When I heard that my friend Shelly had begun a Sabbath practice, I emailed her to ask how it was going. Because truthfully, I feel a little lost in my Sabbath practice. I don’t feel like I’m doing it “right.” I feel like I might be missing something. I feel restless and irritable. I keep wanting to paint the bathroom or dust the chandelier. This seems like a bad sign.
Before I launched the new Sabbath practice back in November I established a few rules to keep myself on task. I didn’t go crazy. But I knew I’d cheat if I didn’t have rules.
No cleaning, housework (with the exception of meal prep and dishes), laundry, organizing or aimless busy work.
No projects (i.e. no painting the bathroom).
Last Sunday Rowan begged to play Monopoly. You should know that Monopoly is the bane of my existence. It’s the game I push under the farthest reaches of the couch in the hopes that it will go unnoticed for months on end. When Rowan asked to play Monopoly, I tried desperately to come up with a reason to say no. But it was the Sabbath. I had plenty of time to play Monopoly.
Suffice to say, it did not end well. Rowan got angry because I refused to alert him every time I landed on his property. (Hey, if I’m going to play Monopoly, I’m in it to win it). He fumed and then in his flailing angst, knocked a spider plant off the shelf, strewing dirt and ceramic pot shards all over the sunroom floor. I made him vacuum it up (after all, I couldn’t vacuum…it was the Sabbath), and he ranted and raved and ended up in his room, and I pouted on the couch and thought, “This doesn’t feel very Sabbath-y.” I eagerly looked forward to sunset when I could dust and waste prodigious amounts of time on Facebook.
When the sun dipped below the horizon that evening I got on the computer and emailed Shelly. Of course, her Sabbath practice is going splendidly. Life-changing. Glorious. But her kids are older than mine. And she lives in balmy South Carolina, not arctic Nebraska. I have young kids. Boys. And it’s winter. With no snow. How in the world is a mother supposed to practice the Sabbath in January with two unruly boys underfoot?
So this is my rambling way of asking on a Friday, as the Sunday Sabbath looms right around the corner again, if you have any good ideas for practicing the Sabbath with unruly boys in January? And please don’t suggest Monopoly. It’s back under the couch.