Let me start with showing you this photo which has absolutely nothing to do with today's blog. I just wanted to give you a glimpse of my weekend entertainment which came free of charge, compliments of our neighbor. Apparently said-neighbor decided it was time for tree surgery in her backyard. Rather than conform to traditional methods of hiring a tree service to do the job she had someone come over with a tow truck. This man proceeded to rip limbs from this giant old oak tree by attaching ropes from the limbs to the tow truck and yanking those suckers off! I have no idea if this is a trimming situation or if he intends on taking the whole thing down bit by bit as he dismembers the tree, one limb at a time. What I really wanted to do was go out and take video of the whole process but was a little skeered of how that might be received by my neighbor. Some people just don't get me and my obsession of documenting everything I see on my blog!
Now, on to the topic at hand.
The weekend is over, a new week is underway and a new summer routine starts today. After a five week absence Eddie is back on a daily basis. It's hard to believe how fast this summer has flown by. Just three more weeks before school starts locally, four weeks and Ian will be home, five weeks and my boys will be back in Tennessee. I think it's true when they say "the older you get the faster time flies." Around here everything seems to be moving in warp speed. In order to slow things down a bit let's take a moment and discuss what we need to do in order to survive this trip called "life."
Do you observe a day of rest and renewal? I realize this concept may be different for each individual and I in no way mean to claim that my way is the only right way. However you do it, I feel that everyone needs to take at least one day out of their busy week to stop, get off the merry-go-round of life, and do whatever it takes to rejuvenate themselves for the next six days. Sunday is that day for me.
I like to start my Sunday (well, after the obligatory shower and breakfast) with a time of worship. As a Christian this is a vital part of what makes me tick and enables me to handle life's ups and downs. I like to think of Sunday worship as the jump-start to a new beginning.
For most of my growing-up days, and definitely the last twenty-four years of life, I have experienced worship through a corporate church situation. By corporate church I mean going to a specific building where I am surrounded by fellow believers and together we pray, sing, and study God's Word. Our time of fellowship together builds us up and gives us the fuel we need to ride out the trials and tribulations of the coming week.
For the last year I have found myself increasingly discontent with what I call corporate church. I don't necessarily mean the concept of going to church as much as I mean going to a specific place of worship. Therefore for last six months or so I've branched out and started looking for other options. At some point in time I may feel comfortable sharing this experience with you. I won't for now, mainly because my thoughts and observations also affect my loved ones and I really don't want to put them in the uncomfortable position of trying to explain the path I'm taking.
So, for now you'll just have to be content knowing that I am experiencing my day of rest by worshiping God in a manner that lifts me up, rejuvenates me, and ultimately brings me peace. The "where" is not so important as the "how," and if the "how" does what it's supposed to and pleases God and me, then all is good.
My next way of observing rest is that I do not prepare any food. Please don't confuse this with some legalistic observation that does not allow cooking. I don't fix lunch or dinner because I don't want to! I figure I am responsible for feeding my family every other day of then week and it is only fair to take one day off. And, have no fear, no one in this household is going hungry. If we can afford it we go out to eat, usually during the lunch hour. Sometimes it is fast food, other times it involves waitresses/waiters taking our order and bringing us our food. It really doesn't matter to me as long as I don't have to prepare it.
On a side note, have you eaten at Chilis lately? Apparently the latest thing is for the wait-staff to introduce themselves to you and then inform you that you will be served by themselves and their partner. I don't know why but I find this extremely funny. It's like they're trying to convince you first of all that you warrant two servers and will be well taken care of in grand style, and second, the two waitresses have now gone through some sort of corporate merger or maybe a civil union. Partners, really? Does this mean I have to tip twice as much? What's going on here?
Ok, back on topic ....
When dinner time comes around everyone at home knows it's each man for himself. You're welcome to eat whatever you find in the refrigerator or cupboard, just don't ask me where it is or how to fix it ... and if you're smart you'll clean up whatever mess you make 'cause Mama doesn't clean house on Sunday either!
Another way of observing a day of rest is to actually rest. Wow, who woulda' thunk it?! Rest as in close your eyes, take a nap rest. For oh so many years I was almost giddy with anticipation of the upcoming nap time. Did you notice the use of past tense there?
I used to take naps on Sunday afternoon. This was before I went all hormonaless (yes, I just made that word up) and discovered that I had to give up naps. It's not that I don't want to nap, because I do. It's not because I can't use the extra sleep, because I think I do. It's because when I do take an afternoon nap I find that when I go to bed later that night I cannot fall asleep. I toss and turn. I scrunch my eyes closed and try to force my mind to go blank. When that doesn't work I try counting sheep or better yet play the "remodel my house" game in my head. On any normal night I will nod off somewhere between knocking down the kitchen wall and adding a porch on to the front of the house. But on the days I've taken a nap none of this seems to work. I end up with a sleepless night which totally ruins the affects of the whole day of rest thing.
Therefore I no longer take a nap. I do however, take that time and use it to do absolutely nothing of value. This may include playing endless hours of mind-numbing games on the computer, reading a book that holds little to no literary value, or watching multiple Sci-fi movies on TV. Whatever I do is for pure, simple personal entertainment.
After "nap time" I move on to more constructive things that are also done for pleasure like sewing, beading, scrapbooking, drawing, writing, etc. Granted a lot of these activities I will also do during the week but when I do them on Sunday there is no guilt involved that I'm ignoring the over-flowing basket of dirty clothes or the wretchedly dirty kitchen floor.
As for all those "chores" that are going undone ... they sit, patiently waiting for Sunday to end and the work week to begin. And me, I'm all rested, ready to take on whatever life throws my way. Now, what about you. Do you give yourself a well deserved day of rest. If not, you need to think about. It works wonders!