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.