Church… Church and Kids… Church, Kids, and Your Husband being the one up front…
These things are all good things, and yet they are hard things.
There is a line from the movie Forest Gump, that goes “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
This is starting to ring true of Sunday morning with my kids…
To illustrate this further I would like to paint a picture for you of a recent Sunday morning. The boys were in rare form this particular Sunday…
One of my two year old’s favorite things in the morning recently, is when my alarm goes off on my phone, I personally love the snooze button! But Silas wants to make that a thing of the past, he has currently started crawling into bed once the alarm goes off and yells in my face with shear delight “Mommy phone, beeep! Mommy phone, beeep! Mommy phone, beeep!” you get the picture… Oh such joys…
I manage to get myself out of bed, and Daniel and I get the kids and ourselves ready. During these rushed mornings I’m thankful that I’m getting boys ready, they are pretty easy, if I forget to do their hair it’s not a big deal and seriously, dress shoes? What are those?! Sneakers are for every occasion with boys!!
I ran out of time to feed them breakfast at home. So yep folks… my answer to this… doughnuts! Sure, those might have aided in helping set up the morning for failure… but it’s Sunday morning, we are in survival mode!
And at this point in life I’m not sure if waking up earlier would help me, I think there is just some evil time suck vortex that happens on Sunday before church, you wake up, you start out directing and helping, then yelling and demanding, and all of a sudden it’s time to get in the car.
Once we get to church and it’s time for the service to begin, I settle into the pew with the boys. They make faces and smile at people and begin to do some nice playing. Then service starts, we start singing. Today two of them decided they would rather sing in the row in front of us, that would be fine if they stayed there but of course they didn’t (Mommy’s mean she doesn’t allow them to do laps around the pew). Thankfully, after the singing we walk around and have a greeting time, so this is all good, they can get a little more energy out and be social. We get back to our seats, they are generally more restless for some reason, but I pass out some of the activities and they start looking at those. Daniel starts to preach his sermon. Not 5 minutes into the sermon, two year old Silas stands up next to me in the pew, (thankfully he is short so him standing on the pew doesn’t look to awkward yet.) leans over and says “Mommy poopy… Mommy poopy!” Then he gets the “poop face” clenches his fists and audibly starts pooping in his diaper. By audibly I mean, Daniel heard it while he was preaching. Then Silas stood there awkwardly, just waiting for me to change him.
Now I should also add, that we sit basically in the very front of the sanctuary. It’s just one of those churches where people like to sit in the back. That leaves plenty of room in the front, so that is where we sit.
I turn to the older boys and tell them “I have to change Silas, you better behave while I do this or you will get it when we get home!” They look scared and nod their heads, so I figured I got my point across. I walk down the middle isle to take Silas to the back of the church to change him.
Later Daniel informed me that Judah and Caleb started wrestling, not to quietly either, about as soon as I was gone. Shortly after Caleb lost his wrestling match he decided to run to the back to find me. Then once Silas was good to go, Silas got a good look at the “great outdoors” through the glass doors at the front of the church, and decided that he wanted to be apart of them, so he started yelling unintelligible words at me and trying to get outside. I kind of shushed and bribed him with the snacks that I had waiting for him in the pew, but I still basically dragged him and Caleb back. We finally got back to our seats and “settled”, I passed out the snacks, and then was about to break out my secret weapon for Caleb and Silas. That’s right! The i-phone! I have a movie and a couple videos on it, they watch it on silent but they don’t care, they know it’s a privilege and most of the time it allows me to pay attention to the sermons.
However this phone has seen better days and it promptly died after two minutes of use. ;( More sadness and frustration ensued from Silas.
Caleb and Judah saw this morning as their opening to see how much attention they could get. I don’t even remember all the details of what they were doing, beyond they just kept racking up more loss of time on “screen time” for later in the day/week. We made it through though!
The people at the church are always encouraging, especially when it’s a “bad” Sunday for the kids and I. (Remember, we are in the front, so they get a good view of the crazy.) A few of them made it a point to encourage me, and then even tell me they can’t wait until our littlest has arrived!
Most of them have been there, it may have been many years, but they talk about having the kids in church like it is still fresh in their minds. And they know the importance of having our kids in church, even though they are young and not understanding most of the sermon or the importance of fellowship. Because they are watching us, watching us live out our faith, watching how important our walk with God is, and hearing His word, and getting the chance to watch their daddy, bring God’s word to others. And there is something so beautiful about that.
I want to encourage you mama’s out there who wonder why you are there on Sunday morning. Who may not get to hear the sermon because baby decides he needs to nurse during the sermon every Sunday. Or you are way too distracted with your little’s during that time to hear and enjoy the service. To those of you who have to stay in the nursery because sitting through the service right now is just to hard and the toddler refuses to be anywhere but your side, and especially to you who are busy taking care of special needs kids because they need lots of attention.
You are being faithful.
This is another way you can bring your children to Jesus’s feet. They are watching. They will remember. We pray that during these times seeds are being planted and are growing deep roots.
Often we do have good Sunday mornings at church, and for the most part it is getting easier. (Until February, when we add a fifth, and to be real and honest here, I’M SCARED!)
But sometimes, Sundays (or life in general) still goes haywire. And I want you all to know you are not alone!! It’s hard!! So keep shining the light of Christ, keep serving and loving on those kids.
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 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. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.