So, this weekend was another weekend where the girls slept at Gigi and Papa’s house! I know, I know, I’m SERIOUSLY spoiled. Here’s why that happened:
Our church was having a day retreat this Saturday and I really wanted to go. I’ve been feeling seriously disconnected from God and beating myself up over not taking the time to read and pray and I just felt like this retreat was something that I ought to do. And I wanted Josh to go with me. He wasn’t altogether thrilled with the idea. The cost was $35 per person, and we were prepared to pay it and go. Then this past Sunday night we sat down, looked at our finances, and realized we didn’t really have an extra $70 to spend. So it was decided we would not go after all.
We had made plans with our friends Marc and Lori to have dinner on Friday night, so Gigi and Papa were already lined up to babysit. Then our minister e-mails us and says “Hey, are y’all coming?!?” And I had to tell him that we had just reviewed our finances (like he had counseled us to do on a regular basis) and that it just wasn’t going to work out. So he says, come for free! So I got with Marc and Lori and coerced them into letting us sleep over Friday night (they live in Leander and the retreat is in Leander and gas is $3.39 a gallon… you do the math) and then sweet-talked Gigi and Papa into overnight kid-duty. Yay!
So this retreat was about St. Francis of Asissi and how he served God. The history was very interesting, and it seems good ole Francis was an interesting guy, very in tune with God’s creation and full of love for everyone. Kyle Dugan was the speaker, and here’s what has really stuck with me from everything he talked about: It’s all about LOVE. It’s not about how many times I pray or how much of the bible I read today or tomorrow. God loves me irregardless of whether or not I do those things. He does not want me to feel guilty or shamed because I don’t read enough or pray enough. He certainly wants for me to WANT to do those things, but he’ll understand if I’m not in a place right now where that comes naturally.
Something else that came up while in my small group discussing this, was that as a mother and wife, it’s way more important that I show love to my children and husband than for them to see me reading my bible or hear me praying. My ministry at this season of my life is my family. Dwight, one of our shepherds, told me that I’m showing God’s love through how I take care of my family, how I speak to them, how I take little opportunities to tell my children about God, etc. etc.
WOW! I just feel so much better! So, now my focus isn’t on “I’m such a bad Christian, I didn’t pick up my bible today” it’s on “how can I love these sweet little girls and in doing so show them God’s love and mercy?” Way cool.