Jim and I have spent years trying to find a good balance to our weekends. Our conflict was simple, and probably common: Jim had been at work all week and was looking forward to a weekend of rest, I had been at home all week and was looking forward to having fun.
And for all of our differences one thing we share in common is that we hate wasting time. We both function better when we know what to expect. And so we have learned to discuss and plan well in advance what a weekend should look like.
Lately we have found our rhythm for the weekends after we read Abraham Joshua Heschel's book, Sabbath. It has changed the way we approach weekends.
We discovered that what Sabbath is meant to be is in fact what we both are needing by week's end which is menuah, a restfulness that is also celebration.
According to Jewish custom, Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday. We have adopted Friday evening as the start to our Sabbath as well. Heschel described the other six days of the week as a pilgrimage to the Sabbath; and so we prepare throughout the week- housework is done, dinner ready- and as the sun sets we light two candles (one to remember one to observe), and we both feast and rest.
As a mom this is so helpful because it is possible to be continually working; work is never actually complete. A Sabbath rest provides a boundary to our work. Now is time to neglect the scattered shoes and pieces, the endless picking up. This one night we put our feet up, the children play, we go to bed with toys still scattered.
Heschel believed that we need the Sabbath in order to survive civilization. “Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul. The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone Else.”
The rest of the weekend varies; often there is work to be done or places to go on Saturdays and our Sabbath continues with church and rest on Sunday. We have found that this intentional break at the end of the work week, an anticipated rest that is also celebration, is what our body and soul needs.
This weekend was especially nice, I thought I would share . ..
Our Sabbath began with leftovers (but if you light candles nobody will notice). Jim led us in an Advent devotional which included children wandering away and being dragged back to the table fourteen times (ah well, we keep trying).
My Saturday morning started at three because Josie kept waking up and as often happens I finally couldn't get back to sleep . . . I relish, however, these mornings when I am awake a few hours before everyone. The dark quiet and time to read and write is Sabbath to me.
I baked this Honeybun cake which my husband warns that you be sure to stock up on insulin before you eat it (It's true- way too much sugar).
Insert Starbucks i.v. because I got up too early . . .
and we're off to find our Christmas treee!
This is when I stopped taking pictures but you can imagine one of these trees wondrously decorated and looking something like this:
or your could imagine our Christmas tree, which looks nothing like this.
After we sufficiently destroyed the house with our unpacked Christmas boxes, our friends Anna and Izaak came to visit. We are always happy to see them.
We took the train to the Cinema to see the Muppets.
I was actually dreading sitting through the Muppets movie because even when I was a kid something about the Muppets freaked me out. The movie was better than I expected, but I don't think the kids really got most of it.
The weekend ended with popcorn, apples and cheese . . . because our weekends always end with a popcorn supper. That's how we do weekends.
(Josie is wearing batman pajamas because . .. well, nevermind).
Isn't life grand?