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Rest on Sunday.

January 24th, 2009 by stephanie

Wash on Monday. Iron on Tuesday. Mend on Wednesday. Churn on Thursday. Clean on Friday. Bake on Saturday.

If you are not familiar with these daily chores of the week, you can do a little research at a site that references “a week in the life of” Laura Ingalls Wilder and her pioneer lifestyle. (http://hoover.archives.gov/LIW/pioneering/pioneering_pepin-chores.html)

When I was a young girl, I attempted to embroider these sayings onto a set of tea towels. If my memory serves me correctly, I don’t believe I completed the task. I do still have one or two in my possession however. In case this little task is not familiar to you, it actually was once an Americana-style tradition. You may have seen examples of these dish towels in antique stores. They were rather common years ago, especially in the 1800s and 1900s.

Anyway, my grandmother has shared with me on a number of occasions how strictly her parents heeded the Rest On Sunday part of the week. They literally did nothing. Except worship and eat of course. They went to services, returned home, ate the food that had been prepared the day prior, and then literally rested. No chores. No radio. I don’t even know if they were allowed to read. (Although I do think they were allowed to read the Bible.) And too, it was pure family time.

As I was enjoying a Sunday afternoon recently , it dawned on me that I could not blame my great grand mother for holding firm to that resting part of the traditional Sunday. If you think about it, she must have been completely worn out and exhausted by Saturday night. Sundays were her only holiday to be sure. She just didn’t have the luxury of time to rest during the week. Vacations were not really an option to her working class level in that era. And if people think women back then had time to grab a cup of coffee and sit on the deck for a little quiet time, I highly doubt that was a feasible daily experience. (Hopefully, they were able to squeeze some in, but we don’t really know.)

All ponderings aside, I love Sundays. Like my great grandmother, I can’t wait for my special day of rest. I take it seriously. And I relish in it. It’s just something I have made a part of my life. I go to worship, I eat lunch with friends, I head home to nap, then walk the dog (when it’s not 6 degrees outside) and catch up on my phone calls for the week. It’s just a lovely day all around.

I realize a lot of people today do not have the luxury of that type of Sunday, and I am very humbled that I am fortunate enough to claim that kind of day. So I do. If you can make Sundays a bit more “restful”, may I highly suggest it. Remember, even on the seventh day, God rested.

Stephanie

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