In this stage of my life I have started becoming very aware of how I spend my Sundays.
On average we have 53 Sundays in a year and if we were blessed to live to an average age now to be around 80 that means we have 4,250 Sundays here on earth. Does that number seem big or small to you? To me, it’s nothing.
I can look at my Sundays as seasons of life that have happened all too fast, and what is coming next seems to be moving even faster. I want to give you a glimpse of those seasons in hopes that you will take the time today to really reflect on how fast life moves, how non-negotiable time is, and to put some action into your purpose before it’s too late.
To be honest, I don’t remember much about them which makes me a little sad. I have friends who can recall very clear details from their life growing up and tell fun stories. Either I have a terrible memory or we just did not make it a special day in our household. I believe with both parents working full time jobs, a dad who traveled quite a bit, and me wanting to spend most of my time with friends it just doesn’t stand out to me. What would you say about your own memories, and more importantly, what do you think your kids would say?
Young Adult Sundays
My husband, Ross, and I met in high school, dated all through college, and got married at the age of 22. Sundays were spent most always together. In college of course it was ‘Sunday Fun Days’ hanging with friends with simply no hurry in our lives. This was an easy time because we had a built in community. It was simple and organic.
Once we began our married life, started careers, and owned a home those days were spent taking care of our responsibilities and preparing for the week to come. Spending time with friends became more of a planned effort usually revolving around sports, birthdays, or holidays. The phases of our friendships shifted, too. With each passing year as our families began to grow and some moved away it become more challenging to stay connected. Friends came and friends went. Now most of those relationships are down to a few cards at the holidays and following each other on facebook, and almost non-existent Sundays together.
Seven years into our marriage we had our son, Cole, and two years later our daughter, Laurel, arrived. This created big changes in how our Sundays looked! At this point in our lives Ross and I started really getting focused on creating a vision of what we wanted our family life to look like and how we would spend our time to create the relationships we wanted with our kids as they grew. We knew that we had a very short time with them at home to make happy memories (only 954 Sundays until they turn 18!) and made daily intentional choices with our time to give them the foundations they would need long term.
Sundays were reserved for church, maybe lunch with friends, and solely time for us to be together. This day became sacred to us especially as Cole and. Laurel grew up and started having their own friends and activities. As a rule, they did not go over to friends’ homes, we did not have any sporting activities, and Ross and I refrained from working. How challenging do you think that is in this day and age? We both worked from home so it would be easy to sneak some time on the computer but we put boundaries around all of that and now that this time together is gone can I just tell you how unbelievably grateful I am that we did this? Check in on this, my friends.
The Sundays of Empty Nest and The Unexpected
As life goes, our kiddos went off to college and and officially started their adult lives. To be honest, this was a very challenging time for me, for Ross, and for our marriage. We had prepared for this time both financially within our careers. We both had set up our careers for the most part to be with them wherever and whenever they needed or wanted, and had space to take the time to travel.
What we did not do so well was hold a strong vision of our marriage over the years and we were struggling to find that relationship again so Sundays were a challenge for just the two of us.
Then the unthinkable happened. In four short years, both the men in our family ended their lives here on earth. There were so many changes that took place in our family dynamics between the three years we lost Ross and then Cole. During that time I sold our home, moved and traveled between three states to keep us connected as much as possible, and worked to create a ‘new normal’.
Laurel recently got married and has begun her life in another state. This season of Sundays for me now are usually spent alone if not with Laurel, invited to do something with a friend (which is rare because of lives being so busy) and are very, very quiet. I have to work to fill the day so I don’t feel the void so much.
The three things that have remained my anchors in all the changes and storms has been my deepening faith and relationship with God, my strong relationship with Laurel and her husband, and the clear vision of who I am and what I am meant to be.
Sundays have become a day of a lot (sometimes too much) of reflection and recommitting to my vision which has kept me strong and more committed than ever to stay on the God’s mission for my life.
So, I challenge you to do this today. Take a look of how many Sundays you have (God willing) and what changes may be coming with normal life circumstances. This is the true beginning of vision work. Let go of anything in your past that you cannot change. And lastly, decide how you want to spend EVERY day to make each moment count in your life. Do this for you and for the ones you love.
I pray that you will change your Someday to Sunday!