I’ve been having fun around home working on de-piling the past week or so. It isn’t as though there were huge piles of stuff all over the house. Just little ones here and there, in this drawer and that, on this desk and that desk, in the basement, etc. Over the past several months I’ve had people give me sheet music, books, magazines, and other misc. stuff and I kept setting it aside until I had the energy to think about it. I think my January organizational burst didn’t kick in until February. My guess is I was too sleep-deprived in January, but now that I’ve been getting a bit more sleep and I’m less mentally foggy, I can actually get some of this stuff done. I can’t begin to tell you how gratifying it is to feel like I am finally getting on top of my life around here.
Speaking of sleeping… David and I have also been sleeping in more the past couple of weeks. Caroline has been sleeping from at least 11:00 p.m. to 4/5 a.m. which is an improvement. Some mornings we’ve fed her, put her back to bed, and we all haven’t gotten up until 7 or 8 which is really late for us. But we need more sleep. So more sleep = less blogging time.
I don’t think I’m going to write any more positive stories about what Caroline is doing now because every time I do, she stops doing it. She rolled over once and has since shown little real inclination to do it again. She such a content baby she’s happy to just lay on the floor, babbling and grabbing her feet. She won’t even go out of her way to go after a favorite toy that is within reach with a little effort. She’d rather just suck on her fingers. I’m glad she’s so content, but I think it also makes her a little unmotivated. Oh well. She’ll get it eventually. She slept eight hours through the night once and never since. She ate cereal well two days, I blogged about it, and now we’ve been back to wearing cereal instead of eating it. So no more blogging about this stuff! (I’m joking.)
Lindsey had an interesting discussion that’s related to my question of the week. She blogged about a book entitled Family Integrated Worship. Since I cannot figure out how to link to her post (?), here is the comment that especially jumped out at me.
When I was growing up, the church we attended was family integrated. It was the Catholic church. When I became an adult and confessed Christ as my Savior, I began to read the bible and attend a Protestant church. I was 18. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this church was family integrated just like the Catholic church I grew up in. That was back in 1982. The pastor and his wife talked about the value of children being with their parents during Sunday worship. It made sense to me. After I married, we continued that practice until the present with our children. The two churches we attended for the longest were both family integrated.
Why do I enjoy it, because we are making attending church a family tradition. Not an individual event. I don’t mind attending a church that has the programs as long as they don’t mind us not participating in them. But it is nice when there is agreement in this area.
We had one church worker once ask my husband, “When are you going to let us have your children.” His reply, “I’m not spending the first 18 years of my children’s lives keeping them out of the sanctuary and praying for the next 18 that they come back in.” We’re building a habit of hearing God’s word as a family and talking about the things we hear throughout the week. I’m not about to make a doctrine out of this, but it has worked for the last 18 years and we’re not about to change a good thing now.
David and I have read a lot about FIW over the past few years. We are pretty convinced that we want Caroline to worship with us in the sanctuary and not put her in the nursery or little people’s church. (I don’t know if I can use the word “convicted” yet, but we’re close.) I haven’t looked around too carefully at church, but I know that if anyone else is doing this, there aren’t many. I don’t want to be a “problem” in our church, but we also want to do what we are convinced is best for Caroline and our family. We’ve already had a few comments about when will we be putting her in the nursery with her friends so I know that we’ll have to make a decision and stick with it soon.
So if you are in a non-family integrated church and you keep your baby with you (Caroline is 20 weeks old today), how do you “make it work?” I’m especially concerned about her being a distraction to those around us. We’re willing to make the sacrifice of our own ability to focus on worship, but I also want to be sensitive to those around us.
I like what Spunky said about it being a family habit. Caroline is just getting to the point where she will sit in my lap and attend to a book when I read it to her. (Oh, how I’ve longed for this day! I can hardly wait to share my love of reading with her!) So we feel that she’s getting to the point where we can start some family worship with her. David can read a short Bible passage and we can sing a few hymns. I think doing this daily at home will in a small way help prepare her for learning how to sit in church. (Or am I totally naive?)
Well, I’ll just throw this out there and the discussion can meander as the comments merit it. I’d also be interested in hearing if people started out keeping their baby with them in the service and gave up. Why did you give up? Do you regret giving up? Would you do something different if you could do it over again?