A few weeks ago I wrote about my conviction that I was not following one of the 10 commandments to "remember the Sabbath & keep it holy". I mentioned that "Sabbath" is Hebrew for "to cease". Traditionally the Sabbath was observed during a 24-hr day from Friday at sunset to Saturday sunset.
The question that came up in some readers' minds is: How do moms observe the Sabbath? Our "job" is 24 hrs, 7 days a week...wouldn't our families suffer if we "ceased" doing our job for 24 hours?
I began a little experiment for myself. Could I observe the Sabbath as a pregnant mother of 3 young boys?
Week 1: Friday night- dinner at Blue Goose, hubby put kids to bed, hung out on the couch and watched a movie. Saturday- personal quiet time, family breakfast at home, gym for dance class, home for baseball in the backyard and mac 'n cheese for lunch (recipe here), naps in the afternoon, then off to a waterpark for fun as a family.
Week 2: Friday night-dinner at La Madeleine, hubby put kids to bed, movie watching. Saturday-lazy morning at home...sleeping in, pancake breakfast, Lego building, attempting to make pumpkin bread (pinterest fail!), then it got crazy...grocery, baby shower, make appetizers, visit a friend who just had a baby, then dinner at Fuddruckers.
Here are some of my observations:
-It's Personal: I realized that my experience in "ceasing" may look very different from your experience. I don't think that you should do exactly what I did. You may read the activities listed in my 24 hours and think I am crazy to think that's "ceasing". This is something you need to work out with your family, for your stage of life.
-Be flexible: Don't hold to the ideal that you must sit on a couch and do nothing for 24 hours straight. That's not realistic and you will feel guilty...which was not God's plan. Even Jesus "worked" on the Sabbath when he performed miracles. The Pharisees criticized him..."why couldn't you heal her on the other 6 days?" Jesus saw his work as essential and God's timing trumped "the law". Read Luke 13:10-17 to read that story.
-To keep the Sabbath "holy" means to "set it apart": Stop and think. For you & your family, what would make those 24 hours different than the other 6 days of the week? Our family found it we needed to not leave the house so much. Staying home together was "setting that day apart".
-Re-evaluate the "why" behind the commitments you have: Ceasing doesn't mean doing nothing. It means recognizing that for one day God is the one who is working...not me. It means recognizing that my efforts are for His glory alone. For one day we are called to stop and rest in His provision.
-Being "unplugged" from social media for a day was not as hard as I thought it would be and made a HUGE difference in how I allocated my time and my focus. Taking one day to be "disconnected" from online friends was not a big sacrifice but the rewards were BIG.
-Plan ahead: If I would plan a little on Friday, it would make my Sabbath more restful. My second attempt at "ceasing" I made the mistake of putting off buying some things that I needed for Saturday afternoon. Which led to me rushing last minute to the grocery store, running late to my event and then late to dinner with my family. If I would have thought ahead and put everything together Friday afternoon, Saturday would have been a lot less stressful.
-Children benefit: My boys are benefitting the most from our "ceasing". As parents we set the pace for the weekend. We decide what commitments we make. What projects we complete. How much time we spend together. Our children are along for the ride (at least at this young age...that will change soon enough). During these impressionable years, I think it's good to that they see us going at a slower pace 1 day a week...taking time to enjoy each other and the gifts God has given us.
Will you join me in the "ceasing" challenge? Will you stop to think about your week and the busyness in it? Can you find 24 hours that you can rest and "set it apart"...depending on God to provide?