The laundry never ends. Someone is always hungry. The dogs are guaranteed to run through your freshly mopped floors leaving muddy footprints. The dust never stops piling up. The list goes on and on... and on. As we go into the holiday season, the lists seem to magically multiply too. Chores never end, but God commanded – actually commanded, not suggested – a regular day of rest for us all.
There are so many references like Exodus 16:23 that when discussing the Sabbath, immediately attach a description of housework as things to take a break from. That is certainly not coincidence! Why? Because He knows we need balance in our lives! As Moms, we are incredibly good at constantly spinning in circles trying to keep everyone happy, have meals ready when everyone is hungry and keep the house clean enough for impromptu play dates and last minute company. But in all that spinning, are we missing the point that these hectic, fast paced days we all live are a gift from God? If we don’t intentionally stop “being busy” and regularly take some time to just simply enjoy it, then we will miss it all. We will look back one day and realize that our marriages have grown more distant, our kids are no longer messy toddlers, in fact they’re no longer kids, and our friendships have dwindled and we will have missed it all. So yes, the Sabbath day is not a mere suggestion, it is a commandment which was issued to make sure we don’t miss out on the incredible gift of life and family that God has already given us!
Establishing a day to put down the laundry, hang up the mop, turn a blind eye to the “to do” list and piles of clutter and for at least most of the day just spend it loving and being loved by your family will be the greatest gift you can give yourself. You will find yourself refreshed and renewed again so that you can enjoy serving the family you love so much with the right attitude. When we get too tired from spinning in all those circles, we tend to start feeling overwhelmed, feeling like a maid instead of a wife and mother, and being grumpy about doing the things that show our family we care. That is certainly not the life God intends for us to live. So how do we accomplish this? Go back and read Exodus 16:23 again and see if you can find a suggestion... MEAL PLANNING! The Bible actually says to cook enough today for you to eat tomorrow too so you can sit down and actually enjoy your meal with your family!!! The same applies to all other housework... Set aside a little time every week to just lay out your week and all the chores, cooking, errands, and social calendar and make sure you intentionally plan in one day to just simply enjoy this gift of life that we have! As good as I am at planning things, I am most definitely a work in progress when it comes to planning the never ending chores. And it is a challenge for me to make myself "stop" when there are things that always need to be done. However, the weeks that I have actually been able to successfully pull it off have been some of the best weeks for me and my family. So I’m still working on it!
Not only is the Sabbath an actually block of time set aside to enjoy life and worship the God who gives us life, but it is also a mindset of maintaining balance. Though we should always strive to do the absolute best in whatever task is at hand, the “to do” list should never become more important than the list of people we’re doing them for. It’s okay to have a little dust on a bookshelf if it means a wonderful afternoon spent making memories with your family. The dust will be there, still waiting to be wiped down, in a few hours. So this week plan out your week where you get the most of your days and get a lot accomplished, but plan in some time to stop being busy and play with your children and talk to your husband. And as you go into your Thanksgiving and Christmas season, don’t forget to have a little fun in between doing all the gift shopping, cooking and cleaning! Life is a gift and we only get one shot at it!