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!