When I was a young mother, I attended one of the best Sunday school classes of my life. In the class, an older mother (Grandma Holly for those of you that knew her) shared some of the family values and traditions that she had started in her family. We immediately adopted one of her traditions.
Sunday morning has always been an important time for me – a time set to meet with my church family and worship God. When I became a mother of 2 young children, the Sunday dynamic quickly changed to being one big hassle from the beginning to the end. If you have ever had little kids, you know what I mean. The struggle to get everybody up, ready and out the door on time created way too much stress for a ‘day of rest’ like Exodus 31:15 tells us. It was hard to enjoy going to church and even harder to get anything out of it except a headache.
The tradition we adopted was to spend Saturday night preparing for Sunday. Just like Jewish families prepared for the Sabbath on Friday night, we decided to do as much as we could to get ready for Sunday on Saturday night. So our Saturday night dinner table discussion included our plans for Sunday – what we were going to wear, what time we were leaving for church and what we were going to eat afterwards. We even ate dinner by candlelight quite often on Saturday nights as an indication that this was a special dinner just like the Sabbath dinner is for Jewish families. We stopped planning anything on Saturday night that would cause us to be out too late.
Amazing what some preparation can do! Sunday morning became almost hassle-free. Everyone knew the plan and the expectations. This also helped when the kids moved into teenagerhood because they were rock solid on knowing our family value of being prepared for Sunday and attending church together on Sunday morning. As they grew older, the Saturday night expectations changed but the habits of our Sunday morning routine were established so there were very few issues.
This was a truly great tradition for our family!