Gratitude Day Six
Today I'm extra grateful for Sundays. I have no idea how I'd live without them.
We go to church on Sunday mornings and there's always something in a lesson or a talk that speaks to something that's on my mind (if I pray and search for a message, I always find one). Occasionally, it's a big message. But usually, it's just a little reminder of something or a thought that pops up later in the week based on something I heard on Sunday. I love hearing the good discussion in Relief Society from such a diverse group of good-hearted women. I love our Sunday School teachers well-thought-out lessons on the New Testament - her crisp British accent makes the lessons all the more enjoyable. I love sitting in Sacrament meeting with my kids snuggled up around me and my husband's arm around me. I love that I can actually listen in church now that my kids are old enough to behave pretty decently most of the time and that I don't need to bring coloring books and quiet toys to church for them anymore. I love that the kids know (after years of reminders) to pull out the hymn books and find the right page and sing along. We still have days when the kids regress and church is frustrating. But mostly, it seems like we've "paid our dues" and church is pleasant and good.
On Sunday afternoons, we relax together. Jared interviews each kid individually. I read stories from the Friend magazine with them. We write letters to relatives. We sometimes take naps. If it's a pretty day, we go for a walk around the neighborhood (no scooters or bikes allowed, just walking and talking and enjoying nature). I usually do a blog post or two. The kids play games together. We often make cookies (or Isaac or Eliza make cookies - they've become our primary cookie-makers around here). We always have a nice dinner together - I go for something quite easy but also really yummy. Sometimes we have friends or relatives over for dinner. At the dinner table, we all share what we learned in church. On Fast Sundays (like today), we have a family testimony meeting before eating - each person gets a chance to stand up and express their thoughts about the gospel and about each other and really say whatever comes to mind. When the kids are tucked in bed, Jared and I each take some individual time to make our lists and goals for the week then we get together and look at our calendars and talk about what we each need to do that week and how we can help each other. It just takes a few minutes and we're pretty good about doing it regularly - we've found that when we DON'T do this, the week just doesn't go so well.
I used to have quite a few meetings on Sundays and Jared has early morning Sunday meetings these days. I'm so grateful that we're all able to be home on Sunday afternoons now.
We try to make Sunday a day full of special things that are mostly reserved for Sundays - not a day full of "don't's." And for the most part, it works. Sure there are crazy Sundays when the peace and planning and togetherness we hope for just doesn't pan out. But in general, Sunday gives us such a great chance to recharge our batteries and have some solid family time.
Eliza just wandered in and I asked her what she likes about Sunday. Her response (no editing from me), "I like how on Sundays we don't have school or basketball games and we can just relax and stay home. I think it's fun to have interviews with Daddy. I like how it's usually so calm on Sundays and we don't have to be rushed. And I like to go to church on Sunday because it's fun to learn about Jesus and stuff and see my friends."
I just called Oliver to see what he likes about Sunday (again, unedited). "I do not like interviews because they are boring and it wastes some of my time when I want to play but I do like to go to church and I like to hang out at home." (good to know interviews aren't the favorite...)
Now I'm curious. Let's see what Silas says. "I like how after church we get to have a nice time doing stuff like reading the Friend - aren't you going to read to us now?' Guess I better get on that.
What are you grateful for about Sundays?