Pursuing Sabbath


“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.Exodus 20:8-11

Sundays in our home have become routine.  We go to church, lunch, maybe run and errand or two, and head home. Over the years, it has become just another day to fill, to catch up on chores, or to prepare for the week ahead

Yesterday I fought the tides that pulled me to “get stuff done” and sat down on the couch in my screened-in porch…just because. I wanted to read. I was motivated by the library’s book due date and the guilt that I had for barley using this semi-outdoor space we claim to love so much. Sitting there, I listened to the rustle of the trees in the wind and the sporadic swoosh of the cars that drove by. To my surprise, I could feel the tense of the week ease.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that my soul yearns to breathe. My mind needs to slow so that my heart can open.

I tend to hold my time with a clenched fist, driven by my to-do list. It takes courage and intention for me to just be… still.

As I watched people walk and bike along our busy street I longed for freedom. As a mama of little ones, I feel like I can’t slow down, I can't be still, and I certainly can't go for a walk whenever I please. Or can I?

Waiting for Sabbath to arrive with out being ushered in isn’t working. <<Click to Tweet>> My halfhearted attempts fall short.

It's not easy to rest when we wear our busyness like a badge of achievement.

I recently enjoyed a book in which one of the chapters spoke about the virtues of the Sabbath. The author shared her journey and the obstacles she overcame to discover the wonder of this holy day. While I agreed with everything the author said I couldn’t help but think about the fact that she did not have any kids. I wanted a formula to enter into the rest of God and hers would not work for me.

So what now? We live in a world where family, activities, sports, media, and electronics seek to engage all of out time. How do I sabbath in a modern world?

I am going to spend some time brushing up on the topic. I am going to read what the Bible and others have to say about it. My family and I are going to discover what it means to set aside one day to do things different and to honor God’s command. I anticipate it will look different for my family than it will for yours. I am sure it will take many attempts to get comfortable in this rhythm of rest. Once we think we’ve figured it out, I guarantee the seasons will change and we will have to change with it. I am looking forward to using this space here my blog to work all of that out.

In case you were wondering how I spent the remainder of my afternoon, I continued to read the book on my porch until I felt like I was going to fall asleep. My kids were content playing whatever it was they were playing (who wants to ruin a good thing?) so I took the liberty to do my nails. Sounds trivial but I rarely take the time to this. The girls must have sensed that I was doing something they would be interested in. It didn’t take long for them to find me, and of course, ask if I could do their nails too. And I did, it was fun.

I suggested to everyone that we go for a walk. The kids thought is was great idea and opted in. It was wonderful to stroll through our neighborhood and talk about the things kids like to talk about. Once we were home we ordered dinner.

It was different than every other Sunday. It was truly a day of rest for me. A break from the norm, a time to refresh.

I am looking forward to the next Sabbath!