When our children were little.....and we had a lot of them.......Sundays were stressful!! Now, don't get alarmed......worshiping God as a family was mostly, wonderful. I say mostly, because I definitely have to exclude the time when an elderly lady hit my then young sons, Andrew and Chris, over the head with her cane because she thought they were being unruly. They probably were, but to assault them in church was a huge mistake on her part.....I called an "on the spot" meeting with an elder over that one.
Sundays used to be a tough because of all the preparation and the ordeal of transporting twenty-one children across Dallas to get them there. I literally spent four hours every Saturday night ironing dresses, shirts, and pants for said twenty-one children so they would all look their absolute best for Sunday. I think....no, I know, that this was extremely prideful on my part. I was determined to show everyone that having twenty-one children was really no biggie.....Our kids were going to be the best dressed, best groomed, children in the entire church...
Then, there was the fact that we chose to belong to a church that was forty-seven and one half minutes from our house. Our fifteen passenger van wasn't large enough for everyone, so TR drove the van and I took another group in one of our many Volvos.... Combine that with the fact that, the church service itself was three hours long. We literally were in church all day!.....NO WONDER, Andrew and Chris had trouble keeping still and not killing each other......What young child can be expected to sit throught a service that long, especially when they have already been up for three hours.
Wow...looking back on that now, I'm thinking ....."Sarah, what were you thinking?" Definitely, there wasn't much objective thinking on my part about Sundays!!!
Now, life is so different. My kids are old enough to get themselves ready for church. But, in all honesty, I don't care if they wear jeans to church.....I'm over appearances....Well....not really completely over appearances, but I'm MUCH better.......
And....we don't have so many going to church. TR and I tag-team church. One of us goes to the early service with just one or two kids, and the other one takes a larger group to the late service. Then, the next Sunday we switch services. This way, every other Sunday, one of us is able to attend church with a "small" group while the other parent takes a "large" group. And.....of course, now, since ten children have moved out on their own......the core group is so much smaller..And......none of them are really "children" any more. My youngest will soon be fourteen.
Plus, we now attend a church much closer.. And, it's an Episcopal church, the church I was raised in. Services are usually only one hour long.....
When I was younger, I was driven so much by pride......Why, I ask myself???? Did I make anyone's life better? I'm sure no one remembers that way back when, Sarah M. had eight girls with beautifully starched dresses and thirteen boys all decked out in neckties and neatly creased pants in church....on time...every Sunday.... No more than I'm sure that God doesn't mind if my adult kids today come to church in their jeans and a nice shirt.......Hopefully, a hole or two in the jeans will sometimes be okay.
But....in all honesty, Sundays are always going to be a time of hurrying and a bit of panic on my part. My own little bar of perfection will always be there........Not put there by TR, God, or anyone else.....Just me.