Monday, February 10, 2014

New Pew

Things were shaken up at church yesterday when both the Relief Society presidency and the Young Women presidency were reorganized. Our church organizations are run with volunteer steam—from the bishop (the leader of our congregation) to the Primary presidency (that's me—the secretare-extraordinare) to the Valiant 9 teacher (that's Andrew) to the higher up officials (like the apostles) to the 80,000 missionaries worldwide—everyone donates their time.

Sometimes the callings are rather taxing—like that of the Relief Society Presidency—and other times they're pretty low-key—like that of the Sunday School Presidency (what do they even do?). It was quite obvious the Relief Society President was relieved to be excused from her position (while our newly called president looked a little nervous).

On a side note, one of the tasks the Relief Society is charged with is assisting new mothers. It seems like half the women in our ward are pregnant right now. Three women have had babies in the past month and we still have about a dozen to go before summer hits. This means that those of us in child-bearing years who are not pregnant are having to walk around being as blatantly asymptomatic as possible so as not to arouse suspicion of any underlying condition.

Seriously—on Tuesday night I got an innocent drink of water and was asked (and I quote), "Are you just thirsty or do you have an announcement to make?"

Just thirsty. Honest!

It's actually kind of funny because Miriam's birth year was gave our ward a bumper crop of kids—there are 15 kids her age in our primary—but the next year was kind of a drought year (we only have three Sunbeams). In nursery right now there are fourteen babies and toddlers. Nine will be coming into primary next year. Five are in Benjamin's cohort—Benjamin is the youngest of the bunch and he came into nursery in December. The next baby we'll add to nursery won't be old enough until June. And after that—next January!

Clearly our ward was on baby-making hiatus until quite recently. Now everyone is pregnant at the same time. (Except for me—I just got thirsty in public once (admittedly something does seem to be in the water—don't drink it!)). It got to be that when another pregnancy was announced our dear Relief Society president would cringe/twitch slightly before putting a smile on and saying, "Oh, boy! Another baby!" The Relief Society will certainly have its hands full with this passel of incoming infants this spring, not to mention everything else they ordinarily do.

Anyway, we weren't able to grab our regular row when we walked into the chapel yesterday because extended families had come to offer their moral support for those getting new callings. Our bench was taken up by one such family (not that we have assigned seating; we're just creatures of habit) so we had to choose another bench farther back in the chapel.

It was kind of fun to sit in a different spot. We usually sit in the front so that Benjamin can do all the people watching he wants (because everyone's sitting behind him) and so that his squawkings, which in theory carry forwards, don't annoy as many people around us (in theory)). Just a few rows back, however, gave me a completely different view of the ward.

Working in primary can be rather isolating—while I'm rather familiar with the kids at church I'm not as familiar with the adult population. Sitting a few rows back reminded me that there are actually other people in church, other than the 12-and-under crew. I got to do a little people watching with Benjamin (whose squawking was plentiful) and what I saw was beautiful.

A woman, whose husband was recently baptized a member of the church, along with her sweet family. A brand new single mum. Another single mother with all her children in tow—including a deaf child and another with some learning disabilities (her plate is so full). A brother who is the only member in his family. A young family with three children—much like our own—with the mother taking the liberty to breastfeed right in the middle of sacrament meeting (she told me she saw me doing it once and decided right then to ditch the crowded, stinky nursing lounge). The wife of a doctor (who was at work) accompanied by her young son. The wife of a bishopric member, sitting alone with her three kids—and leaving them alone in order to conduct the music. An elderly couple sitting together. A recently returned missionary, reunited with his family after two years in Ukraine. A childless couple. An expecting couple. A wild bunch of young brothers trying their parents' patience. A husband cutting out visual aids for his wife's singing time lesson.

Not to brag or anything but we are a beautiful bunch of people.

We're a motley crew to be sure. Not one of us isn't broken or hurting. We're all there to love and serve each other and to seek after the peace, hope, and healing that only comes through the Savior.

It was nice to be reminded of that. Each of us is different; each of us is going through our own trials; each of us sin in our own way; not one of us is perfect. But we're all there; we're all trying; and together we're kind of neat.

If you're ever feeling sick of going to church, try sitting in a different pew. It's a whole new experience!

(It was also nice to be reminded that my kids aren't necessarily the worst-behaved children in the chapel. There are others at least on par with them (though, honestly, Benjamin—there weren't any other nearly-two-year-olds throwing a full on fit under the bench because their Mommy didn't nurse them long enough (What are you—six months old?! The screaming was a bit much.))).  


  1. This is so beautiful. I'm glad you sat in a new pew do I could be reminded of these things. I love you. :)

  2. This is so beautiful. I'm glad you sat in a new pew do I could be reminded of these things. I love you. :)

  3. Found this through a friend. This post was absolutely beautiful. A wonderful reminder for all of us. Thank you for sharing.