Monday, March 28, 2011

Allen Duty's Sabbath Routine

My day starts as late as possible, which for me is not typically later than 7:30 or 8:00AM am with 3 small children. They usually wake up between 7:00 and 7:15AM, which wakes Kendra and me up as well. We will turn on an educational show or two to get the day going and allow them to wake up while we make coffee and read our Bibles.

I take my Sabbath on Fridays. My wife Kendra will typically make a hot breakfast of some kind, featuring some combination of eggs, toast, sausage or bacon, and sometimes pancakes. We spend a little longer at the table together on Fridays as we plan out the day. Kendra runs errands with Beckett (our 3-year old) while I stay at home with Taylor Joy (5) and Easton (20 months). Easton takes his morning nap while I teach Taylor Joy her lessons for the day. We are in our first year of homeschooling and just loving it. We will do math, writing, reading, and a fun project/craft on occasion as well. It's a very special time of bonding for the two of us.

Lunch starts as soon as Kendra and Beckett get home. This is usually a quick meal on purpose, because there is only about 90 minutes from the end of lunch until the kids go down for their afternoon nap/quiet time. We will play as a family during this time, and try to spend it outside if the weather is nice enough. We will ride bikes in the driveway, play in the yard, and just spend time together. While the kids are sleeping from 2-4 pm, Kendra and I will have a special time of connection. We sit on the couch and talk about what God has shown us that week in Bible reading, talk about our souls, talk about people/situations we are praying for, and then pray together. This time will last between 60-90 minutes on a normal day. Afterwards, Kendra will usually work on a project and I’ll run (3-4 miles).

Twice per month, Kendra and I go on a special date together
. If it's a family night, dinner will typically be a simple meal; I like Kendra to take a break from cooking on my Sabbath day as well. On family night, we usually do one night in per month and one night out per month. On date night, Kendra and I will almost always go out to dinner and dessert. We have a few favorite places in town, especially Caffe Capri, which is a locally owned Italian restaurant with a great atmosphere that we love. After enjoying a leisurely dinner together, we will head somewhere else for dessert. Our favorite dessert place is Christopher's World Grille, one of the only famous 5-star restaurants in our area. We’re usually home around 8:30PM.

We have family worship at the end of each day right before bedtime
. All 5 of us will gather on the couch to read, sing, and pray. Currently, we are alternating nights between The Jesus Storybook Bible and Big Truths for Little Kids, so our kids are getting bible stories in simple language and also fictional stories that are designed to teach and apply biblical truths. They love both books. Then we will sing our hymn of the week, which Kendra chooses each Sunday, and perhaps one other song. We close our time together by having each child pray (including Easton, which is hilarious) and then I will pray for the family. After family worship, we will put the kids to bed, normally no later than 8:45 or 9:00PM.

Our day ends with lots of relaxing
. Fridays are fun but busy days for us. At the end of the day, Kendra and I will relax by watching a movie together, playing Wii or a board game, talking, or just enjoying each other's company in some other way. We tend to stay up a little later on Friday nights, which for us is 11:00 or 11:30PM.

Allen Duty is the founding and lead pastor of New Life Baptist Church in College Station. He is the author of Baptism: Helpful Answers to Common Questions. He lives in College Station with his wife and three children. He's an Aggie.

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