Monday, May 5, 2008

Sunday Stress

Sundays are the hardest. they were the hardest when Crockett was with us, and they are the hardest now.

Sundays are stressful.... I think if you are a church goer, and you have children, you can most likely relate.

With Crockett, sometimes the Sunday stress brought me to tears. There was a long stretch of time, about 5 years, when we could almost guarantee that he would throw-up once he was dressed, usually when he got to the car. We never figured out why, maybe it was the bath he had had, or the excitement in the air that he was part of something we were all doing, or maybe just satan trying to thwart our Sunday morning efforts to be with God's people.

Or, perhaps God was just teaching me to be thankful!

Often the boys were blamed because they had carried him out to the car, and perhaps they had been too rough or gone too quickly? We would often vent our frustrations of the situation on them, I am certain it was never their fault. It happened no matter who carried him, regardless of how gently or quickly. When he grew out of the throw-up stage (sorta) he learned a new trick. He could soak through an entire outfit and not leave a drop on his diaper. This phenomenon was most often accomplished on Sundays as well, and if he didn't perform before we left, he most certainly would have by the time we picked him up from his class.

I was usually the one to be left behind to clean him up, and change him, because for three of those years Michael taught an adult bible fellowship class. It was not fun to clean up rancid curdled Pediasure in a dress and heels on a three foot long infant who found the whole predicament nothing short of hilarious. I often missed the kids performing in choirs and programs or just the normalcy of bringing the girls to their classes and chatting with their teachers. There were so many times that i cried out to God and told him it was just too much, couldn't he just give me a break? I would strip Crockett down, and wash him up. I often had to iron a new pair of pants, then redress him. After carrying him out to the car and drying my tears I would finally pull into the church. The handicapped parking would often be full ( It became a joke with our family that when ever it rained the handicaps would come to church!!!). We would drive out to the back forty and I would get Crockie's chair out of the back end, hoist him out of the car seat that I had just buckled him into moments before, now lined with towels, so as not to soil his "new" outfit, and strap him into his wheels. We would hike to the children's wing, and Crockie would shriek with joy at the adventure of it all. Struggling with my bible, and purse, and the wheel chair, I would pray that we wouldn't be too late, and that people would not notice that I had been crying. I would paste on my happy christian Sunday face, and we would proceed down the never ending corridor, usually full of healthy children saying goodbye to reticent parents with kisses all around. There were the usual "Good mornings", "how are yous" and the occasional quick look aways so as not to have to acknowledge the kid in the wheel chair, but only occasionally. We would make our way through the maze of children to whatever class was deemed the right fit in that particular "season", usually determined by which teacher was not scared away by the word seizure or the sporadic outburst Crockett might have during class. When i finally made it into the sanctuary, sweat soaked and emotionally spent, still the smile was there, sorta, and i held my head high and made my way to my family. Usually on those days that were the hardest, you know, coinciding with a particular time of month, we would sing as a congregation the song "Thank you". That song always brought me right back into alignment with my savior Jesus. I couldn't sing that song without an extremely grateful heart for all he had done for me, and all he had given me. My mind would be flooded with thankfulness in the midst of my circumstances.

God is good like that isn't he, right in the midst of the pain reminding us of his promises, and pulling us right out of the muck and mire of our earthly circumstances, and into the glorious refreshment of the knowledge that all is well as he carries us through.

For all that You've done, I will thank You
For all that You're going to do
For all that you've promised and all that You are
Is all that has carried me through
Jesus I thank You
And I thank You
Thank You Lord
And I thank You
Thank You Lord
Thank You for loving and setting me free
Thank You for giving your life just for me
How I thank You
Jesus, I thank You
I gratefully thank You
And I thank you

Church is a place where we always were, together. Now one of us is missing.

Sundays are stressful, now for different reasons.

I never thought I would miss urine and throw-up. But I do and oh how grateful I am now that I had them for as long as I did.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;

Make known his deeds among the peoples.

Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;

Speak of all his wonders.

Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.

Seek the Lord and his strength;

Seek His face continually.

1 Chronicles 16:8-11

What are you thankful for today?


Mette said...

I'm thankful for being able to sit here and read about you and your family. We had a hard evening yesterday with Kristian last night. Lot of crying too, both of us. But we are alive.

char said...
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char said...
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thehomespunheart said...

Amy - This was such a beautiful post and so encouraging and challenging to me. Often, I admit, that I want the hard stuff to pass - for our children to out grow those things quickly. Why? Because it will be easier for me. How selfish. What I really and truly want in my heart is to not rush their lives, but to be teachable in the process as they are not the only ones who have growing and learning to do.

Today, I am thankful for the opportunity to be molded and taught through the role of motherhood. It is harder than I ever imagined, but it is the most worthwhile endeavor that God has given me. Thank you for reminding me.

I am also thankful for you - for sharing of yourself so honestly. I am praying for you, friend.

Anonymous said...


I am thankful for you and Michael and your family. Thanks for sharing so openly about what it was like all those years to go to church on Sunday. I don't think anyone can really know what you experienced...the joy and the difficulty that Crockett brought to your lives. We continue to pray for you.


Dawn said...

I am thankful today that I can count you and your beautiful family as friends. And yet-
I HATE knowing that I never knew how deep your hurt was, or how hard it was for you. Forgive me for not asking, for not probing.

I love you friend, and miss you so much. Hugs to you, long, hard hugs.

Much much love,

char said...

Blogger char said...

a - I am crying right now. During Crockett's service I sat there with the kids thinking about Crockett and how he was always so impeccably dressed, and I couldn't even manage to get my kids hair properly brushed and hands clean before we go to church. We are always making this mad dash out of the door and your family is always so nicely dressed and well groomed.

So it is bittersweet to read about what you were really going through. Thanks for writing about it. I love you so much and I miss you.


Anonymous said...

Sitting here with tears in my eyes, I am thankful for you. Thank you for reminding me how selfish I am. My 11 year old has what we call "tummy trouble". Every time we have to get out the door "early"(homeschoolers) Her belly is sick and I can't count the amount of times she has thrown up in the car or had to sit on the potty for an hour. The frustrations that I have vented to her were unfair to her and extremely selfish on my part. This in no way compares to what you had do deal with but I wanted to thank you for reminding me of my selfishness. Please pray for me.
Also, I always loved seeing Crocketts smile!! It was beautiful.