October 25, 2014


Last Saturday, the dread of the upcoming day was sinking in.  Sunday.  The hardest day of the week was fast approaching, and I had a very important decision to make.  I could deal with it, or I could run away from it.

I've blogged a lot about how difficult it has been for me to take my children to church.  It doesn't seem to matter how much I prepare, I always manage to forget something that apparently my children can't live without and can't possibly be well-behaved unless it is in their possession.

Sunday morning came and I was wrestling with myself as I tried to come up with a legitimate excuse as to why we could stay home from church.  Dustin for sure had to go because of his church responsibilities, but certainly there was a reason I could stay home.

As a pondered what to do, two thoughts kept entering my mind.  The first was, "just deal with it."  The second was, "trust me."

I made the decision to go to church and "just deal" with whatever happened.  I also, in some strange way, knew this week would prove to be different.

I arrived to church, armed with every snack and coloring instrument known to man.  I found a bench close to the organ so the girls could watch Dustin play during sacrament meeting.  As the meeting began, I watched as my children sat quietly and contently.  They colored and requested snacks, and I managed to keep them contained for a good 30 minutes.  A big change from the last few months!

Eventually, though, we did make our way to the hallway, but the day was already shaping up to be better than the many weeks prior.  While in the hallway, my girls wanted to run around and be free, but I remained firm with them and they stayed by my side almost the entire time.

After sacrament meeting, Isabelle complained about going to primary.  I snapped my fingers and told her to go. And she went.  I'm sure I seemed like a a mean mom to the people around me, but I didn't care.  I was going to get through the entire three hours of church if it killed me!

My next stop was taking LL to nursery.  Up until this point, she had refused to go and screamed and cried until I eventually gave up and took her home.  This week, I did a few things that I hoped would help her overcome her fear.  First, as I was getting her ready in the morning, I added a few drops of lavender to her lotion and rubbed it all over her body.  I also added the same oil to her favorite blanket.  At this point, I was willing to do ANYTHING to see some progress.

When we arrived at the nursery room, she got upset and began to cry.  But then she noticed some toys, so I put her down and she began to play.  I quietly stepped out of the room.  I found a chair to sit in and listened.  Sure enough, she began to cry.  I knew the nursery leaders would bring her to me if it got too bad, so I remained in my chair and listened.  After ten minutes, the crying stopped.  And it never started back up again.

Eventually, I went to Relief Society for the first time in awhile.  It was lovely to be at church, sitting by my friend and knowing every member of my family was where he/she needed to be.

As I left church, I reflected upon the thoughts I had had earlier that day:  "just deal with it" and "trust me."  I really believe those were inspired messages.  On the one hand, I believe it was time for me to "just deal" with the weekly struggles of church with kids.  There are worse things in life that I could be dealing with, and since I know going to church is the right thing to do, I may as well go and make the best of it.

After spending the week thinking about my second thought, "trust me," I came to the realization that I don't think I actually had true faith that Heavenly Father would answer my prayers.  Each week I would plead with Him to help me understand how to help my children behave in church, and each
week I felt as if He never heard my prayer.

But, obviously, I know He did.  He just didn't answer it the way I wanted Him too.  Or, maybe I wasn't giving Him enough time to answer.  Regardless, I was given a firm reminder that simply knowing my prayers CAN be answered does not equal having faith that they WILL be answered.

Of course, this isn't the first time I've been humbled by God when it comes to this situation.  {If I haven't told that story, I will soon!}

But, hopefully, I've learned my lesson.  And the lesson I took away from this special Sunday was this:
No day will ever go exactly the way I want.

There really is a difference between belief and faith.

 And, if it's hard doing the right thing, you do it anyway and you just deal with it.


  1. I haven't been to my church since my baby started walking. Our church offers a nursery, but he just screams the whole time he is there (and it doesn't really feel fair, since he is in day care the rest of the week, to make him spend more time there on Sunday.) I'm glad this week went better for you.

  2. I love this, Emily. I'm so glad things went better for you! I hope it's the start of a new chapter.

  3. I totally get this and my kids are older now :-) better luck in the future!


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