What a wonderful weekend that was! The end.
Honestly, I could just end the blog post there and be done with it, but I’m guessing that, since you’ve traveled all this way across cyberspace to read about our Sabbath-keeping adventure, you’d rather have a more details. I get that.
Here you go, then. For ease of mental digestion, I’ll post my (lengthy, detailed) recap in two parts: “Preparing for Sabbath” and “Celebrating Sabbath.” First, part 1:
Preparing for Sabbath
As I arrived home from work Friday, my mind was filled with all the things I wanted to get done before our 24 work-free hours began. But my flesh was weak, and, as it turned out, my spirit wasn’t actually all that willing. Instead of plunging into weekend chores, I climbed into my sweats and watched old Silly Symphonies clips on YouTube with the kids until it was time to send them off to bed. (What can I say – after a week of full days at the office, I was tired!)
This indulgence didn’t turn out to be quite as counterproductive as it may seem, by the way. Though the kids enjoyed the movies (and I enjoyed the cuddle time), there was a lot of elbowing, a lot of jostling, and a LOT of whining – both when it was time to pick out our next videos to watch and when I finally said it was time to close the laptop and get ready for bed.
The whole experience left such a sour taste in my mouth that I was hardly tempted to turn my computer on at all for the rest of the weekend, and I was able to stand my ground firmly every time one of the children (usually my oldest) came begging for screen time. (I’m not the only junkie in the house, it seems!)
Saturday after breakfast, I told the children that we could put the lights on our Christmas tree* as soon as we had tidied and swept every room on the entire main floor of the house. I had hoped they would help. They didn’t. Instead, they scooted out of our way (for the most part) while Ken and I “Little Red Hen’d” it up. Really, them scooting may ultimately have been much better than them helping.
Ken paid bills, vacuumed, and mopped. I made beds, tidied, swept, and started in on what would turn out to be about eight loads of laundry. Between the two of us, we cleared off three pernicious clutter spots that had been bothering me for months. Finally, by about five in the afternoon, the place was spotless. (I should qualify that: the place was just about as spotless as our home ever gets.)
We strung the Christmas tree lights – what joy! We went to a Christmas party – what fun! We put the children to bed – what peace!
I kept working on laundry throughout the evening and filled a crock-pot with sweet bean chili for Sunday dinner. Then I wandered aimlessly around the house for a while before my (late) bedtime. Not only was I enjoying my clean home too much to sleep, but I kept myself awake thinking, “Now, what have I forgotten? Is there anything else at all I need to do to prepare for tomorrow?”
I finally drifted off with a prayer of hope and thankfulness in my heart just before 2:00 a.m., and my Sabbath rest officially began.
(Stay tuned: I’ll post part 2, “Celebrating the Sabbath,” early tomorrow.)
* I should explain about our rather unusual family Christmas tree tradition. I love Christmas trees and like to get a tree as early in December as possible. Ken loves celebrating the season of Advent, and he would rather wait to get a Christmas tree until, oh, say, December 24 (at the very earliest). So, we compromise and get an Advent tree, which will become our Christmas tree at the appropriate time. Three or four weekends before Christmas, we go as a family to pick out and chop down a tree. We then set it up in our living room, unadorned. The next weekend, we add lights. The weekend after that, we haul out the ornaments. Finally, when Christmas is just a few days away, we hang our stockings and begin letting presents pile up underneath the tree. It’s an unconventional approach, I know, but it’s worked very well for us.