I slept too late in the morning. Church started at 10. I'd not planned ahead with a special outfit including shoes for each of my girls. I had no idea what I'd wear even. The clock said 9:20. Now we'd have to hurry! At a glance, they looked ok, so Tim told them to go get in the van. We drove to the church and had to park a ways out, Easter morning it fills up fast.
We got out of the van and it was obvious dd3 had not brushed her hair. It was still wet from her shower. And she put had black sandles on her feet, not the white ones I'd told her to put on. Ya know, because her dress was white and green pastel shades. Tim took her back to the van to brush her hair as I walked towards the church with the other two, pressure started at my spine. A good mom would've made sure her hair was brushed, dried and looking pretty. How could you have missed that? And black sandals? Why didn't you check her feet before you let her leave the house?!
My oldest walked in front of me. She had chosen her outfit, a lovely purple sweater dress. . . .with cerulean blue skinny jeans beneath. At least her hair is brushed! She owns lovely dresses and pretty dress shoes, but this Easter Sunday she has on a cute and comfortable outfit, great for shopping. . .
We walked into the church and despite it being mostly empty at this time of the morning the last three times we've visited, Easter Sunday is different. The chairs are filled and I see just a few spots with room for five. Near the front. Tim will never, ever go for that. The usher tries to usher me. I hate being bossed around. Even by nice people. I tell him I'm waiting for my husband and he asks how many. I say five and his eyebrows shoot up. As if five is a lot! He tries again to usher me to the front and I back away and say we'll wait. I tell him my husband is 6'4" he won't sit near the front. Thankfully Tim walks in at that moment and I'm saved from the helpful usher.
My patience is worn thin. My back is stiff with irritation at myself and frustration at not having had it all together for this Sunday morning. My mom made sure we had nice outfits for Easter Sunday. She got up early or stayed up late to make sure the homemade rolls were ready. My house was still a mess waiting to be cleaned before family shows up at 1. You are lazy. You should've had this. How could you have let something this important go?
We slip into the seats just as the worship team begins to sing. I relax a touch that we've made it. I glance around. Little girls with their hair done. Women looking lovely. Pretty dresses, obviously ironed and ready for this special day. I'd failed again. This is important! Looking good on Easter is important!! I wanted out. I would've happily left the church and not come back. I didn't measure up, my family didn't measure up and it was my fault!
I'd whispered a silent prayer for help as we'd waited for Tim in the outer foyer when I felt my patience slipping and irritation building. At that moment in the sanctuary God answered me, Really? Looking pretty is what's important here today?
I stopped whipping myself mentally and almost laughed out loud. As though taking off sunglasses my mindset brightened and disappointment melted to a puddle in the light of the truth. I joined in singing the hymn "Grace! Grace! God's grace! Grace that will pardon and cleanse within. Grace! Grace! God's grace. Grace that is greater than all our sin."
I'd love to tell you that the day went perfectly from that moment on and that I didn't have an attitude issue the rest of the day, just basked in the glory of His grace. But, you probably know me better than that. I fought my attitude at home while cleaning up in time for family to be here. Smooshed the irritation at my lack of perfection, the table cloth never made it onto the table before we ate, grandma would've made sure it was on you know.
Multiple times yesterday I was reminded of the lie I'd almost bought hook, line, and sinker! I'm not a horrible mom, and pretty on the outside is not what's important! Perfection in the prettiness is not the epitome of perfection. Living in God's grace, accepting it and moving on is, especially on Easter Sunday when we celebrate His ultimate sacrifice and victory over death and sin.
He is Risen!