What does Sunday mean to you?
Does it mean going to church with your family, watching your favorite football team, fried chicken for Sunday dinner, inviting Sunday guests over to share your dinner?
Maybe it’s just a day to relax, read the paper, and get that quiet nap you’ve longed for all week.
When I was a younger me, living at home, Sundays were hectic, chaotic, and frustrating for my mother. She did it alone, trying to wrangle us kids into our Sunday best, and adjust our attitudes to please the Lord.
It’s hard talking your brood into going to church when your husband sits in his favorite chair hiding behind the Des Moines Register.
Being the oldest, I felt obligated to help her out, and get everyone going before mom blew her stack, and got the bear behind the newspaper involved…that was to be avoided at all costs.
Needless to say, going to church was not always a joyous experience in our house. I felt bad for my mother. She’d shame us with… “I’ll bet if we were going to a movie or the fair, you’d get yourselves ready in no time!”
Once we got to church, we’d go to our assigned Sunday school classes and participate in the activities the teacher had planned for us.
There were those kids who always had their lessons completed with academic excellence… the ones I wanted to throttle for being over-the-top prepared…suck-ups! You remember those kids…the ones who had all their Bible verses memorized with Jeopardy quickness and zeal.
Somehow, I didn’t have the interest or motivation to finish the lessons—I had enough to do just getting my regular homework done and completing all the chores mom and dad expected of me.
When I was very young, we attended a country church.
Green Mound , pictured above, still stands across the road from the shady cemetery where most of my dad’s family are buried. Even today, this quaint little church holds Sunday services. I always enjoyed and looked forward to the Sunday school classes there. Our teacher would illustrate Bible stories on a flannel graph board. She’d dig deep in her tote and slowly bring each character out to be displayed as the story progressed.
Being the visual learner I was and am, that kind of teaching grabbed and kept my attention.
It was when we moved to the First Baptist Church in town that homework was introduced. I know it’s important, and I did learn a lot of about the Bible and my Christian history, but I enjoyed the socialization more than the word! I guess that’s all our parents could hope for… that some of what we heard would soak in and make us better human beings.
Anyway, getting back to what Sunday is all about, I am appreciative of the effort my sainted mother went to for my salvation, and of lessons of faith that have followed me throughout my life.
And, to give my dad some redemption, he usually had dinner started when we got home!
When I was still teaching and my children were at home, I’d get the Sunday Night Blues! That gloomy cloud that hung over me…knowing the weekend was over and the busy work-week loomed on the horizon.
I don’t get the Sunday Night Blues anymore, but I do miss those flannel graph stories!