Preparing to Experience (Part 2): A Tale of Sunday Drama
Since Kerry is on the home front on Sunday mornings and getting our four kids ready alone on Sunday mornings, she will be sharing Part two of our Preparing to Experience Corporate Worship, which has a little “Sunday Drama.” If you missed Part One, please check it out too!
Preparing the family for corporate worship is a big deal. Sometimes it feels like all of Satan’s comrades are joining together to prevent your family from showing up to church with smiles on your faces–or even with your sanity.
Since I have the privilege of leading worship several Sundays a month, we typically have a very specific routine that helps us get to church around 7:30 on Sunday mornings. One Sunday I was “off” from leading and I decided to intentionally experiment with what it might look like for the typical family on a Sunday morning who needs to get to church around 9:30.
Let me first introduce you to our children:
We have a 7 year old, 5 year old, 3 year old and an 18 month old. It should be pretty quick and easy to get everyone ready for church, right? After all, we had two extra hours in our morning before church.
Here’s how that unusual Sunday morning went for us:
I woke up.
Then I went to wake up the kids.
I discovered a little boy whose diaper leaked at some point in the early morning hours and then I found another child that had pee in her bed. So, two kids needed baths. If the rare occasion of a wet bed is going to occur, you can almost bet it will happen on a Sunday morning!
It was a chilly morning so I had to dry their hair. And then style everyone’s hair. At the age of my kids, it’s seldom a pleasant experience. I have a 5 year old that is incredibly tender-headed and an almost 4-year-old who consistently hates everything about the way I try to fix her hair. Nonetheless, hair gets done and we proceed to pick out clothes. Two of the four outfits need to be ironed. As I finish ironing and I’m calling the kids to come to my room to grab their outfits, one of the kids injures herself on the untimely appearance of a protruding doorknob. She cries for three minutes straight.
On this particular Sunday, the kids picked outfits that would look cute with boots. So they needed socks. Now, I will never understand what happens to socks in our house. Socks and hair clips–they seem to magically disappear. Do we even own socks at this point? I begin to wonder because my children can’t seem to find any.
After they settle on wearing mismatched socks (don’t judge me ;)), a passionate debate commences about the necessity of leggings/tights. As a result one kid is pondering the idea of picking a completely different outfit. No way. Sorry.
Finally, everyone is almost fully dressed. Whew. All we have left to do is get shoes on. Where are they? We have cubbies in a particular closet that we call the “shoe closet.” Surely, their shoes are in the shoe closet where they should be. Nope. A search for shoes begins.
Doing this for four precious humans takes a large amount of time. And then add the moderate amount of time it took me to find an outfit, apply makeup and style my own hair.
Anyway, we have a few more minutes before we need to leave and then I remember our dog. We are fairly new dog owners, and I often forget to account for the amount of time it takes to love on her and take care of her in our schedule. She’s gotta go outside to handle her business and then come eat and also get some affection.
As I’m getting her back into her comfy dog crate, one of the kids asks, “Mom, what’s for breakfast?”
BREAKFAST! I forgot about breakfast! Imagine all four children standing side by side and gazing up at me with their big brown and blue eyes longing for their morning meal as they hold their hungry bellies. Okay, so they didn’t exactly do that, but that’s how I felt! I encourage our oldest to fill sandwich bags of cereal that we will eat on the way.
I grab some diapers to shove in my purse and round up the kiddos to load them in the car.
We’re going to be late. Before pulling out of the driveway, I text their dad to let him know we are running a little (er, a lot) behind schedule. All kids are in their seats, seatbelts on and we are finally on our way.
Approximately three minutes into the drive, one kid says, “Momma, we didn’t brush our teeth.” Of course.
As we pull into the church parking lot, another kid says, “Momma, I forgot my shoes.” What? How does that….I’m not even going to ask.
Thankfully, we had a random pair of flip-flops on the floor board of the car and we all get out, try to do the whole “run but look like we are walking” thing and enter the church 20 minutes late with cheerio-scented morning breath and sticky fingers.
As I said earlier, that is a very unusual experience for our family. But can you relate? Do your Sunday mornings feel chaotic? Do you feel like raising your hands to the sky and dramatically saying, “There’s gotta be a better way!”?
On the next post, I will share what our typical routine is. Every family is different but maybe our routine can help you brainstorm your own.
The hope is that you will be intentional about creating an organized routine of preparing for corporate worship. It’s a lot less stressful when we have a plan for Sunday mornings. In fact, we would say that a plan for Sunday mornings is a necessity–not for simply showing up on time, but in order to have your heart ready for worshiping with your Church Family.