There is nothing easy about my Sunday mornings. In fact, Sunday mornings are the hardest mornings of my week. Even though I get up early and go to work Monday-Friday, my husband is at home with the boys so I do not have to get them up and ready to go anywhere. I only need to get myself ready and out the door. Except on Sundays.
Clearly, I am not the first person to think this, but I have often said that the individual who wrote the song ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning’ either didn’t have kids and/or didn’t take those kids to church. Some Sundays go smoothly, but not without a ton of effort. Other weeks, Satan is sitting back and laughing his head off at me.
Most of the time, Jeff does not work until Sunday afternoon so he is there to help me get the kids ready and go to church with us. However, there are times that he works in the mornings and those Sundays look a little like this:
If Jeff has already left for work, then I am left to get myself showered and dressed while simultaneously feeding the kids. Ultimately, I would be able to shower before they wake up, but that doesn’t always happen. JJ has a Lightning McQueen light in his room with a timer and he is not allowed out of his room until it turns on. It is set for 7:05am (we need to set that back a little bit). He likes to come into our room around 6:30am and declare that the light is broken because he is awake but the light is not yet on. We check the clock and realize that the light is ‘broken’ because the timer hasn’t turned it on. I take him back to bed and snuggle under my covers again. A couple minutes later JJ comes back in and says that he is sooo hungry and thirsty. He’s not old enough to get his own drink and snack yet, so I get up because he will certainly try to get his own drink and snack if I do not help him.
By the time he is situated, Jett wakes up. I go up to his room and he is standing in his crib all smiles. He is such a happy guy when he wakes up! He is saying something to me and it sounds like ‘dirt’ followed by ‘poop.’ I peer into his crib and realize that he is talking about the massive poop he just had that leaked out of his diaper and got smeared all over his mattress and blankets. Jett keeps pointing to it and saying ‘dirt.’ This requires immediate action. Jett is taken to the bath tub and scrubbed down and the sheets are thrown into the washer. I get Jett settled into his high chair with some breakfast. After glancing at the clock I find that I am now running late. Now that Jett is occupied with food and JJ is playing, I jump into the shower and try to make it quick.
I try to find something decent to wear. I get sick of dressing up because I do that all week and sometimes I just want to be comfortable. I throw on a pair of white shorts and a summer-ish sweater. Back downstairs, I get Jett out of the high chair and find something to keep him occupied while I attempt to dry my hair and put on some makeup. As soon as I turn on the hair dryer, Jett comes busting through the bathroom door. He tries to play with the toilet water so I have to turn of the hair dryer to get him away from the toilet. My luck, I would drop that thing in there while it was still turned on. Since he succeeded in reaching the toilet water before I could stop him, I now have to clean up both him and the floor. Thankfully, it was clean water (sometimes JJ forgets to flush). Jett has moved on to the contents underneath the sink. He grabs my brush and brushes his hair. I flip my hair over to continue drying it and when I flip it back over I scream because Jett has found a razor that he is now playing with. Why are there razors in reach of the kids!? Obviously, I take it away from him and continue trying to dry my hair. The next thing he finds is my nail polish. Again, why is this under the sink!? He runs off with it and I have to chase him down to get it back. While Jett is often happy, he will throw temper tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants. He screams and slams the two nail polish bottles he is holding together and one of them breaks all over the floor. I clean all the glass up first and then wipe up all of the polish. The silver lining here is that it was not spilled on the carpet so it doesn’t take too much effort to clean up. I decide that my hair is dry enough – I don’t know how to style it anyway, it’s either in a ponytail or straight down. I would like to put a little bit of makeup on, though. I don’t want to scare the people at church.
It takes me two minutes to slap on some makeup while JJ is asking me to “stop getting all makeup-y and doing lady things.” He says, “I like it better when you’re stinky.” He might prefer me to be stinky, but he likes to pretend that he wears deodorant. I let him pretend to put some on and he declares that he is now ready for church because he “smells like a man.”
Time continues to tick away and the boys are still not dressed. JJ insists that he should be allowed to go to church naked. He doesn’t feel like wearing clothes today. Personally, I believe this takes the ‘come just as you are’ concept a little further than intended. I pick out an outfit for him, but it’s not the right outfit. He says that he is going to pick out his own outfit and I let him go and do that while I dress Jett. After Jett is dressed, JJ comes back downstairs with the most random, mismatched outfit he could have found – sweatpants, a striped polo shirt, and a sweater vest. It’s summer, plus that outfit is not going to happen for a variety of other reasons. We eventually reach a compromise and get him dressed. I throw the poopy sheets into the dryer and we head out the door!
Somewhere along the line, stopping at Dunkin Donuts became a tradition/necessity. Because of the craziness, I neither had breakfast nor coffee. If I were to go without either of those things, the world would be in big trouble. I choose coffee over food and get the boys a little snack. JJ usually gets hash browns and attempts to yell his order into the drive-thru speaker. Jett gets some donut hole munchkins.
By the time we get to church, Jett is covered in glazed donut residue and JJ is a little greasy from the hash browns. Bonus!!! It’s now raining! The parking lot in relation to the building is not exactly ideal. There is no way I can use an umbrella while carrying Jett and holding JJ’s hand. I have my purse, a diaper bag, and my precious coffee in tow as well. I can’t make use of the underpass because I can’t leave the boys by themselves while I park and I don’t have time to take them to their classes and hold up the traffic heading into the underpass. I can only imagine how ridiculous we look as we fumble our way into the building. I get the boys off to their classes and head to my own Sunday School class. After Sunday School, I try to stealthily check on the boys without them seeing me and they are both having fun and playing.
During the worship service I start to cry. While Jeff isn’t there this week, he usually makes fun of me because I cry while we sing almost every single Sunday. He says that people are going to start thinking that I have a horrible life and suspect him of treating me poorly. I don’t really know what my deal is, but I assume it has something to do with how raw and vulnerable I feel while worshiping God. The worship service is time I use each week to reset and refresh. It’s like the week has caught up to me and all the stress I am feeling comes out in the form of tears. It’s borderline embarrassing, but that doesn’t seem to keep me from getting emotional.
Most Sundays Satan tries to do everything he can to keep us from church. I will roll over and hear him whisper, “Just go back to bed. You get up early every day of the week, you deserve a day to sleep in.” I hear him again when I am trying to wrangle the boys. “Wouldn’t it just be easier if everyone stayed in their pajamas and watched TV all morning?” He comes to me yet again before we leave. “It’s raining. You don’t really want the hassle of getting the kids into church by yourself do you?”
All I can say is that it is by the grace of God that we make it to church each week. Jeff and I have purposed in our hearts that this is a top priority for our family and we power through whatever may be going on to make sure that we are in church every Sunday. Of course, if any of us are sick we stay home, but other than that we are there. We decided as soon as we had kids that we could not afford to have a relaxed church attendance policy. If we had the attitude that it wasn’t important to worship God or enjoy the fellowship of other Christians, then how could we expect our own children to come to faith in Christ and want to go to church? There are too many things in this world at war for our minds and hearts. We need to stand firm in our faith and teach our children to do the same. Just as we make church a priority, praying with our kids and teaching them God’s Word are also a priority. Obviously, we want our kids to one day share our faith. This is a choice that they have to come to on their own, but we teach them about our beliefs and make a point to know what it is we believe in. It’s not just enough to say that we are Christians – are we living out our beliefs?
It’s no coincidence that on the Sundays that require the most effort to get out the door, I almost always receive the biggest blessing when I walk through the doors of the church. Whether it is a message that seems like it was meant directly for me, an encouraging word from a friend, or the chance to share the gospel with a child I am teaching in Children’s Church, something always happens that reinforces my faith and my need to be there. It doesn’t matter how we get there, or how haggard I may look and feel. It doesn’t matter that my kids usually have some form of bed head or Dunkin Donuts stain on their clothing. It doesn’t matter if I am dressed up or dressed down. It only matters that we are there.
Going to church used to seem like a simple act of faith. During this stage of my life, Sunday mornings may not be easy, but going to church is still one of the most important things we do each week. It’s not easy but it’s definitely worth it.
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