Real Life Mama: They may be late to church — but they’ll be there


By Sarah Shrader - Guest columnist



We will be there — in church on Sunday – myself and as many kids as I can find transportation for. It may be 15 minutes late and I may say that one day I will be on time, but we all know that may never happen. But hey, we will at least make it.

We will be there — in church on Sunday – myself and as many kids as I can find transportation for. It may be 15 minutes late and I may say that one day I will be on time, but we all know that may never happen. But hey, we will at least make it.


It never fails, I always walk into church late. It does not matter if I set my alarm early to get ready for it, it’s like there is something that never allows us to leave the house until the same exact time every week – which is usually right about when church starts.

And that probably wouldn’t be so bad if it was just me subtly sauntering in and silently finding a seat. But, no, that is not how I have ever rolled to church. You see, when I am heading to church, every baby in the neighborhood that I can possibly fit in my car – or we can possibly fit in anyone else’s car from the neighborhood, is always welcome. So typically, I walk in about 10 (to 15) minutes late with a whole gang following.

But every single week that I walk in at such a time, I am always greeted with welcoming faces. At the kid check-in kiosk, as I scroll through my two pages of kids saved to my log-in making sure I am checking in all the ones I have with me, I almost always make a comment about how one day I will be on time. And usually, I hear back, “hey, at least you made it!” And honestly, that is so refreshing to hear after the rush of getting there. We made it.

Because for months, we didn’t make it. Like most of the world during this pandemic, we got used to being home. On Sunday mornings, I was used to just pulling out my computer and watching the live stream. Even better, I didn’t even have to put on real clothes or make-up. Pretty relaxing – definitely beat the rushing around every Sunday, and – even better – I was never late.

But, there were a couple of other things that weren’t happening as well. Firstly, I found myself less engaged in the message. If I could set my laptop up here on the counter, I could knock out these dishes while I listen to God’s word. Multi-tasking at its finest. There was no accountability to stop and sit and listen – truly soak it in. It was just kind of on in the background as I checked items off of my to-do list. Almost as if listening to it was just another box I could check off.

Some weeks, I could barely even recite what the actual message was. Like, I heard it but I wasn’t really listening. Easily, I could chalk it up to just not being a very good lesson that week. Maybe it should have been delivered better or written in a different way. Surely, it was nothing I was doing that caused me to miss the message entirely.

Or maybe, I literally didn’t even take the time to force myself to stop and hear. And guys, I need that. In this fast-paced, never get a second to breathe, whirlwind of life, I find it hard to not be doing two things at once. In the middle of one task, I am already thinking ahead about the next seven on my list – even with church on in the background. I need the time set aside at church to make me put everything down and give it all to God.

More so, during our time away, while I was barely “listening” to church, I found it even harder to get my kids involved in the message. Most of the time, it was “big church” messages and not as creative as their normal tablet videos so it was not holding their attention. Just like their Mama, my babies need to be there in person. They need that time set aside to have no other focus than on God.

For the last few months, I have been making physically going to church again a non-negotiable part of the weekend – even on those Sundays where I would much rather watch it from the comfort of my pjs. And guys, I cannot tell you just how much it has impacted the start of my week as well as the weeks of all the babies who tag along.

It does not seem like much (and in quantitative time is not nearly enough), but giving God my Sunday – our Sundays – was something that I hadn’t even realized was so missed in our lives during the craziness of the pandemic.

So, we will be there — in church on Sunday – myself and as many kids as I can find transportation for. It may be 15 minutes late and I may say that one day I will be on time, but we all know that may never happen. But hey, we will at least make it.

And friends, wherever it is you go, I invite you all to do the same too.

https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/10/web1_Shrader-Sarah-CMYK-2.jpg
We will be there — in church on Sunday – myself and as many kids as I can find transportation for. It may be 15 minutes late and I may say that one day I will be on time, but we all know that may never happen. But hey, we will at least make it.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/10/web1_IMG_5706.jpegWe will be there — in church on Sunday – myself and as many kids as I can find transportation for. It may be 15 minutes late and I may say that one day I will be on time, but we all know that may never happen. But hey, we will at least make it.

By Sarah Shrader

Guest columnist

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

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