Monday, January 5, 2009


Let me start by saying that I believe that worship is a way of life. I'm still working on making it my way of life... The word 'worship' seems to be most commonly associated with music and singing songs of worship, and that's what I'm talking about today.

My weekend was hijacked by a twenty pound terrorist. Okay, not really. Chloe was sick. I suppose she had a touch of the flu. Not a major case, though when she had a flare up - it wasn't pretty, and she didn't like it one bit. Poor little punkin. So, my much anticipated trip to Indy, to see two beautiful people vow to love each other forever, in Jesus name? Yeah - that was off. I can't believe I didn't cry. I wanted to cry. I wanted to wail like a 5 year old who couldn't get a candy bar at the check out. But I didn't.

Instead, I put my sweats on and slept when Chloe slept, which turned out to be quite a bit. I was able to get caught up and that felt really good. I went to church by myself on Sunday, and on the way - I was listening to a worship playlist that I made quite a while back. I didn't even realize it until that morning, but I really really miss driving to work and worshipping loud and long and probably a little off key. I had always had at least an hour in the car every day, some times two. Granted, I did spend some of that time putting my guardian angel to the test, yapping on the phone - but on my way to work - I always spent that time with the Lord. And I miss it.

I was primed and ready and had already shed a tear or two when I got to church Sunday morning. Now, I know worship is for God and not for me, but evidently no one told Pastor Ben that, because it seemed to be all for me. ;) In all seriousness though, I feel like I was able to worship in a way that I haven't in a really really really long time. I'm thankful that things have been a little icky lately. I actually love getting to that point where I literally break during worship. There is something about the Land that is Plentiful that just doesn't produce a need to empty myself before the Lord. Maybe that's backward thinking, but it's just the way it is with me.

We've been in a new church for about six months, and before that it was probably close to a year since we had been attending Kensington regularly. As much as I LOVE our new church, the biggest part of me still longs for home. I miss Danny. I miss Steve Andrews. I just miss Kensington. I don't really know why. Maybe just because I am the original creature of habit? Who knows. Anyway - my point is - things are very different at the new place and I guess I've been slow to really sink in, get comfortable and let go. Well, if I'm being honest, I never really "let go" at Kensington, either.

I suppose I need to back the bus up a bit. I know where this all started. In a pew. In an old school, triple Baptist - stand perfectly still and sing from your hymnal, while wearing only a DRESS, church. Yes. I went to that church. Neat, huh? So the first time that I walked into Kensington, and they were playing Highway to the Danger Zone from Top Gun? Yeah, that was a little weird. But I loved Tom Cruise (at least I did before he flipped his lid) so I went with it. The first time I went to a worship service and saw people raising their hands? Yeah - I thought they were on crack. I mean seriously, where are the hymnals? Maybe that's the only reason we didn't raise our hands at my church... Because we had our hands full...

Obviously, it has been a long road and a very slow process getting to a point where I can worship with total abandon. In fact, such a slow process that I still haven't reached that point. I want to - and I suppose I'm getting there. Sunday, I moved another quarter of an inch toward the goal. Instead of lowering my head and going into the ugly cry, once the tears started flowing, I looked up -or at least kept my head up - and sang even louder through the sobbing. It must have been a sight. I'm very sorry Mr. Guy-Who-Made-The-Mistake-Of-Sitting-In-Front-Of-Me.

The goal? To become "even more undignified than this." I'm on it.


~jen~ said...

oh Rachel...I can completely 100% empathize with this post. Completely. Raised Catholic, I lived through those (dare I say it, BORING) services and it's been quite a long road in getting acquainted and comfortable just "letting go". Only I'm not one to raise my hands to the Heavens (at least, not yet)...and I'm just slowly getting to the point where I'll actually SING (where maybe someone could hear me and I wasn't just mouthing the words). Nonetheless, I seem to cry at ever service...usually during worship...not EVERY service, but most. I was embarrassed at first...but now...heck, anyone who knows me, knows to expect it and to not stare. LOL. :) It is such a release...just leaving your worries there. Raising them up and admitting "defeat" (in that, I really mean relinquishing control).
Just had to say your post struck a chord (no pun intended) with me today... :) Looking forward to a more undignified worship year as well!

Rachel said...

I know what you mean, Jen. Except, I really don't get embarrassed. I occasionally raise my hands, but it doesn't really feel natural to me. Crying, on the other hand, appears to be one of my spiritual gifts! I've found closing my eyes is the best thing. That way - if someone is starring at me (which I highly doubt... ;)), I don't care and if someone else's worship style of choice is distracting, it doesn't distract me.

I can't wait until we get a chance to connect in real life. It seems like we wouldn't run out of things to chat about!

Erin K. said...

Wow - what a great post!

"Maybe that's the only reason we didn't raise our hands at my church... Because we had our hands full..." This comment made me stop in my tracks. Maybe the reason I don't take time to worship is because I have my hands full. Hmmm. Food for thought.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on my WFMW post. I'm glad to know you found the idea useful! And, I'm glad you commented because now I've discovered your blog - it looks like I'll be spending a little more time around here. ;-)

Mary H. said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

I absolutely love this entry!! It speaks so much to me about Worship. I've sang my way through tears more than once a church recently.