11 June 2013

Did I Really Put on a Dress for This?

Last Sunday during church, I found myself wondering the halls with Miranda tagging along right beside me. Miranda usually has a case of the wiggles during church, but this time it was tantrum central. Eventually I gave up and let Miranda crawl around outside of the meeting room. Tired and frustrated, I wondered why we even came to church at all. I got absolutely nothing from the sermons that were given because I was too busy bribing Miranda with toys, pulling her out from underneath the pews, silencing her screams, and eventually, walking around the halls.

I could have had this same experience at my own house. Why did I put on a dress and drive to church for this tantrum?

And then I realized that it's not about me anymore.

There are a lot of reasons why I choose to go to church, but some of those reasons have changed since becoming a parent. Before, church was about me growing closer to God and Christ, me finding things in my life that I needed to improve from week to week, me increasing in my spirituality, me finding peace and happiness.

Although I still strive toward these goals, I have now added a little person to one of the reasons why I go to church. I need to teach her and show her how to grow closer to God and Christ, teach her how to improve, teach her about spirituality, and help her find peace and happiness. One of the ways I choose to teach her is through taking her to church.

I may not come out of church each week with a huge sense of increased spirituality (and let's face the facts here, with an active baby, I usually don't), but what I am doing is showing my daughter something that has brought me great happiness, peace, and comfort in my life. I have a hope that through Lorin's and my examples, Miranda will have have those same things too.

So, we take her to church every Sunday. Some days we can sit through a whole church meeting, other days you will find us letting Miranda get her crazies out in the hallway. But we are teaching her and setting an example for her—

even if that means starting with the basics—like not throwing tantrums during church meetings.

Question for you: For you church-goers, have you ever felt this way before? What keeps you going to church with a screaming child? 

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  1. My kids had a case of the sillies this Sunday. They weren't being naughty, so much as just goofy. But still not reverent. It's so challenging sometimes. They had been so rowdy that I asked them if they could name even one thing that had been said during the meeting. Something specific, not just something general like "choosing the right" or something. Lo and behold, the older three all could. It reassured me that they really did get something out of the meeting, even if it didn't seem like it. And I assure you, it didn't. I hope my kids learn that we go because it IS important, even when (and especially when) it's hard! :)

  2. What a great experience! That makes me feel so much better, Kristen! Miranda might be too little to glean anything from church yet, but I need to remember that she will be listening and will remember the things she learns as she gets older.

  3. OH...I await the blessed day when Hayden starts nursery...Ha! Yep. it's pretty insane trying to get him to be calm in sacrament. We just keep going. I am happy if I get one little nugget of insight or knowledge from the meeting! God knows that we're trying.

  4. Hold on little mothers! The day will come when you hold deep gospel conversations with your children, when you see them turn to their Savior for comfort when you can't be there, when their own testimony shines so bright it lights your way. It's worth the wait!

  5. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Carole. You know exactly what we are talking about! I am excited to see those things in Miranda one day.

  6. I just try to remember that these moments are so fleeting and small in hindsight. I'm currently in this phase with Mitchell too and I'm sure all parents would agree to a pre-nursery class. But then you do send them to nursery/primary and you find yourself leaving class several times just because you want to get another glimpse of their faces through the window of their class to see them learning about the gospel. Then you realize how much you miss having them with you for the entire block of church. Because it won't happen again. ever. So while it's easy to feel like you don't get any spiritual nourishment by going to church, the nourishing of your child sort of comes first anyway. Besides that is what personal scripture study is for, right? I learned early on in being a mom that I can survive missing church lessons only if I keep myself nourishing in my personal efforts to know my Savior everyday. Youve got this. Miranda will thank you one day.

  7. I have those moments too. Why am I even doing this???!! But when Owen starts singing a nursery song without being prompted, I am reminded why I go.


What are your thoughts, my friends?

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