An early post this week in honor of Easter Sunday. I hope this will give you (or those you share it with) gumption to go for it tomorrow and the Sundays to follow.
To the Mama who is committed to get their children to church,
I validate you.
There is nothing easy about getting your family to church.
Believe me, I feel you, you are not just a mom who needs to get her hair curled and dress zipped.
You are also a wife who wakes up extra early to take the first shower so your husband can get a few more minutes of sleep on his only day off.
You are a song bird who fills your home with morning praise.
You are a coach who breaks up teenage bathroom arguments.
You are a fashion advisor who utters, "No, you may not wear that" over and over again.
You are chef who prepares morning meals, car snacks, and preps for lunch and dinner to follow.
You are a teacher who rehearses "standards" that you expect to see in service.
You are important and Christ is worthy of any "inconvenience" your morning might hold.
I see you.
I see you look at yourself in the church bathroom mirror and sigh wondering when you'll have your turn to "get ready" one day. (You look GREAT by the way. A pause in His presence will give you a glow more attractive than the most expensive makeup on the planet can achieve.)
I see your beautifully rosy cheeks during the first praise song from you rushing to get your kids checked in. (They're going to be fine and learn about a good God who love them!) I see you clench of your husbands hand during prayer as you shut down all the "Did I...? Are they...? What ifs...." swirling in your brain. (You need this service to! Enjoy!) I see you fiddling awkwardly without your Bible, because you selflessly packed and prepped for everyone before yourself. (No one is judging you. Jesus sees your faith and faith comes by hearing The Word.)
I see behind the smile during "greet your neighbor" are deep wounds you're believing the Lord to heal. (You are not alone or forgotten.)
I see you sing with all your heart, pouring your "alabaster perfume", even though you're exhausted from a sleepless night of cleaning up bed sheet accidents and wiping scary dream tears. (Jesus LOVES your love.)
And on and on and on....
So I want to pause and say...
Thank you. Thank you for the outfits you lay out the night before. Thank you for the diaper bags you prep meticulously to make sure the church volunteers are prepared. Thank you for waking up extra early on your "day off" to make sure your family is cleaned, feed, dressed, and safe. Thank you for persistently choosing courage to go to a church building.
I want to remind you. Your efforts are not in vain. You are putting God first in your family, by putting Church first in your week.
So take a breath! Slow down. No matter if your Sunday morning is peaceful or.... less than peaceful, it's okay. It's not about the outfits or family pictures.(Although both are perks) It's not about the perfectly recited prayers and loud amens. It's about the consistency of Sunday after Sunday, being washed in the Word, rubbing shoulders with fellow believers, bringing a worthy sacrifice to the Lord. It's not about us at all. Church is about Jesus. And unlike our instant gratification culture, discipleship and sanctification is a lifetime process. These "whirlwind mornings" matter. Each and every one of them. So Mama (or Daddy, Grandma, Uncle, Cousin, etc), just get in the door and trust the Lord with the rest. He is faithful to tend to their heart! He is beautiful enough to captivate their eyes!
He is generous to provide friends and funds!
He is powerful enough to break through attitudes and apathy! Jesus is a professional friend who loves to be with you and your family. His joy is to meet with His people. Your job is to simply... Get them in the door.
Whether in blue jeans or a three piece suit. Just get them in the door.
Whether with bedhead or perfectly ringlet curls. Just get them in the door.
Whether you and your husband had an argument the night (or hour) before. Just get in the door.
I want to remind you... We gather as the Church for Jesus.
And what a privilege that a cross we carry for him, looks like a baby we carry to Church.
We get planted in a faith community for Jesus.
Not for a personality we like on stage or a "vibe" we get from the lobby. He places the members in His body.
We serve out of love for Him.
Because Jesus has transformed our lives and now we get the joy of watching other's encounter the same.
When we get in the door of church, we meet the door of Christ, and He loves to provide safe spaces for us to have friendship with Him.
It's not just a Bible belt thing, or an American thing... it's a gospel thing. The gathering of The Church in church buildings, rented auditoriums and perhaps living rooms matters! Your family needs the Body and the Body needs your family.
I hope this fuels you to get up and go. I hope you find encouragement in my words today. I am only 2 kids and 2 years into the Sunday rush motherhood brings; I can't imagine the push it takes some of you mothers to get your family to church, but I hope after this blog you have fresh faith.
***A side note to every church worker and volunteer. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for all you put into "Making A Sunday Happen". Exasperated, exhausted people are trying with all the energy they have to simply "get in the door." (Especially Parents)
May we look into their eyes.
May we share a genuine "Thank You for all you did to get your family to church."
May we earnestly pray with them.
Whether for the first time or the hundredth time, may we celebrate the courage it took them to simply come and sit in a new environment.
May we pass out hope, faith, and love as we pass out bulletins and event cards.
We have no idea what they may be walking through, as they walk through our church doors. He is Risen and He is Worthy of Whatever it Takes to Get Your Family in the Door, Abby ***Don't Forget... The Cirkles are cheering you on!