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Givin' Up -n- Movin' Back! (Part II)

>> 7.20.2011

I began praying the minute I had finally settled all children in their appropriate locations before the message began.  I was too emotional to think straight and then the message hit me like a ton of bricks, on more levels than I ever thought possible (more on that too, later – I think.)  Before I could even think to utter a prayer about the whole situation the service was done and I was walking out to gather my children from all their respective locations.  My prayer was completely simple: Lord help me.  I’ve realized a few things upon reflecting over all of this as the week has progressed.  Some of these reflections give me grace and some still leave me stumped.  There’s still a lot of praying/thinking to be done before this coming Sunday (when I hope to NOT repeat the last two Sunday’s events!). I’ve asked God to give me some Divine Inspiration as to what to do in order to have the kids enjoy church and not be forced into some sort of unreasonable expectation.  Here are some of my thoughts:

 1)      God loves my children & God desires my children love Him – and I mustn’t make church look/seem/feel like a horrible place to be.  This is vitally important as no child, and especially a “pastor’s kid,” should grow up resenting the church.

2)       I was completely unprepared to deal with my children at their ages going back into a church setting.  (or to deal with it in a patient manner, anyway=) Oh, we’d been in the church these past four years of seminary, but at various different levels of involvement and in situations that allowed me to “do whatever necessary” to appease my younger children.  The end result: well, let’s just say children who have become accustomed to not having to sit still for even A FEW minutes.   This is my missed opportunity of the past to teach correctly that I cannot change—must move forward from here instead of wallowing in regret. 

3)      Remember that saying that everyone TELLS you when you have kids: “They aren’t as distracting to us as they are to you” – well, I just plain don’t believe it applies to me and MY kids.  (and, really, it does.)

4)      Grace, grace, God’s Grace – can you hear the song?  I must extend grace to myself and my children in order for patience to come from anywhere in my being.  (Patience, I’ve really learned this week, is NOT one of my virtues!  Adding that to prayer time!)  It will take us all time to adjust to our new surroundings and I can miss a little of service to help my children adjust to their new surroundings.  No one else expects me to do anything different.

5)      The new pastor’s wife CAN (and will) sit in the back!  This was a very freeing thought – now if I can just convince my boys of this before Sunday!

Again, all our frustrations come down to expectations.  And at this church there are no outside expectations that have come up yet.  All these expectations of how “my children should behave” and of how I think the “pastor’s family ought to behave” – they are all self-induced.  I have begun asking God for a spirit of patience and of grace—and I’m counting on HIM to get me through this next Sunday morning service better than our last two.  (After that it’s a meal at the home of an elderly couple—oh, no!  A whole set of new prayers…=)


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