The habit of being ready

Here they come. Piling loudly through the church door. One child’s ankles are neglected – no socks. The wind and cold swirl inside behind them. The youngest girl’s pigtail is flopping and about to come out. Another child tugs on mother’s arm. Mom is harried and worn, her lips a thin, straight line. She wears no coat herself and carries all the necessary bags. She seems a bit relieved the family made it but mostly it looks like she just needs to sit down.

I used to be that mother. Some Sunday mornings, I admit I still am that mother. Those weeks that I don’t plan ahead. I don’t check the calendar and I don’t prepare. I am that frazzled mother lacking a smile and a coat.

So how can you make a habit of being ready for church? Or any event? How can you walk through the door with everything you need, on time, with several children in tow?

The answer rests in simple planning. Rather than compacting all you need to do into one, stressful morning, do a little throughout the week. Think of it as daily steps towards Sunday worship. Make Sunday the focus of your week.

Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40

Sunday after church – Unload beautiful artwork and papers. Return diaper and church bags bag to their resting spots.

Sunday or Monday night – have a short family or Mom/Dad meeting to look at the calendar. At some point over the weekend, I prepare a menu plan for the week, including Sunday’s lunch.

Monday – wash clothes from weekend

Tuesday or Wednesday – plan fun family activity for Sunday afternoon

Thursday – restock diaper bags, ready Sunday bags with Bibles and tithe.

Friday – pick out clothes down to socks, tights and shoes. Hair accessories too. Do this for yourself as well. Older children can be in charge of their own outfits, bags and Bibles. You may also want older children to ready things for their buddy (younger sibling they help)

Saturday – have fun with your family. You are ready for Sunday morning already!

Saturday night – put all you need on your launch pad (mine is the kitchen counter), ready for the next morning. Get out your slow cooker to remind yourself to put that something yummy you planned for on for Sunday lunch. Or move a casserole from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw.

What makes it easy for me is breaking the tasks down over several days. Doing some prep work along with what I’m already working on. Being ready for Sunday builds in a time buffer for the day of worship. Leaves room for the family to enjoy. Hopefully, your weekly planning avoids the Sunday morning stress of finding socks. I can’t promise you a totally easy morning getting out the door. But it is possible to have a smile on your face and have that extra time to stop and chat with a friend.

It is not aiming for perfection. It is a habit of anticipating. Sunday morning can be joyful. And you and your family can delight in the Lord. Make Sunday the focus of your week.

13 -14“If you watch your step on the Sabbath
and don’t use my holy day for personal advantage, If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
God’s holy day as a celebration, If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual,’
making money, running here and there— Then you’ll be free to enjoy God!
Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all. I’ll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob.”
Yes! God says so! ~ Isaiah 58:14 The Message

Adapted over the years and applied to every day of the week – from Doorposts’ A Day of Delight: Making Sunday the Best Day of the Week. Easy Sunday meals and weekly meal plans on my personal Hodgepodge blog in I’m Writing My Own Cookbook. Watch for future posts on family activities for Sunday as well as teaching children to tithe.

What habit helps your family be ready?

-Tricia homeschools five children from preschool to middle school. She’s forsaken life in the drive thru lane for the road home. She’s saving bucks and her sanity with the frugal recipes and sock it away strategies of her Southern roots. You can find her facing that daily dose of chaos at Hodgepodge. Tricia is a.k.a. Hodgepodgemom.