I know a lot of ladies who maintain that Sunday is the most chaotic day of the week for their family. I’ve been guilty of thinking that way, too. It’s all a matter of perspective, though. When I plan ahead my Sundays go much smoother.
Sometimes that same overwhelming feeling creeps in on Wednesday. We have our midweek church service on Wednesday night. I am the director of our Wednesday night children’s program, so I have lessons and activities to prepare for each week just as I prepare for my Sunday school class. I also help my husband prepare our weekly prayer list and missionary update on Wednesday. Add to that a full day of homeschooling, and you’ll see that I’m quite busy! I have learned that preparing for our Wednesday nights away from home is just as important as preparing for Sundays.
Here are a few things we do at our house on Wednesdays to help the evening go more smoothly:
Stick to our school schedule.
Since I spend the most one-on-one lesson time covering math, I schedule math tests for Wednesday. This insures that we don’t get behind and throw the afternoon off-kilter. I don’t schedule any major science or art projects on Wednesday.
Make sure we have Quiet Time.
We all need a time of rest and relaxation in the afternoon, even if it’s only an hour. I use this time to get myself all prettied up for church. I can relax while I’m getting ready since I know where all of the kids are and what they’re doing.
Keep the evening meal simple.
For instance, tonight we’re having spaghetti with a salad and garlic toast (yes, I’ll be breathing garlic at church tonight). While I cleaned up the kitchen after lunch, I quickly cooked the meatballs and assembled my sauce in the slow cooker. The house smells so yummy right now! The salad is ready, and the table will be set by one of the children during Chore Time. All I need to do is boil the noodles and put the bread in the oven. We’ll eat a bit earlier than usual so that we have time to clean up the kitchen before we leave for church. I do not like to come home to a messy kitchen!
Have the kids help as much as possible.
My three older children are responsible for taking their baths/showers and choosing an outfit to wear to church. I only have to bathe Lil’ Nut and get her dressed. I set a timer which encourages them not to dawdle. If the timer goes off and they’re not ready, they know they have a few minutes left before it’s time to leave. I don’t nag them. Nagging just adds stress.
Have Bibles/notebooks/music, etc. packed and ready to go.
I wish God would have given me eight arms like an octopus, but I only have two. I use a large tote bag to carry all of my “stuff”. The kids are welcome to put their Bibles in the bag, but it’s their responsibilty to remember them. We’re trying to teach our children that the Word of God is their most precious possession and that they need to take good care of their Bibles. One of my darling children, who has a habit of laying things down and forgetting about them, has found it very helpful to use the tote bag.
Have things laid out for bedtime.
I have all of the children lay out their pajamas before we leave for church. When we get home, all they have to do is change their clothes, brush their teeth, and get ready for prayer time. If it takes the kids forever to get ready for bed, they are grouchy when they get up the next morning. I try to keep bedtime as calm as possible.
These are all very basic ideas, but perhaps they will help you as you prepare for evening activities away from home. Satan would love to rob us of our meek and quiet spirit as we head out the door for church, but with prayer and preparation, we can keep it all together.
I Corinthians 14:40