When the kids were little, I used to think Sunday were so hard. Getting 4 kids dressed in their Sunday best and out the door and into church on time, was no small feat! Many times Jeff had earlier meetings, so we just met him at church ( which meant I had to have everyone ready by myself ). It is no wonder I have a bad back, you should have seen the size Sunday bag that I carried! It had to be able to have a fresh change of clothes for the baby and diapers, wet wipes, food, bottles, toys and his favorite blanket. For our 2 year old, it had to have every type activity that would keep her quiet, sitting still and not harassing the people behind or in front of us, then there were coloring books, and other books for the older kids. Luckily they could carry their own scriptures. Once when Lauren was a little bit older, she wanted to start bringing her own scriptures to church like her older brother and sister. But when we arrived at church, I noticed that Lauren was playing with Beanie Babies, I looked to see who gave them to her…still she was quiet so I really didn’t question it. Later that night after the kids had gone to bed, I began my usual nightly clean up, and I noticed that Lauren had left her scripture bag in the living room. As I went to pick it up, I was surprised at how full it was, but not really heavy? As I unzipped the bag…out fell quite a few Beanie Babies, that is where they came from. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. It was sad that she took out her scriptures and replaced them with stuffed animals, and yet it was funny because as much as this little girl wanted to be big like her brother and sister…her need for entertainment won out!
Then there were the days when the kids were older, they some times had a hard time getting ready for church. Sometimes they were just tired from not getting to bed on time and just were grumpy in the morning with each other. Other times, we did great till about the time we were just ready to all get in the car and then realized that someone lost their shoe. I always thought I was doing pretty good to have everyone ready and to that point, especially if we had all been in a great mood that morning and things were running smoothly. Then it happened…the DISAPPEARING SHOE, how could one shoe cause so much trouble? Weren’t we the nice happy family getting ready to go to church? Then all heck breaks loose, voices sometimes were raised ( just a bit higher or louder, usually mine although I hate to admit it ), first requests were asked for the help of the missing shoe; then if there was still no shoe, then demands came in and well…my kids could tell you the rest. Did we find the shoe? Sometimes we did, there were some days that we someone had to just wear their socks and sometimes we had to change our shoes ( and a few times even the outfit ), but the spirit in our home changed and I once again thought Sundays are Hard!
Now 30 years later, Jeff and I sit in church by ourselves. We don’t have anyone to remind to sit up, to be quiet and listen, no one to talk to while getting ready for church, and no one to put your arm around and tell them that you love them (even when they acted like they were embarrassed ). So now I would repeat once again…Sundays are Hard! I miss my kids, I am doing better during the week, but Sundays are Hard.
I find the best way to ease this aching heart of mine, is to try and sit with some of our dear friends with little kids, then I can help out by holding and entertaining them while maybe giving their Moms and Dads a chance to actually listen.
It does my heart good to know though that even though we aren’t together any more, that each of my kids are sitting at church too each Sunday. I pray that not only will they be there, but that they will listen and receive what they need spiritually, to make it throughout the next week . Yes, Sundays may be hard, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. It has made all the difference in my life and in theirs I believe, because we did go to church every Sunday… for all those years! So actually Sundays are GOOD!
This is the sweet little guy that I try to sit with each week on Sundays! Yes, he knows his Aunt Lynn is pretty crazy about him…I’m sure you can see why?
Gordon B. Hinckley said…
“Most of you are mothers, and very many of you are grandmothers and even great-grandmothers. You have walked the sometimes painful, sometimes joyous path of parenthood. You have walked hand in hand with God in the great process of bringing children into the world that they might experience this estate along the road of immortality and eternal life. It has not been easy rearing a family. Most of you have had to sacrifice and skimp and labor night and day. As I think of you and your circumstances, I think of the words of Anne Campbell, who wrote as she looked upon her children:
You are the trip I did not take;
You are the pearls I cannot buy;
You are my blue Italian lake;
You are my piece of foreign sky.
“You [mothers] are the real builders of the nation wherever you live, for you have created homes of strength and peace and security. These become the very sinew of any nation.”