This year, I have written here, to beloved women of faith, about creating a slower lifestyle, about needing a slower faith process, about slower, everyday quiet times and about creating a Sabbath simplicity lifestyle, part one and part two.
Today, I want to suggest a wild idea. You know that struggle we sometimes have with truly resting once a week, on the Sabbath? I want to suggest we take that struggle and live it every day.
Mmmhmm. Told you it was wild. But no wilder than anything else I have said this year. Let's talk about it...
5 Reasons to Give the Sabbath Lifestyle a Try
Many of us worship busyness every day with just as much energy and commitment as we worship God on Sundays, and in our quiet times. And obviously, that means our culture snuck in to our way of thinking and living, and it's not what God wants for us.
Though he only commanded a Sunday Sabbath rest, I believe he offers and wants a restful lifestyle for us, in general, and that truly being a people of God will mean letting go of the hold that busyness and faster and more have on us.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30, NKJV
Jesus was describing someone there, who is constantly tired. That's us, moms! And he offers us a better way.
Here are several reasons why a daily Sabbath routine might be worth the trouble of putting it into place and sticking to it...
(1) A daily, evening Sabbath would mean creating a daily rhythm of rest instead of a weekly one, and we all need far more rest than most of us get.
(2) It might only require an hour or two each evening, and five minutes of rest here and there as you pause in between your activities, but the impact on your lives and on the lives of your family, could be dramatic. Imagine how it might impact your health and well-being.
(3) Your daily quiet time is a kind of Sabbath activity, a time apart where you stop, are still and quiet and resting, and avoid getting distracted by busyness and work. So the idea of a daily evening Sabbath routine is not so farfetched.
(4) And speaking of your quiet times, Sabbath evenings will lead to better and easier quiet time experiences. Because a wind-down Sabbath evening routine will make sleep easier and more restful, so getting up the next morning will be easier, too.
And you'll spend time with God that you might have spent yawning, stretching and trying to come to life, o quote Dolly Parton, or just staring into space as you try to get your mind to start working.
(5) As a mom, if you give your children a daily Sabbath experience, and model taking one, yourself, they will become masters of the longer, weekly one by the time they leave for college or enter the work force.
Our pace is determined not by the length of our to-do list but by whether we pause (and for how long) in between the items on those lists. -Keri Wyatt Kent, Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity
3 Ideas for a Daily Sabbath Lifestyle
(1) Give yourself five minutes in between your daily activities to pause. During those five minutes, take a moment to tune into God's presence and remind yourself of his sovereignty.
(2) Have a sit-down dinner with your family, with no electronic guests at the table.
(3) Create a restful evening wind-down routine for the hour or two before bedtime.
Your evening routine could include time alone or with family and you could choose the kinds of activities you do on Sabbath afternoons or evenings.
Know that no matter what you decide about the Sabbath, God's love for you is constant, and is wider, deeper and stronger than any of us can begin to imagine.
This post is just a gentle invitation (no new rules here) and you are free to reject it. Or, to fail miserably as you give it a try, the way I usually do.
Either way, it won't change a thing between you and God.
But even if you only do it sometimes and badly, I believe that the impact could be life-changing.
Even without intending it, your days will have more God in them. More awareness, more openness to his presence, more connection with him.
Nothing wrong with that, right?
See you next time!
Blessed be the Lord ... who bears our burdens. - Psalm 68: 19
Do You Like Traveling?
At first, it was exciting, but it didn't take long before I got really tired of traveling. Especially, by plane.
All the hurry up and wait. Standing in line, while keeping an eye on my luggage. Taking things off so they could be scanned. Hassle.
But one of the things I dislike most is packing, lugging and carrying whatever I am taking with me. To be honest, even after I have handed off the biggest luggage, walking around with my carry-on and purse and whatever else I can't afford to lose is just annoying.
Do you get me on that, anyone?
But I tell you what would make it a lot easier. If I had someone with me who carried all of it for me.
Silently and without expecting a tip or a free vacation.
What if someone carried my luggage, held onto it until it could be handed off, and carried both my carry-on and my purse, holding everything and just handing me what I needed occasionally? Like my Kindle.
And what would be even better was if I never had to carry any of it in the first place. Even to pack it.
I'm telling you, if all of that could be taken care of for me, traveling might actually be fun.
But We are Being Carried
And so is our luggage, as we travel through life.
The Bible says that God bears our burdens, and that his burdens are light. So what are we carrying that feels so heavy?
You know how they say that even after losing a limb, people often still feel it? In fact, it is said that they feel the pain of it. Phantom pain.
Well, beloveds, I think that's what we're carrying. It's not real, but it feels real.
Oh, but if we could let it go. What would that be like?
Start Letting Go: He's Got it
The truth is, our traveling through life, day by day, could be a lot easier! We make it harder than it has to be.
We're not supposed to be carrying anything. Or packing anything up to take with us, except our faith. And complete trust in him.
And anything that would make that harder is probably something we won't need on this trip. We can leave it behind.
We can give it to him. And let him carry us through it and to it, wherever he's taking us.
Slow Faith Journal Prompts
During your next morning quiet time, grab your journal and a cup of tea, and take some time to work through this idea. See it as clearly as you can in your own life.
Here are some journal prompts that may help you think it through...
(1) What burdens have you been carrying, yourself, that he has been trying to carry without your help?
(2) How might he have been using your life to try to gently persuade you to hand them over?
(3) Do you feel ready to let go of them now?
(4) If not, pause for a moment & have a conversation with him about that; then, write down whatever you hear from him.
(5) Ask him to guide you and tell you what you can do differently, so that you no longer feel the phantom pain of those burdens he has been carrying all along. Whatever he says - write that down, so you don't forget.
Daily Meditation Moment
Blessings to you, today! I'll see you next time.
I have found that the best time for me to have my daily, morning quiet time is right after I get up. If I try to wait until I've gotten a few things done, I forget about it and then, don't want to stop the momentum to do it.
But I am not a morning person, so that period of time right after I get up is the one Dolly Parton sang about, where I "yawn and stretch and try to come to life." Sometimes I am just not in the mood to be social, big-time introvert that I am.
So I struggle sometimes to know where and how to begin in those first few moments. And I'm finding that the devotional I want to talk to you about today, really helps me start that holy conversation and connection during those beginning "is it really morning?" moments.
Watch the video to learn a little about it...
Everyday Holy: Finding a Big God