Get Me to the Church on Time: Tips for Getting out of the House Happily on Sunday Mornings

February 8, 2009 at 10:17 am 45 comments

Abraham and I are now entering into the era of getting multiple kids (and ourselves) to church. We’ve been trying to strategize about how to get there and in our hearts still want to be there.

Our friend Jamsco from The Responsible Puppet, father of seven, shared a post about this topic. He offers some really helpful suggestions that I’d like to implement over at our house, like doing as many breakfast prep steps as possible the night before. Or making the effort to have my clothes picked out the night before, as well as the kids’.

Some of them seem so obvious, but when I’m in the thick of the Sunday morning chaos, I’m not very strategic.

You got any tips? (We need all the help we can get.)

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Entry filed under: Family.

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45 Comments Add your own

  • 1. laura  |  February 8, 2009 at 11:11 am

    this made me feel good b/c we do all of these things already!!! and then it made me feel bad because we still have trouble getting there on time…

    but there are just some things you can’t schedule the day before. like a kid falling and cutting his knee when you’re walking to the drive. or the fact that the hour long drive turned into an hr and 15 minute drive because you got stuck behind a farm truck on the only road to church. (we live in the country). or the fact that the 4 yr old with a still forming bladder muscles has to pee NOW when you’re on the highway. or that 8 yr old boy spilled all of his food on the floor when trying to helpfully take it to the sink. and he has no more pants b/c they are all in the washer.

    I’ve got the rythym down pat. it’s the random uncontrollable chaos I can’t seem to master πŸ˜‰

    though I guess if i really wanted to impress I could have all of boys pants clean the night before, dress them all in cellophane so they have no spill accidents, make 4 yr old wear a diaper to church, and have band aids open and waiting by the front door.

    maybe then we’d make it on time! but… I just can’t seem to make those farm trucks go any faster by golly!

    Reply
  • 2. Karla  |  February 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    I have found that even the tone of the evening before can greatly affect MY attitude and well-being Sunday morning. And the truth is, my attitude, as the mom and wife, affects everyone. We try not to be out on Saturday evenings, especially not out late. And I try to make it a quiet, restful evening for myself: reading, listening to worship music, preparing for worship the next day. I do all the other practical things: clothes out for everyone, start on breakfast prep, bags and Bibles ready, etc. But attitude is really key to everything…..

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  • 3. My Twenty Cents Keeps Moving  |  February 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Mother of 4 here– we have to be there early because of staff/worship team responsibilities so we finally figured out that our Sunday morning starts on Saturday afternoon. It means usually we don’t do any late night thing on Saturday. It means we lay out clothes/tights/socks/shoes the night before./ Which may mean laundry Saturday if necessary.

    Breakfast is usually a pop tart or granola bar for speed or occasionally muffins made the day before. For some people that wouldn’t work, but that’s how we roll. (Actually we now take breakfast for our Sunday School alot of weeks, so the kids just eat there.)

    That’s all I can think of for now. My kids are older than yours, but I guess if I still had littler ones, it would include packing the diaper bag the night before and filling the sippy cups and whatever you need for church/nursery.

    It also helps that we live 2/10 of a mile from the church LOL.

    Leslie

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  • 4. April  |  February 8, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    When my second was a little baby and my first was only 18 months, I would sometimes put them in their dresses to sleep in the night before. All I would have to do is change their diapers. I would usually always give them a bath the night before.
    Later as they got older, breakfast always seemed to be an issue, so as a tradition and treat, Sundays became Dunkin Donuts day. They would get a donut and we would get coffee. And no mess and cleanup to deal with. My resposibilities had me at church at 8 :30 and it is hard when you have 2 toddlers. I realized that Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest and not hectic. I didn’t want my kids to think Sunday was the most stressful day there was at our house. I wanted them to know that going to church was a joy and not a burden. I hope that helps

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  • 5. Melissa  |  February 8, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    We still have only one toddler, so I’m in no offering advice to the veterans, but these things have worked for us:

    We eat together and get our 20mo old ready first, then he has his daily ‘room time’ while we quickly shower and dress (books & toys in his room with a gate at the door).

    We usually stick to cereal or yogurt for b’fast, but just last night we got everything ready for lunch, too, so that the ‘peace’ didn’t have to end when we got home.

    We also read the scripture text for that morning’s sermon on the way to church, which helps focus us regardless of how successful our morning routine has been.

    Reply
  • 6. Crystal  |  February 8, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    No tips here–just wanted to say that you are definitely NOT alone. Thanks to everyone for your tips. This has been weighing on my mind a lot lately.

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  • 7. Elizabeth Esther  |  February 8, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Yeah, nothing ruins Sunday like a chaotic morning. I do as much as possible the night before.

    1. keep breakfast simple: little kids can eat dry cereal in baggies in the car on the way to church, if necessary

    2. mom, do you hair the night before–so all you have to do in the morning is a brief hair-spray or pin-up.

    3. set out clothes the night before; incl. jackets & esp. SOCKS!

    4. brush teeth downstairs. this is weird because it totally changed our lives & saved time when we had our kids start brushing their teeth downstairs after breakfast instead of going back upstairs to do it.

    5. sing songs on the way to church. even if things have been hectic before getting in the car; singing together before reaching the church parking lot really helps lighten the mood.

    Wow, I should write my own blog post about this! LOL!

    hope this helps.
    xo
    EE

    Reply
  • 8. Rachel  |  February 8, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I am single and have no kids and it’s still a struggle sometimes. Don’t feel bad, mamas. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • 9. Allie  |  February 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    I try and keep it simple. If the option is the outfit with the tights or the outfit with the pants: pants. If the option is eggs or cold cereal: cold cereal. The easier I make the steps the better off things go.

    I have to add that it’s also good in our house to know lunch is ready. I usually plan a slow cooker meal and assemble it on Saturday. On the way out the door we toss that baby on low and then there are no stress-out moments when we can’t break away from a good conversation after Sunday School. If we forget, then Panera it is.

    The biggest rule is just to not freak out. If not everyone makes it to church with shoes on, including yourself, it’s going to be fine.I usually just end up going in my PJs.

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  • 10. Shannon  |  February 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    As a mommy to 5, ages 7 and under…it can sometimes be a chore to get everyone out the door!

    Here are some tips:

    I have all the kids clothes out the night before. My 7 and 5 year old’s clothing is laid out on the floor for them to get dressed when they wake up. We do this every morning, and it saves a lot of time every day.

    The baby (almost 6 months old), wakes up around 7:30am, and while I am nursing her in bed, my husband takes his shower. As soon as I am done feeding her, I get her dressed and put her in her bouncy seat. I proceed to get our 2 and 3 year old dressed.

    Before breakfast, all the kids put their shoes on.

    I get all the kids breakfast, usually cereal, and I go take my shower while John gets everyone’s cups ready for after church.

    I take my shower get dressed, dry my hair, etc….once I’m done (usually takes me 20-25 minutes), it’s time to go!

    I grab diaper bag, cup bag, and baby in carrier, and get into the van.

    From beginning to end, it takes less than an hour and a half, and 30 minutes of that was just me feeding the baby.

    We are really quite efficient and don’t run around like we have our heads chopped off!

    Reply
  • 11. Heather  |  February 8, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I blogged about this about a month ago. I remember it was harder when the boys were younger and it has gotten easier as they are now almost 4 and 2 1/2 (I am sure when number three gets here in Aug, we’ll be back to square one!)

    Like a lot of the other comments…I have everything ready at night. (I normally spend about an hour on Sat. getting ready) Esp. my clothes!! Sippy cups, snacks, clothes ready, socks and shoes ready, Sunday School bags packed (the boys and ours), tithe check ready, I even (normally) have some type of crock pot meal ready to go in the am.

    It all helps to make a smooth Sunday morning.

    We can, when we have an early prayer meeting, get to church by 8 am!

    Heather

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  • 12. Petrina  |  February 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    My husband & I (no kids yet) use the last couple of minutes of the drive to church to pray together.

    Won’t get you there any earlier, but we find we’re in a much better headspace when we arrive!

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  • 13. Shelly  |  February 8, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    We once heard someone say, “If you didn’t pass the devil on the way to church, watch out, because you may be heading in the same direction.” When things fall apart on Sunday morning, my husband and I try to remind each other that the enemy is out to try and make worship difficult for us, or to get us to church with a load of sin on our shoulders. It is wise to do as much as we can to make it easy to get to church on time (so as not to make the enemy’s job easy for him), but it is also wise to remember that no matter what we do, sometimes the enemy is going to try and take us down. I’m not saying that when we don’t struggle, we’re necessarily on the enemy’s side. I’m just saying that when there are issues on Sunday morning, it’s encouraging to remember that it’s because, by the Lord’s grace, we’re “fighting the good fight of faith” and the enemy hates that.

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  • 14. carrieloveskeith  |  February 8, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I don’t know about you, but my husband and I have noticed that we are usually tempted to get into conflicts/ fights on Sunday mornings on our way to church. Someone in our church pointed out that this might be a bit of spiritual warfare, like getting our hearts so distracted on the way to church that by the time we get there, we just aren’t prepared to worship. So, I think just being aware of that and being more intentional about preserving peace on Sunday mornings has really helped.

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  • 15. Rachel  |  February 8, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Oh this is very helpful! We really need to start setting things out the night before.

    Here’s my question: What do you do for lunch after church? By the time that worship service and Sunday school are through I’m exhausted and we’re all starving. What do you wise mamas do?

    Reply
  • 16. Kara Chupp  |  February 8, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    #1 Tip…don’t check email or even get near your computer on a Sunday morning…too easy to get side tracked. Happened to me this morning :>)
    Ours are getting a bit older now and it does get easier.
    Once they can all brush their own teeth, wipe themselves and put on their own shoes….it’s HUGE!
    Good post idea Molly.
    Haven’t written ya in a while, but the Jan. adoption fell through. We’re nearing Selah’s death anniversary. I need to go back to read your blogs and prepare myself.
    love,
    K

    Reply
  • 17. Jenn  |  February 8, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Molly!
    I think this is my first time to leave a comment. I have three boys and I remember well the years before they became a little more able to help themselves. I do recommend getting everything ready the night before that you possibly can. It reduces Mom’s stress level and helps you get ready faster because all the decisions have already been made. One thing I still do every day is have the kids eat breakfast in their pj’s. That way if any spills happen (which they usually do) then at least they don’t have to change their clothes. Clean pj’s can be gotten later in the day. But with little ones it seems that the unexpected always happens right when it is time to leave. It is one of God’s ways to improve our patience and flexibility. Hope this helps.

    Reply
  • 18. Valerie Hunter  |  February 8, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    I’m with Shelly! I think the devil comes into my house on Saturday nights and hides all of my girls’ tights! We try to do some night before prep and have the same schedule Sunday mornings. Some weeks it works…some weeks it doesn’t (especially depending on whether a child or two wake up on the wrong side of the bed!)

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  • 19. Chris  |  February 8, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Another thing that we have done that helps us get to church with a good attitude is to try to take the attitude that if I have to sin to get to church on time then I have defeated my purpose.

    Sometimes I have not planned well, and sometimes I have planned well, but things still happen–a diaper needed to be changed, a stocking ran badly, someone got toothpaste on his/her outfit. It seems like no matter how we try to keep things running on time, something can happen to slow us down.

    So most often I have bitten my tongue and made it my priority to get to church being loving to my family rather than getting there on time.

    Actually, coming home was always more stressful to me. Getting everyone in the snowsuits, circling the church trying to find someone that is not in the meeting place, everyone’s hungry, and even walking back in the door at home to whatever I didn’t tend to so that I could get to church …

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  • 20. Beth  |  February 8, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    When my kids were little, we were at church for a looong time on Sunday mornings. (We still are; the kids just aren’t little anymore!) I did the quick and easy breakfast thing right up until the Sunday that my 2+ y.o. kicked her S.S. teacher. Cereal was NOT enough to keep her going for 4-5 hours, even with a graham cracker coming her way now and then. A substantial breakfast was a necessity, at least for us. Sorry; that’s hardly a tip to make things easier getting out the door. But for me it was easier than the alternative!

    Reply
  • 21. jamie  |  February 8, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Thanks for posting about this, as it is really hard for us to get to church on time. For us, that means anywhere from 7 to 8:15 in the morning, because my husband is the worship leader and we only have 1 car. We have 4 boys 4 and under, so it’s a bit of work. I try to have most things ready the night before, but I could be more prepared and we could (always) get out of bed earlier. The boys and I always take and eat breakfast at church, which helps a lot, and sometime I even wait to dress the younger ones after we’re there, since we arrive so early. Still, I very often wake up on Sundays with a bad attitude, mostly because I’m tired and dreading the length and work of the morning. That definitely needs to change!

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  • 22. Missy  |  February 9, 2009 at 12:25 am

    It is so good to know we’re not alone. I appreciate all the suggestions! We have a 15 month old and 8 week old and I’ve really struggled getting into a rhythm for Sunday mornings. It seems that a little planning goes a long way though. I just told my Hubby yesterday that I think for the first 3 months after baby is born we should get a pass from going to church. I know that’s not the answer – I was kidding (I think!) – but oh how satan works to make everything go wrong Sat night and Sun morning!

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  • 23. Ellie  |  February 9, 2009 at 6:00 am

    One thing to do is simpley get up half an hour earlier on Sunday morning. The extra time can cure the time stress. Then we can read a book or something if we get done early.

    Sunday afternoons are down time, so we can get sleep if we need it.

    And definitely, definitely, breakfast in pajamas!

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  • 24. Charlotte  |  February 9, 2009 at 7:59 am

    I so remember the Sunday morning chaos & fussiness I experienced growing up…

    It’s not an issue for my family… our church worships together at 5:00pm on Sundays. It’s wonderful. We enjoy lazy Sunday mornings & attempt to have a sabbath. Then the kids have their normal rest time in the afternoon for an hour or so before we get ready to leave. There are exceptions, but it’s generally pretty stress-free. It’s one of my favorite things about our church…

    I wish you many pleasant, calm Sunday mornings… πŸ™‚

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  • 25. Christine  |  February 9, 2009 at 8:16 am

    When my children were young my husband began making began making breakfast every Sunday morning. It’s the only meal of the week he cooks but I love it and so appreciate it! I was able to get the kids ready and we were able to eat before heading to church

    We try to not have anything going on that will keep us out late on Saturday night so we can get to bed on time.

    Getting clothes ready the night before also helps a great deal as does teaching kids to get their things ready as they get older.

    Not viewing Sunday as a day to sleep in is another way to ensure you get up and not resent having to get up.

    It’s not that we HAVE to go to church but we GET to go to church. The attitude of the parents matters!

    Reply
  • 26. Angie  |  February 9, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I am an extremely punctual person. My hubby is not. You can imagine, we have days where we have to really work through this, and Sundays are often the hardest day.

    We’ve started implementing a lot of these suggestions… preparedness beforehand, etc. But one thing that has really helped us is setting the tone that morning by filling our home with worship music, singing together, focusing on the “why” we are getting ready and talking to our kids (7, 5, & 2) about how exciting it is that we “get” to go worship together rather than “have” to. It helps create the peaceful environment we need as we work together on the physical preparations.

    We also have the mentality that we should never eat Sunday dinner alone (if possible)… we invite someone home to join us for a meal and fellowship. That helps us keep the place tidy and peaceful, too. We’re more apt to prepare the night before if we know someone is coming over, rather than run around like crazy banshees the morning of. πŸ™‚

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  • 27. Pam  |  February 9, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I think Saturday night determines Sunday morning. Since my husband works long days during the week we usually host people on Saturdays but people would usually leave late and this would make us groggy the next morning. I started hosting people for brunch instead and try to get to bed early on Saturday night.

    Also, for moms who don’t leave the house much, Sunday is a special day. I’m not a fan of the shower Saturday night thing. I prefer to get up earlier and get my hair done “fresh” for Sunday morning but that’s just me.

    Absolutely no peanut butter or anything sticky should be served for breakfast on Sunday. These things have helped keep our family of 5 sane on Sunday mornings, even when we were both on the worship team and had to arrive 1 hour before the service!

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  • 28. Lindz  |  February 9, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Wow-what a relief to know that we are not the only family struggling here! We have achieved getting there ontime, however, our attitudes could use a facelift. The video is very convicting and motivational for both my husband and I to improve.

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  • 29. abigail  |  February 9, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I loved Jamsco’s post.

    My problem is that I’m the one who is militant about being on-time. So I come to Sunday with lots of expectations about how everyone else ought to contribute, move quickly, etc.

    The biggest thing I’ve done to help out is to quit burdening others with my expectations. I need to rescue them from me. I’m the sunday morning kill-joy.

    That said, the biggest help for us getting out the door on time is to get up earlier. Easier said than done for us.

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  • 30. Kim  |  February 9, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I absolutely agree with all the tips offered and used so many of them when the girls were young. But here’s what I wish I knew way back when…

    First, get up earlier…which means go to bed earlier…which means getting stuff done on Saturdays much more efficiently than I had done. There’s nothing like being able to slow down and answer the question, gently deal with the arranging of hair for three girls all who thought today would be the day that french braiding would be the best idea, and being able to sit with us all at the table. So, because of that my husband and I rise arise a couple of hours before we need to leave even though we now have girls who are independent.

    Second, and most important, use that morning in worship. By that I mean, there is nothing like seeing our futility, our sin, our inability to even get kids in the car on time to truly point out that without Christ I can do nothing (John 15:5). Most days I really don’t believe those words of Christ. I feel pretty competent. But not on Sundays. Then the truth is revealed…so the cross is highlighted because there I am, acceptable before the Father, praising His name…a sinner revealed. I needed teaching that day, preaching to my soul and a place to praise His name in song.

    John Bunyan wrote, “I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse, for my righteousness was Jesus Christ himself, ‘The same yesterday, today, and forever.’ Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed…now went I also home rejoicing for the grace and love of God.”

    Rather than have those days “ruin” church, use them to gain a deeper understanding of grace. It’s not a good frame nor a bad frame; it’s Christ’s frame that is our rejoicing. Fight to see it when there is nothing good you bring to the table.

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  • 31. Ruth  |  February 9, 2009 at 11:54 am

    As a mother of 5, I would add that when I have to go somewhere, I usually aim for a time that is 15 minutes earlier than I actually need to leave. This helps me not to sin against my children if they need correction, make a mess, etc. which is never planned for, but happens often.
    Someone asked about food after church – while the crockpot is by far the best option, almost every Sunday either for lunch or supper, we buy each person a sandwich from the McD’s dollar menu (no fries!).
    What a wonderful encouragement to hear all your suggestions!

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  • 32. Demian Farnworth  |  February 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Get up earlier. Not what you want to hear, but I tell you this after ten years of marriage and seven years of raising two children. It’s the only thing that will eliminate stress. And planning the night before.

    Reply
  • 33. Megan  |  February 9, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    OK…I’m sorry I didn’t have time to read all the comments – this is one we can all relate to – so I hope I’m not repeating what’s already been said. Anyway, we’ve really been struggling through this one with our two kids, and I’m learning that the problem is all me. I’m trying to do everything before we go, instead of setting aside things that really could wait until we get back, like the dishes in the sink. Do these really NEED to be washed before we go to church? And is it that big of a deal if my 3 year old takes all the cushions off the sofa 5 min. before we walk out the door? What’s going to happen if I don’t put them neatly back before we leave?
    Also, I’m slowly learning (so slowly it’s still hard to articulate), that I need to trust God that He is truly sovereign over everything. So that if we’ve not been lazy, and have done the best we can to get to church on time, but things happen to slow us down, well, He reigns over our lateness and over all the things that happen to make us late and He wants us to rejoice in these things too.
    And AMEN to Kim’s comment. I really needed to read that one
    Now, ask me how it went next week….

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  • 34. Charlotte  |  February 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Kim & Megan–love what you both have said about all of this. We don’t struggle with this particular issue right now, but the truth you’ve spoken has encouraged me… Thanks!

    Reply
  • 35. Kim  |  February 9, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Sunday lunch — our small group meets and eats right after church each week at our house now, but for at least five years prior we had scrambled eggs every Sunday –yep, every Sunday. It wasn’t too hard to make sure I had grabbed a dozen eggs sometime during the week. Then I’d add whatever I had (cheese, tomatoes, bacon, peppers, or nothing) and the side was whatever I had (easy carmel rolls, boxed muffins, or just bread with jam). There seemed to be just enough variety as well as a general love of scrambled eggs, it worked and blessed me so much to know (without thinking or stressing) what we were eating.

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  • 36. Christie Boomershine  |  February 10, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    My goal is to make Sunday a special day that my children and husband will love and always remember, not just get to church on time. I have four sweet little boys 6 and under and one on the way. I do all the night before stuff or we would never make it. On Saturday, I make the best meal of the week that my family will love. We use our pretty special glasses (even the three year old) I use the crock pot or I have a timer on my oven. When we walk in the door the smell and our meal together is the perfect cap to our day of worship. Again my goal is to make a sweet and special day that my boys will always love. I also have a very sweet husband who helps with everything on Sundays. Sundays do tucker me out, everyone helps clean up and then we all rest. The perfect day!

    Reply
  • 37. Felicity  |  February 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    From the time my first child was born we have always been committed to Sunday mornings, I think that’s one of the first steps. If you start to waver in that, then things like, I feel tired, the kids are cranky, we had a late night, I just cant be bothered etc. start to rear the head and tempt you to not go! The only reasons we don’t go to church is when someone is sick.

    I love Sundays, and church is one of our favourite things of the week, My husband and I work well as a team. We have now have 4 children under 7 and Sunday mornings usally flow well.

    We laze in bed, enjoy coffee and reading in bed while the kids play in the play room. We usally always have a cooked breakfast, often pancakes, I clean up while my husband gets the kids ready. Then for the last 30-40 mins before leaving, all dressed and ready to go, the kids sit down and watch a Veggie Tales dvd or praise and worship one, while my husband does his devotions in the study and I take my time to get dressed and prepare my heart for worship.

    Church for us doesnt start to 10:30 so we have around 3 hours to do all this, and I love it! I think attitude has a huge part, my kids all love going to church and so do we, so the feeling is usually pretty good and peaceful around the house!

    Reply
  • 38. Sara Shull  |  February 10, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Hi Molly – I saw your comment over at The Responsible Puppet β€œIf it’s this hard with just 2 kids, how are we gonna do with more?” For some reason, this was harder for me with two or three than it is now (with 8). I guess 15 years of experience helps -but the number one thing for me is – get up early enough. PIck a time, then get up 15 minutes earlier. Aim for the car 15 minutes before you need to be driving, and yes knowing what you, yourself are are going to wear is a a big bonus. We are not great about going to bed, so we have had to become more committed to just getting up on time. Having older kids has made us more accountable about getting up no matter what because they need to feel peaceful, etc. Anyway – just an encouragement that figuring it out with the first few is the hardest it ever gets. πŸ™‚ Blessings.

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  • 39. Sara Shull  |  February 11, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Overnight, I found myself thinking more about this – ideally, we do many, if not all, of the things they do over at the Jamesco home. Ideally. We are friends with them and I am totally impressed with their ability to do these simple and helpful things week after week! Saturdays are not always perfectly routine for us. Right now half of our 8 kids are five and under (and I’m expecting a baby). Some Saturday afternoon/evenings I just can’t get my act together after taking care of all the urgent needs – but getting up early enough (with a plan in my head – get up BEFORE the kids and follow the routine…) still allows a peaceful and happy morning on Sundays. My husband also is only home half the times on Sunday mornings, other times he leaves at 6:30 (as I am getting up) to get to church before the worship team/choir, so we have an even easier routine when he is not home…ie. cereal for everyone (and grab graham crackers for a snack after first service), not a hot breakfast. One thing I had to realize was that all my life I had made my plans based on “what is the least amount of time I need to get ready” in order to maximize sleep! I’ve had to learn to add ample time cushions to every time we leave the house – amazingly enough… every once in a while, we are actually ready to drive a few minutes early if we use the “head for the car 15 minutes before we need to drive.” I love Sunday mornings, and usually (note the word, “usually”…) there is plenty of good cheer among all if we get up early and the the kids don’t feel pressured – and if Kevin and I have realistic expectations for the kids to be slow eating and dressing, forget where their Bible is (“right by the door,dear” – then laugh at this…it’s funny!) talkative, giggly and distracted and for it to be OK if someone runs out to the car with untied shoes (or even with their shoes in their hands). You can see we won’t be writing the book on organization, but it still works! πŸ™‚ One more thing. If you like coffee, make sure your plan includes getting a cup somehow. I drink mine in the car during our 45 minute drive!

    Reply
  • 40. Beckye Estill  |  February 11, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    How well I remember those days! πŸ™‚ My kids are 21 and 18 now, but when they were young we suddenly understood that there was a spiritual attack on our family each Sunday before going to church. Just being aware of the spiritual warfare helped. That gave us the motivation to be determined and purposeful in our efforts. We prayed and made a commitment to do those things to help us get there on time and to have cheerful and loving attitudes. My husband made a commitment to help get the kids ready with specific duties, which also helped me have time to get ready. We did listen to worship music as we prepared and went to church. We were determined to fight to have unity in our family and to show love to one another. We weren’t going to give the enemy a foothold to steal from us. It is really amazing how quickly and relatively easily our attitudes and behavior changed. Stand firm and pray for your families! Satan really doesn’t have to come up with new things. We all fall so easily for the same old ploys he’s been pulling for ages. But he gives up relatively easily, too, when we employ God’s power in obedience and in serving one another. A peaceful loving family, full of the Spirit and His power, worshiping wholeheartedly in unity is worth the fight. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • 41. Michal  |  February 12, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    I heard of a family who put their kids to bed bathed and dressed in cotton clothing…so they wouldn’t wrinkle. Then, on Sunday morning all they had to do was hair and breakfast and leave for church. Brilliant! Couldn’t you just imaging waking up dressed for church! I believe they had 7 kids…I only have 3…but they’re still pretty smart. Maybe my husband could wear those “wrinkle-free Dockers” or something. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • 42. Molly Piper  |  February 12, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Michal,

    Yeah, don’t even get me started on ironing! There’s not a chance we could get to church on time if I had to iron clothes!!!

    Reply
  • 43. Amanda  |  February 13, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    We go to church (Bethlehem) on Saturday nights, and this has worked best for our family, but not everyone has that option. Saturday nights have helped us is many ways, especially since our daughter still takes two naps. I always try to plan to leave 15 minutes earlier than we need to and that uaually seems to help. But without the help of my husband we would never make it to church on time!! He gets himself and our daughter ready and irons everyone’s clothes in the time it takes me to shower,get myself ready and pack the diaper bag. We often eat snacks for supper in the van on the 50 minute car ride to church. Eating on way saves a lot of time, but sometimes can be a mess. We usually are successful with arriving on time; if we’re not, it’s likely our daughter won’t get a spot in the nursery, so that’s been a good reason to make it happen. I appreciated hearing everyone’s thoughts about this issue. I also appreciate your blog, Molly.

    Reply
  • 44. localnourishment  |  February 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    I’m with Amanda. Saturday night church is the way to go for us. Saturday is our “sabbath rest” day, with no chores (even for Mama, thank you.) We sleep in, rest, spend time together as a family, then dress and go out to dinner. We only eat out one meal a week, and it’s a treasured time. Then, off to church. Our service starts at 5PM, and ends near 9, so it’s right home for a quick piece of fruit before bed.

    It’s such a blessing to not have to hurry our way to the Lord’s house, not have to do dishes on my day of rest, not have to fuss and fight with sleepy kids (and parents) and not have to hear hubby moaning about what Sunday televised sporting event he’s missing!

    Reply
  • 45. kelly  |  February 24, 2009 at 9:04 am

    i am a little late on this, but me getting my outfit laid out the night before is such a time saver. my husband works at our church and goes in quite early so i am solo sunday mornings in getting the kiddos ready (ages 2 and 3.) my being ready and not deciding what to wear and which shoes match has been super helpful. i do take a shower the night before (the only day of the week i do so) as it allows me to serve my girlies better – it takes me forever to dry my hair, etc. : )
    i pretty much do what everyone else does – pack the diaper bag the night before, get the clothes for the girls ready and so forth. i also get cereal bowls laid out for the girls and slice any fruit they will eat the night before too.
    oh, and having keys, sunglasses and all that next to the diaper bag ready to go is wonderful. leaving an extra 5 minutes for the dirty diaper that will happen right as you walk out the door has been a helpful thing to do too. : )
    most important – pray as you start the morning for patience and that God would prepare your heart for worship.

    Reply

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