This morning I decided that for me, the hardest part of being a minister's wife is getting myself and my child ready for church without the help of my husband. He leaves well over an hour early to start his Sunday morning duties, such as praying with other men of the church in our pastor's office. There's no telling what is accomplished in the heavenlies through that time of prayer. But this morning I was so frustrated that all I could think over and over again was, "I'll tell you who needs prayer! Their wives!" Awful, I know. Curtis going early is an important part of his job and his ministry, but sometimes...pretty much every time...it's just hard.
There's fixing and eating breakfast, changing an atomic diaper, having a quiet time, ironing, bathing the kid, chasing him down as he runs throughout the house screaming "No! No! No!" because he hates getting dressed, actually getting the clothes, socks and shoes on his person, and finally sitting him in his crib with books to "read" before I ever do a thing to get myself ready. (Someone out there wants to advise me to do my ironing and bathe the child the night before. Yes, that's wonderful when I actually do it!)
I had not even bathed yet this morning when I looked at the clock and saw that to be on-time (which for college class leaders is 10 minutes before Sunday school starts) I would need to leave in 5 minutes. My child looked and smelled great, but I'd neither brushed my hair nor my teeth and I was still in pajamas. Then I recalled something I said to my sweet friend Lauren when she was expecting her beautiful baby girl. "Lauren, there will be some mornings before church when you will have to pick who gets a bath - you or your baby. And you will come to church unbathed." Can I get an amen? Already having an unclean attitude, I decided I really needed a bath and we would just get there at the normal-on-time, rather than the early-on-time.
I had my rollers in my hair and was applying my mascara as fast as I could without making a mess when someone knocked on the door. Oh, Lord, you've brought Curtis home to help me! Knock knock. Lord, why doesn't he just use his key? I'm already so late! Knock knock. It was my neighbor bringing me some homegrown tomatoes. How sweet of you! I'm so sorry about the rollers. Thank you so much! Back to getting ready.
We rushed out the door in a whirlwind. I pushed the stroller at warp speed, my hair in a ponytail because if I take one hand off the stroller to get it out of my face, it will veer into someone's yard. And then I will growl Stupid friggin stroller! on the way to church. That's not really preferable.
Half-way there, I looked down at my precious little boy, who was grinning and holding out a foot for me to see. A bare foot. The other foot was not bare, but this one...this one had no shoe or sock. Lord, help me! I could have sent him to Sunday school in socks, just as I did every week until his first birthday. (It always took less time for him to remove the shoe than it did for me to put it on.) But without socks? I could not do it. We went back home and fished the sock and shoe out of his crib. Our final arrival time at church was 15 minutes late. Actual-late, not early-late. Even the parking lot greeters were inside. Wonderful.
Once we were there, it was all good. Curt's second Sunday school lesson on dating was excellent. I really wish he had recorded it. The sermon was a blessing, our college section was overflowing, and we even had a few students join. We got to worship the Lord and have meaningful interactions with His people. It was a great day.
However, I woke up from my afternoon nap in a very stressed out state. Apparently the morning madness had really gotten to me. I dreamed that I was meeting my friend Elizabeth for dinner at her house, but I got hopelessly lost and ended up far away from where I should have been. I found myself at a park where I tried unsuccessfully to look up mapquest on a payphone. Then Michelle and Kay showed up to pick out dresses for a Presidential Ball. Then my car, which was parked inside a school, set off an alarm and put me in trouble with the police. After that, I was on a rooftop where a large plane swooped down and kidnapped me, taking me even farther from where I should have been.
Would anyone like to analyze my dream? Here's my take. I am frustrated with a hundred things getting in my way and going wrong when I'm trying to get somewhere. Church just happens to be where I'm going most of the time! From now on, when I see a mother simply show up at church with her children, I will give God profuse praise and thanksgiving, because it is truly His handiwork that such a thing can be accomplished.