Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day of Rest

So, the last thing about our trip to California that I want to document is about going to church in Las Vegas on our way home.  It was Sunday, the day of rest ~ ah, sleep...
Kids were quiet and peaceful in dreamland, but we had to make them get up and eat and get ready for church.  (But they do always look so sweet sleeping, tragic to have to wake them sometimes...)
It was the first Sunday of the month, which means it was fast Sunday.  I knew this before we left and the kids  and I fasted the Friday before we left that they could skip it on Fast Sunday.  Sitting in a car all day is hard enough, didn't want to torture them.  So they woke up and enjoyed the continental breakfast at the hotel, then we tried one last time to get spruced up for church.  Several of the kids were complaining and moping about it.  Ethan in particular was having a hard time.  His white Sunday shirt had gotten poop on the sleeve when he held Sophi last Sunday after we arrived in Escondido - He had got her out of her carseat and carried her inside before he discovered that she'd had a blowout.  Sadly, I didn't make sure to grab his white shirt when I washed the whites that week, so Ethan's only Sunday shirt still had stink on the sleeve.  I tried to wash it out there in the sink in our room with hand soap, but you could still see it and he was repulsed.  That was just stooping too low...  "I'm not wearing that.  It's got poop on it, and NOW it's wet too!!"  Eth, you gotta wear it, it's your only shirt, hurry, we gotta go, we're gonna be late.  "Why do we have to go to church?!?!"  He also grabbed the wrong pair of pants when he was packing at home and they were floods, which he was mad that he had to wear again.  So he didn't feel he looked his best and wasn't in the mood to go, but we made him.   He was talking back and dragging his feet and finally in tears as we left (we were late, hoping to make it in time to take the sacrament).  Poor kids, the pain of obeying parents is real.  We told them were just going to attend Sacrament meeting and then we'll head out and finish the drive home, you guys can do this, let's go. We gave a brief lecture of the importance of church attendance on our short drive to the chapel.  "Kids, we go to church, end of discussion.  It's important.  No excuses.  Instead of trying to think of reasons why you can't go, think of reason why you can and should."  I told them about Shannon Cloward and her life lesson #1 - Always go to church.  This isn't up for debate.

So, we walked into the chapel.  We just made it in time as the deacon passing the bread was just entering the foyer.  Then we went and sat in the back overflow of the chapel for when the water was passed and to listen to the rest of the meeting.  As it was fast Sunday, it was also Testimony meeting.  The second counselor was conducting.  He stood up after the sacrament was passed and said that as he thought about what to share today, he was reminded of an experience of once when he was on a trip to Vernal visiting a friend.  It was Sunday and he didn't have clothes to wear to church, but his friend was going and he knew he should go, so he went in his jeans that he'd been wearing for 3 days and in a white shirt that had some spills from breakfast on the front.  He was embarrassed.  As he was sharing this, I looked at the kids and at Corey a bit amazed, as this was pretty much the same experience we had been having that morning.  He said when they got to church, it was crowded and the only available seats were up on the stand.  He felt so embarrassed.  But through the meeting, he learned that it wasn't important what he looked like on the outside, the Lord wanted him to be there.  The Lord wanted to strengthen him and teach him, and that he needed to attend church for a lot of that teaching to take place.  Attending church was a common theme from the members that day.  Another lady shared how she's just returned from a vacation the day before and hadn't gotten to bed until 3 a.m.  She briefly thought about how it'd be nice to sleep in and skip out on the 9:00 church, but knew what she needed to do, and here she was.  It was just really neat to hear all the testimonies, and that they were teaching us so specifically that day was a very nice tender mercy from the Lord, I think it was a little gift and pat on the pack for the kids, for them to know that the Lord was aware that it's hard sometimes, but that they did the right thing.

We left after sacrament meeting and listened to a cd called "Gratitude, the theory of relativity" by Mary Ellen Edmunds on the drive home along with conference cds.  The Gratitude one was great and continued the lesson we were learning that day - we have absolutely nothing to complain about.  We had to go to church - could that possibly be a big trial, considering the trials of hunger and thirst and poverty in the world?  It's all realtive.  Great talk there by Sister Edmunds, love it.  Life is good.  We arrived safely home and were able to get somewhat unpacked and ready to get back to reality the next morning with school and music lessons and the rush of our busy family.  The kids had lost of homework to catch up on, but we're almost done, summer will be here soon, excited for the short summer break.  Always feels short to me atleast.  And a new baby will be here in July!  I'm excited to keep busy until the baby comes, then looking forward to trying to slow down time as I know that baby, like all the others, will grow up too fast before my eyes - I'm going to practice now to enjoy each moment and make time slow down by being fully present in the present moment I have. (That's a quote from 1000 Gifts, great book)

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