs. We have bounced around to a lot of churches too. We have one now, but it’s still not our ideal…if that even exists. It’s really large and we seriously don’t know a soul. So I understand that desire to feel connected and to gain some support from other Christians. Just keep your chin up and pray for God’s guidance. Sounds like you are doing a great job of trusting in Him. I am praying peace over you…right now!

  • 5 TAWny yazmış:

    Good for you to share such deep thoughts and feelings.
    I am amazed at how you can homeschool. I have so much respect for mothers that can do such a job.
    I’m sure you will find your place and comfort soon. It’s hard to be patient while things are planned for us!

  • 6 Mrs. Dunbar yazmış:

    Ah, girl. My heart is so heavy for you right now. I will be praying for you all this week. This morning our Pastor was talking about pride and one of the things he said we are prideful in is being parents and never saying sorry to our kids, that we were wrong. (Not that I am telling you you were wrong in changing churches.) But that you are MORE RIGHT than a lot of us in wondering, praying, and giving this big church another chance. Maybe the timing wasn’t right the first time. Who knows? But all we can do is our best at being parents and it really sounds like you are doing all you can for your kids. Truly, I applaud you and I hope oh so much that you will find a church home. Thank you for your honesty and your translucency. I’ll be praying for all of you! Hugs.

  • 7 naomig yazmış:

    It’s hard to be without fellowship, I hope you find what you need. I’ll pray for you. 🙂

  • 8 debbie yazmış:

    I am so glad you hit that publish button! I wish you the best on your journey. I think many of us have been along this same path.

  • 9 Amber yazmış:

    It is so hard to know the best route to take when our kids happiness and well being is involved. I think, by letting God lead you on this journey, you will eventually find your place. You are absolutely right in saying the journey to find the perfect church might be just as important for you. I’m eager to hear what happens when you return to the “big church.”

  • 10 Wendy @ Faith's Firm Foundation yazmış:

    First, thanks for following (I’m following back from Home School Hop:). Read some of your posts…love your obviously tender, funny heart. I will pray with you for peace and a church “home”.