28 August 2006

Moral of the Day Monday

Sometimes effort alone is enough.

Yesterday we were 30 minutes late to church. It starts at 9 in the morning, and is a daunting task to have 6 people there by then.

Of course, the more agitated everyone got as they scurried through the house getting ready, the more things went awry... stubbed toes, knocked over cups of juice, neglected toddlers left to rip the newspaper into thousands of teeny, tiny shreds. It's Murphy's Law at its best. But we have made a commitment to go to church every Sunday, come what may.

So we get there and everything is going pretty well. The kids are reverent... for about 15 mintues. Then my 4 yr. old notices that his usual Thomas magnet set is missing from the "Sunday grab bag". Oh crap. The Thomas color forms and felt board were not a suitable substitution. So he lied down in the middle of the pew and began to cry. Daddy scooped him up, took him out into the hall, talked to him, and brought him back in. Everything is fine again... for about 15 mintues. (Lol, do you see where I am going here?) Things went sour two more times, same child, before the end of our meeting.

With a sigh of relief, my husband and I ushered everyone out of the chapel doors and on down the hall to their respective Sunday School classes. Again my 4 yr. old protested. What side of bed did he get out on, I am beginning to wonder? My husband had to get to his class that he teaches and I am standing in the hallway with a very reluctant 4 yr. old, a 7 week old and an almost 2 yr. old who looks like he's teetering on the edge of a meltdown as well. For the 2 yr. old, it is expected, in fact normal, to have separation anxiety. We deal with it. For the 4 yr. old, not so much. Daddy checks in on his class and takes our toddler to Nursery, says he be right back for the "middle child". He comes out of Nursery and gives me a thumbs up. Phew, all went well. The preschooler, however, is lying down again - this time in the middle of the hallway. So, Daddy scoops him up again and takes him into class with him to teach.

Not 5 mintues later, said "middle child" is being disruptive in Daddy's class. I was still outside in the hallway chatting away with some other hookey players ;), and showing off the baby, and therefore had no excuse not to rescue him. Just then the nursery leader comes out and tells me "Oh, Sister so-and-so has your son, he started crying so hard I thought he might puke. I knew you had the baby and that your husband is trying to teach right now, so I handed him off to her." I look down at my 4 yr. old who is pouting and on the floor again. Now I am officially short handed. I take the 4 yr. old back into Daddy's class, quietly explain our dilemma, and go check on my toddler. He's nodding off in my friend's arms who mouths to me "Don't worry about him." Love her. Because by now, the baby is fussing and ready to eat. So, off I go to feed and change her. She pees all over her dress. I do not have another one to put on her. S-okay. I am able to clean her up fairly well with wet wipes,
God's greatest creation, and feed her, and catch the last 20 minutes of Relief Society. Of course, I am exhausted, my back is in knots, my head is beginning to ache. As I walk by the fawyer, I notice that no one is occupying the sofa. Hmmm, tempting, but I get on to my class.

I sit down and begin to wonder quietly, why do I put myself through this? Is it worth the enormous effort to only get 20 minutes worth of meaningful church in? I look around the room and into the tired faces of all my sisters. We then sing "Abide With Me; Tis Eventide" together:

Abide with me; 'tis eventide.
Thy walk today with me
Has made my heart within me burn,
As I communed with thee.
Thy earnest words have filled my soul
And kept me near thy side.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.
O Savior stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.

I realize then that my effort alone is worth it... to hear a few of God's earnest words alone is worth it. The Lord is by my side at all times... both when I am folding the umpteenth load of laundry and when I have come to worship Him, but coming to worship Him, making Sunday His day, is the least I can do to show my gratitude. And so I say to all my sisters, keep on... the Lord is by your side and has been through it all, including the Sunday morning frustrations.

And that's the moral of the day.


Valarie said...

you always have the best outlook. I'm glad you found at least a few minutes to be uplifted. It makes it so much easier to face the next week.

Tigersue said...

That is so true. Sometimes I have wondered why I am there at all. I have gotten to the point, if I can take the sacrament and if the kids are that upset, just take me home, let me put them to bed and I will read the scriptures for awhile.
It has been a bit different this time around with Abbie, since I play the piano in primary, Michael has had to deal with the little ones for the most part.
The hard part is when it is his month to conduct in priesthood. I guess I will see how this next month will go. Abbie is now 10 months old, it could make primary that much more fun!

Nicole said...

This was such an uplifting post, thank you for sharing.

sheri said...

You're such an inspiration.
I had a good friend tell me at church a few weeks ago that when she was in the baby/toddler stage of motherhood, her goal was to hear just 1 line or topic per class and just focus on that throughout the week. I've been doing that lately and it's amazing what just 1 simple thought can do to help me suddenly feel like I'm actually getting something out of church these days!

Morning Glory said...

Ah, this was good. Even the littlest snippet of good encouragement is sometimes all we need for the lift. Thanks for a great perspective.

Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

If nothing else, it's to show what side you're on, isn't it? :) I'm always thrilled when that rare occasion of not having to leave Sacrament meeting happens. But it is rare, and the rest of the time... oh, well, at least I'm here, and I'm teaching my kids how to spend their Sundays.

Stephanie said...

I think all moms that take kids to church should get automatic sainthood.

I chuckled a little bit at the first, not because I thought it was funny only because I think we are living in parallel universes. Our Sunday tornado was not much better.

I suppose one day when we see our kids struggling with their kids in church, we will know that we taught them exactly what they needed to know and they are passing it on.

Good job mom!

utmommy said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel. I've been in almost identical situations. Some a lot worse, and somehow survived. I often wondered if going to church just to walk the halls was worth it. I'm trying to believe it is. We are teaching are children that church is where we belong on Sundays. Hopefully it sticks! Thank you for such a positive outlook!

Nettie said...

Great post! I've had many Sundays that the only thing I've gotten out of church was the satisfaction that I at least showed my children where we are supposed to be. Here's hoping next week is a bit smoother for you!

The Mother Load said...

Sometimes it takes only one word, to make the difference as long as it's God's word.

Gabriela said...

great moral. I love that hymn. I think we are experiencing the calm before the storm right now in church. I have a feeling a few more months and it will get pretty crazy.

Lee said...

It is so hard when your kids are little. So often I wonder WHY am I doing this? Why torture myself. Then my kids say something that they learned, and I realize they are getting it. They love Sunday, they love to go to Church. So even though somedays are wretched, it is okay. What a great reminder!

FrogLegs said...

Thanks for the post... :) I am indeed blesssed-- having 1 child who does his things and I can hear everything... To every circumstance comes blessings... I need to try to remember that always.