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Tips for Creating Your Own Family Day of Rest

2017-01-05
Tips for Creating Your Own Family Day of Rest

Many Sparklers are inspired to create a family day of rest for the new year. Some of us are choosing Saturday, some Sunday. Some of us are starting with “no business work” like Martin and Sylvia’s family, and some of us are starting with “no cleaning.” The main idea is to create a special day dedicated to slowing down, spending time with family, and recharging. This may mean something different for each family and each family member!

We may face challenges when it comes to creating a day of rest. Specifically, the modern world is busy, over-scheduled, and ambitious. Therefore, families may sometimes find it difficult to slow down and create intentional moments of rest (not to mention an entire day!). With this in mind, we created this Martin and Sylvia series to inspire, inform, and offer practical ideas to help make it easier!Many models for days of rest or Sabbaths originate from religious traditions. However, Martin and Sylvia’s family creates a more "secular Sabbath"- a unique model of their own creation. Most importantly, their hope is to have a day that is special, slow, dear, and that helps them all renew and revitalize.

Would you like to implement a day of rest in your own family?

Follow Momma and Daddy’s tips for getting started:

Dream together. First, talk with your family about the idea of a Day of Rest. Martin and Sylvia’s family discuss the question, “What are your favorite things about Christmas other than gifts?”

What is work? Next, spend a few minutes writing together to define the idea of “work” in your household. Make a list of things you each consider “work” — and don’t forget to include daily chores and other ordinary activities.

What is rest? Now take some time to define the idea of “rest” together. Write a list of things that are restful or replenishing, or as Momma says, “things that are special and relaxing and make us feel renewed.” For some this may mean free time or quiet time. Some may prefer to visit friends or family. What would bring this sense of rest to each of you personally and as a family?

Make some decisions. Momma and Daddy propose a way for their family to begin. They decide to add one Restful Thing and eliminate one Work Thing for their special day. Follow their lead! As the year progresses, you can tweak and add and change things. But to start, choose one restful thing to add into your day of rest and one work thing to eliminate.

Choose your day. While Momma and Daddy don’t get into the specifics in this episode, it will be helpful for the rest of us to choose a day. It may be the same day each week. For instance, Saturday or Sunday often work well for people. However, a weekday might be best for those with alternative schedules. In fact, some of you may wish to choose a different day of the week for rest depending on that week’s schedule. Of course, no matter what you choose for your family, remember that this is an experiment. Consequently, you can always adjust your practice along the way!

We’re on this journey too, and we’d love to hear your thoughts, challenges, and successes. Share your ideas with us so that we can all benefit from each others wisdom!

May you and your family enjoy creating a Day of Rest together this year.


More about 'Martin & Sylvia: Day of Rest' Audio Story Collection

M & S Day of Rest centered for blog

In this collection, Martin and Sylvia’s Momma and Daddy both work and share the responsibilities of keeping a home. They like the balance between home and work, but they do regularly feel tired, overwhelmed, and too busy with all the details of their day-to-day life. Momma’s assistant, Amy, gives her a book that she says could benefit the whole family. Momma is surprised and delighted to learn it's all about how to practice a full "Day of Rest." Thus a year-long project to build the perfect day of rest for their family begins.

Find the ongoing collection HERE.

Listen to the Introductory Story: "A Year to Build a Day"

A Year to Build a Day — Introduction to a Day of Rest

A Year to Build a Day — Introduction to a Day of Rest


More Support for Creating a Family Day of Rest

The Sparkle Blog is full of tools and tips to help support your journey! Here are a few of our favorites to get you started!

Storybox Playlist: Our Most Restful Stories

We created this special playlist to help families pause, slow down, and rest! In fact, you will find plenty of support, tools, and of course stories in Sparkle Land to help incorporate rest into your ongoing family rhythms. Read about some of them (and their related stories) in this helpful post.

Helping & Healing: Our Days of Breathing Rhythms

To help bring structure and harmony to your daily lives (and make it easier to incorporate your day of rest!), check out this guest blog post from Melisa Nielsen! What if stopping to breathe was the game changer you needed? What if it was a piece of the magic? A key to help find balance (and rest)? Check out the post to read Melisa's tips and insights!

Emergency Rest Time Toolkit: Stories to Help Kids Slow Down

Rest doesn't always come easily! The increased stress of modern living impacts children as well as adults. We are habituated to being stimulated and geared up. This playlist includes not only stories to help settle and soothe nervous systems, but also links to helpful tools and resources to help kids center and ground.

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About the Author

Ann Boyd

Literary Editor and Continuity Director

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.

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