What? I say, what?

9 01 2011

I think a good third of my time during church lessons is spent debating whether or not my thoughts are coherent enough to risk raising my hand and putting them into words. I end up contributing to the discussion pretty rarely.

Today, though, I raised my hand during our lesson on the Sabbath Day without fully thinking things through, and ended up making a strange statement that had no specific end or beginning, and the middle wasn’t that great, either. Not that I have to make amazing comments all the time, but I do try and have them at least make sense. The point, I fear, was generally lost.

The discussion started with someone quoting the adage about sewing on the Sabbath. Perhaps you know it:

Every stitch you sew on Sunday, you’ll have to pick out with your nose.

Personally, I’d never heard it and got a pretty good laugh. However, after that we started discussing merits and demerits of doing crafts on Sunday. Brigham Young was mentioned.

I feel pretty strongly about creating things. I raised my hand without marshalling my thoughts together, so it came out badly. Unconnectedly.

Of course, after I got home I had everything lined up nicely in my brain. Here’s what I meant to say:

There’s no use making a blanket statement about sewing or drawing or writing or any other type of craft on Sunday. Personally, I find creative work stimulating and relaxing at the same time. During the week (especially for those who have jobs they go to) our minds are focused on other things, different types of things. The point of Sabbath is to rest from our labors, and to bring us closer to God. If creating something does this for you, then it’s not breaking the Sabbath.

The sister who raised her hand after me put it in a great nutshell, though. She said,

“As soon as whatever you’re doing starts to become work, stop doing it.”

I’m interested in what you have to say, dear blog readers. Any thoughts?

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18 responses

9 01 2011
Jefe

Ha ha–“blanket” statement about doing crafts on Sunday. What kind of blanket? What sort of stitching?

That is all.

–oxjeff

9 01 2011
Rae

I liked what you said today. It made me think of Elder Uctdorf’s statement on woman and creating being one of our divine attributes. The statement on sewing on the sabbath, comes from a time when women weren’t sewing for pleasure- it was one of the jobs to be done, if they wanted clothes. Just my opinion, most of us rarely sew because it’s one of the jobs we need to do.

My standards are low. With rare exceptions, it’s a time to be with family. I spend time reviewing my goals for the week. We don’t listen to our usual music in the car. I try not to get so stressed out by getting us ready for church that feeling the spirit is impossible once we get there. Most importantly, I keep the sabbath day “hole-y” by putting on my ratty sweats as soon as humanly possible after church. I’m sure one day I’ll try to step it up, but I think for our circumstances, this is fine.

10 01 2011
Mr. Smith

Uh… I don’t get it. ‘Every stitch you sew on Sunday, you’ll have to pick out with your nose.’ I don’t even understand what that is supposed to mean. What do noses have to do with stitches?

10 01 2011
Tami

Man, I missed out on a good discussion it sounds like! My hope is to improve at keepeth the sabbath day for the Lord, I’ve always been too concerned with keeping my kids from going crazy, so I know I need to raise my level of rest from daily cares and worship. Everyone has to find that place for themselves. And I agree with what you said!

10 01 2011
Wendy

Jeff–My literary finesse knows no bounds. Obviously.

Rae–I agree with you on the sewing-used-to-be-work-but-now-has-changed-into-something-else bit. I think one of my problems is that once I had kids and started trying to make Sunday into something that was ‘different’ from the rest of the week, I took away television and video games and rough outside play, so it became in my mind something of a “Day Where You Can’t Have Fun.” Since I enjoy sewing, for awhile I thought it wouldn’t be okay to enjoy myself sewing on the Sabbath. However, not only have I gotten more lenient with myself as I’ve gotten older, I’ve changed the way I look at it. Kind of like what you were saying: the Sabbath has switched from a “can’t do” day to a “get to” day. I figure as long as I have a worshipful feeling in my heart, I will be okay. And I love low standards for Sundays; I spent much of my young motherhood wishing my kids would sing songs and read or listen to scripture stories on Sundays, but have since decided we do what we do and I just try to pounce on the teaching moments when we have them.

Mr. Smith–I think that’s one of the reasons I found the quote so funny. Hello? If you’re able to pick a stitch out with your nose, it needed to be redone anyway. Of course, maybe I just enjoy a sentence with “pick your nose” stuck inside it somewhere.

Tami–Yes, agreed. The Sabbath is personal and is something each has to figure out for him- or herself. Even if I forced my kids to sing songs and listen to scripture stories all day, it wouldn’t make them worship more. That’s something they have to do on their own; I just provide the opportunity.

10 01 2011
melissa

Great discussion. It is funny the things that might be unheard of in one household that are perfectly acceptable in others. My husband and I try to reconcile the fact that he grew up watching football all day on Sunday, and we would only EVER watch documentaries, or if we were lucky, The Ten Commandments.
I am fine crocheting, or doing embroidery or anything I can do with my family around me. If I have to retire to my sewing room, it is a project that needs to wait.
Like this awesome crochet project: http://www.etsy.com/listing/62775070/blue-bearded-stocking-hat-sm?ref=sr_list_3&ga_search_query=crochet+beard+and+mustache&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&order=&includes%5B0%5D=tags&includes%5B1%5D=title&filter%5B0%5D=handmade

10 01 2011
Wendy

Melissa–HAHAHA! That is awesome. The perfect gift for all those who are unable to grow a beard. Or for those who are going to BYU.

10 01 2011
Dina

Now that we have 11:30-2:30 church, we have a family meal around 3:30 and then spend the rest of the time helping the twins with piano and scouts and Jack with merit badges (or trumpet duets with dad on the piano.) I used to help Mikayla with personal progress until she finished last year. We also have FHE because she’s taking Driver’s Ed. on Monday nights for the next 10 weeks.

Does any of that sound like work? 🙂 Yep. I can tell you that I didn’t “relax” all night. I was helping with the lesson, or helping to bake the treat, or helping teach a cub scout, or listen to the trumpet or piano….But to me, it’s a different kind of “work”. A happy/helping-my-family-progress kind of work.

So, nope, no problems with sewing if I actually knew how to do that.

I’m Dina and I like “quotes.” 🙂

10 01 2011
Wendy

Dina–please tell me you’ve “seen” the blog of unnecessary quotation marks. If not, “you” need to go there now.

http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/

11 01 2011
Dina

That’s hilarious! Of course, I only use my quotes when necessary. Those other people are just silly.

11 01 2011
Marybeth

I appreciate your thought. It gave me cause to think some more about it, too.

I remember commenting in a class on the Sabbath day several years ago, and then feeling really embarrassed after someone’s comment after me. Then–just a short while ago at church–when we were having another discussion about the Sabbath day–someone actually remembered and referred to my comment of years ago and the comment after mine–so I was embarrassed again. No–my name wasn’t mentioned, thank goodness, but that situation where I had commented (and the comment after me) must have stuck in someone else’s memory, too.

My comment of years ago was about fixing a big meal on the Sabbath. I said I like to keep it simple so I’m not working in the kitchen a long time.

The comment after mine, however, had its merits. They said they like to fix a nice meal on the Sabbath because that is when the family can enjoy a nice meal together.

So, considering your Sabbath discussion and my experience, I can see that it really is a very personal thing and that work to one person isn’t necessarily work to another, and the reasons for doing things vary from person to person.

12 01 2011
Kathleen

Funny sabbath story, I was driving home from church last summer sometime when I saw a cute little girl selling cupcakes in her driveway. I stopped and I bought a few. When I got home and my oldest son said, “What, you broke the sabbath just to eat a chocolate cupcake. You were almost home.” I love how my kids keep me in line. 🙂 And I love to sew on Sunday too. He’s never reprimanded me for that, so I guess it’s okay.

14 01 2011
moniquel319

Wow! What a great discussion! I just wanted to thow in an experience similar to the one you had. First of all I agree about the, hard and fast rules about Sabbath observance because my comment is more focused on the, making a comment in Church aspect of your post and I just wanted to squeeze my agrement in. Anyway, on Sunday we were having an long drawn out discussion about trust and love in Relief Society. I raised my hand feeling I had a unique take on this, as I have SO much experience in this arena. Anyway, my comment was something along the lines of, “One of the things I’ve learned in love is that it’s valuable to know that it’s possible to love someone but not trust them.” *Crickets Chirping* I guess there were no fellow victems of abuse in the room but the teacher did one of those things were she cleared her throat, said “ahhh yes” and then changed the subject entirely. It’s never come up again, except when I bring it up, so I guess it’s forgotten but it’s just one of those moments where you begin to evaluate how much you have been contributing to church discussion and if you should cut that back some.:)

15 01 2011
Wendy

Marybeth–I absolutely agree with you. I think I fall in the I’d-rather-keep-it-simple category, and I grew up in the Sunday-is-the-chance-to-have-a-nice-meal-together category. I don’t think one is better than the other; they’re just different.

Kathleen–What a great story! And chocolate cupcakes . . . yum. Now I want one.

Monique–I LOVE that comment, especially because it’s so true. Even though the crickets did chirp, I would imagine someone in there will remember your words someday when they need them.

17 01 2011
Mandy

I’ve often found myself in the middle of a rambling comment with my only out a trailing “so….” at the end of the increasingly repetitive sentence so I like the idea of comment redemption through blog post! Also, my grandma used to tell me that her mom gave her the stitch-picking-with-your-nose warning so because of that, I don’t sew on Sundays. Ok, I don’t sew ever but can I use not sewing on Sundays to make myself feel more righteous?

19 01 2011
Wendy

Absolutely, Mandy! You get 10 righteous points. Way to go!

21 01 2011
Mrs. Olsen

I’ve thought a lot about this. In fact, I am such a slug throughout the week (3rd trimester prego plus I’m old). Sunday, I woke up and grinded wheat and made 3 loaves of bread and cinnamon rolls. I was so happy to be hanging out with the fam while making some homemade goodness (and listening to inspiring music) that it felt holy to me.

I wondered as I made it if I was breaking the sabbath, but it felt so right that I kept at it.

1 02 2011
Camber

Wow… You guys are all amazing! If I have learned anything over the years, it’s that every family (and even every person within that family is different). I think I definitely agree that you should do whatever makes you feel closer to the Lord. I am still working on not feeling like “getting through church” is the goal. We have sacrament meeting last and if I have “made it through” without one of my children (usually Camdon) making too much of a scene, then I feel like it’s been a good Sunday. If I knew how to sew I would probably sew whenever I could. However, I don’t, sooooo… Comments in church have always been hard for me. Thankfully, I have been in Primary so long that I almost don’t remember what it’s like to go anywhere else (unless I am visiting). Before that, I was in a singles ward… and we all know that is a whole different scenario.

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