Tag Archives: church

Why I Go to Church Without My Husband

Nearly every Sunday, I line my little ones up for a quick picture before we go into church. It’s just a fun thing I do because I like looking back at the photos as they change over time. I often share them on Facebook or Instagram, and it never fails, every few weeks someone comments or messages me asking, “HOW do you do it?!” The “it” being get 5 kids dressed up and to church weekly. Well, I just do. The same way some moms get 1, 2, or 6 kids up, dressed, and out the door to school every day. It’s important, so we do it, even if it’s not easy.
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Over the years, there have been many, many Sundays when I have carried a baby on my hip and/or held the hands of little ones as we crossed a parking lot, found classrooms, and made our way to seats at church. Unfortunately, a larger number than I care to count of those trips were done alone, without my husband beside me, especially over the last couple of years. Neither of us have enjoyed this situation, but it is what it is. My husband doesn’t like missing church, and I don’t like going alone. He’s also super helpful when it comes to getting kids ready and out the door. However, his job complicates things, and he can’t always go to church with us. Currently, he’s only able to go every other week. The other weeks, I’m on my own. He’ll help me get them out the door if he’s still at home, but I can’t get up counting on his help because if he gets a call and has to go, I’m left scrambling and unprepared. Been there. Done that.

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When I show up with our crew, I usually get surprised looks and comments like, “Wow! Supermom!” I usually smile and laugh, but if little ears weren’t listening I’d tell those onlookers, “No. Exhausted mom.” Because by that point, I am.

I’ve dressed and fed them, combed hair, made ponytails, helped with requests for cologne or “smell goods,” changed diapers, refilled sippy cups, found lost shoes, herded kids to the car, buckled seat belts, taken a kid back inside to potty, retrieved dropped hair bows and blankets, driven nearly an hour, gone over our plan and expectations, found lost shoes again, found lost hair bows again, unloaded our van, and herded them across a busy parking lot. At that point it’s only about 2/3 over. Before I get to sit down, we will make our way through a crowded building to the bathroom, help 2 go potty, wash hands, stop at the water fountain, make our way back through the crowd to check everyone in, then drop kids off on three different halls in 2 different buildings. Sometimes Most of the time I’m sweating by the time they’re safely in their classrooms. I probably don’t even look like the same woman that walked in the door with them. 🙂

I don’t say this to brag. At all. I say all that to tell you, it’s not easy. Most of the time I wouldn’t call it hard necessarily (unless you’ve been up all night with a baby and you’re running on 3 hours of broken sleep. Then it’s hard. Very hard.), but it is work – a lot of work. It does require planning, energy, and dedication. I don’t have it all together. When we leave our house on Sunday mornings, more often than not it looks like someone broke in and ransacked the place. Not to mention, the pictures should speak for themselves. They certainly are not frame worthy every week.

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But it’s worth it. Very worth it. Even on the Sundays when things have gone terribly, terribly wrong, there has always been that one part in the sermon, or one comment from a friend or stranger, or that moment of Peace during a favorite song that reminded me why I did it that morning and encouraged me to keep going. I’ve learned that God gives strength to the weak and rest to the weary. I’ve learned that people you have no idea exist (because you’re busy counting heads and rushing to the potty) are watching you and the example you set, good or bad. The few weeks I have stayed home and deemed it to be too much work, I have always regretted my decision.

Mamas, take your babies to church, even when it means going without your husband. I believe those may be even more important Sundays because the effort you put in shows your children that even when it’s not easy, and it is exhausting, it’s worth it. It’s important to go and worship with other believers. It’s important to join with a church family and learn and serve together. Church isn’t just something we do when it’s convenient or easy. It’s part of life, and life is messy.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Heb. 10:24-25

It’s worth it.

 

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“Being patient is waiting happy.”

I have always considered myself to be a rather patient person. Slow traffic doesn’t bother me; i don’t get upset about waiting in line at the grocery store; it doesn’t bother me to be stuck behind a tractor on the highway. Waiting is something we all have to do, so why get upset about it? My 2 year-old on the other hand, doesn’t yet understand this concept, and it can make me a little crazy. When he wants a cup of juice, he wants me to drop what I’m doing (even if it’s making him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich) and get the juice. He stands next to the sink in the kitchen, asking me 20 times in 30 seconds for apple juice.  He only stops when he sees me getting a cup out of the cabinet and pulling the juice from the refrigerator. No matter how many times I say, “I’m working on it,” or “Yes, just give Mommy a second,” he doesn’t believe me until he sees me doing it.

Last Sunday the pastor of our church gave a sermon on Genesis 16 and 17. God made a promise to Abram, but after waiting a while, he decided he better work on it himself. From that came the birth of Ishmael. In Genesis 17 God reassured Abram that he had not forgotten his promise, but God didn’t need Abram’s assistance in fulfilling it. The covenant would be fulfilled through Isaac, the son of God’s plan, not Ishmael, the son of Abram’s plan. Until God laid it out in front of him, step by step, he didn’t believe him.

Much like my 2 year-old.

And myself.

You see, I may be patient with everyday inconveniences, but the big stuff? Well, I’m realizing lately that’s a different story. On and off, for years now, I have prayed a similar prayer over and over, and over. I cringe to think that over the last 2 years I have sounded like my own 2 year-old to God. It makes me so very thankful for 1 Corinthians 13:4, “Love is patient…” I’m glad He can (and does) overlook my whining! He understands that while I hear Him saying, “I’ve got this. I said yes, now let me work on it,” just like Abram, and my son, I have a hard time believing it until I see the details laid out before me.

Now I have changed my prayer. There is no need for me to continue asking God for something He has promised me. Instead, I will thank God for His promise. I will pray that the details will all be worked out and that I will have the patience, wisdom, strength, and words to help my family deal with the waiting also.

This morning I decided to start Beth Moore’s Esther study again. I have done this study once before, but it has been on my mind for a week now, so I figured I better listen and go get it off the shelf. Sure enough, there in black and white, on page 14,”When we trust our lives to the hand and pen of an unseen but ever-present God, He will write our lives into His story and every last one of them will turn out to be a great read. With a grand ending. And not just in spite of those catastrophes. Often because of them.”

Patience isn’t just a matter of waiting. It’s remember God’s promises to us and waiting for His answer. His plans and timing are perfect, even if we can’t see all the details. Trust in Him. A good friend recently told me that she explains patience to her 3 year old daughter by saying, “Being patient is waiting happy.” I think that’s a good definition for a 3 year-old and a 25 year-old.

“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

PS – As I was typing this my son finished his cup of milk and asked for a cup of juice. Twice. And took his diaper off. Twice. This is a lesson on patience in parenting too. 🙂

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You know you have THAT kid….

if you get an email from his church group leader, asking you to preview a new room divider system and give an opinion based on whether your child has the ability to climb over it.

Oh yes, the future of the Littles’ classroom setup depends on my son’s climbing abilities. He’s 2. I probably should not have laughed when I read that email…or made jokes about him climbing over it for Sharpies in my reply e-mail. What can I say? My kid’s a leader. I will never ask him, “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?” If his friends are jumping off a bridge, he’s already swimming for the shore.

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