In the cool of my kitchen, accompanied by a cup of coffee and a baby, I saw, from my window, the black of night yielding. It was still and silent — even the early birds in the trees were quiet. Then, when I looked again, it was not-black. To call it gray would be too much — it simply wasn’t black anymore. Slowly — and yet, not with any hesitation — the not-black became navy, and then a louder gray, the crickets having woken up to herald the day.
It wasn’t like a switch, even a dimmer switch, the way the sky transformed. We didn’t have magnificent colors on the west side of the house, where my kitchen faces the heat of the afternoon sun and the fireworks of sunset.
The beginning of this day was the beginning of the week. It is our day of rest, our day to reflect on what the Lord has given us. We aren’t always good at keeping the Sabbath holy; we’re far from the ideal. We often spend time with family. Though we try not to shop, there are just times when we do. I try not to do (too much) laundry, but when the weather allows me to hang it out, I do.
What I find, on Sundays, as my week begins, is that the “work” I do — in my family, in my house, sometimes in my parish — is different. It’s a reminder to me to pray as I do, to live my vocations — wife and mother — with a spring in my step.
Sometimes, just as the day began gradually outside my window, my joy in the present moment is slow to start. I’m not always contagious in my enthusiasm (or lack of) about my present moment. I catch myself complaining, whining, wishing it away (even if only in my own head).
On the Sabbath, on this day God asked us to set aside and rest, I find a chance to refocus. Even on weeks when we go to the vigil Mass on Saturday night, I find myself having a “Sunday” — it just starts sooner. It starts with a slow winding-up, just as the day began outside my kitchen window, with quiet and stillness. It’s in that stillness that I hear the Voice that should be guiding me, accompanying me, leading me.
The day gears up and the week begins. Some are better than others, and while I may intend to be a model of virtue and loving motherhood, often I’m not. In the slow daybreak this Sunday, I see the opportunity to continue on the path, hand in hand with my Maker.
The sun is glaring down, having won the sky. As it makes long shadows of the house, I think of all the day and week hold, and my heart turns to Heaven. Whatever this Sunday brings — triumphs or stumblings, holiness or impatience, smiles or tears — it’s all God’s…every little bit of it.
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