Remind yourself that Jesus loves the little children when the final “amen” is said, and your three-year-old yells “IT’S OVER” as he runs down the aisle, rips his pearl snap shirt open down the middle, and yanks it off before he throws it at you.

Remind yourself that Jesus loves the little children when your child rolls all his toy cars to the front of the church during a prayer.

Remind yourself that Jesus loves the little children when you make the walk of shame by taking your kid out for the 3rd time and he yells, “Don’t spank me Momma!”

Remind yourself that Jesus loves the little children when the sweet lady behind you taps you on the shoulder and informs you that your five-year-old is eating his earwax.

Remind yourself that Jesus loves the little children when you are singing “How Great Thou Art,” and your child is instead loudly singing “How Great Thou Poop.”

Remind yourself that Jesus loves the little children when once again, you miss the entire sermon because your newborn wants to nurse. And you know this because he tried nursing on your husbands shirt.

Remind yourself that Jesus loves the little children when your baby has another blowout and ruins your favorite dress. Or when your toddler rips your newest necklace and you watch those perfect beads roll down the aisle.

Remind yourself that Jesus loves the little children when you go to church and are left feeling more drained than you were before you got there. When you are left wondering why you even go because you don’t feel like you get anything out of it.

Remember that God made those babies.

He made them wiggly and giggly. He made them loud and silly.

He welcomes them.

And taking them is hard. But you will catch small glimpses of the effects your efforts that makes it all worth it.

You will be reminded that it’s all worth it when they lead church service for their stuffed animals.

You will be reminded that it’s all worth it when they are belting out “Bless the Lord, oh my soul” while playing with their Hot Wheels.

When they learn about the good Samaritan in Sunday school, and then go out and live it during the rest of the week.

When they teach you about Gideon or King Josiah during a family supper.

When they beam with pride as they recite a memory verse.

When they beg to help daddy serve communion.

When you hear them tell their friends about Jesus.

You will be reminded that it was all worth it when they lead their first song, or give their first devotional, or when you see them pray with their sports team.

Watching the least of these grow in Christ can have a great impact.

And it will all be worth it.

They are a part of the body and they are enough. Just as they are. Their off-pitch singing is enough. Their badly-timed “amens” are enough. Their silly, too-loud questions are enough. They need to know that their part in the church is important also. They give hope that 15 years from now the pews won’t be empty.

These kids? They were God’s first. And remembering that can help keep things in perspective.

This article originally appeared on My House Full of Boys

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Ashley Bufe

Ashley Bufe is a Jesus lovin' wife and momma of 4 energetic boys. She blogs at www.myhousefullofboys.com in hopes that she can uplift and inspire other mommas to let them know that they are special and chosen by God to be momma. And that they are doing a great job! Be sure to find her on Facebook and Instagram.