Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.
Jeremiah 31:25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.
Psalm 133:1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hears, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Today is Sunday, and the usual chaos is ongoing around here! We have a new puppy who is eight weeks old who is trying to consume all our attention. We have meetings at church at 9:00 am before Sunday School at 10:00, and we are trying to accomplish too many things at this farmhouse before we leave. I’m thinking that I should have rolled out of bed at 5:00 instead of 6:00 today. One thing is for sure though, if the good Lord is willing, we will be at church this morning because that is very important to our family. I pray that this morning you find your way to church also. Don’t let the busyness of the day keep you away from the Lord’s house. I’m sharing an excerpt from my book “Inspirations from the Funny Farm”. I hope you enjoy it!
Everyone that knows me well knows that Sunday is my favorite day of the week What those who know me don’t know is that actually Sunday morning after 10:00 am is my favorite day of the week. One might think, oh how lovely! She actually takes a day to leisurely sleep in, rolls out of bed at 10:00 am after a long night’s rest, and really takes that “Sabbath is the day of rest” thing seriously. The one that thought that would be dead wrong! We don’t rest on Sundays at my house until after 10:00 am, and then, if we are lucky, we may even get to sneak in a little nap about once every third Sunday or so.
I’m here to tell you that when good old Lionel Ritchie wrote “Easy Like Sunday Morning”, he definitely was not talking about Hodge Lodge. No sir! Sunday mornings can be quite rough at times. There is just so much to do, and it must be done in such a short amount of time that I generally feel like a chicken running around with my head cut off. The devil knows that getting to church on time is a priority for me on Sunday mornings, and he will do whatever he can to try to change my plans and make me late, make me lose my temper, or make me get my mind off of things of Christ.
When the kids were younger, wrangling them out of bed in a timely manner was difficult in itself. Then, there was “I don’t want to brush my teeth.” “I can’t find my other shoe.” “I’m not wearing this.” “Where is this or where is that?” By the time we were all loaded up in the car on our way to Sunday School, I was feeling a much stronger need to feel the Holy Spirit moving inside of me. If getting the kids out of the door and arriving at church by 10:00 am was my only task, I guess that wouldn’t be so difficulty, but wait. There’s more!
Every other Sunday, we cook Sunday lunch for our family. Jeff’s mom, Nanny, cooks on the opposite Sundays. Sunday lunch is serious business at our house. We make sure to sit down as a family for our evening meal at home with the immediate family living under the roof every single night, but on Sundays, we feed the immediate and extended family: our grown sons, their wives, our grandson, parents and occasionally our pastor and his family or other friends. There is a minimum of 10 people gathered around our table for lunch, and we cook to try to please the masses. We always cook a meat dish, a minimum of two vegetables or perhaps a casserole, bread, and of course, sweet tea. On our Sundays to cook, I begin cooking as soon as my feet hit the floor so that lunch will be ready when we get out of church. I am not complaining, just explaining. I love cooking for my family, and I love having family all gathered around the table.
Because I’m a little bit OCD, I have to make sure the house is tidied up before family and friends come over to our house for lunch. While lunch is cooking, I’m also busy cleaning the house, putting everything that is out of place back into its proper place, and giving the house one more good sweeping and mopping. I can’t enjoy having a house full of people if the house isn’t clean even if those people are my people. After all, cleanliness is next to godliness.
Somewhere between cooking and cleaning, ordering kids around, ironing clothes, and finding lost shoes, we have to take care of the animals. Yep, that’s right. We live on a farm, and the farm duties continue even on Sundays. If there are babies on bottles, I usually get up an hour earlier to make sure that we have time to feed all the babies. I’ve chased pigs through the yard in my Sunday dress and high heels on more than one occasion. The pigs have knocked the gate off the hinges and set everyone free early on a Sunday morning. These unexpected incidents result in Jeff, Crystal, and me roaming our 80 acres, gathering critters, and leading them back to the barn. We’ve had early morning goat, sheep, and calf deliveries. We’ve received calls that the cows were out and have had to rush to get them back into the proper field before church. And if we are lucky enough to have an uneventful animal morning, all those critters still have to be fed and watered, and that takes up a bit of our time.
Yes, on Sundays, we get up at the crack of dawn to prepare a full meal for our wonderful family, get the kids ready, feed the animals, tidy up the house, handle human and animal emergencies as they come, dress myself, prepare our Sunday School lesson, and run out the door in a feeble attempt to show up on time. We generally arrive on 2 tires screeching into the parking lot just before 10:00 am. All the while, I’m checking to make sure my hair isn’t completely crazy, although it always is, and praying that my shoes match. As we walk through the doors of the church, I let out a great big sigh of relief. We made it! Thank the good Lord above, we made it!
Sunday mornings are not easy for sure so why continue that exhaustingly crazy routine week after week? We do it because that’s our life, and we love it! Sundays are for God, church, and family. We don’t prepare a big meal for show. We prepare a big family meal with love so that we can enjoy the company of our most cherished love ones as we gather around our big old mahogany table. I love cooking for my family, and I love that they are continuing to help keep alive the Sunday family lunch tradition. So many family traditions are falling by the wayside. The kids are all practically grown now, so there is no more wrangling and fighting to get them up and dressed and out the door, but I would still do it to this day if I could. Having my kids in church is of utmost importance to me. Even though getting them there wore me out most Sundays, it never wore me down. And the animal adventures, well they are part of who we are, and we just take it one adventure at a time and go with the flow.
The chaos is worth it because as soon as I walk through the doors of the church, my Father’s house, I realize that I am exactly where I need to be. The coming together on a regular basis with my brothers and sisters in Christ always rejuvenates my mind and spirit. Singing praises to our Lord and Savior (even though I can’t carry a tune in a bucket) brings joy to my heart. Studying God’s word in depth makes me crave more of Him. No matter how crazy the morning was, when I leave church around noon on Sundays, I always feel refreshed, recharged, and renewed.
It may feel like you are going to lose your mind doing everything you have to do before church on Sunday. I know that I have been pretty close a time or two. Sometimes, we want to throw our hands up and just quit and say, “it’s not worth it. I quit.” It seems like it would just be easier to stay home, after all, Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, right? Yes, yes, it is, and if you can just get out of that door and get your family to church, you will find no better rest for the body, mind, and spirit. Resting is Christ is the best rest we can ever know. I will continue to nag my children, family, and friends, beg and plead for them to go to church, and aggravate them to pieces because I want everyone to know that same kind of peace and to find rest in Christ. I’d rather lose blood, sweat, and tears and have my family in church with me and see them come to know Christ than sit back idly and watch them go to hell. Take your family to church. Don’t let that old devil make you think you can’t get there. Just get up and go like their life depends on it because quite frankly, it does! Jesus is so worth it!