Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm a terrible planner

(Guess which one I'm married to)

Meaning I just don't put things in a good order. I plan things to the T, but I like to do everything all at the same time, so that my life feels like a perpetually exploding volcano (sympathies, Iceland and the rest of Europe).

Last night, I threw my husband a 30th birthday party. Over 40 people showed up. I cleaned like crazy and made everything from scratch. Mini flank steak and arugula sandwiches, honeyed goat cheese with pears and almonds, crudites, yummy yummy Paula Deen cake, homemade red onion jam on crostinis (you need to eat these). We had a fire, home brew, and a 401K bucket for loose change. And then...we got McWasty-faced. And then...we had to go to confirmation this morning at church.

So a little background. Super short. Mitch was raised Mormon. I was raised with unabashed spiritual freedom. I met Mitch. I became Mormon. We changed our minds. We started going to an Episcopalian church and loved it.

When I planned this party, I knew that today was the only day we could get received ("confirmation" for people who have already been confirmed in another church), but we had some scheduling conflicts and could only have the party the night before. Mitch and I had a deal, but of course that deal went down the crapper in the face of red wine and expensive gin.

Needless to say, this morning was difficult. I was disappointed in myself because I had wanted to be prepared spiritually for this moment. I struggle constantly with my relationship with God and my relationship with faith communities. I'm incredibly demanding of God, and incredibly insecure in that relationship. But I need it, and I need the people around me to support and affirm it. This morning, Mitch still had the spins and gut rot, and I was exhausted and a little nauseated by the wine glasses and beer bottles and leftover chip dip all over our coffee table, kitchen counters, and dining room table. We stumbled out of our house this morning to find a lost cell phone on the porch and candles still lit from the night before. Everything about this day was supposed to be affirming and holy, and it just got off to an terrible start.

I'll say first that I didn't intend for this blog to be a spiritual one, in that I just wanted to write about the things that happen to me generally. It just so happens that today those happenings were of a spiritual matter. We've been going to Church of the Redeemer for almost a year and a half. We've joined a Bible study group and tried to insert ourselves in the culture and community of this church. But we really had no idea that we were so blessed. When we went to the alter to have the Bishop welcome us into the church, we were so humbled by the people who came up to lay their hands upon us. It was a small group, but a powerful one, and the Spirit was certainly present in that moment. Despite the hangover and residual stress, my decision was confirmed when I felt the hands of our community on my shoulder and on my back. Both Mitch and I have confessed that we felt that hand on our backs for hours after. Without divulging too much right now, this choice was not easy for Mitch, and I still feel (a little) guilty for not preparing myself better for this morning. I thought it might just be a symbolic formality. But I was humbled to find that my perception is sometimes irrelevant, and that God will decide what is a formality and what is a firm step on my journey.

Either way, note to self: don't have a party the night before my kids get baptized. Another note to self: make more macaroons next time.

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