Life has been quite busy and stressful for us since about last June/July really. We have managed to clock up 6 p/t or self employed jobs between us, we’ve been trying to fight the Badman stuff and obviously HE , do Learning Zone and church things as well as normal stuff with our lives.
In the midst of this we had this lovely Saturday evening at our friends’ beach hut and then slept over in another beach hut. So we woke up on Sunday morning to fantastic view over fields and the sea.
Being us we didn’t have the whole morning to ourselves, Martin was going off to work at the Wolverton Manor Show and we were going to join him later. But we didn’t have to rush to get up and the kids all stayed asleep and we experienced a moment of peace and tranquillity that had a profound effect on me. Why didn’t I have more mornings when I felt like this, why were we always rushing about on a Sunday instead of relaxing and feeling peaceful and having enough time to enjoy each other company?
The peace and tranquillity is obviously enhanced by cups of tea 🙂
So having established that this was my best Sunday morning for months (even if after these pics Martin went off to WMS and I was left cleaning the tent that a load of smelly teenagers had been sleeping in for a week) did we do anything to change our lives? No of course we didn’t we carried on regardless.
Stress carried on building up.
Then shortly afterwards I read an article in the New Wine magazine (I don’t usually read it as I find it too charisimaticly evangelical for my tastes these days, but it was free so hey!) while sitting on the loo (all the best reading goes on there. I usually even read Martin’s Third Sector magazine which is seriously boring – although this month pictured an almost nude picture of Mark Forster who used to swim at Copthall where I used to teach swimming – and the BBC focus Magazine is the overall preferred magazine by most people in the house).
I picked out an article by Michele Guinness who is really interesting. She was writing about the sabbatical that she was having in France with her husband and how they were going to do up a house in France. The content of the article was mostly focused on the fact that they had decided to not work on the house on Sundays but to have a day of rest instead. She wasn’t happy with this decision at first as she felt it was just shirking on the DIY but says that as Sundays were spent cycling through countryside and having leisurely meals she came round to the idea very quickly.
Now I know it’s not rocket science but it suddenly struck me that this was just what we needed. One day a week to be a day for resting, for playing , for fun and not for work. A day to be different than the rest. You’d think as a Christian with the heritage of a Sabbath day I could have twigged a bit earlier. So I pointed Martin in the direction of the magazine article and he agreed.
So how were we going to keep Sunday’s different?
Well they needed to be fun – when the girls were younger we wanted to make Sunday’s the best day in the week and we used to have gisbit day (biscuit day -but Rebekah couldn’t say it), when we could have tea and biscuits for breakfast before church – now we go to a fabulous church that has tea (and rather nice filter coffee) and biscuits (or cakes, sausage rolls, bacon rolls etc – depending on who is doing the teas) before church so we don’t need to do that any more.
Also we had memories of friends who hadn’t been allowed to play with anything other than a Noah’s Ark toy on a Sunday which all sounded a bit grim.
So we decided to ban the computer (with an exception for the iPlayer if we are watching together and music) mostly to stop me and Martin from disappearing into facebook land and to make it time when we could all do what we wanted but with a focus generally on being together. No DIY or general housework (cooking and dished excepting). No Work! But always remembering that “the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath”. So these are not rules but guidelines to help us to have a proper day of rest
So what have we done since deciding this?
We’ve gone on a fungal foray with friends, where we surprised ourselves by actually finding something other than little brown jobbies.
We’ve gone on walks, long and short and all together and in smaller groups.
We have watched videos and played games.
We’ve napped in bed and on the slouch (mostly that’s just me).
But mostly we just have a proper day off, we don’t go shopping and we don’t work and we do spend time doing what we feel like doing and doing things together. Last week we all gardened except Rebekah who made scones instead – everyone was happy. Then she went off to a recorder concert while I napped and read chick-lit on the sofa and martin and Jonathan played carcassone. Oh and we usually watch Top Gear when it’s on too!
I can’t begin to describe what a difference this simple change has made in our lives, I look forward to Sundays hugely now – sometimes things don’t work out perfectly, when we are on some sort of duty at church we don’t have quite such a relaxed start (I can be known to be yelling at everyone to find every pair of scissors in the house and the packet of split-pins which surely must be in the blue box in the cupboard as I haven’t fully prepared for Sunday funday), but not starting church until 11am means we don’t have to rush too much – but overall everyone looks forward to Sundays and it seems to give everyone permission to just chill out and have a day off.
We think Sundays are super 🙂