After kids, I feel like I should achieve a huge reward just for getting to church, and if I'm ON TIME, I should receive a big fudge brownie when I walk through the doors.
It is much more of a challenge to get to church with kids. The whole morning is full of diapers, dresses, and making sure we have provisions for the diaper bag. Provisions meaning, snacks, toys, books, Emma's puppy, crayons, coloring books, etc. On many occasions we have packed the crayons and not the coloring book, and oh what a fiasco that has been! Lesson learned, Do NOT pack one without the other. I feel sometimes as though we are packing for a weekend vacation when we are only gone for 3 hours.
I think though, that having kids and getting to church is obviously a bigger challenge, but the spiritual reward is still so worth it.
I was reminded today by my loving Heavenly Father, of just how beautiful and perfect the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is. I walk through those doors, and I still feel home. It's been 5 years since I became active in the church again, and I still feel the spirit burning inside of me as strong as I did the first day I returned to church; I was sitting in the pews with my brother and his sweet wife and their little Tristan. I couldn't stop crying because the spirit was so powerful and so overwhelming.
My conviction of the gospel is so strong, and it overwhelms my entire being when I think of how grateful I am for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It scares me to think where my life would be today if it weren't for the Atonement.
In Relief Society today, our lesson was about Faithful, Energtetic service in God's Kingdom. President Lorenzo Snow said,
"Knowing our religion to be true, we ought to be the most devoted people on the face of the earth to the cause we have embraced."
I thought that was a good thought to ponder on. Being a member of Christ's true church, I should be more devoted to doing His work than any other religion. I have truly embraced this life that I have chosen. It is not easy. I still struggle with many of my old addictions from the past. I still think about how much money I had, and how many nice things I owned while I was inactive. But those things only made me happy for a season. In the end, I didn't walk away from that life with any of those things.
I feel strongly that Heavenly Father is preparing me little by little to do a great work. Matt and I both know that there is work for us to do. I think of our future and feel assured by the Spirit each time that we are on the right path. We have much to do. Though we may not know how we will accomplish it right now, we know without a doubt that God will provide a way for us to get to where we need to be. I feel ready to move on to a new chapter in our lives, and as Christ once said, "Do the work of Him who has sent me."
I love, love, LOVE this church. It is true. It is full of light and joy. It brings hope. It is an overwhelming testament of God's love for us; that He will never leave us comfortless, He will always come to us (John 14:18)
Have a wonderful Sunday, and if you got to church today with kids in tow cleaned and ready, make yourself a fudge brownie and pat yourself on the back! You freakin' deserve it.