Saturday, September 13, 2008

Living Simply Saturday: Planning for a day off

Several months ago, we started attending a new church that is an hour from our home. Now, I realize that an hour isn’t a long ways when you live in a larger city.  But we live in the heart of the country where a mid-sized town is considered a big city.  And around here, driving twenty minutes to church when there’s a perfectly good church five minutes away is ludicrous.
But we found a church where we love the teaching, love the format, and that we love being a part of.  And it’s an hour away.  So every Sunday morning, we rise, pack into the car and drive an hour with four small children.  Because we’re already nearby (Chet’s parents live about 1.3 hours away), we go to visit them after church, and generally end up spending the entire day away from home.
This means that some special planning has to happen on Saturday.  Namely, I prepare an in-the-car breakfast (muffins), and an in-the-car lunch snack (crackers and cheese) on Saturday.  Then I also look through our food and find something to take to Grandma and Papa’s for supper.  I also pack changes of clothes, anything we need for church, stuff to take naps, etc.
How is this simple?  It’s not.  But Sunday is.  Having done all of my normal work on Saturday, Sunday has become, quite literally, a day off.  The cooking is done, the dishes are done, and we won’t be home to mess anything up.  We spend the morning at church, then the kids nap for a bit during the afternoon, and run around playing with their uncles, aunts and cousins all afternoon — we don’t even have to train or entertain them on Sunday.  After supper Sunday evening, we pack up and they sleep the whole way home.  Everything about it is a complete day off.
I’ve always read the benefits of taking a “sabbath”.  And even though my day of rest isn’t on Saturday, I enjoy it immensely.  Every week, I think to myself. “Wow, this is SOOO worth the trouble of planning on Saturday!”  Then I can start the week again on Monday renewed and refreshed in both spirit and body!


  1. Trina:

    When I first read your post, I thought that spending an hour in the car with 4 small children was crazy, but by the end of your post, I realized that it actually sounds like heaven. I have always thought how great it would be to have a large family with multiple generations to spend an afternoon with on a regular basis. It is the stuff fond memories are made of when you grow up. My kids get to see their cousins once a year which is certainly not enough. Any visit to their grandparents is us closely monitoring them so they don’t break any of their fragile things. Definitely not a break for us!

  2. Amy @ amysfinerthings

    Sounds like a lovely day to look forward to each week. Good for you to have everything done at home so you can return with out dreading the “to-do” list!

  3. Stephanie:

    We attend house church and some of the homes are about an hour away. It is so true that the day of planning is important to ensure a smooth trip! But it also has made me prepare spiritually while preparing physically too. By having a day of preparation, I can truly have a day of rest! What a great post!

  4. Stephanie @ KeeperoftheHome:

    I think that sounds great, actually! It’s forced relaxation and sometimes, I need a push like that to actually stop. When I’m home, it’s always so easy to see more things that need to be done and it makes it that much harder to just stop doing “stuff”.
    I’m glad you’re enjoying a true Sabbath! It’s definitely something that my husband and I have a goal of working towards and to learn to truly rest on that day.