April 10, 2024

Church-less Easter (+ military life thoughts)

 ...which is actually our norm. We went to church on Easter last year for the first time since 2013. It has nothing to do with what we've believed in and has everything to do with location. 

This Easter, and I feel like people who don't live near family might not understand, was just similar to any other Sunday. Scott was mid-roof replacement. I wasn't going to make a giant dinner for us. We didn't have anywhere to go or anywhere to be. We also weren't invited anywhere which is something I didn't realize until I was typing this. Often, in the military, you find yourself invited somewhere by someone. 

Last year, we went to a church near our house from about February til September-ish. At that point, Sutton was at the height of clinginess and attending church was something I physically didn't have the capacity for. The bigger reason was that I did some digging into doctrine and I realized I didn't believe what this denomination believed. Scott didn't believe it. No one I knew believed it. I asked a lot of people a lot of questions. I read a lot of books, articles, and listened to more Youtube videos that I care to remember. I was looking for every reason to prove that I was right and this church was wrong. 

In the end, I realized it didn't matter. I don't believe the denomination is right. I don't believe they're backed up by the Bible. And I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if the hundreds of people who attend (good people, wonderful people) even know that this is what the denomination believes or if it's just cultural church, a small town, a family-based Sunday activity with grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. 

In the end, again, it didn't matter. We could stop going. We could go somewhere else. I didn't need to prove anyone wrong. I did prove myself right but it didn't matter; the denominational beliefs are the denominational beliefs so I wasn't going to change anyone's mind.

The bunny (dogs) ate the carrots and left eggs.

Back to the point of this post:

Scott has been replacing the roof entirely on his own. He started the week of spring break. I picked stuff up. I threw things in the dumpster. I kept the kids busy for weeks while he worked. Wells and Sutton picked up nails. 

Almost 3 years ago, when Scott replaced the back half of the roof, his friend drove in from Colorado to help him. This time, the same friend (who we didn't expect to come help again, by the way) asked "wow you don't have anyone to help you?" and we realized we didn't. 

"Church" in the sense of being the hands and feet of Jesus would, I think, look like neighbors and friends offering to help Scott with the roof. I don't want to think we're entitled to help and I don't want to pull that "Christians don't act like Jesus" talk because it's not true. It just doesn't seem right that *we* are not going to Easter egg hunts and potlucks with everyone else simply because we are busy with a 2-3 man project that Scott is accomplishing all on his own. I don't want to be petty but it's just another reminder that we are not of this small town in the same way we're not of this world. That's what military life feels like, often. That you don't really belong anywhere. I do not want to live on a military base. But at least if you live there, everyone is in the same boat. 

Dressed in our Easter best

I will say that the resiliency factor instilled in us all is really something. I see it growing in Wells and I hope Sutton gets it too. I signed Wells up for summer sports near the base, specifically, because I want him mixing with other kids. April is the month of the military child and the flower of the military child is a dandelion because they can grow anywhere. 

I don't want Wells to forget that even though this is where we live now, this is not how it will always be. They were talking about adding grandparents' day breakfast to the school schedule for next September, and saying it didn't matter if some kids didn't have grandparents because other kids should get to have breakfast with their grandparents. That was another reminder that maybe Wells should just be in a military school, after all. They'd never have that attitude there. I still remember Wells crying when he was 3 in preschool because he didn't have grandparents to eat breakfast with. 

Anyway. That was just all going through my head when Wells asked why we didn't go to church on Easter. I don't know how you could try to, or even want to, make a 5 year old understand all of that. 

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