Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. –Matthew 11.28-30
The call of Sabbath is alluring. For the past few years, I have been practicing Sabbath. The need really became pronounced when I started working for pay in addition to homeschooling and mothering. I work from home and set my own hours. I began to crave a way to separate my life from my work. Taking a day off–a day when I didn’t check email or do work related projects–was a clear place to start.
But I soon ran into problems. I wanted my Sabbath to feel set apart, special, celebratory. And traditionally that’s meant a meal after church on Sunday. More work! If I used leftovers, that didn’t feel celebratory. If I made something in the crock pot, I still felt rushed and harried before and after the service.
Then I read Sabbath by Wayne Mueller–far and away the most enlightening book I’ve read on the topic. He suggested observing the Sabbath from sundown to sundown. Of course, that’s the ancient Jewish tradition as well.
That created this time on Saturday nights for more involved cooking. Often my husband or a child comes and joins me. Then we eat by candlelight and really revel in our food and each other.
This makes sleep–actual, physical rest– a part of Sabbath practice. Resting in God, finding shelter in the secret place of the most high becomes an embodied reality.
We often have a bigger breakfast on Sundays too before we go to church. Then when we come home, it’s a simple lunch and a quiet nap or afternoon activities. Sunday evening sees a return and welcome of the weekday rhythms: a load of laundry, running the vacuum, making space for what is to come.
How do you keep Sabbath?