Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Trying Day

Today I feel like I will never spend Divine Liturgy in the church.

It is really hard to bring 4 kids. Especially since we have no idea what we are doing and want to experience & learn. Spending the whole time in the kitchen hall doesn't help. Will my younger kids ever be reasonable?

Karl and I agreed to switch off Sundays caring for Rome (our 2 year old). This was my Sunday. Maybe next week will feel differently.


  1. Tabitha, I'm so sorry you had a rough day. Know that you are not alone. It does get better though, the more you bring them the quicker they learn. And while it is difficult, it is so worth it. Since you enjoy reading, I highly recommend Close to Home by Molly Sabourin. It is one of the most encouraging books I have read on Orthodox parenting. You are in our prayer. Much love to you in Christ, leah

  2. hey there, my name is amanda! i definitely know what you mean re: the Divine Liturgy. our family started attending an Orthodox Church about 6 months ago & Sundays so often feel more hectic & stressful than really engaging. but it is getting better. what we have found helpful is taking turns going to Vespers on saturday evenings. it's a nice treat to be able to be fully present!
    i am thankful to find your blog!!

  3. @leah- Thank you so much. It really is helpful to hear people tell me it will get better. SIlly that I can't just know that when it is hard. I will put that book on my wish list!

    @amanda- our friends who are sponsoring us have offered to take us to a more local vespers saturday night, maybe as you suggested karl and i can trade off. great idea!

    thanks to you both for commenting.

  4. hang in there... have you met Mat. Anna yet (blog praying with my feet)... she understands this very well, the struggle of children/liturgy which is why she was told, and thus made it her blog title, that when her kids are young, she is praying with her feet... (note: just saw that you do know of her, as she is on your blog role! so there you go, you are not alone in this struggle!)

    Orthodoxy is a very deep sea of beauty and truth and we dive into it in stages; it will be here for you at each stage - true growth takes a lot of time, take heart!

    My Mother thought that her three kids (I am the oldest) would be children eternally. Well I am 34 now, my youngest sis is 30... :)

    Prayed for you esp. this weekend as (old calendar) it was Saint Tabitha's day...

  5. Amen to the above comments - it may seem frustrating now - but it will get better! And know that it is a long journey. I have been Orthodox for 20 years now, and honestly can say that my poor brain has only recently begun to let go of many western mindsets - it can only come by experiencing, not by studying, so take heart that your efforts to just be present and soon partake of the Eucharist will work in you even when you feel you are not really there!

  6. You are not alone. I think I have only been able to stay in the church a dozen times if that. I have a 4, 2, and 1 year old. We are fortunate to have my mom watch the two older ones on most Saturday' s so that I can have some time during vigil. I know at times it is discouraging but it makes the moments you see your kids enjoying the service worth it.

  7. Hi!

    Thanks for the recommendation Elizabeth. (:

    Sometimes it helps to step back a few steps and look at the whoooole thing:

    Who gave you these children?


    Do you have to do whatever it takes to take care of them and bring them up in the church?


    Is walking around outside/in the narthex/in the hall most Sundays when you have little ones part of that?


    Don't feel guilty. It is not a bad idea to arrange to be able to go a service by yourself on occasion. I was always grateful for the few Vespers I was able to attend by myself. What luxury!

  8. Thank you elizabeth! Yes I luckily came across Mat. Anna's "Praying with my Feet" first thing! I had it in mind even yesterday when I had a bad day. Thank you for your prayers. I know I am only at the beginning. I love the parish we are in so much and I don't want to think they don't love us. That is the hardest part.

    anna- I look forward to Baptism & Chrismation, but it will be close to a year before it happens. Until then we are reading, praying, attending and teaching the kids what we learn as well. Thank you for your encouragement.

    Melanie- yes, seeing my 8 year old son make the sign of the cross and light a candle is so precious it makes up for everything. He especially, in his young way, feels at home in the church.

    Matushka Anna- Thank you! Yes, I need to remember those things. It reminds me of the joke "Homeschooling would be so much easier if I didn't have all these kids!" The kids are *why* we are there. This is even more pronounced for me because becoming a mother (multiple times) is what led me back to belief in God. Thank you again for your words.

  9. Welcome! We're all in this together you know! A year is a nice time to take for being a catachumen... It was almost a year for me before chrismation and this summer's August God willing will be 7 years for me; it is not always easy but has many blessings. :)

  10. Anna's right: "take heart that your efforts to just be present and soon partake of the Eucharist will work in you even when you feel you are not really there"


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