Last Sunday I woke up early and came down stairs. I made a pot of coffee, took the dogs out and found myself standing before the jelly cupboard, reaching for the candle. I wanted to light it but anymore, lighting candles in our home usually means company is coming or the house is occupied for more than just a few hours.

And we did not have company coming.

I felt it in my soul, the need to stay home and it burned in me with an intense longing for a friend you haven’t seen in a very long time. I wanted to stay in my pajamas, to make breakfast and to stroll around in my home all day long at my leisure. I quickly opened the calendar on my phone and looked at the week ahead. This would be the only day where I could be here and every ounce of me needed it because life has grown big and I’m finding if I don’t take care of myself and purposefully slow it all down, I suffer. WE all do.

“Is it ok if we don’t go to Church today?” 

I didn’t think he’d argue and he didn’t so with that, I made my husband and my son breakfast and proceeded to enjoy my day at home to the fullest.

I cooked.

I cleaned.

I watched a movie.

I wrote.

I cooked.

I cleaned.

And I ended it all with a bath.

Glorious.

Years ago, I would have never intentionally skipped Church. If we wern’t there, it’s because one of us was home with the flu and I was afraid if we came, someone would throw up in the middle of the message. I remember having babies and going to Church with a bundle in my arm just days old. Church, to me, was everything. I had to show up and be present; to minister or preach or teach or smile. There was praying to do and love to give. I was always present. Always up front. Always. And now here I am, many years later and far from most of how these things all looked and I see Church in a whole different way.

It’s no longer a place I go to. It’s WHO I am.

With that all being said, the question really isn’t “To Church or not to Church?” The question is, “To Jesus or not to Jesus?”

Am I going to listen to Him? Plain and simple.

When Church is not a place that you go TO, but is WHO you are, you find yourself thinking out of the box about everything. I realize now, Church used to represent a checklist and if I showed up and attended, check. Over the years it’s became more and more relational with the people inside of the building till soon, relationships began to bloom inside AND outside those four walls. Now days if I know my connection level with others is good and Jesus is my focus, I don’t feel the pressure to check Church off my list.

You can’t check something off that is ongoing.

Jesus knows my heart and what I ultimately need most. He knows when I’m taking a short cut or calling it quits or hiding. He knows when I’m physically tired and when I’m mentally exhausted and when I just miss the comforts of my own four walls and need a break from the rat race of life. Seriously friends, especially those of you IN the Church…if getting up on a Sunday morning and going is just something that you DO because it is part of your regular routine…

WHY?

I can’t answer that question for you but I do encourage you to ask yourself, WHY am I doing what I am doing? Going to Church is good. IT IS NEEDED. Anytime we all come together, it is a beautiful necessity but you must take the time to regroup and take care of yourself and sometimes, for me (Mark 6:31), that day only falls on a Sunday. When does it fall for you? It is a holy experience when you intentionally reconnect not only with what you need most but with the One who provides ultimate rest.

Know what YOU need.

Jesus is your ultimate audience.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.” -Matthew 11:29