To my surprise, last week’s post (with more than 700 hits) is very close to becoming my all time most viewed post. I appreciate those who have linked to it.
In the meantime, my wife (who wasn’t a part of writing the first post) has been itching to add clarification to my rather loosely formatted list of tips.
So I told her to go ahead and this is what she just sent me:
Here are some specific things we do to get ready for church:
Our kids have church-only clothes that we keep in a separate place in their closet or dresser (or even our closet.) Then on Saturday, the clothes are not difficult for us (or the older kids) to locate. Each child has a certain spot where they set out all of their church clothes so they are ready for Sunday morning.
We also have what we call a “Sunday basket,” which is just a laundry basket that holds church-only socks, tights, shoes, etc. Everyone’s items are all together, but easy to find since they are different sizes. While putting away clean laundry for the week, these church items go directly into the Sunday basket.
Also, (and this might be too Spartan for some,) the kids basically have a church “uniform” which is black tights for the girls and navy pants and black socks for the boys with black shoes—all of them. Their dresses/shirts have to go with black/navy. There have been many Sunday mornings when we have discovered that someone’s pants or shoes are too small, so we go to the “extra Sunday shoes box” or “extra Sunday pants box” and get the next size up!
We have a stash of labeled bags for the kids to bring to church, and every Saturday they need to put into their bag a Bible, paper and pen. Those bags then sit in a pile in our living room until we walk out the door on Sunday.
We get as much of the breakfast ready as possible the night before; even cracking the eggs into a bowl and setting the table. In the morning, Scott and I take turns preparing breakfast while the other gets ready for church. (The kids are still sleeping.)
Regarding spills: We never have the kids put on their church clothes until after breakfast. Breakfast is at 7:30 am, and that gives us 40 minutes to clean up and get the kids ready; Scott and I are mostly ready to go by breakfast, except I eat in my pajamas, as well!
I have been known to make a two-hour, minute-by-minute schedule for Sunday morning prep time, especially when we have a baby. If I find that breakfast is not ready by 7:30, then the next Sunday I get up earlier, and if 40 minutes is not enough time to get ready after breakfast, then the next week Sunday we try eating at 7:20 (and get up earlier!) I sometimes jot down notes for the next Sunday and put them in my “Saturday folder” which I look at every Saturday.
I must admit, her attention to detail has enable us to have more peaceful, and thus more God-glorifying Sabbath mornings.
By the way, we’d sure appreciate any comments you have on this subject.