Getting Ready For Church
Children are a gift from the Lord, a reward from a mother’s womb. A young man’s sons are like the arrows in a soldier’s hand. The man who fills his quiver with sons will be very blessed.
~ Psalms 127:3-5
Here was an example of a typical Sunday morning for our family: The alarm went off and off I’d go. I would nurse the baby, change its diaper and get the baby dressed. I would wake up the other four children. The older children would dress and shower themselves. The younger ones needed assistance with dressing and grooming. Baths had been given the night before and clothes picked out. With much protest, I combed tangles from my daughter’s curly hair.
I fixed breakfast. I cleaned up spilled milk. I dressed and ran a comb through my hair while at the same time making sure all children brushed their teeth. We searched for something lost. (There was always something missing). We started for the car. The baby would spit up on me. Back in the house I would go to change my shirt. Back to the car, buckle baby in, then the mad dash to church. On the way, I would break up a fight between siblings, because the perpetrator had made a mean face.
We would run into church, take up almost an entire pew and feel the eyes of dismayed perfect families sneak a peek at our loud disheveled bunch. We would listen to a sermon on how one should get up an hour earlier in the morning to spend time in prayer.
An hour earlier to spend time in prayer? “You’ve got to be kidding me!” I thought. It’s a miracle we even managed to get there at all.
Why am I telling this story? I am telling it because this is for all the families struggling just to get to church on Sunday morning. This is a story to let you know that someday you will look back and actually miss these years of chaos, life and love. It’s a story to let you know that it’s okay.
It’s okay if you are harried and really want to sell one of your children (just teasing). It’s okay if you have a big coffee stain on the front of your shirt. It’s okay that you did not get up an extra hour earlier because you were up three times in the night with the baby. It’s okay when you look down at your feet and have on two different shoes. (I did that once). It’s okay if you have to shush your children five times during the sermon. Why is it okay? Because you are there and God loves you, and if you didn’t make it to church, God still loves you. When you give your life to Christ, you ARE the church and, “Whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16)
Dear Lord, Thank you for loving us through our chaos. Be with parents trying to raise their children in church. Amen
~ Jenny Calvert