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Do you ever feel like you are moving so fast that you can’t catch your breath?  That if one more thing is put on your plate you are going to sit in a corner and cry?  You miss your family, deep conversations with your spouse, and a break from ferrying the kids to different activities, and the endless routine tasks? You spend so much energy keeping all the balls in the air that it can feel like you are just running around in circles.

 

I will get a break, you laugh to your friends, when Tommy’s basketball season is over, when I complete this major project for work, when my daughter stops teething, when we take that vacation.  It’s funny how postponing works, rest is so elusive, always in the future, always just out of reach.

 

You read the passage, “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.” (Matt. 11:28-30 MSG) and you have to laugh, because when have you ever lived freely and lightly? 

 

In a culture that celebrates workaholism, rest can be seen as a weakness.  We celebrate the “super mom” who can make that partnership at her firm while juggling the PTA, homework, children’s activities, homecooked meals, and perfectly clean bathrooms (come to my house, please), when that picture is just as unattainable as an airbrushed supermodel in a magazine.  As a culture, we act shocked (and judgmental) when we discover that “super mom” is a myth.

 

Unlike the world who measures our worth by our accomplishments, and the number of activities we can juggle, God has another way.

 

Imagine God smiling softly on you and saying, “Listen, I love you. My love for you is beyond your comprehension. I love you so much that I don’t want you to implode.  I designed your body to need rest, and the pace you are setting is not sustainable. Come with me… I have a plan already in place.  I will show you a world of deep abiding rest, a place where you can learn what it means to live freely and lightly.”

 

So worn out, burned out, and tired mom, join us as we discover a life hack that could save your health, your relationships, and your faith.

 

 

1. What is Sabbath?       

 

2. The Best Day of the Week

3. Practical Ideas for Your Sabbath

 

  1. What is Sabbath?

The Sabbath is a day where we set aside work, and activity to find abiding rest and delight in God’s presence. The Sabbath has been around from the beginning of time, though it has been observed on different days. And God from the very beginning acted as our model for how we should arrange our day to day lives.  

 

In Genesis 2:2-4 it says, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

 

God values rest, and He designed us as humans, not robots, who need rest in order to serve and live well.  Eugene Peterson says that, “Sabbath is that uncluttered time and space in which we can distance ourselves from our own activities enough to see what God is doing.

 

It’s hard to be present with anyone when our mind is traveling a million miles a minute, and we are trying to mentally juggle our schedule, worries, and responsibilities in our head. We learn that if we want to hear God’s voice, deepen our relationship with Him, and find deep soul rest from the demands of this life, we need to set aside time to rest and recharge.

 

Ruth Haley Barton in her book Sacred Rhythms describes the practice of Sabbath this way, “The point of Sabbath Is to honor our need for a sane rhythm of work and rest. It is to honor the body’s need for rest, the spirits need for replenishment, and the souls need to delight itself in God for God’s own sake. It begins with a willingness to acknowledge the limits of our humanness and take steps to live more graciously within the order of things.”

 

Observing the Sabbath is a very counter-cultural activity, a time when the world saying you don’t have time to relax; God is asking you to slow down and learn the rhythms of rest.

 

I would challenge you to set aside time, this week, to rest in God’s presence.  

 

2. The Best Day of the Week

In the Sabbath, God is giving you not only permission but encouragement to play! The Sabbath should be the best day of your week! Seriously, it is a day when you get to set aside your to-do list, your worries, your dreams for the future, and just BE finding rest and delight in God’s presence.

 

You will accomplish more in your week as a rested individual than if you spend seven days a week and all of your energy at work. Wayne Mueller in his book, Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest,says it poignantly, “If we do not allow for a rhythm of rest in our overly busy lives, illness becomes our Sabbath – our pneumonia, our cancer, our heart attack, our accidents create Sabbath for us.

 

Taking a day of rest to realign your heart, and soul to Jesus is crucial to your (and your FAMILY’S) overall health. You are modeling sustainable practices that your children will take with them for the rest of their lives.  

 

It’s a given that you will need to make some changes your schedule in order to make this happen. Creating a lifestyle, where you take off a day to recharg takes practice and effort. You can ease into it by making small changes each week.  Know that it won’t be perfect, it will definitely be messy, but it will be worth it! 🙂

 

So, what does Sabbath look like in real life?

 It will look different for everyone, but it should be the most anticipated day of the week. Sabbath is centered around worshipping Jesus in community, and time spent with family and friends.  We plan a rotation of our favorite meals and prep them on Saturday.  We have spent our Sundays taking walks, and naps, having quality conversations, playing games, participating in joy-filled hobbies, and time spent just being present with Jesus.

I would encourage you to walk slow, finding joy in being present with your loved ones and with God on this holy day.

3. Practical Ideas for Your Sabbath

 

Here is a list of practical ideas to jumpstart your own rhythm of Sabbath rest. Your day might look completely different from mine and that is okay!   

 

1. Sleep In

2. Participate in Joy-Filled Hobbies

3. Feast Day- We eat our favorite meals and desserts on this day!

4. Worship God in Community

5. Reflection- Reflect over the past week, where did you see God’s presence at work. Reflect over the upcoming week, what worries or concerns do you need to give over to God?

6. Have each family member choose one thing to do on the Sabbath

7. Take a walk– By Yourself or with family- Notice God in the smallest things of creation.

8. Spend time with Family– Put down the cell phone, and be present for your family.

9. Read a good book

10. Enjoy Silence

11. Listen to Music

12. Invite over Friends and Family

13. Participate in Art– by yourself or with your family

14. Reflect over the week as a family– What was the highlight?   Where did you see God at work? What are you looking forward to this upcoming week?   What do you need to give over to God?

15. Take a nap

16. Light a candle- as a reminder that God is with you and in you

17. Play with your family– Board Games etc.

18. Start a specific tradition for the Sabbath

19. Take a break from Social Media

20. Take a break from shopping

21. Give Hugs

22. Speak words of Affirmation-  over family and friends

23. Pray over the upcoming week

24. Spend time in God’s word

 

What about you?  What are your favorite ways implement Sabbath in your own home?  

 

Do you want more super practical tips on how to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus for yourself and your family?  Most Important Work is all about helping moms LIKE YOU with tools, to nurture a lavish love of Jesus in your heart and in the lives of your children; through creativity, curiosity and everyday life. 

Don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!

 

Want to Go Deeper?

1. Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rythms of Rest     Lynn M. Baab

2. Sacred Rhythms         Ruth Haley Barton

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Alexis is the creator of Most Important Work. She has served on staff for 13 years at a local church as a children’s, youth, and now Family Life Pastor. Alexis is very passionate about helping moms and churches nurture a love of Jesus in their children through creativity, curiosity, and consistency.
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