"Intentional Living on Sundays" by Barb Szyszkiewicz @franciscanmom

Intentional Living on Sundays

“Intentional” seems to be the buzzword these days. That’s a good thing, I think. I’m not talking about the kind of intentions that pave the road to Hell, but rather the kind that require self-discipline to live out.

I know people who are intentional about buying local, or eating clean, or beginning their days with a 45-minute workout. The productivity experts whose articles always suck me in when I’m on Twitter (it’s those compelling titles) outline all the ways in which one can live intentionally.

Many times, in those articles, one important idea is left out.

Honor and keep holy the Lord’s Day. –the Third Commandment

If you’re going to pick one thing about which to be intentional, this is the thing.

I admit that could do better at this. I try very hard not to shop on Sundays. I don’t have to try too hard to give myself permission not to do laundry or housework on Sundays. Other than cooking and everyday wiping down for sanitary purposes, most things can wait another day.

Today’s a weird Sunday for me; the folk group sang at the 5 PM Mass last night, so I won’t be at church. That always throws me off. To me, it feels like a Saturday, except that there’s a Sunday paper spread all over the dining-room table. No one needs a ride to rehearsal or soccer practice. And I’m resisting temptation to do work-related stuff–I could be really productive right now, since I have the energy and a big chunk of time.

I’ve got no deeds to do, no promises to keep. –Paul Simon, “Feelin’ Groovy”

Instead, I need to give myself permission to fill my day in a different way. I can serve bacon and French Toast to TheKid and his 2 sleepover guests, when they wake up. I can flip through cookbooks to find a new recipe to try. I can write someone a letter. I can call my mom. I can read that newspaper that’s all over the table, before someone spills maple syrup on it. I can pray a little extra.

This morning I read an article in Aleteia about what one busy working woman discovered when she intentionally set Sundays apart. The work will always be there, and if there’s a choice, I encourage you to choose, if you can, to keep your Sundays free from work and shopping and everyday household chores.

I guarantee you won’t miss being among the crowds in the supermarket on a Sunday.

Give yourself and your family the blessing of intentional Sundays. You won’t regret it.

"Intentional Living on Sundays" by Barb Szyszkiewicz @franciscanmom
Photo copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved. Text added in Canva.

Sometimes You’ve Just Gotta Break the Rules

I have a thing about working on Sundays.  If I don’t have to, I don’t.

Work that gets done on Sunday is work that can’t possibly wait until Monday (or be done ahead on Saturday).  I don’t do laundry on Sunday unless there is a True Laundry Emergency.  The same goes for vacuuming and other housecleaning.  After all, when you’re a homemaker, you do all that stuff every day of the week.  It’s good to remember to take a day of rest, to separate the day in some ways from all the other days.  The same goes for my freelance-writing work.

I do cook on Sunday, but I enjoy that.

Today, though, I emptied out 3 kitchen cabinets, one appliance cart, and one dining-room cabinet.  I took everything out and decided what would go back in–and where it would go.

I present the Leaning Tower of Bakeware.  I can cook 5 1/2 dozen regular-size muffins or cupcakes.  (Not that my oven could hold that many at once, but I’ve got the pans to make it happen).

And the pots and pans and bowls and colanders and…yikes.  It was like the clown car of kitchen cabinets.  More stuff just kept coming out.

I have a huge bucket (one of those party buckets with the rope handles) OVERFLOWING with stuff that didn’t make it back into the cabinets:  stuff that’s used maybe once or twice a year, so I’ll keep it elsewhere; and stuff that I just don’t use, so I’ll donate.

Now, all my bakeware is in ONE place.

The rewards of treating Sunday as a day of rest are great.  This afternoon, I worked.  I spent about 2 hours not resting so that I can make my future time spent in the kitchen much more pleasant.  (There’s even a tablecloth on the table!)  On a weekday, I don’t get 2 hours in the afternoon to do this kind of stuff–I’m too busy being a taxi driver, referee, and nagger-about-homework.

It’s taken 12 years to get my kitchen to look this good.

Now I can rest, and enjoy the fruits of my labors.