By Abbey Nielsen
Getting to church in one piece is difficult some mornings. My daughter typically naps during church time, and as some of you may know, she gets a little tired, noisy and grouchy. But I take my daughter to church so that she can grow up a woman of God.
I take my daughter to church because that is something we did in my family growing up. Every Sunday we would get up and go to church. Sunday School was a must where we learned about Jesus and His love for others. There were some days that we didn’t want to attend, but we went anyway. I want my daughter to grow up knowing this church is a place to learn about Jesus, even on days she doesn’t feel like being here.
I take my daughter to church because I want her to learn about God’s love. I want her to know how amazing His forgiveness is and, as she grows up, remembering to be mindful of this. My parents taught my sisters and me about forgiveness – we needed a lot of it as there were three of us, and still do – but knowing that Jesus’ love is the ultimate forgiveness makes life ten times better.
I take my daughter to church to see her church family. While growing up we attended St. Paul’s in Elk Rapids. It always felt like “home” on a Sunday morning as we worshiped as a family. I knew I was safe and loved there, just as I do at Grace now, and I hope that my daughter will grow up and feel the same way.
I take my daughter to church because I love to sing with her. Since she was in the womb she has been attending Grace Harmony with me. It has been such a blessing for me to be able to do this with her, but also has been becoming more difficult the more mobile and vocal she has become. Sunday mornings may become a little more “off key”, and if you hear her rendition of “Moon, Moon, Moon” (her favorite tune) as Grace Harmony is singing a different song, please forgive her. She has always had a love of music, and it is continually growing.
You may hear or see my daughter becoming more active as time goes on, but please know that I am trying my best to get her to church – nap or not – so that she can become a Jesus-loving, forgiving singer on Sunday mornings. And if you happen to step on a pretzel stick, veggie straw or crayon that she’s left behind, please smile and be happy that the future of the church is here!