In Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s “For the Family’s Sake” , the author stresses the need for Christians to “Keep the Sabbath Holy” and incorporate a “day of rest” into our family routine.
Some years back, I read “Land Without a Sunday”; which is actually an excerpt (no longer printed) from Maria Trapp’s autobiography. (The real “Sound of Music” lady). Upon coming to America, from her native Austria, she was sickened and disheartened and shocked to see the sheer lack of reverence and nonchalance with which Americans treated their “Sundays”.
In pondering these things, I was reminded that we need to constantly reassess our activities and the way we choose to spend our time. My family tries to “Keep the Sabbath Holy”, but sometimes, we fall into bad habits…like stopping at the store on the way home from Church instead of making sure we have what we need by Saturday evening.
The daily ebb and flow of family life … a family life that is rooted in Christ…is the core of a healthy nation, a healthy church, and a healthy world.
Each family is unique and called to its own special purposes by God the Father…however, all families should embrace a rhythm, routine, and interaction with one another that nourishes and enriches the body, mind, and soul of each member.
Our loving God knows how important worship,rest and relaxation is to us. It is so important, that He included it in His 10 Commandments.
That’s why we have been trying to honor this in our home.
This afternoon, as I type, my husband is napping…something he loves…something he needs…but something he almost never does anymore because he always feels like he should be “doing something productive”. I am trying to convince him that “rest” IS productive. I am glad he is listening.
Earlier today, we went to Mass. Then, we attended the “Scooby Doo Festival” that our children created. (We had to pay a dime for a ticket and there have been signs and ads taped all over the house all week in anticipation of this grand event…there were games and crafts and snacks…that the kids made and prepared themselves…so creative….so much time and effort and teamwork…and we had a blast).
After the festival, my husband went to take his nap and little Mary Clare invited me to take a walk with her.
My mind immediately flew to the many things I “needed” to do…a load of laundry I didn’t get folded yesterday, today’s supper, addressing a letter to a friend, and planning for the upcoming school year….
I thought of Mrs. Macaulay’s book. I thought of Maria Trapp’s book.
I accepted Mary Clare’s invitation…an invitation to take a walk; which is really an invitation to slow down, to relax, and to rest in the Lord.
Usually, we take buckets and fill up four cups’ worth of berries in order to make jam.
Today, I said, “Hey Mary Clare, what do you say we just eat them straight from the vine to our heart’s content this time?”
Her eyes widened…”Really Mommy?!? May we?!?”
My son Ben and daughter Gracie came along to join us in the “feast”.
Mmmm, were they good…plump, ripe, juicy, sticky berries.
We licked our fingers.
We picked wildflowers for our family altar.
Those berries were delightful. But, even more delightful was the time I shared with my beautiful children…the time I shared thanking God for berries and nature and family…the time I shared enjoying the heat of the sun and knowing that a fresh, cold, drink of water was only a few steps away…
“Restoring the family” is so desperately needed in our society.
By restoring the family, we restore the community, the church, the nation, and the world.
It doesn’t surprise anyone that we need more families…good, godly, strong, healthy families.
It might surprise us that “restoring” is easier to do than we think.
All it takes is a conscious effort to embrace our state in life…to live simply, to live fully, to love.
We needn’t always be running here and there. We needn’t spend all of those hard-earned dollars faster than we make them. We needn’t keep looking “outside” for what we already have under our own rooftops.
God is with us.
God blesses us.
Think about your Sundays. (or another day in the week if your family’s calling means that someone works on a Sunday)…
Make it special…set it aside…be together…share your time, your thoughts, your smiles, and your love with one another.
Pick berries…read stories…take a walk…sit under a tree…pray…rest…and appreciate your blessings.
Our Lord has given us permission…and more than that…has commanded us to “Keep holy” this day.
If you will obey…you will be delighted.
Copyright 2011 Judy Dudich