How Jesus meets us in distraction

Written by Taylor Irby
Published on March 11, 2022

I took a deep breath as we got in the car. We did it. We managed to get all five children in the car to go to church, and we are only going to be 5 minutes late! 

This is a huge feat for our creative, outgoing family. Teens want to sleep, littles wake with the sun. All resist leaving the comfort of our home. 

Throughout the beginning months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we grew accustomed to worshiping at home. Although we missed the presence of a church family, it was nice to chill on the sofa, donning pajamas, cups of warm drinks in our hands, and partaking of the graham crackers and ginger ale for communion because that was all that was in the cupboards that day. 

But gone are the days of virtual church for our family. We are back in the building because we know the best way to do church is in the presence of others. So, masked up, we enter. 

Church looks different now

In our church children worship with their families until after the music and liturgy. Although I understand the importance (I want my children to understand how church works), it admittedly has been a struggle. 

Church used to be a place I would forget about my life for those 30 glorious minutes of worship music. I would focus on the person of Jesus, feel loving conviction, confess my sin, receive forgiveness, and walk in freedom. I would raise my hands in surrender and simply delight in my Savior. 

Many times tears would come, and I would not fight them because I knew that was an outward sign of my heart clinging to the One who understands me.  

Today church looks different. My five year old alternates from my hip to Daddy’s. Sometimes he wants to run around and switch rows. My young girls don’t find liturgy super exciting, and would much rather talk or pass notes back and forth. The 30 minutes or so that used to be a point of connecting with Jesus has turned into managing behavior.  

But has it really? One Sunday as I was trying to keep my children somewhat quiet, I offered a prayer to the Lord in frustration. “God, I just want to worship you! I came to church, I have been faithful, I miss that sweet connection we shared without all this distraction!” 

It then hit me hard. What if God lives in the distraction? What if he is showing me a new way to worship? What if loving my children through this transition into maturity, helping them grow and build wisdom and learn about church, about God, is my spiritual act of worship? 

How can I connect to Jesus this way?  

Jesus lives in the distractions, too

My perspective is changing. If loving my children well, even in misbehavior, is loving Jesus well—isn’t this the most beautiful worship?  If you are managing children at church, like me, and missing worship then you are not alone.  

I invite you to ask Jesus how he is present in these moments. How he desires to connect with you, even though it may look different than before. How maybe, just maybe he lives in these distracted broken places. 

So consider this: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Rom. 12:1 NIV). 

And think through this—how is loving our children well like offering our bodies as a living sacrifice? How can serving our children in this way be seen as holy and pleasing to God? What is one thing you can do or change in your perspective to be ready for next Sunday morning? 


Consider a few extra resources:

Live perfectly imperfect

Get daily emails with practical and spiritual advice geared towards helping you set aside perfect and grow into the parent you want to be every day.

Taylor Irby

Taylor Irby is a certified life coach through Connected Families and Coaching Mission International. Through her years of coaching, Taylor has helped families and leaders thrive. She is the mother of 5 children, and she spent 11 years with her family in Bosnia serving students and families. She loves to come alongside discouraged families, providing them with the tools they need for connection, growth and lasting change. If you desire to see lasting change in your home through the power of the Gospel, visit www.taylorirbycoaching.com 

Read more about Taylor

You may also like…

Privacy Preference Center