Monday, December 16, 2013

A Tad Ramble-y and Keeping Sunday Holy ~ Part 2

...This is Part 2 of something with an unknown amount of total parts at this time (with gratuitous pictures from Thanksgiving included).  Here is Part 1.

In Part 1, I told you about where the "keeping Sundays holy journey" began.  And that we put up our cell phones.  And that we've failed.  And that's ok.  Because we're continuing to try.

Putting up our cell phones had an instant impact.  It created a void... it made space.  And I immediately struggled with that space.  I had to deal with that void... I wanted to fill the down time... I wanted to Facebook through the boredom... I wanted to text my way through the awkward silences... I wanted to Pin through...

... I think you get my point.

Pasticciotti - an Italian cookie with almond custard in it

I found myself reaching for my phone to fill the space.  But the whole point was to create space.  Space for conversation, space to connect with each other, space for prayer.  But I didn't deal well with the space.  It made me feel angsty.

So, I started being intentional.  I had to be intentional about putting up my phone, in a place that made it a real effort to get up and grab it.  We started planning activities to fill the space - like going to the park.  Or going hiking.

Pasticciotti was a success = Happy Mother-in-law

When we first came up with the idea to make changes to "make Sunday holy", I thought it was going to be more like  1. Put up cell phones.  Check.  2.  Make next change.  Check.  3. Etc.  But, by keeping the big goal in mind, things have sort of just snowballed.

I didn't know exactly what keeping Sundays holy would look like.  But I knew how I wanted it to make us feel.  I wanted all of us to feel loved and connected to each other, to feel rested and rejuvenated for the week ahead, and to feel closer to God.  We've tried several times to try to have the house cleaned by the weekend so that we can relax.  But weeks are busy, and blah blah, you know my usual excuses.  But once we had a goal for Sundays, it became easier and I got better to have the house picked up by Sunday.

Notice I said I got better.  

3 out of 4 looking at the camera = success; Joey, Ava, Matthan, Sophia

If we don't go grocery shopping Saturday morning, it seems the whole week gets thrown off.  Including Sunday.  I hate meal planning and shopping, and I like cooking when I have money to buy the ingredients I want and all the time to make the recipe and someone else to clean up the mess.... which is never.  So I drag my feet and meal planning gets done, oh you know, saturday morning before my husband leaves for the grocery store.  And it's more like late afternoon when we begin our weekend.  Which spills into Sunday.  But with wanting to capture a certain feeling for Sunday, I've gotten better about staying on top of the grocery stuff.

They discovered that "Baby Matthan" will follow you if you have goldfish crackers

I've gotten better about having a meal plan and shopping list ready.  Which has snow-balled into being prepared for the week, which makes me more peaceful on Sunday.  I've been more proactive about having a simple recipe or crockpot meal for Sunday dinner so that my time is not spent so much in the kitchen.  Which means I'm also not starting off the week with a disaster of a kitchen because I used every bowl while cooking and I don't want to be in the kitchen because I want to be with my family so I didn't clean the kitchen, so now it's left for Monday morning.  Boo.  So things have gotten better. 

But it's not like once I start getting the hang of things it continues.  I get the hang of it one weekend and then I have to start all over the next weekend.  And lately, we've been traveling or chaperoning youth group retreats or feeling under the weather, and my husband ended up at the grocery story yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, and the meal I chose to make was (new) uber complicated and we spent a few couple hours in the kitchen and dinner was late, and Matthan went to bed late.  The Hubs made a comment like "if the goal is to be connected as a family and spend time together, we shouldn't be grocery shopping at all on Sunday".  That was hard to hear (because he had gone shopping late because of my lack of staying on top of things), but he was right.  Sigh.  Will try again next weekend.  We did spend the time in the kitchen together making said uber complicated dinner plan and Matthan played around us in the kitchen so at least we were together.  Making lemonade out of lemons, ya know?

"Baby Matthan needs a halo because he's an angel" - The cousins

But that got me thinking.  What if I couldn't shop on Sunday?  I'd be forced to get my booty in gear when it comes to meal planning.  And if everyone didn't shop on Sunday then stores wouldn't have a reason to be open and their employees could go home and be with their families... and we'd all just be a little more affected.

The troops heading to the park (not pictured: me, Paul, Peanut & Charlie (the canines))

I've learned thus far that you get blown in the direction that you're leaning. (Is that a cliche or can I get credit for that?).  These past couple weeks I have really struggled to put my phone down.  And that has led to me being less on top of things.  It has led to me being less at peace and less connected. It usually starts because we have a lot going on with holiday planning and present buying and trying to keep up with the every day things, and I feel like we just got back from our Thanksgiving travels yesterday.  And a lot of things are on my phone.  I have emails with present ideas from family, on my phone, and I have lists that I've made of stores I need to go to for gifts, on my phone, and my grocery list is, on my phone, and my recipes are, on my phone, and the weather is, on my phone, and directions are, on my phone...  And so I pick up my phone to (insert productive activity here) and several minutes later I've found an interesting article to read posted by someone on Facebook.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, when I'm intentional, things snowball in a really good direction and one thing flows from the other and Sundays are awesome which flows into the week ahead.  And when I'm not, things flow in the other direction, and it's pretty lousy.  But I do have to say that as tough as it's been to achieve the goal...

it's been totally worth it.

Rolling on the floor and snuggling with his blanket in front of the fire

How do you and your family keep Sundays holy?  Do you have any suggestions for me on how to avoid falling off the wagon when all my stuff is on my phone (so as to have it all in one place and be more efficient)?

Stay tuned for Part 3.

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