My David serves as the technical director at our dear Covenant Life Church. This means that he leads the sound, video, lighting, lyric projection and sermon duplication teams. It means that he puts in long days on Saturday, overseeing volunteers as they prepare for worship on Sunday. It means that, on Sunday, he gets up and leaves for church before I awaken. It means that he stays at church after our two services, tearing down equipment, meeting with volunteers, well into the afternoon every week.
So for me, Sundays are solo days--that is, it's just me and the kids. Get up, get clean, get dressed, get the kids up, get the kids dressed, get the kids fed, get out the door, get stroller out of car, get Meg to her class, get a seat in the auditorium. It's sort of fun, really. Doing it without Dave is a challenge, but it's a good challenge when I handle it correctly.
What I am learning--slowly (that's the way I learn everything)--is that handling Sunday correctly means I have to start on Saturday. Smart women probably do this even if they do have husbands around to help, but I am just starting to catch on. Starting on Saturday means that before the kids go to bed I:
-give both of them a bath
-lay out their clothes for the next day
-make sure the diaper bag is stocked with clean diapers for both of them and a change of clothes for Matthew
And before I go to bed I:
-lay out my clothes for Sunday
-lay out Dave's clothes for Sunday (so he doesn't have to stumble around in our dark bedroom at 5:30 trying to figure out what to wear)
-do any necessary ironing
-pack two sippy cups for Meg (one juice, one milk) and put them in the refrigerator
-pack breakfast for Meg--usually raisins/Craisins and crackers/a rice cake/dry cereal--in a plastic baggie and put it in the diaper bag (so she can eat it in the car in the morning)
-pack my Bible and notebook in the diaper bag
-write the tithe check (so that I don't have to do this with one hand as I am holding Matthew at church the next day)
-shower and wash my hair (so that all I have to do in the morning is rinse off and put my hair up)
-locate Meg's shoes and lay them in the entryway
-get out our coats and lay them in the entryway
This list continues to morph as I continue to discover new ways to streamline Sunday mornings. And I'm sure it will continue to morph as the kids grow and their needs change. For example, when Matthew starts eating solids for breakfast, I'll need to add baby food, bowl, spoon and bib to the packing list.
But, oh, the peace that this system is bringing to our Sunday mornings! Instead of a frantic, hurried, disorganized Mommy who has spent too long picking out her outfit and therefore has no time to speak gently and lovingly, my kids have a relatively calm, collected Mommy who can encourage them through our morning ablutions with faith and joy. Amazing!
Now I am working to develop a plan for preparing my heart for Sundays mornings, just as I prepare our clothes and food. Because I am finding that all of the practical preparation, though helpful as a means of getting our bodies to church on time, do not help my mind get ready to worship God! In all of the hustle of getting to the church building, I sometimes find that I am unable to do that for which I came! And that's not good.
So if you see me at church some morning and notice that I seem distracted or stressed, try asking me how my day-before preparations went. Because, chances are, if I'm not enjoying Sunday, it's because I didn't start on Saturday.