Knit Together

Knit Together

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully & wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14

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MOR Monday ~ Church

I should have written about this last week, after a particularly horrible day at church, but I didn’t. And then yesterday was bad too and I decided it was time to use it as fodder for a great Reality post. Big. Sigh.

Andy & I are Christians. Not “we go to church because we were raised to do that” Christians, but actually Jesus Freak Christians. We just love Him. And we’ve always gone to church as an outpouring of that love & thankfulness for what He has done for us. When we first had Charley I was pleasantly surprised that church wasn’t as difficult as I had worried it might be. Then we had Matthew and things were still very manageable. Then Matthew stopped sleeping for the entire service and Charley turned 2 and things got interesting.

Our service starts at 1pm. Could there possibly be a WORSE time of day to take my children somewhere and expect them to behave and even be interested in what is going on? No, there really could not be. Let me give you an example of just how bad it is for us (really? ME.)

Two weeks ago we arrived at church at our normal 12pm time. Oh, did I not mention that we only own 1 car and Andy has to be there an hour early to practice the music for service? Because he stands up front the entire service and leads worship? Yep, that’s right.

I then coral a very tired 2 year old who is sensitive and emotional and fidgety for an hour while keeping an eye on my 8 month old who needs to fall asleep but won’t. This hour is extremely difficult for me, but often other families straggle in early and Charley gets distracted by play mates which is a big help. Then church starts at 1pm. Somehow, every single week (EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.) the 55 minutes before service drags by and the last 5 minutes that I need to get my children into the pew with all our “luggage” zips past me and I’m running to my seat, 2 kids in tow, no husband to help because he’s playing his guitar up front.

Then Charley sits with me and Matthew for the first 15 minutes of service. After that Andy is allowed to leave his post because it’s time for the sermon so he grabs Charley and drops her at the nursery for the rest of the service. I usually sneak out to nurse Matthew at that point also. Well, last week we made it about 5 minutes into service. Matthew was whining/half crying the entire time desperate for sleep. And Charley would not sit still. She was up, down, trying to go under the pew, over the pew, whining for her snack, for her juice, mad I only had water, and then when I was fed up and exhausted and beyond my limits of self-control I spoke too harshly to my sensitive girl and she started crying. Loudly. Very loudly. So with my 22 pound 8 month old under one arm I reached out and grabbed her forcefully around her stomach and literally dragged her out of the service (okay, not literally since technically I was carrying her). She was so shocked by my loss of sanity that she was totally silent (small blessings?) on the way out.

Out in the foyer she lost it, sobbing. I snapped at her (yes. literally. I snapped at my daughter like she was an animal or something…there is no bag big enough to put on my head) and quietly but very harshly said “Charlotte! Enough!”

Ugh. Oh my goodness. That phrase. I H.A.T.E. that phrase. “Enough”…I felt horrible. She ignored me of course, and I sat down in front her, put Matty next to me (who was also silent…likely wondering if Mommy had lost her mind and if so he’d better just stay quiet so I don’t notice him) and cried. I only cried a little, and quietly, so that no one would notice. But I told her how sorry I was, I gave her a hug and I asked her to forgive me. She’s 2, so you know, she didn’t really get that last part, but she stopped crying and gave me a kiss so I took it.

She went happily to nursery after that (get me away from that woman! is likely what she was thinking) and I spent the rest of service outside with Matthew sleeping in his stroller trying not to cry. I went and hid during communion. I was so sad, angry, bitter, and frustrated I couldn’t even take communion. Talk about real.

Church is hard y’all. With 2 tiny people and at the worst time of day? It’s HARD. But I keep going. Every week I go and thanks to a wise friend, now every Sunday I just say “Jesus…I need good church today.” and I believe that some weeks He will answer me. I know He is there, faithful to me and loving me even when I’m lost, angry, depressed, frustrated…He’s there, waiting for me to come back to His table.

So say it with me Mommy’s who read this and thought “I’ve been there.”:

Jesus, I need good church today. Amen.

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12 Responses to “MOR Monday ~ Church”

  1. 1
    Sarah H:

    Oh boy. I totally understand. Until recently my hubby was a pastor, so I spent the entire service (and often the period following) on my own with two kids. It can be sooooooo hard! I often had to ask others to help me. I’ve had to drag my daughter out of the service screaming bloody murder on more than one occasion!

    So many Sundays it just doesn’t feel worth it. I like the “I need good church today” prayer – I must remember that!

  2. 2
    Jo:

    This is how I feel on many Sundays. I just didn’t know before becoming a mom, especially with two littles. *hug*

    And the solo parenting in the pew? I play the piano on alternating Sundays, and we don’t even attempt non-nursery times on those Sundays (it helps that both of ours are weaned at this point).

    I love your last sentence…such a wonderful mommy prayer. Thanks for your honesty, Kate.

  3. 3
    Tricia F.:

    I’m hear you, Kate. This is a hard season for us too. Very distracting, trying to help our kids be engaged in the worship, trying to parent with the eyes of my church family on me. It’s hard.

    I heard once that having our kids in church with us is very much like what the walk of faith is like. We are often distracted in our daily life of faith. We have good days and bad when it comes to our sins bubbling to the surface. I don’t know if I’m making sense here, but it made sense to me when I heard it.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing. :) Hugs.

  4. 4
    Lisa:

    I actually have been going through this all summer (well ever since I had Emma, but especially this summer). Jeff is always off doing something for church and lately Jesse hates the nursery. Sometimes I think, “There was no benefit by me going to church today, only unnecessary stress.” I know that the important thing is making the effort to keep it as a value, but some days are harder than others.

    Also, I forgot my filter at church yesterday and offended at least four people. Sometimes going to church is traumatizing with little ones and I lose my cool too.

  5. 5
    Megan:

    Yup! Church changes so much when you bring little ones into the picture. I like the analogy of our walk with God. It sure is hard. Isaac doesn’t nurse anymore and I feel like that was my secret quiet weapon. Now it’s gone!

  6. 6
    grace:

    “I’ve been there.” Oh, yes I have. We didn’t actually go to Church for awhile after Rhys-y was born because of all the drama.

    Good for you for having a Chruch prayer & for keeping at it. Man, just reading this post stressed me out! I agree, 1pm is the worst time for little kids to try and have Church… but then again, I’ve also struggled with 9am (first nap), 10am ( 2nd newborn feeding time), 11am (first nap time), 12pm (toddler hungry/tired) 1pm (toddler & newborn hungry & tired).

    How about 3 or 4pm???? :)

  7. 7
    Jamie:

    We need to talk about how I can make sundays easier for you. Especially since most of the time I am still in my pajamas while you are all leaving at noon and my car is just sitting there. Let’s talk.

  8. 8
    Jamie:

    P.S. I love you and I think you are the best mommy!!!

  9. 9
    Marianne:

    Big hugs to you!!!! An end is in sight! Boy do I remember those days and it seemed it would never pass. I’m not proud to admit it, but I dreaded Sundays, especially with the late service and a husband who wasn’t with me most of the service and fussy little ones. But now that my “baby” is 5 1/2 I can sit in the pew and the kids are worshiping beside me without my blood pressure rising! Hang in there, one week at a time, and trust that this is just God’s sanctifying work ;-)

  10. 10
    Lisa B:

    Go Kate! When Paul was a youth pastor, I spend mornings getting ready, getting to church, managing church and then getting home-alone. It is hard, but like you said, the reason we go isn’t because it is great for US but as an outpouring of love toward Christ. Even when we hide in a church bathroom stall (been there)crying – we are there -with God- with our spiritual family- in His house. Take heart Katie! We go through these seasons…some more graceful than others. I think young mommy-hood brings out some things in us that shouldn’t shock us – we are after all imperfect! Hugs.

  11. 11
    Carolyn Hice:

    I love you Jamie! Trying to make life a little bit easier for Katie!Church with young children is hard but you’re making it work Katie and remembering the prayer each Sunday is a great idea. Let’s pray for a solution to the service time:)

  12. 12
    Mina:

    I am sure you have heard from many people, but it DOES get easier. Okay, so you may need to leave the service or the grocery store b/c of a meltdown (either your children or yoruself), but know that you are only human and many people who have children will understand what you are going through. Those who give you a dirty look (I have gotten a lot of them!), give them a dirty look back. Hang in there.
    Hugs,
    Mina

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