Recently at church, we sat in front of one of the coolest families in our ward. You could tell that their kids were having one of those days. The mom seemed to be dealing with the brunt of the battle, which is not an uncommon sight in a Sunday sacrament meeting. About 15 minutes later, that same mom came walking toward me in the hall, trying to hold the hand of an inconsolable toddler. As we passed each other in the hall, she looked at me with a face of exhaustion and quietly said, “I need a day off!” It made me think for a second. Do moms get a Sabbath day? Do they get a day of rest? Or a day to feel the Spirit? For many moms the answer would be an unequivocal NO!
We've heard a lot of talk about the Sabbath day recently—and for good reason. But I wonder if I've been overlooking one of the most important things that I can do on the Sabbath—namely, help my wife actually have a Sabbath day. President Nelson recently said that he believes that God wants “us to understand that the Sabbath was His gift to us, granting real respite from the rigors of daily life and an opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal.”
Does my wife ever have the “opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal”? She doesn't even need to answer that question, because the answer is obvious to me. The thing is, moms are generally amazing. They typically endure and serve without immediate reward or recognition. They’re not squeaky wheels, which means, unfortunately, they don’t always get the grease.
I grew up in a home where my mom just did stuff. She didn't complain while she was serving everyone day and night seven days a week. She just did it. Now I have a wife who does the same. She doesn't even think twice or flinch at the sign of what I would consider insurmountable workloads during the week. But then when we get to Sunday, it’s just another one of those days. She needs a break, but she doesn't even consider it. She just continues giving her life to us—and I’ve got to do better. “Is the Sabbath [day] a delight for [me and for you]?” asks President Nelson. Moms don’t stop to think about it. They just keep moving.
So, my wife and I were watching our kids swim on Saturday, and it seemed like a good time to ask her how I could help make the Sabbath day a delight for her. I said to her, sort of timidly, “Hey, hun, if you could describe the ideal Sabbath day to me, what would it be?” She didn't even have to think about it. Bam. One thing after another. It took her about 1.5 seconds to rattle off a list of things. She was excited just at the thought of me asking her this sort of question. I asked her to slow down while I grabbed my phone to start typing some notes.