He just steps aside to let me do it.
You’ve heard it said, I’m sure. Sunday mornings are the hardest mornings for church-going families. Every morning of the week can go smoothly, then, on the morning you are trying to get to church to worship, everything falls apart. Shoes are lost, no one has tights, breakfast takes twice as long. The family who easily gets ready and begin their day by 8 or even earlier Monday through Friday cannot seem to get it together before 10 on Sundays.
Arguments. Tears. Frustration. Even yelling.
Sadly, it’s all part of the stereotypical Sunday morning for far too many families.
Yesterday morning I was really struggling. Things that are around me every day, that I take in stride six days a week, were suddenly giant frustrations on Sunday morning. Dishes in the sink. Laundry baskets in the bedroom. Messy kids’ rooms. Hair that won’t lay just right.
Even things that shouldn’t even be on my radar start screaming at me on Sunday mornings. Empty picture frames that need filled. Internet service that needs cancelled. Plans that need finalized for the following weekend.
Anything anywhere in my sphere of responsibility that needs addressing screams at me on Sunday mornings.
What do they scream?
Failure. Failure. Failure. Failure.
You should have done the dishes last night. You should have stayed up until 2 finishing the laundry. You should have cancelled that Internet two weeks ago. You must get the details for next Saturday finalized right now. Your kids are slobs and it’s your fault. You are a pathetic housekeeper.
I listen to this, then I grump my way through the morning, commenting on every failure I see. My kids are minding their own business at the breakfast table, when suddenly they are the victims of an onslaught of barking about their messy bedrooms and how no one is watching anything this afternoon until those rooms are clean, even though I was happy to let them play last night instead of cleaning. My husband is cheerfully humming as he gets dressed when the storm hits in the bedroom because I’m disgusted with myself over the piles of stuff littering our bedroom, even though I made the distinct choice yesterday to help him in the garage instead of working in the bedroom.
Grumble grumble. Stomp stomp. Grump grump.
I start thinking how everyone is right, Satan does love to attack families on Sunday mornings, when it hits me.
No one else is existing in a storm cloud. I hear my children laughing in the living room. I hear my husband singing along with praise songs from his phone.
The messy house is not robbing their joy. The dishes in the sink did not ruin their breakfast. The uncertain plans for next Saturday are certainly not weighing on their minds.
The only attacking happening to my family is coming from me.
I am the one raining on their parade. Satan whispers to me in my most fragile places, tells me lies that I am readily willing to believe, and then just sits back and lets me do the biggest part of the attacking.
I listen to the lies, then subject my precious ones to this frenzied whirlwind of piling condemnation on myself, drowning them as well in the process.
This has happened many times before. Unfortunately, my clouds usually begin to infect my family as well, until I’m not the only one grumping around, snapping at those I love. Peevish-ness is contagious. The arguments commence. The tears flow.
Then it’s time for church, and we march across the street nowhere near ready for worship.
Thankfully, yesterday, I heard a louder whisper. A more powerful Spirit was working on me. He stopped me in my grumpy tracks.
He showed me my happy children. My husband who was reminding me that the joy of the Lord is my strength. He reminded me that I am not under condemnation for my imperfect housekeeping. The condemnation I was feeling was not coming from Him.
And He showed me how much influence I have over the mood of my house.
As soon as I repented of my grumping, our morning smoothed out. We were all ready on time with no tears. We cheerfully walked to church with smiles and unity.
I realized that, at least in my house, 90% of the “attacks” on Sunday morning are from Mom, not from Satan. He may whisper the first 10% in my ear, but I have been the one to then inflict the gloom on the rest of them.
What a weighty realization.
May I remember this Sunday on all the Sundays to come. May I remember to close my ears to whispers from the enemy and prepare my heart and my family for worship out of the joy of the Lord. May I remember that there is now no condemnation for me in Christ Jesus, and that’s true even when the dishes and clothes are still dirty on Sunday morning.
Next Sunday, may the sun will be shining in my house. No more storm clouds welcome here.