If you were to ask me my favorite day of the week, I would answer “Saturday” without any hesitation. That wasn’t always true, in fact it’s only been true for the past little over a year. It was a gradual change, one that took enough Saturdays being similar to notice a pattern; something we took note of and began to practice with more intention.
When we bought our house 16 years ago, I was excited about the sunroom tucked off the side of the main living area. It wasn’t fully insulated, so it had a sliding glass patio door separating it for energy efficiency. Energy efficiency wasn’t very lovely however, and it wasn’t long until we had that ugly slider with its toe-bruising metal door track switched out for double French doors. That helped our enjoyment of the space considerably, but for the most part, it remained a little used room. No matter how many different arrangements we tried, we couldn’t seem to create restful, inviting space there. It felt a bit like an odd afterthought.
Our lives were busy with a growing family, so the need for a quiet, beautiful space to sit was nice in theory, but the reality of carving out time for that was sporadic at best. As we began to dream about the possibility of remodeling, Chris and I talked about how our family had grown and changed, and how we wanted our home to reflect the way we lived our lives currently. Once again, I was drawn to the potential of our sunroom, and knew it was a priority to finally create that restful, inviting space there that would actually be used.
The doors came off completely, a heat run was added, the warm wood floor of the living area extended into each corner, and simple colors kept the eyes focused on the many windows and the view outside. A comfy sofa with soft blankets beckons, along with gliding rockers. Our family’s love of reading is evident in the ever-present stacks of books and magazines. Chris’ treasured, generations-old family Bible sits in a place of honor. On the wall hangs a quote, a reminder that I had purchased and brought home with me to mark a particularly important experience. Not only did it remind me of Jesus’ tender love for me that week, it also felt like an important vision for how I want to live. It says:
There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
What began to happen after we finished the house project was noticeable on one particular day – Saturday. I would rise early, since my internal alarm clock didn’t seem to distinguish between weekday and weekend. With the espresso machine heating up, I would snuggle into one of the chairs and watch the morning sky begin to change color.
The quiet house surrounding me was a welcome space for my heart after the full days of the week.
Eventually I would hear stirring upstairs, and Chris would wander in to join me. Most often, we would sip our coffee while we talked, lengthy conversations that we usually didn’t have energy for at the end of a busy day. Sometimes we would just sit in silence together, slowly rocking, each of us lost in thought or a book. There was no sense of time, no urgency or agenda, simply a space that invited us to slow down, rest, be.
Another welcome development has been the way our kids and even visitors have joined in the set-apartness of this day. Once our kids drag themselves from their beds, the energy in the room becomes playful and lively, with siblings and friends sprawling over each other as they compete for space on the couch. Teenagers and twenty-somethings, otherwise reluctant to talk, seem more likely to loosen up and join in or even initiate conversation.
While I have a few snapshots of these priceless moments, there are many more pictures in my mind: the faces of those most dear to me, faces bright with laughter or surprise, full of sorrow and seemingly endless tears. I wouldn’t trade anything for those moments, for the miracles that happen as we simply slow down and create space to honor the relationships and experiences that fill our lives on one day each week. Our Saturday morning rhythm has become something I both savor and jealously guard, for it feels like a new, sacred space for our family.
Janet Stark is a woman learning to embrace her depth and sensitivity. Inspired by Mary pondering things in her heart, Janet writes about her experiences here. She is grateful for the deep love she shares with her husband of 26 years, as well as her 4 children and 2 grandchildren. She is a life-long lover of words and looks forward to reading and sharing at Red Tent Living.