Weekending Well

Last Thursday morning after washing my face, brushing my teeth, and pouring myself a steaming cup of peach detox tea I sit in my morning chair, and check my email for the day's selected Bible reading passages delivered to my inbox. There is an unexpected shift in the day's scripture passage that makes me feel a bit disoriented.

The plan has me reading from Psalms each day and a section from both the Old Testament and the New Testament each day. The Old Testament readings are semi-continuous. For example, I read through much of 1st and 2nd Samuel this Summer, and just started reading in 1st Kings.  

This week I was reading all about Solomon building the house of the Lord; the planning, the provision, the process, the productivity. And I was connecting with the whole vibe! Focused on my list of tasks and goals for the week. Then Thursday morning, and all the sudden instead of another scripture passage in 1st Kings, we are to read from the Songs of Solomon. From serious planning and productivity to poetry!

So Thursday I read Song of Solomon chapter 1, but it wasn't until I read chapter 2 on Friday that my heart was ready for the shift too. From creating and making to receiving and listening for love. In fact, Thursday I was so focused on daily chores and my to-do-list that I missed some obvious things. First, the scripture passage seemed so random to me. Totally embarrassed I missed the obvious connection; Solomon! the story of Solomon in 1st Kings and Solomon's Song. Also, that day I had written a note to Oliver's teacher that we would be picking him up early from school on Friday to go on a family field trip outing since my husband was taking a four day weekend. Come to find out they didn't even have school on Friday. Sigh!!!! 

Sometimes we get so focused on planning, preparing, being productive that shifting into a mode of rest or receiving or being present does not come natural. In fact it took me reading God's word to help prepare my heart for the weekend break. 

Also,  because weekends hold less structure, sometimes depression or a slight anxiety and melancholy can popup easily for me. This seems to happen often if there is no plan in place with some anchor objectives or events. In fact, it was occurring so often that I looked up some articles and books titles about weekending! On the free Hoopla App, where I get to download up to 6 free ebooks and audio books per month, I found an audio book What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekends; a Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off. I was not so much drawn to the becoming-successful/make-the-most-of-your-days part, but more interested because it might help me transform my weekends into something I look forward to more and enjoy; help me make the shift from the week to the weekend and experience refreshment!

I enjoyed the audiobook. 2 simple tips I took away;

  1. First, I need to make a list of lots of doable fun activities I can pick from for weekends (if the weekend isn't already busy with events or celebrations or projects)
  2. Next, choose a few anchor activities to look forward to, because anticipation can bring joy throughout the weekdays too. 

Often, I can count on Sundays to mean Church and then lunch and board games at my parents house! Traditions are nice so you don't have to plan something new all the time. And with Oliver's first soccer season starting, I look forward to being outside and getting some vitamin-D on Saturday mornings, while he runs around looking cute in a uniform and knee high soccer socks! 

It seemed timely that last Thursday I was thinking about and even experiencing in my scripture reading a transition from a focus on work to a shift towards receiving love and refreshment; because last weekend was Labor Day weekend! And it ended up being a great time for our family. We explored Tulsa's new crazy-amazing-spectacular park, The Gathering Place, watched some football, spent time with family, visited the aquarium, and ended the weekend with Kite Flying. 

Now as we prepare and head into another weekend; I just thought I might share those thoughts with you and also offer a prayer, some scriptures and a song to you to help you "weekend well". Thanks to my friend Meredith McDaniel for recommending this song to me. LOVE! 

For Your Weekend

Let us trust you God to fulfill the work of our hands, and help us learn to also cease striving when need be in order to receive rest, refreshment, and love! Bring joy to our weekends and strengthen us with your gentleness.

He brought me to the banqueting house,[b]
and his banner over me was love.
5 Sustain me with raisins;
refresh me with apples,
— Song of Solomon 2:4-5
My beloved has gone down to his garden
to the beds of spices,
to graze[a] in the gardens
and to gather lilies.
3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
he grazes among the lilies.
— Song of Solomon 6:2-3