"Enjoy the LITTLE THINGS in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."


What blog is about Intro

Come on in and sit awhile while I talk about the "Little Things" in life. I will share my journey of everyday life.... homeschooling, raising my children, homesteading, gardening, health and wellness, and real life.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Letting Go of Church Attendance Guilt

Sierra (8... just days before her 9th birthday)

Letting go of guilt has been something that I have had to do since having a larger than average family.  This especially applies to church.  Of all the things we should not be beating ourselves up about it is keeping tally of how many services we attend at church.  God knows our heart! 

I love to attend church.  I desire to be there.  I treasure my time their amongst other believers worshiping God.  But sometimes we make church complicated.  The Bible says to "remember the Sabbath".  That is God's Word and that is good enough for me.  I want to be clear... this is not a post about how you should not feel guilty about not attending church.  It is about not feeling guilty if you can not attend every church event that goes on. 

I really had to come to terms with this when I was pregnant with my third child and my husband was working by day and attending his college Masters program by night.  We used to attend church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and special events when we could.  Sadly, we even kind of thought we were extra special because we made it back to church on Sunday nights to fill our pew.  I actually remember feeling a kind of pride that we attend Sunday nights when most people did not.  Being prideful is not a good quality.  

As our family has grown and there have been more children with more illness or more things that need to be attended to on the weekends I have had to let go of the guilt.  My main goal is to "remember the Sabbath" by attending Sunday School and Worship Service on Sundays.  We no longer attend Sunday nights because we simply run out of energy trying to make it all happen.  We take our children to Wednesday night services for children's choir and classes.  We sometimes attend special Bible studies on those nights, also.  But this is what our Sundays look like now:
  • By 9:40 am:  Arise, dress for church, eat breakfast and out the door
  •  9:45 am - 12:30 pm:  Sunday School and Worship Service
  • 12:30 pm - on:  Home for lunch and time with the family
  • 5:00 - 6:00 pm:  My husband goes back to the church to lead a Youth Drama class
  • 6:00 pm: Dinner
  • 6:00 -8:30:  Family time, bathes, and bedtimes for the kids
Now, this is what our days would look like if we went to Sunday night servie:
  • By 9:40 am:  Arise, dress for church, eat breakfast and out the door
  •  9:45 am - 12:30 pm:  Sunday School and Worship Service
  • 12:30 pm - on:  Home for lunch and time with the family
  • 5:00 - 6:00 pm:  My husband goes back to the church to lead a Youth Drama class
  • 6:00 - 730 pm:  Evening church
  • 7:30 - 8:00 pm: Quick Dinner (and I don't know when I would cook it.  I guess that would be during our afternoon family time)
  • 8:00 -8:30:  Family time, bathes, and bedtimes for the kids
 I know that could be done... but I don't want to do all that.  That is a recipe for stress and discord.  We would be just "attending" church because we feel we "should" and I am pretty sure we would lose our joy for it.  I am just being honest.  And again I will say that the Bible says to "remember the Sabbath".  Does that mean we spend 2 hours at church?  5 hours?  What if we just stayed there the whole day?  Would we be "remembering the Sabbath" day more effectively.  I don't think so.  With our current Sunday schedule we are there about 2 hours and 45 minutes.  There was a time that I would have felt guilty, but I just don't anymore. 

And there are different seasons of life.  Right now I am even co-teaching 7-8th grade girls Sunday School for this year.  Cody is doing the Youth Drama.  Sometimes we help out in different children's classes or wherever we are needed.  We have hosted Bible Study in our home.  We go to Youth events and other special activities.  We have less home commitment in some areas this year and have opted out of some other activities allowing us to do this.  Last year we did not have as many church commitments.  This is an ever-changing thing.  We do what we can, when we can.  And I am content with that.

So, that is a little peek into how our "little" family does church attendance.... guilt free.  And I will say that my guilt has been being testing this year.  There are more events that I am being asked to attend or being somewhat pressured to attend.  Maybe I should feel guilty, but... I just don't.  You see I don't answer to the people around me (even though I certainly would not want to be a "stumbling block").  I answer to God.  

So, I wonder... have you let go of church attendance guilt?  


No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments and suggestions! I read them all and I am so thrilled you are taking the time out of your busy life to share your words with me! --Shannon

Note: If you ask a question, check back here in the comments for my answer or check the little box so it goes directly to your email (if available). (This way others who have the same question will be able to read the answer!)