Why I Go to Church

by AMANDA McCRIMMON (from her personal blog)

Going to church with two young kids, without my husband who is working every other Sunday, is A LOT of work. Sometimes I wonder why I do it.

I spend one hour in Sunday School, trying to balance the needs of two kids. Mostly running after my two-year old, trying to keep him semi-quiet and entertained. Luckily, I attend a Sunday School that welcomes my child in all his glory. It’s laid back enough that Joel can run around, talk, and play with his toys while I run him in and out to the bathroom three times. I can comfortably feed Micah and let Joel “be himself” all while trying to follow the conversation. I must admit that although I may not say a single word the entire hour, I enjoy listening to adult conversation. It makes it worth it to go and deal with the kids, just to hear other adults talk. McCrimmon family

Then, we have the hour of church. This is where things get interesting. I don’t think I’ve heard an entire sermon in over two years. I’ve heard tidbits, but am often spending most of the time keeping Joel quiet and entertained. I am the distraction queen, which is exhausting.

So why do I stress myself out every week and attend church? I often ask myself, “Wouldn’t it just be easier to stay home?” After all, it’s not like I get to hear the message. I spend two hours each week on my “day of rest” doing anything but resting. I spend two hours distracting two tired children. I deal with tears, tantrums, and testing all in front of a crowd of people. I feel like I’m being watched every week. Like my parenting is being paraded in front of everyone.

So why do I go to Church?

It’s for the 12. Or the 20. Or the 30.

It’s for those 12 people who help me every Sunday. It’s for the 20 reassuring smiles I receive. It’s for the 30 people I interact with during those two hours.

It’s for the four self-proclaimed “incompete men” who watched Micah for me today during Sunday School while I trudged Joel to the bathroom for the third time.

It’s for those in Sunday school who play ball and interact with my toddler all while holding an intelligent conversation.

It’s for the ones who point me in the direction where Joel has run off, saving me the extra time it would take me to find him.

It’s for the ones who hold my baby for a few minutes so I can use the restroom.

It’s for the bench behind me who “oogle” over my children and comment every week on how much they have grown up.

It’s for the gentleman who tells me every week, “You’re a good mommy!” and shares stories of his grandchildren.

It’s for those who hold Micah during the service so my hands are free to distract Joel.

It’s for the girls who play with Joel after the service every Sunday, keeping him out of trouble, and busy enough that I can get my stuff together so we can go home.

It’s for those who are thrilled by the smiles they get from the boys.

It’s for those who don’t say anything to me about how distracting my kids are during Church and keep quiet about it.

It’s for those who have realized that Joel loves fans and turn them on every Sunday.

It’s for those who gently guide Joel back to the front during the children’s feature.

It’s for those who let him run around the sanctuary during the children’s feature.

It’s for those who take the time to say hello to my boys. To give them hugs and kisses. To give them high fives or a pound it.

It’s for those who have gone before me. Who know what it’s like to raise young children and give me that reassuring smile. That “I’ve been there” nod. That, “You can do it ” look.

It’s for those who give me the encouragement to continue. The understanding that it will get better. And the forgiveness when I make mistakes.

It’s for those who allow my children to be who God created them to be. Who are there during the good times and the bad. It’s for those who accept my children when they sit quietly during church and when they are loud and distracting.

It’s for the 12. Or the 20. Or the 200. It’s for each member of the church. For each of those I interact with and for those who interact with my kids. You guys are the reason I go to church. You are why I keep coming. You are why I deal with unruly children. Why I exhaust myself trying to keep my kids quiet for 2 hours. You are the reason I go to church. And why I LOVE it.