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Hurricane Carlson…

Every Sunday morning as I struggle to get the kids out the door to Liturgy I have the same set of emotional baggage tucked under both arms and piled up on my back. I feel weighted down, dreading the act of walking into church, strongly considering dumping it all and just crawling back into bed. Going to church isn’t a joy right now. I did not have an expectation that when I got to this stage in my conversion that I’d be footloose and fancy free, that we’d all be breaking into song at the thought of entering into the service. I knew it was going to be hard convincing my wild children to hang in there, to be (at least marginally) quiet, to pay (at least a little bit of) attention. It is just as I expected it would be.

I miss those Sunday mornings when I was present in Liturgy. I miss taking in the smells and wrapping my arms around the words. I miss the welling up of emotion that came when we’d begin to sing the Creed and the choir would swell at the last paragraph-

“I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen”

Now, I’m lucky to catch every other word. In between the Lord Have Mercies I am telling a small person to get off the floor, to stop licking the benches, to whisper it in my ear instead of yelling it, to stop blowing out candles. Parenting the uninitiated during Liturgy kind of sucks. It’s selfish, I know. I confess that hate parenting during Liturgy and my vision is that I’ll get better at it and they’ll get better at being parented during Liturgy but that all takes practice. Practice makes palatable, I guess.

I can’t stop there though. I can’t leave you with that because now, post Liturgy, the feeling is different. Something does shift in me during that 90 minutes of Liturgy, whether I am available to it or not. Something important moves in me and I have to believe that it moves in my children too. All of us, having survived another Sunday morning of Orthodox Hurricane Carlson, are changed. Right now, in this moment I am contented and peaceful. I am thankful, filled with calm. Being there revives a long sleeping part of me even as I batten down hatches and lower sails for the storm. It feels good to be there. It feels good to have been there.

I know it’s possible that next Sunday morning I’ll find myself driven to tears again as I drive to Liturgy, afraid to go in and afraid of being shut out but for now I’ll stay here and breathe in this present tense, grateful to have touched base with that inner mystic. Grateful to have reached that deep and ancient Divine, who waits for me always. I’ll take that in. I’ll live there.