How do your Sunday mornings unfold before church? Are they spent running around with raised voices, chaos ensuing over misplaced shoes and the scramble to find a matching pair? Or perhaps some family members realize they are holding wrinkled clothing that beckons for the attention of the iron? Where is my Bible and Sunday School homework, a young, and very frustrated voice calls out! I cannot find my good coat a little voice whispers in despair to anyone who will listen. What shall we eat, I am so hungry?
Sunday mornings like this happen in more families than we realize. Is this how we wish to arrive at the Throne of the Almighty to worship-completely stressed out, frustrated with the offending family members and ready with a biting remark on the tip of the tongue because of the way the morning unfolded? Certainly NOT!
Yet, the mother has the power to change a Sabbath morning from despair and bickering to one of complete peace and happiness. But it takes a bit of planning on her part and she must be diligent to follow through with the necessary steps. She is the home manager and therefore must manage Sunday mornings. How to do that? I will share my plan with you and hopefully it will help anyone struggling in this area. Arriving at the doors to church excited to enter and worship is so much more pleasant than arriving with grumpy children and a sour mama.
A PEACEFUL SABBATH PLAN
1. Saturday morning mother must ask each child to present the outfit they wish to wear for church-down to the underthings and shoes and socks for inspection. If there are stains or clothing needs washing mother needs to take care of this immediately. Ironing, too, must be done promptly. For young children mother will have to do all the searching most probably. Having it done early is best!
2. Have everyone's clothing/shoes ready in their rooms for Sabbath.
3. Send all the children in search of bibles and Sunday School things and bring them to mother for inspection once again. After inspection mother should have the children bring these to their vehicle and place them in the spots they usually sit in, or we have a small box in the cargo area that I make them put them. That way if we do anything on Saturday things are not shuffled around, but see what works for you.
4. Mother needs to see if any child will need a bath in the evening. Any older child who showers needs to reset their alarms so they will have plenty of time to shower and dress in the morning. Mother and Father should be first and ready before the older children use the showers. Mother should assign an order and time for each child who showers in the morning.
1. After dinner and family bible time, if you observe this practice, mother should make another quick inspection of the clothing.
2. Make bedtime 15 minutes earlier than usual, it helps get everyone calmed down and sleeping a bit quicker.
3. Make sure alarms are set.
4. Bathe children that need it.
5. Make sure toothbrushes and hairbrushes are ready. Yes, these do get misplaced and cause a ruckus on Sabbath morning if they can't be found.
6. Set the table with easy breakfast items that older children can prepare themselves. Cereal, oatmeal, toast, etc. Of course if your very organized a breakfast casserole or overnight french toast is a great idea. I often put my Blueberry French Toast Strata together the night before and pop it in the oven while I am getting ready. Super easy and filling. Make sure napkins, plates, silverware, glasses are all ready. Children can set the breakfast table immediately after dinner cleanup! Get the coffee pot or tea pot ready.
7. Mother and Father should have their clothing/bibles ready also:-) All coats, hats, boots, gloves, should be by the door, ready to put on.
8. Mother set your alarm to rise earlier than the children and father--this is KEY. You must be the first one up and ready.
1. Mother rises, hopefully can spend a few minutes in devotions. I use a short devotional and often journal my prayers, but if you are just implementing this, take a few quiet moments with the Lord and dedicate the Sabbath to Him. Mother showers, dresses and gets the children who need help up and ready. Father is also up and getting ready and hopefully is helping:-)
2. Mother (and maybe older helpers) gets a quick breakfast in all the children, clear the dishes, and do a final inspection on everyone.
3. Off you go--smiling, hopefully:-)
While you don't have to follow my list religiously, as each family works differently, the point is that advance prep will greatly impact how your Sabbath morning goes.
...however, be sure that everything is done properly in a good and orderly way.
1 Corinthians 14:40 (TLB)