Skip to main content

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.
Really. 
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)




Comments

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

    ReplyDelete
  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

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

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

    God is good, my friend ...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

31 Days of Free Writes #Wave

Four summers ago the first weekend in September marked one month.  One month lived out shaky and unsteady.  Just putting a few steps in front of the other and letting tears drip down faces or anger spill out at the sky.  "Why?"
I had watched my husband shake violently at the graveside of his twenty-six year old brother as he sat a few inches from the casket.
My usually stoic husband reached out for the casket as he passed by and I heard his voice crack as he called out his name.  One more time. I had never seen him stricken with grief.  That groan of emotion haunted me.   Those fifteen minutes spent under the funeral home's green awning the last minutes his family would ever be within arms length of this special brother.  A brother who had just slipped quietly out of this life beneath the green gold water of a river one steaming August day.  Bare chested and tan, jumping off the dock with friends.  Never to resurface again.
A lot of that week in August was just wakin…

Five Minute Fridays - "Last"

Last is such a final word, it’s a word that always makes us sit back and take note. We take note of the fact that something is about to draw to an end and we better enjoy the last drops, savor the last bites before its all gone. Like that last hot week of summer that we spend soaking up every last beam of Vitamin D. Or that last couple bites of a once a year Christmas dinner, slowly swallowed down. Or maybe the last night of a vacation where we try to take note of everything and know that we are returning to real world, real bills, real deadlines all seemingly too soon. Two weeks ago I experienced a last. For seven months I was given a gift. It was truly an unexpected gift. One I had never anticipated being given. For the past six years my sister Faith and I have lived in different cities for most of the time. We always mused over the idea that we should've lived together for at least one year of college. But from icy January 4th to steamy August 10th I had the gift…

Morning

Five Minute Fridays
Morning

Morning seems sacred to me.  Having nocturnal children kind of robs me of the mornings I like to enjoy in silence and quiet thought.
For years I would get up at least two hours before anyone so I could just be by myself and be quiet.
My parents are early morning people that like to eat full breakfasts and watch the sunrise on the porch. There's something exciting about watching the day open its' eye lids with the first glints of sun playing on the horizon edge.  Pale blues and periwinkles rouse us out of pitch black and many times morning rises in strength with extravagant colors.  It signals something new.  A new twenty four hours.  A new chance. Kind of like a new little slice of life.  We are mesmerized at first at the idea of new.  It's beautiful, holy, and hopeful.
Morning breaks the night.
I love that Cat Steven's hymn Morning has Broken.  I've always thought the words were so beautiful.
Especially the last phrase, "God&…