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Faith's Firm Foundation: More Hours in my Day

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Hours in my Day

     Would you like more hours in your day? Well, that's what I'm going to talk about before this day is over, which is shortly. I've decided not to blog on Sunday.  Now, I don't want any of you to feel that I impose this on you in any way.  It's just something I've decided to do.  It's going to be hard, actually--I've become a little "addicted."  That's part of why I'm doing it, but it's not really the reason.  You see, Saturdays I'm going to try to do a Book Review for you.  There are so very many really excellent books that I've been introduced to, and that I would like you to get to know.  I was praying about what to post on today.  Some of my family is sick, and my schedule was rearranged today, so I "took the day off," so to speak, with regard to writing on my blog.  But I was asking the Lord if I should still write a little something.  And what.  I thought I was going to write about another book, which is on Biblical submission to your husbands, in light of yesterday's post.  But, as I went looking on the bookshelf for that book, I saw "More Hours in my Day" by Emilie Barnes, and I've been wanting to tell you about it for awhile, so, after praying over it some more, I decided that today I would do it.
     But I will have to do a more indepth review of it later. Because, the Lord impressed on my mind something very important.  The best and surest way to have more hours in your day, is to honor the Sabbath Day, and rest on it.  Mark 2:27-28 says, "And he (Jesus) said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: (28) Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."  The sabbath was made for us! (Notice, by the way, that Jesus didn't say, "Oh, you don't have to worry about that old thing; that was Old Testament stuff.")
     This past week I was reading aloud to Kelsey during lunchtime from "How to Be a Lady--Useful Hints on the Formation of Womanly Character," (I've mentioned this great old book before--don't you just love that title?) reprinted from a book in 1850. In chapter 10 which is all about "keeping the sabbath," it says that God didn't give us the sabbath for His sake, but because He knew that it would help us.  The author says He gave it to us to benefit our bodies, but also our souls.  It is a blessing! And we should be very, very grateful to the Lord for it.
     I have found that the principle of that "walnut in the jar" comes into play here. (Please read my previous post, "What's the Most Important Thing in Your Homeschooling?" Oct. 27, 2009)  Just as giving God the first part of my day is important, so what I do with the first day of the week is very important.  But God says in His Word that it's important for ME.  If you and I are struggling to get everything done in the week, perhaps we need to look at what we're doing with our Sundays.  Not in a rigid, legalistic way at all.  Think of it as a gift!  You get to spend the day with the One you love the most of anyone, and you don't have to do any of your normal work--so exactly what is the problem, here?
     My husband has helped me with this greatly.  He came from a home in which this was lived out before him from the day he was born, and he greatly admired his parents' honor of the Lord's Day, even when, at times, it was difficult for them.  His father was a dairy farmer, who raised field crops, as well. No field work was done on Sunday, no matter what.  He milked the cows, but that was it. It didn't matter if it was a beautiful day and the only day in which to harvest the crops.  He left that to God.  On Sundays, they would attend church "religiously" (no pun intended), perhaps show hospitality to one or another family, and then they would take a nap, go visit someone in need, or just relax.  Jerry's mom, who was an absolute obsessive-compulsive about doing some work with her hands 24/7, did not do ANY handwork (no crocheting, knitting, needlework, anything) on Sunday.  So, when we got married, there were no excuses good enough to not be in church on Sunday.  And we rested from our normal work.  I'm grateful now that he was so firm, but in the beginning, it was a little hard for my undisciplined flesh.  You learn real quick, if you're smart, not to party and stay up late on Saturday nights, because you've got to get up for church pretty early.  But that's a good thing.  And he would never go into work on a Sunday, or do "projects," though he is more than a little like his mama ("the acorn didn't fall far from the tree," if you know what I mean.)  You might understand how big a deal it was that he didn't work on any projects on Sunday, if you knew that in the early days of our marriage, there were times when I was jealous of his projects.  He was always a person who, once he'd started a project, would give it 200% and every waking moment, until it was done.  But not on Sunday.  He initiated these routines, commitments, habits from the start of our marriage, and I feel very blessed that he did.  I believe that God blesses us when we honor Him.
     The author of "How to Be a Lady" suggests some ideas which he affirms to be helpful in keeping the sabbath.  I can confirm, from experience, that, at least the first one is very helpful.  Unfortunately, you won't be able to try it out until next week (unless you are already in the habit of doing it), but it is very important.  Probably the most important.  Do everything you can to get ready for Sunday, on Saturday.  He says, "Leave nothing to be done in God's time that you can do in your own time."  Get the kids all ready the night before.  Well, I mean, have their clothes all prepared.  Ironed, if necessary, layed out, and ready.  Diaper bag by the door.  Bible, notebook, purse, everything sitting by the door, ready to go.  Saturday bath night used to be common.  Look forward to Sunday.  Make Sunday worship of the Lord a pleasant ritual, something your kids will say, "they grew up with."  The first day of the week (Sunday) is the Lord's Day!  The author says, "...And, if every one were allowed to choose his own time for worshipping God, there would be no agreement.  One would be at meeting, another would be at work, and others would be seeking their pleasure.  But, in order to have every one at liberty to worship God without disturbance, he has set apart one day in seven for this purpose."  Well, everyone choosing their own time to worship has done exactly that.  I am not in favor of other service times for this very reason.  I believe that children and families NEED ritual, tradition, the same routine week after week.  There is great stability in that.  Also, if you have to think about when you're going to go every week, it's very easy to not go at all.  Things are scheduled for those times.  When you are in church at a certain time every week, and that time is sacred, non-Christian family and friends figure out that they can't invite you to do things at that time.
     Another aspect of planning ahead for resting on Sunday, is to think about what you'll be having for Sunday Dinner and do ahead any preparation you can.  (I'm convicted that I've slacked off in this department.)  My good husband frequently encourages me to have something in the crockpot so that I'm ready to invite someone home if the opportunity arises.  But the meal preparation is the least of it, isn't it?  What are the other activities which have crowded their way into Sunday?  What disorder have we in our home, and wrong priorities which would cause clothes-washing, grocery-buying, and housecleaning to take place on the day--one day in seven-- in which we are to honor, worship, think on, praise and adore our Lord...and rest.  It would take me more space than I care to devote here to list all the activities which Christians (!) participate in on the Lord's Day.  And we wonder why we're so busy and can't get caught up.  If we would have more hours in our day, and be able to fit more in, we must start at the beginning, by arranging our week with the Lord, and all that concerns Him, as the first and most important in our week. Then the other things will fit, too, or have to go, but the most important, the eternal will be there.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for serving us at the seminar on your sabbath day! Now I will get off the computer and get some rest myself...

November 8, 2009 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Deborah Ann said...

I have heard it said that Jesus IS the Sabbath. We enter into His rest...that makes sense!

I'm getting a little blog weary too...think I need a break for a while, and to just get refreshed in God's presence.

November 9, 2009 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lisa! You're very welcome for the very little I did.

November 9, 2009 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thanks for bringing up something I didn't have space to include, but which is very important--the symbolism of Jesus as our Rest. "Resting from our labor"--from works to accomplish salvation--because he has done it all! And our final and complete rest in heaven. It is such a deep subject that I confess I don't understand all that the Bible says about it. "Rest in peace"--in our eternal rest in heaven--takes on new meaning, though.

November 9, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

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