I don’t think my Sunday would have been any different if I had taken three pet monkeys to church instead of my own children. That children’s song “Reverently, quietly…” was not inspired by my children– maybe for my children, but not by them.
After exchanging half-annoyed, half-shocked eye rolls with my husband several times across the pew, I was beginning to feel very discouraged. I consciously had to reign in my angry feelings so that I could take the sacrament and not feel blasphemous about it. I was overwhelmed by my children and my obvious failure to teach them correct behavior or at least to wrestle them into submission. Sundays can often feel overwhelming anyway because in addition to my own offspring, I have other church responsibilities in which I feel equally as inadequate. So in one of those almost-going-to-have-tears-well-up-in-my-eyes kind of moments, the last speaker said “Amen” and we began to sing the closing hymn. I quote two of the four verses:
Shrink not from your duty, however unpleasant,
But follow the Savior, your pattern and friend.
Our little afflictions, tho painful at present,
Ere long, with the righteous, in glory will end.
Be fixed in your purpose, for Satan will try you;
The weight of your calling he perfectly knows.
Your path may be thorny, but Jesus is nigh you;
His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.
I won’t go into my interpretation of demons at that moment, but it’s sufficient to say that the hymn became a poignant, personal message from my Heavenly Father. I literally felt His encouragement and sensed that my shame was unnecessary. I felt His love and knew I was not alone. If it’s true for me, it must be true for all moms, even you.
I think I’ll pull up this post again next Sunday morning to help me remember that.
(This entry was originally posted on August 24, 2008. I’m trying to recreate my lost archives. And I’m still out of town, but I just scheduled this one to post in my absence.)