This weekend was kind of a rough one for me. I was just feeling kind of depressed and lonely. We'd had some fun plans that I was really excited about that fell through, and our backup plan for the weekend (having Cody work lots of overtime and getting a hefty bonus check) also fell through because we'd waited too long trying to get the first plans to work out... and so come Sunday morning it was a struggle to get up and get going for Stake Conference that started at 10 AM. Church normally starts at 9, so I didn't think we'd have a problem, but the time just kept ticking by and soon it was 9:45 and we weren't all ready. I raced and got everything ready and rushed out the door at five to ten, knowing we were so late there wasn't a hope we'd get a soft seat, and wondering if it was even worth it to wrestle my kids. We piled in the van and I turned the key to only hear a clicking sound... the battery was dead. We'd been planting flowers (Thanks again, Grandma H!) in the afternoon on Saturday and I guess we left the doors open too long and the kids had played in there and turned on the lights. I just wanted to cry. I most certainly was not in the mood to go force my kids to be quiet for two hours and get nasty looks from people around us as we struggle to feel the spirit.
Cody is a good man, I've always know that; but sometimes I'm reminded just how powerful an optimistic and hopeful heart can be. He touched my arm and said, "No we're still going." Then he jumped out and in about two minutes, jump started the van, put the cables away, and we were on our way. We made it to Stake Conference at the end of the opening prayer and got a spot to sit in the very back row of the gymnasium, on hard seats, but at least we were there.
I tried to listen, I really did. The kids weren't bad at all; they played with their toys and colored pictures. But they're still kids. They talked to themselves and each other, wanted to be held, asked for snacks, dropped their shoes on the floor, and moved the chairs around. I was already distracted and grouchy and I was thinking up snarky comments I could make to Cody about "Tell me ONE thing you learned today? Oh, you can't? Me neither!" And I was just generally not being very Christian. Terrible, I know... I hope you don't judge me too harshly. I feel so bad about it now. I've had such a negative attitude this whole weekend, and it really culminated right then, just as the last speaker was getting up to speak.
And then he started speaking and he expressed deep, heartfelt gratitude that we'd all come, especially those of us with small kids, and he talked about how important it is to come, even if you're late or if it's hard to focus; but how Jesus asked the children to come to Him and how bringing them to church is the exact same thing. He shared his own experiences of coming late to a Stake Conference with his very pregnant wife and small children, and he felt like the eyes of the whole congregation were boring into him, when he made eye contact with the Stake President on the stand, who was indeed staring at him--but with a smile an a look that said, "Good, you made it." I couldn't believe what he was saying and how it was aimed straight at me, and I suddenly found myself in tears; weeping my apologies to my Heavenly Father for my horrible attitude and the things I'd been thinking. It came to me then that God was indeed proud of us for just coming, and I was reminded how wonderful I really have it. My life is happy, full and rich. I don't have everything, but I have everything I need. I'm so very blessed and I have no reason to be ungrateful. I may struggle feeling the Spirit all the time at church when I'm so distracted; but my children are worth it to just go so that they can be close to Christ.
So, here's to trying a little harder to stay positive and remember our great worth--and our children's. Even though that little bit of a talk was about all I heard, it was what I needed desperately to hear and made it all worth it. I may have many more years of hearing two or three sentences of church, but it will still be worth it. Doing the right thing always is.