Since I have been on Christmas Break this past week, I recently finished a book titled “Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World” by Sarah Miller. Her and her family’s journey through finding a rhythm of Sabbath was not easy or painless. It was difficult and even guilt-wrenching for her at times.
As I read through the book I could relate to her feelings so deeply. For example, Miller described the panicked “need” to finish the laundry and the dishes before Monday morning birthed the new work week. I completely relate to these feelings as though these measly tasks will help me feel more at peace during the week knowing all of my “ducks are in a row” before the craziness of work begins yet again.
As she inserted the Sabbath “baby steps” as she called them into her weekly routine, she started to look forward to these days of rest – even if she didn’t “accomplish” something on a to-do list during that day. Some of the first small and practical steps that she incorporated were starting a crock-pot meal on Saturday evening for Sunday’s lunch instead of making the meal that day. Additionally, instead of using normal dishes, she and her family would use paper plates to avoid the dish cleaning dilemma post lunch. After lunch she was able to enjoy a walk with the Lord, or read a book that spurred her to bask in rest and peace with her Creator before the next week begun.
As she started describing some of the ways in which she incorporates the Sabbath on Sundays I started to feel somewhat tense at the thought of not being able to finish all my laundry on Sunday or finishing the cleaning touches in the house before the work week started. Alas, as I kept reading the more I processed through Miller’s words the more I started to realize that if I obey the Lord’s command of keeping the Sabbath holy (and enjoying rest – as my Creator did) – then I will be more energized to do the mundane tasks through the week.
Relating these practices to my own life of homemaking – I think that I can be a better, more effective, and more caring homemaker if I listen to this command of rest. I feel as though I need to be doing something instead of sitting around reading a book or enjoying a small walk. The irony of it all is that God is not a to-do list. Our Father is our source of strength and energy to accomplish all of the things that we have yet on our to-do list for the rest of the week. Yet, I have gone all of these weeks without connecting deeply with my Creator on the Sabbath, and come up empty trying to accomplish all of these things that I simply cannot without my power source.
As I move into this next season of life I am diligently going to try to implement a stronger sense of Sabbath into our home. Since I am more of a practical learner – I will start with making Sunday’s meal on Saturday evening, and implementing the paper plates for Sunday’s Sabbath lunch. The second step that I am going to take is trying not to do any cleaning or laundry on Sunday. This is something that may take some serious discipline on my part – but I think it has a great potential to reap wonderful fruit in my spiritual life.
I pray that we can take our busy-obsessed society and realize the gift of Sabbath. If my Creator rested on the seventh day, how much more do I need that rest? I believe that the Lord will allow me to accomplish more by resting on the day that it was intended for. This is a true New Year’s Resolution – a resolution to rest more, and “do” less.
photo credit: www.runnergirltraining.com