Andrea at "The Flourishing Mother" has posted about the Sabbath and was asking "how do you spend your Sabbath?" so I thought I would follow suit and write a post of my own on it.
When God saved me 6 years ago I was a single parent of a 3-year-old, mourning the death of my partner Sean who had died in a car accident before my son was born. I started to go to the services every Sunday morning and Sunday evening. I just loved going, but found I was exhausted physically and mentally by Sunday night and would sometimes just sit down and cry, I was that worn out.
I eventually spoke to my pastor Stephen and explained the situation to him. Very kindly and gently he said that I should keep going to the services because even if I wasn't 'getting' anything from being there, I was an encouragement to others as sometimes others are an encouragement to me and that, after all, I was part of the body.
Stephen could have soft-soaped me and told me what I wanted to hear and not what I should hear. He could have said not to worry about it and wasn't I just great to get to the Sunday morning service. He could have said lots of things that would have catered to the fleshy part of me... but he didn't. In love, he showed me what I should do and encouraged me to do it.
Around this time the Lord was teaching me about what the Sabbath really means. He showed me that this day is to be spent with Him and His people. That it is to be a day of rest. It is to be the first day of the week given to Him and His people - to start the week off on the right note! Normally I would clean and vacuum, shop and cut the grass. I started to pull back from working on a Sunday. Initially, it put me out because I liked keeping up with these things and used Sundays to do it. However, out of obedience to what God was showing me, I stopped shopping, cleaning etc.
It made a great difference to me! Instead of feeling under pressure and not fully enjoying fellowship with my new brothers and sisters, I looked forwards all the more to Sundays and the services!
I love the Sabbath now. I get up with my family and go to Sunday school. Then I enjoy the main service. When we get home Niall cooks the dinner and Seán lights the fire. We settle down for the afternoon watching something or playing a game/snooze etc. Seán has his tea and we go back to the church building for a Bible study we are currently doing. Sometimes we bring friends back and sometimes not. Sometimes we invite people here for dinner, sometimes we go visiting friends for dinner.
The long and short of it is that Sunday in our household is for spending time with the Lord, His people and my family, resting...