Here he is ensuring he has my full attention by wrapping his head over my arm. I could read but I couldn't type. The purr was rattling both me & the chair.
I think I said that a week ago we were visiting yet another church, Baptist this time. Baptist in Oz is not, I don't think, quite the same as Baptist in U.S of A. For one thing hardly any of the women wear skirts. No~one covers & nary a long hair is to be seen. Now you must understand we have churched on the island for at least 15 years with all 10 of the regular church goers. Think small. Think very small. The Quaker Meeting had the sort of numbers we are used to.
So we arrived early ..The Ditz, Liddy, me. I wore my maroon kameeze complete with dupatta. The girls wore long shorts & their hair up in ponytails but we were all wide eyed as the people started piling in...& they kept coming!
You have probably heard, as we have, that the first 3 minutes anyone is in a new church determines whether or not they come back; the greeting was a little overwhelming & it made us giggle. We've been instructed on making newbies feel welcome so it was more than a little odd to be on the receiving end & I'm sure the kameeze had some thinking they'd landed a bunch of Buddhists. I am very comfortable in my kameeze so the odd looks coming our way didn't faze me in the least & the girls are way too used to me to be the least bothered.
Unfortunately we got the Sunday the church was celebrating their 21st so it wasn't a regular service & as the pastor is leaving not the Sunday to judge the preaching either. The big pluses were the number of youth, the music ministry, the focus on outreach & missions.
Now I freely admit I am atrocious in these sort of situations. I tend to curl away from people or find the situation so hilarious I am quite likely to misbehave. I found it funny. Oh dear. I am a very visual person so the whole service was madly distracting from beginning to end. Something was happening all over the church all service & that is a big problem for me. It requires real restraint & focus on my part to pay attention to what I should be focused on. As we are church hunting I have an excuse & I know I am better once I get used to a new place but it did not make me very happy. Plus the music was so loud & so modern I got a huge headache. This is not the church for me. However, & this is huge for me, both Liddy & Ditz were cautiously pleased. Pleased enough to be prepared to go again. Pleased enough to trial it. So we will. I have already said I will be going to Meeting once a month. I need to. However if we are happy with this church I am prepared to drop them off together, go to Meeting, pick them up after or alternatively that week they can stay home. I much prefer smaller, quieter churches but quite understand the girls need to be able to worship with like minded people their own age with music they know & love.
I was looking for us. We all need to be in church & if we find somewhere good the boys will join us. What I wasn't expecting was to get a full car quite so quickly. One of the girls we took to Toowoomba wants to come with us if we've found a good church; there's nothing on the island. It is only a matter of time till Liddy asks the other to also join us. Liddy has always had a missionary's heart so the one spare seat left is unlikey to remain vacant for long.
I am not an outreach person. My focus has always been on the sustaining, the building up, the strengthening of the people of God to enable them to do that for which He has called them so already I am quailing at where Liddy is headed because we are still at this funny inbetween stage where Liddy is relying on me to uphold her & support her as she takes these first baby steps into what will eventually be her whole way of life. Which is why I need the Quaker Meeting & that quiet place where I can hear what the Lord has to say for my ears alone. It would not be a problem if I was one of these gregarious, outgoing, people orienteed & capable women like the Proverbs 31 woman who makes me both tired & cross. I am not like that ~ or when I am it is only amongst very safe company like my bloggy friends who only exist in cyberspace. (I know you all don't but my mind plays some funny tricks sometimes lol.) Which is why the Lord gave me such social children & then told me to deal with it. I don't always do it well but we try.