When I was pregnant with the Happy Buddy I had visions of him being a baby in my arms, the 2 of us swaying together while we worshiped in the front pew and then he would sleep peacefully through the sermon.
Reality Check! – We make it through the first song okay, then lady behind me taps my shoulder to inform me that baby has projectile puked all over my shoulder and carpet. I run to the cry room where he proceeds to fight sleep, have a poop explosion (and I have forgotten to pack an extra change of clothes) and refuse to nurse under a cover.
There have been (still are) plenty of Sundays where I am That Mom with the loud, crying baby during the reflective, quiet times of prayer (I like to think that my babies are being moved by the Spirit. Ha!). 🙂
Some of you might ask what about the nursery?
Well… my boys have both struggled a bit with separation anxiety as babies – with the added dynamic that I’m just not as comfortable yet exposing the Happy Baby to other children while his little immune system is still so fragile.
I’ll never forget one time this precious lady who was serving in the nursery came out to find me during the service to assure me that they were okay with it, but was I okay with the fact that the Happy Buddy hadn’t stopped screaming since I left?
I found myself wondering – why do I bother going to church at all?
Have you ever felt that way???
I’ve come to realize, friends, that all the hassle – the missed naps, the 18,000 bags you have to bring, the fussing, the hiding out in the cry room, the half-heard sermons, the fear that everyone thinks you’re a bad mom because your baby is hollering louder than the worship band, the several times I actually fell asleep in the cry room because I was so exhausted from being up all night with a baby, the terrible hair style because I didn’t have time to fix myself in the circus act of getting everyone out the door…
I’ve come to realize that it’s not about me.
It’s not about what I get out of it or what it does to my kids’ schedules or even all the hoop-de-la it takes to even get there.
It’s about doing it for Him.
Our going to church is an act of worship.
Whether we feel like it or not, we go because it brings Him pleasure.
He sees us sitting in the cry room alone with our fussing babies.
He sees us and He loves that we came.
He loves that we set aside our desire to keep our babies on a schedule or our feathers unruffled for one day out of the week so that we could trust that He would take care of everything – even the poop explosions and distracted feeding sessions.
And you know what else? In the overflow of that sacrifice, our children see that attending church is important.
Not some legalistic thing we do to earn God’s favor, but as we obey to go, we are blessed by fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ as well as the filling of His Spirit.
Even if it’s in between diaper changes and chasing kids from going up on the stage after the service, seeing my church family is always an encouragement.
And in those moments in the back of the sanctuary or cry room, I’ve often imagined Jesus sitting there with me, whispering to my tired self that He loves me. That I don’t need to hear a full sermon to be filled with the enormity of that simple truth. 🙂
Don’t get me wrong, I CAN’T WAIT until I can sit through services uninterrupted, but for now, in this season with the littles, I sacrifice the comfort and ease of routines and home because I know that going to church brings Him glory.
With that said…
There are just some days when your Happy Buddies will be sick and you simply can’t go to church.
Like today. Both the boys have colds so we knew our brothers and sisters in Christ wouldn’t want our snot all over them. 🙂
So we had a little church service in the Happy Baby’s room.
*Note – The Happy Buddy had been having a rough morning before this and I was having to correct his behavior quite a bit… Should I find it concerning that he chose to read to us the story about Jesus ‘running away’ from his family?? 🙂
Apparently our church is a touch charismatic. 🙂
It was a great service (and not just because we were all rockin’ in our pajamas)!
When it was over and we were enjoying our cookies and tea, I asked the Happy Buddy why we didn’t sing his all-time favorite worship song.
He looked at me very seriously and said, “Oh Mommy, we’re doing that song in the second service.” 🙂
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1