Friday, June 04, 2010

Family Wards

I heretofore ban my attendance to family wards. This may seem like a silly thing, but here's the thing:

I go to church to be uplifted and spiritually fed. I go to worship and take the sacrament and learn. I go because I'm supposed to and I go because I want to and because it rejuvenates me. And sometimes I go to get out of the house. (And sometimes I don't go because I don't want to leave the house... but that's a different story.)

I've been attending BYU student wards for almost six years now. Student wards are amazing because you are literally going to church with people who are basically in the same life situation as you are. Usually we are far from home, broke beyond belief and struggling to pass a class or secure a job. Hardly anyone is happy with their dating life. We're all discovering just how strong our individual testimonies are...or are not. There are a lot of serving opportunities and growing opportunities through callings and new friendships. And there are no kids.

The last one may seem irrelevant or off-topic. But really, what is more distracting than children in sacrament meeting? They're there to learn, too. But mostly it's to learn how to sit through a long meeting without grinding Cheerios too much into the carpet. Or that during the sacrament you can't color, but after, it's totally fine. Kids are noisy and distracting. And ridiculously funny. And cute. And I can't sit through a church meeting that is littered with children and pay attention to what is being said at the pulpit. I just can't.

The other thing about family wards is that they have all these newly married couples that lean on each or curl up under an arm. The little wife is wearing her husband's suit coat and he will turn and kiss her cheek or the top of her head. They give each other back rubs and secret smiles. And mostly it makes me sick. It also makes me a little jealous.

And then, of course, there are the young mothers and the expectant mothers that waddle around the church building. They are distracting too, because then I catch myself wondering exactly how I would parent that screaming child (take him out!) or laugh at that child (yes, I'd definitely laugh at him) or how I'd look waddling around a church building. They look so cute in their Sunday dresses with their pregnant bellies. Which typically are not cute at all.

And by the end of the block (why do we call it "the block"?) I'm sick to death of eternal families and children and cute, thoughtful husbands. And I haven't done any of those things that I go to church to do. I'm pretty much green. And I don't like that feeling, because most of the time I am quite content with my singleness and perfectly happy in my BYU ward. I'm usually thinking about all the things that I can be doing because I'm not "tied down" and I only have responsibility for myself. But none of that matters when I go to a family ward and I leave more depressed than rejuvenated. So that's it. I'm going to stick to the Single's Wards from now on...

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