Choosing What is Better: Why I (a pastor’s wife) haven’t been to church in nearly four months.

This is a scary post for me to write. It’s not about orphan care, trump, or Scripture. It’s about my heart–it’s an expose, if you will; and it’s an invitation into a vulnerable, messy place. You are welcome. 

I haven’t taken Scout to church since she was nearly two months old. I went one time since, but was filled with so much anxiety after being chased and pulled at (all in genuine love and excitement) that I haven’t gone back. 

It’s been a lonely, isolating season, but it’s been a beautiful one, too. I’ve removed myself from most of the world in order to protect my time as a wife, a mom, a homemaker. I’ve decided to stop inviting in numerous new relationships, and instead to invest in the few long-run relationships. Those that have been there in the long-run, and those that will continue to be there as we journey through life together. The ones that require no explanation or apologies. The ones that invite us to just be.  

I never imagined taking a pause from church…and when people would ask where I’ve been, why they haven’t seen me, I would usually resort to explaining how Scout’s nap sched. is on point, and I don’t want to mess that up. Or how, it seems totally pointless for me to sit in the back and be completely unable to listen to the message when I could read my Bible at home during a nap and walk away more refreshed. Both are true reasons. They are the tangible reasons…But neither are the reason I’ve pressed the pause button.

The last time I went to church, I sat in service, without Scout, and it was a message on Martha and Mary. The classic, age-old tale of the busy sister vs. the sister who chilled out and listened to Jesus. In the middle of the message, I felt the Lord free me from my guilt of not being the “pastor’s wife” I always imagined: front row, best wife medallion, lover of all, well-known-as-husband’s biggest fan, ETC. ETC. I realized I had been putting all this pressure on myself to get up and be the superest of supermoms with the perfectly kept house and the PDF (parent directed feeding) guru who never let’s her child’s schedule rule her, and the most “spiritually” mature of mommy’s that attends every class and service with a way-high-lifted head. But, the reality of it is Scout’s naps rule (as in, they rockkkk), and I find so much rest and restoration at home, when Rex and Will are both at church. I’m a better mom and wife because of these Sunday’s home, when it’s just me and my girl. 

And, the truth is, these are my days to really give her all my focus, without running to another thing or place or carpool or football game. 

These are the days where I say no to social media, and yes to the stories in the Old and New Testament. The days where I say no to consumerism and busy-mindedness and say yes to simplicity, ease, and relearning how to pray. These are the days where I invest spiritually into myself, my home, and my family. 

It’s me and her, and I invite Christ into our home on this day to fill us up for the rest of the week. 

The truth that God spoke over me that day was this: You have chosen the good thing. 

Remember, Mary? Christ said to Martha:  Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her (Luke 10:41). 

This season will not last forever, and there will come a time where I’ll need to step out and back into the “real world,” but, right now, today, I’m embracing this time–this short, short time–I have to love on and show my daughter that, even though we are a “pastor family” she will always take priority over ministry and church, and that intimacy with Jesus is always the upmost important factor in all of it. I have the opportunity to teach her to choose what is better (relationship over religion) and the ebb and flow of rest and work in this earliest of seasons. And in the midst of this, I am letting Christ heal and teach me this truth, as I am in process of learning, too.