Often I think that the phrase, "Day of Rest" is just an oxymoron for mothers who have small children. Even though the Sabbath Day is meant to be so...it just doesn't seem to happen for young mothers. I'm sure I'm not alone in these feelings (see Ice Cream's blog today if you want to make sure). Sundays are just busy. If you have a calling that requires you to do something on Sunday...it is a bit busier.
All of the busyness reminds me of an experience I had before I got married that gave me a new feeling for the Sabbath Day and what the phrase, "day of rest" really means.
My mom and grandma had been out of town for my grandma to fulfill a speaking engagement. Mom had travelled with her to assist and help. They were scheduled to arrive home on Sunday afternoon. Because my dad was busy with stake responsibilities...I offered to pick my mom and grandma up at the airport. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire had just come out and I had eagerly started reading. As has been true with every other Harry Potter book, I was eager to read at every spare moment, so I took it with me to the Airport.
The flight I was there to meet was late. Because this was in the days before security screenings to get to the gate areas, I sat down at the gate and had a good hour or two to read. Now...don't ask me how this happened, but after reading for a while, I decided to stop for a few minutes. Maybe it had just gotten a little too intense (I still think Book 4 is the scariest of all the HP books) - I don't know. Whatever the cause, I closed the book and began observing the people around me. Most of the people in the airport were business men. They were flipping open laptops (clunkers compared to the sleek and light notebooks of today), hurriedly making calls from cell phones (the kind that flipped open and had extendable antennae) and generally doing all they could to squeeze every moment they could while they were on the ground between flights to do a little business.
At that moment I gave thanks for the Lord's Commandment to "keep the Sabbath Day holy." Even though I wasn't sitting in church, visiting the sick, writing letters to missionaries, making Sunday dinner, and all the other things that we so often associate with Sunday, at least I wasn't sitting in an airport making business calls and crunching numbers on a spreadsheet on a laptop.
Sometimes I have to remind myself of this experience because for me, Sunday is really the busiest day of the week. The list of things to do is always long. The day is so tiring (I have been known to fall asleep just after we put the kids down at 7) and sometimes there isn't a lot of spiritual nourishing going on. But the thing is...the day is a separate day. It's a day when I can say "No" to Enchanted, Cars, Barney and other good and wholesome, but not really Sunday, shows. I can play MoTab on my Ipod for everybody to hear and enjoy while I work on getting dinner ready so that it can be finished off within 30 minutes of our return home from Church. I can put off balancing the check book, or worrying about the precarious state of our financial affairs. So Sundays are crazy sometimes...but they are still a day when I can "rest from all my worldly cares."
So, even though Sunday is a busy day, a tiring day, a challenging day...I just have to remember that it is a different day and that, even though there's not a lot of resting going on for me, I can still keep it Holy and find joy in the peace of the Sabbath.