I know. For a person who considers herself to be quite religious, who reads my scriptures pretty much daily, who prays on a frequent basis, who follows the rules, and above all actually BELIEVES what I profess to believe, having a bad attitude about the one day of the week set apart for worship makes me a bad worshipper.
It's not church itself that makes the day painful. In fact, I enjoy church. I love our congregation; the people are down-to-earth, not judgmental or gossipy, they not only claim to love one another, they back it up with their actions. I feel nothing but support and encouragement from these wonderful people, even when my kid is chucking Hot Wheels cars at them during Sacrament Meeting. Okay, so that hour of church is kind of stressful, but overall I leave church with a feeling of having learned, having been uplifted, and I am ready to face the week with renewed energy and love for God and my fellowmen.
If we came home from church at, say, 8 p.m. and went right to bed, maybe I could indeed keep this great spirit about me the rest of the week. Instead, we go from heaven on earth to, well, earth. It's not hell, but it's certainly some kind of non-heavenly place. The goal, as I see it, is to have a peaceful day as a family, a day where we "rest from our labors" and spend time doing things that we might neglect during the busyness of the rest of the week.
We did pretty good today, for a while. I made grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, a Mudgett family tradition, and the kids all played for a while. Darcey went down for a nap (hooray!) and so does Ryan. Then I hear a THWACK! followed by an animal scream. It's Noah, who had been hit with the business end of a lightsaber, and you don't need to be Obi-Wan Kenobi to know how much that hurt. I completely lost it, and when I found Zack (hiding behind the recliner) I shouted at him to go up to his room, then I threw the Star Wars toys back in the box with much vigor.
I felt horrible for yelling at him, and for throwing the toys in the box, and in general losing my temper. Was it not two hours ago in church that I was learning about patience in adversity? Where was my patience? Gone. Here was the first chance for me to put into practice what's been preached, and I blew it. I left church ready to be a new, better person, and here I am, the same old crappy person I was on Saturday.
What I'm counting on is hope, good intentions, repentance, and mercy. I truly, 100% believe that God is a merciful judge, and that He sees how badly I want to do the right thing. I have a vast amount of faith and hope that He sees that I'm trying hard, that I don't want to ruin my kids by yelling at them, that I'm attempting to honor the Sabbath even though it's hard. The God I believe in loves me and doesn't see me as a failure for losing it today, or for losing it every day. He sees me as a work in progress, and loves me no matter what.
I also have faith that one day my kids will grow up, and I won't have to be the referee of lightsaber duels anymore. I also won't get to laugh at Zack telling Noah, "Don't shoot at Jesus!" (A framed picture, not the real person.) Here's my proposed Ten Commandments of Sunday to get me through the next few years. Feel free to suggest your own commandments in the comments - these kids might need more than ten.
Ten Commandments For Sunday
1. Thou shalt not hit thy siblings.
2. Thou shalt not fight with, scream at, threaten, or taunt thy siblings. Or thy children.
3. Thou shalt not say "He started it!"
4. Thou shalt not follow thy sibling around thy house, repeating every word he says, until he hits thou in the gut. Thou deserved it.
5. Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother, and allow them to take a nap.
6. Thou shalt not squeal like a little girl, unless thou art a little girl.
7. Thou shalt not take thy monkey business into the backyard, where all of our neighbors will know exactly how unruly thou art on the Sabbath. Thou shalt keep up appearances.
8. Thou shalt not wake the napping baby, unless thou wants to watch her as thine punishment.
9. Thou shalt think of others, and when thou asketh to make cookies, remember to take some to thy neighbors. Thou shalt visit the sick, unless they art contagious, in which case thou shalt ding-dong-ditch them with the above-mentioned cookies.
10. Thou shalt not say any of these words: Stop it, shut up, that's mine, ow!, why???, that's my seat, get off, there's nothing to eat, what's for dinner? I don't want that.