March 17, 2009

Sunday Sabbath and Stingrays

I know that technically, the Sabbath first referred to in the Old Testament fell on Saturday, and that Jesus is our New Testament Sabbath. But I also know God created our bodies (and many things in nature) to operate as part of a cycle. We need the rest afforded to us each night as sleep. We also need that day of recuperation each week, to refresh ourselves physically, spiritually, and mentally. Our little family has never had the opportunity to fully partake of that rest.

Since getting married, Ken and I have both always been involved in our local church, but not on a full-time basis. So after a week of working a "regular" job, Saturdays were usually reserved for home and car maintenance (or a youth activity, or travel), and Sundays were jam-packed. We usually left home around 8:30 AM for Sunday morning services, which concluded between 12-12:30 PM. After cooking and eating lunch, then cleaning the kitchen, it was time to get ready for the evening service. We never begrudged this because we've REALLY enjoyed the different jobs we've held at church. I have to admit, though, that I was always envious of those folks who really RESTED on Sundays. Our version of rest was the nap the girls took in the back seat to or from church, or on the back bench of the sanctuary if it turned out not to be worth it time-wise to drive back home between services.

Since moving here, that has definitely changed. Sunday services are literally in our front yard or right across the small pond, so we leave our house at 8:50 AM and walk to service that starts at 9! We get back home by 11 AM at the latest, with plenty of time to sit around sipping terere with other church members or to take a swing at a siesta in the hammock. It's tempting to catch up on schoolwork or housework (it's neverending here), but we've tried to remain committed to taking full advantage of this new Sunday schedule.

We've also found that this is a good time to explore nearby places with our Paraguayan friends, who get a kick out of being our guides. Just this past Sunday, Milciades showed us a fishing spot in the River Paraguay. The girls and I fished a tiny bit, but mostly I lay on a blankie with a book, and they dangled their feet in the water. Ken was the only person to catch anything, namely, a STINGRAY! The men fishing on the bank were quite impressed and very disappointed when Ken let him go. They came running to the river's edge trying to grab the stingray before he got away, but the little guy was too fast for them. He had no desire to be the milanesa (fried patty) they were screaming for.

I hope you're able to work restful family time into your Sundays, too. I think God is smiling about our time, and I know WE are!!


  1. Growing up in the home of a minister, I always wondered about Sunday being a "Day of rest". Never was in our house. It seems life is a little slower here in Paraguay.

  2. 1. That is one sweet hat, Ken. 2. I think I could maybe eat some stingray milanesa: next time, save it!


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