Embracing the Rhythms of Life
The Midwest is where I spent my childhood. When I was growing up, it was still common for businesses to close on Sundays. It was kind of a big deal when a big “chain store” like K-Mart would move in, partly because they would be open on Sundays. “Finally!” I’d say, “there will be something to do on Sundays!” My energy seemed boundless; I had no appreciation for a weekly day off.
In college, my Sundays were spent recovering from Saturdays & catching up on homework; when Scott & I got married, we had a habit of attending church in the morning & then socializing with our friends. But, at some point, things changed. By the time we had a few kiddos, it seemed like we could always use a little bit more income. So we would work. A LOT. Scott took on extra jobs, which had to be completed outside of the regular hours of his day job. I often took on catering & other odd jobs. If you are a parent, you know that raising kids is also full time. We were BUSY! We struggled to keep up, struggled with illnesses, with stress. It was not fun!
I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but we were re-introduced to the idea of the “Sabbath,” the day of rest God instituted with the 10 Commandments in the Bible. This day of rest has been an integral part of the Judeo-Christian tradition for a very long time, & has really only recently been largely ignored in western culture. Scott & I began to seriously look at the possibility that taking a weekly day of rest may be of great benefit to our family.
If you know Scott, you may think of him as quiet & steadfast. Once he makes up his mind, he really doesn’t waver (unless there’s good reason). We decided to try taking a weekly Sabbath, & we never looked back. We think it saved our marriage during very stressful times. It certainly helped in our relationships with our children, especially during the teen years. It’s been good for our physical & spiritual health, & we both feel more productive during the other 6 days. No matter how busy we get, we usually spend time together on Sundays. We take it slow, talk & play games, & we still go to church nearly every week, where we re-connect spiritually & see friends. Even our grown children are pretty much into keeping this practice going in their lives.
Over the years, Scott & I have not had a lot of extra cash for travelling & vacations. We take time off for holidays, & adjust our activities around the seasons. The 24 hours each day, 7 days in a week, the months & the seasons we have been given are enough for us to do everything we are supposed to be doing. When we are able to take a vacation, we enjoy it! But simply observing the natural rhythms of life keeps us pretty well-rested & content most of the time. I highly recommend it!