The Irony of Sunday Mornings

We all know the drill. It’s Sunday morning and typical morning chaos is worsened by the fact that our schedule is different. As parents, if we dress ourselves first, we have to navigate breakfast and sticky fingers and messy bedrooms in our impractical shoes and nice clothes. But if we get the kids ready first, we dress ourselves in a rush, wondering what new ways the kids are finding to destroy their clothes, then putting our lipstick on only one lip, or failing to brush our hair out.

And then comes the moment when we have to get everyone in the car. This is the moment when the yelling usually begins. And as soon as the angry voice erupts from your mouth, you feel the clench of guilt.
I’m one of THOSE moms. A mom who screams and acts unChristlike as I’m taking my family to church.

My husband and I never had a problem getting to church on time. And then we had a child. All of a sudden, church became this huge struggle. And I became one of THOSE moms. Dragging my family out the door, tapping a foot in impatience, glaring at my family members. It got worse when I joined the choir at my church, because suddenly if we were late, it didn’t just mean getting a bad parking place. It meant I was late to my commitment.

I’m very fortunate, because my daughter can dress herself, and because I’ve chosen to let her wear whatever shoes and accessories she wants. She does have delicate white leather Sunday shoes, but this morning when she paired her blue tulle dress with puffy silver knee boots, I said nothing. Why bother?

I don’t have a solution, or even a wise word. The combination of everyone putting on nice clothes, working with an unfamiliar schedule, and trying to go to a place where timeliness is essential just seems to throw a wrench in everyone’s lives. I’ve talked with my husband, and we’ve worked out some things that help us avoid the stress. But it’s an ever moving target, and we’re not perfect.

And then sometimes you get a morning like today. We were all ready to go on time. We walked out the door together, discussing the rain outside. We hopped in the car and I put on the Sound of Music. As we headed down the road, not just on time, but EARLY, we sang Do Re Mi together. I felt a little bit like Maria, successfully overcoming obstacles through sheer confidence and a few fun tunes. And I made a mental note to myself to remember this morning. These are the days that make everything else worth it. Going to church isn’t simple, but nothing worthwhile is.

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