I was just reading through my last 3 posts and realize I should explain a couple of things.
In the first one I mentioned that I have been feeling stressed out about church lately and have been struggling with some stuff. Let me explain what that is.
Our church "services" last 3 hours on Sundays. The first hour is our sacrament meeting(which in other churches would be like mass or the worship service). The second hour is a Sunday School where we study the scriptures or if you are new, learn the principles of the gospel or what we believe. The 3rd is a meeting time. The men have one meeting and the women have another.
Lately, going to church for 3 hours has felt like a chore. I work 9 hour days and the weekends are "sacred" to me(for lack of a better word)and a 3 hour block of time seems like an awful lot. Especially if i am out late the night before. I have been trying to figure out ways to change my mindset about this block of time and be motivated to go to church. I have missed a lot of Sundays. I finally came up with the idea that if I view as a time where I can be spititually fed and learn and if I give that time then the rest of the day is mine and I can just rest and veg out. Then you know what happened next!! But that was where part of the stress and struggle was coming from.
The other part is the expectations that I perceive are being placed upon me. In our church the women do visiting teaching where we are assigned people and we are supposed to go visit them and see how they are doing and share a spiritual message. It is a truly wonderful concept. However, I am not comfortable going and talking to people I do not know. Also, time is a problem for me. As I have metioned numerous times, I work 9 hours a day. On the weekends I spend time with my husband and I rest. I know that there are people in this church who are probably busier than I am and they make the time, but I am just not like that. I know my capabilites and limitations. Right now I do not even know if I am assigned to visit teach anyone, but I do not want to be.
I guess I feel that I am being measured against other people and I don't like that. However, I do not know if this is actually the case or just something I am imagining. I like to think I am just imagining it.
Another thing that really did not sit well with me is "goals' that are being set forth for me and my husband as a family. In addition to visiting teaching we have home teaching. This is when the men of the church visit memebers to check on them and share a spiritual message. Again, awesome concept. However, in our ward, it seems as if with this someone or someones are deciding that they need to set goals for each family that is home taught. I have an issue with this. This is why... Our family's goal for last month was scripture study and temple attendance. This is a goal that was not discussed or made with us. It was "assigned" to us. I don't think that is right. Also, it showed me that whoever made that goal really had no clue about what my spiritual need in this church is at this time. Yes, we need to do better at scripture study, but I feel that was a generic goal assigned to us. The temple attendance? I barely even go to church and you are trying to get me to go to the temple????? Yes, my husband is there practically every Sunday and is worthy to go, but me? Not even close!! I certainly do not feel like I am worthy to go to the temple if I cant even make it to church most Sundays. That is like putting the cart before the horse. Don't you think that maybe you should try to be getting me to attend church regularly before going to the temple? That is what I am trying to work on, anyway.
I forgot to mention that all these goals are written down on a chart with the familys' names.
Would it surprise you to know that the person in charge of all the home teachers(who they report to), who is supposed to make sure everyone is doing their visiting teaching and is in possesion of this chart and is one of the people who made these goals in the first place is also the person my husband talked to yesterday to try to get me some help???
Does it make more sense now why I am having so many issues?
I am not struggling with my faith or my relationship with God. I am struggling with ward politics. And the Mormon "culture".
Sooooooo, I am getting back to basics and focusing on the spititual side of my faith, not the cultural side, by praying and reading scriptures and just working on my relationship with God and the Savior and eventually attending church regularly again.
Thank you, too, to Jessica from church, who reached out yesterday to ask why I was feeling like I did about church(she is on Myspace and saw my comments. She did not read my blog)and then also checking in with me again today.