Sisters in Spirit is a series of blog posts by a group of women who felt that a spiritual perspective was lacking from the steady stream of news and information that flowed through their daily lives. We each agreed to carve out a space on our blogs on a monthly basis for a spiritual conversation. This topic of this month’s post is observing the Sabbath or taking a day of rest.
When this month’s topic was suggested, I laughed out loud. I know taking time out of our busy lives to rest and spend time in worship and prayer is hard for everyone, but what does the sabbath look like for a pastor’s family? Let’s just say Sundays are not the most restful days for me.
On Sundays, my husband wakes up early and leaves for work by 7am, leaving me to (hopefully) sleep in a bit. I wake up when the kids wake up, and begin the most relaxing part of the day, turning on cartoons for my 3 yr old and nursing the baby. At some point I look at the clock and realize I need to get in the shower if we’re going to get to church on time. More cartoons! Hopefully the baby will happily watch the ceiling fan for a few minutes. I hop in the shower and begin the mad dash of getting myself and two kids ready for church by myself. Sometimes I even leave the house on time!
I drive across town for Sunday School at our church’s main campus, then load the kids up again and drive downtown to our church’s new service that we’re starting at a second site (my husband is the main pastor for that service so I need to be there). It’s a late service (11:30) geared towards college students and downtown dwellers so I pass some snacks to the backseat (and myself) to tide us over until lunch.
I get my older son settled into the nursery and I go back to the sanctuary in time for the service to start. I make the most of the first few songs since the baby inevitably gets fussy and needs to be fed by the time the sermon starts, so I make a quick exit. I don’t think I’ve actually heard a sermon since the baby was born, even though he’s been going to church since he was 2 weeks old. The service ends around 12:30, I’m starving, so I pack up the kids and head home to figure out what to eat for lunch.
My husband arrives home about the time we’ve finished eating and I corral the 3 yr old up for naptime while he eats lunch. By the time I’m done reading stories and singing lullabies, my husband has crashed for a nap of his own, leaving me to deal with a baby who is wide awake for the first time all day.
If I do manage to get everyone else asleep in the afternoon, I usually do some food prep for the upcoming week and get dinner started.
Whew! Are you still reading? I’m exhausted just writing that out! Clearly, I’m not getting much rest on the Lord’s day. I know some of this is just a reality of being a mom of young kids, but I wouldn’t be going to two different church sites or managing it all by myself if we didn’t have a pastor in the family.
I support my husband’s choice to become a pastor, even though it’s not the direction I expected my life to take when I married a software programmer 12 years ago. But it’s been a long and ongoing journey to accept the sacrifices that come with it — the evening meetings, mission trips, and weekend work responsibilities that keep him from spending as much time with me and our family as I would like. Ask me at the wrong moment, and I’m still not all that thrilled about it. But as I’ve talked with other pastors
spouses about it, I’m learning that just like we don’t get to celebrate Christmas Eve like everyone else because there are Christmas Eve services at 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 pm, we have to find a way to make our own Sabbath even though it may not fall on Sunday or look the same as other peoples.
I’m still sorting out what a Sabbath means to me and to our family. In my ideal world, we would choose one evening a week for family time, no phones/laptops/TV/distractions, and have a meal together, maybe read a bible story or do a family devotion. (I’m really dreaming here — with a 3 yr old and an infant, this won’t be happening any time soon!)
I hope you continue this conversation by reading and commenting on other posts on this topic with my Sisters in Spirit:
Bianca is a Navy wife from the great state of Texas (where she coincidentally currently resides), and she and her husband welcomed their first child in the fall of 2012. She has a passion for serving others, asking hard questions and sharing The Gospel with both her words and actions. Bianca loves Jesus, her hubs & her son, authentic friendships, traveling, making lists of all kinds, and trying new recipes which she blogs about on BecomingBianca.com
Rhonda is an attorney and native of Missouri. She is known for being overly-emotionally invested in her three, elderly dogs and dabbling in a ridiculous amount of hobbies, including sewing, music, and writing, while mastering none. She was baptized in her late twenties and is amazed and grateful that Jesus continues to put up with her. She blogs at bigsnafu.com.
Kelli is a United Methodist. She is a writer and public health advocate. An Arizona native, she recently returned home. Her dog, Willie Nelson Mandela, runs the show. She blogs at: www.africankelli.com
Linking up with Sacro Speco (Sacred Spaces) at All Manner of Inspiration and GraceLaced Mondays.