Sunday, December 27, 2009

One of Life's Lessons

Many years ago when Carl was bishop and I sat through meetings with four children under the age of seven I would come home from Church so disgruntled. I often found myself wondering why I bothered to go to Church because I wasn’t able to listen or ponder or enjoy any of it. All I did was wrestle kids! Some days I even came home mad. I’d think about how sweet the moments of the Sacrament were when I was single and how all I managed to do now was to keep children from pulling each other’s hair or to stop teasing each other.
Then one day it dawned on me that what was ruining Sacrament Meeting wasn’t so much what my children were doing, but how I was reacting to the situation. I had let myself become a victim and I was holding a giant pity party every Sunday. I asked myself what the Savior would do and decided that He would simply love the children during the meeting. That decision to love instead of fret and worry was one of the best things I ever did. I’d hold a child on my lap and instead of resenting the intrusion into my pondering moments, I’d concentrate on how much I loved the child. I’d separate two contending children with feelings of love instead of frustration. No words were spoken, but it wasn’t long before I realized the children were responding to my unspoken thoughts. They had felt the fretting, frustration before and it fueled their own negative actions. Now they felt the love and responded differently—not perfect still, but much more positive.
The strange thing is that as the children grew up and I no longer had anyone sitting on my lap or needing to be “tended to” during meeting, I went back to the sweet moments of meditation during the Sacrament but found myself missing having a child in my arms. The loving, cuddling moments had been as productive of beautiful spiritual moments as the uninterrupted pondering.
Today I got the best Christmas present I received. Some of my children and grandchildren went to Sacrament meeting with me and I got to hold my wiggly eighteen-month-old grandson during the Sacrament. Who would have guessed those many years ago when I was fretting over the situation that I would one day actually cherish having a wiggly child in my arms during meeting? But then I guess that is what life is all about—learning and growing.


Martha said...

This post is another one "for me", Sherrie. Thank you. :)

Becky Rose said...

thanks for this beautiful post.

dani said...


Wendi said...

I have my best moments in group situations when I'm either holding a young child or trying to take their picture. That's what I spent most of my time doing at my parents' house on Christmas with my nephews and nieces (since my children are 10 and 13 now). :)