This September will mark fifteen years that my family has lived in our home. Recently, as we looked through a set of photos that I had taken when we were considering buying this house, our school-age daughters expressed shock at how different it looked. Somehow at the time, my husband and I had been able to look past the gray carpeting, the dirty linoleum, and the strange paint job to see the potential for what was to become our family home. After several months of painting and polishing (and replacing the seashell-style toilet seat), we were delighted to host a housewarming party, inviting our friends over to celebrate our new digs with us.
Joy comes reliably through sharing the fruits of our labors after creating something beautiful. Be it a neatly appointed guest room, a freshly refinished chair, or a meal of homemade spaghetti and meatballs, the creator delights in sharing the creation with loved ones. While fulfilling in itself, even the process of carefully crafting an experience (like a Day of Rest, for example) can result in increased joy when a few favorite people are invited along for the ride. Our joy is compounded as we watch others delight in our creation. It’s a universal truth.
Martin and Sylvia’s family experiences this phenomenon as they share their Day of Rest practices with their close friends, the Webers. After months of testing, experimenting, and refining, they are finally confident and able to share the gift of rest with a family they love dearly. Although this process introduces many new elements into their relationship, Martin and Sylvia’s family trust their friendship to absorb and flex with these new ideas — which in turn blesses the socks off the Webers.
If you’re interested in sharing your Day of Rest with friends as Martin and Sylvia’s family does, here are a few tips to get you started.
Establish your patterns. Martin and Sylvia’s family was able to share their Day of Rest so generously with the Webers because they had already worked out the kinks. There was no risk that one family member would disagree with a guideline or practice and throw their routine into turmoil. If you’re still discovering the Day of Rest that suits your family best, take your time and enjoy that process. Once you are of one mind (to a reasonable extent), you’ll know that you’re ready for the new adventure of opening up your Day of Rest to others.
Anticipate roadblocks. Martin and Sylvia were excited about the idea of sharing their Day of Rest with the Webers, but they could easily predict moments that might become contentious. What if Mr. Weber wants to make a phone call? What about screen time? What if they move very fast without taking any breaks? Imagining these scenarios (be them serious or ridiculous) allowed the family to get clear about what they were willing to do or not do to modify their own rituals.
Invite without requirement. Martin and Sylvia’s family knew what they wanted their Day of Rest to look like while camping, and they looked forward to inviting the Webers to join in. But the invitation was not a demand — they knew that even if the Webers opted out, that would be okay. As the trip progressed, the Webers learned about the Day of Rest routines through their natural curiosity and Martin and Sylvia’s openness. The deeply held value of hospitality that Martin and Sylvia’s family holds dear gave the Webers an open door to walk through and join them, pressure-free.
Open yourself to new ideas. Sasha influenced the Day of Rest traditions when she suggested that they write down their weekly reflections and burn them in the fire. This brought a welcome new element into the Day of Rest, something that bonded the families together in a special way. Martin and Sylvia’s openness gave them space to learn some new things. And in the process, the Weber family was able to offer a bit of ownership and participation to the fun — a win for all.
Enjoy your friendships. Whether or not your friends are initially receptive to receiving the gift of a Day of Rest, you can enjoy your time together. The clarity you have in your own values and the trust you have in your friendship will allow for all the flexibility you need to offer an invitation and roll with the outcome. Go ahead and take a risk — your friends might just thank you for introducing them to a life-changing practice.
Listen to the first free story HERE and read more about getting started with a Day of Rest.
Read the July Day of Rest tips HERE.
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About the Author
Ann is a writer, editor, homeschooling mother, voracious reader, full-fat baker, and musician. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two daughters and chronicles the journey at Boyds’ Nest News.