Monday, September 12, 2011

Blessings of the Sabbath

This weekend was a truly enjoyable Stake Conference.  We live an hour and a half away from the stake center so TopDad reserves a suite at a Marriott with a swimming pool and we check in Saturday afternoon.  TopDad attends the priesthood leadership meeting while the rest of us relax at the hotel.  He picks me up for the supper and adult session right after his meeting.  This time after a quick swim in the pool, Dr. Hair and Dandylion walked a couple blocks to a movie theater while we were gone.  After our meeting we hit the stores for a few things (frugally combining trips here) and then returned to the hotel for a dip in the Jacuzzi and pool.  It is so refreshing to relax in a hot tub and then splash about in a pool.  Sometimes we play games, but this time we just read books and ate treats after our swim.  In the morning I went down for breakfast while the males showered and dressed, then they retreat for breakfast while I shower and dress.  Our meetings began at nine so we drove to the church and while TopDad and Dr. Hair attended a Media Blitz Kick-off, Dandylion and I saved a bench in the front part of the chapel.  The conference was wonderful with much good counsel about how to keep our families safe and progressing.  Afterward, we chose to have an adventure and drove a different way home, avoiding the interstate and enjoying the beauty of the early autumn countryside.  Once home I pulled together a quick lunch and after reading a couple of chapters of 1 Corinthians we relaxed the rest of the day, taking turns on the computer to write to Elder PW, read comics and the news.  TopDad and I took Charlie, the dog, for a walk to give him some needed attention and exercise.  Later I watched the Music and the Spoken Word special tribute for 9/11, which was wonderful.  Then when the two youngest had finished the dishes we watched an episode (on DVD) of Green Acres for a clean humored ending to the day.

The change of pace and activities is what makes the Sabbath a blessing to me.  I set aside all the weekday worries and stresses and just enjoy church and family.  This break in the action is restful and renewing.  We don't shop, or participate in sports or entertainment; we attend church together, read scriptures, watch "gentle" movies, go for walks, write letters, call family, and spend time together talking, sometimes playing games.

Monday morning comes and I feel ready to face the week, full of renewed resolve to do better than I did last week.  I believe this is what Jesus was talking about when he said "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath;" (Mark 2:27)

I like what Isaiah recorded too: "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." (Isaiah 58:13-14)

I know how difficult it is to keep the Sabbath in a calm restful way with little children; but I also know that all the effort to teach them pays off, for when they are older the habits are established and there is little questioning of what is appropriate or not.  That makes the day truly restful!

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