Sunday, July 13, 2014

Late on Sunday

I was maybe, just a little bit, dreading going to church today. We had gone the previous Sunday for Rhenner's blessing when all the family was here. Even though Axton had been distracted with cousins, which meant I really only had to worry about Rhenner during sacrament meeting, it still was kind of a cringe-worthy Sunday (aside from the beautiful blessing Adam gave Rhenner, which deserves a post of its own because I have some feelings on that topic). Rhenner screamed all through Sunday school and Relief Society last Sunday and then promptly fell asleep in some old lady's arms at the end of it all. When she handed him back to me, he woke up and started screaming again. So, you can understand why I wasn't exactly looking forward to doing it all over again this week.

Regardless, this morning I thought I had given myself enough time to get ready. Apparently I hadn't. Minutes got away from me, and suddenly I had no where near enough time to do everything I had to: Get Axton's snack bag, get Axton's toy bag, get the diaper bag packed with extra clothes for everyone, eat breakfast, change Axton's clothes, change Rhenner's clothes, put on my own church clothes, try to do something with my bed-head hair, put make up on to cover up my bags under my eyes.....I was running around, stressed to the max. Rhenner was screaming - he was tired and he only sleeps under very carefully construed conditions. I was so frustrated with him being too picky about how and where and when he sleeps. I carried him in my arm, trying to multi-task, all the while getting deafer by the second with his wailing inches from my ear. Newborn cries have something terrible in them - black magic or something - that makes me ache, so I was getting all agitated. I told Rhenner, Fine, if you're not going to sleep you can just sit here and cry while I get all this done. I put him on the couch and ran off to do some seemingly-important task. His cries penetrated my every move, though and I couldn't focus on the tasks at hand. I kept glancing at the clock, and I was torn. I had this evil little voice in the back of my head saying, You're going to be late. You're going to miss sacrament. It is a commandment to take the sacrament every week. If you miss the passing of the bread and water, what is the point? ....You made a covenant to attend all church meetings. You need to do better, Meghan. You should have had everyone's clothes lined up the night before. You should have woken up earlier. If the sacrament were important enough to you, you wouldn't be stumbling around trying to get there on time.

All I could feel was this pressure to not be late to church - more specifically, to not miss the sacrament. I even had thoughts like, "Well there goes the Celestial Kingdom. You are obviously not perfect enough." (I know - that escalated quickly!)

Anyway, these thoughts and the ticking of the clock and the wailing of the baby......

I paused.

I took a deep breath and I thought about what was really important in that moment.
I picked up my baby. I didn't try to do other things while he bobbed around on my arm, still crying. I sat down on the couch. I patiently patted his back, and within seconds he was out. I closed my eyes and I let it go. And that, my dears, is when I felt the spirit re-enter my heart. Those thoughts were not from Him, they were from myself - an aching within me stirred by society and guilt and the need to be perfect.

You are trying, and that's what matters. 

We're going to be late.

And that's okay. At least you're going. 

And we were late, but not too late to take the sacrament.

Rhenner woke up halfway through the first meeting, and because his cry isn't a "Hey, I think I'm starting to get hungry, Mommy" kind of cry - it's a "FEED ME, WOMAN!" cry, I took him to the Mother's Lounge to get him calmed down. It was just me in there, and the speakers were on so I could still hear everything going on in the chapel. They were singing a song now, and I could very distinctly pick out a few voices.

I chuckled a little because man, those voices were terrible. Their words were a few beats behind and their pitches a few notes off. And then, for the second time that day, the spirit taught me the same lesson: That's okay, at least they're singing. 
They were not perfect singers, but there they were, singing anyway. Singing because they love God and want to worship Him. Singing because they are trying to do what's right.

And here I am, coming into church late. But I'm here. And I'm trying. 
I am far from perfect -- but I am doing my best. And that's all He has ever asked from me.


  1. If it makes you feel better, I'm late most Sundays, and I don't even have a little one to take up my time yet. Mostly, it's that I don't do my hair or put on make-up any other day of the week other than Sunday, so I never remember how long it all takes. Just keep trying. Our Heavenly Father doesn't ask us to be perfect; He asks us to try our best. :)

  2. i love you. you are a beautiful person.