Sunday mornings are now my most favorite day of the week.
It used to be that I'd get up early and prepare for service or study my WT. Yep, I was one who had her WT highlighted in several colors AND had scriptures jotted in the margins. If I didn't have it underlined, I felt guilty. Dress was more formal on Sundays too (than the bookstudy or TMS). And when you walked into the KH, it felt ... different and more formal than other days.
Service afterward was another experience. Most of the days seemed sunny and beautiful. People would be out in their yards planting flowers with their spouses and enjoying their lives. And I'd approach them with my bookbag and latest magazines in hand offering them happiness. That they already enjoyed. Inside I wished I was out in my yard planting flowers.
Now Sundays are different. I get up when I want and slowly enjoy my morning coffee. I sometimes make a leisurely breakfast and listen to my favorite music. I listen to the birds singing and enjoy the sunshine. No more highlighters and scriptures to jot or magazines to place. No more putting on fronts to avoid the guilt. And plenty of time to be out in my yard planting flowers.
How true that is. I too was one who had studied so well.
But now I too enjoy the same leisurely weekends as everyone else and spend time with the grandchildren.
One morning about 2 months ago, i 'ditched' meeting and took the grandkidlets to the beach instead. It was quite an eye opener. I thought how much more everyone benefitted from that than from making them sit through 2 hours of droning drivel.
I also once remember a sister commenting on the way out of the KH, "Why can't we EVER have an interesting Sunday talk?"
Kristen: I couldn't agree with you more. I now look forward to the weekends in ways I never did before. My previous life was much like yours:
Friday evening: Prepare bookbags for service. Since my MS husband would never take responsibility, I helped our children prepare a presentation for the next day. Whenever possible, I would invite a "fun" elder or other family over so that we could make prior arrangements to work together in service the next morning, thus sparing my children from being stuck in a cargroup with a bunch of gossipy, over-zealous pioneer crones who would insist on working door-to-door for three hours without a break. (We owned a van at the time and ALWAYS had a big group with us.)
Saturday morning: Wake everyone up - several times - and insist that my husband had to get out of bed and come with us. No matter how beautiful the weather, or how inclement, I would play the cheerleader, reminding the family of how much Jehovah was pleased with us when we shared in preaching the "good news". At the meeting for field service, the conductor would ask, "Does anyone have arrangements already made?" and hopefully we could raise our hands and reply, "yes, we're working with Brother Coffebreak." By 12:30, we were home and everyone rushed to change out of formal attire and eat. By 1:00, my husband would be back in bed taking his afternoon nap while I entertained the children.
Sunday morning: Depending on the rotation schedule with the other congregations, we may or may not have morning meetings. If meeting was in the afternoon or evening, I would get up and study my Watchtower. I would find a few answers my children might be able to give and go over the material with them, making sure they understood what they were saying rather than just repeating words from rote. Our congregation was not very good at Sunday service, so unless my husband was conducting the meeting for service, we did not go. I struggled to keep the kids awake during the boring public talk by helping them take notes or write down key words. If meeting was afternoon, the entire day was shot.
NOW: I still get up early on Saturday and Sunday. If it's raining, I make coffee, read a book or scan the internet for interesting information. I play Mozart or Bach through the headphones so my daughter can sleep in. I no longer have to listen to my husband snore in the other room, since he is now my ex-husband. In good weather, I run, garden, sit outside on my deck, and enjoy the relaxing time I have. I feel closer to a Creator when I'm running in the forest than I ever did inside a Kingdom Hall. When I jog past neighbors out in their yards, they wave and seem genuinely glad to see me.
Kristen, I wish you could drop by some Sunday morning and bring your music. I'll put the coffee on and we can listen to the birds. You're a person after my own heart.
WAS a sister
WoW, Wasa! Knowing the Pacific Northwest, If your description isn't paradise, I wouldn't know what is!
It's sunny in my neck of the woods, you've inspired me to cycle off my trusty Pentium and hit the road...Thank you and have a great Sunday!
Wow, I feel like I've known you all my life (lol, maybe 'cause our experiences play out almost exactly the same in the lives of millions!) I enjoyed reading your right-on summary of how it used to be. Life is so grand now, isn't it?
You wouldn't happen to be in the Midwest, would you? If you're close enough, I'd be more than delighted to come over and share my music with a new friend over some java.
Is that how you cure snoring, divorce it? Dam, don't tell my wife!
Ahhhh yes, yes, y'all:
i remember the first Sunday after I decided not to go back to those lame meetings 3yrs ago. it felt great then and it feels great now. if I'm not working then I just sleep late until the games start. if tht ain't what God intended for man to do on Sunday mornings, then it wouldn't feel so much like heaven.
Ah, yes...I have relished Sundays ever since I've been free. Usually my daughter is with my ex,
so it means sleeping in, leisurly coffee, some time snuggling with my man. When my daughter
is home, the three of us pile on the couch and watch disney movies...
So good to be free :) Great post.
p.s. I got your mail, will reply as soon as I can. Eyes are giving me fits again...
ahh, how sundays have changed for me as well.:) sometimes, my wife and i get up early, pack up the dog and poles, and go fishing on a river about a half an hour away that feels like a whole other world. that's where my "church" is now. even the simple pleasure of getting up, drinking coffe, and mowing the lawn on a beautiful sunday morning is something to be happy about. or waking up to pounding rain, turning up the heater and watching movies with my wife can seem blissful. whatever it is, i think that now i have a better appreciation for what makes me happy, and i realize that it's important to make the time for it without guilt. thanks for the nice thoughts, kristen and others.:)-nate