no more.

There is one area of my life that brings me more stress than any other.
And I know that it is self inflicted.
That I am allowing it to happen.
But I think maybe I have had a break through.
You see...since Aaron was born we have barely been to church.
It is just. too. hard.
Some women have babies that don't bat an eye at a missed nap.
Easy going, roll with the punches kind of babies.
I don't have those kind of babies.
Five minutes past nap time and Aaron will let you know...over and over and over again.
He screams through each MOPS meeting.
Makes it hard to enjoy MOPS...really hard.
He misses a nap and we all suffer.
So church has been missed. In more than one way.
And for months now, every time I bring it up...I feel judged.
I have been told...just drop him off in nursery and walk away.
Hmmm...something about knowing my kid is screaming his head off makes it hard to focus on a sermon. Knowing that I will deal with the aftermath for days makes it hard to get into the heart of worship.
I have been told that my kids will pay the price for us not getting there regularly.
I beg to differ.
Being in a church makes you no more a Christian than being in a garage makes you a car.
We are always talking to our kids about Jesus.
Moses has his MOPS class...which is basically Sunday school.
We feed ourselves in other ways, too.
We are doing the best we can for our family.
Jesus is no stranger in our home.

And last night it hit me...
Condemnation is not from the Lord.
I shouldn't be feeling like I am carrying some big ugly secret.
Jesus knows I am doing my best...inviting Him into our home, talking about Him with our kids...seeking Him out in our day to day.
On top of that...we feel for sure that we are supposed to be finding a new church home...due to some things going on at our current church.
It's a bummer.
It is hard. It makes me sad. All of it.
It makes me miss our old church...where everything was easy.
So once we get to the place where morning naps are not critical we will be hunting down a new church. Sigh. Does anyone really like doing that?
But for now...we will do our best. And feel no judgement.
We will seek Him out in ways that we can...through friends, online sermons, reading and worship.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1

I am going to live it and believe it.


Trish said...

When Alaina was little we didn't go to church for a whole year... it was hard, but we survived. I don't feel any less Christian because of it!

A Little Of A Lot said...

God knows what's in your heart and at the end of the day that's all that matters.
I think it's more pleasing to God to see people love and worship him with genuine love than w/ fake 'religious' people who walk into church every Sunday and then forget about him the other 6 days of the week.

Whatever Dee-Dee wants said...

I think lots of moms go through this. I can only take my baby to the first hour of church (my church is 3 hours long) before he needs to have a nap.

Courtney said...

good for you!
for doing what's best for your family AND for knowing the truth!

our pastor has been doing a series on judging...that we shouldn't judge "wrongly", how to judge "righteously" (there IS a way! and God actually tells us to!), etc.

our church is Reston Bible Church - if you google it you could find it...and some great sermons! (on more than just judging!)

mysteryhistorymom said...

We went through the same thing with my babies. God knows where your heart is and why you are not at services.:) No worries, Sweetie! I felt the same way, but let me tell you there will be lots of Sundays in church before you know it... Lori

Marie said...

We have 3 children and can completely relate...I understand what you are saying, but I strongly disagree. This is not said with condemnation but as an encouragement as His word tells us to exhort one another. "And let us consider one another in order to stir up good works, not forsaking the assembly of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24

Crystal said...

We aren't giving up getting together with other just doesn't get to happen much on Sundays.

me said...

it sounds to me like you are still connected, still in community with other believers. i don't think you should feel condemned. i think you have to do what is best for your family . . . even when it is hard, especially when it is hard. finding a church home is one of the hardest things to do. i pray you find a place that fits your family, your gifts of service and your needs.

Ben and Taryn said...

I just got home from church, which by the way lasts three hours, and I have three kids under 6 and it's hard. Every Sunday it's hard, but I know I will be blessed for my effort and so will my kids. You should check out No judging here.

Ashley Garrett said...

I just wanted to say good luck on your search for a new church home. My husband and I just happened to recently stumble upon the church we have decided to call our home in fact today we attended the membership lunch.

Have a blessed week

Anonymous said...

I am the pastor's wife and haven't been to church in almost a month because of the swine flu! I won't put our daughter in the nursery with all the sickness going on- especially with me being pregnant. You do what is best for your family and that is between you and the Lord- people can judge all they want :)

wholarmor said...

I hear you! It's so hard when they are little! When they were little babies and nursing all the time, I would be stuck in the nursery feeding them, and even though the message came on through the speaker, it wasn't quite the same. Then I'd be on rotation with the other parents, so I'd miss out on the message once a month. Between being stuck in the nursery feeding my babies and being on nursery duty, I didn't feel very spiritual. They were also asking me to teach Sunday School, and I told them they had to wait until my kids were out of nursery because I needed some grown up spiritual time.

We've found a church here now that has kids' church so the older kids can have their own age appropriate teaching, and I don't have to work in the nursery(although they have two services so people who DO work in the nursery don't have to miss out on their own spiritual feeding). We're moving back in a month, though, and I'm not sure that I want to go to the church I did before we left. There are some great people there, but I feel like we need something different.

So no judgment from me. God knows where your heart is at, and it sounds like you are doing your best to do what works for your family while still worshiping Him.

I wish you the best and hope you find a place that fits your family well!

Krull Family said...

We are currently in the process of finding a new church home, and doing it with children in tow creates a whole new list of things that make it difficult. Wait. It's okay. God knows your heart, and there is a season for everything, being a mom of little ones is a hard one!

tiffany said...

Being in a church makes you no more a Christian than being in a garage makes you a car. ~~~~How True!!! You are absolutely right, and there are many people who go to church on Sunday morning, and live however they please the rest of the week. As you said, Jesus is no stranger in your home! You can read the Word with each other, in your home, and that is still worshiping with Him!!! Your location is not what matters, and you already know that. Don't let other people bring you down!! You are an amazing mom, loving Jesus and teaching your children to do the same. Good for other people who can sit in church for 3 hours with 3 children. That's whats right for them. You do what's right for you, and don't let other peoples judgement tell you any different.

Sandra said...

I don't think your alone in this.
Even though my children are slightly older now it can still be difficult.
Staying connected to God is what's important and you sound like you know that and have that going.
There is a lovely older song by Lisa Bevill called There is No Condemnation which has stuck in my head. It reminds of this truth. Hugs!

Samantha said...

Thank you for this entry! Somehow I stumbled on it while I we are struggling with the same issues. I feel your pain!

Anna Marie said...

I completely agree with you and we are actually going through the same thing right now. We just went to "try out" a church yesterday and hadn't been to a church in probably 3 or 4 months. (we are also searching for a new church home) Our little one did well but in the past it has not been like that at all. I won't put her in the nursery 1. because she cries and doesn't know anyone and 2. because if we purposefully don't put her in a daycare and have mommy stay at home with her then why in the world would we put her in a "daycare-like" setting at church? Just because it is church doesn't mean that everyone and every child that is there is a Christian and can be trusted. Not to mention I truly, truly believe that God did not intend for our families to come to church and all go our separate ways. Church is and should be about bringing your FAMILY closer to Christ TOGETHER. I know a family that felt so separated every time they went to church that they did home church for over a year. I was amazed to find out just how many large families do that.

You are not a lone dear :o)

Traci said...

I love that your blog is not just fluff :) 1st, I think finding a church is one of the hardest things on the planet earth!!! 2nd, you are so correct about going to church does not make you any more a christian...OH MY!

Amy said...

You absolutely shouldn't be made to feel bad about not attending church. God doesn't take attendance. We go to church to have communion with God and one another. It gives us a sense of community. That doesn't mean we cannot have a relationship with God outside of church. You are doing what is right for you and your family and if others are making you feel bad about it...well...that is just very UN-Christian of them!!!

Crafting by Candlelight

The Mangerchine's said...

We just went through the process of finding a new church, forunately it wasn't too bad, but it reminded us of how different we are, our approaches to worship and church etc. But once we knew, we knew, the Lord united us and it was beautiful!


Anonymous said...

I completely understand that it is sometimes hard, But, church and nursery are not just places for mothers with easy going, roll with the punches kinds of babies. My son misses his morning nap[which is always his longest] every Sunday. We go home with a tired, cranky baby almost every Sunday. He never gets caught up on that rest, even with his afternoon nap. But we know that this hardship is not a big deal in the bigger scheme of things. The Bible speaks very clearly about not only gathering for fellowship with other believers, but gathering together to worship and minister. I understand that the church is not a building, but a body of believers, but the church building is where God gathers his body together to collectively worship and minister. You should do what is right for your family, but trust that God will take care of your tired baby if you trust in Him enough to step out of your comfort zone and into His house. I do not believe that this is a relative 'what's right for you might not be right for someone else' type of issue. The Bible teaches that God strongly desires for all His children to gather together to worship in His house.

Anonymous said...

I am going through the same thing and I too have had a break through...except we've decided in the opposite direction of you.

For me, It came down to the realization that 1. kids are only as inflexible as we train them to be.
2. Though it felt like everyone was pressuring us to return to church, it truly was only two maybe three friends.

Anyway, I knew that God--without a doubt, would take care of me, my sleepy babies, my frazzled and stressed out self if and only if I gave Him the opportunity to do so.

Wisconsin Girl said...

Your post hits home with me at a time when we are in a similar situation. We've been struggling to find a home church for over a year since we moved. But on top of that we have a 2 year old with twins on the way. We have gone with our 2 year old and sometimes he is good and others it is difficult, which I understand is typical for a 2 year old. But when we do go and it is difficult, I wonder what benefit I am getting when I am distracted and distracting others the entire service. My focus is on keeping him happy, not on listening to the Word of God. It's tough...and I do feel VERY guilty when we don't go. Now with twins on the way, I am struggling even more with what to do. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject that many of us battle with.

Kristi said...

"Come to church with us!" :-)

You'll get there. When your family is ready, you'll go looking for a church and with God's blessing, you will find one.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time now, and I do have to say you seem like a great mother and wife! Keep going with your "instincts" and take others encouragement with grace and wisdom.This life God has called us to is different for each us and we're all learning! I had 3 under 3 years old with hardly any support. They're a bit older now and I wish I would have listened to those "instincts" instead of others opinions of my children.It would have been a lot less stressful on everyone, including my husband. We tried all kinds of churches, but found it hard to find our niche.We're part of a good Church now, but it took awhile and there was much judgement along the way.I still miss out on alot of church( serving in children's ministry and sick kiddos)but it does get better! One thing I've learned is we all have different situations, support, and relationships within the church which makes one church great for some...and not so great for others. I hope you find your groove and what God has called for your family for now.
In Him,

Jessica said...

Argh...I understand all too well! My son has never lasted more than 20 minutes in the church nursery or at MOPS. I'm on leadership at MOPS and it makes it incredibly difficult because he wants to be with Mommy only. Last week, we needed to leave MOPS early because he wasn't settling down. But, I do think, quite strongly, that where you worship doesn't matter, it's that you worship Him. Hang in there!

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