(Long, but worth the read, at least I think so)
On Saturday night I was discussing with my husband my lack of desire to go to church. Mark can only go with me every other Sunday and he needs the car on the days he works. I am left with the stroller to walk, which isn't so bad on a nice day. I always feel so stressed out about going to church. So stressed that I haven't been for about 5 weeks. Grant it, there was sick kids and General Conference mixed in there. The whole idea of having to walk to church in cold, wet, or snow just really didn't help. Normally when I go to church I have a hard time finding a seat. I especially have a hard time finding a bench seat and a bench seat that isn't in the very front. Those of you with young children know how horrible and difficult the front row is. Gwenie repeatedly runs off and the boys feel the floor in front of the bench is their playroom. All this going on while I am trying to keep Rosaline from falling off the bench. I never get any offers of help when I am on my own and several times have been shushed and given angry/irritated looks by people. I really do the best I can in my situation. Even when I was 9 months pregnant and had just walked to church with three children in 95+ degree weather, I rarely even received acknowledgement of my existence. I kept going though, no matter what. Well, until 5 weeks ago. Something always goes wrong before church and it does shake my desire to go.
Saturday night and Sunday morning when I prayed I told the Lord that if he could just help me by making things easier, making things go smoothly and on time, then I would really put forth a great effort. Things were going really well. I got up early and showered, had the kids clothes ready. I was able to bathe and dress them all quickly and easily. They were all very helpful and obedient. I was feeling really good. Mark had even remembered to leave me the stroller.
I got all the kids together, diaper bag ready and we were going to load up. It had been raining earlier and that had slowed to just a mist. I get out there and realize the stroller is soaked to the bone.
I called Mark to make him feel guilty and resigned myself to walking to church carrying Rosaline and the diaper bag in the rain. We were walking and got to the end of the parking lot when my neighbors(Ashley and Daniel) and their three kids in their mini van reversed and offered us a ride. I really just had to accept the help. I was wearing heals and Rozzy is a chubby little thing. I was embarrassed but truly grateful. First sign from the Lord.
Then I find a seat...the FRONT row. I was grateful for a bench seat and was having high hopes because my children had been so well behaved all day. I spoke too soon. The kids were up to their trickery!! Gwenie kept running off, the boys were playing so noisily and taking up the entire floor in front of us. I was feeling so embarrassed, having to get Gwenie 4 times from the stands as she shouted, "I see you Mommy!!" My boys would just not listen to me. It all seemed quite hopeless...until a single middle aged woman named Janet came and sat with us. She immediately started to entertain Liam and Gwenie. She even distracted Duncan for a time. She sat with me and my kids the whole time! She said that she will watch for me every Sunday to see if I need help, after I told her my situation.
Then as I was leaving for Sunday school one of the members of the bishopric(father of 7) came up to me and told me not to worry or stress about my kids bothering everyone. He said that I was doing a great job and that I was brave to handle them all by myself.
Then my visiting teaching companion came up to me and offered to take the boys to primary. Then Gwenie ran off and was no where to be found. I think she tried to follow the boys. I was looking all over the building then a guy in my ward(Jacob Hamberlin) helped me locate her. I dropped her off at nursery and headed to Sunday school.
Rosaline fell asleep on the floor in Sunday school(which is in the Relief Society room). That certainly made things easy.
Then Relief Society was starting. Normally I don't really have anyone who sits with me. No one ever really has(except for Mary Heaton who got moved to another ward). I have actually just accepted this. Then this new girl in the ward came and sat by me. She was totally friendly and funny. We really hit it off. Our birthdays are one day apart and we have already decided that we should get together for some girl time(which I never have anymore since my friend Clarin moved away).
Church ended and Ashley offered to give me and my children a ride home. She even had a church meeting to go to and her husband went to choir practice. Very nice of them!! I am truly blessed to have such wonderful neighbors(who are also willing to put up with my boys when they play outside).
All in all I think the Lord was trying to tell me something. That something was to GO TO CHURCH!! I think I am going to have to become an active member again or something, haha!!
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