We were made for Sunday.

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I would say that a disproportionate percentage of the fun things you see on this blog happen on Sundays. Yes, we love Saturday brunch like nothing else, but most Saturday events have to be sandwhiched between lots of pesky responsibilities that leave little time for much else. This weekend for instance, we had a fun-packed weekend of taking friends to the airport Friday night, followed by studying for me and work for James. On Saturday I camped out at Starbucks to write papers while James worked at home. I managed to watched the Derby on a small corner of my computer while typing away on the other half of the screen. We ate dinner at home and then in a truly wild outing, I did grocery shopping at 10 at night to avoid the crowds. Bliss.

But then Sunday comes.

Growing up, we weren’t allowed to do homework on Sunday, or go shopping, or go to the movies. This also meant we didn’t do chores, or mow the lawn, or whatever other thing my parents could devise for us. You might see this as religious legalism, or overbearing rules, but you know what it really is? Bliss. For one day of the week, life wasn’t about working and getting things done, but about enjoying all the things you already have. For one day of the week, life was about rest and family and worship and peace. One time I remember my dad telling me that the Sabbath was a shield God gave us against the stress of this world, but a shield only works if you hold it. I’m pretty sure that teaching us to keep the Sabbath was one of the most valuable lessons my parents gave us, one of the things that has had the greatest routine impact on my life.

Which is why, once I moved out and went to college, I chose to keep Sunday as a day free from work. Not to keep some list of rules, but because life is so much better when you have a Sabbath keeping it in check. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in grad school. When weeknights get stressful, when Saturdays are packed, when I struggle to make time for the things that really matter, Sundays come as a miracle every week. It isn’t easy, and involves a lot of planning ahead, time management, and dogged perseverance on Saturdays, but it is so, so, worth it.

Lately James and I have making our Sundays more intentional times to explore the city together. A couple weeks ago we made it up early enough for a pre-church breakfast date out and yesterday we headed to the National Gallery. They just opened an amazing exhibit on Andrew Wyeth, inspired by my favorite of his paintings. We wandered leisurely through the gallery before heading back out into the city to find some fro-yo. (For the record, I totally prefer old-fashioned ice cream to this crazy yogurt obsession, but Tangy Sweet is still pretty awesome.) On the walk back we sat on some benches for a while, quietly reflecting on some big things that are coming over the next couple weeks. I’m so glad I had this Sunday before heading back into the busy week.

I have nothing against work. I think we were made for work, were created to exhaust ourselves in the pursuit of good and useful things, were designed to feel tired at the end of the day and rise again the next to struggle for things. We were made for work. But we weren’t made just for work. We were also made for rest and laughter and taking time to enjoy the people we are blessed to love. Sundays remind us of that.

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17 Responses to We were made for Sunday.

  1. Katy says:

    We had rules like this too…although they weren’t always followed perfectly…but I was thinking about that yesterday– how I want to get my chores done Saturday so fun and rest can be had on Sunday

  2. Kate says:

    Amen sister :) our children are now 22, 20 and 18 and we held to the same “rules” as they were growing up (my line was something like “I don’t do homework on Sundays”).. Each of them have continued to pursue hard things throughout the week and enjoy Sundays as you have: with friends and rest and worship. Occasionally, “works of necessity” need to be completed on Sundays, but we hope those are few and far between.

  3. We were allowed to do homework on Sundays (immigrant parents!) but my husband’s family took the Sabbath off completely, and I much prefer it his way. It’s a little bubble in the week that feels so safe. Loved reading about your Sundays! x

  4. When I was in college, my professors encouraged us to make Sunday our free day, and I kept that rule for the most part. These days it is often a writing day, but that is pleasure as much as work!

  5. Pingback: reading round-up (5.09.14) | abby hummel

  6. E. Henry says:

    Yes!!

    That is what we do and it’s amazing!

  7. Rachael Betts says:

    Hannah,
    Loved this post! Through it God showed me that a rest day is a GIFT from Him…is Him caring for us. I was encouraged by your honesty and worked hard to get uni assignments under control so sunday was free, with a huge assignment due soon and barely time to do it, and fluke of all flukes my shift got changed, which it never does, so I have an extra day to assignment. He un-crazied my week a little for putting Him first and obeying a command which was made to look after me in the first place. Be encouraged. 1. GOOD GOD. 2. He used YOU :)

    Your sister in Christ, Rach :)

  8. slesser1013 says:

    Beautiful photographs :)

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