Historically, at our house, Sundays have been used for getting ready for the week. It was when the grocery shopping was done, the laundry was caught up, the school uniforms were gotten ready for the week, other chores that I needed to get done to get ready for the busy week of school. The thinking was that, if I could get all this stuff done on Sunday, the week would run more smoothly, which is logical thinking, right?
But at the beginning of this school year, God starting working in my heart to change this behavior. Everything I read for a while had something to say about keeping the Sabbath, or making the Sabbath a day of rest, etc. I began to see that my well-meaning attitude of working diligently to stave off chaos throughout the week, was preventing myself and my family from having a day of rest, a day of spending time with each other. It was just like any other day, just a busy, just as chaotic.
Then as I began to read Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, I immediately asked myself, "How can I apply this to my life?". I understood the concept and what a wonderful one it was. But I was so task-oriented that I couldn't even imagine what a Mary heart looked like when it was lived out. I began to pray about this and God really put it on my heart that it needed to start with Sundays. I needed to work diligently throughout the week, so that we could be together as a family without the worries of getting chores done before Monday. And, of course, to spend time with Him without all the usual distractions.
It took me a while to get it together enough to pull off a Sunday with no to-do list. I had to start trying to complete some chores during the week. I had to do more on Saturdays. But I knew that once those needed tasks were completed, I was going to do nothing the next day. I don't know about you, but it is RARE that I do nothing.
As a matter-of-fact, the very first Sunday that I was able to put this into practice was one Sunday when Cecil was out of town with work. The house was clean, we went to church, the kids and I had just eaten a simple lunch, the school bags even been packed on Sat. night and were ready for the next morning. I sat on the sofa and put the Saints game on with the kids. I'm not kidding you when I say that two minutes passed and tasks that I should be doing started creeping into my head: Martha thinking...
"You could be organizing your closet",
"You need to go through the kids' clothes and get rid of what's too small",
"You never got around to cleaning the floor in your bathroom".
I had to really make a conscious effort to sit and do nothing, to not be "productive". The kids and I played some games, I read a little and had a wonderful, relaxing day. It really made a difference in that next week, too. I felt less frazzled, calmer.
It's still a learning process, I'm still trying to get it "right". As a matter-of-fact, I do have some laundry that has to be done today. But it's definitely worth the extra effort during the week. And next week I will just try a bit harder and be a bit more diligent.
By the way, I highly recommend this book. It completely changed and is changing my thinking, my attitude( that still needs some work) and my heart. It was truly an answered prayer.