How do we unlose our minds? By reclaiming Sunday and deliberately choosing to rest. It’s time to reclaim Sunday for God, family, and rest. I remember being stunned by the story in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods, when Laura temper-tantrums about how hard Sunday is.On Sundays Mary and Laura must not run or shout or be noisy in their play. Mary could not sew on her nine-patch quilt, and Laura could not knit on the tiny mittens she was making for Baby Carrie. They might look quietly at their paper dolls, but they must not make anything new for them. They were not allowed to sew on doll clothes, not even with pins. They must sit quietly and listen while Ma read Bible stories to them, or stories about lions and tigers and white bears from Pa's big green book, The Wonders of the Animal World. They might look at pictures, and they might hold their rag dolls nicely and talk to them. But there was nothing else they could do.
It sounded hard to me too. Impossible even. Now however, I look at Sunday and see there was a deliberate attempt to not work on Sunday that we have lost in this 24-7 modern life. I did what I normally do when something strikes me across the heart. I summoned the children for a meeting. I proposed making sure we did all our homework and housework so that Sunday would be mass and meals and relaxing. The theory of it did capture their imaginations…until we got to the next Friday when people remembered what I said, or rather, I reminded them to try and get through their homework when they came home from school. “MOM ... It’s the weekend. Tomorrow.”
“You’ve got to be kidding.”
“I’ve got plans.”
However, I did have the trump card in the situation. “I’ve got the capacity to NOT call for Friday-night pizza.” “Why?” was the universal cry.
It set off a Mom rant. “Why? Why would we want a day with no tasks, so we could spend all the time like syrup? Why would we want a day together where we weren’t thinking about the next thing we had to get done? What would we do with a day where we could do anything because there wasn’t a have-to-get-done part of it?” Two started on their homework. “What else do we need to do?” We made a list. We promised to limit it to what we needed to do, and not to overdo. We also planned the dinner, because cooking is something we love to do, which would be fun with everyone involved. It didn’t go perfectly, but we spent more of Sunday as Sunday, and less of it running around to get to the next thing. We made it to early Mass, the kids served, ate birthday cake, played cards, sat as a family for both breakfast and dinner, some did yard work, cleaned up, and got to bed on time after watching the baseball playoffs and the new Dr. Who. The experiment worked.
Not perfectly, but it worked, and I felt we’d taken a step towards reclaiming life and order and peace and Sunday. (Even with writing up the schedule and worrying about all we’ll need to get done next week), but next week, we’ll try it again.
What small successes are you celebrating this week?
Copyright 2018 Sherry Antonetti
About the Author
Sherry Antonetti is a Catholic published author, freelance writer and part-time teacher. She lives with her husband and 10 children just outside of Washington, DC, where she's busy editing her upcoming book, A Doctor a Day, to be published by Sophia Institute Press. You can find her other writings linked up at her blog, Chocolate For Your Brain! or on Amazon.