Friday, December 18, 2015

Late for Church

Sunday mornings, particularly the ones that Cory doesn't work, are an epic sort of thing. Holy, even. I'm not talking about church yet, I'll get to that. I'm talking about sleeping in.

With our little kids at ages 10, 9, and 7, we have sort of arrived. Saturdays are typically busy, but on Sunday, we Sabbath like a posse of bosses.

The kids come downstairs around, oh, 6:45 a.m. (Why do they come down at 6:45 a.m.? Why do I have to wake them up for school, but not for cartoons? Questions for Jesus.) We made a rule that they're not allowed to turn on the TV until 7:30 as a deterrent, but all that has accomplished so far is to make us doubt our own wisdom and seriously question whether we're the victims of reverse-reverse psychology. Because for 45 minutes, they are a loud, bickering, tattling mess.

Whatever, man. I'm still in bed and even if college hadn't sent us off with Bachelor's degrees and each other, it taught us both how to fall asleep on a dime, a life skill we're loathe to let go.

Sunday mornings are great in theory, until the morning Calvin and Ruby are slated as Shepherds One and Two in the church Christmas program and the parents oversleep.

In all fairness, I blame the kids.
If they'd stuck to the script with their usual morning brew of infighting and spilled cereal, it would have been a non-issue.  The rascals had to go and be all harmonious and serene on one of our most important Sunday mornings to date.

C & R raced out the door just in time to costume up.
I bemoaned, for the 13,505 time (365 X 37, because I was completely bald for my first two years) that I do not possess two-day hair. Don't make me prove it. This hair must be washed daily, lest we all suffer a certain greasy despair. (gag)

No time for a proper blow-dry or fluffing.
No time for make-up.
And we were out the door, for our short walk to church.

Here's the thing: neither Shepherd One nor Shepherd Two care if my lashes are naked or my bangs are limp. They just need my eyes on them.

Here's the other thing: I've had some experience with this sort of thing, and here's my advice: Wear something that strikes a balance between casual and collected. Then throw on some Dr. Pepper Lipsmackers. Make the whole mess its own sort of look. Pretend to be the woman who "wakes up like this" because, hello, you are pretty much that woman. Granted, your version or mine might not be exactly what the phrase brings to mind...but God didn't give us active imaginations or the ability to feign oblivion for naught.

Part of our Sunday ritual is to take a photo in the alley that leads us to church. Even when we're running behind. Even when we're frazzled. Even when Silas is wearing track pants, which is actually every single Sunday, but that's neither here nor there.

The alley is always a different riff on the same recipe: broken fences, food wrappers, old tires, beater cars, telephone poles, and weeds that almost pass as flowers. The only thing that changes is the ratio, and last week was heavy on broken glass.

It was exactly as beautiful as it sounds; as beautiful as it always is.

My Running Late Uniform
Skinny jeans
Contrasting belt
White T

Most important of all: a statement necklace.

I happen to have a real thing for fair-trade jewelry. This is my new favorite, from Greenola Style. It's hand-made in Bolivia from acai seeds. (And on sale right now for $17. What.)

Guys, I keep telling you. You need at least one statement necklace, especially if you're the kind of girl who thinks it's the last thing you need. If you, like me, are an almost-strictly jeans & T girl, you need something that says, "Hey, it's Sunday. I'm fancy today. Here's proof." It's a sure way to look like you're trying, and I should know.

I've worn this one three times in the past week, two of them being on weekdays. So, if you happened to see me last Thursday with mah pearls on, I can only assume you thought it was Sunday. My apologies for the confusion. It's just that it's grey and hits at the right spot and is totally unique. I have no choice but to break my own die-hard rules of slothfulness sometimes.

Bada boom.
It sure beats bunny slippers and fleece pants.

We made it just in time for the show, so perfectly imperfect, real, and humble.
It was the very picture of redemption. God filled a manger with a King, filled the earth with His presence. Filled a kingdom with battered souls like you and me, a conglomeration of our shared drama and all our tattered edges.

As sometimes happens, we gained in number on the walk back home.

And we were still every bit as wonky as ever.
I love us.

Here's to hoping we make it up on time this weekend, but either way, I'll show up just as I am, however that happens to be, and I hope you'll do the same.

Because we're better together, that's all.
And because if we let him, God will point us to himself in the midst of all the other junk we get wrong along the way.

TGIF, Homies.
I love you just the way you are.