You wake up early, before everyone else in the family.
For the next two hours you rush around, dressing babies, feeding children, packing the diaper bag, buttoning dresses, FINDING SHOES, gathering Bibles and music and quiet toys, fixing lunch in the crockpot, cleaning up breakfast, FINDING SHOES, nursing the baby, making beds, solving sibling squabbles, buckling little ones into their car seats, FINDING MORE SHOES, and getting everyone out the door (hopefully EARLY).
Satan hates families going to church on Sunday morning, so you KNOW it’s the ONE day a week that everyone is in a grumpy mood the whole way to church.
You arrive at church, unbuckle everyone, get them to their places, and sit down for what feels like the first time in days.
Just then, someone slips over to you and whispers, “You have nursery today.”
The day continues like this, feeling like a never-ending blender, spinning and spinning and spinning until you fall into bed late at night, in complete exhaustion.
Sunday can be the hardest day of the week for Mama.
Maybe you’re a mama in ministry, and your to-do list (with its physical and emotional ramifications) on Sundays is even longer….
- Teach Sunday School
- Play the piano for every congregational song, prelude, postlude, offertory, and special for EVERY service
- Print and fold bulletins
- Set up your missionary display
- Sing a special (or two!)
- Sit alone through every service, managing all the little ones while your hubby preaches
- Teach ALL the children’s programs
- Serve in the nursery service after service after service…..
Because Sunday can be the hardest day of the week for Mama.
Maybe you’re the mama of a teeny-tiny new baby. You’ve been up all night with a nursing marathon. You look at your closet and sigh, realizing nothing fits your post baby body. You put on your maternity skirt again, nurse and dress the baby, then nurse and re-dress the baby after he spits up all over his outfit, buckle him into his car seat, and get ready to walk out the door, only to hear him fill his diaper and need to be changed yet again. 🙂
You arrive at church, but end up in the nursing mother’s room for most of the preaching service.
You ask yourself what was the purpose of coming to church today.
You see, Sunday can be the hardest day of the week for Mama.
The idea that Sunday is a day of rest doesn’t apply to mamas with young children. 🙂
Sometimes, in the quiet place of our hidden heart, we mamas begin to struggle under the pressure, stress, and even what can feel like pointlessness of going to church with all of our little ones. It’s not that we don’t love God, or love church. We do! It’s just that Sundays are hard, and in our effort to be all things to all people, we sometimes walk away spent, exhausted, and burnt out.
Right now, in our deputation ministry, my family is in a season of alot of church. My little ones judge a day by the number of “churches” (services) we have. “Is this a one church day or a two church day, Mommy?” As a matter of fact, for the entire month of October, we’re either in a missions conference or driving to one. That’s like 25 “churches” this month alone.
When our youngest son was only 2 weeks old, we began traveling to churches again. He was in SEVEN states before he was 2 months old. There were some Sundays where we would drive 2 hours to get to our morning church meeting, then drive all afternoon to get to our evening meeting, then drive again after church. I had a newborn (and seven other children) and I will freely admit that I was tired. 🙂
Sunday can be the hardest day of the week for Mama. And even more so when you’re in ministry.
But you know what else Sunday is?
Sunday is a day to be thankful! We get the privilege of corporate worship, something many countries do not allow. We should not take this privilege for granted. Embrace the opportunities to go to church.
Sunday is a day to be real! Our children are watching our attitudes and listening to our words. They will see right through our hypocrisy if we blame going to church or the people in the church for our problems.
Sunday is a day to serve those outside our family! We can and should find a way to bless and encourage others. Ministry is certainly not limited to Sundays, but it should start there. Mamas with little babies or multiple young children may need to pull out of more “public” ministries for a season, in order to care for their children whole-heartedly, but there are still so many opportunities to minister. Make a batch of cookies during the week and give it to a visiting family. Write a note of encouragement to your pastor’s wife. Take a teen girl under your wing and mentor her. If you’re often in the nursery or nursing your young baby, use the time with other women to encourage them in the Lord (rather than using the time to gossip). Get creative and find an outlet for service.
Sunday is a day to worship our Lord Jesus. On especially difficult Sundays, I ask the Lord AHEAD OF TIME to give me a special blessing for the day. I then look for that blessing all day. Sometimes it’s a certain song that is sung, sometimes it’s something the preacher shares, sometimes it’s just one verse of Scripture that ministers to my heart. Focus on what is the true purpose of “church”: Fellowship, encouragement, growth, and evangelism.
Sunday is sometimes a day to let go and say NO. I remember once when a woman in ministry told me, “I’d love to have another baby, but I would have to give up some of my ministries in order to do so.” I don’t know how to say this without actually saying it, so here goes: Your primary MINISTRY is not at church. Your primary MINISTRY is in your home, helping your husband, and teaching and training your children. Sometimes (especially during the childbearing years), a mama has to say NO to excessive outside ministries. Now, I am not advocating laziness, and I believe there can be a good balance between home and church, but if a choice between the two needs to be made, I will choose to meet my family’s needs first.
Sunday is a day to be organized. Find your weak spots, and work on them! Plan ahead for Sunday so it can be a great day for your family. It may still be a long day, but we can sometimes remove some of the stress by being more organized.
Sunday is a day to remember the future. How our children will view God and church depends extensively on how we view them. If our relationship with Jesus is superficial, and church a drudgery, what reason will they have to follow in our footsteps? If we want our children to be captivated by the love of GOD, we cannot be hypocritical in our faith. They must see that we love HIM enough to sacrifice FOR Him…..
Yes, it’s true: Sunday can be the hardest day of the week for Mama.
But it can also be the BEST day of the week. 🙂