I love going to church. It’s my absolute favourite thing to do. I love being in front of the Blessed Sacrament remembering all that Jesus did for me and basking in His love. I love being with fellow Christians worshiping God. I love helping at mass. I love leading God’s people into a closer and more personal relationship with Him. I just love it. Alone or with others, I will go.
However, reality of Sunday mornings with 11 young kids (11 kids in less that 14 years) meant a lot of scheduling of showers and waking the older kids one at a time, monitoring breakfasts (no sugar or the kids will never sit still!), shutting off the t.v., packing a diaper bag, nursing the baby not long before church so hopefully I won’t have to again until after we’re home again, dressing everyone last minute into their Sunday best so that they are relatively clean when we arrive at church, making sure everyone’s hair is brushed, making sure everyone’s teeth are brushed, packing everyone into the vehicle, trying not to lose my patience so that we can arrive at church looking like a happy family… then rushing back inside to quickly throw on MY Sunday best, brush my teeth and quickly brush my hair.
By the time we would arrive at church I felt like I had run a marathon. It was totally worth it though. My love of church and of God far outweighed anything else. Not only was I where I loved to be, but I got to pass on to my kids the importance and beauty of church and the mass. Of course, it wasn’t necessarily easier when I got there (keeping kids quiet and sitting is a big job in itself) and I didn’t necessarily hear anything that was said at church, but I knew that I wanted and needed the graces offered in the sacrament of communion. I would re-arrange my whole life just for this privilege. I owed it to myself, my kids and my husband.
Whenever possible, I would also attend daily mass. I would bring the kids with me in the mornings and herd them into the van and then into the church. They would look forward to this opportunity, sometimes their only outings of the week. This is how we would start our day – with the rosary and then mass. The kids learned to feel at home in the church. They learned its importance in our lives. They learned its importance in MY life. They probably won’t fully understand until they have kids of their own, but they will understand my love and sacrifice one day.
Now the kids are a little older and I get to sit back and listen again, but I will never treasure church more now than I did then when all my kids surrounded me. It’s not the same kind of busyness to get everyone still living at home to church, but it is still the highlight of my week and I now arrive at mass less tired and more focused. I still need the graces coming to me from the sacrament of communion to be the woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbour that God is calling me to be.
Have a great Sunday morning! I will lift you up today, and please pray for me 🙂