As I write this, Taylor is coloring, Bailey is watching a movie and I am sipping coffee while I play on my laptop. Kevin left already for church, he works in the nursery for the first service. I used to do it, and he would pinch hit for me if I couldn't wake early, for instance. He's so much better at waking earlier than I am. Anyway, he bonded to a few of the kids after they bonded to him, and he now does it every Sunday. I think it makes him feel so good to have those little ones scream, "Mr Kevin!" and run to him. I love that feeling too, but not enough to wake earlier than I have to.
We go to church every single Sunday unless we're away. We've been regular attenders for 6 years. Before that, as a young married couple, we did go, but not every Sunday. Then we had Bailey, and I was scared to death of taking her around anything as germ-filled as a church, so we didn't really go except for special occasions for like a year at least. Then I got pregnant, and the thought of ever getting ready for ANYTHING unless I HAD to was out of the picture, I felt so ill the whole pregnancy. Then Tate came, and please, that's self-explanatory. But then after a few months, I knew we NEEDED some church!!
So we started "church shopping" which was terrible. Every Sunday we'd try another one, and Bailey, who was 2 and had separation anxiety, would go nuts. I would hate Sunday mornings, and I worried Bailey would hate church! But then we found HOPE, in March of 2006, and we never left. Bailey didn't cry, she had so much fun she never missed us! And everyone was so loving, and friendly. We liked how down-to-earth the pastor was, and the fact that he has a special needs son endeared me to him more, to tell you the truth. In fact, HOPE has a "buddy" program for families with special needs kids that buddy up someone from the church with their child, so the parent can enjoy the service. Anyway, we love it there. There is so much going on that anyone could find an activity that they want to plug into - from mens basketball to womens yoga to MOPS to Bible studies - and the kids have a great program and lots of activities too. I sound like a commercial but I really love this church!
Anyway, our Sunday mornings are always about heading to HOPE. Once in awhile I feel like I would just like to stay home, but then I know how much my girls would miss Sunday school, and I go...and I'm always glad I did.
I think in this world of negative influences, negative people and tons of problems, it's nice to go to a place that's about building you up, and strengthening you, strengthening families. If you're in South Jersey, give us a try - wear your jeans and you can have coffee during the service, we're casual!