living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


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Stress-Free Sunday

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m exhausted!  My son woke up in the middle of the night screaming his head off due to YET ANOTHER ear infection. It was a “fun” night not filled with much sleep. I got out of bed later then I should have, had to deal with a very cranky boy, and got my daughter and myself out the door in time for church.

This morning could have been VERY stressful and I will admit it was not one of my favorites,but a few things that I started doing a while ago saved the day.

Sundays, in general, are stressful. It means getting your family, nicely dressed, to church, fed and happy by a certain time. It is also the day that the devil seems to attack MOST families. If you are pastor’s wife or a single mom, it means that you are probably getting your family ready by yourself.

After a few years of stressful Sundays, I decided I would have to eliminate the stress. Since, eliminating church was not an option, I came up with a few ideas that would help me. I have shared this post in the past, but since it’s been so helpful to me, I felt I must share it again for those who may have not seen it.

PREPARATION IS KEY

1. Start preparing on FRIDAY

Because the devil is smart and my flesh can be lazy, I start 2 days out so that I am prepared and ready. Saturday can be busy and stressful which, in turn, can make Sunday stressful.

I pick out and iron all of our Sunday clothes on Friday so that they are ready to go. Then I finish all the laundry from the week and put it away. Finally, I do a thorough cleaning of the house.  This way there is a more relaxed atmosphere for the weekend. Then, I don’t clean or do laundry again until Monday. I mean how much damage can the family do in 2 days. HAHAHAHA BUT, seriously, it does help.

2. Prepare on Saturday

I give the children each a bath on Saturday night. The next morning, my child may wet himself or there might be some accident (IT DOES HAPPEN) but it does give you the upper hand if you don’t have any accidents.

I try to make extra food Saturday night so we can have leftovers on Sunday afternoon for lunch. Another idea is to prepare a crock-pot meal.

Finally, I place anything I need to take with me to church by the door, so that I will see it when I head out the door. I also check my diaper bag and make sure it’s stocked.

3. Sunday Tips

I usually try to give my son a hearty breakfast so that he will be full; this will hold him for a while at church. I DON’T DRESS THEM until we are done eating. “A” usually sits at the table in a diaper at breakfast. This way food will not get spilled on my child’s Sunday outfit.

When we get in the car, we play some praise music. It helps to get your mind in the right place.

This Sunday, it wasn’t super stressful. Why? because we had clothes ready to go. I had a lunch ready for when we got home. I didn’t worry about the house. I just worried about getting to church to worship. For the most part, I was prepared.

I hope some of these ideas help. Sunday is God’s day.

You know, we plan for 3 months to a year for a wedding. Why? because it’s important. Is God and His’ day important to you? Let’s make it important.

Rejoicing,

Joy T

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4 Comments

getting to church

or: how we get 4 children to church…

on time {most of the time. lol}

I realize I am not the most qualified person to be telling others about this, and I have read other blogs out there where similar stories are told, but this is something that I receive comments and questions about… regularly.

So, here is how we, my family and I, physically arrive at church on Sunday morning in time for every child to get to her own class and me to get to mine… before they begin!! {like stated before: most of the time!} I pray this is a help to someone! 🙂

tascha

hung up waiting for morning

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1. First, being at church, beginning with Sunday school, every Sunday– is non-negotiable.

It is not a “if we all get up in time” kind of activity. We have other times in which we’ve made those type of plans… Let’s go shopping if we can get ready by 9, etc. But church is NON-negotiable. That is how I was raised, so it’s not in my routine simply because I am married to a man on staff at our church. It is woven into the fabric of my being. And I want it woven into our children also. I have come to realize that the things that truly matter to me {especially in regards to my family}, I will make time for.

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2. Since our oldest {now 8} was still very small, we have prepared our clothing for Sunday on Saturday evening.

I make sure the clothing we each plan to wear is picked out, pressed, and ready… along with the appropriate socks and finding matching shoes-VERY important in our house since shoes often become play things during the day. {I do not pick out my husband’s clothing, but I try to be sure he has a few different clean, ironed dress shirts from which to choose.}

Now, I only choose clothing for Corban {16 months}  and myself. The girls mostly do it for themselves, though I must approve. Sunday clothing are the only outfits I insist match and look “together.” School days, play dates, etc. my girls often choose stripes and polka-dots to wear together. 🙂

While I do, on occasion, speak to them about what matching means and the fact that just because both items have red in them does not mean they match {lol}, I have found they enjoy expressing themselves through their favorite pieces of clothing. And I am OK with that. {to each her own :)}

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3. Since we still have a baby, I try to prepare the diaper bag on Saturday-at least making sure their are a few diapers and a snack inside. We are working on the girls making sure their purses are ready, including knowing where their Bible is as well as any SS papers that need to be turned in.tascha~

4. I try to make myself stop and think about whether or not I have something to give someone-as I purge clothing too-small during laundry time, I put aside nicer things to bless another child in our church.

And if I am part of the special music, I make sure my music is in my church bag on Saturday evening.

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5. I also try to think through what we are having for lunch… which is USUALLY a slow-cooker meal.

If I do not do this on Saturday, I am often frustrated with my options on Sunday morning. 🙂

tascha

{{love}}

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6. On Sunday morning, there is nothing on our agenda aside from eating breakfast and getting dressed.

We do not play with toys, turn on cartoons {or the news!}, read a book, etc.

The children get up, get dressed, brush teeth and hair, gather what is needed to walk out the door… and if there is time to spare, they may sit and look at a book or start to color a picture, etc.

{edited to add: We also turn on Godly music [usually an online church radio station] during this time. It stills minds and calms restlessness to have something in the background that is soothing.}

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7. My goal is to walk out the door about 5-10 minutes before we HAVE to… to give us time for problems. 🙂

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So, that is what has worked for us  for 8 years. We are rarely late arriving at church, and when we are, I can pinpoint at least one of the Saturday evening things that I put off to do Sunday morning. I always regret that! And obviously, even the best laid plans can go awry!

And to encourage those with several very small children, this is truly a time-saver.

When I had to dress 2 little ones with a 3rd on the way, it completely simplified getting ready to say: sit here with mommy and let’s put THESE clothes on.

And now! the two oldest {8 & 5} completely dress themselves {except for zippers and ties-but they TRY!}!

The 4 year old can mostly gets dressed independently, but still wants my help… I try to be enthusiastic about doing it because I know this season will not last much longer with her.

I have a few very simple hair-dos for the girls’ hair that we simply dress-up with a bow or flower… if we have one that matches. 🙂

My husband is such a wonderful man that he is usually able and willing to dress the little baby-man… and since I have chosen his clothing the night before, I know he will be wearing nice church clothes and not just whatever someone can find clean!

{blessings} Tascha