About a year or two ago, my husband and I decided it was time to start practicing some type of Sabbath. It’s something that Americans are not very good at doing, but after going to Israel twice (for me) and 10+ times for my husband, we were hit with the idea of how important it is to have a day of rest. Watching our Jewish friends practice it there, how strictly they hold to it and protect it, is pretty convicting.
You’d think we’d know that by now… it’s in the Bible from the very first book, just after the very first chapter. He commands it of us. (You know, one of the “Big Ten.”) Jesus practiced rest.
So, we started doing it. For us, it has meant more like a half day of rest. We chose Sunday afternoons as our time of Sabbath. We attend church, we eat lunch (out usually, which means no dishes!), and then we just rest. Until dinner.
That rest looks like:
Playing with kids in the backyard
“Working” on hobbies or things that are fun for us
Sitting on the couch and doing nothing!
Reading – our own books, or to our kids
Having grown-up talk time while our kids play quietly/nap in their rooms
It also means that dinner is usually:
A crockpot meal that was started at breakfast or lunchtime
… or something easy like Breakfast for Dinner
It also means that this is what Sabbath looks like…
If you know me, and you have read The Five Love Languages, then you know that my love language is a clean kitchen. So for the first LONG time that we tried this, this drove me crazy. I couldn’t sit still when there was stuff to do around me. That sink full of dishes… I was nuts. I’ve even tried making sure that on Saturday nights before we went to bed, that the house was spotless so I knew that Sunday would come and that sink wouldn’t be staring me in the face saying, “Haha, you can’t clean me today!” (Okay, I still do that sometimes)
Things have changed a little. I don’t stress about it as much. I admit, when I went into the kitchen tonight and saw that sink, my first thought was still, “Why are there so many dishes in the sink right now?” But then I quickly remembered… Sunday. Sabbath. It’s okay if there are dishes in the sink. And I don’t have to do them right now.
And wow. Can I say what a freeing thing it is? I know the dishes will be there later tonight, or tomorrow. And I know that it’s okay that there were toys still on the coffee table when we tucked the kids in. That wasn’t our job today. Our job was to rest.
It’s a spiritual thing, for sure, but I’d say I’ve learned even more from it just in the realm of “practical” than spiritual. It just makes sense to allow yourself to rest and enjoy.
Tomorrow, I can do those dishes with joy, knowing that today I rested.
Have you practiced a time of Sabbath rest? What did/does it look like? What have you learned from it?