Today we continue our series on the Sabbath which was inspired by a reader question about how to find rest in the midst of a hectic life. Here is Part 1 if you missed it. http://claritywithcharity.com/?p=20#comment-26
Practically this is how I made/make Sabbath happen.
Choose a Day! I chose Saturday as my Sabbath day. (I worked M-F, 8-5 and spent about 6 hours every Sunday at church, so that is how I chose Saturday.) I would strongly recommend if you are leading and serving in your church in a substantial way that you NOT take Sunday as your Sabbath, because you are working whether you get a pay check for it or not.
Plan Ahead. I thought about my week and month every Monday with the thought at the forefront of my mind, how can I get EVERYTHING done I need to do by Friday night so that Saturday is refreshing to me. Planning ahead helped me be able to accomplish this goal. (stay tuned…I mean subscribed! In the coming weeks we will take a more detailed look at how to plan your day) It also meant that I spent a lot of Friday nights working on things for the children’s ministry so that I could be ready for my rest on Saturday.
Communication. I told people that Saturday was my Sabbath. When I trained my Children’s church volunteers I told them Saturday was my Sabbath and to please not call, text or email unless it was an emergency. I told girls I was mentoring, that Saturday was my Sabbath and so if it wasn’t an emergency and to not expect a response to their text or call until the next day. I didn’t check my email and often turned my phone off or turned it to silent. I was amazed how encouraging and supportive people were of this. If anyone did call or text they always apologized for doing so on my Sabbath. I also was surprised to find that somehow miraculously there weren’t a lot of crises or emergencies on Saturdays. I really believe that God protected this day for me, because I was doing my best to obey His commandment!
Self Awareness. I determined what was restful for me (this can vary so much person to person and season to season). In the church planting/working full time season I am referencing it was relaxing to me to clean my house, garden, cook or bake. This was a way to let a different part of my brain work, because in that season I didn’t spend a lot of time at home.
People don’t have a beginning or end. Like you, I tend to take on the emotions and stress of other people, which makes me wonderful at extending empathy but horrible at emotionally resting. Completing a project on my Sabbath, really helped me deal with situations in life that didn’t have a nice and tidy beginning and ending. Sometimes I didn’t go to parties or social gatherings on that day, because during the week I was consistently meeting and interacting with at least 10-20 new people per day. This meant that by Saturday, I (although I am extroverted) literally felt out of words. I didn’t want to try to make conversation with anyone unless they were in a very close and small circle of friends. I would usually go to a coffee shop or park that day and have a date with Jesus. I would spend a lot of time journaling, praying or reading. Sometimes I would go to Barnes and Nobles and read kids books (because they always make me happy and fuel my creativity!) Sometimes I would sit and watch tv shows that I had dvrd earlier in the week and I felt great about totally vegging out.
In my current season of life as a newlywed wife living in a new city and working on a blog, I am not around very many people in the week. What is often refreshing to me on my Sabbath is the opposite of what it was in the last season. I usually want to try to get people together to play games or have dinner. I definitely don’t want to clean the house or cook because I do those things everyday. So I have made Friday my house cleaning day so I can start my Sabbath with a clean house. This way I am not constantly looking around thinking I need to clean something. I try to cook extra food ahead of time or have really simple, quick meals that we can make on the weekend (think hamburger helper, frozen pizza). My husband is also amazing and usually we eat out once or twice on the weekend. I don’t write for my blog on my Sabbath. I try to use that day to rest, connect with my husband and the Lord. I do this by napping, listening to a sermon podcast, laying outside to tan while reading a good book, playing bocce ball, wandering around Home Depot with my hubby making remodeling plans for our house.
Our Sabbath on series continues next week where we will talk about Superwomen…and if YOU are trying to be her!
I would love your thoughts! How do you make Sabbath happen? What is restful and refreshing for you on your Sabbath day?