Last week I read a blog by life coach Marie Wetmore http://mariewetmore.com/2012/07/05/a-day-of-rest-key-to-your-happiness-and-well-being/. Marie suggested that we would all be happier, healthier, and more productive if we plan a day of rest each week. I couldn’t agree more, even if I don’t always follow that advice. After all, God dictated to us that we should set aside one day per week, the Sabbath, as a day to worship Him and to rest. And in the story of creation in Genesis, we are told that God worked for 6 days and rested on the seventh.
Of course, as a Christian I go to church on Sundays and spend the day rather leisurely, but it certainly isn’t always a complete day of rest. A typical Sunday for me involves doing a couple of loads of laundry and a trip to the grocery store so that I am prepared for the week ahead. Yesterday was not planned to be any different from my usual Sunday, although I had managed to do laundry on Saturday. In mid-afternoon I did a few errands, including shopping for groceries. My intention was to cook a large dinner with planned leftovers for some lunches during the week. However, my best intentions were interrupted by a severe storm.
Just as I was gathering the ingredients for dinner, I noticed a nasty storm brewing. I decided to wait a few minutes as I didn’t want to chance the power going out with dinner half-cooked. We lost power a week earlier for about 18 hours after a derecho (a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms–no I had never heard of it either before experiencing it last week) hit our community. Within minutes the storm struck bringing with it a 20-minute hailstorm. As expected, the power went out and remained out for a few hours.
Fortunately, it was early enough that it was still light outside. Steve was at a movie with our oldest son Chris, so I was home alone. Without electricity, I couldn’t cook, watch television, or surf the web. I concluded that my only option was reading a book on my Kindle. Since reading is my favorite pastime, I thoroughly enjoyed my unplanned hours of rest. I immersed myself in a book for a couple of hours, until I estimated that the movie would be over. Then I texted both Steve and Chris telling them to pickup dinner on their way home. It was only after Steve had come home with fried chicken that he reminded me we have a gas stove, which continues to work in the absence of electricity.
Somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind, I’m sure I knew that the stove worked–especially as he mentioned it several times during the previous power outage. However, we didn’t actually use the stove while the power was out and the information didn’t really process in my brain. I should probably mentioned that we moved into this house recently and we have never before cooked on a gas stove. I am still getting used to the peculiarities of this house and to cooking with gas.
I’m glad that I didn’t realize that I could have cooked dinner and had it waiting for Steve when he came home from the movies. The hours I spent relaxing and reading were hours of rest that I needed. He was relaxing at a movie and I relaxed at home. Today I feel more rested and less stressed due to my unplanned day of rest yesterday. I have to agree with Marie Wetmore that we all need a day of rest, or at least an afternoon of rest, regularly. We need to unwind and recharge. I hope that I make Sundays a day of true rest in the future. I believe my work days will be more productive because of it, and it will allow me to catch up some good books I’ve been planning to read.