Friday, March 11, 2011

Sundays: The Quest for Rest

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How can you make Sundays a day that is set apart for your family? Simple fellowship is an integral part of your quest for rest.

Family Dinners. My husband remembers spending every Sunday afternoon on his grandparents’ farm in rural Kentucky. With his large extended family of uncles, aunts, and cousins, Sundays were spent in worship together, followed by a big family dinner. The weekly gathering fostered family ties that continue to be strong today.

But even with no family nearby, my friend Vicki prepares a meal every Sunday, then asks God with whom she should share it. She and her husband Jim invite friends or strangers home from church to fellowship around their table, as the Lord leads. Years ago, Rich and I were the visitors at their church that God urged them to take home one chilly Sunday afternoon. What sweet fellowship, and what a precious blessing that was!

Go offline. Can you imagine a day without the Internet? One father found a note taped to his laptop screen one Sunday afternoon as he opened it to do some work from home. “Dear Dad,” it read in his son’s childish scrawl, “Let me take a nap. You go play with Ben. Love, the Computer.” A day offline is good for the whole family.

Game day. Forget the game on TV--why not play a game with your family? Board games, card games, or pickup games in the neighborhood! Often weeknights are busy with extracurricular activities and other obligations. Why not start a Sunday afternoon tradition?

After service. After worshipping corporately with your church family, why not gather at the lunch table with your crew for a time of family thanks? During the week, leave strips of paper on the table for family members to write down special things for which they want to thank the Lord. Read each strip aloud at Family Thanks, so everyone can rejoice in the good works of the Lord.

Hobbies. Sunday can be a great time to enjoy the things in which you find pleasure: scrapbooking, reading, biking, walking, crafting, even couponing! Often, our minds are best rejuvenated by engaging in those hobbies or games that are far removed from our daily mental tasks.

Simple suppers. Growing up as a pastor’s daughter, my Sunday was spent at church, both morning and evening services. After church on Sunday nights, my family came home to a late, simple supper of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, followed by doughnuts we picked up on the way home at Krispy Kreme and hot chocolate that my mother made sweet and creamy on the stovetop. It was a special time to reconnect after a day spent in ministry. Just thinking of those evenings is a special treasure.

What are you doing this Sunday? Is it a special day at your house? Got any ideas to share for ways to "unplug" and rest with your family? I'd love to hear them!

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