Monday, November 24, 2008

Preacher Liz Steps To The Pulpit...

My faith and spirituality are important to me. Anyone who has been following along with this blog probably knows that. This past Sunday was a Big Deal. Teagan went to Sunday School for the First. Time. Ever. Understand... my kids don't go to the nursery. I've offered it once or twice but they don't want to be there. They are well behaved enough during church and there is a cry room if I need it. Since I work full time all week, I've never been fond of the idea of having the kids spend that time away from me. The way church works... we come in, sing a bit, meet and greet, announcements, etc. The kids go up for Small Talk (the children's sermon) and then the kids do a mass exodus to Sunday School/My Church/The Nursery. Teagan has always gone up for Small Talk and then right back to our seats. She's never asked to go with the other kids and we've never pushed. Yesterday, before we left the house, she asks if she can go to Sunday School. So we agree to go check it out before church starts. And we do. Get her signed in. Stick on a name tag. Go into church to show her how she will go up for Small Talk and then go with the kids through the side door and how her classroom is right outside that door. Pastor Jennifer sees us and explains that she will be doing Small Talk today. And when Small Talk happens, Pastor Jennifer made a point of saying good morning to Teagan... keeping her connected. And when the mass exodus began, Teagan held my hand and we went with the kids and got halfway to the door when Miss Paulette (Pastor Rusty's wife) asked Teagan if she could take her to class. And Paulette found a friend for Teagan and had them hold hands and go to class together... The kids came in and filed through church later- it was Commitment Sunday and the kids were giving drawings and such as their commitment for the coming year (Rusty had the kids go first... the church is focused on kids being a crucial part of the overall ministry and that the children shall lead us). I was very eagerly watching for Teagan to come in with the kids. I was turned around and on the edge of my seat, peering around to see her. She looked so serious when she came into sight. She was searching the sea of faces for mine and we locked eyes and she smiled and started to run to me. Her Sunday School teacher caught her and had her stay with the kids. Her spirit wasn't dampened at all. She had no clue what she was doing but she kept her eyes on me and a huge grin on her face and went and put her paper on the offering table. Then she came racing for me- no stopping her that time! Came for a big hug and cuddle. A young helper came over to see if Teagan wanted to come back to class with everyone and Teagan very excitedly said "Yeah!" and took off... My big girl. It's odd to see your child with other kids. Here is this little person that I know inside and out (most days). And to see her in a situation where she isn't in charge, where she doesn't know what is going on... it's odd to see the disconnect. On one hand, she is my girl, my Teagan. On the other, she's just one of this group of kids. Also, I want to share a little something I wrote during church. Something Pastor Rusty said stayed with me. I suppose my spiritual ears were open. I forget the exact wording- I wish I'd written it down when he said it. I think it was during a prayer. But bottom line was that God loves us, no matter what we do. Even when I am at my worst, God loves me. Sometimes I am awful to my kids. I get frustrated and angry and I yell and threaten and act ugly. God sees and loves me even then. If God loves me when I am at my worst, when I am acting that way... I can do that with my children. To act on and show love. To focus on guidance and teaching and discipline and not punishments and threats. When I feel frustrated, angry, ready to snap, I will remember God's love and peaceful presence. I will give love and peace to myself, to my children. I will treat my husband with love and peacefulness. I will open my emotional side and be true to my self in my home, in my family. My heart opened up with that. I felt like I was finally reconnecting with the parent I want to be. I feel like, on the parenting front, I've been faltering a lot. The past few weeks, I have been improving but I still have times that I look back and am not pleased with choices I've made. I start each day with the intention of being better but hadn't found the key to making those desires stick. But this has clicked. Doesn't mean I won't ever yell. Doesn't mean I won't get frustrated, won't get angry. But it means that I have a reminder. And I've already used it. I'm a work in progress. Progress is the key word this week!!

2 comments:

Amy said...

Progress, not perfection. I heard that somewhere in the last couple of weeks. I like it.

Congrats to both of you -- Teagan for taking the big step and you for letting her.

Elizabeth said...

Love, love, love this entry! I too must remember this when my little red head pushes every last button inside me and makes me tow the line of me having a complete temper tantrum :)