Today I sat at the dining room table live streaming the sermon from church. We have recently started attending church and due to the late night New Year’s eve partying (not quite to midnight but still stayed awake till 10pm, Ha!), we decided to let the kids continue sleeping.
As the pastor was speaking, I swear it was as if he was talking directly to me. He was talking about raising children and spending time praying with them, choosing godly friends for them and setting the example for faithfulness.
I am embarrassed to admit that attending church is something new to our family. It is not as if we didn’t believe B.C. (before children) or anything. We just simply stopped being intentional in our faith. Life became chaotic and before we could realize, our faith and God was put on the back burner.
Today’s sermon reminded me of our first day at church. It’s the church my sister-in-law and her husband attend, so we decided to give it a try. unfortunately we kind of sprung it on the kids, so they were a little apprehensive.
First we took the older kids to sunday school, where we registered them and me and the hubby had to get fingerprints scanned and our pictures taken. I have to say I was quite impressed. Too Bad the kids were not as impressed. When it came time to take their photos tears came streaming down as if we had told them they were getting the flu vaccine. The people who worked there were really nice but my poor kids were just not going to cooperate. We toured, then we politely said maybe next time.
If that wasn’t enough, it was time to walk the 4yo to his preschool class. Silly me thought it would be easier for him since his cousin would be in the same class. That would be a big fat no on the easy front. He screamed and the teacher had to quite literally peel him off of me. Her words were ” just let me take him and run momma!” so that I did.
After what felt like a lifetime, we finally made it to the service. Arriving to church early and now late for the service thanks to the fiasco of trying to get the kids into class. We had sat down for all of five minutes when the oldest stated she was bored. So back to Sunday school we went!
It was right after I dropped the oldest to class and made it back downstairs that I received the text. 4yo is still upset and completely inconsolable. What? my son? So I turned my butt around the corner to the preschool and sure enough, they had pulled my son out of the classroom in an attempt to calm him down with one on one attention, but no. He was still crying inconsolably. The only thing I could do was grab that sweet boy and head back to church. Did I mention we were sitting in the very back row at the top of the stairs? Yep, I had to carry my 4yo all the way back up those steps in heels. Whew! Now with the 4yo in my lap I could get my church on!
The truth is I was anxious. I really didn’t pay that much attention that first day, because all the chaos stressed me out. Part of me wondered if this would all be worth it. Is stressing myself and my kids out worth going through this every Sunday? I wasn’t really sure. But then I began reading a bible study called Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood. That’s when I began to understand.
I was reading Day four of the first week in the study, when it began talking about bringing our children to God. The author shares an experience a friend had with her children not being welcome in the adult church and explains that it really isn’t a church you would want to attend then. What I learned was, that God wants us to continue to try to show up even when it’s hard. Even when its stressful, we should still try. So we did. My kids sit with me and my husband in the adult services bored, and flopping all over those church pews but they sit quietly and we show up. I hope that one day my kids will feel comfortable attending the children’s services but how wonderful to attend a church that isn’t bothered with children in the service. My parents always sent us to church on a bus and never attended with us so I like that we do this as a family. What a blessing.
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. he said to them ” Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. – Mark 10:13-14,16.