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Sometimes when we go for weeks with illness and travel like this I think the kids probably believe we’re back off the wagon where church is concerned. Their experience of church is haphazard, bouncing from place to place, staccato.

This morning when I told them that Henry and Miles’ coughing mixed with their father out of town and my own exhaustion from travel would keep us home they looked at me with restrained glee. They worked up a false set of sad eyes and nodded their heads. “It’s okay, Mom” they offered. But I didn’t feel okay about it.

It’s probably not possible to explain how much Liturgy feeds me. They may not see the difference it makes yet. They don’t know how after spending 90 minutes in prayer and practice I feel evened out, mountains leveled, rivers calmed. They may not know the value of it to me or perhaps they do know and that is why they’re careful with their responses when we miss church. There’s some comfort, I suppose.

In my head I envision a time when my practicing of the faith looks less like herding cats during Liturgy and more like moments of closed eyes and connection. In my head I can see how the unfolding of this journey means the road, while rocky and uncertain will have  rest areas and roadside assistance. In my head I know that time has its own rhythm and focus for me looks like offering care to my children in every moment of coughing and doubt and laughter and learning and joy and this is okay. I can live here, in this present moment, taking off my shoes to shake out the pebbles collected from the long and dusty road.