I don’t know about you but our weekend activities to get ready for church still never get us there on time. Lately, I have had to revamp my strategy. It is hard to get to church on time. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Our church even provides donuts and juice to help make it easier for moms. We still cannot pull it off as a family.
A few months ago, I was fed up and began to rethink my Sunday morning plans. I now have a checklist that we go through at bedtime to be prepared. This checklist has helped, but inevitably if I don’t pick out black socks for my boys’, someone shows up with Halloween socks and dress pants that flood. People will say that it is ok. We all know that is a mom’s nightmare.
Here are a few of the ways that I have begun to plan ahead.
Get Ready the Night Before
Create a checklist for Saturday night weekend activities that includes all of the items listed for church. Place the checklist on the kitchen table. In addition to this, lay out Bibles, music binder for children’s church and offering with post it note names for each child. Laminate the list so that if something spills it can be picked up, wiped off and used again. In addition to this, lay a dry erase marker next to it and have each child get ready. I alternate my children getting ready Sunday morning. Using the checklist helps because they can take it with them, mark it off and be ready in 15 minutes.
Part of my checklist is laying out whatever I need for the morning. My clothes, shoes, hats, gloves, matching coats, Bible, and matching purse. All of this prep really only takes about an hour if done properly. Creating the checklist enabled me to work backwards through our morning. That way, knew what area we were weak in, and tried to tweak it to work.
Set out the crockpot for lunch and make the sweet tea or lemonade to chill overnight. Have the ingredients defrosted and ready to throw into the crockpot. Following these tips will set up the Sunday morning better. Some churches provide coffee and donuts, if yours does not, have an easy breakfast plan.
Eating at home saves more money and is very time efficient to get to church on time. Prepare for weekend church activities and still have time for breakfast at home.
Weekend Activities Include Get Yourself Ready First
It is hard to get up early on Sunday. For some reason I am worn out from all of the other weekend activities we have been doing, or just from busyness of the week. Although sleeping sounds good, we will regret it. Nothing is worse than realizing you have 15 minutes to get ready. To have a more calm morning, get up 45 minutes earlier than everyone else. Set up a routine for yourself that creates an atmosphere of peace, contentment and worship. Make your coffee, pray and read scripture to get your mind in the motion of church.
Get ready and set the food in the crockpot. I don’t get dressed until I am send the kids’ in to get dressed. That way stains and spills on my clothes are limited. Put on makeup or lotion, fix your hair and feel ready for the day. Once I am ready, that frees’ up my time to make breakfast, get everyone out the door. Rushed families make quick decisions usually and that’s when on the go food is a good idea.
Nothing goes perfectly, but it goes better. Don’t be in a rush. I feel like if we keep moving forward it will work out.
Turn on Calming Music
Music is great for creating a happy atmosphere. Setting our minds to music is not only calming, but sets our hearts in the direction of worship. In times when I am stressed music soothes my soul and prepares me for my day. Mixed with prayer, I feel rejuvenated and ready for church. Even when our family is running behind, as we usually are calming music in the background is relaxing.
Alternate between hymns and instrumental music. Depending on the music of your choice, if appropriate I will let my kids pick out a song or genre. Choices work well because for that morning we don’t do the usually kids songs. I want them to learn early to prepare their hearts and minds for church.
Avoid screens. They will overstimulate your children, and distract them from getting ready.
Work as a Team With Your Husband
Finally, discuss ways to get everyone in the car at the perfect time to leave. Something will happen at some point that will set your family on the late clock, but preparation helps. When my husband and I sat down we had a talk. I explained that I needed his help to watch the kids’ while I get ready. Back when they were little, everyone was up way before I was.
Have some fun, but quiet activities a the table for the kids to work on. Coloring sheets, legos, magnets, or whatever quiet activities they enjoy. If your church provides donuts don’t ruin their breakfast, but set out fruit and water for them to snack on.
Next, after I am ready, my husband gets ready and I start sending kids back to get dressed. As they get dressed, we brush teeth, grab Bibles and coats if needed. In addition to helping the kids get ready I set a timer. The timer keeps all of us focused. At the 20 minute mark the timer goes off and we are out the door.
To avoid spending money on Sundays’ with breakfast and lunch having a plan solves that problem. I feel like it is called fast food because we have become to accustomed to eating on the go. Slowing down our lives, preparation, and a plan is one of the best ways to avoid guilt spending.
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