I used to dread Sundays. They were exhausting. Rather than feel blessed I live next door to the church and do not have to pile kids in the car, I stewed over the fact I don’t have my husband’s help. Because my husband is the senior pastor, there are many Sundays he leaves while we are eating breakfast. Sometimes I do not get a chance to talk to him until we are back at home around 12:45 PM. I have learned to accept this is my life with all the blessings and challenges.
I know people who avoid church because of the crazy Sunday mornings. As long as you have a baby or toddler in the house, there will always be some sort of craziness. You have to accept that just like I have to accept the “extra things” that come up with being a pastor’s wife. I truly believe your Sundays can be uplifting, spiritual, and even relaxing. It took me years to figure this out. Honestly there is no magic solution or ten step process. Probably 95% is attitude and acceptance. Here is some other things I do to make Sundays more like “the day of rest” as it should be.
No cleaning projects & no laundry! I do run the dishwasher, wipe counters, neaten up the kitchen, and sometimes pick up toys in the family room. But rarely anything beyond that. I need a break from it! I am not being legalistic about it. I don’t think even the best of us were created to clean every single day. God gave us the gift of the Sabbath–how are we using that gift!?
No big meals! I grew up in a tradition where families had a huge meal after morning church. With my kids hoarding cookies and candy after the service and begging for naps by the time they are home, it is not practical. My kids typically have cold sandwiches and I make something simple while they are napping. Even if we have people over, we typically do something light like soup and salad or tacos and tortilla chips with salsa.
Sunday traditions! My husband and I always watch the Amazing Race after evening church and have nachos and salsa. It is a tradition I love and look forward to! The most relaxing part of my Sunday. Do something fun, restful, or that makes you happy. So you don’t have time to scrapbook during the week or work on a craft or go for a long bike ride or watch a movie or kick the soccer ball around with your kids? Take an hour on a Sunday and do it!
Saturday prep…I typically lay out my children’s clothes and do baths Saturday night. If we are gone on a Saturday night, I try to give them baths Saturday morning. There’s been a few times they get a Friday afternoon or evening bath–but really who cares? As long as they are not grubby looking with matted hair, dirty faces, or stained clothes as they walk into church, I feel like I am doing OK.
Worship Music…I typically have “Sunday Morning Praise” playing in the kitchen from our local Christian radio station. It helps put me in the right mindset for worship.
Family Conflict…You hear the stories about families all fighting in the car on the way to church and walking into the sanctuary with smiles across their faces. For one, I am too emotional and transparent to hold it together like that. Secondly, I don’t want to be a fake family. I try to solve conflicts with my kids or between my kids before we enter church. Even if it makes us a little late, it is worth it. There have been a few Sundays (especially when I was pregnant or juggling a newborn or sick child) when I have been upfront with the right people and told them I was struggling. We all should be the Body of Christ and carry one another burden’s. Sometimes being open and honest has to start with us church leaders. Church should not be a place where you come to show off your perfection (which does not exist anyway) or judge or be judged.
I wrote this post for Monday because if you had a “bad Sunday,” maybe this will encourage you for next week! I have had my share of “bad Sundays” too! Thankfully we can learn from our mistakes and we serve a God who is very gracious with our shortcomings.