I've been working so hard today to tidy up before Sunday comes. It's something I have found very beneficial to our family to make the effort for. There is quite a bit of value in the old Hebrew law to not do anything on the Sabbath. I don't think many women would have been complaining that they didn't have to cook or do dishes. Really, they were probably the ones most benefited by the law. Now, I don't believe in keeping a Hebrew law of course, but many of the laws were based in some common sense wisdom. Our Sunday's our so much more peaceful and relaxing when we take the time to prep the day/night before.
I have always loved Sundays! Probably because my Saturdays were family work most of the day. My dad had us work very hard helping around the property. I remember some days we were locked out except if we had to use the bathroom and did not come in until dinner. Dad would bring us out a pb&j sandwich at lunch time and always had water bottles going. My mom was in the house doing housework. We dug trenches, brought rocks in from the garden, brought more rocks in from the garden again (gotta' love that CA soil!), pulled weeds, and all other manner of helping dad out. Usually there was a point in the afternoon when I was allowed to go and play but in many ways, I was like an only child since my brother was six years older and disabled. I had a playhouse, my one major consolation in life. There I would hang out, play house, talk to my cat, dress up my cat, read to my cat. I loved that cat!
Anyway, Saturdays were my least favorite day of the week. So, when Sunday's came I was thankful. My dad believed in no working on Sunday. I think he would putter around sometimes but he never made us work that I can remember. We would always go to church which meant some kind of socializing since I was homeschooled for a good long while and there were not many social options for teens back then. We went out to eat most of the time. As I got older it got cheaper, like Taco Bell all the time but it was a Sunday tradition. I remember spending most of the afternoons hanging out in my room, re-arranging or re-decorating it (yes, I've had that problem for a long time.....got it from my mom), and listening to music or NPR short stories on the radio.
Now that I'm a mom, I love preparing for a quiet Sunday. I don't make my kids do as much outside work on Saturday (since we have little outside to speak of anyway) but they do help clean up the house and especially their rooms. One of the most wonderful things to me when I can be organized enough to bring it about, is a good Sunday dinner that is ready in the oven or crockpot and a big salad to go with it. Perhaps some ice tea and a dessert with decaf to follow. Then, we always rest for a bit. The kids don't really do much quiet time during the week, so Sunday is the day they know they have to either lay down, or read quietly.
I also love Sunday now for our blessed church. The teaching is ALWAYS challenging and spurring, and the fellowship is always sweet. We are very blessed to have a wonderful church.
The rest of the day usually involves some outside playtime, some family time, and an earlier bed time to start the week off good.
I want to make it my goal more and more to guard the time we have on Sundays. Time to rest and worship the Lord. To stop and recognize His goodness and talk about life casually as we spend time together eating, resting and playing. God knew what He was doing when he made a special day, he knew we needed it.