What are you currently teaching your kids about resting? As in, God created the world in 7 days – He worked for 6 days and incorporated a day of rest into that timeline. When does your family celebrate a day of rest? The older I get, the more I value from afar the Jewish tradition of the Sabbath.
I am finding that currently on Tuesdays we need to have a rejuvenation day after a hectic weekend and home school co-op on Mondays. Despite my best intentions and organisational skills, I need to allow the family, including myself, a slow start on Tuesday mornings. Every other year when I have home schooled, I have tried to get some book work achieved on Mondays. Then, if the unexpected occurred, I still felt good that we had achieved ‘something’ that week. This year we joined a homeschooling co-op and it has taken some time to realise the way it impacts our week. Our weekends are usually busy with ministry and catching up with people for ministry or having fun together with other families. Then it is a full on Monday with a 5.30am start with swimming training, day of co-op followed by swimming training and dance class.
When the kids were little, I used to have Thursday evenings from 6pm free to go shopping. I chose to go shopping as it was so much easier without the kids. I knew where all the bargains were and delighted in being able to buy them. After about 18 months, I realised that this evening for some time out and rejuvenating was not refreshing me at all. The bright lights, the loud music, the throngs of people, the constant rush to get to the next shop etc just didn’t make it restful at all. I needed instead to have some time of just having a coffee and reflecting and rejuvenating my soul.
I grew up with a mum who had an amazing work ethic but who didn’t model rest very well. If we were sitting down after the evening meal watching television, we always had to be doing some craft. We were never ‘allowed’ to sit and ‘do’ nothing. We had to ‘be’ busy. This has taken years to break out of this habit and realise that it wasn’t necessarily a great model. We are called to both ‘be’ and ‘do’. Our western society tends to value doing over being.
I wrote this blog post on a Tuesday morning. Princess was in bed sleeping after an early start with swimming squad and a very hectic weekend. Matey woke up with a sore throat and a sore elbow. He just wanted to lie in bed and listen to some audio tapes about Robin Hood and World War 2. He is now making up some meccano that he found unopened on his shelf, just pottering around in his bedroom. I have a feeling that this is a much more life giving day for him that if I had started schoolwork immediately after breakfast and morning chores.
For the family as a whole, the church we are a part of is a 45 minute drive away so when we are there on a Sunday, we try and make the most of it by catching up with people and having lunch and spending the afternoon there etc. We usually get there early as Princess is on duty in the children’s program so I use the time to mentor a number of ladies. Thus, we are finding that Sundays are no longer a rest day for us as we usually come home ‘all peopled out’.
Thus, we are intentionally trying to set aside certain times during the week and on Saturdays where we can just be and not do. How does your family manage to have a ‘Sabbath’ day of rest? What are you modelling to your children about rest?