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31 Days of Free Writes: Off & Weekend, 31 Lessons: Sabbath

The last two weekends (not this weekend at all) have found us with a delicious slice of Saturday sabbath.
Not many people live in that realm of placid weekends that drift slowly by to be savored and lingered over. 
Definitely not our family. 
Sunday has rarely ever felt like a day of rest for the entirety of my marriage.  (My husband has always been involved in some form of ministry)  Sundays can be fun, but they are also not restful. Especially with lots of little kids in the mix. Family events, church meetings, services, and miscellaneous preparations that fill Sunday evenings.  
But sometimes there is a sabbath Saturday.  
I say that smiling. 
Two weeks in a row we had a Saturday that was filled with gloriously nothing. 
I remember discussing with my husband our plans for the day. 
"Well, there's this ____" the statement started and finished with some invitation or some proposed plan we could do.
"But we don't have to do it. So let's not." I said smiling. "Let's just not do anything we could and choose to do nothing but be together.  Let's have a Sabbath Saturday." I suggested cheerfully hoping he would agree. 
And he did. 
My husband is getting better at that.  Not darting off to fill empty but sacred family space with just one more thing.  That used to be hard for him, but it seems to be easier to enter into now. Sometimes down time seems uncomfortable or empty.  We fail to see just how valuable it is.
The second week of Saturday Sabbath I said, "This is an off day.  We need it."
It was an off day.  We were off the usual routines.  
Common household chores were completed at a slow pace, laundry machines spun, front door snapped shut  repeatedly with kids sprinting back and forth outside to play with friends.  We sat outside in chairs with October sun drenching us in warmth.  There was unhurried, unbroken, unfettered restful joy.  There was room for laughing, napping, and listening. 
It was lovely. 
A few years ago I did a Bible study that concluded with a study on Sabbath.  What Sabbath meant for the Christian and what it meant for the Jewish people. The things I learned fascinated me.  The entire Sabbath practice is so interesting.  
It's something that seems kind of a bygone practice. Practicing Sabbath. The art of rest.  After reading that book I felt compelled to find it, or to craft it.  It's not something that happens on it's own.  I haven't been good at the intentional practice of Sabbath.  But on weekends like the previous two we were gifted with the opportunity of finding and doing Sabbath.
Sabbath isn't stuffy or boring.
It's not a time of lifeless, listless boredom.
It can be rejuvenating fun recreation.  
At the end of last weekend we got to spend the Sunday afternoon crunching fallen leaves at a local outdoor getaway.  Strolling around a natural hot spot, watching the girls blitz in and out of forest trails.  We got to laugh and picnic with my family and even ended the day with ice cream and watching my parents both challenge my kids to roll down a hill before going home. 
I think they both sustained a few bruises, but elicited several wide eyed grins from their grand kids. 
It was a gentle restful day spent in nature and bathed in relaxed love. 
Sabbath days help shore you up for days that don't feel restful at all.  They energize for weeks like the one we just finished at a fast pace. Sabbath protects us.  Rest protects us.  We need it deeply.  In every way.
We need a Sabbath rest spiritually so we don't burn ourselves out trying to be our own salvation.  We rest in Jesus.  We need a Sabbath rest in every other facet of our lives too.  
We only hurt ourselves when we refuse to rest.  Spiritually, physically, mentally, creatively, and relationally. 
How do you practice Sabbath?
How do you carve out Rest?
Author Bob Goff frequently says, "It's Thursday.  Quit something."
I like this idea.  Deciding that there is a day I say "No" to something. Or evaluate all of this I'm doing.
So I'll change it a bit and say, "It's Sabbath, press pause. Say no to some things so that you can say yes to rest and recreation. "
The person that it most might re-create is me.. 

My girls following my mom rolling down the hill (She's recovering at the bottom)


  1. Thank you thank you for joining the challenge! You are so amazing!

  2. Beautiful photos -- your family could be in a magazine, you are all so gorgeous! Your husband is seeing what rejuvenates his family and you, and I love that! It's hard, isn't it, to equate doing nothing sometimes with what we really need but you made beautiful memories of family time with your kids and that's a huge something that somehow doesn't seem so valuable today. Love how you model love and family for your children! xoxo

    1. Valerie. I wish we could take an autumn walk together.

  3. You've captured autumn, you've captured sabbath.

    God is good, my friend ...


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