I never did finish some of my tips for creating a more sane home life. So here’s another little blurb from my home to yours.
I’ve always been sensitive to the commandment God gave us in Scripture to rest on the Sabbath. Yet, as a married single mom there is no rest on any day of the week!
We were living in Southern California and I remember a particularly warm (interpret that hot unless you really like 110 degrees Fahrenheit) Sunday. I’d been up all night with a cranky child. By the time I’d managed to dress four children and myself, pack two diaper bags (because each room of the nursery needed a bag for the child in that room), feed everyone some breakfast, change a diaper or three, look for the shoes to go with the dress, and had everyone buckled in and ready for church I was exhausted. That’s when I realized I forgot my purse, Bible and checkbook to write out something for the offering plate.
I arrived at church exhausted. Then I hustled my kids to the age-appropriate room and prayed that nobody would need to be picked up during the service. I sat alone near the outside aisle, though, just in case.
When the service was over I rushed around to all those same rooms to pick up the children, stuffed Sunday School papers into diaper bags, tried to fit notes, bulletins and my Bible into the hands of an older child so that I could carry the non-walking children to the overheated van.
No matter how hard I tried two always fell asleep and this day was no different. When I got home I carried two sweaty children into the house and up the stairs to their cool beds one at a time. Then I fed the other two kids who were already begging to go play with their friends. I couldn’t let them go play because I was so tired and was afraid I wouldn’t keep track of them.
Instead I insisted that we have quiet time.
It would have worked well if the first two had kept sleeping. However, within minutes they were both awake and more than hungry. So I allowed the others to go play.
By the time bed time came that night I was a worn-out wreck. I had had not a moment of rest. ‘So much for a Sabbath rest’ I thought to myself.
That’s when I started to make simple changes. Some of them I still use today… not legalistically, but as much as I can.
• I don’t cook on Sundays. We either have leftovers or something that was premade especially for that day. Sometimes it’s just cereal or find-and-feast. (Which basically means every man for himself… if you find it and you want it, feast away!)
• We don’t schedule anything for Sundays. There’s only a handful of Sundays in a year that have anything pre-planned, and that is done with much deliberation.
• I nap. I sleep. I rest. I hang out with the kids.
• We started attending a church that had Saturday night services. When the kids were little it was perfect. They’d wake up from their afternoon naps, have something to eat and they’d be happy in the nursery for the evening. I’d change them into their pajamas before we left the church and if they fell asleep I’d carry them to their beds to spend the night there. Sunday mornings were quiet, restful and much less stressful.
• I don’t shop on Sundays. This has nothing to do with whether or not stores should be open… let’s not go there. This is about what gives me rest. When I go to the store and see the hustle and bustle of people and buying and spending and so on I don’t come home rested. So I don’t go.
• I don’t clean house or do chores on Sunday and neither does anyone else in my family. Granted, we do put our dishes in the dishwasher and there are odd things that simply have to get done (like shovelling us out of 3 feet of snow or cleaning up spills, etc.) There is the odd Sunday that one or two chores have to get done, but we all chip in to do it so that it’s over quickly. If friends are coming over on Sunday (which is rare, but does happen) I don’t clean the house. We just make sure that it’s liveable.
• We often use paper plates to make it even easier.
• I reconnect with friends. Sometimes that’s a visit over the phone, sometimes in person. Sometimes those friends are my kids!
• I nap. I sleep. I rest. Yes, I already said that. But you see, sometimes I take two naps on the same Sunday!
Getting ready for Sunday is fun for me now because I know I’ll be getting the rest God planned for me to get. I need it. I can handle just about anything else all week long if I know I have Sunday to rest.
Make plans now… today… Thursday… to rest this Sabbath or Sunday. Rejuvenate and rest in the blessing of God’s plan for a day off. If you don’t plan it, it won’t happen.