Sunday, October 4, 2009

Late to Church

Our family usually gets to church in three different vehicles at three different times on Sunday. Since I want my children to actually love the Lord and not hate church, I only make them attend two services most of the time. I usually have the three younger kids with me on Sunday mornings, and on the way to church, we listen worship CDs to prepare our hearts for worship. We often pray for the services and for our hearts to be open to what the Lord wants to speak to each one of us. Do you believe this? If so, please stop reading right now because you are about to be disillusioned! We're just like your family; sometimes by the time we get to church, we've had it with each other!

We are usually at church in time for service. I may not walk into service until after worship has started, but that's just because I love visiting and connecting with others so much that it's hard for me to get away to be in auditorium by the time the worship team starts playing. But then there are other times. Well, let's just say that we're a typical family, and people (read that - children) don't always cooperate like we think they should. This morning was one of those mornings.

Dave had taken my youngest with him, and Hannah was going by herself because she had to leave for Sacramento immediately after second service. So that left me with the two boys. I let them sleep until about 45 minutes before it was time to leave for church. After getting them up, amazingly, they were both "ready" in about 20 minutes. Since I was still putting myself together, they went to sit in the car. I am not kidding; they sat in the car, in the garage, with the garage door closed, for 20 minutes waiting for me. Once I had everything together, I headed out to the car, pleased that my boys were ready and waiting so patiently for me.

By this time, it was about 20 minutes before service was to start - plenty of time for us to get there. I put the car in reverse to back out of the garage, and as I did so, I looked over at my son and could tell he hadn't even washed his face. My mistake was assuming that "ready" meant the same thing to both of us. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson on this by now. So, I asked my son if he had washed his face, and he said, "Yes."

Now what was I supposed to do with that because it was clear to me that he hadn't? So, I said, "Are you telling me the truth?" to which he replied, "No." I think I was supposed to feel better about it because at least he owned up to it right away. So I told him I would not leave the house until his face was washed, and of course, he was angry with me because, as we all know, it was MY fault. Then, I looked back at my other son, and I could tell he hadn't even "done" his hair (whatever that really means for boys). Last night, I had told him he needed to take a shower before church since he wasn't taking one that night. Again, I assumed that he would obediently do that since I had specifically told him to do so JUST LAST NIGHT! He was also wearing a wrinkled t-shirt that was actually clean, but it had been wadded up when he put his clean clothes away in his drawer.

So, I put the car into park and told the boys that I wouldn't leave until they had both done everything it takes to be fully "ready" for church. I also did the typical mother thing and said, "At your ages, I should NOT have to ask you every stinkin' morning if you've washed your face (or brushed your teeth, or made your bed, or put on clean clothes - insert what you want here). So, now I have two boys who are angry with me because I am asking them to do what I consider to be NORMAL, EVERYDAY, GET-READY STUFF!

Both boys got out of the car (can't you just hear the car doors slamming?) and headed back into the house. They proceeded to tell me to go to church by myself and they would just stay home. Well, in my opinion, that would have been letting them off way too easily, so I told them that they WOULD go to church and that we'd leave whenever they were ready.

At this point, I was their favorite person in the whole, wide world! NOT! Anyway, we didn't even leave our house until 7 minutes after service had started, and it was a silent ride for the most part. Finally, we arrived at church and both boys exited the car, put their hands in their pockets, and walked off towards the youth room, with nary a "Goodbye," or even a shrug to me. Ah, the joys of parenting.

I gathered my Bible and purse and headed towards the auditorium not looking forward to having to walk in late. I realized, however, that there was an up side to arriving after the service had started; I got into auditorium much more quickly because there was no one to stop and have conversations with on the way in. :-)


Denissa said...

Hee hee :) that was us yesterday too! We were up 1hr & 15min before it was time to leave and of course we left 10min late!?!

blessedmommie said...

Oh, that was so funny to read (although I know it's not the same living it!). Thanks for sharing your real life! I can so relate, even though mine are still little. Only, does this mean it doesn't actually get any better? ;)

Maghan said...

Thanks for sharing Gena! This made me feel so much better - I don't know how many times each week I tell Kalie the same thing - "I shouldn't have to tell you to brush your teeth, brush your hair, etc" :)