I want to talk about those kids up there and why we drive way to far 2-3 times a week to be with our church family.
First, I want to say that Justin grew up in Shoreline Baptist Church so many (many many many) people know him and love him. And therefor think they know me and love me and hug me (that took some getting used to – being hugged by strangers who treat you like they’ve known you for years because you are married to a man they watched grow up).
It also helped that Justin’s favorite person in life was Youth Pastor at the church. And for those of you who don’t know that is Sam. And part of marrying Justin meant I had to agree to the facts that:
1. I am 2nd in Justin life because Sam is 1st
2. Sam is our official tie-breaker. If Justin and I just can’t agree Sam will break the tie and we must accept his decision
Other than that I was rather opposed to going Shoreline when we first moved to the OC because it was not what I thought I was looking for. Being a family with very small kids meant I was looking for a larger church with lots of other “young” families so that way I knew my kids would have friends and that there would be childcare for events so Justin and I could attend things together. But I followed where my husband led and Shoreline it was.
It also sucked that it was 30 minutes away and being down there multiple times a week (on a super tight budget) was rather expensive.
It didn’t take long to fall in love with the church family. In general, the people are amazing, and open, and caring. I know they genuinely care about my family. This would be something much harder to get at “larger church” where it is typically much more difficult to connect and relate to those around you.
And then there are moments like this last Sunday as well that remind me of why I call Shoreline my “home” church. Where I can pick up my kids from their classes and then watch them run around like the little maniacs they are and get hugs and high fives from the many adults who have grown to love them and care for them.
And the moments where I sit with some of my favorite women and watch as their little girls play with mine. Where I get to hear Elijah excitedly yell “My Sophie!” from across the sanctuary and watch Jordan give Kaylee a sweet good-bye kiss on the cheek.
Where I can watch those little girls run and squeal with delight as my kids play with them.
This “family” that I have and these times I get to experience with them make it all worth it.