Sunday, April 13, 2014

What's Worked for Us: A Weekend Routine That Blesses

photo credit ~ Natasha

About 17 years ago we made a shift in how our family views weekends. We decided to use Sundays solely as a day to focus on the Lord and for family time. Up until this switch, we'd accomplished a number of the things on our to do list each week on Sunday. We'd also done quite a bit of playing on Saturday. In order to have Sundays freed up from work, we had to make the commitment to work hard on Saturdays. So for our family, Saturdays are a dedicated "Work Day". There's nothing rigid about this. Some Saturdays, we throw work to the wind and spend the day at the zoo. However, most Saturdays you'll find us at home whittling away at our task lists.

Despite how unappealing this may sound, we've come to find the day one of many rewards. On Saturdays our family functions as a well-oiled machine. We're a team in the best sense of the word. Each person in the family has their role and only if we each accomplish our part does a true rest on Sunday become possible. We're blessed with a real sense of satisfaction as we efficiently accomplish much more than any of us could do working alone.

Another reward of setting aside Saturday for a work day is that for the most part the twelve of us living here are all at home. Other days of the week activities carry us far and wide, especially now that almost all of our children are teens or young adults. But on Saturdays, we get time to catch up with each other as we work side by side. This rich fellowship leads to a great deal of laughter and enriches the friendships we share.

Finally, another reward to our Saturdays is the delicious meals that punctuate our work. Tonight we grilled a Russian favorite ~ shashleek. You can see from the photo that shashleek looks just like what we call shish kabobs here in America, but the Russian version is marinated in the most scrumptious blend of seasonings. Yum!

We don't skimp on the quality of Saturday's meals, and we don't rush this weekly chance to enjoy being together. We sit down to delicious food and conversation ~ a practice so rare around the table in America. We might talk politics. Or our conversation might turn to the even more important topic of our faith, our desire to follow Jesus, apologetics and ethics. Sometimes our table talk is much lighter and revolves around funny videos we've recently seen on the web, and we laugh until we're convulsing in our chairs. Again, the fellowship is rich.

So while we work hard on Saturdays, we don't dread the day. Working together and laughing together is a sweet combination. And on Sunday? The reward for Saturday's intentional emphasis on work is a sabbath of complete rest ~ a chance to breathe despite the chaos of modern life. Our Sundays are an antidote to the exhaustion that builds from busyness during the week. For nearly two decades, the freedom to focus on the Lord without being haunted by duties demanding to be done yet that weekend has proven to be refreshing to body and soul. This weekly routine has been like being blessed with 52 extra days of vacation each year. God is so good!

Our weekend routine isn't for everyone, but, by God's grace, it's worked for us.

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