Growing up in a family of all daughters, Sunday mornings were rough. All three of us would be running in and out of each other’s rooms trying to figure out what to wear, arguing about borrowing clothes, and getting frustrated when nothing looked good. We fought over blow dryers, straighteners, dresses, shoes, jackets, and, of course, the front seat of the car. To say Sunday mornings were chaotic would be a serious understatement.
Fast forward 10 years. I am now married with a 2-year-old daughter. When Baby D was little, my husband played trumpet in our church orchestra. This required him to be at church much earlier than us, so we arrived later. There were many Sundays I was scrambling to get the two of us out the door. Breakfasts were skipped, Bibles were left at home, and teeth were sometimes left unbrushed.
We always made it to church (often after the first song was long done), but by the time I put D in the nursery and sat down, I was completely frazzled and not at all prepared to worship. I just wanted to go get a pedicure down the street while my baby was in the nursery! (Don’t worry, I never did.) My mind was jumbled and by the time I was prepared to worship, the music was over.
Finally, I came to the point where enough was enough! Church is important. It is a time to worship, learn about the Lord, and fellowship with our believer friends. I need to be there on time and ready to do church! Here are a few changes I made to my weekend to ensure I was ready to roll come Sunday morning!
- Set your alarm clock for earlier than you need for Sunday morning. Satan WILL try to find ways to keep you from getting to church, so be one step ahead of him! Give yourself some wiggle room just in case things don’t go as planned as you get ready and head to church. You also don’t want to feel rushed and frazzle-dazzled as you hop in the car.
- Plan what you are all wearing the night before. I’m not one to do this during the week, but it’s a must for Sunday morning. Satan knows that this is the most effective way to keep me from getting to church on time. I’m a stay-at-home mom. Church is my big weekly social event! It’s pretty much my only activity during the week that it’s not appropriate to wear yoga pants to, and I want to look nice! 😉 Make sure you know what you are wearing tomorrow, and, if needed, make sure everyone in your family does so too.
- Get an easy breakfast ready the night before. We go to a 9:00 church service, so we usually just have granola bars, cereal, or freezer breakfast sandwiches. Sunday mornings are not good for making pancakes or french toast. We do that on Saturdays!
- Bath your kids (and yourself if possible!) the night before. One less thing to worry about in the morning! Just brush their teeth and throw some clothes (that you already had laid out!) on them. I am not a night shower person, but I do try to schedule my hair-washing days to not be on Sundays.
- Prepare your tithe the week before. I can’t tell you how many tithe checks I’ve written as the offering baskets were being passed. Stressful! Put a reminder in your calendar to write your tithe check on payday. Then keep it in your purse or somewhere safe until Sunday.
- Set items you need to bring by the door or in the car the night before. Bring your Bible to church? Put it by the door. Have library books to return to the church library? Put them by the door. Have a little one that requires a diaper bag? Pack it up and set it by the door. Is it a tithing day? Put it by the door! Don’t rely on your memory. Do yourself a favor and get everything together and ready to go the night before!
- Plan to arrive at least 20 minutes before the service starts. You are always going to find friends to talk to on your way into church. I often get caught up in the line to drop kids off at Sunday School talking to mom friends! (Sound familiar?!) Give yourself some time to enjoy these little conversations without being rushed. If you are nursing, give yourself even more time. I would arrive about a half-hour early when my daughter was young so I could feed her in the nursing lounge and then drop her off full and happy at the nursery.
- Pray! As I said, Satan knows your weaknesses. He knows exactly how to make you late for (or even skip!) church. The last thing he wants is for believers to make it to church happy and ready to worship. On Saturday, pray that God will help prepare you to come worship him on Sunday.
Since making these changes, church has become a much more peaceful, worshipful experience for me! I have time to visit with friends after dropping my daughter off at Sunday school, and sometimes have time to just sit and relax before the service starts! Hooray for down-time! (Even if it is just for 15 minutes!)