Sunday, September 8, 2013

Holy Sunday

(This turned into an unintentionally thoughtful post.  If you're just here for the abundance of pictures of my adorable child, click on the links in this post).

“Remember to keep holy the sabbath day. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord, your God. No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter, or your male or female slave, or your beast, or by the alien who lives with you. In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.”  

Fog rolling over the lake

One of the things that has been on my brain lately is the idea of keeping Sundays separate, or rather, holy.  I have stumbled upon this in my reading (examples of this here and here) and listening (*go listen here).  This particular musing has stemmed from pondering the place of technology in my life.  While technology can be a wonderful blessing, I've struggled in my own life to find the balance between blessing and burden.  I can be very attached to my iPhone.  My phone makes several activities in my life significantly easier:  driving to places with the GPS, keeping up with family members via phone, e-mail, and text, and looking up information when needed.

Loading the Pooter up in the backpack

But I can be unnecessarily attached to it when I mindlessly check Facebook for the twentieth time in an hour, or jump to checking messages immediately, or read a blog when I should be doing housework.  (Just so you know, the irony of being on a piece of technology and ignoring the laundry while writing this post is not lost on me).  And so I've been trying to find balance in my life.  So back to keeping Sunday holy and a day of rest.  Tim and I have been discussing how this should play out in our family life.  We want to start out small, i.e. reasonable, therefore encouraging follow-through.  We're just not prepared to go Jewish-Tradition-of-the-Sabbath (see first reading link above), which is beautiful as well as interesting.  

Love that smile!

So the first way that we've decided to keep Sundays holy, is to put up the iPhones.  What this means is, our phones will function as old house phones:  they'll be there, and we might hear them, or check for messages on occasion, but will not respond unless it is very important.  (I realize that as I'm writing this, I have only informed some of our family of this, so please don't be upset if you don't reach us right away or we don't respond until Monday).  Our goal with all of this is to reconnect as a family, to reconnect with God, and to refresh ourselves spiritually, mentally, and physically so as to be better prepared for the week ahead.

Lake Oconee near the Buford Dam

Tim and I have been discussing the concept of "making space".  By filling every moment - time standing in line, sitting at the doctor's office, waiting for church to start, eating lunch by yourself, etc -we miss those quiet moments for our thoughts to wonder and for God to fill those "spaces".  We may miss out on God whispering to our hearts, a creative idea popping into our heads, or the opportunity to have a great conversation with the interesting person behind us in line.  I've been working on having more moments of quiet and stillness in my life.  It has been hard.  

One of the ways we find rest and reconnection is through the outdoors, and we have been slackers in this department.  (*For an amusing podcast on the "Theology of Mountaineering", go here.  If you don't appreciate a good impression of a Mariokart gold mushroom booster, don't listen to the podcast :) )  So what better way to spend a Sunday sans iPhones than getting outside and going hiking  We have gone hiking here before, but this time we had a kiddo to take with us.

Tim and Matthan on the bridge overlooking the fog on the lake

There are several entrances and parks near the Buford Dam.  We drove to the entrance with the sign "lower overlook".  For anyone in our area, you don't have to pay for parking at this entrance.   

We then enjoyed a picnic lunch on some park benches overlooking the water.  Random story:  we saw a man in a military uniform walk down to the rocks by the water line and hunt around for a couple minutes before coming back up to his friend.  He told us he had lost a $200 ring (does the military give out commemorative rings?) the day before, and it luckily was still there!

I noticed the pretty detail on a lamppost near where we ate our lunch.  I love little details like this.  

Detail on lamppost

My boys

We drove around for a minute after hiking checking out a couple roads and park entrances in the area and we stumbled on this!

Mountain goats!

Do you have special ways that you set aside Sundays for your family?  What are ways that you "make space" in your life?  I'd love for you to share your ideas with me in the comments.

*Caveat:  I love this podcast Catholic Stuff You Should Know.  It reminds me of what it would be like to discuss faith and philosophy with Tim and his college roommates over a beer (or insert drink of choice here) on their back porch.  However, I feel like I should inform you, that they get kind of "ramble-y" just like a real informal conversation, and if you're looking for a more formal, to-the-point theological talk, this might not be the podcast for you.    

-Just to be clear, when I direct you to a site via one of my links, I'm not necessarily endorsing the whole site, but rather just referring you to the individual post in question (unless I state otherwise).-

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