Sunday, August 14, 2011

realization: church

The best piece of advice I received a few years back was from the wife of a sergeant nearing retirement (in fact, he's now retired). She told me [paraphrased], "You can't do everything. You have to give yourself permission to smile and say 'no.' Most people will not understand what it's like to have a husband in law enforcement and what that does to you and your family. You build your own hedges around yourself and your family and to heck with everyone else." Actually she was probably even more mild than that (that's who she is) but it really stuck with me.

It sounds lame, even now, as I've written it here. Of course! Set your own boundaries. Be good to your family. But I feel that in law enforcement our boundaries can be so different from everyone else's -- and for reasons which are more or less incomprehensible to those around us.

I'm still in the mode where I feel like I do everything by myself -- not just social events, but the entire life of our family. I won't list everything out because it will be bad for my psyche, but one thing I've really been struggling with lately is church. No, I'm not going to get all religious on you, just work with me here and know that we go to church -- more often than not -- on Sunday mornings.

When I say "we" I mean myself and the kids; husband is either working or sleeping on Sunday mornings. We've been going to this nearby teeny tiny church started by our friends but it's such an effort. There's nothing restorative or regenerative or inspirational about Sunday morning for me with three kids in tow there. It's a chore, and certainly not a joy, to participate in Sunday morning. For the last two Sundays, however, we've visited a church I attended years and years ago when I was very single and very childless. It's grown and changed in all these years, but some of the same dear people are there, as well as some "new" dear people our family knows now, too.

The guilt is, I've enjoyed being there these last two weeks. It's all the things I haven't had at the teeny tiny church. But it's 20 minutes away as opposed to 10 minutes. I'll be leaving behind friends who I'm sure will be crushed at the teeny-tiny church. And I can't decide if I'm being selfish to just "church-jump" this way or if my family really will benefit from being at this other church more permanently. The clincher for me is that my husband might actually -- gasp -- go to church with us at this new place. That would seal the deal for me if we could all worship together.

I'm dialing this in to the "married single mom police wife life." If I wasn't as dry as the Sahara Desert I wouldn't be craving a sort of restorative Sunday morning like I am. But, here I am. It's how we roll at HHPD these days. And as a LEO wife, I'm not expecting anyone else to understand, or agree, but I think I'll be jumping ship to this new church shortly. And I'm sad. Again.


5ohWifey said...

Girl, I totally get it. When 5ohHubby was on graves I absolutely jumped ship on a church we had been going to. I left a lot of friends and some of them i've actually lost just due to timing. Now that I have 5ohBaby I know I would absolutely do the same thing. The whole point of church is to bring you close to God and recharge you for the week out in this world. If it was a resteraunt your friends owned and everytime you ate there you weren't getting fed, you wouldnt keep eating there. Same thing goes for churches. You need to be fed.

MONICA-LnP said...

I feel you sister!you gotta do whats best for you!just do it as my neighbor would say

Meadowlark said...

Just touching base and hoping you're finding the peace you deserve. :)

theblessingsofmoderndomestication said...

I completely understand. The Mr. is usually working midnights Sundays so church is difficult to get to, especially if it's just me taking the kids. I have always been a firm believer that church is based upon a community of believers who gather together to 1) Worship God together incl the reading of His word, 2)Encourage one-another 3) Serve the Lord where He leads. Keeping it simple & biblical is my motto. I don't think it's healthy to "church shop" all the time, but everyone needs a place to Grow-in-God otherwise ~ what's the point? You need support from the fellow members of the church especially as a LEOW. We do have different lifestyles and things to cope with. I hope you don't base your decision upon 'people pleasing'. If the folks in the little church see that God is moving you in another direction they should be happy for you. When you leave the service you should feel that you are leaving different ~ encouraged, uplifted and empowered by His Spirit as well as fellow members of the church. I was so touched after reading this. Been there. Totally legit to ask, "Where does your family fit?" We are all members of one body ~ the body of Christ. I say give it a try (the new old place) for a few months and see what your convictions are. I wish you all the best!

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Tiny churches have their good points: you get to know everybody, everybody knows you. Big churches have more people, hence more ministries, more opportunities for connecting on many more levels, more services for the whole family. I'll bet your kids find fun, exciting Sunday morning sessions to dive into while you go for the worship service. Good luck with this will be good for your whole family. Who knows? Maybe even Hubby will find a place in the new mix.

Dawn said...

I stumbled upon your blog today. I'm also the wife of a police officer, and I believe we live in the same area....and may even have some LEO shared friends. If that is the case, like I think it is, I would like to invite you to attend church with me one Sunday. Let me know if you might be interested :-)

Lacey said...

Hey!My Husband and I tried a couple churches the first couple years of our marriage and it was really hard to find something that would work with his work. I was really depressed and lonely bc I was new to the area. Finally we found a church that has a thriving life group ministry if a person is willing to get involved. We skip around services bc of his shift but we make it work. The most helpful thing is the LEO/Firefighter/Military Wives life group. When our men's lives are too hectic to be with us, we can still help ourselves and our marriages by support of women that know how our life works, or sometimes doesn't work. Soon we will have a blog. I'll let you know when we do.