Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Here's a not so perfect picture of our not so perfect family;)

Last Sunday was Forgiveness Sunday in the Orthodox Church. I found this great explanation of the service. "This exquisite rite is for the faithful to beseech forgiveness of the sins, known and unknown, committed against each other. During this time, each of the faithful bow (or prostrate) before each other to ask forgiveness for their sins. The person bowed to greets the person bowing with a bestowal of forgiveness. This moving experience provides the faithful with the opportunity to enter into the Lenten period with a cleaner heart and conscience, and a greater sense of humble-mindedness and being more aware of their sinfulness."

At first I was not looking forward to Forgiveness Sunday. Not because of any chip on my shoulder or anyone that I didn't want to forgive. Cam was working which meant that I was on my own with the kids. Taking 5 small kids to church by yourself is NOT easy to say the least. On top of this Forgiveness service Sunday night we also had the regular liturgy Sunday morning. I begin getting the kids ready for church on Saturday...no joke. I lay out all of our clothes, bathe everyone, get snacks ready, shoes laid out, etc. Even though I do all of that prep it still takes me a good 2 hours to feed, dress and get us all in the car. OH! By the time I'm leaving our garage I'm not feeling so nice...I'm cranky...we're late...and I'm ready to call it a day!

In the car we call a truce and have a "do-over". Everyone adjusts their attitude (mostly me) and we head off. The three big boys do great at church. They go to Sunday School and then up for the liturgy. The babies are ready for snack/lunch and nap just about the time the liturgy starts. I spend my time walking in and out of the church nave like I'm stuck in a revolving door....often carrying both babes...who are getting rather big and heavy. The babies are tired and both want me...exclusively! This leads to lots of shoving and crying and "MY MAMA". To be fair they did very well this last Sunday up until the homily. This was a big improvement and I know that each week/month that goes by they will have more and more stamina to stay in the service...quietly:) The second half of the liturgy was mostly spent in the narthex. After the service we go downstairs to our fellowship hall and have lunch. I cut into the lunch line (I admit it and I always admit it to those I'm cutting around) and quickly grab food...before I loose someone or one of the babes climbs out of a high chair. I whip out pb&j's for the little ones and a regular lunch for Tuba and I. Gobble-gobble it fast and try to chat with a couple of friends before huge meltdowns start and I have to leave.

Once in the car I'm so exhausted. We head home and I transfer sleeping kids to their beds...and hope and pray they stay asleep long enough for me to have a cup of tea and read the paper. PLEASE!!! I quick get into my pj's and sit down.

Last week knowing that in a few short hours I had to get dressed again was making me grumpy...ier! I was coming up with all sorts of ugly things in my head...reasons not to go. I had done one very smart thing and that was to ask Grandma Sue to watch the babies while I took the big (ie: easy) kids to the service. Although I had that to look forward to I was still in a terrible mood. The kids were noisy, rowdy and cranky...probably following my lead. By the time dinner came I was thinking things like, "what kind of nutty church do I go to?, who in their right mind takes 5 small kids to church by themselves...twice in one day...NOBODY that's who!, I know lots of people won't be there tonight, why should I go?, etc. Basically, whaaaaa for me to the hilt!

When Grandma Sue arrived I was nearly in tears (okay, I was crying) and near pulling my hair out. I was sweaty from chasing kids around...I put my jeans on and they were too tight...and I was late...again! I have to practically hog-tie the little ones to get them into their pj's these days...and then I have to pin the top of Sis's or she'll just take them off....which I forgot to do on this chaotic evening. I'm sure I looked like my head might spin around so Grandma nicely took Sis and helped get her back into her jammies. My MIL rocks!

Once in the car Busy Guy fell fast asleep. Tuba sits in the front with me and likes to hold my hand. Nice! Mr. P was in the back and we had the best time chatting all the way to church....a 30 min. drive. First we talked about how babies are born..yep, that's right:) He had all kinds of questions and was very interested. He remembered everything I had told him before and added to it. He asked, "does it hurt, can you see the little hole, how does the body make the baby come out, why doesn't the dad help". That one cracked me up! Then he switched gears and wanted to tell me all of the careers he's thinking of having when he's grown. I thought for sure after our talk he was thinking of becoming a nurse or doctor. But, nope. Here's his list, "I want to be a fireman, or a policeman, hmmm...or a conductor...you know like on a train.........hmmmmmmmmmmmm...and a pirate." LOL. What a hoot. Then a second later he added, "oh, and a dentist".

Church was so nice and so easy, easy, easy! Busy Guy went right in and sat on the pew. He lit up when I leaned over and said I could hold him since I didn't have the babies with me. I snuggled all my boys, held their hand and rubbed their warm heads. It was so nice and so relaxing. At the forgiveness part of the service I got to stand with my boys as they participated with me. They were so precious asking and granting forgiveness and giving hugs. It is a humbling experience to ask for forgiveness...especially from those we are closest to...my kids and Cam. Although Cam wasn't there we have asked each other for forgiveness too. I fall short so many times with my family and I'm so thankful they forgive me.

This service is such a lovely way to begin Great Lent. And a beautiful way for me to spend my time...even if coming to that conclusion took a bit of time and effort. I guess that's life. I hope the next time I'm having a rough day or moment I can look back and reflect or look forward and know it gets better. Nothing lasts forever...the good or the bad moments. In the spirit of Forgiveness Sunday....Please forgive me, I forgive you, God forgives us all.


  1. Oh, Becky, I rarely look forward to Forgiveness Vespers but I'm always glad I've attended. I probably would have stayed home if I had 5 kids to handle on my own all day! Your faithfulness is a blessing and encouragement to me; thank you dear friend.

  2. I laughed and laughed at Paddy's questions! Don't kids pick the most entertaining/awkward times to ask the most important/personal questions? And I'm sure those basics diverted any leftover angst about driving twenty-five miles. I am so glad the service soothed your soul. Being faithful was, truly, its own reward the other night. Love you forever.

  3. This brought back so many memories of when my crew was little. I'm glad it turned out well, and hope the rest of lent is just as beautiful :)



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