Sunday is a Day of Rest

January 9, 2011 § 5 Comments

I am a Baptist preacher’s kid – a PK, in the parlance. Being the daughter of a Baptist preacher and another PK, meant I inherited a double portion of the Baptist gene! No day is more evidenced of this fact than Sunday. Sunday is a Day of Rest!

I don’t see how we called it that, except it’s one of the Big 10 – commandments, that is. Sunday in our house was a busy day! Baptist churches, when I was growing up, had three principle worship opps – two of them on Sunday: morning and evening. (We also had Wednesday night Prayer meeting, Girl’s Auxiliary; Royal Ambassadors – for boys; junior or youth choir; youth group; and in the summer, fellowship on Sunday night after church. If you were a Baptist, you were a busy kid!)

Gearing up for Sunday began on Saturday evening with Mom’s mantra: Are your shoes polished? Is your dress ironed? Is your Bible ready? Have you studied your Sunday School lesson? Have you finished your homework? We never did homework on Sunday – Sunday was a Day of Rest!

Let’s pause a moment to identify a missing person in these preparations. When I was three, a woman in our church saw me and Dad at the local drug store and asked what I did on Sunday. I told her I went to church. She then asked if my daddy also went to church and I responded, “No, he goes away on the weekend!”

That’s not as ominous as it may sound! Dad, a Professor of New Testament, didn’t have a regular pastorate, but because he was well known in Baptist circles, he guest-preached most every Sunday. This meant he flew out on Saturday to some churches (and back on Sunday night), or drove our one car to those pulpits closer to home.

But Dad didn’t have to be home to whip us into shape – Mom had everything under control. No sleeping late in the Summers’ household: up early, eat breakfast (this was a cereal day), dress. We were ready to leave by 8:00 or 8:30 AM, depending on whether we had the car or had to take the bus. (Sunday School didn’t start until 9:30 but Mom insisted on arriving in her third grade Sunday School department by 9:00.)

I was always the first kid in my Sunday School department – which meant I got to help the teachers get the room ready. It was either that or help Mom. She wouldn’t let us just “run around”. Arriving early did have benefits, however. We attended Broadway Baptist in downtown Fort Worth, where, as a teenager, I put on my makeup and finish my coiffure in the Ladies Lounge, then dropped by ALL of the adult Sunday School departments to enjoy their offered doughnuts as I made my way to my class!

After morning worship, we’d eat at a cafeteria or a Chicken Shack on the way home (Mom’s one exception to the “Day of Rest” idea), then nap for a couple of hours (Mom insisted we at least remain quiet while she napped – Sunday, after all, was a Day of Rest). After eating supper, we started the trek again, back to church for evening worship.

Why am I blogging about this? Because it’s Sunday and the recliner is waiting! But before I go, I just have a summary thought to share.

My stated reason for beginning this blog was to find my adult voice – my adult writing voice. But to write as an adult I must find my adult being – what makes me … me. In this quest, I need to delve into my life and discover why I am what I am; what is my point of view; and do I have anything pertinent to say.

I’ve come to one conclusion. My life is like those Sundays. Though my childhood was destined to be governed by my heritage and that of my parents, as an adult I have chosen the same path. Not just an expedient choice, you understand. I chose to be a follower of Christ, belong to a Baptist church and take naps on Sundays!  

As different as I am from my mother, in some ways this acorn hasn’t fallen too far from the tree after all!


§ 5 Responses to Sunday is a Day of Rest

  • We all grow up to be much like our mothers. Fortunately they made exemplary mothers when we queued up to get one.

    If you are like me you feel that you haven’t quite measured up to the mother you resemble. All we can do is keep trying–and if resting on Sunday gets us there, I’m all for it!

  • Oh, my! This brings up so many wonderful memories of my church life when I was a child. Thanks for the inspiration, Mary Lois.

  • kimberlee esselstrom says:

    I remember feeling equal amounts of envy and pity for PK’s. There were certain privileges regarding areas of the church a PK could explore, but the PK’s also appeared to live (think prison here) in the church. I was forever searching for their beds.
    Sunday naps…nothing finer.

  • Judy Ransom says:

    I love your blog, Mary Lois — every bit of it! Wow, reading this post brings back a flood of Sunday memories. Underlying everything in your writing, I can see you were truly loved as a child. Now abides faith, hope, and charity, but the greatest of these …

    You are blessed!

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