I'm staying home with Z from church today to help get her back to 100% before the school week begins. Holden, upon hearing that some of the household would not be attending church was optimistic the same fate would be extended his way.
"I don't want to go to Church," he moaned. "It's so boring and I don't ever get picked to do anything"
"We don't go to Church to be entertained, Holden," I say matter-of-factly. "We go to learn about God and to sit still and have a break to listen."
"In my class we don't even learn about God," he complains.
I raise my eyebrows.
"Ok Holden, we won't make you go. You get to decide." His face beams as if he's just got a free ticket from bed-making for the rest of his life. "I want you to go pray by yourself, and ask Heavenly Father what you're supposed to do. I want you to listen with your heart and your mind and really try to understand what you're supposed to do." I said something about honoring his choice and left it at that.
He left the room and I heard his sweet soft voice coming from the down the hall. I was tempted to listen in and see what he was really saying...but I resisted and gave him some space. I think: What if he thinks God told him to stay home and watch TV? I get a mini panic in my gut, but remind myself to trust the process -- wasn't I in the same place on my knees just a week ago asking God if I should set foot in a Mormon church? (It had been a hard week, to say the least.)
A few moments later he returned with a somewhat sheepish grin on his face... I brace myself for my next move, take a deep breath and try to trust the process.
"He said I should go for the first part so I can do the songs I like, like 'Give said the Little Stream,' he tells me. "Just the first two minutes." Since I have often heard Holden say "we've been waiting for like 60 hours" when it's actually been less than five minutes, I took that as a go-ahead for the first block.
We talked about the importance of listening to what God tells you to do; and how he can speak to our hearts and our minds. I shared with him I went though a similar experience last week and that I had been told the same thing. I told him that having integrity was doing what God wants you to even when we don't want to (I'd like to point out, that I don't think this means I think everyone belongs in "Mormon church." I am definitely NOT saying that...that's another blog post, obvs.)
I told him I was proud of him for asking and for listening to an answer.
He said, "When I get older and am in Dad's position, can I use this story when I speak?'
Of course you can Holden.