We've been thinking about what it means to make Sunday a day of rest. The idea of rest is very appealing when you are chasing after nine month twins, I'll give you that. But in a larger sense, setting aside Sunday as a day of rest gives a beautiful rhythm to the week. An order. And doesn't it make sense that God created it to be just so, presenting us with this gift of sabbath, knowing that we, just like God, need rest.
We have been taking small steps to set Sunday aside. The easy part is spending time together. We have always been a family that prioritizes family time over a lot of other good things: sports, hobbies, exciting adventures, even time with friends or at organized church activities. It might be going for a walk, a bike ride, reading together or playing a game, but more often it's just embarking upon our own little projects and games in one another's company. I love the picture above, which has everyone at the table doing different things: Ben is feeding babies, Zosia is helping Lily with homework, and Hugo, not pictured, is across the table peeling labels off of fruit (awesome way to keep a three year old occupied for thirty minutes!). It's a great example of what I mean about being together but embarking upon our own projects.
The tricky part is making our time together restful for everyone, especially as two adults who have five little children in their charge! Fun is the easy part, restful is harder. This past Sunday, late in the afternoon, I realized I had not gotten off of my feet yet that day. And I hadn't really been doing anything aside from the regular day-to-day stuff of having a big family (getting kids dressed for church, feeding little people lunch, going to pick out a few pumpkins and mums at the garden center)! I had made sure to pick out a simple dinner I could get started in the morning, and tried to get ahead on housework during the week. Ben swooped in and gave me time for a fifteen minute catnap, which always seems to do the trick, and that gave me a feeling of rest amid activity.
But here's the thing: I know that it is possible to actually rest, in a kick up your heels sort of way. I did it when I was pregnant with the twins (just this time last year, come to think of it). But making the decision to rest in a setting that has a lot going on, whether it's two members of a couple pursuing demanding careers, families where both parents are working (I don't know how you do it, guys!), a single parent, or a bustling family just like ours, does mean letting go of things being "just so," and for our current stage in life, a little extra planning. It also means saying no to a great many things, which is hard!
I am hoping that with time, our small efforts will start to shift the way that things feel. I would love to find a sense of peace and order at whatever stage of life we might find ourselves, and I really do believe that taking a sabbath is one of the keys.
Have any of you tried or succeeded in making Sunday a day of rest? What does it look like for you?