Church Is In Session

Don’t you just love how the older we get, the more things become clear?  

One of my favorite Sunday posts is by my friend, Debra, at She is doing an amazing series called Churches of the Prairie. (You can click the titles if you’d like to see.) 

Every Sunday morning I find myself scrambling to her blog to see what churches she discovered that week. 

Plus, I also love how she shares Sunday fellowship via photographs and tidbits of history. 

Little Bit and I always see country churches when we’re out on our driving adventures. 

Perhaps it’s my Iowa roots talking, but it seems like when we pass them, those buildings almost speak to me.

I always find myself wondering about their stories and days gone by. 

Of Sunday’s mornings with greeters standing in open doorways, welcoming every-one with a smile and warm handshake. 

Of packed seats, and people fanning themselves in the midst of summer’s heat. 

Of the sun streaming in through the stained glass, while winter’s icy breath fogs the outside windows. 

Of piano keys clattering and hymnal pages turning. 

Of voices rising to fill the atmosphere with melodies and soulful sounds. 

Of fond farewells, and “see you soons” to the racing  back home and climbing into play clothes. 

Of Sunday dinners with chicken frying,  biscuits baking, and apple pie cooling on the counter. 

Of love and laughter, sorrow and tears all mingled together in days full of grace. 

Pretty cool. 

And, as much as I love the idea and nostalgia in those buildings, I’ve come to realize some things these past few years. 

For me, Faith and the Sunday rituals of praise and singing don’t necessarily require a building. 

For me, those things are such a part of who I am, that some days I feel like I carry them around in my pocket. 

Recently, I told you about my health journey and showed you my picture, and now I thought it’d be great time to show you my church. 

You’ll probably notice there’s no building in sight. 

The pews are empty. 

And, you’d be right if you guessed I don’t make it down there every Sunday. 

But, the combination of all those things is exactly what’s so perfect about it. 

The stained glass is the blue sky.

Nature fills those empty seats. 

The wind whispers the chorus and tunes. 

This is where my husband and I were married.

To me, it’s as sacred of a place as anywhere I’ve ever been. 

I absolutely love sitting on those benches with Little Bit. He seems to be as glued to the place as I am. He usually starts singing unprompted. 

Every time we arrive there, I get out of the pickup feeling and saying the exact same thing: 

Church is in session“.  

40 thoughts on “Church Is In Session

  1. SpiritualJourney17 October 4, 2016 / 6:45 am

    I enjoy looking at the architecture of the churches and how each one is so unique! It always fascinated me

    • Jessica October 4, 2016 / 7:58 am

      That’s awesome. There seems to be such a history in them. :)

  2. watchingthedaisies October 4, 2016 / 8:01 am

    A beautiful tribute to Sundays Jessica. I love your view on them.

    • Jessica October 4, 2016 / 8:56 am

      Hi. Thank you so much! ❤️ I added a bit and changed it a little towards the end and I don’t know if you saw it.

      The place means so much to me because I got married there and we go there a lot. When I was writing it at 3 am, I forgot to put that in! Ha! ❤️

      • watchingthedaisies October 4, 2016 / 9:07 am

        I am not sure. The outdoor pews came at the end. That was a beautiful place to get married.

        • Jessica October 4, 2016 / 9:40 am

          Yes ma’am. It was in May 17 years ago and the whole place was brimming with yellow wildflowers. ☀️

        • Jessica October 4, 2016 / 1:19 pm

          I got rid of some don’ts towards the end, made the sky the stained glass, and talked about Little Bit singing💜

  3. Debra Farmer October 4, 2016 / 8:21 am

    Good morning! Thanks so much for the link to my site! Discovering all these churches has certainly been an adventure.

    I absolutely love this post. I feel just like you do about “going” to church. I experience church in everyday events. I use to spend alot of time in a tree stand, not hunting but photographing. Sitting still AND quiet really taught me to calm my soul and just “talk” to God. I am closer to God in nature and it’s amazing to see all the wonders that He has created for us to enjoy and take care of.

    Have a wonderful day!! Wylie woke me up at 3 to let me know it was storming. Short night. Also have a chance to storms again this afternoon

    • Jessica October 4, 2016 / 9:03 am

      You’re welcome! Thank you for letting me share your posts about your love of Kansas.

      I love what you said about nature and church. A tree stand is actually a pretty good seat. Up close to the sky with a great view. The perfect pew!

      I changed this post a bit this morning. I was awake at 3 am, too, writing this. Rereading it when I woke up, I saw I left a few points out! ❤️

      Hope your storms pass and Wylie sleeps in a little later tomorrow morning.

      • Debra Farmer October 4, 2016 / 9:35 am

        I saw that you were up at 3, so was I. I almost replied to you then!
        Jessica this really was a beautiful post!!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

        • Jessica October 4, 2016 / 9:38 am

          We’re like sisters! PS This beautiful place is right across the road from that cave!

          • Debra Farmer October 4, 2016 / 9:49 am

            Putting that in my list of “to do”!!! Maybe we could make that adventure together Sissy😃

          • Jessica October 4, 2016 / 10:12 am

            Let’s do it! Before or after deer season would be best. That area fills up with hunters come mid- November.

          • Jessica October 4, 2016 / 10:12 am

            💜 Sissy💜

  4. Debra Farmer October 4, 2016 / 8:24 am

    Need that darn LOVE button!! This post is SO much better than a like

    • Jessica October 4, 2016 / 9:04 am

      Thank you!!!!!! You’re so awesome. We should come up with our own symbol for Love and just use it!!

  5. amischiefmanaged October 4, 2016 / 12:29 pm

    Such a beautiful post. Church and faith are such huge, huge topics and I struggle all the time to figure them out and put them into words – like you I don’t manage to a church regularly but in my journey have been grateful to discover that faith is something I can access outwith a formal church gathering. I loved the phrase carrying it around in your pocket. ❤️ Where you got married is so beautiful and the views are wonderful. Thanks for sharing. X

    • Jessica October 4, 2016 / 12:48 pm

      Well hi!! It’s been awhile since we’ve chatted! How are all your lovely pets?

      Thank you for understanding what I was trying to express. The idea for this post has been stuck swimming in my head for weeks. Stuck in the abyss of the “right” things to say and finding words to describe the place that is embedded in my heart.

      Pictures are one thing- they are pretty. But to stand there in the glory of all that is perfect in this world, is breath-taking.

      I’m glad you love the pocket thing❤️ I love that Faith is tucked in there safely, with me wherever I go.

      • amischiefmanaged October 6, 2016 / 5:56 am

        Hello! :) they are all doing fine, thanks so much for asking! Lovely to speak to you again and I understand completely. I often struggle so much to put these things into words but it all just falls into place when standing somewhere like that, I can only imagine how amazing it is in person! ☺️

        • Jessica October 6, 2016 / 7:54 am

          Oh I’m so glad to hear that everyone is doing fine. Love what you said! You gave me an idea! The next time we go, I will video it so you can “see” it. ☀️

  6. amischiefmanaged October 4, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    Ps off to explore the prairie churches posts now!! 😉

    • Jessica October 4, 2016 / 12:52 pm

      Oh, bless your heart! Debra will be tickled pink! 💗💗💗

  7. thejuicenut October 4, 2016 / 2:13 pm

    I love old churches. I love the history and the sense of peace and connecting with all those before us, the architecure, the graveyards. Lovely story and photos. ☺️

    • Jessica October 4, 2016 / 2:47 pm

      Hey friend, thank you so much. I love everything you said. Especially the part about the connecting. ❤️

  8. Miriam October 4, 2016 / 11:06 pm

    Oh Jess, this is so beautiful. What a divine place to exchange vows and I have to say that I feel the same way about my faith and spirituality. As much as I grew up going to church for me now it’s not in a building, it’s all around us, in the air we breath, the beauty of nature and the color of a new sunrise. xo

    • Jessica October 5, 2016 / 8:21 am

      Oh my goodness. I adore what you said. I get it! I grew up going to the buildings, too. Love what you said about spirituality.

      Makes me wonder if the whole subject is a life lesson about becoming aware of all the things you mentioned: Faith and spirituality in the air, etc. And, learning to embrace it?

      It’s a gift to know what we need is WITH us and around us 24/7. Part of growing up, I guess.

      I wouldn’t pass up the chance to step foot into a country church and hear a sermon and the singing. Sometimes the fellowship is so nice, too. :)

      • Miriam October 5, 2016 / 4:34 pm

        Absolutely. That whole connection and feeling of being with others and the singing … yeah, I get that too. It’s all important isn’t it? xo

        • Jessica October 5, 2016 / 4:35 pm

          Yes ma’am. Everything has its place, doesn’t it?

          • Miriam October 5, 2016 / 4:59 pm

            It sure does.

  9. Laura October 5, 2016 / 8:51 am

    There is a wonderful program about prairie churches in North Dakota, I think I have the correct link. I don’t know why your blog is not showing in my reader anymore ( your not the only one). Enjoyed your post!

    • Jessica October 5, 2016 / 9:17 am

      Oh no- about the reader! There’s some weird things happening on my posts when I tried to edit. Hmmm. Guess there’s some glitches somewhere.

      Thanks for reading my post. I can’t wait to see the program on those churches! I bet there’s such a history in North Dakota. Thank you for the information and link! So nice of you. :)

  10. Weird Guy With The Dog October 5, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    I too find myself wondering about the past history of many old buildings, especially abandoned homes. I often wonder how many people where born or died in them, how many weddings were held on the lawn, how many pets are buried out back. How many dads taught the kids to ride bikes in the driveway, how many moms taught the kids to cook in that kitchen. Each house is a snapshot of lives past.

    • Jessica October 5, 2016 / 9:00 pm

      I LOVE what you said. I always wonder about abandoned houses. Reminds me of that song by Miranda Lambert, “That House the Built Me”. Seems like the house itself is part of a family, too.

      Everything you wrote made me stop and think. Born there, died there. Weddings, pets having a peaceful rest, bike and cooking lessons… I like your idea of a house being a snapshot. That is a perfect word.

  11. Cattie's World October 7, 2016 / 6:27 am

    What a lovely Blessed by Nature Wedding, it must have been. And you said it was covered with yellow flowers then.
    So simple, yet so beautiful, this Church.
    Even when I go touring, I make it a must to visit the local church and I’m enthralled with the Old Churches, the architecture, the carved paintings. Its so Pure and Precious.

    • Jessica October 7, 2016 / 8:33 am

      What a fabulous idea you have there! To visit the local churches. I love that! Especially since no two are alike.

      Thank you. For us, it was the only place on the planet to exchange our vows. We’d been there hundreds of times before, and hundreds of times since. And, every single time I step foot there, I know I’m home.

      Home in Faith. Home where hearts become completely filled up. I always leave there feeling like I walked out of a sanctuary. Love that. 💜

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