I've decided that it's not that I'm not an Olympian, it's that the Olympics don't currently have my event. But after this post and the numerous (all 50 of you who read this) calls from others who see the Olympic merit of this event, I'm sure I will be getting a gold in the near future.
What event is it, you ask (dying of curiosity)?
It is called getting 4 children to church every Sunday fed, mostly dressed and with scriptures in hand by myself.
Now you may be thinking, what???!! But hear me out, I think I'm on to something.
First of all, this takes a tremendous amount of Cardio training. Yep, in my heart, I know that my children learning about Our Father in Heaven and His incredible love for us, proven by His sending His Son to die for us is of the utmost importance.
Now my kids get a lot of that cardio training here at home, but I also know that to hear the experiences and faith and testimony of others is super important and I pray that they will get what they need from those experiences as much as they get from home. I also know they will get the chance to teach, share and bear testimony themselves in church. Which is good for their hearts.
All this does not diminish from the actual physical cardio that I truly get every Sunday in wrestling with 2 little ones, who despise shoes, and 2 big ones who have misplaced the carefully laid out ties, because they were using them to tie pillows on the front of themselves to belly fight each other.
Next of course is the mental preparation, which begins each Sunday as I fight the "natural man" and actually decide to get out of bed knowing what lies ahead.
This alone should earn me the Gold.
The mental preparation actually starts on Monday morning as I find white shirts and church pants hidden in various locations throughout the house from the day before. Which I gather and make sure wind up in the laundry on Tuesday and get washed and hung up that night. Then by Saturday I make sure shoes, ties, shirts, underwear, suits, brushes, and scriptures are at the ready. I have discovered that Sunday goes a whole lot easier if I have everything prepared. I expect my kids to do all that themselves the other days, but I simply don't want that fight on the Sabbath, and I'm ok with that.
There is always the wrestling that takes place as I wrestle the 2 youngest into their clothes. That alone has required more than one shower from me in the summer. I think I could also win at hog tying, if I knew how to get into the rodeo. There is also the running of stairs, multiple times as I answer questions, find items, and stop the nerf battles taking place between floors. Yes, the Sabbath is a day of rest. Which I look forward to for the few minutes when it happens.
Then there is the endurance part of Sunday. It starts off early as my husband leaves for meetings. Then I get going to have everything ready for the events of the day and then we come home from church. That is when the endurance part begins. In trying to make the Sabbath be different from the rest of the week, that generally means my kids don't play with their friends, we don't do our usual jobs and chores and we don't go out doing the things we do all the rest of the week. So it does mean my house gets trashed as they pull off the couch cushions and make forts, become scripture heroes, or make amazing lego creations. I endure this as patiently as possible, because I want my boys to be the best of friends. I know they will have so many amazing memories when they grow older and tell their future wives and children about the crazy things they built, created and acted out on Sundays. Which means we get to endure all this until they are grown and provide me with amazing daughter-in-laws (yes I pray regularly for them).
Then my hubby comes home and endures all this with me and we often wonder how long till we have to invest in hearing aides and pacemakers.
But really, taking our kids to church does feel like an Olympic event, or that it takes the effort of one. I realize that getting to church is not a competition and it shouldn't be. But sometimes when I look around at church, I wish I could hand out gold medals.
One would go to the mom who works nights and still faithfully brings her 2 kids every Sunday by herself.
Another would go to the elderly couple who are always there in spite of the fact that getting there probably takes as much effort as getting my kids there, and I sometimes wonder if they can even hear the teachings and music.
One would go to the couple that just got married and each has kids from prior marriages, so they suddenly have a really big family-bless their hearts.
Another to the grandparents raising their grandchildren who keep them running.
And one to the single lady who comes and serves in big ways and would love to have someone sitting next to her, yet comes every Sunday alone.
I could go on and on. Because I would give a gold to anyone who is trying to get closer to Christ and be more like Him.
But I don't have to give a gold medal. And I don't have to get one.
The blessings of trying to teach and learn and become a follower of Christ, when there is a myriad of things that try to stop us, are nuggets of gold. The kind of gold we get as peace, comfort, grace, and countless blessings.
It is way better than an Olympic gold, which if I got one, I'm sure my kids would use for an experiment, or bury in the backyard anyway.