“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." Exodus 20:8-11
A day without work. A holy, Sabbath day.
Noah likes to watch Curious George (the half hour variety on PBS) EVERY day. it is often the very first thing he asks about in the mornings, "Is Curious George on yet?" Heard by a person like me, who can think of so many better ways to spend time than to watch TV, it usually makes me cringe. I know that routines are important for a three-year-old, but I also don't want him to build his day around making sure he can watch "the monkey." So, I began to establish a "rest from Curious George" on Sundays. It's not on TV, so that helps, but he also knows by now that we won't even pull it up on YouTube, which we routinely do for him on Saturdays. I hope that he is beginning to understand that Sundays are set apart. Different. Special.
And, as is the case most times that I try to teach someone else something, I have begun to learn a little myself about making Sundays set apart, different, and special.
When I was working outside the home, it felt pretty easy to "remember the Sabbath day." I told my boss that I wasn't available to work on Sundays, and that was that. The only challenge I ever received was the occasional guilt trip from my boss that she really wanted me to be available on Sundays. Easy.
Now that I have shifted to working as a stay-at-home mom, "remembering the Sabbath" has become a new challenge. My primary job is that of raising little boys. Can you just imagine? Reading a book, changing a diaper, helping with play-doh, feeding hungry bellies... "Sorry, sweetie, but Mommy doesn't work on Sundays. Do you want to schedule that for tomorrow?" NOT easy [or possible].
However, God has been challenging my motives for the things that I do on Sundays. Without the excuse of my outside work to cling to, he has opened my eyes to all the ways that I "work" on a day that is supposed to be devoted to him. I used to always do my grocery shopping on Sundays (it seemed to fit best into my schedule then). I used to get a jump start on the week's laundry on Sundays (there's always plenty of laundry around this house...and the washing machine does most of the work, right?)
So I don't do my grocery shopping on Sundays any more. Laundry also came off of the options of things to do on Sundays. I've also been working [hard] on staying off-line (no browsing or Facebooking or news article reading). I'm also trying to minimize the other chores I do around the house, from food prep to yard work.
To be honest, it is hard to give up those things. It seems like if I could just do a little bit, then I won't feel so behind on Monday. And I honestly struggle a bit during nap time, wondering, "What can I do now?"
And then I remind myself that God will indeed be faithful to show me what to do, or rather, what he is doing.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.