My fam

I may or may not have mentioned that I’m working a lot right now. The nature of my contract accounting work is such that Fridays are my Mondays, Mondays are my Thursdays and Wednesdays are a magical land known as Trips To The Grocery Store and Possibly Having Interaction With Real Life Human Beings.

I’m actually holding up alright under the weight of the workload I have taken upon myself. Deadlines are being met, children are alive and well and I even manage to have some one-one-one time with my husband. Ahem.

Because I have well over thirty hours of work crammed into a four-day period, some things have to give. The main thing being my attendance at church. I haven’t gone on the last three Sundays.

(And all the Southern Baptists gasped in horror.)

It’s not that I don’t want to go. We have an amazing church family and a pastor who (Looks at you like he can see into your soul, and) always speaks pure Truth. My favorite part of the service is the singing; music speaks to my heart. I always walk out of there encouraged and refreshed.

There just really are only so many hours in a day and I truly can’t do it all. Going to church may sound like it could easily fit in, but anyone who attends with small children can tell you that it’s an affair that lasts all morning. There is the getting ready, the drive there and back, the service itself, the friends who want to visit with you. From the time we walk out the door to the time we arrive home is at least three hours.

I could stay up until the wee hours of the morning to work. However. I don’t know about you, but my brain goes into sleeper mode after ten o’clock in the evening. I can hammer out a blog post (See: this) but reviewing assignments with complicated mathematical formulas is simply impossible for me to accomplish. As it is, I wake up at six o’clock in the morning and start working shortly thereafter. A girl has to sleep sometime.

A major part of the equation is that I have this husband and three kids that I not only love, but also (for the most part) like. I want to be able to stop working for lunch and dinner breaks, tickle-fests on the couch and snuggles before bedtime. This means that if for this short season I need to skip going to God’s house in order to be able to spend a few hours with the little people at my house, that is exactly what I am going to do. I’ve had to do it before and I will likely have to do it again. Such is my life. I can take my Sabbath on Wednesday.

It’s not as though the only thing that I am missing out on is church. The other four members of my family have gone on many an adventure to the beach, on the ATV and out fishing. All of this while I have been stuck at home, sitting at the kitchen table with my laptop and trying to work as furiously as I can so that when they get home I might be able to afford the time for a rousing game of Bocce ball on our back lawn.

The reason that I am writing about this in so much detail is that Matthew and I have had a few of those kind-but-mostly-passive-aggressive comments about the fact that I haven’t been at church. He’s been accosted by people with a condescending tone who ask, “So where’s Angella?” I’ve had people make (seemingly) innocuous comments that they missed me at church. Most people who make these statements and who ask where I am do it with a good heart. I know this. As I said above, we have a truly great church family. It is just those select few who have that aura of Judgment about them that get my back up and make me upset.

It’s not like I’m skipping church because I’m rebelling. I am simply providing for my family and need to do it beyond the financial realm. I need to be here for them emotionally and physically as well. I am doing all that I do to the best of my ability. God and I are good regardless of whether or not I sit on a pew.

I’m not trying to lash out at those who sitting pretty with their views that I might be doing it wrong. I have been in their shoes. I have thought that since I’ve figured out what works faith-wise (for me) that everyone else should do exactly the same as I do. I am an intelligent woman. I must have figured out the “right” way to live my faith and have God figured out. (Uh, yeah. Have God figured out? Not possible.) I finally matured enough in my faith to come to the realization that God is God is God and that means something entirely unique and personal for each and every human being. There are absolutes, yes, but then there is the relationship. It’s different for everyone.

The way I live my out faith is flawed and imperfect and dotted with missteps and stumbling but that is because I am human. I am not God. I am in no position to judge anyone else on Earth about how they live their life because I am no better than they are. I really wouldn’t want God’s job anyway; with great power comes great responsibility.

If you’re asking where I am or saying that you miss me because you simply miss me, I appreciate it. I miss you too. If you’re asking where I am or saying that you miss me because you are trying to passive-aggressively point fingers me for not doing what you think I should be doing, I’m asking you to knock it off already.

Don’t judge me. I’m doing the best that I can.

I’m pretty sure that God will back me up on that one.

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  1. bethany actually August 31, 2009 5:48 am edit

    Far be it from me to judge you about church attendance. After all, I don’t even HAVE a church home yet in our “new” town where we’ve lived for over a year. I’ve attended plenty of worship services, but have skipped plenty of Sundays as well, and I have not jet joined a church family where I will be held accountable. *sigh*

    Also, I don’t know the people who’ve been asking Matthew or leaving comments about your church attendance. So keep that in mind too.

    That said, I couldn’t help but think of my dad when I read this post. He’s a really good-hearted, well-intentioned person who always manages to be awkward and say almost exactly the wrong thing in conversations with people he doesn’t know really well—and sometimes even with them. I can totally see him giving someone a hard time about their lack of attendance at church out of concern, but having it come out as nosy or annoying. You never know, some of the folks who’ve been bugging you about it might genuinely be concerned. Let’s hope that’s the case, anyway. :-)

    Also, let’s hope your workload eases up enough to let you enjoy worshipping and singing with your church family once in a while! I know I really miss that when I don’t have it.

    bethany actually’s last blog post..swimming and shucking, painting and Chucking

  2. Meg August 31, 2009 7:08 am edit

    Girl, I am a minister’s daughter, and I can tell you that he wouldn’t say a word. Work is work, family is family. It’s not like you’re just sleeping until noon every day and watching soap operas on the couch until you eat nachos for dinner and start all over again.

    Though that sounds pretty appealing, too.

    Meg’s last blog post..oh! and?

  3. angella August 31, 2009 6:09 pm edit

    That would be a pretty sweet life, or maybe just a great long weekend ;)

  4. Hilda August 31, 2009 7:08 am edit

    we recently had a series of sermons at our church all about “lists”… basically the idea was that every single person has their own list of things that they have to either stay away from, or keep up with in order to keep their relationship with God on track. In other words, some people need to go to church in order to keep their faith alive, while for some that’s not nearly as important as say spending time with family. The whole idea was that as long as it’s within what the Bible says is right, you basically do what works for you! If what you’re doing is working for you and for your relationship with God, then good! You’re doing the right thing, no matter what others say.

    Hilda’s last blog post..Hi Ho Hi Ho its off to the mountains we go….

  5. angella August 31, 2009 6:15 pm edit

    That is a GREAT message. I am a lover of lists and that makes total sense. Thank you for sharing that.

  6. Anissa@FreeAnissa August 31, 2009 7:09 am edit

    Thank you for understanding that not everyone needs to have the same relationship with God that you do. I look at it as I would any other relationship….you can never have the same love for two people. Why would I expect my walk with God to mirror yours?

    And if people are judging you? Poo on them!

    Anissa@FreeAnissa’s last blog post..It’s just a cold. It’s just a cold. It’s just a cold.

  7. witchypoo August 31, 2009 7:12 am edit

    Where God is love, you are glorifying God by loving your family. Just once, Matthew should answer the passive aggressives by explaining that your crack habit doesn’t allow you to be so social anymore.

    witchypoo’s last blog post..AfterBill

  8. angella August 31, 2009 6:18 pm edit

    I’ve been laughing at that reply ever since I read it. Awesome.

  9. Tanya Duerksen August 31, 2009 7:50 am edit

    I am with you Angella. When I don’t go – I miss church, my family, the singing, the teaching and the fellowship. But sometimes you just can’t and that is it. I am sure most are well intentioned and simply miss you since you are an easy person to miss. However, I am with “witchypoo” and think Matthew should try the crack comment just for giggles. I love you. I will pray for you today; for strength, a special dose of the peace that surpasses all understanding and few minutes to bathe in the giggles of your children which God has given you to love.

  10. Sizzle August 31, 2009 8:10 am edit

    I think if we all focused on our own lives more and less on passing judgment on others, we’d be embodying God a whole lot more. This coming from a woman who hasn’t made it to church in months but is still, despite this, still going deeper and deeper into her own spirituality.


    Sizzle’s last blog post..Hit Puree

  11. Jen August 31, 2009 8:13 am edit

    My mom always used to say, “Going to church makes you a Christian as much as going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger.”

    You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. The great thing about going to church after not being there for a while is that you walk out EVEN MORE refreshed and challenged and motivated in your walk with the Lord. I hate missing church as well. But, I’ve missed a lot this summer due to travel. It happens. It’s between YOU AND GOD and that is it.

    I know you’d rather be singing than marking long accounting assignments. I think that’s just obvious.

    Jen’s last blog post..Dear Internet, this is what happens when it’s 11pm and you forgot to take your crazy pill the night before

  12. mpotter August 31, 2009 8:19 am edit

    sounds to me like you’ve figured out the most important part(s) of spirituality.
    kudos to you!

    you’ve got such a way with words- even when you tackle such sticky issues.
    i enjoyed this post.

    and i say: keep on keepin’ on.
    your family will remember these times.
    not the ones where you were sitting on the pew.

    mpotter’s last blog post..ciento

  13. angella August 31, 2009 6:21 pm edit

    “not the ones where you were sitting on the pew”


  14. Domestic Extraordinaire August 31, 2009 8:29 am edit

    About a year ago I gave up going to church on Sundays. My husband works L-O-N-G work weeks and sometimes Sunday is his only day off during the week. He was getting upset and slightly resentful of the fact that I was gone he was off. I prayed about it and came to the conclusion that my walk with God isn’t dependent on whether I actually sit in a pew or not each week. When people would call & ask I would tell them why I was staying home. To spend time with and encourage my hard working hubby-some didn’t understand “He needs to get to church too” But, others (mostly my friends) understood and stood behind me.

    Geez, that got long winded. A simple “I hear ya” probably would have done…LOL.

    Domestic Extraordinaire’s last blog post..Celebrating Back to School With A QUICK Giveaway!

  15. Danica August 31, 2009 10:14 am edit

    I’ve been cleaning most Friday nights, pretty much every Saturday from morning until night, and most Sunday afternoons through the summer. Every Sunday morning it’s a battle – go to church or linger in bed and then enjoy a few hours of relaxation with coffee and a book and my family. Most weeks, I find I have chosen the right option, regardless of which option I chose. There are only so many hours my friend.

    Danica’s last blog post..The Only One

  16. Laura August 31, 2009 10:19 am edit

    I get those same ‘missed you at church’ comments. I know some are very genuine and some are more judgemental. When I do get them, I always feel the need to justify my absence.

  17. Vicki August 31, 2009 10:26 am edit

    I’m kinda in the same boat. But for us, people really don’t know who we are for the most part and therefore don’t care. We are doing the best we can, and I know God is okay with it. I hate being judged, but know it’s human nature and happens. The nice thing is…I think most people really do miss you:)

    Vicki’s last blog post..Happy Birthday, Lauren!

  18. Elaine August 31, 2009 11:00 am edit

    I just can’t stand it when people are so quick to judge. It’s not their job to do so anyway. I’m sure they have their own battles with their faith journey. Everyone does.

    P.S. That picture of your threesome up there just makes me so excited to have a similar line-up! hee hee… :D

    Elaine’s last blog post..Look At Me! Up Here on My Soapbox!

  19. Sharon August 31, 2009 11:22 am edit

    I definitely understand. I haven’t been to church in ages. I don’t get judge-y comments from people, which is kinda nice. I go to such a large church, and I haven’t made many connections there, so nobody would notice if I never showed up again. My parents ask about my church from time to time, but they are thankfully very understanding about needing to take time out for myself.

    God will definitely back you up on that one. Like you said, it’s the relationship that’s the most important thing.

    Sharon’s last blog post..Something To Live For

  20. hillary August 31, 2009 12:27 pm edit

    The passive-aggressive comments would drive me nutty! I’d probably be tempted to say something wildly inappropriate like “sorry I couldn’t make it to church on Sunday – I was too hung over from the night before.” Your way of dealing with it is probably a better route to take :)

    hillary’s last blog post..Paint A Portrait Of My Mystery

  21. slynnro August 31, 2009 12:42 pm edit

    You won’t face any judgment from me!

  22. Kami's Khlopchyk August 31, 2009 12:53 pm edit


    church is about 1% of a person’s faith….

    Kami’s Khlopchyk’s last blog post..Kindergarten Kamden and Grade 3 Jack

  23. ali August 31, 2009 4:16 pm edit

    it really irks me that ANYBODY would feel they have the right to judge you and your faith. BOO to them!

    ali’s last blog post..homecoming: not good for the ass. or the boobies. BUT! I have a DVR!

  24. Sarah August 31, 2009 6:08 pm edit

    I’m not at all religious, but my feeling is that if you feel the only way to connect with God is to be at church, you are far less spiritual than you even realize. You can’t see, hear or feel God. to be in His presence only requires that you believe in it, and you can do that anywhere. I think God would more than approve with your current decision. Keep on doin’ what you’re doin!

    Sarah’s last blog post..On Not Selling Out to Baby Culture

  25. gorillabuns August 31, 2009 7:35 pm edit

    yep, i think God has your back.

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