Five Reasons Why I Don’t Attend Saturday Morning Ladies Meetings

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1) Most Ladies meetings are held on early Saturday mornings. Bethany frequently suffers from the inability to sleep. Sometimes she doesn’t fall asleep until three or four in the morning. I am the one who stays up with her so therefore I also do not fall asleep until three or four in the morning. I am generally not ready to be out and about early enough to attend Saturday morning ladies meetings

2) I experience frequent bouts of some pretty intense physical pain. I can’t stand, walk, sit or even lie down for very long. Sitting in uncomfortable pews or chairs for even a short time is just too painful for me.

3) Even if Bethany didn’t suffer with insomnia and I didn’t suffer with pain, I would still not be able to attend Ladies meetings because I don’t have anyone to look after Bethany so that I can go. I’ve been dealing with respite workers for thirteen years now and I can tell you with all certainty that just finding a respite worker at all is difficult. When we are lucky enough to find one they generally do not want to work evenings or weekends.

4) My husband has to work every Saturday so he cannot stay with Bethany so that I can attend meetings.

5) Occasionally, my adult daughters are gracious enough to offer to stay with Bethany for me, but they are busy with their own lives working and attending college. For most of the year one of them does not even live at home. I reserve using their help for emergencies such as when my son or I have a doctor or dentist appointment, when I desperately need to go grocery shopping and sometimes just so that I can go out on a date with my husband.

It used to upset me that I couldn’t be more involved in my church’s meetings and activities or in developing meaningful relationships with the other members. Now however, I can honestly say that there is peace in accepting that for reasons known only to Him, God has placed me in this position. Besides, I just don’t have the energy to worry about it anymore.

While I have learned to be content in my situation there are others in similar situations who need more than just an invitation to a meeting. They need real practical help in being able to attend. The next time your place of worship has a ladies meeting or even just for a regular worship service, I challenge you to not only invite a special needs mom, but also ask her what you can do to help get her there!

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13 Replies to “Five Reasons Why I Don’t Attend Saturday Morning Ladies Meetings

  1. Makes perfect sense to me. My 82 year old father once offered to watch Alan so that Keith and I could get to church every weekend. Seriously? First off, he is not capable. Second, we go most of the time. I think God understands us missing more than my father does. Sigh.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I especially appreciate the challenge you gave to invite a special needs mom to the next gathering and more importantly to ask what we can do to help her to be able to attend. Thank you for that nudge. I will definitely be looking for a way to do that. I remember clearly the struggles my mother had attending church after my developmentally disabled sister was born. This was in the 1960’s, so people were even less educated and accepting of people with special needs. Eventually my mom just stopped going to church at all. It was too hard. As Christians, we really need to make our churches set the example for inclusion. God bless and encourage you today.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read, comment on, and take to heart my post, Anita. I truly do understand why your mother stopped going to church. Back then life was even harder for special needs families. I really appreciate your support and encouragement.

  3. See, this is pretty much why I’ve stopped doing everything. Finding a respite worker that will come on the weekend is hard. I hope you can find a meaningful way to contribute that makes you feel good. I think the fact that you have a desire to participate and belong in a meaningful way to your church says a lot about your character.

  4. My husband and I have been trying to do “the church thing” more regularly, but it’s still a him or me deal. We have long since stopped trying to bring the boys. Even though the congregation is more understanding and they’re not quite so “wild,” we’ve come to realize that it’s just not a place where they really benefit from being there.

    Still, being spiritual is a lot easier for me than being “religious.” I have no problem spending an hour or three studying my scriptures and praying every day. I’ve found it’s worth it, even though the amount of time seems extreme and I can almost never do it in one sitting — and not just because of the pain of sitting for that long, because I don’t notice that until I’m done. But going to church and listening to people drone on — I can’t seem to follow along most of the time, so it’s less a reflection of their speaking as it is of my listening — and being in pain after the first five or ten minutes, I don’t get much out of that either.

    So, I totally get it and I hope you find/have found the spiritual food that you need. That’s what matters — not where it happens.

    Out of curiosity, and I might have asked this before, but regarding the pain: fibro, RA, something else? I’m finding fibro (which I now officially have) and RA (rheumatoid arthritis) are surprisingly or not-so-surprisingly common among families with children with diagnoses of autism and am seeing it more across other neurological differences as well.

    1. Hi, Stephanie. Yes I have found that the place where you worship or study God’s Word is not really the important thing. Doing it is! There are many people who can’t go to church for various reasons and I know that God is not holding it against them! As for my pain- I have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. As a result my discs slip out of alignment easily. It really affects my legs the worst. That’s where most of my pain is and they just don’t work quite right. I do suspect Fibro too, but I haven’t been diagnosed.

      1. I know just enough about that to say, “OUCH!” I’ve done blog work for a doctor who talked about a procedure that involved cementing discs in place, but it was presented as a last resort because so many things can go wrong and it doesn’t always correct the pain.

        Fibro is tricky, because doctors aren’t supposed to diagnose it unless there’s no other explanation for the pain. If you already have an explanation for the pain, they might not be inclined to diagnose you with Fibro. Even if you do get the diagnosis, most of the treatment is about improving overall health. Drugs give about 20% reduction in pain, which is still relief, but most of comes from adequate sleep, proper nutrition, safe exercise, and overall well-being.

        1. I was told that I could have an operation that MIGHT help, but that it would take a year to recover from. Can you imagine that? Trying not to get pushed or hit by Bethany so that I could recover? I declined. None of the pain meds worked either so I quit taking them. I could see that it would be very easy to overdose trying to take enough of it to stop the pain and it scared me. Not eating sugar and processed foods helps a little though.

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