Monday, May 27, 2013

A Day of Rest

     Last night Aislynn came down with that horrible stomach flu that is going around.  She was up almost every half hour throughout the night being "sick".  That meant that all of our plans for today were thrown out.  And we have been home.  I've slept a lot of the day (after all, I hadn't slept much during the night...and what sleeping I had done was frequently interrupted), and we watched "Columbo" murder mysteries for part of the day.  Right now I am listening to my eldest daughter read to the other three of us (well, as much as one can do that while typing!).  But basically, out of the sky has been dropped into my lap a literal day of rest - something we are supposed to take on a weekly basis, and something that most Americans (I think) really don't know what to do with - including myself.
     We had an incredibly busy weekend - friend over Friday night, Saturday was Jasmyn's birthday party which meant the day was spent cleaning, setting up, having the party, then cleaning again, Sunday involved church and then I had people over again for Women's Movie Night.  And the calmness of today is an incredible gift of grace.  I can see it for that...I am deeply tired, in so many ways, and next weekend will also be incredibly busy with an out-of-town trip.  So the gift of a day in which we have no choice but to slow down, to take time, to just "be" and rest is such an amazing blessing, even if it did come at the price of a difficult night and a sick child.
    But the truth is that all of us have trouble knowing what to do with this gift of rest.  The idea of simply being, of existing together, of resting, of not running around or being entertained or working hard every minute of the day has been challenging for each of us in different ways.  My eldest has been weepy and complaining of boredom, to the point of even calling other adult friends to see if they could take her somewhere.  My middle child has been causing havoc out of his sense of "I don't know what to do with myself".  Aislynn, because she is still sick, has just rested on the couch.  And I have struggled with an overwhelming sense of guilt, recognizing all that I SHOULD be doing while choosing to actually rest and be with my children instead.
    But finally we made the decision to embrace the spirit of the day.  As I have come back to myself, especially over the last 5 months, I have filled my family room with plants, rocks, water and candles.  In a spirit of embracing the Sabbath that was given to us, we lit the candles, turned on the fountains (to listen to the running water), played soft music, and chose to be together as a family.
     Here are two pictures of part of our space...

    I pray that the gift of this Sabbath day would inspire me to be more intentional in taking Sabbath more regularly, inviting the Spirit more fully into our space and into our lives, and learning how to simply be, without needing to do in every moment.