Inconvenient Worship, or Being MOM at Church

susanna flowers

 Do you find Sunday mornings difficult?

Admittedly, some weeks, I do.  Waking on time, feeding, packing snacks, dressing and re-feeding so that stomachs are not empty mid-morning.  And all with the hope of arriving on time for the next part of the race – the service.

For many Moms, Sunday mornings are the hope held out that is not delivered.  No sooner is everyone seated than the first bathroom break commences.  This followed by a sibling-squabble, requiring discipline.  And so on.  Sunday’s are supposed to be the best mornings, but sometimes they are the toughest mornings.

So, what do Moms of young children do?  Do we give up and quit attending church until the kids are older?

Or is there hope and a better perspective to be had?

 

 

susanna

This morning, my sister shares her thoughts on what Sunday worship looks like, as a Mom with 4 small children.  This article originally appeared at True Woman, but the topic was pertinent enough, I knew it might encourage some of you.  Here is Susanna, on worshiping in the midst of inconvenience.

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“I don’t want to go to church this morning! There’s no point,” I told my husband despondently. Our eleven-month-old son hates being left in the church nursery, so I end up spending the service time in the nursing room or pacing the halls.

Don’t get me wrong. I am thankful for the nursing room because it’s a sisterhood of nurturers. Yet looking at the rest of the congregation through the one-way window, we see and hear what’s going on, but it’s still not the same.

Why does it seem like so much of motherhood has to be lived away from community?

Most of life as a mother is worshiping when circumstances are inconvenient.

Fortunately, God challenged my wayward thoughts and transformed my mind to think beyond me. He directed my focus toward the witness I have before my other three children in this season, nevermind my own spiritual well-being. What does it say to my children if I stay home from church, not because I have to, but simply because I’m frustrated that I need to spend the service tending to Josiah rather than being where I’d like to be—right in the service? Yes, being in the service is a good desire. But right now I’m called to worship right where I am—in the midst of inconvenience.

bible keep calm

Most of life as a mother is worshiping when circumstances are inconvenient. I read the Bible while my baby is tugging at my feet and my three-year-old is wanting my lap. I pray broken sentences in the car while there is arguing in the back seat, and I want to yell for quiet.

I do get it “right” sometimes and wake up in the calm morning hours before the kids are up. Those mornings offer the ideal quiet times with God where I have the opportunity to really reflect on Scripture. There’s a mug of coffee beside me and the promise of a bright day that began well.

Then there’s reality.

rose kids

With small children or nursing babies waking in the night, those mornings are not going to happen on a regular basis. My time with God may have to be broken up throughout the day or delayed until evening. But God desires us as we are, not a flawless performance. Christ has already done that on our behalf. Through His strength, He enables us to pursue holiness. However feeble these earthly bodies may feel, we can find sustenance at His feet for another day . . . and another week.

One of my favorite verses from the Bible is Mathew 11:28–30.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

These words are balm for a mother’s heart.

Because of Christ, God accepts our worship to Him, messy or neat.

mothering as worship 2

In surrender of my frustration to God, I experienced a newfound joy and sense of community with my brothers and sisters in Christ. My seven-year-old son convinced us to stay for our church’s fellowship lunch that morning, instead of sprinting to the car, and I’m thankful he did.

On the van ride home, spirits high, appetites satisfied, and new acquaintances made, my five-year-old daughter stated exuberantly, “Mom, I love Sundays! I love being together as a family!” Our hearts were full. I’m so grateful that God is giving me the grace to embrace worship in every stage of life—even the most inconvenient.

How are you worshiping God through some of the inconveniences that come with motherhood?

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