Sunday, September 20, 2009

Keeping the faith...

It is Sunday's like today that make me realize if it weren't for my testimony or the faith that I have, I would not continue on with the day, or more specifically going to church on Sundays.

Robert had High Council meetings before church, so I was in charge of getting everyone ready by myself. No big deal... I have done that plenty of times before. The alarm was set, Samantha woke up before the alarm went off. I started getting her some breakfast and woke the other kids. Amber refused to eat. I grabbed a few handfuls of cereal for her to eat later at church.

The Bigs (big girls) got themselves ready mostly by themselves with no problems of lost items or dirty items or "I don't have anything to wear" moments. Emily was very helpful when Lindsey was having difficulty finding a jacket, and Em offered Lindsey a dress straight from her own closet. I thought perhaps I was still sleeping... Nice morning... I thought we would be getting to church for sure on time!

Then Lindsey wanted her earrings changed, I was still curling my hair. I changed her earrings when my hair was done. I came downstairs to find Emily with earrings to change too. I started to take her earring out, Emily was saying it was hurting... and ooops, the little pearl front of her earring came off the post. Now she had just the post part stuck in there, which made it SO hard to take out. The back of her earring wouldn't budge, and I didn't want to force the front all the way through the hole. I clamped down on both the front and the back of her earring with my nails and tug really hard. Emily was having a fit with it! Robert called about that time to see if we were ready, and I was so frustrated... thinking WHY ARE YOU CALLING? I didn't talk to him that harsh, but I am sure he knew I was in the moment when he called when he heard my tone and Emily crying in the back ground. We lost the diaper bag last Sunday so he was calling to say he found it.

I continued on with the prying of Em's broken earring, with her crying, "I wish I never put these earrings in!" I tried to calm her down a bit. I FINALLY got the earring out.. phew! Then the other earring was next. I tried to be really careful not to pull the little pearl off the front. This one was easier but was kind of crusty. Still much better. We changed her earrings.

Meanwhile, Samantha was trying to crawl up my legs while I was trying to fix Emily's earrings, so I asked Lauren to take her away. Lauren put her on the couch, and while I was in the bathroom with Em, I heard a big thump and a very sad Samantha. Then Lauren and Lindsey come running in saying, "Samantha fell off the couch and she bit her tongue and she is bleeding." (with eyes closed, I inhale and exhale slowly) I finished up with Emily and then went to Samantha.

We get to church late of course... there are no seats that will accommodate our family, Robert met us in the parking lot after he tried to call the house and got a busy signal. (Guess Samantha was playing with the phone again.) We sit in the foyer, some on the floor and some on the couch. We wait after the Sacrament and then go to set up some chairs. There were so many extra late ones like us that they set up at least 4 extra rows of chairs. The rest of the meeting went normal for our family, Lindsey and Lauren not able to talk in a whisper and Samantha tired and restless, and Amber eating her cereal until she has had enough and then decides to show me how it can "shoot" out of her finger and thumb when she squeezes it really hard. (She did this several times before she showed me, and before I knew what she was doing. I quickly knew why she was giggling.) It's not always the cereal with Amber, but it is normally something like that that goes flinging or shooting or flying... I just hope it stays on our row when things go a-whizzing. :)

Time for classes. Amber goes nicely as normal to class. I go to my class which is in Primary now, which consisted of 6 boys and 3 girls today. I was missing 3 or 4 kids, but I didn't have time to be sad about it due to the activity level of the children that were present. I always feel bad because our class is normally the loudest in Primary (the largest too) so I put too much blame on myself, like I am failing to keep them sitting quietly.

We break out into our individual class time. We were talking about the 2 promises accompanying baptism and the Sacrament prayers. Mostly the kids talked about loose teeth, new shoes, playing the Wii, and then there were the two boys hitting each other in the groin. Nice! I get their attention to play a game of "if this is good stand up, if this is bad sit down." That was working good until someone discovered a live cricket in our classroom. That took about 5 minutes of class to contain it, catch it again, and put it out the window. I tried to read them the Sacrament prayer, and a few decided to make a fort under the table, and the rest (with the exception of one girl that was SUPER good!) started to lean their chairs back on the wall, sitting in them with only 2 legs of the chair on the ground. It took their whole attention to align their chairs up just perfect and then sit and lean back, or lean their chairs back and then climb into them. The boys with the under table fort, started in on the chairs too, and all attention was on the placement of their chairs and not on the promises we make at baptism or the way we should behave during the sacrament.

Sometimes I try to overlook it and think, okay, if they can do this and still be quite, I don't really care. Most the time they can't do much of anything without talking or being noisy. One of the girls insists on telling everyone that she is really 8 (although if she were, she wouldn't be in our class) and then one boy had his shoe come untied at least 3 times during class. One boy has his best friend in there so they just talk and talk and talk the whole time, playing paper, rock, scissors or some other hand game. Another boy gave a different boy an "Indian burn" which made the second boy pretty upset and teary eyed because it hurt him so bad.

I kept looking at my phone (which I use as a clock) checking to see if class is over yet... nope not yet, I look again... nope almost.... look again.... nope but really close... look again, okay lets have the prayer and then color a picture of something we can do to keep the commandments or remember Jesus. I often think of bribing the kids to be good, but I don't want them to expect food every time, not to mention that I don't like to see kids coming out with cupcakes or treats and eating them in front of other kids that didn't get any.

I am so drained and tired when I return home. I really in many ways am glad I am done for the week. I do love the kids in my class, but I just wish they weren't so talkative or active (as in movement, not attendance in the church). I normally have another lady that teaches with me but the last 2 Sundays she has been a no show. I don't mind a whole lot, but it would be just nice to get a call to say, I am not going to be there. I think she feels pretty overwhelmed at times too. I have had her teach many times when I have been out of town and just feel really SORRY when I am going to be gone. The kids are good kids and they are very smart, most of them knowing the answers to everything we talk about. Many of them have great families that teach them these things at home already in FHE or other activities. It is also hard because they are 5 and 6 so they don't really read or write much so it is hard to do some activities like that.

I think it would be so much easier to just stay home... to not put forth the effort to get everyone in clean dresses... to not wake sleeping kids to go to church... to not try to contain little ones when they could be home playing or napping... to not be so strict on yet another night with bedtimes before 8. It would be so much easier NOT to teach my class. It would be nice to just have a lazy morning to lounge around, perhaps even watching church movies.

It is because of the faith that I have in knowing that what I believe in is true that I go through some unfavorable times on Sundays to teach my kids to go to church, to take them to church and have them sit and listen or at least be present. To take tired little ones ready for naps to church knowing they won't settle down enough to go to sleep. I do it in hopes that one day when my children are old enough to make their own choices they will remember the things that they learned, make good choices and follow the paths that will lead them to happiness. I hope someday they will know the things that I know to be true. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and will bless us and help us out if we do what we are suppose to and follow the commandments. Many times in my life I have been blessed when I didn't even think I deserved it or should be blessed, but I was. (Mostly likely because of the prayers of others.) I know Jesus died for us so we can live again, so we can be resurrected just like Jesus was. I know that even though I struggle on Sundays to go through all the work that it involves, I know it is where my family and I should be. I think of all the things that Jesus has done for us, for ME, then I can definitely give up a few hours in my weeks to show my obedience to him. I think of all the trials other members of the church have gone through to have the church the way it is today... losing family members, losing homes, traveling away from family, losing their life.... I can endure my little trials here. I also accepted to teach a class so I should be there, like I said I would. It shows the kids that it is important to me to be at church, just like it is important to their families. I hope that the kids will remember something from our class or that they will perhaps feel that warm peaceful feeling sometime during the class time. It is hard for me and I continue to struggle with it. I do know it is very important and I really appreciate all the teachers that have made an effort to teach my girls, and that will someday teach them.

Sundays are not easy for me or my family... but I know that if I want to keep my faith and stay close to Heavenly Father, I need to ALWAYS go to church or I would quickly forget those things that are so precious and important to me. There are Sundays where I am very weak and want to skip due to tired kids or a late night. I know that I need to be strong and be an example to my children. I go to church on Sundays to keep my faith... to always remember Him and keep His commandments.

I pray that someday my kids will desire these things for themselves, this same life of going to church on Sundays, going to the temple someday, to teach their families in faith and that they will want to always remember Him and keep His commandments. I am glad my parents taught me these things and that they were strong in the gospel, teaching me how to have a happy life for myself and a happy family. Thanks so much Mom and Dad for all those many "not so easy" Sundays I know you had as well. Thanks for keeping the faith!!


wendy said...

Wow, Karla. I know you're not alone in all of that. I really love your expressions of why you continue to get ready, go, try to train your children, fulfill your calling, etc., even if it about does you in. Keep keeping that faith. The Lord will keep blessing you. Hugs!!

Jamie said...

Karla, I have felt exactly as you have felt. I have had so many of those same sunday mornings but with me it was lost shoes usually not earrings but whatever it is it is really stressful when you think you're going to make it and then CATASTROPHE! or when your sitting in church fighting tears because you can't get anyone to behave and you're leading your child down the aisle to go sit in the foyer YET AGAIN. You already know this because of your expressions of faith but it will get better. It has for me as they've gotten older. It is hard with a husband who can't help much because of meetings and you feel you're doing it all yourself and I know he appreciates you more than you realize for getting them all there. I have heard Robert verbalize how wonderful you are as a mother and a wife when you weren't even around! Hang in there. I promise in a few years you'll be sitting there actually LISTENING during sacrament meeting with a row full of happy quiet children....