Meeting the Dawn with Joy
There's a snippit of an old song that runs through my head occasionally:
I will greet the day with singing, I will meet the dawn with joy, for the Lord has put within my heart a song.
But how do you meet the dawn with joy on a Sunday? I mean, let's face it, on Sundays, everything that could go wrong, seems to. Is a stress free Sunday even possible?
After all, Sunday is the one day of the week that the Devil seems to be up and at 'em just a couple of steps ahead of everyone else. He hides Sunday shoes, he crumples ironed clothes on the floor, he dumps orange juice on your freshly donned Sunday best, he spills the last of the milk on the floor before everyone has had their cereal, he lets the dog out without the leash, he hides the car keys, he punctures your tire, he makes someone throw up just as you're about to walk out the door…
Does that sound like your house? What can one do?
Here are a few of the things we have found make our Sunday mornings much less stressful and much more joy filled:
- Pray – before you even get out of bed, pray over your morning, commit it to the Lord. Ask him to put a song in your heart and to help you as you help your family prepare to serve and worship, reflect on and learn of him today.
- Plan – Have a plan, and a back up plan. When you prepare for the worst, it usually does not happen. Knowing what time each one needs to get up in order to be ready on time will help you execute the plan in the morning.
- Prepare – as part of the plan, be sure everyone gets enough rest the night before, have clothes pressed and laid out in advance, so there is no last minute “What do I wear today?” drama. Set out Sunday shoes and socks, Bibles, instruments, music, etc. Whatever you and your family needs to take with you. Having it all ready the night before will reduce the stress tremendously.
- Pre-made – As part of the preparation, lay out breakfast ahead, choose something that will be easy, either a pre-made breakfast casserole that can be heated up quickly or cereal or something that everyone can serve themselves. You might also plan what to throw in the crock pot for lunch. Having all the ingredients together in one place will save time in the morning, and you'll be welcomed by yummy smells and a short wait for lunch when you get back home.
- Pack – If you have little ones, consider having a “Sunday bag” packed ahead of time with an extra set of Sunday clothes and play clothes for those last minute emergencies, or unexpected invitations to eat spaghetti for lunch with friends. You might also include a stain stick, hand sanitizer and wet wipes.
- Positive – Attitude is everything, well, almost. Make a conscious decision to be positive, no matter what happens, and then follow through. When the adults set the mood and expect the kids to follow their lead, the kids, more often than not, will follow through.
- Praise – We use music to set the mood. Worshipful hymns or praise songs that begin to prepare our hearts to be quiet before the Lord even before we leave the house for church.
If you struggle to meet the dawn with joy on Sundays, why don't you try a few of these tips and see what happens. What other tips have helped you and your family have a joy-filled, stress free Sunday morning?
Linking up with Cornerstone Confessions