It’s really hard to focus during the sermon when my four-year-old Abby is hanging on me, dropping crayons, or complaining that she wants a drink of water. How are parents of young children supposed to engage in worship? And what about the people sitting next to us?
Today, I’m linking up with Michelle DeRusha at Graceful for “Hear It On Sunday, Use it On Monday.”
I was going to link up last Monday for the kick-off, but I got a little distracted during the sermon, and I couldn’t pull my thoughts together for a blog post. It was one of those weeks where Mom Abby was particularly impatient. She kept getting out of her seat to go to the bathroom (she claimed she had a stomach ache) and when the pastor said “Amen” and the church was stone quiet, she blurted out rather loudly, “Is it over yet?”
Why do we drag her to church? Why make a 4-year-old sit through a boring worship service when her older siblings are in Sunday School?
To start, I for one believe that small children benefit from worship. Abby knew the Lord’s Prayer before her ABC’s, and she bellows her words loudly and claps her hands and sways her hips to the music. I’ve been in some churches where this wouldn’t be acceptable, but our church in infested with children. Lots of them. (Heck, my Pastor Eric has 5 little ones of his own!) Besides, we usually sit toward the back.
So why isn’t she in the 4-year-old Sunday School class that meets during worship? The answer is simple. Yours truly is her Sunday School teacher at the next service, so after worship we’re off to Sunday School. Together.
What did I learn from the sermon this week? Lots. So much that I’ll have to save it for another post. Instead of worrying about Abby, I adjusted my attitude and expectations. I decided that for this season of my life, I’m going to enjoy the warmth of a sweaty 4-year-old on my lap who has to go to the bathroom. And when she prays the Lord’s Prayer at the top of her lungs, I’m going to savor every word. The next time she gets antsy, I might even let her out early to get a drink.
Now, I’m headed over to Graceful. For those of you who haven’t met Michelle DeRusha, she’s a rocking (not shopping) mom who works at NPR, has her own newspaper column, and blogs like an angel. And she’s not buying herself clothes for a year! Sounds like someone I can learn from! (She’s also newly represented by the extraordinary Rachelle Gardner, and I really can’t wait to read Michelle’s memoir once it’s in print.)