I had a Sister from my ward today ask me if I had journaled about an experience we had a couple weeks ago with Leah at Church. I had NO idea what she was referring to, she reminded me and that is what brings me here today.
Leah is our "fun, fun, fun" child. Games, activities, friends the more hype the better. This energy of hers has made her a bit of a phenomena to her parents. We love her, we just struggle daily to help her...make the decisions we want her to make. :) For instance, going to church.
Over the last couple of months, and especially since the start of the New Year and 9 am church, Leah has been struggling with the concept of attending church. Our preparation for Sunday usually begins on Thursday or Friday talking about our weekend and what we would do each day. Maybe talk about what she wants to wear to Church, who she would see at Church, we might even discuss breakfast options. :) I have borne testimony of why I go to Church and want to be there. I have sung with her her favorite Primary songs while getting ready for Church and still, still we have experiences like these...
Sunday, December 16th---Leah was dragging her feet all morning long. She didn't want what was made for breakfast. She wanted a snack at 12noon when we are suppose to be heading down the stairs to the car to make it to Church on time. When we got to Church we sat in the pew behind the before-mentioned Sister and her family.
As a rule I do not allow my children any "distractions" when the Sacrament of Bread and Water is being passed around the congregation. They are allowed to color in a coloring book until a member of the Ward Bishopric stands to begin the service. Then all coloring books are removed and Quiet Books with pictures of Christ, prophets, and other gospel principles are pulled out and available. Only the Quiet Books are allowed until the Aaronic Priesthood members (generally 12-18 year old young men) are dismissed to sit with the congregation. Leah knows this routine and it has served, at times, as an added incentive to prepare properly and arrive at church with time to settle in and acclimate (i.e. color).
On this day Leah was having (to quote her) "a rough day". So when the Sacrament was being passed and we were sitting sans coloring book it really wasn't too surprising to us to hear her say, "Church is boring. Why do we have to come? All we do is sit...and do nothing." Kevin and I just looked at each other shaking our heads and sadly smiling. We have worked so hard to instill in her a love of the gospel, and though she loves aspects of Church her "fun, fun, fun" mentality has a hard time wrapping her mind around "Church". I'm not too worried, she's 5, and I believe we are on the right path to helping her see Our Savior's love in all things.
Lets fast forward to this past Sunday, February 3rd---We prepared Saturday night, bathing/showering, pulling out clothes for church, setting the alarm, and making sure there was something pre-made for breakfast. Sunday morning came and things went pretty well. We got to Church at 8:45am and I really needed to have been there at 8:30am to do all I needed to do, c'est la vie. Kevin took the kids into the Chapel and sat with them while I made a mad dash to draw a "Great and Spacious Building" and "Tree of Life" for Sharing Time and to pull out and review the attendance roles. Kevin was getting pretty nervous till I slid in during the Sacrament Hymn. Disaster 1 averted. But possible Disaster 2 still hung in the future.
The previous day I had been called and asked to give the Benediction. I accepted and remembered all morning long...until the closing hymn was being sung. I was gathering all coloring things and cleaning up so my kids could focus on being reverent for the closing prayer (i.e. Benediction). When the final note was sung it took me a moment and a half to realize I already should have been heading to the pulpit. I quickly stood and pushed out of my pew and to the pulpit nearly losing my footing. Owen screamed thinking I was leaving him and didn't stop till he realized I was before him and talking, by the time I had spoken 10 words he was calm.
After saying, "Amen," and starting to leave the "stand" Leah says, in her normal voice, "Good job Mommy. You did great!" Her normal voice is what most would consider their voice projecting. It made me smile. I think I caught a few others smiling as well. :)