How to get ready for church


No matter how much you want to run to the kitchen and land your face in a big pot of coffee, walk straight to the bathroom. Use it, and get in the shower. Dry off. Put on your church clothes (are you feeling hippy-ish, dressy, blue-jeany? Nobody cares at church anymore. Just cover up your underwear.) 
Put on a large apron! This is very important.
Then run out, make a bottle and two sippy cups. Wipe down the counters from last night when you were too tired to clean the kitchen so your kids don’t get a horrible disease. Make breakfast. Eat some of it. Don’t forget your own breakfast. You’ll be shaking anyway at the end of this. While finally lapping your caffeine, spoon-feed the young, distracted one after his bottle.
Pull about 10 paper towels off the holder and wet them. Use two per child on hands and face, use one to scrape only a small amount of goo off the high chair (pray that the rest of that unknown matter never makes it into your child’s mouth), and use three to round up the globs that made it onto the counter and floor. Note: When you get home from church, you’ll see that you really only smeared the yogurt into a thin layer on the counter. You can un-disease the countertop again before lunch.
Turn on a movie. While you know their current brain activity is wasting into the hopeless, black-hole abyss, they are being very still – or still enough. Brush their hair. You brushed their teeth last night. Rip off their yogurty pajamas, change diapers, and forcefully shove their ginormous heads through the impossibly small head-holes of children’s clothing. 
Even though you only have ten minutes to walk out the door, take the time to stop (for the seventy-tenth time) to show your oldest how to tie his shoes. When he messes up, try very hard to encourage the persevering  worker rather than the quitting perfectionist. Try to do this while ripping the strings from the crying child and double-tying them yourself (Hey, we’re running out of time here, people.) 
Put your babies in their car seats. Buckle them in so they don’t hurt themselves. Use a yardstick to beat your disobedient dog out of your floorboard. (Do not judge me here. The lunch meat trick doesn’t work anymore, and he just can’t sit in the van while we’re at church.)
Run back into the house, leaving garage-door shut so no one can take your kids or your husbands bicycle. While running to your toothbrush, rip off your apron and stuff your jewelry into your pocket. Put your hair in a ponytail, grab your make-up, water bottle, Bible, and purse. 
This is when you get the shakes. Drink some water while pulling out of the garage. There are 14 stop lights. Put on your make-up at the 8 red lights. Save mascara for your parking spot. Take the kids to nursery.  Put on your necklace and earrings as you find your seat. 
It’s worth it – that pounding heart, threatening to spear your dog with a yardstick,  yelling at the toddler who almost got run over in the parking lot. 
We sing “Mighty to Save” there. We strange Christians sit all in a row and raise up our arms to this invisible God. We believe we are in a throne room. We meet together and we drink His blood. He’s going to peek His face down one day from those clouds, and He’s going to whoosh us up in Him. You better believe I’ll meet for that – and with my earrings on, too.

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amberhaines
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14 Comments

karalaney
Reply July 6, 2008

AND after all that, you forgot to use the ladies room before you rushed out. i'm so glad i got to see your face this morning..no matter how rushed you were getting there.

Prairie Chick
Reply July 6, 2008

Your last paragraph brought me to tears. That's why I keep reading your blog, you move me. Thank you.

Craig & Cindy
Reply July 7, 2008

Amber, your writing is always lovely. Definitely worth it when I stop by your blog to see what's been cooking at the the run-a-muck.

Are you guys adopting?!?!?!

Cindy

Craig & Cindy
Reply July 7, 2008

Amber, your writing is always lovely. Definitely worth it when I stop by your blog to see what's been cooking at the the run-a-muck.

Are you guys adopting?!?!?!

Cindy

The Clarks
Reply July 7, 2008

I hear you. I usually get the vending machine breakfast b/c I forgot and I get the caffeine induced shakes. No change? the nursery has cheerios for the kiddos. I grab a handful and I'm gtg.
I had one person show up Wed, it was good.

Anonymous
Reply July 7, 2008

just knowing you are in this world...(and that God gave you 3 kids and you are my bestest bud)...helps me make it one more day!
b

Ines
Reply July 8, 2008

I was just passing by becuz I noticed you wrote on my friend Kim's blog-- you gave her (and us) wise words by the way. Thank you.

I'm not a mom, but I have 7 siblings, so your written skit here of your Sunday morning was hi-larry-us!

love & blessings, Inés

Rusty and Ann
Reply July 8, 2008

Love it! I love reading your blog! So glad I got to know you better! I am amazed you find the time to write coherent thoughts! Blessings on your family, Ann

Kimberly
Reply July 8, 2008

Amber ~
Thanks, as always, for the kind words! Right now I am just thankful that it is only myself that I have to pull together and drag out the door on Sunday morning... and your story is a kick in the pants that I best get the significance through my thick soul before I get to stop being selfish.
~ Kimberly

Amber
Reply July 8, 2008

You guys encourage me so much. By the way, I feel like the selfish queen. Sometimes I forget what I'm getting ready for until I sit down with my brothers and sisters. That's why we meet, I think - to remind each other.

I love y'all.

Sarah
Reply July 8, 2008

Amen, Sister, Amen!

Carrie Lakey
Reply February 26, 2009

This weekend, we'll be embarking on this strange new journey for the first time! Thanks for the heads-up!!!! =)

Andrea
Reply July 6, 2009

This was awesome! And, the mess does just get spread across the counter and not rubbed in!

Thanks for writing this - my soul needed to hear it today.

Victoria
Reply March 26, 2012

This post could make me cry. I love knowing that other moms feel just like I do!!

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