First off, I want to apologize for dropping the ball on my home organization, simplification efforts. Life happened and I haven't gotten back in the swing of things yet, but I'm hoping this week to finish the bathrooms (weren't those supposed to be the two easiest rooms?) and pick up with my challenge next week.
Basically, I'm behind on my challenge because I am really good at finding excuses. Excuses to not do the things I need to be doing. But I think everyone is like that. Hopefully, it's not just me! Being a young mom myself (at least I consider myself a young mom!), it is easy to find excuses to not do things because of your children.
"The baby is taking a nap."
"She was awake all night throwing up."
"We have so much going on. We just can't come over for dinner."
While sometimes my excuses are valid, sometimes we need to weigh the validity of our objections to the standard in our lives. Consider the following excuses that I've heard and made:
"We were all up late last night."
"It's impossible to get everyone dressed and out the door on time."
"I can't even concentrate on what's happening."
"I don't want the baby to be a distraction to everyone else."
These are all excuses that are used about going to church with young children. I would love to tell you that I've never muttered these to myself or to others, but then I'd be lying.
I distinctly remember telling my husband when Chipette was just a baby that I didn't see the point in going to worship when she was so small. I can't pay attention to the preacher. We spend 90% of our time in the cry room/nursery. And the excuses went on and on. He told me that I was getting more out of it than I thought and that it was a good habit to get Chipette into even from a young age.
So every Sunday morning, I got up, possibly got a shower, fed Chipette, possibly ate some breakfast, dressed Chipette in her cutest frilly dress, hopefully had something clean for me to wear, buckled her in her car seat, took her out of her car seat because she either spit up all over her dress or needed a diaper change, and then we'd scramble into the car and make it to Sunday School about five minutes late.
However, if I'm honest with you and myself, his reasons for why I needed to drag my infant/toddler child to worship services really never convicted me. Fast forward to Monkey's birth. I now have three children; the two oldest are big enough to go with Dad to Sunday School so that Mom and Monkey can come later for worship services only. This sounds great to me. I'll have time to shower, make myself pretty, feed Monkey, change his first outfit into a new one, and make sure he's nice and full right before we head out so he doesn't start screaming to eat during the Lord's Supper.
I mentioned my fabulous, ingenious plan to an older member in our congregation (her husband is an elder). She listened and agreed with all of my points about how much easier that would be. Then she asked me one question, "What do you think Chipette and Magpie will think about you staying home from Sunday School to come later for worship?"
Um...what? What do Chipette and Magpie have to do with when Monkey and I arrive for church? Of course, I didn't say those things, but I think them. Then I ask, "What do you mean?"
Mrs. S: "Well one day they are going to grow up and most likely have children of their own. Do you think they will remember their mom staying home with their little brother from Bible class?"
Mrs. S: "Do you want them to choose to keep your grandchildren home from Bible class because it's easier or do you want them to take their children to Bible class and worship because they saw you take the time to make the Lord and learning His word your family's priority?"
Me: *no brainer* "The second one."
Mrs. S: "You may think that what you are doing is of no benefit to you or Monkey, but your girls are watching and us older members are watching. It is so encouraging to us to see a young mother choose the Lord above all else."
And now I had my reason for dragging my three children, from the 6 year old to the infant (at the time), to church every Sunday. I would do anything for my children, just like most mothers, and there is nothing more important than showing our children just how much we love the Lord and learning His word. Even if it means struggling for a time to make it all work.
So does it really matter if you are there with your babies and toddlers? Yeah. Yeah, it does.
Obviously you can tell what kind of a Sunday we had yesterday in the treehouse :),