Sunday Confessional May 1, 2011

Heather says:

It has been a while since I ran this series on Home-Ec 101. I started the Sunday Confessional a few years ago as a way for us to come to grips that our lives aren’t magazine perfect, a place to embrace our foibles and get over ourselves. We’re all human; yes, even that lady in the car pool line whose make up is always flawless. I promise, she’s got her own baggage. Life isn’t as perfect as we like to pretend. Television sets standards most of us will never attain and no one’s home is always pristine, unless they can afford staff -or are a bit OCD and live alone.

What’s my confession for this week?

I’m skipping church. I know that doesn’t sound so bad, but oh just wait for the reason. Yesterday afternoon all the kids were playing with the neighbor kid* across the street. Unfortunately my daughter got too close when one of the kids was swinging a bat. It caught her in the cheek, I took her in and got an x-ray to be on the safe side, thankfully nothing is broken. “Ice and Motrin” said the doc, “and it’s going to look a lot worse over the next few days.” She wasn’t kidding and that’s the reason I’m reluctant to go to church this morning. For some reason most of us don’t bat** an eye when a boy shows up with the occasional obvious bump or bruise, but dainty little  girls? And there you have it, I’m not going because I’m neurotic and worried about what others think.

Last week I asked on Facebook, if you wanted me to bring back this weekly series and the majority who responded said yes. So don’t make stand out here all by myself, what do you have to get off your chest. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been slacking on keeping up my office, too. This room is in a pretty sad state. My goal for today is to get it back in order, since I have all that extra time on my hands.

*It was just an accident and we’re all still good friends.
**See what I did there?

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39 Comments

  1. Justin on May 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Heather,
    While I'm not in a position to judge you on this, as a fan and fellow Catholic, I was concerned by this post. We have an obligation to attend Sunday Mass unless a serious reason prevents us from doing so, and I'm not sure that what you mentioned was a serious reason (i.e. illness, emergency, physical inability to get to a church, etc.) since (thankfully) it sounds like your daughter is doing well. We all make mistakes, but I just didn't want to give other Catholics the impression that it's OK to skip Mass without a serious reason.

    It might be a good idea to discuss this with a priest to see if this needs to be confessed. If you're interested, here is a blog entry by Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin that discusses the issue of missing Mass: http://jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fidei/2006/
    For future reference, he mentions that for less serious reasons, a pastor can grant a dispensation for the Sunday obligation if there is a just cause for doing so.

    I also like what Fr. Vincent Serpa said when asked about missing Mass, especially how he emphasizes that Mass is much greater than an obligation: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=38971
    "Yes, it is a mortal sin to deliberately miss Sunday Mass when one could have attended and chose not to. Yes, you must go to Confession first before receiving Holy Communion.
    Pray for a greater appreciation for what the Mass. It is the celebration of His Passion, Death and Resurrection. There is nothing that happens on this earth to equal it."

    Sorry for the long-winded post 🙂 I hope that your daughter heals quickly. You are in our prayers!

    • Laura on May 9, 2011 at 11:29 pm

      Justin,
      While this seems to be coming from a position of great concern and good intention, I have to say that the whole point of this particular blog (i.e. Sunday Confessional) is to show how imperfect we ALL are as human beings. Heather was not in any way, shape, or form advocating skipping church. She even admits that her reasoning is ridiculous. Also while you said you aren't in a position to judge, it certainly seems as though you are, in fact, judging quite thoroughly. Have you checked out that beam in your eye, yet? As I said before the point of this blog, is the fellowship over common ground. Remember, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
      Laura

      • HeatherSolos on May 10, 2011 at 7:28 am

        I don't normally discuss religion online, like politics there's just too much potential to accidentally cause hurt feelings. For me it's an intensely personal experience best reserved for discussion only in person and when someone else brings it up. However since it is a big part of who I am, there are times like this where the discussion should be held.

        Laura, I appreciate your intentions. I responded to Justin privately, the spam filter had picked up his comment. (That tends to happen if there are links in the text). I sincerely believe that Justin's wrote with good intentions, I do understand his concern.

        Not to get too personal, but since we already have, I reverted to Catholicism after being away from the Church for about 14 years. I then attended Mass for almost two years until I could receive Communion again. Justin was trying to look out for me, but because I don't post every detail of our lives, he couldn't know that I had given the decision a lot of thought. Truthfully missing church was only incidental to what I was trying to convey. I knew I should attend Confession before the comment was made; I knew it before I wrote the post. I just hadn't planned on focusing on that aspect of the story.

        My intent was only to share how I have to deal with my own insecurities.

        I shouldn't let other people's opinions matter so much. Sometimes though? They are exhausting, especially when I know they will be based on an incorrect assumption. I just didn't have it in me to face dealing with the boys and having a daughter with a battered looking face to church on a day when my husband couldn't go with us (he had to work). I love my husband, but he's even more anti-social than me, so know one there really knows him. I just couldn't deal with it.

  2. Jean on May 5, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I'll confess. Easter weekend I mixed something with bleach that absolutely should not have been. In a brilliant-at-the-time idea I was scouring and disinfecting and sterilizing (yes, sterilizing, I'm sick of being sick!) the bathroom since my big boys and husband were out of town. Way too much bleach involved and I wanted to scrub the grout and tile in the tub. Well, my kids took off and used my scrub brush in the dirt outside so I was looking around and saw the toilet brush. I thought – hey, this is bleach, it'll kill anything. Turns out there's still toilet cleaner in a well rinsed toilet brush. Who knew? It was just me and my 19 month old twins in the house (they were sleeping) – it could have been bad had I not gotten air as quickly as I did.

    Also? Cleaning out the basement for the first time in…. 7.5 years when we moved in with a 2 month old and everything without a place was just DUMPED. It's damp down there. Ew. Sorry, landfills, but it's all going to you. I'll repent and compost and recycle and freecycle a bunch later to make up for it.

  3. Melinda on May 2, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Can I have a Monday confession? It's almost 9 am, and I'm still in my PJs. I'm bribing my daughter to help me clean house today, and I count housework as school.

    • Nickolina on May 2, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      Organization, home economics, practice prioritizing, sorting, and health standards are all good subjects to learn.
      My recent post dandy lion bag

  4. Nickolina on May 2, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I've seen a little girl with a huge swollen cheek at church…said, "you look like someone hit you with a baseball bat" and her mother said, "someone did; she got too close to her brother when he was at bat". So it has been done, but it does indeed look painful and cause comment. I think she'd have welcomed staying home & convalescing instead.

    My confession is that I rarely get through all the piles of accumulated stuff I will get to someday. And I don't garden. I'd LIKE to be clutter-free & garden, but I don't do the daily stuff that would get me there.

    If you came to my house, I wouldn't have to confess anything because it would be obvious.
    My recent post dandy lion bag

    • HeatherSolos on May 2, 2011 at 8:08 am

      I can't keep houseplants alive. It's a sad and sorry thing, but if it's not in my face, I tend to forget about it.

  5. mona on May 1, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    This is my first time reading this series and I love it! thanks for keeping things real. Although I DID go to church this morning, looking quite put together I might add, you should see the disaster I left things as home! This wouldn't be so bad if it,"keeping our tiny room orderly" wasn't the one simple thing my husband has asked me to do. It looks like a tenement!

    • HeatherSolos on May 1, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      Thank YOU for keeping it real. See, you'd be they lady those of us who felt less put together would be eye balling and saying, How does she do it?! 😉

  6. Joann on May 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I got back from a trip two weeks ago, and I still haven't unpacked. I haven't cleaned my bathroom in weeks, and I've all but stopped working out. No excuses. I've just been lazy. Now that I know I'm not the only "human" around, maybe I'll get some stuff done!

    • HeatherSolos on May 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm

      I've lived out of my suitcase long after coming home before. I've found if I don't march right into the laundry room and unload / hang things up the right after greeting family and before sitting down, who knows when it's going to happen. You are far from alone 🙂

  7. Keter Magick on May 1, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Owwies to Heather's daughter's face (glad nothing was broken!) and to Heather's pun. ;o)

    My confession is that I fell off the wagon of setting aside one half-day to clean house with my husband (this is the only way I can get him to do anything!). The excuses were valid enough: I had work to do on our regularly scheduled day week before last and he had work to do this week. But we didn't reschedule. And we need to. I'm trying to introduce him to FlyLady's "Baby Steps" program and the idea of a daily chore chart that we divide between us. Being able to stick to that routine as well as having our half-day to work together is key to getting him on board and eliminating the constant flow of excuses.

    (If you don't want to read my view on spiritual practice, stop reading here. This is as close to preachy as I get.)

    I think y'all may find it amusing that I am an ordained clergyperson, yet do not attend church. My church is the world, and my service is every day, wherever I am needed. I quit going years ago because the negative social aspects overwhelmed the positive, and I asked myself why I was going when it didn't bring me closer to God and instead left me with a very negative view of humankind that would take me days to shake off. Would God want me to feel that way? Was this some sort of lesson? Or would God rather I do my own thing so long as it was aligned with His Will, too?

    The lesson was that spiritual practice has many paths, not all of them lead you where you need to go, and it's OK to follow the path less trodden if it's the right path for you. Each of us carries a sacred space within, and how or where we choose to manifest that outwardly is up to us. When we come to God, God doesn't care what car we drive or clothes we wear, or whether our kids are unruly, or consider turning us into Child Protective Services if one has an accidental black eye. Some of the best discussions I've had with or about God were done over the kitchen sink, on the road into town, in my office, or in an Internet chat room with a few other spiritually aware people. Church, as I see it, is about communication with God and with others about living in an enlightened manner, and that can happen anywhere, so church is wherever you open up your sacred space and invite God, and maybe a few friends, in for a chat.

    • HeatherSolos on May 1, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      I enjoy reading other people's thoughts on spirituality and religion and I appreciate you sharing yours. It usually causes me to reflect on my own beliefs and practices. Thank you for sharing.

      As I mentioned above my story was more about me being self-conscious than about requirements of attendance.

  8. Jenny King on May 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    guilty confession. I would rather be at work (which I am) than at home with the friends that are visiting. I do actually like them and generally enjoy their company. However, I am kinda in an anti-social season… I am feeling a general exhaustion.
    We did all go to church and I was blessed and refreshed to share communion together. We have friends in another state that celebrate communion once a month on the same Sunday, then all join hands and sing "Blessed by the tie that binds" just like we do. It made me feel connected to the entire body of believers and remember to look outside myself.

  9. Erin on May 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    We found out yesterday my husband lost his job – My first thought was not for him or our mortgage payment. My first throught was selfishly about the vacation we will no longer be going on.

    • HeatherSolos on May 1, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      Oh Erin, I'm sorry, that is such a stressful situation.

  10. Courtney on May 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    My confession is more of a guilty pleasure:
    I bought TEN Sunday papers this morning, just because I knew there would be a cornucopia of coupons tucked inside each one. Am I going to be one of those annoying women with mountains of coupons at the check-out line?
    Why, yes. Yes, I am.

    Heather, I totally understand what you mean. The old women at my church don't have to say a word to you, they just giive you one look, and you KNOW. Especially with some of the holier-than-thou types; you're a sinner for being in the same building as they, and you're a sinner for not. Of course, there are also some fantastic people at my church, who would find your whole situation hilarious. My pastor is one of those people, and he is why I go there (well, he, and "Capitol-H" He)!

  11. Lucy on May 1, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Mine is pretty lame. I have 4 young kittens in the house and I have given up picking up or cleaning until they get their shots and move out to the barn. Um, then there are 2 more younger kittens to get through. Gotta get that hussy momma cat in to the vet too!

  12. Tara on May 1, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I haven't written my thank you notes for my wedding over a month ago. Presents are still in boxes in the living room. The house is a mess. I feel like all of the things that need doing will never get done.

    Oh, and my husband is cleaning up from breakfast (which I did cook, and it was really good, so that's a positive) while I lay on the bed watching HGTV and playing on the internet.

    • HeatherSolos on May 1, 2011 at 11:46 am

      Congratulations to you!

    • @typeamom on May 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm

      I don't know if this helps, but I believe etiquette says you have one year to send thank you notes for wedding gifts. I think Emily Post says three months. Either way, you are still totally fine on that one. Enjoy your newlywed status a little longer! 🙂

    • Melinda on May 2, 2011 at 9:42 am

      If it makes you feel any better, I forgot to write my thank you notes. We celebrated 14 years this year. 😀

    • Laura on May 6, 2011 at 8:21 am

      Confession-I never wrote thank you notes for my wedding over 2 years ago! I know how terrible it is, and my mom even bought me the note cards. I honestly didn't even know who got me what! Now i'm pregnant with twins and hoping there are no grudges!

  13. Nancy Cox on May 1, 2011 at 11:10 am

    My confessional: I should be looking for a job right now. Almost a year ago my then-husband announced he wanted a divorce. In January the divorce was final, with court orders to sell the house. I have tried getting the house ready to put on the market and looking for a job, but I found I was getting neither one done, and spring is the big buying season here. So I set aside looking for a job, promising myself that I would look for a job as soon as the house is on the market. Now the house is on the market, and I still haven't started looking again. Tomorrow – tomorrow I will start.

  14. Lenora Gunnoe on May 1, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Confession: I got up, got dressed, went to church, saw that it was United Methodist Women's Sunday, looked at the name beside the "message," and came back home. Really.

    Commiseration: my first black eye came from a baseball bat! It was the afternoon before the last day of school of sixth grade and I stayed home the next day.

  15. Kathleen Sparkes on May 1, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I'll confess that I skip church almost every week- my husband is usually working either Saturday night until 4 in the morning, or working Sunday during the day. Our church doesn't have Sunday school or anyone in the nursery, so there's no point me taking the kids by myself- even when my husband and I both go, one of us ends up in the nursery with the kids! If I take them by myself, nobody gets to enjoy the service. The joys of living in a small town…

    • HeatherSolos on May 1, 2011 at 11:02 am

      We don't have a nursery and I have to take the kids by myself 50% of the time due to my husband's schedule. I feel your pain. When they act up, I'm mortified and there's only me to wrangle three of them. That's the other half of my excuse for today. It would have been a solo parent day and those are hard enough on their own without, the "absent father + kid with a big black eye" to deal with. Even though it's a small church and I sort of know a lot of the people there, I still feel weird. (It's me, not them, I'm horribly insecure)

  16. Shannon on May 1, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Can I just tell you how happy I am to have found your blog a few
    weeks ago?
    As far as confessions, how much time ya got? I've got a list a mile long. Like a
    few of you, church-skipper here, too. I simply couldn't get out of bed this
    morning, so hobby took the boys and I'm home with the baby,
    skimming blogs while she naps in my arms. I could put her in her crib and
    clean while she sleeps, but this is so much more enjoyable on so many levels.

    • HeatherSolos on May 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      Soak that up, it won't be long before she's batting at the keyboard and you'll really have to sneak your downtime in. Welcome to the site, there's an amazing group of people who hang around. They're smart, they're funny, and most of all they are supportive.

  17. Eugene Mah on May 1, 2011 at 10:31 am

    final exam on thursday and i'm totally slacking on the studying thing.
    My recent post Charleston Eats- Taste of India

  18. Kelby Carr on May 1, 2011 at 10:27 am

    My confession is that I have a to-do list app on my phone with about 20 pressing items on it, and last night instead of working I blew it off completely. I am hoping to shuttle it down today and this week, but I just needed a break from the mental sense of drowning.

    So sorry about your daughter! And yes, I would be worried that people will jump to conclusions too. I hope she is feeling better!
    My recent post Healthy Hamburger and Fries Recipe

    • HeatherSolos on May 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Some of the items on your list impact mine, so umm take your time.

  19. Heidi@CarolinaDreamz on May 1, 2011 at 10:21 am

    My confession: I'm a bad mom.

    I've had the consult for Girlie's wisdom teeth removal since I used last years's calendar.. and therefore also don't really know where it is. And she's in bad pain. I hope they can get her in fast, but her pain is my fault. I saw the x-rays. I was just trying to pay for TheBoys same surgery and MUSC won't bill it right. We won't be going back there.

    Maybe my birthday will have some time in a few weeks. ::sigh::
    My recent post Welcome Spring!

    • HeatherSolos on May 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      I'm sorry. I hope she can get her teeth fixed soon. I had mine out so long ago that I couldn't begin to tell you who did it, only that it was near the Taco Bell in Summerville . . . I think.

  20. Marianne on May 1, 2011 at 10:19 am

    My confession for the day is that I have serious homework due at 11pm and 11:59pm tonight, that I've known about for weeks, that I've had plenty of time to work on and even finish, and yet I haven't even started it. Lazy bum, I am. I've been up for hours already today, but have I started it? Nope. I'm playing online instead, because that's much more fun.
    This may well be the class that teaches me the lesson that I can't wait til the last minute. I may get — gasp — a B! Oh the horrors.
    Somebody want to give me a kick in the pants to get going?

    Heather, sorry to hear about your little girl. Hope she's feeling better (and looking normal!) really soon.

  21. ragamuffindesign on May 1, 2011 at 10:19 am

    my confession is…i skip church every sunday 😉

    i actually flaked out on a friend recently for a trip to the gym because i couldn't find workout clothes that didn't make me look huge. with that attitude i'll NEVER lose the weight.

    • HeatherSolos on May 1, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      You know my point wasn't that anyone had to go to church, it was more to the point that my reason was somewhat ridiculous. I know it on one level, but have a hard time convincing the irrational side to shut up. 🙂

      • candice on May 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm

        Oh, I know it was about that. Just being my sarcastic self! That’s why I added the too fat to workout bit…cause its a silly excuse

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