Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sweet Serene Sundays

  "The love of learning,
     the sequestered nooks,
      & all the sweet serenity of books."
               ~ William Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday afternoons typically find me wrapped in the coziness of blankets piled a mile high as a peaceful instrumental plays softly in the background. Lit candles add a gentle glow to the room.  Stacked books and magazines along with a basket of WIP's, a cup of tea, my Bible, and my journal are all scattered close beside me - nothing further away than an arm's reach.

You may consider this oddly indulgent behavior, but I find it to be the absolute perfect way to rest, restore, and rejuvenate before the start of another crazy work week. There is nothing like the simple pleasure of holing myself up in bed and falling into a deeply comfortable sleep amid a mountain of fluffy pillows. 

What prompted me to commence this Sunday afternoon tradition? 

Well, back at the beginning of this year, I returned to work from Christmas vacation realizing how unusually well and rested I felt. I eventually connected this blessed difference to my more relaxed holiday schedule. 

Coming from a conservative Christian background, I grew up knowing that the Sunday (aka the Sabbath Day) was supposed to be a day of rest, but that principle entirely flew out the window when I started college life back in fall 2003. Naps? Free time? All gone. Over the last decade, I just remained caught in the trap of using Sunday afternoons as the time to catch up on anything left over from Saturday - answering emails, folding laundry, grading papers. 

I became increasingly dissatisfied with this maddening Sunday rush. Church in the morning, run around playing catch up all afternoon, and another church service in the evening. Heading back to work the next day was torture because I was all ready feeling so spent.

 But not so any more. 
My afternoon lull between services is now one of my favorite times of the whole week.

I am not normally a proponent of New Year's resolutions, but this year, I felt I needed to closely re-examine my life. I knew I was not in the place I wanted to be spiritually. An afternoon with God, my Bible, and my journal brought to me an important illumination ~ taking care of myself and following God's principles for living actually prepare me to more aptly minister to the needs of others throughout the new week. God instituted the Sabbath Principle from the very beginning. His ways are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Why did I suddenly think that it was no longer applicable to my modern lifestyle?

Committing to keeping Sunday afternoons quiet, restful, and technology-free has been one of the best decisions I have made in a very long time. I am happy to report that even though it is now 3 months into 2012, I have remained faithful to keeping this resolution. Not only that, but I am looking forward to keeping it for many years to come.

May rest & restoration be your close friend!