Keeping the Sabbath, Week 1

REST… God has shown me at every turn that this is something He really wants me to seek. Rest in Him.

I wrote last week about keeping the Sabbath. This is not something I have ever done… and I still have a lot of questions. A friend offered what Sabbath rest looks like for her family, but I am still struggling to discover what it looks like for ME.

A study that I am currently involved in at church discusses the need for rest daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonally (or yearly). THIS I can begin to wrap my head around!

DAILY: Over the last year, I have become much more intentional in my time with God. So much so, that I CRAVE it. I wake up before the crack of dawn excited about what He will reveal to me through His Word. I have rearranged my schedule in many ways to accommodate the 5:00 wake up call… but it has been worth it in myriads of ways. Resting at this early morning hour is not about sleep, it is about communion with my Creator. Resting daily is a gift and a treat that I am eagerly participating in.

WEEKLY: Now THIS I need some work on… my week is nearly booked solid. I teach fulltime (which involves a lot of after school planning and duties). I work at my church (this consumes my weekends). I serve on several different committees at my church. When I look at my calendar, I see that I am busy at work for the furthering of the Kingdom… but I still need rest. As I read this week: we should not rest from work, we should work from rest. Rest in God should be our starting point. THEN we go out to do His Will.
(I am not ignoring MONTHLY or YEARLY rest… I am just taking it one step at a time…)

This weekend, my Sabbath looked very different from what I think it should eventually grow to be. First of all, it was only part of a day, not the entire day. With a schedule like mine, I feel baby steps are acceptable.

I learned a few things to do for my next Sabbath time:

  • I cannot completely rule out my cell phone: it is both my cell and home phone AND my daughter texts me when she arrives at her destination. I do not have to text her back, but shutting off the cell is not an option. REFRAINING from using it IS.
  • I need to be intentional in my preparation: I need to cook my muffins on Friday night for breakfast Saturday. I need for laundry to already be complete… things like that.

I feel strongly that resting on the Sabbath means I refrain from WORK. Work, to me, means not:

  • doing chores
    cooking
    sending out emails
    paying bills
    planning for school or church

Instead, it is time spent getting closer to God through Bible study, prayer, and activities that help me rejuvenate.

What are those activities? I love to read… and I read A LOT yesterday. I love to play games on my iPad (I stayed clear of social media, but relished in games that make me feel happy). I like to lay back and watch TV (keeping in like with my James 4:8 decisions!!). Most especially, I love hanging out with my family.

One thing I feel strongly about is that if I am to keep the Sabbath, I do not want my Sabbath activities to keep others from doing the same. This means I will not employ anyone on the Sabbath: no cooks, waiters, cashiers, store clerks… I realize they will be working with or without my patronage, but I am not adding to the mayhem!

Sabbath is a time for resting in God. Despite some obvious bumps in the road, I feel I made some very big progress. I feel I am defining what it means for me and how it needs to look for me during this season in my life. I am in no way saying that I need to make God work for me rather than me work for Him. Oh no! But, I feel that He is preparing me for something very big and very real… and I am ready to for the journey!

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