we go to church

the first Sunday i took lucy to church she was 1 month old. now some people are lucky and their sabbath services are an hour long, or maybe an hour and a half. well, us lucky mormons have 3 hours of services every sunday. wahoo!

i digress, at church with brand new firstborn.  and i was so stressed out (i think i was stressed out the first 7 years of lucy's life, oh wait, i still am).  i had nursed her during sacrament meeting. i had nursed her during sunday school. she was fussy. she, just like every other baby, had this magical little monitor in her brain that went sitting! mom is sitting! aghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!.  and then she would cry until i stood up. fantastic. so i took her out to the hallway again, right outside the door so i could try and glean a little off the lesson, and i saw my friend Jan. I say friend, but i refer to her more as my "mentor" or "life-boat". Jan has given me some of the best advice as a mother I could ever receive, other than my mother. besides she's an amazing woman and example.

crap, digress again. so Jan looks at me and sees the look, that frazzled, new mom, flustered look. and she gently asks, "how are you doing?".  and i almost started bawling, except i'm not a cryer, dang it. and i said something to the effects of, "oh, i don't even know why i am here. i've had to leave every meeting. i have no idea what any of the lessons were on.  i'm disrupting everyone else's class by getting up and down. i should have just stayed home and let her nap."

and then Jan said the best thing i have ever heard concerning worshipping with children, she gently held my shoulder and said, "You are not disrupting anyone, and besides that, you don't come for you anymore.  You come to church for her. It is just something you do, you go to church no matter what, and you do it for your children."

and those words seared my brain and heart and i took a deep breath, let out a sigh, and stood up a little taller. "ok," i thought, "i can do this."  and i continued to bounce fussy little lucy in the hallway.  and in the past 7 1/2 years i've walked a lot of hallways, and missed hundreds of lessons, and read a million bulletin boards that say, "You can still finish college!"  and "Stake Service Project!" and "Single Adult Get Together This Weekend!"  but one thing has been constant,  that unless someone has the stomach flu, or a fever and a cough and/or runny nose,

we go to Church.

and luckily we have a lot of good sundays, where the kids don't wiggle too much and i sing a hymn that helps me think about a solution to a problem, or they fall asleep in Sunday School and i listened to a lesson on Gethsemane. or ty and i get to just sit quietly together for an hour, alone! thank you nursery!

but after every good sunday is an awful one. where you are yelling at everyone to "get in the car!" and your husband is walking slower than molasses to find the car keys, and you skirt is tucked into your nylons and you argue about where to park and where to sit. where the kids have ginormous african ants in their pants and can't sit still. or the closing prayer last 15 minutes when your kids only had 5 minutes of reverence left in them, or they won't go to class, or they have a blow-out that reaches all the way to the toes of their tights, or they barf all over your sweater set or you and your husband both have to teach a class at the same time and fight over who has to take the baby and/or pick up the other  kids.

but no matter what the circumstances, or how grumpy the kids are or i am (because the last 3 sundays i have been GRUMPY, and all i wanted to do was stay home for 3 hours by myself and clean the house):

we go to church. we go for the children. we go for ourselves. we dress in our finest clothes, and do our hair as nice as possible (some days that's not so nice) and walk reverently and sit reverently (ha!) to show our Father in Heaven that we love him. that we are thankful for all that we have. that we can give him 1.78% of our time in the week to worship him.  1.78%! (and that's just for 3 hours) and of course i would like everyone to come to my church, but i'm not too picky. if you have a faith that you believe in, then go to that church on sunday. or if you are Jewish, then go to church on Saturday.  don't think about how long it has been since you have gone, or the things you have done wrong since the last time you went (hello, we are all sinners, every single one, didn't you get the memo?) or the people you don't want to see when you go. because you aren't going for other people, you aren't going for yourself, you are going for your kids. (but if you don't have kids, you go for your future children, or your grandchildren, or your nieces and nephews, and i promise you will still get something out of it for yourself.)

and that has blessed my life in so many ways that i can't even count. and i will always thank Jan for those words, "...go to church." not so other people see us. not to look good. we don't go for other people. we go for our Heavenly Father, we go for our children. we just go to church.

post church yesterday-this photo is a blessing in itself. make-up on & my hair is brushed!
*if you need any help finding a meeting to go to in your area, just click here!


Whitney Baldwin said...

Beautiful post. And I love that picture of beautiful you.

Loved this. Loved, loved, loved.

Natalie said...

This is wonderful! You are wonderful! And even though you told me yesterday you were grumpy....I didn't believe it because you were smiling and radiant! Being a mom is not for whimps! You are doing a great job. Love you girl!

Anonymous said...

Your friend Jan's comment is awesome! Totally what I needed to hear. The last few Sundays have been really hard for me. Thanks for a great post! And you look fab :)

Trent & Tara said...

neat post. Annie you look so beautiful in this pic. i love your light eyes with your dark hair. lucky.

Bowler Family said...

This was a lovely post Annie. I enjoyed it and it helped me think!! You look wonderful!!

Lara H. said...

Loved this post Annie. I feel this way most Sundays, frazzled and horrible for disrupting everyone during class. Thanks for sharing what Jan said. It helped me A LOT!

Emily said...

You are an amazing writer! Thank you for sharing your talent with all who are lucky enough to find your blog!

Keep up the amazing work!

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog via another blog. I am not of the same faith. But I can really relate to you and your post. I go to meetings twice a week. And I have said and felt the same way as you. My son is 11 months. And I often feel like staying home. But I need to do it, for him and me. You have an awesome way with words!


Annie Leavitt said...

thanks for visiting bridget! and good job on taking your son to church, what a blessing you are giving him : )

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