Sunday, July 31, 2016

Preparing to Take the Lord's Supper

view during my morning preparations for the Sacrament

I attend church by myself these days - me and the kiddos that is, all two and a half of them (don't know if I've made an official announcement here - but there it is!).  Sunday is a bit of a marathon to wear them out in the morning so they get naps before 1:00 p.m. church.  

Getting them down so early is usually a struggle, so naps usually don't start till 10:30 or 11:00 a.m., which means I try to let them sleep as long as possible - it was 12:30 today - and then it's a sprint to get to church in reasonable time.

I don't so much mind getting there on time - I am, after all, doing this by myself, it's afternoon church, and I've prepared all day to get them in working order to church.  So I'm not too hard on myself if we rock in during the opening hymn.   

But I am desperate to get there in time for the Sacrament, or the passing of the Lord's Supper.  It is my chance at renewal and, frankly, my week is noticeably poorer if I miss this crucial, weekly ordinance.  

It's the focus of the day - to partake of the Sacrament with kids who are well rested and fed enough to sit it out quietly and try to get something out of it myself.

I don't always do this, but today I was able to take quiet moments during nap time to write down the Christ-like attributes I would like to pray for this week - ways I can improve my spiritual temperament and practical application.  This I do in preparation of taking of the Sacrament.  

I know my chances of quietude, particularly in quantities that would permit healthy self-reflection, while the Sacrament is passed are slim.  But in-between telling Gideon to sit down on his bum and try to feel the Spirit and making sure Esther isn't vocalizing the last hymn, if I've prepared my thoughts, I can focus them.

Today's Sacrament - and therefore all of my preparation for it - was a success.  Kids were functional enough to be reasonably quiet and attentive for the five minute ordinance.  Thereafter was a much different story, but I felt renewed and blessed to have been there to participate in the Sacrament.  

What do you do to prepare for spiritual experiences?  What works for you, kids or no?  Very interested to know - I find I get so much more out of my spiritual work and tasks when I am prepared.  You?

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Small Wonders
Headed to swim lessons.
* I use "1-2-3 Magic" from a book by that name to discipline Gideon.  Whenever I count "1!" Esther will chime in "2!...9!"  Makes me laugh every time.
* Esther is now singing "I am a Child of God" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" ad nauseam.  Now that I've trained her off the bottle (hurray!), singing is more a part of our nightly ritual, and she'll request "a Song" and "Child of God."  I often hear her singing herself to sleep in the dark. 
* G & E just finished two weeks of swimming lessons.  We had signed up for a class for 0-4s, but it turns out we were the only ones.  I was nervous about me managing both, but it turns out that it was two on two and I was much relieved.  They are both much more confident little swimmers now.
* G is either the most polite, thoughtful little boy imaginable, or super naughty and disobedient.  Hoping the latter is a phase!  Is it the age?

    
Kendall was a great teacher.

Running boring errands with mom (I learned how to re-wire a lamp!) is made much better when you get to drive a car. 

feeding the neighbor's goats

morning rituals  
Thomas!

trying to hide his excitement

still holding his ticket



family date!


2 comments:

  1. Always enjoy reading your blog. I read this article a few months back and it has helped me prepare for the sabbath with little ones. It has helped me. https://www.lds.org/blog/to-every-mom-struggling-with-a-toddler-in-sacrament-meeting?lang=eng

    Amber

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  2. Oh the weekly struggle. I love idea of preparing beforehand, or as they say, filling your spiritual bucket enough that if it doesn't getting any fuller, you'll be fine! As you said, learning to focus is important, and I need to do much better! There are many Sundays when I go home disappointed because I didn't get anything out of church... But that's my fault! Focus, Lesley. Focus! Great tips.

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