Last October/November we moved into our current home. It is a very well laid out townhouse that will give us plenty of space for our family no matter how large the Lord decides to make it. The size however was not our biggest reason for moving. This house is less than a ten minute drive from Rob's place of work. It frees up an extra hour a day on work days for Rob to spend with the boys. This is proving to be a huge blessing for us.
This move had only one down side. It made attending our Church very difficult. The journey on a Sunday morning was now forty five minutes each way. Rob was still teaching Sunday School, so we would have to leave about 9am and would not get home until nearly 1:30pm. This may not be a big deal for some, but for our boys it was. Seth was only two months old, and still sleeping most of the time. He did not take to having to sleep on the go. (Even now at six months old he likes to be in his own bed to sleep.) Even Aiden was beginning to have a difficult time with going all morning and into the afternoon without a nap. So Rob decided to give up teaching Sunday School and we would try just attending one of the two morning services.
Then we went to the Christmas Eve service with the boys. We thought we might have issues because they are not usually out in the evenings. My boys like to go to bed when it starts to get dark (like their daddy) and the service didn't start until 5pm. We did end up leaving before the service was over. We tried everything we could to keep Seth calm, but even after changing his diaper/nappy and nursing him he was still unhappy and let us know all about it. He was tired and he wanted to go to sleep in his own bed, not in my arms. So we got the boys into the car and drove home. By the time we got home forty five minutes later Seth was so beyond over tired that he would not be consoled and he would not go to sleep. Rob was left to see to Aiden, unpack the car and start getting ready for Christmas morning on his own while I tried everything we could think of to try and calm Seth enough to fall asleep.
I spent over two hours rocking, walking, swaying, singing, swaddling, nursing, and everything else that might even bring just a moment of calm. Finally he passed out from sheer exhaustion. As I joined Rob back downstairs to finish preparing for the morning we talked, and talked, and talked about what had just happened. The only conclusion we came to was that we could never put Seth through that again and changed our plans about attending Christmas morning services. We decided I would stay home with Seth on Sunday mornings until he was old enough to deal with going to Church again.
Over the next couple of weeks Rob struggled through taking Aiden to Church by himself. Aiden missed having his Mama around. He missed his "Bubba" too. So we tried having Rob go to Church on his own. After the first week of that Rob knew it wasn't right for him to go to Church without the rest of his family. We needed a better solution. We talked and prayed and talked and prayed together some more. We asked the Lord to show us where to go if He was moving us to a closer Church. That Saturday we drove by a sign across the street from our neighborhood. It was advertising church services in a school on a small strip mall. There was a website address included. So after we came home we wrote down the website to check out after the boys were asleep.
We continued to pray for another few weeks. This was a big decision and one we were not going to rush. Rob continued to go to Church alone. I continued to stay home with the boys and tried very hard to not feel isolated. Church had always been my one time of the week to speak to other people face to face, so staying home seven days a week was not easy. Rob was the only adult I had proper conversations with.
After a few weeks of listening to sermons on the website and continuing to seek the Lord we decided to email the Pastor and ask to meet with him to find out more about the Church. We met at our local doughnut shop on the Saturday morning, then visited the Church on the Sunday morning. We liked everything we found out and saw at Church. We went back a second time the following week before finally making the decision to transfer our membership to this new Church home that the Lord had led us to.
We are sad to leave behind so many wonderful friends in our old Church home, but we are still close enough to drop by for special events and to keep up the friendships out of Church. At the same time we are excited to be a part of this new family of believers. Our new Church is indeed a new Church. They have been meeting for just over a year, and are still small in number. We meet in the cafeteria of a private school. It is the most integrated Church I've encountered. The children are part of the main service. They worship together with their families. There is a room set aside for very small children to go and play if needed, but it is very much optional. The cultural diversity is about the same as the actual diversity of the surrounding area. I'm not the only one going through the immigrant experience of raising a family far away from my extended family, as there are several other immigrant families in Church too. The Pastor and his wife have been married about the same amount of time as we have, and with a very similar love story to us too. They also have a daughter who is only four days older than Aiden. The two children were actually born on each others due date. They are already firm friends too which is so nice to see.
We are excited to be a part of the work the Lord is doing in our new community. We are excited to see what the Lord can do through our new Church home and the new friendships that are developing there. I'm personally excited to be walking distance from Church, and to have new friends that live within walking distance too.
Have a great weekend, and may the Lord bless you as you meet together with other believers this coming Lord's Day.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.