Late For Mass, But Lookin’ Good!

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 11.41.37 AM“What do you mean you can’t find your shoes?”

“How could you have no tan pants? “

“Grey shirts with orange strips do NOT match khakis!”

I should just record what is said every Sunday before Mass and hit replay.

Getting five boys up and out of the house for Mass is challenging enough, but when two of them are scheduled to serve…The challenges of getting up and out and looking presentable are taken to new heights!

Our Weekend:

Troy took the SAT Saturday morning after realizing late Friday night that he couldn’t print his admission ticket because we were out of ink. I began a college prep business and teach test prep internationally; yet my own child hadn’t printed out his admission ticket! Ohhh Lord teenagers! 😉 )

So, late Friday night, I was in Walmart, and, because I rarely leave Walmart with just what I came for, I was happy to find a pre-Mother’s Day sale with racks of clothing for only $1.

How could I resist?

I grabbed a pair of white jeans that were bigger than I’ve ever worn, but I’ve been getting bigger too thanks to my broken toe and busy schedule (not to mention age, time, not eating right, and just general life with five boys!) Even with my bigger size, the jeans would be too big without a belt, but it was nice to not have to squeeze myself into my pants for once, and I figured, for $1, I’d happily donate them in a few weeks if – when – I lost the weight and they really became too big!

Also on Saturday, between the five boys, they played seven baseball games (Including Kaleb’s opening day of t-ball. Ahhh…yes, starting t-ball again!).

And we had a First Communion/Confirmation celebration to go to Saturday night.

Sunday, Troy and Noah had soccer games in opposite directions, and Noah reverted to one of his challenging moments.

Finally, I decided to let his attitude run its course and get myself ready for church feeling good about my new $1 pants. No matter how I felt inside about the busy weekend or the stressful morning with Noah, I would look good!

I emerged from my room feeling good in my new $1 jeans and matching white heels, barely thinking about the beating my ego had taken after my husband’s affair, to find Matt had dressed Kaleb in a collared red, turquoise, gold, and purple striped golf shirt with white and grey and black and blue plaid shorts.

When I protested the outfit, I was met with faces that looked so hurt that I had to stop and just compliment them on getting ready.

Hurrying into Mass, Kaleb tripped and scraped his knee, and I took him into the visitor’s center to clean up the blood and dry his tears.

Now late, I found that despite the fact that I had dropped the boys off while I parked, George and Noah were too late to serve. To top it all off, the celebrant was a priest from a neighboring parish who I really like and would have loved my boys to get to know better.

Lookin’ Good

I sat in the pew feeling bereft, wanting to cry, but trying to look on the bright side, I concentrated on the new outfit that I had taken such pride in and looked over at my handsome boys.

Troy had gone to an earlier Mass so he could get a ride to his soccer game, but on the far side of me sat Matt, nice shorts but a wrinkled white undershirt type t-shirt. I fought back the sigh.

To my right sat George; he looked Texas-good in his dark jeans and crisp white button down shirt with no collar.

To my left sat Noah in his bright orange and blue plaid button down shirt. I decided to be happy that he had gotten dressed at all, but, looking closely, I noticed he was buttoned all wrong. I whispered this to him, and, as he often whispers back when wearing buttoned shirts, “I know mom. They put the buttons on wrong.” I closed my eyes and shook my head.

As Noah discreetly unbuttoned and buttoned his shirt, Kaleb, with his tear streaked face and his scraped up knee climbed on my lap in his plaid shorts and striped shirt.

I’m pretty sure I sighed aloud as I lifted him up carefully avoiding my new white jeans with his dirty, bloody knee, and we stood to sing.

Well, at least I looked good!

As the singing ended, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder.

“Did you know the tags are still on your pants?” the woman behind me whispered not unkindly.

The tag was on my pants? The tag announcing my ONE DOLLAR JEANS??? The tag announcing I was wearing the BIGGEST SIZE I’D EVER WORN???

My hand reached quickly around and felt my right buttock.

Yep, right there, a large, bright red bulls eye marked my round, right cheek with a $1 CLEARANCE tag and a long red size sticker repeatedly announcing my new size ran down the entire back of my right thigh.

I heard George snicker at my horrified expression, but then both he and Noah quickly wrapped their little arms around my waist, and I remembered I wasn’t in church to show off how good ANY of us look.

Pride – Why haven’t I learned to just serve God without my pride or that when I am proud, I fall – hard?

Truthfully, this was just a minor lesson in humility and obviously one I needed. The boys and I had a good laugh over it after Mass, and I fleetingly considered walking around all day with those stickers on, just to teach myself a lesson, but that thought was very fleeting!

Mass was not as I had hoped, but I am still glad we went. God taught me a lesson in my humility and about the importance of getting ready earlier (Still not sure how to accomplish that), and, most importantly, He taught me to praise Him not my clothing because He accepts us no matter what we look like on the outside.

He reminded me that it is what is inside that really counts.

God Bless…

5 Comments

  1. […] For our story of that Sunday Mass, read, Late For Mass, But Lookin’ Good! […]



  2. Zoanna on May 6, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Oh, that’s too funny! Wish I could’ve seen your face. Probably looked like mine the Sunday I had grumped to my husband and 12 year old son about how they could try a little harder to look better for church, to put mire effort into their choices. After all, I was wearing a crisp, new, plum sweater and black pants. At the break, when people stand to greet each other, my friend (visiting from our former church) asked, “new sweater?” “Yes, It is. How do you know?” “Because your tag is still on the front .” Across my left breast was a size Written in a column six times. Ugh.



    • Strahlen on May 10, 2014 at 12:41 am

      Haha! Somehow I missed this earlier Zoanna! I’ve been told I have a very expressive face, so I’m sure my horror was fairly evident. lol Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone! 🙂



  3. Susan Kane on May 6, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    5 boys! What a range of stages, from sweet little guy to teenaged.

    Thanks for stopping by my Chronicles of Samuel. He is a the summation of some little boys and girls I have been privileged to know. As a retired teacher, I have a long list of “Samuels”.
    It was delightful to meet you. I will be back.



    • Strahlen on May 7, 2014 at 6:57 am

      Thank you Susan! Samuel makes me laugh – at least in part because he’s not mine! I am also a teacher and can totally see now where Samuel comes from, a summation part of all the little boys and girls! What a fantastic idea! Love it! 🙂



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