Sunday, May 24, 2009


Can I just tell ya'll how much I LOVE going to church. I told the Captain this exact same thing as we were crawling into bed last night..."Tomorrow is church! I love going to church!"
The reasons for this statement of fact is many-fold...most reasons I know, but I am sure there are some reasons that even I overlook and take for granted most of the time.

Andy and his family have been going to our church since he was a little boy. I started attending when I was in middle school (the age everybody looks back on with fond memories!) He is slightly older than he was in the super-cool high school class and therefore we did not meet or really know each other until much later.

I met some of my best friends in this church...friends who are still my best friends and I still talk to once or twice a week...if not more. I know I am in a minority to have made friends when I was just a child who are still my closest friends... God knew what I needed. He knew when my life would get, ummm, difficult, I would find comfort with people who have known me since tight-rolled pants...(Hey! don't judge, I am sure you did it too!)

I became a born-again believer in this church, was baptised in this church...and then later re-dedicated my life to Christ in this church. My family has grown and become stronger, more knowledgeable Christians in this church.

I really started to study the bible and who God and Jesus really were/are/will forever be in this church. I have struggled with who I am compared to who He is. I have learned that I will always come up short. I have learned that He is always there to pull me through with His strength when I am ready to give up. I have been challenged, molded, lead and accepted in this church.

I started dating the Captain while attending this is something interesting when you date a man and spend Sunday mornings with him, your parents, his parents and everyone else you know...all staring at you wondering....are they going to make it?

I was married in this church. A great day, magical really. Not because it was the most wonderful ceremony in the history of mankind...but because it was mine. It was also the only wedding I have ever attended where EVERYONE knew one another...I mean all of our friends were mutual and our families all knew each other for years...great stuff.

I was able to go into this church and flutter around one Sunday and tell everyone I was going to have a baby. She was loved and highly anticipated long before she graced us with her presence. I was showered with gifts and hugs, belly rubs and love by all my "mom's" and Caden's "grandma's".

This church is the first place Andy and I went the day after sweet Caden died. I went in and collapsed in front of the cross (that my daddy built years before) and cried out to God in the empty sanctuary.

We held Caden's memorial service in this church. They held us in safe, soft, loving hands as we said goodbye to our baby girl. We went the very next day to Sunday service in this church...and it felt right, even thought mere hours ago we forever gave up our baby to God in the very same room.

We were able to share of God's provision and blessing in the news of our second child in this church. We were met with hugs, high-fives and tears. There was much rejoicing and praise to the One who deserves it all.

When the captain had his seizure and was in the ER. It was our church that filled the ER waiting room. (about 20 or so of them!) And it was our church who visited after we received the news of the tumor later that day.

It was in this church that the night before Andy's surgery we met for prayer...about 70-80 people, all praying for the Captain and his upcoming surgery.

It was this church that came and sat, and waited and stayed while the surgery was was this church that visited and brought food and encouragement and more prayer to us after the surgery was over.

It was in this church that I sat this morning and raised my voice in Prayer and Praise to God. This morning was a typical morning, I laughed, I cried (there is this cute baby girl who, for some reason reminds me of mine..she does not even look like Caden, but there is something in her face...anyway I started crying when I saw her, so Cristi, naturally hugged me and told me she thought the little girl looked like a hugabunch...remember those from our childhood? So then I laughed and talked about my hugabunch and the hugabunch movie which you can find...NOWHERE!...anyhoo, I digress)

It was in this church, that just this morning, I felt like I was home. Because in all reality...this church, exuding everything I have said above as well as with all of its shortcomings, and flawed my family.


my3sons said...

I have been following along for a while, but don't think I have commented. This was a beautiful post! Your church sounds wonderful!! I too attend the church that my parents were married in, my siblings and I were married in, and all 8 of our children were baptized in. It is indeed special to have such a history! I do wish, however that our congregation were close like yours. I'm not sure why, but it isn't. We all know eachother but don't really socialize outside of church. Odd I know. Anyway, I'm so happy that things are going well for you and Andy. I'm so sorry that you lost your sweet baby girl, and am thrilled that you are going to have another child. Katie

Elizabeth said...

I've always felt we are so blessed to be have the church family we do...and that our families are all there. I think this is a very rare thing. With everything that's happened this year, I cannot imagine anything better than all of us belonging to the same body of believers. I really feel that has carried us more than we will ever know.

Rebekah said...

That is such a beautiful decription of the way the body of Christ is supposed to be!

Anonymous said...

Ebay has numerous Hugga Bunch items! Even the Hugga Bunch movie on VHS. You should check it out. I've been reading your blog for a while now and you are one very strong person! Keep your head held high!

Rita said...

How precious this church family. I used to have one similar to this. Hold it close to you, feel it with your skin, breathe it in. You may be fortunate and it may always be this way. Time sometimes has a way of changing things. I had this once and I still crave it as if I can't feel right until I find it again. Love them all. Hugs.

gerolami19 said...

You are so blessed to have such a wonderful church family. We just moved and are church hunting now, and it makes you realize how important a church family is when you suddenly don't have one.

We must be about the same age- I defintely wore my jeans tight-rolled at the bottom, and I had a purple-haired HuggaBunch!

By the way- your baby belly is too fun. I am VERY impressed that you painted to your toenails, too- I am due in August and I have already given up on trying to reach my toes!

God bless- I love reading your blog and praying for your family.

Jill said...

Wow. What a gift to have a church that truly is the body of Christ. So thankful for that. You have such a beautiful way of putting it. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Andy and I went to hs together. At church i guess now yesterday during our announcements your name came up for our prayer list. I work as a nurse and see every day what you are going through. Without Him we would be lost too. You and your family are in our prayers. Lori Prindle Harman

Just Me - The Champion said...

When I woke up this morning I had no idea I was going to be blessed so much by your post. I read it while drinking my first cup of coffee. I am so glad to hear you have such an amazing body of Christ to support you in your lives. It warms my heart to know you are lifted up daily and encouraged by such an awesome group of believers! peace! - jen

PS. Graduated in 89. Rolled my "tight" pants... had "crossaint" bangs and used lots of Aqua Net in my hair.

Stacey said...

I miss the Grace church family!

Lindsay said...

I love going to church too!
Lindsay from South Africa

Heidi @ Indy Photography said...

I have to agree with you about our church. Even though we've only been attending for just over 5 years, we love it to death. We really do have great unity!

I'm so glad everyone continues to be a blessing to you and Andy.

Love you, Cari!


Jill said...

Check youtube for some hugga bunch clips! I sometimes search youtube for shows, movies and even commercials from my childhood. It's fun reminiscing!

Mooresvillian said...

It great to have a church such as the one at Grace. While not all churches can claim to have the loving family character that you are used to, there are those like it that dot the earth to show what God's family is really like.


Robyn said...

I seriously cried when I read this post (and I don't cry easily). Thanks for sharing such an awesome part of your world. God sure had a great plan when he formed the church.