Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Thoughts

The Washington DC Temple where Todd and I were married.

Sundays at church are not always as uplifting as I would like them to be. Once upon a time, I sat in the pew with my journal and listened to speakers while taking notes.  Since having children there is little peace that comes along with attending our weekly Sacrament Meeting.  There is a whole mess of "Don't touch your brother! No, I don't have any snacks. Don't crawl under the pew! Here's a stick of gum, please be quiet. No laying down on the pew and putting your feet up in the air! Please don't kick the bench in front of you. It's time to fold your arms for the prayer.  Can you find that page in the hymnal? Why don't you read scriptures or draw a picture if you are bored listening? I said DON'T touch your brother!"

All of this in a whisper and not to mention the years of taking crying babies in and out for diaper changes, feeding, and just general restlessness.  We're starting to turn the corner, though. Lilyanna only needed to leave once today (after I grabbed her ankle in the nick of time and pulled her back out from under the pew in front of us as she was trying to make a break for the front of the chapel and she began crying because I had thwarted her escape) and the other boys were being good enough that I was actually able to both listen AND take notes.

The speaker today was talking about strengthening families by strengthening our homes. I've always felt very strongly that home needs to feel safe. For awhile our home didn't feel safe and none of us wanted to be here.  Following that period of our family's history, I worked very hard at maintaining a feeling of peace in our home and so as the speaker listed the ways to strengthen our homes, I was pleased that we're doing pretty well.  But then he said something new.  Well, maybe everyone else knew it, but I finally heard it today. He said that we should visualize the places in our homes where we pray together, study scriptures together, and counsel together. (He said if we couldn't visualize those places, then we knew what we needed to work on.) He then went on to say that we needed to work on keeping those places in our home holy and treat them with reverence as we would any other sacred place.

This clicked in my head in a way he probably didn't expect. We all know how much I hate to clean and how I will do almost anything to avoid it, but thinking about treating the rooms in my house the same way I would treat a room in a temple made me realize that I'm not currently doing that.

This will sound silly to some, but for the first time I could see a point behind cleaning.  I'm sure it won't make me like it any more, but perhaps thinking about it with a different perspective will help me loathe it a little less.  I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to really hear something today.


Susan said...

The first part of your post made me think fondly of my mother. Once she was clearly into grandmotherly age, she told me she made a point of saying something kind to the mothers of young children in church. She knew how frazzling it is, and how most women in that situation imagine they are bothering everyone around them. So she liked to give positive reinforcement that their children weren't being awful, they were just being children, and that they (the mothers) were doing a wonderful job just by having them there.

Reed said...

Hmmm.. Never thought about it that way either. Interesting, and it now I need to go clean something.

Valerie said...

Oh ugh, posted as Reed. It's actually me :)

Mom24 said...

Very interesting perspective. I actually kind of miss those days of chaos in church. Also, I know my upbringing makes it vitally important to make our home a safe place, you know how much I admire you that you made sure yours was.

Emilia said...

Sorry, Valerie, that I wrote something to make you go clean. ;) Susan, that is a very kind thing for your mother to do and I have certainly appreciated similar comments over the years. Stacey, thanks. <3