Today was a day that I kinda wish had a do over. I rarely want a do over because I would rather take the lessons I learned and make the next day better. Today was stressful. John was gone for early morning meetings. I needed to do so much. I had children to dress, a diaper bag to pack, potty training stuff (clean clothes in case of an accident), no one got breakfast so, snacks needed to be packed, kids hair done, find all of the missing shoes ( I told all of the kids to check their church stuff last night, to make sure they had everything and then get out the door. With Daylight Savings Time in effect this morning, we were running late and with an hour less of sleep. (like everyone else, I am sure)
So, while I was at church, my 3 youngest decided to be screaming banshees. They were running, climbing, screeching, crawling etc…during sacrament meeting. This does not bode well when you still have 2 1/2 hours of church left. :/ I took them out into the foyer and hallways to walk them around. So, I missed my son, Jacob, giving a talk. I also missed all of the other learning opportunities. It is hard enough when your littles are struggling but to have that happen week after week at church is exhausting. I was feeling tired and a little stressed.
Today, I got the others to their classes and my youngest started screaming. We went to Sunday School and sat down and when I sat she started crying. Off to the hallway we went. She was content to play and walk around for a few minutes but then she started screaming. I tried everything. I walked, we sat, we stood, we climbed, bottles, toys you name it. Then, she hit her head which escalated the screaming. Some nice ladies stopped and tried to intervene but she was having none of it. She wanted me to fix it. After about 30 minutes, a lady opened up the Sunday school door and said “it is really loud in here.” and closed the door.
My first reaction was anger. Wow! really? Do you think I don’t know how loud she was being? Then, it was sarcasm mixed in with anger “where am I supposed to take her at church?” The mother’s room had babies in it. The hallway was my only option. “Do you think I want to listen to this? ” “Don’t you know I am trying to calm her down?” “I would never say something like that to someone.” Maybe offer to help but… I am ashamed to say the list when on and on.
I ended up leaving church to take her home.
I started praying right away to apologize for my anger. “Where did that come from?” I wondered. Then, I realized a few things.
First, the baby was being loud and disruptive. Why did someone pointing that out make me so upset? The lady is really super nice. I chose to be offended. I chose anger over laughter. I could have laughed and said “You showed hear it on this end.” I could have apologized, “Boy, I am sorry. I did not realize it was coming through the doors so loud.” But, instead I chose anger. It was a choice I made.
Second, I realized the power of the adversary is real. I have already known this to be the case but I was reminded he does not want me to be at church. How did he get me? Through my anger.
Third, I am better than that. Yes, it happened. I take responsibility for my part. I was feeling frustrated. I was feeling tired. There was nothing I could do for the crying baby. Feelings of inadequacy were rushing through my body.
Finally, I have a high tolerance for noise and baby cries. They don’t bother me as much as it would if I didn’t have children or were used to some form of quiet during the day. I am not used to quiet. Quiet means I am sleeping and so are the kids. There is no “quiet” at my house at all.
I guess what I am trying to say is, there is value in looking at the other side of the problem. There is value in “being slow to process and respond to confrontation” of any sort. I would probably have a lot less friends if I spoke everything I thought right away. Heavenly Father blessed me with slower thoughts because He knew I needed a moment to reign in the automatic response.
The lady at church really didn’t do anything wrong. It is my response that was in the wrong. It was my thoughts that were wrong.
I realized I have a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know I was were I was supposed to be today. I know I needed to experience what I did today to remind me to be humble, and teachable. I needed to be reminded to listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit so I can be directed and guided in the path I need to follow.
That said, I want to apologize to anyone that heard my baby cry today. I did not mean to distract you from hearing the lessons you needed to hear. I heard mine loud and clear. To the lady who made the comment? I apologize for the anger I felt toward you. It was my issue not yours. Thank you for helping me to learn a good lesson today. You are a good friend. I apologize for not moving away from the door sooner.
Now, my baby is sleeping and the house is quiet for a few minutes and I am enjoying the time to ponder and feel the Holy Spirit. This is what should have been happening for the people at church.
So, who says you can’t learn anything important at church when you have to be in the hallway?