We have tried to raise our family to observe Sunday as a Sabbath Day. We believe it to be a day of rest. We try not to make it a big list of "do nots" because that doesn't seem to be a good way to approach it. And even within people who believe the same as we do, there is a wide range of interpretation on how to observe a Sabbath Day. But there are a lot of things we don't do. We don't do business, or shop. We don't do big recreational things. I'm afraid that the kids see it as a big "do not," so I guess it is my job to help them increase their appreciation of Sunday. I love Sunday. I love the other days too, but I think it is nice having a day that is distinctly different.
The reason I am thinking of this more than usual, is that one thing we aren't going to do is use our pool on Sunday, and the pool is the new exciting thing. We aren't using the Wii on Sunday either, and I think that the pool and the Wii were on Riley's mind a lot yesterday.
Maybe it will take until she is a mom herself for Riley to see it through my eyes. It was good for Riley to have a day indoors. Although I repeatedly applied sunscreen to her the last three days, I still didn't get it quite right, and she was pink yesterday. Today we will be back out there, with even more attention to blocking the sun. But the break from the sun is not the only refreshing one....
I like a rest from routine. It is a day off from errands, and from most housework. Regular activities are on hold. My kids don't do Sunday sports. That sounds crazy to some people, because Sunday is their big recreational day. Well, Saturday is that for our family. Sunday is a day of worship, rest, reading, family time....
Church is different for us right now, as the last two years Jeff has been sitting on the stand in front, instead of with us. It does present some challenges. However, I love sitting with my girls and watching them try to make their dad smile up there. His face tends to look grouchy when he is concentrating, or tired. The girls like him to look a little more relaxed, so sometimes they sit there like three Cheshire cats, and grin until they smooth his concentrated look.
I like the church meeting, because generally there is something I can pick out of a talk that is helpful to me. When that is not the case, there is always something interesting to observe in the congregation. My girls prefer to sit towards the back of the chapel, and I just go along with that. I like being able to see what is going on.
The first hour of church is the meeting with the whole congregation, and the next two are class times. I know that three hours seems so long to people who aren't used to it. I play the piano for the second and third hour time, for the children. I play prelude music like, "To Think About Jesus," and laugh to myself how many children are running around and playing. (The first words of that are: It shouldn't be hard to sit very still, and think about Jesus, his cross on the hill.....) Sometimes that piano bench gets a little hard for me toward the end of that third hour, but I enjoy it for the most part. I usually am reminded how much I should practice the piano during the week. I can play, but not with the grace I would like to have.
After church, I enjoy talking to my girls about what their teachers have taught them. I appreciate people who are helping me teach my children like that. My children help to teach me too. One day, I was in a bad mood on the way home from church. My girls suggested that when I got home, I needed to put on my pajamas and dance. It took me awhile, but when I finally did do it, it was just the thing I needed. See, they often remedy my mood, the way they try to soften their dad's look. (Luckily, putting on pajamas and dancing is not on a "do not" list.)
When Jeff gets home from church, we have Sunday dinner together. After dinner last night, we read scriptures together and had our family council. For some reason, Riley really likes these things. She always reads the last verse...with plenty of help still. She loves bringing me the big desk calendar, and a newly sharpened pencil, so I can write down all the activities of the upcoming week. It took a little while to accomplish that last night, because we paused a few times for phone calls and visitors.
I tend to keep it light when I write, so I haven't even gone into very personal feelings about worship and family, but they are there, and a part of why I love Sunday.
One Year Later . . .
1 month ago