Really it’s all about church

Time has flown!  Where have I been?

1) watching World Cup Soccer, and now Wimbledon. Devo’s wondering why he had to preach THIS week of all weeks.  But never fear, I’m sure he will watch all the important matches AND manage to write a sermon.  As well as taking the kids to the park, reading stories, and taking them swimming.  Because he’s Super Man.  And he’s mine.

2) Sewing. I got a remnant of this cute green and white stripe canvassy fabric at IKEA, came home, and promptly sewed it into a valance for my kitchen window.  Said kitchen window has been dressed for the last two years in a repurposed white eyelet skirt.  The skirt is now being repurposed into a cape or dancing dress, as needed by the imaginations of small girls.

I also sewed a beach/picnic blanket.  She came, she sewed, she conquered.

Dumb thing took way longer than it should have.  Mostly because I was piecing together scraps.  It’s hard to feel like a domestic goddess for hours on end when you know you should have been finished hours ago.  But now it’s complete, and only cost the batting – which I got on sale.

3) Cooking. Buttermilk pancakes.  Hummus, tzatziki, and Greek salad.  Homemade pizza.  Vietnamese spring rolls.  Roasted garlic.  Roasted potatoes and yams with garlic and rosemary.

4) Reading Little House in the Big Woods with the girls. We’re over halfway through and we just started this week.  I’ve decided to skip over all the parts where Laura bemoans her ‘ugly’ brown hair and glorifies Mary’s blond hair.  We are at an impressionable age.

5) Reading Do you find that you focus on certain blogs at certain times?  Sometimes I’m all about  Or  (I’m always about  Other times I can go days without looking at them.  Right now it’s Soule Mama, with her bright colors, four children, and creative life.

6) Debating the church problem.

{Hi, my name is Leilani and I have a problem with church.}

I have reached a crisis point.  So let me confess, for confession is good for the soul::

I am incapable of getting my three children bathed, dressed, fed, and shod, going to Sabbath School, to the potty, and to church, and then to the potty, and then after church playtime.

The bathed, dressed, fed, and shod part isn’t so bad.  Usually.  In fact, we are almost always early.  (My philosophy : Get out the door as soon as you are ready or risk disaster.)

It’s the NAP.  Daily nap at 10am is great…except on Sabbath morning (Sabbath School starts at 9:45).  Levi won’t sleep at church and he just gets wilder and noisier and wigglier.  Until I feel as though I’m on the rack, being tortured.

So instead of enjoying the one day a week I get out into the wider world and interact with people, I ‘run the race marked out for me’, and it’s truly a heruculean effort.

Two weeks ago I was determined to stay and hear the sermon by one of our great (female!) religion professors.  We did alright until two minutes into the sermon.  And, people, you know how it goes.  When we melt, it’s instantaneous.  There was no time to gather the toys, the shoes, the girls, the bags, and the shrieking baby.  I just grabbed him up and fled, leaving the rest behind.

Lia and Amelie happily migrated to the pew behind where a friend from Sabbath School happened to be sitting. Having people watch my children without even the courtesy of me asking their consent is a great exercise in letting go of pride.  Let me tell you.

So Levi and I stood in the hall (he wasn’t getting down to run and think it’s all a lark, no way Jose), and peeked in the door at the girls in one minute intervals.

The logistics are simply impossible.  One me, three of them, innumerable opportunities for trials and temptations, difficulties and disasters.

No matter how much I gird up for the fray beforehand, each week is just getting harder.

Devo has been so busy – I don’t even know what he’s doing, he’s so busy – we don’t even get to wave at him.  Or shriek, depending on our sensibilities.

I’ve been real tempted to whine.  But how would that sound?  Why can’t you sit with us in church?  Why do you have to do your job? Good ones, Leilani.

I started seriously thinking about the pressures of church a few weeks ago when the Sabbath School pianist didn’t show up and I played for the first few songs.  Another lady kept an eye on Levi and Amelie.  And I sat there on the piano bench and thought I can’t believe how much easier this is!  All I’m doing is sitting here! It was literally a shock to my system to realize how much strain and stress it is to take shy Amelie and wiggly Levi to Sabbath School.  Frankly, the hardest part is managing the baskets.  I have taken away their ability to handle their own baskets.  For the sake of my sanity, I put all the stuff into one basket and dole it out at the proper time.

I’m sure people look at me and think that I’m not allowing my children to learn responsibility, but frankly I don’t really care.  Let them fill my shoes for a day and see if they can keep all the stuff inside the baskets.

Sometimes I look at these families who have two people to share child caring on Sabbath mornings and do one of two things : sit up straighter, thinking loftily of my prowess in navigating the morning alone.  Or, slump a little and wish my child caring partner could be around to share the load.

I don’t like admitting defeat, but I think that sometimes the time arrives when I must admit that I can’t do it all alone.

That time would be now.  I can’t do it all alone.

Except, of course, that I have to do it all alone.

So there you have it.  Prime time for coming up with a new solution. And, lucky for me, I have a new solution.

I have decided to try week swapping.  Sabbath School one week, then come home for the nap, then go back to church to chat afterwards.  Next week, stay home for naptime (skipping Sabbath School), and going to church.

I have actually garnered the consent of the girls for this new proposition.  If, indeed, they actually understood the proposition.

So this week, being that Devo is preaching, we will try skipping Sabbath School, and go to church.

Last week, when I left potluck after 20 minutes of chasing baby, mopping up spilled water, cleaning up spilled food, and herding children apt to scatter like the winds, I told Devo that I wasn’t coming to church anymore.  (Does that constitute a whine?)  Ignoring the possible slight on his work situation, he instead promised to think inventively about how to make Sabbaths enjoyable for me.  Because it’s important to him that I enjoy Sabbath.  And gave me a hug (which was observed by that other group of people…all of them…as they were getting into their car).  Which made me feel a whole lot better.  A little bit of love can do alot…


6 thoughts on “Really it’s all about church

  1. Oh can I relate!! And I usually DO have a child caring partner. And even then. We are now letting the sleeper sleep and taking turns bringing our older one to SS/church. I have found we must be creative in order to find ways to ENJOY Sabbath. It’s really important! Here’s hoping your new plan works amazingly!! I can’t believe you stayed for potluck. Potluck is a thing of the past for us. Can we have evening church for parents?? =)

    I’d love a picture of your new valence.

    Good choice on the brown hair/blond hair deal. 😉

    You’re a goddess in the kitchen too. Sounds tasty.

  2. You poor dear! Why don’t you enlist one of the college age kids to assist with the girls? Also…I’ve seen parents LEAVE their kids in Sabbath School and go to their own class. (gasp…I know almost unheard of)

    My angel (of the dark side) actually does better when I am not around. Maybe Levi is too little for that yet.

    I really think you’d benefit from a Sabbath Nanny! Two against 3 has better odds sweetheart! Hang in there. I’ll try thinking of stuff that might work too. You could drug all three kids with Tylenol before the sermon. Wait…no that’s a bad idea…isn’t it? LOL

  3. Oh, THANKS, Laura, that makes me feel better. Usually potlucks are good times because nobody has to sit still or be quiet. But last week’s potluck was hugely big and busy with people we didn’t really know.

    I have heard of churches who’s parents put together an afternoon (or evening) church for themselves, in the sanctuary. Sounds cool.

    I hope to get a picture of the valance soon. But if I waited to blog until I did, it would be a looong time. Haha.

    Debbie – A Sabbath nanny, now there’s an idea! But, no, really, I’m so touchy about other people going out of their way for us. Unless I really know them well. I do know a mom who used to drug her three with dimetapp every Sabbath. (They’re in HS and college now). Apparently it worked like a charm. Hmmmm.

  4. We stayed on Helderberg College campus when Dewald was a baby. I had a cousin that was studying at Stellenbosch but living in Helderber College Dorms that offered to come and look after Dewald for the early service, then she brought him to Sabbath school where I took over, and she went to her SS. Then we went home and she could go to the main service. I always were so grateful. That was the only hour in my week that I was releaved of children. I had Morne then also, but he went with us to church. Maybe you can get someone to releave you from the children for SS also, so that you can go to an adult SS. Love.

  5. Pingback: Summer’s Tally « spinning in my teacup

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