I’ve only dropped about ten F-bombs in my adult life. Six of them were in 2005 after I ruptured my ACL and kept falling over. I’m not a swearer. The English teacher in me thinks it a very unimaginative way to speak, and as a Christian, I think, WWJD?- I don’t think he cussed like a pirate.
So I was pretty disappointed in myself when I mouthed, ‘oh, for !*#@’s sake!’ while getting ready for church yesterday morning.
What led to this out-of-character profanity? I started the morning well. I got up early and prayed. I made the kids breakfast and then went to shower, straighten my hair and put on some makeup while listening to the new Hillsong album. Very spiritual– though I probably took too long in the shower.
When I came out, the little two were fully dressed. High five, Dad! I quickly whipped off their dresses and ironed them while he went to the loo.
And then I looked at George. She looked like a homeless person. Her dress was too small, she was wearing sports socks and boots, and her leggings had holes in the knees.
“You can’t wear that!” I said. “Quick, take it off.”
Normally I wouldn’t care what she wore to church, but this morning we were visiting one we’d not been to before. On regular Sundays, I leave for church at 7am, and my husband, Leigh gets the girls ready on his own. They show up later in whatever they want to wear and I’m just glad to see them smiling. Though occasionally Leigh’s not smiling.
I tried to find George something else, but she’s growing like a weed in the springtime and things that were okay a month ago are just terrible now.
She ended up in a bawling mess on the floor, refusing to dress herself in the clothes that I’d previously said weren’t good enough. We were supposed to leave at 8:30 but at 8:30 she was still naked and wailing. I tried to coax her into them but she’s a 7-year-old who feels things very big and she was melting down.
That’s when I said the F word.
Leigh came in and took over and I went and did some deep breathing and apologised profusely to God. I was delivering the sermon that morning. As far as I know, preachers don’t say the F word. They don’t even silently mouth it.
It really doesn’t matter what the kids wear to church.
What matters is patience, gentleness, self-control and kindness. In dealing with George, I wasn’t any of those things.
When she was dressed, we took a moment. We all held hands in the lounge room and Leigh prayed for calm.
And I promised myself that, whether I’m preaching the sermon or not, I’ll let the kids wear what they like to church. Even if it’s this…