Redefining New Years Eve Worship

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This New Years Eve, Shane and I were excited to join a local youth camp for a late night worship session. We approached the event with this in mind: “Bring in the new year with worship.”

Our plan was to feed the babies and have them sleep in their car seats through the service (they are pretty proficient at car-seat naps, so this should work just fine right?) We truly thought their highly scheduled circadian rhythms would handle this one night of change. Confident that 38 teenagers in a lodge would turn into a soothing type of white noise for the babies, we set out for a New Years worship party.

Turns out, the babies are all-too eager to begin their camp experience and hollered to be picked up out of their car seats at all times.

These days, our twins usually sleep from 7pm to 8am, with only one, no-fuss “midnight snack feeding” around 11pm. That night, we made it till 11 with both kids wide eyed and energetic, kicking to be a part of the game of spoons, apples to apples competition, sledding, and super-fun, high energy songs that kickstarted the worship session. Evi was pretty fussy at this point, but there was no sleeping happening.

Worried about the babies getting sick from lack of sleep, we decided to head back to the hotel. And we figured a baby crash was right around the corner. Wrong.

At the hotel, babies were smiling and ready to play. Then they staged a coup (read “revolt” not “cute baby sounds”) upon being swaddled. After an hour of restless sleep, the Rosty twins began the hourly giggling, cooing, grunting, farting, crying, growling fiasco that ushered in our new year.

(The babies in the hotel before the crazy night…)

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In desperation, I breastfed them around four. I took the risk of throwing out all my hard work this last month to drop this feeding. It bought us about two hours of noise-free sleep. By six, the menagerie of chaos began again, lasting on and off for several hours. When I got out of bed to “wake them up,” I found them gleefully smiling at each other in their packnplay like they had just pulled the first successful prank on the parents.

In Gods providence, I had been reading Set Apart Motherhood just the day before. Leslie Ludy’s chapter on “tensile training” had challenged me to greet each late night escapade with a cheerful heart. I resolved to do so, willing my tired soul to serve my husband and kids by saying no to the grumpiness and irritation. However unlike those moments were for deep spiritual worship, my goal was to glorify God.

I was disappointed at first that we were unable to usher in the new year with a musical worship session. Worship music has a unique ability to stir up passionate emotions and call my heart to a soul-surrender.

However, this New Years Eve, Shane and I experienced a different kind of soul-surrender. Instead of kneeling with quiet tears and lifted hands, we bent low to soothe loud cries and distraught hands seeking comfort. Instead of taking of the bread and juice, we shared a type of sacred communion with Christ by saying no to our comfort and desires, a small reflection of Jesus’ choice to do the same for us. Our worship on the mountaintop was messy, loud, exhausting, and draining, but it was still worship.

Shane and I concluded that God doesn’t require music or emotional vulnerability in our worship. His desire is for us to “offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, for this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1

Dear, 2015… We welcome you! We are glad you are here. Though we greet you with bags under our eyes, sore legs and ringing ears, we are eager to see how Gods mercies will be new every morning yet again in this year.

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