how I often feel on Sundays.
Sometimes I feel like church asks too much of me. Sometimes I am so frustrated and my husband is off at a meeting and I have to get the kids ready for church and loaded up and out the door on time all by myself. Sometimes my church callings seem overwhelming and unfair. Some Sundays I spend just surviving, minute by minute, and wondering if I'm going to keep myself together in one piece or if I'm going to suddenly explode into a million tiny fragments.
There was today, for example. It's a long story, but it ended up that the baby hadn't eaten or slept for three hours by the time church was just starting, and I needed to go sit on the stand to conduct the hymns and then do the ward choir between the talks so I wasn't going to be able to feed him. Josh had to make a quick exit right before the meeting began as our oldest, once again, had had an accident.
I asked a friend in the row behind us if she could hold the baby until Josh got back. A friend in the row in front of us was there to keep an eye on the two-year old. I reluctantly made my way up to sit on the stand.
This seems like a good time to tell you about my heretofore secretly rebellious feelings concerning conducting music in church meetings. Everyone singing has their eyes glued to the hymn books and they can hear the organ loud and clear, so who ever watches the conductor? It's not an orchestra with people needing cues; it's not a choir with intermittent fancy interludes. I am waving my arm around and smiling at no one in particular and I would much rather be seated somewhere, out of sight. I have wondered many times if having a music conductor in church meetings is just a holdover from an earlier time, an outdated way of doing things, an obsolete practice. And I have grumbled.
So I was sitting up there, wishing I wasn't, feeling guilty that someone else was going to be holding my squirming, hungry, tired, poor, sweet baby while I sat there watching helplessly. It was years until the meeting finally began.
But as I lifted my arm for the pickup beat to start Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, my heart suddenly leaped with joy. As my voice combined with many voices, I had a moment of clarity of thought, of perspective, of purpose.
Praise to the Lord.
That is why I am here. That is why I am up here waving my arm, looking down at my sweet husband and children and friends and fellow lovers of Jesus Christ. That is why I do hard things that are asked of me and why I try not to complain when my husband has to be at meetings and why we struggle through church with three little children.
Because I'm praising the Lord. The Lord who gave me everything. Nothing He could ever ask would be "too much."
I sat down, renewed, after the opening hymn. I had a constant, fervent prayer in my heart that the baby would somehow not be too hungry and that he would be quiet and peaceful throughout the meeting. Then I watched as he played happily with my friend who insisted on holding him the whole time so that Josh could deal with our other two. And then, amazingly, I watched him fall asleep contentedly in her arms and stay asleep for much of the rest of the hour-long meeting. He never falls asleep in my arms during church.
This may seem like something small to you, but to me, it was a miracle. I stood up there and enjoyed conducting the music. I enjoyed it in a way I never get to with kids crawling all over my lap; I felt the Spirit in a way I hope I get to every Sunday from now on for a long time.
And I praised the Lord.
how I should feel on Sundays,
the days I get to celebrate my love for the Savior all day long.
P.S. No babies were harmed in the making of this story. Lincoln woke up at the end of the meeting and even played and laughed with his daddy for a little while before realizing that he was hungry.