I was nervous going in. I mean, I was the only crazy bringing in 6 kids ranging from 3.5 months all the way to 10-years-old.
I'd prepped everyone. Laid out clothes. Brushed hair. Pouted when the matching clothes wear changed out of because they had food on them and replaced with a terrible combination of yuck. I wanted to feel like we weren't falling apart before we even arrived. We mingled the few minutes before finding a row large enough to seat us all but then decided it was possibly a better idea to divide if I was gonna conquer this. Even with my hubs planning to assist, I knew this night would be a test of the harder exam coming in two days. The music began. I counted heads. Took a deep breath and released it slowly. We began to sing. With the baby in a car seat next to me trying to drift into dreamland for a short evening nap, one little sitting with her daddy behind me, one big in front of me, one gently dancing loops around the pole in the aisle, and the boys filed in to the row with me trying to figure out what they were supposed to be doing, I felt scattered. I thought through lyrics and really did mean them as I sang them, broken, between whispers of explanation to those boys. I tried to focus on the words as they poured out of my mouth but then my dancer would get a little wild drawing attention away from the one we were singing praises to. I tried not to worry that my hubs needed me to take his little thinking he may need to be doing something else. Comforting the big in front of me, letting her know that the rhythm may be foreign but the heart is the same. Singing worship to my God while pulling a blanket to cover that baby to deter her from watching those around us. A community worship night is just what the community needed and possibly exactly what I needed. What I needed to be reminded of what true worship looks like in this season of life. This kind of worship was illogical. Attempting to train appropriate behavior in specific environments to my lots of littles takes so much effort, thought, and action. As they shuffled from row to row with reminders of volume and discreetness as to not distract those worshiping our Jesus, I had two options:
- cry out of pure frustration at my lack-of-ability to worship in the same manner as everyone and feel cheated
- OR I smile.
I chose to smile. Smile through the crazy. Smile through aching back because it meant I was blessed to be holding a giant, heavy child. Smile because as I held her and sang I could pause and ask, "Do you know who the 'you' is we are singing about?" I could gently answer, "What's a palm?" only to have the privilege to watch her eyes light up as I showed her and then explained how tight God holds us. This season of worship doesn't always look like the emotional high that comes with the brochure picture of hands raised in complete release. Some times it looks like a lap full of loving correction. It may not include a public bend knees in surrender but only a single knelt knee to spark the love of our savior. This season doesn't always allow for energy to shout praise. THIS season of worship will likely be full of your child learning true worship on her mother's lap. Sunday is coming. A celebration of a year in the books for The Valley. A celebration of those who have come to Christ and are following through with baptism. A celebration of the great God has done in this season. I will worship in this season. I won't pout about it, begrudge those not here, or wish it away. THIS season of worship is vital to their next season of worship. THIS season isn't about me and how I want to give praise. It's about guiding my children through meaningful utterances to our maker. It's about showing them God's peace amidst the chaos. It's about sorting through their confusion of new spaces. Worship is a lifestyle but corporate worship times are a time for showing my littles the wide array worship is given: posture, emotion, actions. They will learning how to give their gifts as offerings to thank the one who sewed those into them. They will learn their form may look different from those around them and thus proving the vastness of God's creativity. In this season of worship, the days are long but the years are short. I will wait with expectancy to see how my littles will begin to worship
my their Creator.