I've been making the conscious effort to consider Sunday the first day of the week so that I feel like I'm starting off relaxed. Because, you know, it's relaxing getting four kids ready to go to church.
This Sunday I woke up to a kid who needed his bottom wiped. He asked so sweetly I couldn't pretend to be asleep. The dark outside gave the illusion of it being much earlier than 6:30 - my body was certain it was 3 a.m. The cold had creeped into the house, my knees were stiff and my feet already aching. My eyes were like cotton balls; dry, puffy, and unable to focus. My only thought was 'coffee, coffee now'.
That's actually my first thought every morning.
My second thought depends on where I set my sight.
Some days I choose resentment. Some days I think, "I can't dig any deeper." Some days I think that being an adult is a really stupid goal and that being a parent shouldn't be this hard.
Some days I just want all the noise and the need to stop.
Some days have been coming a little too regularly for me.
Sundays, though, are a weekly miracle.
I choose, on Sundays, to be refreshed, to drink deep of the living water.
Yesterday I was particularly weary and worn. The o'dark thirty wake up call didn't help, but other things had me twisted up. Things like the news, and choices for my kids, and so many changes, and jobs, and laundry - always laundry.
Then I cracked my bible open and read from Matthew 21:25-28:
But Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. but among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as ransom for many." (emphasis mine)
But among you it will be different.
Sundays are the day to gather with brothers and sisters, when we claim the truth that among us it will be different. Then we take that truth and live it at home first and then out in the world.
At our home this week, right now, forever, I am desperate for the motto to be "Among you it will be different."
I want our lives to be marked by a different way of life.
It's too easy to fall into the trap of animosity and annoyance, to begin to treat one another with disrespect and to make excuses for that behavior.
"Oh, I just need a break."
"We've been so busy."
"I'm not sleeping well."
These are just anchors keeping us in the choppy waters of poor excuses, because among us it should be different. Among us the world should fall away and the Kingdom of God should reign. Among us serving should be our natural instinct and excuses should be few.
I've thought about this much for the last 24 hours. I've always known our family was different (no one should talk about bodily functions as much as we do), but I want to make sure our different is because of Jesus. I want to know that the root of our upside-downess is because Jesus came in and made it so. I need to be certain that we are each seeking relationship with Christ and each other in an authentic way so that when we go out into the world our faith is credible. I know that it is not all on me, but I know that it begins with me.
Some days Sunday's carry me through, some days I have to fake it, some days I don't and I mess up and I have to apologize.
Today when I found weariness and exasperation shrugging around my shoulders like an old friend I repeated 'among us it will be different' in my head, as a prayer and plea. I tell you I could feel the transformation take place, feel my shoulders flinging free, feel resentment being replaced by willingness.
I felt different, and I knew, at least, that kind of different was right.