40-Day Challenge: Sabbath (Day 28)

    “Six days thou shalt work and do all thy labor . . . “ (Exodus 34:21)

   “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

   Growing up, I always thought Sundays were something of an ordeal. Church in the morning, church in the evening, and a  fancy dinner inbetween that invariably involved washing every dish in the house … twice.

   After dinner, everyone would lay down for what seemed to be Dad’s favorite hour of the whole week: NAPTIME! Once I had kids of my own, I found that I needed to recharge my batteries as much as my father did. And just like I used to, my kids protested that they didn’t NEED a nap, that they weren’t the least bit sleepy!  But they soon learned that a quiet hour in their room makes the rest of the day go much better! (And since there aren’t more church services later in the day, they look forward to game night or movie night with Mom and Dad.)

    My Sunday dinners, I confess, are much simpler than the elaborate dinners my mom made.  I don’t spend hours baking rolls or chopping vegetables. Quite often, Craig will cook something on the grill. A couple times a month, I’ll bake a pie — but my family is just as happy with ice cream.

Even with all the changes, though, some things remain the same. In particular, the pace of the day, which is deliberately slower and more home-bound. We don’t always succeed in shutting out the world entirely … as I write this, my husband and I are seated side by side, me composing these meditations and he working on homework. Even so, the togetherness of our work feels good. And after an hour in their rooms, the kids forget to squabble the rest of the afternoon!

Today’s challenge:  Tomorrow the “Sabbath” returns.  What can you do to set the day apart? What would please your husband — a special snack to enjoy with his game? His favorite pie? (I just found my very favorite recipe for pie crust:  3 C flour, 1-1/2C shortening, 1 tsp salt. Stir together. In a mixing cup, combine 5 Tbls cold water, 1 egg, and 1 tsp vinegar.  Stir in to the flour mixture. Makes 3 one-crust pies — pie dough keeps nicely in refrigerator.)

Today’s prayer:  Lord of the Sabbath, lead me and my family into your blessed rest. Amen!

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